Danube River Cruise: Christmas Markets

 

Daily Summary

Begin your Journey with 3 days in Prague, the Czech Republic’s vibrant capital, the “City of a Hundred Spires.” Highlights include Hradany Castle, visit the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral and stroll along Charles Bridge. Following Prague, board you Longship in Germany for an 8 day cruise. With medieval towns, festive Christmas Markets, grand cities and stunning scenery, the journey on the “Blue Danube” is one you are sure to love. The cruise includes planned city tours and free time to choose among afternoon shore excursions or explore the cities and villages on your own. This itinerary maximizes the time you have in port and allows plenty of free time to explore the Christmas Markets on your own,

Days 1: Pre - Cruise: Prague, Czech Republic

Welcome to Prague! After processing through Immigration, collecting your luggage and customs, look for our representative in the Arrivals Hall who will be holding a paging board with your name on it and who will escort you to your hotel for check in.
The rest of the day is free to explore on your own and sample some of the hearty local cuisine.

Days 2-3: Tour Prague

Set out on a panoramic tour of Prague, including a guided walk through Prague Castle. Prague’s medieval architecture is its most prominent, but the city is also a rich repository of Romanesque, baroque and art nouveau buildings that stir the imagination.
After your guided tour you will be familiar enough to tour on your own:  See more of the Old Town or check out some of Prague’s more modern sights such as the Frank Gehry–designed Dancing House, an office building inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Cross Charles Bridge, see the Astronomical Clock and the Lennon Wall, and stand in historic Wenceslas Square. Stroll past the colorful cottages on Golden Lane, or visit the Jewish Quarter and see the 13th-century Altneuschul, Europe’s oldest active synagogue.

Days 4: 
Road Transfer to Regensburg, Germany; Board the Longship

After breakfast, check out of your hotel, and meet our representative for transfer via luxury coach to the ship. The travel time is 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Having escaped major damage during World War II, this picturesque town is considered one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities and the oldest city along the Danube. After boarding the ship , you have free time to stretch your legs and explore the city on your own before returning for dinner.

Day 5: Regensburg

This morning, meet your local guide for a walking tour through the scenic town of Regensburg. See one of the largest groupings of 13th- and 14th-century church spires, towers and patrician houses north of the Alps. You also encounter the 12th-century Old Stone Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral and a number of idyllic courtyards. Alternately, you may instead choose to cast off on a ferryboat ride to marvel at the 400-foot chalk cliffs and dramatic scenery of the Danube Narrows. You will also visit the renowned Weltenburg Abbey*, famous for its dark ale, brewed here by monks since 1050. Upon your return in the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the same included walking tour of Regensburg that was offered this morning. Or, you may choose instead to sample some of the excellent local beer on an optional excursion to explore the brauhaus culture and Bavarian microbrews or take a full-day optional tour to Nuremberg. Rejoin your ship for dinner. Depart this evening.

Day 6:
Passau, Germany

Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. See the New Bishop’s Residence and see the impressive baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Enjoy lunch on board your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own. Alternately, you may instead choose a full-day optional excursion to explore glorious Salzburg; visit the Italianate Old Town, see settings from the film The Sound of Music and enjoy lunch at Austria’s oldest restaurant. Return to your ship for dinner and departure.

Day 7:

Krems, Austria

This morning, cruise leisurely through the captivating Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, spotting attractive riverside towns and castle ruins along the way. After lunch, disembark in Krems and visit Göttweig, a working Benedictine abbey that owns many of the vineyards along the Danube. The splendid ceiling fresco in the imperial stairwell is one of the largest in the world. Visit the church, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship and continue cruising toward Vienna. Arrive in Vienna just after dinner and enjoy a relaxing evening. Or, you may choose one of this evening’s optional excursions, such as a classical concert in the “City of Waltzes.”

Day 8: Vienna, Austria

Awake in Vienna. Today you will tour this Austrian capital. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the city’s baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. Or, you may join us for an optional excursion to visit Schönbrunn Palace, erected in 1778 and admired as the “Versailles of Vienna.” Dinner is served on board. Or, you may choose to head to the famed Grinzing district to join locals in a high-spirited Heurigen celebration of the year’s wine vintage

Day 9: Vienna

Spend another enriching day in Vienna. You many choose to explore on your own or join one of the many optional excursions, including a panoramic tour of Vienna by bike, a visit to the local Farmers’ Market with a Viking chef, or an all-day excursion to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, filled with lovingly restored baroque city palaces and leafy squares. Early this evening, enjoy scenic cruising as we start sailing toward Budapest.

Day 10: Budapest

Arrive in Budapest, Hungary’s vibrant capital divided by the Danube River. Take a panoramic city tour through the more modern Pest side of the city. Journey along Andrássy Avenue and see the 19th- and 20th-century mansions, National Opera House, Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Stop in Heroes’ Square to learn more about Hungarian history, then cross the Danube to Buda’s Castle District. Visit Matthias Church and enjoy brilliant views of the Danube and the beautiful Hungarian Parliament building from Fishermen’s Bastion. Return to your ship for lunch; the rest of the day is yours to explore both sides of the city. You may also choose to join us on one of several optional excursions designed to reveal this fascinating city’s culture, history and cuisine in greater depth.

Day 11: Disembark; Depart For Home

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight home. Transfers provided by the c
cruise line.

 

Pricing and Accommodation

Accommodations

Prague

This  100 room luxury hotel in Prague center, is located in fabled Lesser Town district, right below Prague Castle and just steps away from Charles Bridge. Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is the quintessence of Prague's history, character and beauty. As part of Luxury Collection, Augustine defines the destination with its deep history and energy inspired by the 13th century Augustine monastery, which is interconnected with the hotel and still active with four monks living there.

Cruise

River-view suite with full-size veranda off the spacious, separate sitting room & floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door, known as a French balcony, in the sleeping quarters Hotel-style Queen bed  (with optional twin-bed configuration). Full Board includes snacks, softdrinks, wine, beer, (with meals) and all day coffee, tea and bottled water,
-One shore excursion per day (some are standard, others can be chosen 7-8 months prior to trip)
-All activities offered on the boat including destination lectures and cooking demonstrations.

Pricing

2021 est. $5,200 per person, full board, Double Occupancy. Excludes International and Regional Flights. Final pricing on customized proposal.

 
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