Day 1 Amsterdam.
Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland's sophisticated, modern capital has a rich 700-year-old history and a distinct ambiance. Maybe stroll through the lively marketplace or see the works of famous Dutch masters at world-renowned museums. This afternoon, board your river cruise ship and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (D)
Day 2 Amsterdam.
Included today: Canal cruise.
Today, get a unique perspective of Amsterdam on an included CANAL CRUISE, floating along the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time in the city this afternoon— you might like to join an optional biking tour (weather permitting). Afterward, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Cologne.
Included today: Choice of Guided city walk or Jewish Cologne tour.
Cologne is one of Germany's largest cities, with a river skyline dominated by the soaring twin spires of its magnificent Gothic cathedral. This afternoon, choose between an included Guided City Walk or a 'Jewish Cologne' tour. The Old Town offers up a great choice of cafés, shops and taverns so be sure to try a Kölsch in one of the many taverns and shop for a bottle of 4711, the original 'eau de cologne'. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Rhine Gorge - Rüdesheim.
Included today: Cruise through the Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum.
Sail 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. In Rüdesheim, visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and enjoy free time to explore the Drosselgasse. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Main River Village
Included today: Guided walk.
On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. Half timbered houses, narrow streets and medieval town centres, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer’s delight. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a GUIDED WALK. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Würzburg.
Included today: Guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop's Residenz.
Surrounded by steep, verdant vineyards, Würzburg is known as the 'Pearl of the Romantic Road' and 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 7 Bamberg.
Included today: Guided walk, see the Old Town Hall.
Today arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic centre, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! Wander the town’s serpentine streets with their charming houses and 18th-century mansions. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Nuremberg.
Included today: Choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Trials tour; beer tasting.
Although 90% of Nuremberg's Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. This morning, choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city's medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialised "NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS" tour. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Regensburg.
Included today: Guided walk.
Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg 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 of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany, then grab a beer and enjoy a SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Here—where the locals congregate—feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS (B, L, D)
Day 10 Passau
Included today: Guided walk in Passau.
Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephen's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world's largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK through this charming town, and find out much more about the "City of Three Rivers." Alternatively, you might like to join a full-day optional excursion to Salzburg to see some of the Sound of Music sights; or to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Durnstein.
Included today: Guided walk in Dürnstein, see the Stiftskirche, Excursion to Gottweig Abbey from Durnstein.
A day of magical scenery awaits you today! As you cruise into the Wachau Valley, pass unmistakable Melk Abbey high up overlooking the river. Then head into the heart of the Wachau wine region to Dürnstein, known for its baroque blue Stiftskirche. A Local Guide will take you on a WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. If you are fit and fancy some exercise, you might like to join an optional biking excursion (weather permitting). Later an excursion takes you to the magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Göttweig, a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE also positioned high up overlooking the Danube. (B, L, D)
Day 12 Vienna.
Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Vienna, known as the 'City of Music', inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss. Once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Vienna is a showcase of gilded architecture. See the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ring Boulevard and awe-inspiring St Stephen's Cathedral on a guided tour. Shop on the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a local café. Tonight, an optional concert is available. (B, L, D)
Day 13 Bratislava.
Included today: Guided walk, visit St Martin's Cathedral.
Situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. Your guided walk with a Local Guide explores the charming Old Town with its winding cobbled streets, the old stone Town Hall and the Gothic cathedral of St Martin. (B, L, D)
Day 14 Budapest.
Included today: Guided sightseeing, see Fisherman's Bastion.
Cosmopolitan Budapest spans the banks of the Danube and is connected by seven bridges linking ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. The massive hilltop castle complex with Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church is among the impressive sights you'll see on your included tour. Shop for renowned peasant embroidery, Herend porcelain, and paprika. (B, L, D)
Day 15 Budapest.
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.