Delights of the Danube (Rail & Cruise)
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before 15th October 2019.
Aboard the state of the art Amadeus Queen, which comes replete with its own swimming pool, experience the magic of the blue Danube from the elegance of Imperial Vienna, to the twin-cities of Buda and Pest. This tour is operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys.
Board the Eurostar travelling to Brussels, then change for the service to Nuremberg, via Cologne. On Day 2 we take the train to Vienna, changing for the final leg of our journey. Arriving in Budapest, we meet the Amadeus Silver II or Queen and are welcomed with a cocktail in the lounge before dinner. Later take in the illuminated sights as we sail around the city. We are also treated to a performance from a local Hungarian folk band in the lounge.
This morning we enjoy a guided coach tour, introducing us to Budapest's main sights. We pass impressive buildings and monuments on both sides of the Danube, including the neo-Gothic Parliament building, the magnificent State Opera House and St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest Castle, Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion. We return to the ship for lunch, after which you have some free time before we begin cruising to Bratislava, passing through the splendid Danube Bend along the way. This section of the river has a long and fascinating history and from the sun deck or panoramic windows in the bar, you'll be able to see castle ruins, churches, pretty houses hidden in the hills and dense forests.
We moor up in the afternoon of Day 4. After lunch, we set out on a guided coach tour of the Slovakian capital. Located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava straddles the Danube which neatly divides the city into two parts; the Baroque Old Town (Stare Mesto) and the new city. This picture-postcard destination boasts historic Gothic buildings, several universities, a wealth of museums and galleries, and a refreshing cosmopolitan atmosphere. The historic centre features delightful cobblestoned roads, pedestrianised plazas, 18th century rococo buildings and street cafés galore. Following our excursion, we return to the ship for another delicious 5-course dinner.
After a calm night of cruising, we arrive into glorious Vienna for a comprehensive sightseeing tour. Tonight a real treat awaits us on board, where after dinner we are joined by musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for an exclusive, private recital. Be whisked away by the music and immerse yourself in this singularly exceptional experience, as the Vienna Philharmonic is one of the most popular and skilled orchestras in the world.
Today we reach Austria's Wachau Valley, a famous wine-making region. We arrive in the idyllic village of Dürnstein where you have free time. As we sit down to lunch on board, we begin cruising along the Wachau Valley, a scenic area with vineyards rising up from the river, picturesque riverside towns, and commanding fortresses. We then journey by coach to Melk Abbey, enjoying entrance to this 11th century Benedictine Abbey.
On Day 7 we disembark in Linz, where you have a choice of excursions. You could head into the countryside for a day amidst the spectacular Austrian lakes. Make stops in UNESCO listed Hallstatt, one of Austria's most photographed villages thanks to its traditional, pastel-coloured houses perched between the mountains and Hallstättersee Lake, as well as Mondsee. This pretty town is set on the lake of the same name and its most famous sight is the 15th-century parish church, which featured in 'The Sound of Music'. Otherwise, travel by coach to Salzburg, via Mondsee, one of Austria's most famous cities and known as the birthplace of Mozart. A guided sightseeing tour reveals the city's renowned Baroque architecture, a well-deserved UNESCO World Heritage site. We rejoin the ship in Passau.
Regensburg is our port of call this morning, which we explore on foot. This medieval town contains many buildings that testify to its history as a trading centre which had a huge influence on the whole region from the 9th century onwards. Back on board tonight, we attend the Captain's gala dinner, a chance to don our evening wear and celebrate our cruise experience. On Day 9 we disembark after breakfast to start the journey back to the UK by rail.
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Experience the magic of the blue Danube