19 Day Avalon River Cruise from Budapest to Basel 2019

19 Day Avalon River Cruise from Budapest to Paris

Christmastime from Budapest to Basel River Cruise (WBM)

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Avalon Waterways

River Cruise Description

You’ll enjoy this fabulous 19 day Avalon river cruise from Budapest to Paris 2018 vacation, which takes you along the beautiful picturesque Danube, Main, Rhine, and Moselle Rivers. This luxurious four-river cruise begins with two exciting nights in bustling Budapest, Hungary, and then you’ll experience some of the most fantastic cities in magnificent Austria and Germany, and end with two remarkable nights in romantic Paris. Before you actually embark on your European river cruise, you’ll marvel at the unique atmosphere of fascinating Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. On an exciting guided tour of the city that spans the Danube, you’ll have plenty of free time to explore at your own pace. You might choose to stroll across the iconic Chain Bridge, considered a symbol of Budapest, and bask in the rich coffeehouse culture with the locals, and enjoy a delicious cream cake in the world-famous Gerbeaud Café. You’ll cruise past the stately Parliament Building on the Danube River, to Austria’s extravagant capital city of Vienna, known as the “City of Music.” There’s an exciting guided walk in the charming village of Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the picturesque Wachau Valley, and a visit to the stunning Benedictine Abbey of quaint Melk. You’ll be introduced to the fabulous treasures of historic Passau, Regensburg, and Nuremberg, and you’ll enjoy an excursion to beautiful Bavaria’s capital of Munich. You’ll discover small towns nestled away behind protective walls and towering gates along the picturesque banks of the Main River. These charming Bavarian villages are said to be a photographer’s dream. While peacefully cruising along the fantastic Rhine River, you’ll enjoy a visit in quaint Rüdesheim, considered the ultimate Rhine Valley town. Later, you’ll marvel during your European river cruise through the wide, tranquil curves of the sensational Moselle River Valley, world-famous for its outstanding natural scenic beauty, and you’ll arrive in the alluring wine village of beautiful Bernkastel, surrounded by Germany’s biggest expanse of lush green wine grape vineyards. Before you leave, we’ll introduce you to some of the most famous of Moselle wines. In charming Trier, Germany, believed to be even older than ancient Rome – having been populated more than a thousand years before the Romans even arrived.  A friendly Local Guide will introduce you to all the must-see sights, including the historic Porta NIgra, the only fortified gate to have survived from the original Roman settlement. You’ll disembark your luxurious cruise ship in beautiful tiny Luxembourg and enjoy a fascinating high-speed train ride into romantic Paris! You’ve probably already seen pictures of the world-famous Notre Dame Cathedral, impressive Louvre Museum, and the iconic Eiffel Tower. Now you’ll experience these historic treasures in person. What a perfect way to end this fabulous 19 Day Avalon River Cruise from Budapest to Paris

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River Cruise Itinerary

 

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Day 1 Arrive in Budapest, Hungary

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s bustling capital spanning the banks of the Danube. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring Eastern Europe’s most cosmopolitan metropolis.

Day 2 Budapest

Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee- house culture over a rich cream cake in the world-renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is certainly alluring. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, see Heroes’ Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion – for awesome views of the city – and elegant 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges – many famous sights in and of themselves – which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and considered a symbol of Budapest. (Breakfast)

Day 3 Budapest (Embarkation)

You have time this morning to explore exciting Budapest further. Perhaps you will visit extravagant St. Stephen’s Basilica for marvelous views of the city from its well-situated viewing platform. This afternoon, board your river cruise ship and meet your crew at a casual welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 4 Budapest–Vienna, Austria

Enjoy a day of relaxed cruising on board ship and marvel at the beautiful scenery on both banks of the beautiful Danube River. For some perspective, Hungary is on your left as you cruise upriver and Slovakia is on your right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58-mile stretch, with their borders in the middle of the river. This evening, arrive in Vienna, Austria’s thriving capital city. Known as the “City of Music,” it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available if you so choose during your stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Vienna

Vienna, once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital city on the blue Danube is a showcase of luxurious architecture. This is home to the extravagant Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its world-famous Vienna Boy’s Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral – plus, countless other sights your Local Guide will introduce to you during an included CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Stroll through the charming pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffeehouses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Dürnstein–Melk

Dürnstein, known for the impressive baroque, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s, is situated right in the heart of the splendid Wachau wine region. The main street of this small town – with a population of less than 1,000 residents – is lined with 16th-century homes and charming cobblestone streets. This morning your Local Guide will take you on an included WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand high above the town. During lunchtime, sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk in the early afternoon. Here, enjoy a GUIDED VISIT of the elegant 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an opulent library with more than 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You’ll be captivated by the splendor of the church with its sensational frescoed ceilings, stunningly high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace of the abbey over the blue Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! This evening you’ll be able to sample some of the Wachau Valley’s FAMOUS WINES. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7 Passau, Germany

Today, you might wish to choose from a couple of full-day optional excursions: to Salzburg taking in some of the Sound of Music sights or to medieval Ceský Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or, you may choose to stay on the ship and relax as you cruise to Passau, uniquely situated where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with charming patrician houses. Elegant St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with an amazing 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK of this fascinating town. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 Regensburg

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. Today, the city boasts at least 1,300 listed structures considered of “historic interest.” Architectural features of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and impressive Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Stroll 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. Enjoy a beer and an included SNACK at the 17th-century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Here – where the local residents congregate – feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the awesome views along the river. After dinner, we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9 Roth–Nuremberg

This morning the choice is yours – join a Certified Local Guide for a RALLY GROUNDS tour in nearby Nuremberg, or a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of Roth. This charming Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and Market Square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. Visit the interesting INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM and then in contrast, take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge, built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10 Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich

After breakfast, take a relaxing drive to Munich, capital of Bavaria. With its historical museums, splendid English Garden, traditional bustling cafés, and charming shops, Munich has plenty for you to see and do. A LOCAL GUIDE will show you the highlights of this fascinating city, including Nymphenburg Palace, summer residence of the Bavarian monarchs; MARIENPLATZ with its Old and New Town Halls; and the impressive gothic Frauenkirche, a prominent landmark for Munich. Then, enjoy time on your own in this exciting city. Watch the famous Glockenspiel, which recreates a royal wedding from the 16th century; sit down and enjoy the atmosphere at an outdoor café; visit magnificent St. Peter’s, the oldest church in town; or maybe relax alongside the locals at one of the many Biergarten or breweries to sample some of the Bavarian beer specialties. Return to your ship in the afternoon. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 11 Bamberg

In the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALK takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century elegant Romanesque cathedral and the intriguing 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! This afternoon, enjoy some relaxing time on board ship as you cruise toward Würzburg on the beautiful Main River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12 Würzburg

Arrive in bustling Würzburg during breakfast. Surrounded by rich green hillside grape vineyards, Würzburg, also known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched high above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent elegant BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you might like to join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13 Main River Village Experience

On the banks of the beautiful Main River you find cultural gems of small towns and villages, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and imposing towered gates. Half-timbered houses, narrow streets and medieval town centers, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a visiting photographer’s dream come true. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a popular GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 14 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge

Pretty Rüdesheim is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town, and SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM will really surprise you. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to explore the Drosselgasse and purchase some souvenirs of your vacation. Downstream, the dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Pass the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where sweet songs of local beauties lured enchanted sailors to their doom. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15 Bernkastel

Early this morning you arrive in the charming wine village of Bernkastel on the banks of the Moselle River. With its charming narrow streets and half-timbered houses that have stood since the Middle Ages, you’ll enjoy a GUIDED WALK that includes the beautiful marketplace with its renaissance-style Town Hall – built in 1608 – and the “pointed house,” built in 1416. The Moselle is famous for its fine wines, and growers in this area look after Germany’s largest expanse of wine grape vineyards, the most celebrated of the vintages being the Bernkasteler Doktor. This evening enjoy a TASTING of some of these well-loved German wines. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 16 Trier

After breakfast, an excursion takes you to Trier, Germany’s oldest city. Some say Trier is even older than Rome and that it was populated over a thousand years before the Romans arrived. Many Roman remains have survived, including a 20,000-seat amphitheater; the impressive Porta Nigra, a fortified gate from the original Roman settlement, which still gives access to the town’s center; imperial baths; and the Roman bridge, Germany’s oldest bridge, with ancient stone pilings dating from 144 AD – all evidence of this once-grand Roman city. Trier also offers pleasant market squares, Germany’s oldest Christian church, and a cornucopia of architectural styles – Roman, baroque, neo-classicism, renaissance, and gothic. Choose from the included CITY SIGHTSEEING or the more history-focused “ROMAN TRIER” guided tour, followed by some free time, which gives you the opportunity to discover more about this magnificent town. Rejoin your ship and head for Remich in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 17 Remich, Luxembourg (Disembarkation)–Paris, France

Reach Remich in the early morning hours and say goodbye to your faithful crew after a wonderful breakfast. Travel to Luxembourg City or to Metz to board the HIGH-SPEED TRAIN to Paris, where you arrive later in the day. (Breakfast)

Day 18 Paris

Known as one of the world’s most romantic and bustling cities, this “City of Light” is certainly a delight for all your senses. Your INCLUDED CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as elegant Notre Dame Cathedral, the fantastic Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the historic Arc de Triomphe, and the stately Eiffel Tower. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its posh cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre museum or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and cluster of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colorful and vibrant nightlife, and an optional excursion to one of the world’s most famous cabaret shows, is available. All of this and more awaits your personal discovery! (Breakfast)

Day 19 Paris

While your Central Europe vacation ends with breakfast this morning, take note of the many wonderful memories you will carry with you for the rest of your life. And the colorful photos you took during your cruise will be important reminders of your fabulous trip. (Breakfast)

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