8 Day Avalon River Cruise from Budapest to Vienna 2018


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avalon-river-cruise-budapest-to-vienna

River Cruise

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River Cruise Description

Get a taste of the Danube on the 8 day Avalon river cruise from Budapest to Vienna 2018 voyage. From the amazing Gypsy violins of bustling Budapest to the romantic sounds of charming Vienna, the majestic “City of Music,” this fabulous Europe river cruise highlights the natural stunning beauty of Austria’s fertile Wachau Valley, and the fascinating capital cities of Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria. You’ll enjoy two exciting nights in bustling Budapest, where your guided sightseeing tours will introduce you to the highlights of this vibrant capital. You’ll have plenty of free time to explore on your own – take pictures from impressive Fishermen’s Bastion, walk across historic Chain Bridge, or enjoy a wonderful cream cake in the world-renowned Gerbeaud Café. You’ll board your luxurious Avalon river cruise ship and head upriver to beautiful Bratislava. For a 58-mile stretch, the middle of the Danube forms the border between Hungary and Slovakia, and popular guided sightseeing awaits you in Slovakia’s capital. In charming Melk, you will visit Austria’s elegant Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest monasteries, sitting high up on a bluff so you can take in the awe-inspiring views of the picturesque blue Danube River and gorgeous surrounding countryside. You’ll cruise through the senstional Wachau Valley and spend some of your free time in quaint Dürnstein, overlooked by the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192, and best known for its impressive baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade. To end your fabulous European river cruise, there’s popular guided sightseeing in Austria’s capital, Vienna, with time on your own to relax, perhaps visit the world-famous Sacher Hotel for a taste of Sachertorte (a special chocolate cake), and stroll along the historic pedestrian street of Kärntnerstrasse. You’re sure to enjoy everything this 8 day Avalon river cruise from Budapest to Vienna 2018 vacation has to offer.

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River Cruise Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrive in Budapest, Hungary

What a way to begin your Danube River Cruise, spending two awe-inspiring days in Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital. Eight ornate bridges – some even famous sights in and of themselves – span the banks of the Danube, which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may want to start exploring with a walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849, which is considered a symbol of Budapest, one of Eastern Europe’s most bustling cities.

Day 2 Budapest

Whether you’re sightseeing, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffeehouse culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively an allure to visitors. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of the city, see Heroes Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its exceptional Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, a coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. This afternoon, explore this vibrant city at your own pace, but one recommended stop is at St. Stephen’s Basilica, which offers astonishing views of Budapest from its viewing platform, or stroll along the main shopping avenue, Váci utca. (Breakfast)

Day 3 Budapest (Embarkation)

This morning, explore at your own pace. Shop at the Great Market Hall and purchase paprika or embroidery at one of its 180 vendor stalls, or wander around the Royal Palace grounds. In the afternoon, transfer to your ship and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 4 Bratislava, Slovakia

Relax on board this morning and marvel at the scenery 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. As you arrive in Bratislava, the progressive capital of Slovakia nestled in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a tour of the city, including a “Guided Walk” of its captivating Old Town. Winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in Bratislava. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, which was the coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. Explore freely on your own this afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Dürnstein, Austria–Melk

This morning our first stop is Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region. This village – with a population of less than 1,000 inhabitants – is best recognized by its baroque blue and white Stiftskirche standing right on the river bank. The main street of Dürnstein is lined with 16th-century homes along attractive cobblestone streets. You’re invited to explore on your own or choose one of the popular excursions. If you crave exercise, biking might be your ticket (weather permitting). The ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart or “Coeur de Lion” was imprisoned in 1192, stands above the small town. If you’re wanting some adventure, hike up to the ruins for spectacular views. (B,L,D) After Dürnstein, grab a glass of white wine while reclined on the Sky Deck taking in the amazing scenery as you sail to Melk. Enjoy the exquisite beauty of the romantic Wachau Valley, where dedicated viticulturists grow excellent wine grape varieties and produce superb wines fit for a king. In Melk, visit the awe-inspiring 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, which houses an elegant library with more than 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. The abbey, with its frescoed ceilings, amazing high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola, towers over the town. It’s difficult to find words to describe the absolute splendor of the church. The breathtaking terrace view from the abbey over the Danube to the countryside is heart-stirring magnificent! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Vienna (Disembarkation)

What a way to end your Danube River Cruise, spending two awe-inspiring days in the “City of Music,” Vienna, Austria’s capital. Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss made Vienna even more famous than it already was. It was the birthplace of their creative genius. Enjoy yourselves, as you explore this elegant capital city – a showcase of ornate architecture – was once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire. Vienna is home to the plush Hofburg Imperial Palace complex, the world famous Vienna Boy’s Choir, sensational Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and the inspirational St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Your Certified Local Guide will show you countless other amazing sites during your included CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR. In your free time, you might visit Naschmarkt, Vienna’s well-known outdoor produce marketplace for more than 80 years. And of course there are many magnificent museums to browse through. It wouldn’t be Vienna if you were not offered the opportunity to attend a fabulous concert during your stay. (Breakfast)

Day 7 Vienna

This is a day to explore on your own. Don’t leave without enjoying a piece of delicious Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses. These historic businesses have helped shape Viennese culture! If you’d prefer something more adventuresome, you might take an optional excursion to Schönbrunn Palace or to the Vienna Woods. (Breakfast)

Day 8 Vienna

Although your vacation ends this morning, we hope it leaves you with a wealth of memories and some amazing photos of your Danube River Cruise journey to share with loved ones back home. (Breakfast)

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