Arrive in Budapest, capital of Hungary, and transfer 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)
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 dinner. (B, L, D)
After an afternoon arrival, you embark on a walking tour of Slovakia’s charming capital to see attractions like the medieval fortifications at Michael’s Tower, baroque Jesuit Church and Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. You also pass by several baroque palaces from the Habsburg Dynasty before you return to your ship and depart late tonight. (B, L, D)
Ride along Vienna’s Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. You will also see Vienna’s world-famous Opera House, St. Stephan’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return aboard 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)
Today, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture. See its wonderful frescoes and admire the comprehensive collection of medieval manuscripts in its library. Rejoin your ship and cruise through dinner. (B, L, D)
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.† Enjoy free time and dinner aboard. (B, L, D)
† Passau organ concert not available after November 1.
Arrive in Regensburg after breakfast and tour this wonderfully preserved medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site including structures dating back to Roman times. Discover many 13th- and 14th-century patrician houses and see the splendid St. Peter’s Cathedral. During free time, visit the Alte Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany’s oldest restaurant. Cruise through dinner. (B, L, D)
During morning cruising, you may choose to attend an interesting presentation about the European Union. Arrive late morning in Nuremberg; after lunch, disembark for a tour. 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. See the Old Town area as you walk down past the Albrecht Dürer House and Main Market Square. Spend more time exploring Nuremberg, or join an optional World War II history tour including the Documentation Center Museum. Enjoy free time throughout the evening; dinner is served aboard. Ship departs in the wee hours of the morning. (B, L, D)
Enjoy a tour of Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late-Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the very picturesque city hall built on a tiny island in the middle of a river. Take some free time to enjoy Bamberg and sample some of the town’s distinctive smoke-flavored beer before returning aboard.
(B, L, D)
After breakfast, tour Würzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy lunch aboard—or, take an optional excursion along Germany’s “Romantic Road” to Rothenburg, which features a turreted city wall and lovely Gothic and baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship for dinner and an evening glassblowing demonstration. (B, L, D)
Wertheim is located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers. 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. (B, L, D)
Day 12Middle Rhine & Koblenz
Cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine; this stunning stretch of the river is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You pass the Lorelei Rock, which marks the river’s narrowest point; the rock is named for a local legend about Rhine Maidens who lure sailors to their doom. This afternoon, stop to visit Marksburg, the only Rhine castle never destroyed. Rejoin your ship in Koblenz and dine aboard. (B, L, D)
Arrive in Cologne during breakfast, then disembark for a tour of Germany’s fourth largest city. Stroll through the Old Town past St. Martin’s Church and visit the Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Use your free time to enjoy Cologne’s atmospheric waterfront before returning aboard for dinner and evening departure. (B, L, D)
Sail along the Rhine during the morning hours, enjoying scenic views. You can try your hand at sjoelen (Dutch table shuffleboard). Arrive around lunchtime at Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; tour this fascinating network of windmills and other ingenious flood management technologies. Return to your ship for a dinner of Dutch cuisine, and then sample Dutch cheeses and jenever, a juniper liqueur, as we sail toward Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands. (B, L, D)
Day 15Amsterdam & Paris
After breakfast, disembark and take a ride through the countryside to beautiful Paris, France. We will take you to the Le Méridien Étoile hotel (or similar). After check-in, the rest of the day is yours. (B)
This morning, enjoy a panoramic tour of Paris. You will see Notre Dame Cathedral and the Church of Sainte Chapelle. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure—visit museums like the Pompidou, Orsay or Picasso, admire historic buildings like Fontainebleau and the Paris Opera. Or, you can take an optional guided visit to the world-famous Louvre, home of da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” the “Winged Victory of Samothrace,” I.M. Pei’s iconic glass pyramids and much more. This evening, we dine in a typical Parisian bistro. Bon appétit! (B, D)
You have a full day to further explore the “City of Light.” Stroll through Montmartre, shop along the Champs Elysées, ride up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and sample some of the famous French cuisine. You might like to take a Seine cruise aboard a bâteau-mouche this evening to see some of the city’s landmarks and lovely bridges. (B)
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* (B)
The following meals are included:
B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner
*Please note: Airport transfers are only included if the Viking air offer is purchased and the arrival/departure city and date on your Viking issued air ticket coincides with the cruisetour start/finish city and date. Otherwise, an additional charge will apply, or you may arrange your own transportation.