A Taste of the Danube - Eastbound River Cruise (WVB)
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River Cruise Description
You’ll discover the fascinating and natural scenic beauty of the legendary Danube River with its quaint small towns and bustling cities on this fabulous 2019 8 day Avalon river cruise from Vienna to Budapest, Europe vacation. You’ll begin with an expertly guided sightseeing tour and a wonderful 2-night city stay in fascinating Vienna, known as the “City of Music.” Make sure you take the opportunity to savor Sachertorte in a popular local café with some of the locals, and take time to visit several of the magnificent museums. You’ll enjoy shopping along the Kärntnerstrasse, or just strolling along the some of the historic cobblestone streets and avenues.
You’ll embark on your luxurious Avalon river cruise ship and admire the sensational natural beauty of Austria’s picturesque Wachau Valley. You’ll enjoy the peaceful atmosphere as you glide along the river, passing quaint villages and scenic beauty of your Danube River cruise. You’ll want to visit charming Melk’s sensational Benedictine Abbey, and see quaint Dürnstein’s ornate Stiftskirche, and enjoy fascinating expertly guided sightseeing in beautiful Slovakia’s dynamic capital city of Bratislava. Your fascinating river cruise adventure concludes with two exciting overnights in historic Budapest, including expertly guided sightseeing tours, plus adequate time to explore this bustling city at your own pace. You will savor the best of Hungarian cuisine, find your way around the world-renowned produce market – Central Market Hall, strolling around the ancient Royal Palace grounds, marvel at the elegance of Budapest’s sensational churches, or you may choose to just kickback and relax. All this adventure is available on your grandiose 2019 8 day Avalon river cruise from Vienna to Budapest vacation!
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Vienna, Austria
What a way to begin 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 city.
Day 2 Vienna
This 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 3 Vienna (Embarkation)
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. This afternoon, transfer to your river cruise vessel and meet your Captain and crew at a gala Welcome Aboard Reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 4 Melk–Dürnstein
Today you will 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. 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 of Melk. 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!
After Melk, enjoy a glass of white wine while reclined on the Sky Deck taking in the amazing scenery as you sail to Dürnstein. 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Bratislava, Slovakia
This morning, 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 6 Budapest, Hungary (Disembarkation)
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 even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849, which is considered a symbol of Budapest, one of Eastern Europe’s most bustling cities. 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 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 7 Budapest
Enjoy a free day to further explore Hungary’s exciting capital city. Visit one of the many exciting museums, take a walk to see some of the remaining communist statues, shop at the Great Market Hall to purchase paprika and embroidery at one of its 180 vendor stalls, or wander around the Royal Palace grounds. Your Cruise Director will have a wide variety of recommendations for exciting things to do. (Breakfast)
Day 8 Budapest
Although your vacation ends this morning, it leaves you with a wealth of memories and hopefully some amazing photos of your Danube River Cruise journey. (Breakfast)
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