European Luxury River Cruises

AVALON – Jewels of Central Europe – Budapest to Paris – 19 days

Introduction

Sail along the Danube, Main and Rhine Rivers, along the Main-Danube Canal and through the mighty Rhine Gorge on this breathtaking 19 day river cruise holiday. Guided sightseeing in each city introduces highlights and visits includes Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey, Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, Rothenburg’s Romantic Road, and a wine cellar in Bernkastel.

Itinerary

Day 1 Budapest. Arrive in Budapest where you will be met and transferred to the InterContinental Hotel for two nights.
Day 2 Budapest. Included today: Guided sightseeing. Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. In today’s guided city tour, see the massive hilltop castle complex, Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church. This afternoon, explore this vibrant city at your own pace, perhaps strolling across the famed Chain Bridge, a symbol of Budapest built in 1849 that connects ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. Why not stroll along Vací Utca main shopping street or visit St Stephen’s Basilica for fantastic city views. (B)
Day 3 Budapest. This morning is free for you to enjoy Hungary’s exciting capital. Shop at the Great Market Hall to purchase paprika and embroidery,  stroll along Vací Utca main shopping street, visit one of the many museums or take a walk to see some of the remaining statues from the communist era. Later, transfer to your cruise ship and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (B, D)
Day 4 Budapest – Vienna. Relax on board this morning and marvel at the scenic views on both banks of the Danube. As you cruise upriver, Hungary is on your left and Slovakia is on your right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58 mile stretch, with the border in the middle of the river. This evening, arrive in Vienna, Austria’s capital and widely known as the ‘City of Music’.  It inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Strauss and Beethoven. (B, L, D)
Day 5 ViennaIncluded today: Guided sightseeing.Today, visit Vienna with a local guide and see the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex, with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and Lipizzaner stallions, the impressive neo-Renaissance Vienna Opera House, and awe-inspiring St Stephen’s Cathedral. Stroll on the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Apfelstrüdel  or Sachertorte in a classic Viennese coffee house. An optional concert is also available during your stay. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Dürnstein – MelkIncluded today: Guided walk in Dürnstein; guided sightseeing in Melk; wine tasting. This morning your first stop is Dürnstein, set right in the heart of the romantic Wachau Valley wine region and known for its pretty baroque blue Stiftskirche. With a local guide, explore this picturesque town and learn about the castle ruins overlooking the town, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. Later, cruise to Melk for a guided tour of the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, which dominates the town from its commanding hilltop site and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. The splendour of the church with its marble statues, stunning high altar, frescoed ceilings and 210-foot-high cupola is inspiring and the view from the abbey terrace across the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking. Later this evening, sample some of the Wachau Valley’s famous wines. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Linz – PassauIncluded today: Guided walk in Passau. Reaching Linz, perhaps join an optional full-day excursion to either Salzburg, to take in the popular ‘Sound of Music’ sights, or Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO town in the Czech Republic. In the afternoon, cruise to Passau, ideally located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz and Danube and a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. Further explore the highlights on a guided walk. St Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian Baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with more than 17,000 pipes. (B, L, D)
Day 8 RegensburgIncluded today: Guided sightseeing; beer tasting. Regensburg dates back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC and is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of ‘historic interest’. Architectural highlights on your guided walk this afternoon include Porta Pretoria – gates to the Roman fort built in 179AD and the Old Town Hall. Later, enjoy an included snack at Germany’s oldest restaurant, the 12th century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen). After dinner is served, sample some of Germany’s famous beers. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Nuremberg. Included today: Guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Trials tour This morning, learn more about the fascinating Main-Danube Canal at our included on board lecture as you cruise towards Nuremberg. Although Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during World War II, much of it has been restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its elegant patrician houses, fabulous Gothic churches and Kaiserburg Imperial Castle on an included guided sightseeing tour or perhaps join the more specialised ‘Nuremberg Trials’ tour. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich Included today: Excursion to Munich, guided sightseeing. After breakfast, drive to Munich, capital of Bavaria, where a Local Expert will show you the highlights of this fascinating city including  the Old and New Town Halls of Marienplatz, the Nymphenburg Palace and the striking gothic Frauenkirche a prominent landmark for Munich. Later, enjoy some free time to explore. Perhaps visit St Peter’s church, watch the famous Glockenspiel, or maybe visit one of the many Biergartens or breweries to sample one of the Bavarian beer specialties. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Bamberg. Included today: Guided walk, see the Old Town Hall. Medieval Bamberg is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour takes in its breathtaking cathedral, the Old Town Hall, which straddles the River Regnitz and its serpentine streets with charming houses and 18th century mansions. (B, L, D)
Day 12 WürzburgIncluded today: Guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz. Today visit Würzburg which is surrounded by steep, verdant vineyards and known as the ‘Pearl of the Romantic Road’ It makes an immediate impression with views of its beautiful Marienberg Fortress and 15th century Old Main Bridge. Today’s guided sightseeing tour visits the magnificent Bishop’s Residenz, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. (B, L, D)
Day 13 MiltenbergIncluded today: Guided walk. Today, visit Miltenberg, a picturesque Bavarian village, tucked away behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates. This afternoon’s guided walk introduces the town’s delightful Marktplatz, Haus zum Riesen (the Giant’s House) – one of the oldest inns in Germany, and the splendid gothic Merchant Hall. (B, L, D)
Day 14 Rüdesheim – Rhine Gorge – KoblenzIncluded today: Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum: cruise through the Rhine Gorge. Visit pretty Rüdesheim and Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum which is included, as well as free time to explore the Drosselgasse. Afterwards, sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge and pass the legendary Lorelei Rock, where it is thought the sweet songs of sirens lured enchanted sailors to their doom. Later this evening, arrive in Koblenz and dock overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 15 CochemIncluded today: Guided walk, visit Reichsburg Castle. This morning, arrive in Cochem and explore this charming town of winding streets and half-timbered houses on your included guided walk. Visit Reichsburg Castle, set atop a vine-covered hill, for splendid views of the town nestled below and the river valley. Cochem is at the heart of the Moselle wine trade and most notably, the Riesling grape is cultivated, producing a dry to sweet, floral white wine. (B, L, D)
Day 16 Bernkastel – TrierIncluded today: Guided walk in Bernkastel; choice of guided sightseeing or Roman Trier tour in Trier. In the middle of the Moselle region, famous for its beautifully ethereal scenery, the charming wine village of Bernkastel offers up quaint narrow streets and well-preserved, half-timbered houses. Today’s guided walk takes in Renaissance Town Hall, the marketplace and the ‘pointed house’. After lunch, drive to Trier, the oldest city in Germany and some claim, even older than Rome. The famous Porta Nigra is the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement and it still gives access to the town centre. Today, before free time to explore this magnificent town, either join an included guided city tour or the more history-focused ‘Roman Trier’ tour . Trier also offers a Roman amphitheatre, pleasant market squares, Germany’s oldest Christian church, and a whole host of picturesque architectural styles. This afternoon, cruise to Remich in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. (B, L, D)
Day 17 Remich – ParisIncluded today: High-speed TGV train journey. This morning, board the high-speed TGV train for a fast, comfortable journey to Paris and transfer to Hotel du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe hotel for two nights. (B)
Day 18 ParisIncluded today: Guided sightseeing. During your included city sightseeing tour of Paris, see the Eiffel Tower,  the unique Louvre Museum with its contrasting modern glass pyramid and striking Renaissance architecture, the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral and the commemorative Arc de Triomphe. The city is also well known for its vibrant nightlife including some of the world’s most famous cabarets. (B)
Day 19 Paris. Today, transfer to the airport or station for your journey to the UK. (B)

Featured Hotel – Hotel du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe Paris, InterContinental Budapest

 

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Price & dates

All prices and supplements are per person. The prices and departure dates listed in the table below do not show live availability therefore may not be up-to-date. To find out the latest availability please call us on 0800 612 5677 for information.

 

Departure Date Booking Code Your Ship Price
23 May 2014 WBR Avalon Poetry II £4479 SOLD OUT
04 Jul 2014 WBR Avalon Poetry II £4375 SOLD OUT
15 Aug 2014 WBR Avalon Poetry II £4450 SOLD OUT
26 Sep 2014 WBR Avalon Poetry II £4465 SOLD OUT

Upgrade supplements

Category Deck Poetry II
D Indigo £187
B Sapphire £980
A Sapphire £1060
P Royal £1242
RS Royal £2120

Travel Options

Prices are based on flights from Heathrow with British Airways. Flights are also available at a supplement from Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester.

The Avalon experience

Included highlights

  • BUDAPEST Guided sightseeing, visit Fisherman’s Bastion
  • VIENNA Guided sightseeing
  • DÜRNSTEIN Guided walk, Stiftskirche
  • MELK Guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey; wine tasting
  • PASSAU Guided sightseeing
  • REGENSBURG Guided sightseeing
  • MAIN-DANUBE CANAL Cruise on the canal
  • NUREMBERG Guided sightseeing; beer tasting
  • MUNICHGuided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz
  • BAMBERG Guided walk, see the Old Town Hall
  • WÜRZBURG Guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz
  • MILTENBERG Guided walk
  • RÜDESHEIM Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum
  • RHINE GORGE Cruise through the gorge
  • COCHEM Guided walk, visit Reichsburg Castle
  • BERNKASTEL Guided sightseeing
  • TRIER Choice of guided sightseeing or Roman Trier tour
  • PARIS – REMICH High-speed TGV train journey
  • PARIS Guided sightseeing
  • WELCOME RECEPTION, CAPTAIN’S RECEPTION AND FAREWELL DINNER

Included in the price

  • Private door-to-door home pick-up service by executive car for you and your travelling companions
  • Flights from London Heathrow with British Airways; regional flights at a supplement
  • 14 nights deluxe accommodation in a spacious stateroom with hotel-style beds, ensuite facilities and river views. Floor to ceiling sliding glass doors and a French Balcony in most staterooms. 2 nights at Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris. 2 nights at the InterContinental Hotel, Budapest
  • All meals on board including full breakfast, buffet lunch and waiter service dinner with quality wines from Europe’s most famous wine regions; afternoon tea with cakes and sweet treats; a choice of teas and coffees throughout the day. Buffet breakfast in Paris and Budapest hotels
  • Included excursions and sightseeing trips with Local Guides and a choice of optional tours; headsets provided on excursions
  • Services of an experienced Cruise Director
  • Gratuities for Cruise Director and crew
  • On board lectures, activities and nightly piano music
  • Welcome reception, Captain’s Reception and Farewell Dinner
  • All transfers, local port charges and airport taxes
  • A choice of pre- or post- holiday extensions
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