Cruise the Heart of Europe 2021 Riviera Travel River Cruise
Experience an incredible variety of medieval towns and imperial cities, from quintessential Bamberg to classical Vienna, with their wealth of cultural treasures plus the world-famous scenery of the dramatic Rhine Gorge. This fifteen-day river cruise takes you on an amazing journey from Cologne in the heart of the Rhine valley to Vienna and finally Budapest on the banks of the Danube.
You fly to Budapest from where a coach will take you to the ship. The dedicated crew will welcome you on board, ensuring you settle into your comfortable and extremely well-equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship, your first-class floating hotel. There’s always a sense of expectancy and excitement on the eve of a cruise, and after an excellent dinner in the stylish restaurant, conversation is sure to revolve around the delights ahead of you.
Your cruise begins in this most beautiful of imperial capitals, which straddles the great river, and you have the whole day to enjoy it. Enjoy a guided tour seeing the main sights such as the iconic Parliament Building, a huge and palatial neo-Gothic building, which dominates the river bank with its striking central dome and lofty spires. You will have the rest of the day free to explore this majestic city and, with a host of fine museums and galleries on offer, you will be spoilt for choice. Alternatively, you might want to wander the ancient streets of the Castle District while you enjoy panoramic views of the city, stroll down elegant Andrassy Avenue or visit the spectacular Central Market Hall, where you can find everything from traditional foods to handicrafts.
During tonight’s excellent dinner, you'll leave beguiling Budapest behind as your ship glides away and your voyage of adventure begins.
Awakening to the gentle lapping of the water and the colourful valley sides slipping effortlessly past your cabin window, there really is no other holiday experience quite like it. Sit back in one of the deck chairs on the sun deck and soak up the tranquillity and spectacular scenery in all its panoramic glory – now you’re really on holiday!
During lunch you’ll arrive in Slovakia’s fast-emerging capital city, Bratislava. Enjoy a guided tour after which you are at leisure. Wander the winding streets to the main square, where you will find the former old town hall, now housing a museum dedicated to the history of the city and where you may climb the tower for some lovely views. Equally impressive is the great 17th-century fortress, which dominates the city with its commanding and expansive views across the Danube. Or head for the Primatial Palace with its fabulous Hall of Mirrors and rare collection of 17th-century English tapestries. For something less strenuous, perhaps enjoy a freshly ground coffee or homemade lemonade in one of the many bars or cafés.
Reconvene with your fellow travelling companions in the elegant restaurant to enjoy tonight’s dinner as you set sail to Vienna.
This morning, you awake in Vienna, a truly elegant city and one of the real gems of Central Europe, conjuring up an image in the mind of culture, ornate architecture, elegant cafés, aristocratic palaces, imposing cathedrals and everywhere, the romantic music of the great composers. This morning you will have a guided tour to discover this wonderful city, while the afternoon is free for you to further explore.
This evening after dinner, to celebrate the city’s wonderful legacy, there is a classical recital on board by a quartet of talented musicians. To hear this exquisite music whilst in the city of its creation makes a wonderful finale to the day.
As your cruise ship navigates the picturesque Wachau Valley, you'll arrive this morning in Melk for your visit to the enormous Benedictine Abbey, situated on a striking and resplendent rocky bluff above the town. After lunch is served, cruise upstream towards the German border. Synonymous with breathtaking scenery of course, this wonderful section of our fascinating journey is still something of a secret however, so sit back and relax as the Captain skilfully navigates us through the narrowing valley.
After tonight’s dinner, retire to the lounge for your favourite digestif to reflect on all you have seen so far.
This morning you have left Austria behind, and your first German port of call is the picturesque town of Passau. This morning enjoy a guided tour through the Altstadt’s tight lanes, tunnels and archways decorated with an Italianate flourish and built by the powerful prince-bishops. See the beautifully baroque Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, where the world’s largest cathedral organ sounds, before returning to the ship in time for lunch followed by an afternoon’s scenic cruising.
Please note: when cruising from Passau to Mainz, the main part of the sun deck is closed due to low bridges.
Your ship moors in the delightful town of Regensburg for an insightful guided tour. Relax on board this afternoon as we cruise on to our next destination, leaving behind the Danube, one of the most famous and beautiful rivers in the world.
Now cruising on the Main-Danube Canal, you call at the historic Bavarian city of Nuremberg. This morning, you'll have a fascinating guided tour taking in the city’s great ramparts and many fine historic buildings from Nuremberg’s Imperial Age, including the enormous Kaiserburg Castle, Craftsmen’s Court and the market square with its exquisite fountain that resembles a Gothic church tower.
Today visit Bamberg, quite simply one of the most beautiful small towns in Europe, easily on a par with Prague and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The masterpiece you see today on our guided tour began its artistic journey in the 11th century, when Emperor Heinrich II planned a capital as grand as Rome and selected Bamberg as the location for this, sited on seven lush green hills like its inspiration. Although it never became as large as Rome, it has a wealth of fine historic buildings for its size. See the striking multi-spired cathedral, wander the fascinating tangle of lanes in the pretty old town lined with tall merchants’ houses, and explore the picturesque canal paths reminiscent of Venice, before returning to the ship for another delicious lunch.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and relax on board this morning before you arrive and moor in Würzburg, a Bavarian city situated at the head of Germany’s ’Romantic Road’. After enjoying a guided tour, the rest of the afternoon is at leisure, allowing you to further explore this picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its art, architecture and delicate wines.
This morning, your journey brings you to Wertheim, one of those towns which is a joy to stumble across because it’s still relatively unknown on the mainstream tourist trail. Here you can enjoy an expert-led tour which takes you past the highlights of this charming town.
During lunch, cruise around some of the many meandering bends which so characterise the River Main and arrive at the beautiful small town of Miltenberg for our second tour of the day.
Today there’s ample time to relax on board before your guided tour of Mainz – why not catch up on some reading in the lounge or make an appointment with the on-board hairdresser before your ship arrives at the fascinating town of Mainz, situated at the confluence of the rivers Main and Rhine. The afternoon is free for you to explore.
Later this evening you'll call at Rüdesheim, a true Rhine wine town with many famous wines available to sample as you wander the quaint backstreets so typical of the area. After dinner, why not take a stroll along the Drosselgasse to sample a small Asbach – the locally distilled brandy.
Spend the morning moored in Rüdesheim, where you'll enjoy a fascinating tour of the old town. Over a delicious lunch you experience one of the real highlights of your cruise as you sail through the spectacular Rhine Gorge. It’s not long before you arrive in Boppard, ‘Pearl of the Rhine’; wonderfully situated on a sweeping meander, it really is one of the most attractive villages in the Rhineland. There will be some time at leisure before dinner to enjoy discovering this delightful spot. You arrive in in Koblenz later in evening.
This morning, take a guided walk to explore the twisting streets and picturesque squares of Koblenz’s old town, which is dominated by its immense fortress overlooking the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle.
This afternoon, sink into a comfy chair in the lounge and enjoy your last stretch of cruising as you make your final passage into Cologne in the shadow of the magnificent Gothic cathedral, for which the city is so famous. It is a truly staggering building, which took 600 years to build and has the most intricate stained glass in Europe.
During the Captain’s Dinner this evening, you’ll enjoy the delicious specialities of the places we have visited, as you recall the sights you have seen and the people you have met on this exceptional cruise through the heart of Europe.
After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to your crew and transfer to the airport for your flight home.
|4 May 2021||£3,099|
|20 July 2021||£3,429|
|6 September 2021^||£3,549|
|25 October 2021||£3,379|
- Deposit of only £250pp
- Return flights from the UK - regional airports are available but may carry a supplement or return Eurostar from St Pancras
- 14 Nights on board your choice of River Cruise Ship
- All meals on board. Including Welcome Cocktails & Dinner & Captains Dinner
- Fifteen visits and guided tours.
- 5 Star service from English-speaking crew & knowledgeable local guides
- Complimentary WIFI on board
- All Port charges, airport taxes & overseas transfers
- Services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and tour manager
Dining Drinks Package
- Dining drinks package from £109pp
- Draught beer; non-alcoholic beer; soft drinks; juices; red, white and rose house wines; and wine recommendations from the menu are included with lunch & dinner.
- The drinks package must be purchased prior to departure. Ask the team for more information