Active Discovery on the Danube - with Prague, Eastbound River Cruise (WLBP)
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River Cruise Description
You’ll enjoy this exciting new 12 day Avalon river cruise from Prague to Budapest 2018 vacation, which will introduce you to some fascinating people and places in the most engaging and fun ways imaginable. Cruising along the beautiful blue Danube River from bustling Budapest to quaint Linz, you’ll visit the intriguing UNESCO World Heritage Site city of Česky Krumlov and historic Prague. You’ll begin your fabulous vacation with one wonderful night in Hungary’s capital city before boarding your luxurious Avalon cruise ship and heading for historic Visegrad. Remember, with Avalon the choice is always yours: you might enjoy learning to speak a little Hungarian in Budapest; attend an entertaining medieval knights’ tournament in beautiful Visegrad; take an energetic jogging tour around charming Vienna, or you can visit the city in early morning hours when it first awakes; meet with a popular local produce farmer in the sensational agriculturally rich Wachau Valley. Or, you might paddle a canoe; or get to meet an actual count in his majestic castle; bike to an ancient border defense near Mauthausen or if you’re a history buff, visit World War II’s largest concentration camp. You might prefer to taste wonderful locally produced cheese and beer brewed by Trappist monks near Linz, or hike along the well-worn path of an old smugglers’ route. And all the while, you’ll enjoy the comfort of your luxurious Avalon cruise ship, with its fabulous meals and warm and friendly personal service. Certainly your ship is your home away from home, while you enjoy exploring your new and different surroundings each and every day. You’ll disembark and spend one exciting night in Linz. You’ll have a choice of a conventional city tour or a history tour, or a relaxing hike to the impressive Pöstlingberg for a stunning panoramic view of beautiful Linz. An optional cooking class is available or the chance to learn more about agriculture in the region. Then you’ll visit beautiful Česky Krumlov en route to historic Prague. Your vacation ends with two fantastic nights in the Czech Republic’s capital city, exploring all the must-see sights in the company of a friendly Local Guide, or during an urban hike or just walking on your own. We also offer a variety of optional activities such as a visit to a microbrewery or a cooking school, to make sure you never run out of things to do! Pack your bags for this exciting 12 day Avalon river cruise from Prague to Budapest 2018 voyage.
Please call for pricing.
River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic
Welcome to beautiful Prague, fascinating capital city of the Czech Republic. This amazing city straddles the famous Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires and pinnacles highlighting its skyline. The remainder of the day is free for you to start exploring this great city.
Day 2 Prague
Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time, and, unlike other Central European capitals, it was not bombed during the 20th-century wars. To explore the “Golden City,” CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: you might choose to participate in a exciting URBAN HIKE featuring stunning views of the city, towering steep cliffs and lush green woods – and all this a few minutes form the bustling city center. Or join a conventional GUIDED TOUR during which a popular Local Guide shows you Prague’s most famous treasures, such as the Old Town’s fantastic Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; majestic HRAD?ANY CASTLE GROUNDS; elegant St. Vitus Cathedral; and the historic Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. Later browse the shops for fabulous hand-cut crystal or art books. Mix with the locals in historic Wenceslaus Square, an important meeting point and where people demonstrated against the oppressive communist regime; or watch individual performers on Charles Bridge. And if that is not enough to keep you busy, how about joining one of a variety of exciting optional excursions: a microbrewery tour, focusing specifically on local mini-breweries which produce really unique beers, varying in color, and taste and the overall drinking experience; or participate in a cooking class, which introduces you to typical Czech cuisine. Maybe an e-bike tour around the city is more to your liking and tonight we can even offer you the “Dark Shadows of Old Town” tour. (Breakfast)
Day 3 Prague–Cesky Krumlov–Linz, Austria
Today you’ll leave Prague as we travel south to visit the charming city of Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, time seems to have stood still. If you prefer, GUIDED SIGHTSEEING will provide you an overview of this amazing medieval jewel. In the late afternoon, you’ll arrive in charming Linz. (Breakfast)
Day 4 Linz (Embarkation)
Linz, known as the European Capital of Culture, Austria’s third-largest city will welcome you with open arms and plenty of exciting things to see and do. This morning CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: you can join a GUIDED CITY WALK or a contemporary HISTORY TOUR during which your guide reveals what life was really like in the city during WWII and how charming Linz just managed to escape becoming a divided city like Berlin. The more active might enjoy a CASUAL HIKE across to majestic Mount Pöstlingberg Then there’s plenty of free time for shopping, exploring the city on your own, or joining an optional activity. How about a cooking class so you can impress your friends back home with an authentic Linzer Torte, the world’s oldest known cake? Or, what about a visit to a family farm where you can learn how to milk a cow, mow grass using a scythe, saw wood, and more? This afternoon, you’ll board your luxurious AVALON LUMINARY, and after a mandatory safety exercise, meet your friendly crew and fellow travelers at a casual WELCOME RECEPTION. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 5 Engelhartszell–Schlögen Oxbow Scenic Cruising–Linz
As you enjoyed a good night’s slept, your cruise ship arrived in the beautiful market town of Engelhartszell near the German border. You’ll go ashore and CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: you can visit the elegant rococo ENGELSZELL ABBEY and tour its popular brewery, explore its stunning SENSORY GARDEN – complete with stone labyrinth, impressive herb garden, and lush grape vineyard – and attend a fine TASTING of locally produced cheeses and beer brewed by the Trappist monks. Or, join an entertaining GUIDED HIKE along the historic route that smugglers took during World War II, when a tightly controlled border existed between Austria and Germany. Back on your cruise ship, an excellent lunch of Bavarian specialties will leave you energized and ready to join an exhilarating HIKE ALONG THE LEGENDARY DANUBE. Enjoy the fresh air and breathtaking vistas as you watch the Avalon Luminary pass through the fascinating Schlögen Oxbow, a particularly beautiful horseshoe-shaped curve of the river. In charming Aschach, you’ll rejoin the cruise ship, which returns to dock at Linz for the night. This evening, you have your choice of optional theater or music excursions – or you can just mingle with the locals at a festive pub crawl! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Linz–Mauthausen–Grein–Spitz
You’ll arrive in beautiful Mauthausen, this morning with evidence of human habitation dating back to the historic Neolithic Age. Here, we let you place your own personal stamp on your day as you CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: you can choose a relaxing GUIDED BIKE TOUR to an ancient Roman border defense fort dating back to the 2nd century AD. You’ll visit the impressive museum dedicated to the site, with military weaponry, actual accounts of daily life, stunning ceiling frescoes, sacred art objects, and more; ACTIVE DISCOVERY ON THE DANUBE CRUISE WLB 9 DAYS FROM LINZ TO BUDAPEST visit the elegant 9th-century ST. FLORIAN MONASTERY, an architectural rival to charming Melk Abbey. While exploring, you may meet one of the monks (when available) or you might choose to attend a short music recital, or; join a heartrending tour of MAUTHAUSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP, one of World War II’s largest and most brutal Nazi labor camps. This afternoon, your ship passes through another picturesque area, the impressive Strudengau, popular among serious climbers and hikers for its alluring geological formations. You’ll dock in charming Grein, a beautiful country resort in the shadow of its majestic castle. The GUIDED WALK includes a visit of the historic THEATER, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances. Then, you’ll visit GREINBURG or majestic CLAM CASTLE, where you will meet the friendly owner. After a wonderful dinner, don’t miss the spectacular views as we pass by elegant Melk Abbey, perched high on a cliff above the river. The ship docks late tonight in quaint Spitz. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Spitz–Wachau Valley–Vienna
You’ll have an exciting time deciding what to do on this fabulous day. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: PADDLE A CANOE on a guided tour down the legendary Danube River and along some of its most beautiful tributaries, for a completely unique perspective of the river and charming riverbank villages; you’ll bask in the fresh air and breathtaking views on an easy guided BIKE TOUR from Spitz to quaint Krems. You’ll enjoy sightseeing in beautiful Dürnstein that includes the captivating blue Stiftskirche, and enjoy a break to sample popular local specialties; join an interactive WINE WORLD EXPERIENCE with wine tasting, or, get a hands-on LOCAL ENCOUNTER that features production of fresh regional fruits, vegetables, wine, or other products, depending on the season. A nice snack and beverage are included. And whatever activity you are enjoying, marvel at today’s SCENIC HIGHLIGHT, the sensational Wachau Valley. You’ll arrive in amazing Vienna, the “City of Music,” where you have free time to join an optional guided hike through the lush grape vineyards outside town, with a wine tasting and fantastic dinner at a popular Heurigen wine tavern. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Vienna
Vienna, once the center of the historic mighty Habsburg Empire, this “City of Music” has inspired the creative genius of such famous composers as Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. You will be inspired, as well, and you can waltz ashore and CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: you can enjoy a relaxing BIKE TOUR that features all of the must-see sights along the world-famous Ringstrasse and areas of Vienna, which are inaccessible to buses and cars; you might slip on your sneakers and join an energetic JOGGING TOUR that provides the highlights of this city as you run between sites; or take a fascinating INSIDERS TOUR that highlights something different each day. It could be anything, from a visit to a creative musical instrument maker to a crash course on etiquette and protocol at diplomatic gatherings. You will meet friendly locals, have the chance to prepare some food at a cooking class, and will enjoy other surprises as well. Or, enjoy an entertaining introduction to Vienna during a wonderful CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR that includes an inside visit of stunning Belvedere Palace to see Klimt’s celebrated Kiss. Afterward, you have plenty of free time to explore this fascinating city on your own. Maybe stroll through the bustling pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, take a break for a piece of decadent Sachertorte, or join an optional excursion. Tonight’s amazing onboard dinner pays a tribute to the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 Vienna
You are blessed with a second full day in beautiful Vienna, which presents even more opportunities to immerse yourself in the magic of this “City of Music.” CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY for an experience most meaningful to you: If you like getting up early, you’ll enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the city at sunrise during an EARLY RISER WALKING TOUR that includes a wonderful breakfast at a popular Viennese café and an exclusive viewing of the historic Habsburg family’s private art collections at the Museum of Fine Arts; for a more leisurely start to your morning, skip the walking tour and onshore breakfast and simply join us for the MUSEUM VISIT, which includes time in the world-famous ITALIAN & DUTCH MASTERS GALLERY. If you are a military history buff, begin with the MUSEUM VISIT of the Habsburg collection, then you can explore the MILITARY MUSEUM, commemorating the heroic past of the mighty Habsburg Empire. Tonight, enjoy a delicious dinner of Viennese specialties onboard your luxurious cruise ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Visegrad, Hungary–Budapest
This morning, the Avalon Luminary passes by elegant mighty Esztergom Basilica, coronation church of Hungary’s monarchs. Later, you’ll arrive in charming Visegrad, where another exciting day is ready for your enjoyment. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: you can choose to cheer your favorite champion at an entertaining MEDIEVAL KNIGHTS TOURNAMENT at Visegrad’s majestic Lower Castle, featuring targeting and fighting demonstrations by members of the historic St. George Knightly Order. During your free time here, be sure to explore impressive Palotaház, where craftsmen stonemasons, smiths, potters, and paper-makers produce their traditional items using age-old techniques. Or, spend your day in the wonderful outdoors on a GUIDED HIKE through sensational Danube-Ipoly National Park, home to elegant eagles, falcons, nocturnal bats, terrapins (turtles), fire salamanders, and other wildlife. Later this afternoon, your cruise ship arrives in bustling Budapest, affording you breathtaking views of the beautifully illuminated Parliament. Prepare for an exquisite GALA FAREWELL DINNER featuring fantastic foods specially paired with just the right area wines or beers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Budapest (Disembarkation)
Budapest, Hungary’s capital, one of Eastern Europe’s most bustling cities, spans the legendary Danube River. You’ll wake up refreshed and you’ll enjoy a wonderful breakfast before disembarking and deciding how you would like to explore this fascinating metropolis. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: you can take an enjoyable, 2-hour WALKING TOUR that includes some language instruction of useful local words and phrases; ride a fascinating new-model, 24-gear bicycle on a GUIDED BIKE TOUR along the bike paths and car-free areas for a safe and enjoyable way to see the city’s most fantastic sights, or; see the best of Budapest on a CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR featuring historic Heroes’ Square, impressive Fishermen’s Bastion, elegant Matthias Church, and an inside visit of the world-famous OPERA HOUSE. Afterward, you have plenty of free time to shop for popular Hungarian paprika or finely handcrafted souvenirs, to savor a piece of cream cake in the world-renowned Gerbeaud Café, or to join an optional tour of Budapest’s fascinating limestone cave system or to play nine holes of golf. (Breakfast)
Day 12 Budapest
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning! (Breakfast)