Active & Discovery on the Danube - Eastbound River Cruise (WLB)
Please call for Pricing.
River Cruise Description
This fabulous 2019 9 day Avalon river cruise from Linz to Budapest vacation introduces you to the fantastic people and places you will encounter as you cruise along the beautiful Danube River. You’ll have plenty of free time to explore the amazing stops in Europe along this exciting river cruise. You’ll learn that with the Active Discovery cruises, the choices are always yours to make: whether you choose to taste some popular locally produced cheese and fantastic beer brewed by Trappist monks near charming Linz, or get some exercise as you hike on the trails along the beautiful Danube for some magnificent picturesque views. Or, you might enjoy taking a leisurely bike ride to an ancient border defense near quaint Mauthausen or if you’re a history buff, you can walk the grounds at World War II’s largest concentration camp.
If you enjoy a challenge, you can paddle your own canoe along the Danube, or you might choose to visit with a friendly local produce farmer in the sensational picturesque Wachau Valley – remember the choice is yours to suit your fancy. You can actually enjoy an introduction to a real Count as you visit in his majestic castle; take a jogging tour around beautiful Vienna, or experience the “City of Music,” when it first awakes in the early morning. If you’re a sports fan, you can watch a medieval knights’ tournament in wonderful Visegrád and end your fabulous river cruise vacation with one more exciting night in fascinating Budapest – with the opportunity to learn to speak some Hungarian during your brief stay.
You’ll feel right at home on your luxurious Avalon Suite Ship® your amazing home-away-from-home. It’s hard to beat the great attention to details, fine service, warmth, and extraordinary dining options with Avalon Waterways. You’ll marvel as you experience this exceptional 2019 9 day Avalon river cruise from Linz to Budapest with numerous new discoveries and exciting active adventures day after day.
Please call for pricing.
River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Linz, Austria (Embarkation)
Linz, considered a European Capital of Culture, Austria’s third-largest city, welcomes you today with open arms and offers you plenty of fascinating things to see and do. Depending on your arrival time, there’s free time for some serious shopping, exploring this amazing city on your own, or joining an optional activity. You might enjoy a cooking class so you can impress your friends back home with an authentic Linzer Torte, the world’s oldest known cake? Or you could visit a farm where you’ll learn how to milk a cow, mow grass using a scythe, saw wood, and more traditional farming activities? This afternoon, you’ll board the luxurious AVALON LUMINARY, and after a mandatory safety exercise, meet your friendly crew and fellow travelers at a casual WELCOME RECEPTION. (Dinner)
Day 2 Engelhartszell–Schlögen Oxbow Scenic Cruising–Linz
As you slept, your cruise ship docked in the beautiful market town of Engelhartszell near the German border. You’ll go ashore and CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: visit the extravagant rococo ENGELSZELL ABBEY to tour its brewery, explore its stunning SENSORY GARDEN – complete with stone labyrinth, lush herb garden, and grape vineyard – and you’ll attend a wonderful TASTING of locally produced cheeses and beer brewed by the Trappist monks, or; join an entertaining GUIDED HIKE along the historic route that smugglers once used during World War II, when a tightly controlled border existed between Austria and Germany. Back on your cruise ship, you’ll relax and enjoy an excellent lunch of Bavarian specialties that will leave you energized and ready to join an exhilarating HIKE ALONG THE PICTURESQUE DANUBE. Enjoy the fresh air and breathtaking vistas that await as you. Watch the Avalon Luminary pass through the fantastic Schlögen Oxbow, a particularly beautiful horseshoe-shaped curve of the river. You’ll rejoin your ship in charming Aschach, rejoin, which returns to Linz for the night. This evening, you have a choice of theater or music excursions – or you can just relax and mingle with the locals at a fun pub crawl! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Linz–Mauthausen–Grein–Spitz
You’ll disembark 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: take a wonderful GUIDED BIKE TOUR to an ancient Roman border defense fort dating back to the 2nd century AD. You’ll visit the fascinating museum dedicated to the site, with impressive military weaponry, accounts of daily life, stunning ceiling frescoes, elegant sacred art objects, and more; ACTIVE DISCOVERY ON THE DANUBE CRUISE WLB 9 DAYS FROM LINZ TO BUDAPEST you’ll visit the 9th-century elegant ST. FLORIAN MONASTERY, an architectural rival to charming Melk Abbey. While exploring, you may meet one of the friendly monks (when available) or attend a short music recital, or; join a heartrending tour of horrific MAUTHAUSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP, one of World War II’s largest and most brutal Nazi labor camps. This afternoon, your cruise ship passes through another breathtaking area, the Strudengau, popular among serious climbers and hikers for its enticing geological formations. You’ll dock in quaint Grein, a beautiful country resort in the shadow of its majestic castle. The fascinating GUIDED WALK includes a visit of the historic THEATER, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances. Then, you’ll visit impressive GREINBURG or historic CLAM CASTLE, where you will meet the owner. After a wonderful dinner, don’t miss the spectacular views as we pass by picturesque Melk Abbey, perched high on a cliff above the river. The ship docks late tonight in charming Spitz. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Spitz–Wachau Valley–Vienna
Some very exciting activities await you today! CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: PADDLE A CANOE on a picturesque guided tour down the beautiful Danube River and along some of its fascinating tributaries, for a completely unique perspective of the legendary river and charming riverbank villages; you’ll bask in the fresh air and amazing views on an easy-guided BIKE TOUR from fascinating Spitz to charming Krems. You’ll enjoy fabulous sightseeing in quaint 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 regional fruits, vegetables, wine, or other fresh 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 historic 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 fabulous dinner at a popular Heurigen wine tavern. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Vienna
Vienna, once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, this “City of Music” inspired the creative genius of renowned musicians, Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. You’ll be inspired, as well. You can waltz ashore and CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: enjoy an energetic BIKE TOUR that features all the must-see sights along the world-renowned Ringstrasse and areas of magnificent Vienna that are inaccessible to buses and cars; you can slip on your sneakers and join a JOGGING TOUR that provides some exercise and while you run between sites; or, you can take a fascinating INSIDERS TOUR that features something different each day. It could be anything, from a visit with a popular craftsman – a 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 an impressive cooking class, or; you might choose to get a proper introduction to beautiful Vienna during a popular CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR that includes an inside visit at fascinating Belvedere Palace to see Klimt’s celebrated Kiss. Afterward, you have some free time to explore this amazing city on your own. Maybe you’ll just stroll through the bustling pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, take a break for a piece of decadent Sachertorte, or join an exciting optional excursion. Tonight’s delicious onboard dinner pays tribute to the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Vienna
A second full day in beautiful Vienna presents even more fascinating opportunities to immerse yourself in the magic of this amazing place. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY and make sure your experience is most meaningful to you. You can enjoy the peace of the city at sunrise if you choose an EARLY RISER WALKING TOUR that includes a wonderful breakfast at a popular Viennese café and an exclusive viewing of the famous Habsburg family’s private art collections at the impressive 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 popular ITALIAN & DUTCH MASTERS GALLERY, or; perfect for military history buffs, begin with the MUSEUM VISIT of the Habsburg collection, then explore the MILITARY MUSEUM, which commemorating the heroic past of the historic Habsburg Empire. Tonight, you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner of Viennese specialties on board your luxurious cruise ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Visegrad, Hungary–Budapest
This morning, the luxurious Avalon Luminary passes by majestic Esztergom Basilica, historic coronation church of Hungary’s monarchs. Later, you’ll arrive in quaint Visegrad, where another exciting day is on tap. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: cheer your favorite champion at a fascinating 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 Palotaház, where talented stonemasons, smiths, potters, and paper-makers produce their traditional items using age-old techniques from the past, or; spend your day in the great outdoors on a fantastic GUIDED HIKE through impressive Danube-Ipoly National Park, home to majestic eagles, falcons, nocturnal bats, terrapins (turtles), fire salamanders, and other wildlife. Later this afternoon, your cruise ship arrives in bustling Budapest, affording magnificent views of the beautifully illuminated Parliament. Prepare for an exquisite GALA FAREWELL DINNER featuring fantastic foods specially paired with just the right area fine wines or beers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Budapest (Disembarkation)
Budapest, Hungary’s capital is one of Eastern Europe’s most bustling cities that majestically spans the legendary Danube River. You’ll awaken refreshed and enjoy a wonderful breakfast before disembarking and deciding how you would like to explore this fabulous city. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: you can take an enjoyable, 2-hour WALKING TOUR that includes some fun language instruction of useful local words and phrases; you’ll ride a new-model, 24-gear bicycle on a fascinating GUIDED BIKE TOUR around 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 OPERA HOUSE. Afterward, you have free time to shop for some popular Hungarian paprika or finely handcrafted souvenirs, to savor a piece of cream cake in the world-famous Gerbeaud Café, or to join an optional tour of Budapest’s impressive limestone cave system, or to play nine holes of golf. (Breakfast)
Day 9 Budapest
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning! (Breakfast)