Get exclusive insider access to Europe’s rich heritage, including being hosted at a private reception by a Habsburg princess at her castle. An ultimate luxury vacation for those who love history, art, architecture, music and exquisite food and wine, blending the best from Eastern and Western Europe.
8 Days Enchanting Danube
Budapest to Passau
Pay Tribute to the "Queen"
For centuries, the enchanting Danube has cast its spell on poets, musicians and artists of all kinds. And in 2017, it will cast its spell on you even more as it is the year marking the 300th anniversary of Maria Theresa’s birth, the namesake of your stately ship, the S.S. Maria Theresa. Travel through the very places Maria Theresa ruled for over 40 years on this regal journey.
Your panoramic city tour showcases the Habsburg grandeur of stately Ring Street, taking you past the City Hall and St. Stephen's Cathedral to the Neo-renaissance State Opera House, where you'll be treated to a guided tour of this magnificent mid-19th-century structure. Alternatively, enjoy a walk through the majestic Belvedere, once the imperial capital and home to the Habsburg dynasty, before heading to the famous Art History Museum.
Cruising the Wachau Valley, Weissenkirchen
Take your pick from a host of delightful excursions. Ramble through the lovely village of Weissenkirchen, named for its famous white church, and sample the local apricot schnapps, which is made with fruit harvested from the orchards lining the river.
If you prefer a more active option, hike with a guide through a celebrated vineyard and taste the fine wines made there. Or visit Melk's magnificent abbey, a masterpiece of baroque art and architecture situated high atop the granite cliffs of the Danube. Whichever adventure you choose, you'll relax onboard later in the day as you sail through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley. In the evening, enjoy a Captain's Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Passau boasts a delightful layer of Italian style on top of quintessential German foundations. Your guided walking tour will introduce you to an accessible, charming, and well-preserved town, where you'll have time to roam on your own before you hear the magnificence of the largest pipe organ in Europe at St. Stephan's Cathedral. Alternately, you might bike along the Danube river with an expert guide on one of the most scenic routes in Europe, the Donau Radweg.
Cruising the Danube River, Deggendorf
Enjoy the stunning river scenery as you cruise to your next delightful port of call. Take a ride in a horse-drawn wagon through a scenic village in the Bavarian Forest and sample home-baked bread fresh from the village oven. Then you'll head to Theresienthal, a world-famous glass workshop, where you'll see firsthand how Bohemian crystal is made. Spend your afternoon taking a scenic stroll or biking along the Danube and through the small town of Deggendorf.
Regensburg, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe, captures 2,000 years of history with outstanding monuments like the 12th-century Stone Bridge and the towering Gothic cathedral. Your walking tour takes you past the architectural treasures of Old Town as well as the Cathedral of St. Peter, with its magnificent 14th-century stained- glass windows.
For a different view of medieval Regensburg, tour sites associated with Germany's oldest Jewish community, dating back more than a thousand years. Or visit the BMW factory for a fascinating look at how a well-engineered German car is built.
Cruising the Main-Danube Canal, Nuremberg
After cruising the most scenic parts of the Main-Danube Canal, a marvel of modern engineering, you'll visit Nuremberg. Discover the beautiful medieval city during a panoramic tour.
Or take a guided tour of Nuremberg's most important WWII sites; you'll visit the Nuremberg Trials Memorial, which includes Courtroom 600 (the actual venue of the trials).
In the evening, enjoy a Captain's Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.