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8 Day Tauck River Cruise from Munich to Budapest 2022
River Cruise Description
Experience the scenic, romantic soul of old-world Europe on this river cruise along the Danube. Wind through dramatic river landscapes to discoveries in Grein, Dürnstein, Bratislava, Passau or Cesky Krumlov, capped by a sumptuous gala evening at a Viennese Palace.
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Munich & embark shipTour begins: 5:30 PM. A transfer is included from Munich International Airport directly to your riverboat, where embarkation begins at 4:00 PM. Settle in aboard ship and then meet your fellow river cruisers this evening at a welcome cocktail reception followed by dinner. Your riverboat sets off along the Danube this evening.
Day 2 Exploring Passau or Cesky KrumlovAwaken in Passau today for a choice of sightseeing in this riverside town in Germany, or an excursion to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Once a Roman outpost at the confluence of three rivers, Passau is over 2,500 years old, a quintessential Bavarian town of pastel patrician houses, cafés, romantic cobblestone lanes and riverfront promenades, made for walking (many streets are closed to traffic). If you choose to stay in Passau, your walking tour immerses you in its storybook mix of Roman, Italian Baroque and German Gothic architecture. See St. Stephen's Cathedral; view the hilltop fortress where Passau's prince-bishops once resided; and peruse the 14th-century Rathaus (Town Hall). Later, if you wish, join your Tauck Director for a brisk walk to a hilltop fortress, or attend a public concert on the famous organ of St. Stephen's Cathedral, when available. Alternatively, travel to Cesky Krumlov, an incredibly well-preserved medieval town in a landscape of exceptional beauty. Your walking tour includes Krumlov Castle, one of the largest castle complexes in Central Europe, embracing 40 buildings and palaces of medieval, Renaissance and Rococo designs, plus numerous courtyards and gardens. Return to the riverboat and enjoy the chef's signature dinner tonight as you cruise to Grein.
Day 3 Grein or the Mauthausen MemorialArrive in the typically picturesque riverside village of Grein, Austria, for a choice of sightseeing in Grein or a visit to the Mauthausen Memorial. Your visit begins with a guided walking tour of the village, which includes views of the Grein Theatre – since 1791 the oldest operating theatre in Austria – and the historic town square with the adjacent Gothic St. Giles Church, known for its fine altar and stained glass. If you wish, visit Schloss Greinburg, the privately owned castle of the Ducal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, showcasing the history and lifestyle of one of the most significant ruling families in Europe (including Queen Victoria of England). Alternatively, pay a poignant guided visit to the museum and memorial on the site of the infamous World War II-era Mauthausen–Gusen concentration camp, approximately 20 kilometers east of Grien. You'll tour the camp's main complex, preserved as a museum and memorial to the victims of the last major concentration camp liberated by the Allies. Back aboard the riverboat, enjoy dinner and local entertainment tonight.
Day 4 Dürnstein, cycling & on to ViennaThis morning, your riverboat docks in Dürnstein, in Austria's Wachau Valley, which offers you a choice of unforgettable sightseeing excursions. You may choose to explore the picture-perfect Austrian village of Dürnstein on a guided walking tour, with free time on your own – maybe a climb up to the brooding ruins of Kuenringerburg Castle high above the town. Another possibility is a challenging bicycling excursion (not suitable for beginners) through the Wachau Valley, starting and ending in Dürnstein or a walking tour of Krems. Rejoin the boat for lunch, and set off on a leisurely, breathtakingly scenic river cruise to Austria's capital, Vienna.
Day 5 Imperial Vienna & a night at the PalaceYou have two morning sightseeing choices today, all preceded by a tour of Vienna's landmark sights: visits to the Imperial Treasury (the Schatzkammer) in the Hofburg, displaying priceless treasures from the House of Habsburg, including the Austrian Crown Jewels and the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire; or the House of Music (Haus der Musik), featuring imaginative interactive exhibits on famous composers (where you can actually "conduct" the Vienna Philharmonic). After lunch aboard the riverboat or in town, your afternoon is free to explore more of this amazing city – once the capital of the Habsburgs' Austro-Hungarian Empire – on your own. Later, join us this evening at Palais Pallavicini for a Tauck Exclusive – a gala evening of dining and musical performances in elegant Viennese style. The sumptuous surroundings of Palais Pallavicini (built in 1784), with its ornate decor and magnificent state rooms, will transport you to another time – in fact, the palace facade is famous in another cultural reference... as the location of Harry Lime's (Orson Welles) apartment in the classic film The Third Man.
Day 6 Choices in & around BratislavaA choice of activities await this morning in or near Bratislava, Slovakia's visually intriguing capital city. One is a walking tour of the cobblestoned, vehicle-free historic center of Bratislava; medieval, Baroque and modern architecture mix as you visit sites that include the 13th-century Old Town Hall, Baroque Habsburg-era palaces, the Opera House, Slovak Philharmonic Hall, St. Michael's Gate, St. Martin's Cathedral, and the Primate's Palace, where you'll view rare 17th-century British tapestries. Another is an excursion to the countryside, lush with vineyards, for a wine-tasting and a visit to Cerveny Kamen Castle. Dating back to the 13th century, "The Red Stone Castle" is one of the best-preserved castles in Slovakia, boasting historical furnishings and artwork; during your visit, enjoy a falconry demonstration. Prior to departure this afternoon, our local expert offers inside information and anecdotes on Bratislava. Back aboard ship, have lunch and settle in for an afternoon at leisure. Join us this evening for dinner as your riverboat heads to Budapest.
Day 7 Explore BudapestYour cruise ends this morning in Budapest, Hungary, which is split into the sections of Buda and Pest by the Danube River. A guided tour of the city begins with the Pest side and a drive along Andrassy Avenue to Heroe's Square and a drive by Parliament and other sites. Explore the Buda side with a drive up Castle Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; see Fishermen's Bastion with its Neo-Romanesque design, and admire the stained glass windows and centuries of history in Matthias Church (may be closed on some days due to services). After lunch, spend the rest of the day and evening pursuing what interests you most in this historic, and artistic, city.
Day 8 Journey homeTour ends: Budapest, Hungary. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the riverboat to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport; you should allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport.
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