Danube Symphony - Westbound River Cruise (WVP)
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River Cruise Description
Your fabulous 2019 8 day Avalon river cruise from Vienna to Munich vacation gets underway in the “City of Music,” charming Vienna, the capital city of Austria, and concludes with two fascinating nights in beautiful Munich, the Bavarian capital famous for its ancient centuries-old buildings and the festive Oktoberfest.
During your tour of the magnificent “City of Music,” you’ll discover how it is known to have influenced the wonderful creative genius of world-renowned composers – Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss. You’ll join your friendly Local Guide for a fantastic tour, which takes you to the extravagant Hofburg Palace complex, and the historic neo-renaissance Vienna Opera! During your free time, you’ll marvel as you enjoy a relaxing stroll along the impressive pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse. Or, you might enjoy treating yourself to a decadent piece of Apfelstrudel in an exquisite Viennese café. You’ll cruise along the beautiful Danube River to quaint Dürnstein, situated in the very heart of the sensational Wachau Valley, which is famous for its ornate Stiftskirche, with its fascinating luminous blue and white façade. In charming Melk, you’ll tour Austria’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey, known as one of Europe’s largest monasteries, and while you’re at it, spend some time relaxing as you taste some of the region’s world-renowned wines. In the village of Grein, you’ll tour the oldest theater in all of Austria.
For an adventurous change of pace during this Danube European river cruise vacation, you’ll enjoy a relaxing motor coach ride to the magnificent city of Munich, capital of picturesque Bavaria, where a friendly Local Guide will introduce you to the most famous must-see attractions. You’ll discover a fairytale atmosphere on an exciting excursion to tour what is considered one of the most magical castles in all of Europe – charming Neuschwanstein Castle – said to have influenced the fascinating tales of world-renowned Walt Disney. You’ll discover that the fascination of the day continues as you travel to Oberammergau, a quaint village famous for its once-a-decade performance of the world-famous Passion Play and its classic Bavarian houses painted with creative scenes from your favorite fairytales. You’ll discover fascination, music history, and sensational scenic beauty like no other during your fabulous 2019 8 day Avalon river cruise from Vienna to Munich adventure.
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Vienna, Austria (Embarkation)
Welcome to Vienna, known as the “City of Music” and a place that inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. This afternoon, board your river cruise ship and meet your crew at a casual evening welcome reception. (Dinner) *NOTE: Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2 Vienna
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the stunningly lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its world-famous Vienna Boys’ 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 show you during an included CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Wander through the captivating 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! An optional concert is available for you tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Dürnstein–Melk
Dürnstein, known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its distinctive blue façade, lies right in the heart of the beautiful Wachau wine region. Above the quaint village are the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. A Local Guide will tell you the exciting tale in detail during your GUIDED WALK. Those seeking some sporting activity might like to climb up the steep hill to the castle ruins for spectacular views of the town and river. Or, you may just want to wander through the narrow streets on your own. Then, cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley to reach Melk after lunch. This afternoon you may choose to visit either Melk’s ancient 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, or renaissance SCHALLABURG CASTLE, built as a defensive stronghold 900 years ago, but was later redesigned as an elegant princely home. Melk’s abbey towers over the town and is one of Europe’s largest. It houses an ornate library with more than 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of its church with its frescoed ceilings, stunningly high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. This evening you’ll be able to sample and enjoy some of the region’s most FAMOUS WINES. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Grein
This morning, arrive in the attractive country resort of Grein, which is nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Take an included GUIDED WALK through the town and visit its unique historical THEATER, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances. Take a look behind-the-scenes to learn about some of the curiosities of this rococo-style, 167-seat theater will certainly tell you much about life as it was – and as it now is in this small Austrian town. The turreted houses on the main square will provide excellent photo subjects. Or, you may prefer to join one of a variety of optional excursions today. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Passau, Germany
Today, enjoy a relaxing morning of sailing. This afternoon, arrive in Passau, located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube. This is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. Enjoy the beauty of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK through this alluring town, and find out much more about the “City of Three Rivers.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Passau (Disembarkation)–Munich
Say goodbye to your crew this morning and drive to Munich, capital of Bavaria. The afternoon is free to explore on your own, or you might like to take an optional excursion to Salzburg, which will bring you to Munich in the late afternoon. (Breakfast)
Day 7 Munich
Although a large city, Munich offers a small-town feel with its pedestrian- and bike-friendly atmosphere. With its historical museums, splendid English Garden, traditional cafés, and delightful shops, Munich offers plenty 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 gothic Frauenkirche, a prominent landmark for Munich. Then, enjoy time on your own in this vibrant city. Why not visit the Viktualienmarkt with its Maypole that carries figurines featuring the arts and crafts of this region? This large market is extremely popular for fresh produce, meats, cheeses, spices, baked goods, flowers, and much much more. Watch the famous Glockenspiel, which recreates a royal wedding from the 16th century; enjoy the pedestrian zone; linger at an outdoor café; or relax alongside the locals at one of the many Biergärten or breweries to sample some of the Bavarian beer specialties. (Breakfast)
Day 8 Munich. Excursion to Neuschwanstein & Oberammergau
This morning, you can enjoy a full-day outing that takes you into the garden-like landscapes of the famous Bavarian Alps and a visit to King Ludwig’s fairytale NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, perched high above the village of Hohenschwangau. You will continue to Oberammergau, famous for its once-a-decade production of the “Passion Play.” Enjoy your free time in this small town where you can walk the streets and admire the typical Bavarian houses, many beautifully painted with scenes from fairytales. (Breakfast)
Day 9 Munich
While your vacation ends with breakfast this morning, please make note of the wonderful experiences you’ve enjoyed on your exciting River Cruise. Hopefully you have numerous personal photos and lasting memories of your journey to take home with you. (Breakfast)
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