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Viking Cruises: Grand European Tour


Imagine 15 magical days along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. From Holland’s windmill-studded tulip fields to Germany’s fairy-tale castles, from the engineering marvel of the Main-Danube Canal to the picturesque vineyards of Austria’s Wachau Valley, this epic voyage presents the highlights of Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

Savor a decadent Sachertorte in a Viennese café and panoramic views of imperial Budapest—and along the way, discover the legend of the Lorelei, the ancient art of glassblowing, the music of Mozart and more. Guests who choose this voyage soon see why it is our most popular itinerary—and the new Viking Legend makes her debut here in 2009.

The following meals are included: B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner  Europe map

Day 1

Amsterdam Arrive in Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands. We meet you at the airport and transfer you to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to explore the city on your own—or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and start getting oriented. (D)

Day 2

Amsterdam This morning, get a city overview with a canal boat cruise past merchant houses and the Old Harbor, dating back to Holland’s Golden Age. Continue with a visit to the world-famous Van Gogh Museum, featuring works by the noted artist and his contemporaries. Return to your ship for lunch and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Day 3

Cologne Enjoy scenic cruising along the legendary Rhine. After lunch, tour Cologne and visit the Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterwards, sample Kölsch, Cologne’s signature beer. Enjoy free time and dinner aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 4

Koblenz & Rüdesheim Cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine, stopping to visit Marksburg, the only Rhine castle never destroyed. Arrive in Rüdesheim late this afternoon. Free time, or take an optional minitrain ride to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum. The evening is free to explore Rüdesheim’s famed Drosselgasse, a pedestrian-only street lined with pubs, restaurants and wine shops. Dine aboard or stay in town to experience local nightlife. (B, L, D)

Day 5

Mainz After breakfast, take a walking tour of Mainz and visit the Gutenberg Museum, chronicling the history of printing and featuring two of Johannes Gutenberg’s original Bibles on display. Enjoy free time followed by lunch aboard. Sail through the night to Wertheim. (B, L, D)

Day 6

Wertheim During your morning walking tour, experience life in a typical small German town. Stop in a bakery and a butcher shop, and learn about Wertheim’s glassblowing tradition. Enjoy free time to explore before returning to your ship for lunch and an afternoon glassblowing demonstration. (B, L, D)

Day 7

Würzburg & Rothenburg Tour Würzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, travel along Germany’s “Romantic Road” to Rothenburg. Set on a cliff above the Tauber River, Rothenberg features a turreted city wall and lovely Gothic and baroque architecture. Return to your ship for dinner and evening cruising. (B, L, D)

Day 8

Nuremberg After lunch aboard, dock in Nuremberg. Visit the ruins of Zeppelin Field, used in the 1930s as Nazi parade grounds, and see the Palace of Justice, site of the famous Nuremberg Trials. Return to the romantic Old Town area; see Elizabeth and St. James Church. Then walk down past the Albrecht Dürer House and Main Market Square. Or, join an optional World War II history tour including the Documentation Center Museum. Enjoy free time; depart just before dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 9

Regensburg Arrive in Regensburg after lunch and tour this wonderfully preserved city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover many 13th- and 14th-century patrician houses and tour St. Peter’s Cathedral. During free time, visit the Alte Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany’s oldest restaurant. Cruise through dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 10

Passau & Linz On this morning’s walking tour, see Passau’s narrow streets and Italianate architecture, and pass the Veste Oberhaus, a 13th-century fortress that served for centuries as a bishop’s stronghold. Then, listen to a concert on Europe’s largest pipe organ in St. Stephan’s Cathedral. Cruise through the scenic Schlögener Schlinge toward Linz, arriving during dinner. Tonight, explore on your own. (B, L, D)

Day 11

Melk & Dürnstein After lunch, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship; cruise through dinner. You then have free time to explore Dürnstein. You can see Kuenringer Castle, or sample some local vintages from this famous wine-producing n Europe’s largest pipe organ in St. Stephan’s Cathedral. Cruise through the scenic Schlögener Schlinge toward Linz, arriving during dinner. Tonight, explore on your own. (B, L, D)


Day 12

Vienna Ride along Vienna’s Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century, and visit one of the city’s spectacular baroque palaces. You will also see Vienna’s world-famous Opera House, St. Stephan’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore—as always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. After dinner, enjoy an optional classical concert. (B, L, D)

Day 13

Bratislava Arrive early and embark on a walking tour of the Slovak Republic’s charming capital to see attractions like the medieval fortifications at Michael’s Tower, baroque Trinity Church and Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. You also pass by several baroque palaces from the Habsburg Dynasty before you return to your ship for an afternoon of scenic cruising. Late tonight, arrive in Budapest. (B, L, D)

Day 14

Budapest The Danube River divides this Hungarian capital city into “Buda” and “Pest.” Explore both parts, starting with Pest’s National Opera House and historic Heroes’ Square. In Buda, stroll Fishermen’s Hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. Enjoy lunch aboard with the rest of the day to explore on your own. Return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian farewell dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 15

Budapest After breakfast, disembark and we will take you to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic, where you tour Old Town landmarks and Prague Castle. (B)

The following meals are included: B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner

Call your Travel Agent "Best World Travel" - (847) 291-6500 - ask Natalie

 

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