2019 Ultimate Cruises: Amsterdam – Vienna (v.v.)
Be sure not to miss this fabulous Ultimate European cruise! Its superb itinerary allows you to explore historic locations to iconic buildings, and is brimming with highlights including the grand cities of Amsterdam, Cologne and Vienna, as well as picturesque towns along the Rhine including Bamberg, Wertheim and Rudesheim, the scenic beauty of the Rhine Gorge and spectacular European canals, all in a leisurely 12-night sailing!
Each port of call has its own unique character and is waiting to be discovered while on one of our guided shore excursions. All your meals, sightseeing tours, lectures, free wine with meals and nightly entertainment are included in your price! If you are seeking an in-depth cultural and entertaining experience, welcome aboard!
- On board accommodations in all outside cabins for 12 nights in cabin category of your choice
- Total of 35 meals; 12 buffet breakfasts, 11 lunches 12 dinners
- Free house wine, beer, soda, water with lunch and dinner daily
- Captain’s welcome drink and Captain’s Farewell dinner with cocktails
- On board activities including lectures, games and live music each evening
- 12 included sightseeing excursions with transportation, services, entrance fees and local guides as outlined, with Audio whisper technology for all excursions
- English speaking Cruise manager, Cruise Director & English speaking local guides throughout
- International airfare
- Arrival/Departure transfers (can be arranged separately)
- Port charges – outlined separately
- Travel Insurance – recommended
TIPS: Tips to local drivers/guides and to ship Crew – suggested amounts will be advised
Day 1: Amsterdam, Holland / Embarkation: 15:00
Welcome aboard! Upon arrival to the ship, check-in and explore our deluxe floating hotel!
Prior to dinner, meet your fellow passengers and Cruise Staff for a cocktail, crew introduction followed by an information meeting. Then enjoy your first dinner on board, followed by a well-deserved rest. (D)
Day 2: Amsterdam, Holland / Departure: 12:00
Amsterdam city is known for its extraordinary network of tree-lined canals, friendly multilingual people, bubbling nightlife and sophisticated shopping. When the sun goes down and the lights are switched on, a different Amsterdam emerges. Discover the city’s most beautiful sights by taking a coach/walking city tour. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Cologne, Germany / Arrival: 12:00 – Departure: 23:00
Cologne has more than 2,000 years of history to its name and is Germany’s fourth largest city. Cologne is a center of multicultural spirit and lifestyle. The city’s most famous landmark is its ‘Dom’ (Cathedral).
During a 2-hour guided walking tour, explore the sights, historic monuments, Roman ruins, the charming Old Town and picturesque river banks. On our way to the Cathedral we will make a stop at Kölsch Brewery. You will have the opportunity to taste their famous beer and our guide will give you more information about Kölsch tradition. Germany’s most visited landmark, Cologne Cathedral, is a must see and after our guides give you an informative explanation about the Cathedral, you will have the opportunity to go inside and explore this stunning Cathedral on your own. The tour will end here and you will have either the opportunity to stay in the city center or join our guide for a walk back to the ship. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Rudesheim, Germany / Arrival: 14:00 – Departure: 23:00
Rüdesheim is one of Germany’s most well-known locations, although hardly 5,000 people live here. The Winzerexpress will pick you up directly from the port and after a short and interesting trip through the nearby vineyards, will drop you off in front of the famous Musical Cabinet that holds an impressive collection of automated musical instruments. From here your guide will show you the beautiful, little town of Rüdesheim or you can explore the town on your own. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Mainz, Germany / Arrival: 07:00 – Departure: 13:30 / Frankfurt, Germany, Arrival: 11:00 – Departure: 17:00
Mainz is known as the home town of Johannes von Gutenberg, the inventor of a process for mass-producing movable type, and is known as the “The father of book printing”. Our local guides will take you on a city walk starting at your ship. Get to know the crooked streets of the old town and city center as well as the half-timbered houses, the monuments of the Roman Catholic and Christian part of Mainz combined in the Cathedral and around the market place. Enjoy the atmosphere of the carnival shaped town at the market place in the form of the ‘Heunensäule’ and the different combinations of the architecture eras.
Your sightseeing will include a tour of the Gutenberg Museum which is on the opposite side from the Cathedral.
It is one of the oldest museums of printing in the world and it features printing equipment as well as examples of the printed materials, centuries old and from many different cultures. During your visit to the museum you will be able to see an old-fashioned print demonstration. Return to the ship and sail on.
After lunch, we sail to Frankfurt, where you will have possibility to take an optional excursion and get vivid insight into the development of Frankfurt from a medieval trade fair town to the financial capital it is today. All on board for the dinner time and we continue cruising. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Wertheim, Germany / Arrival: 11:00 – Departure: 17:00
Welcome to Wertheim, the romantic and medieval town on the Main and Tauber rivers. Impressive high-water marks on gates, houses and walls are telling about wild springs, when the waters of the usually gentle Tauber and Main rivers rise above the riverbeds.
Its present importance owes to its location on the border between Baden and Bavaria. Because of this remoteness, Wertheim the city kept its own flair with unique architecture and idyllic corners. Imposingly “Wertheim Castle”, one of the largest stone castle ruins in southern Germany, looks out over the historic and picturesque old town with its narrow alleys and wonderful half-timbered houses.
Check-out all of this by joining our city walk guided tour and see the market place with typical Franconian charm, the former court of the royal family Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, the Collegiate Church and the Angel fountain.
(B, L, D)
Day 7: Wurzburg, Germany / Arrival: 06:30 – Departure: 12:30
After breakfast, your guides will pick you up at the vessel from where you will be transferred by coach directly to the magnificent 18th century Residence of the Prince-Bishops. Noteworthy is the stairway, the white hall and the Emperors room.
After the inside visit, your walking tour will continue to the city center of Würzburg where you will explore the beauty of the Franconian wine town. During your walking tour, you will see the Alte Mainbrücke (oldest bridge on the River Main), the Romanesque Cathedral ‘Chapel of St. Mary’ and its impressive sandstone sculptures created by Tilman Riemenschneider, the historic Town Hall (exterior view) and the fourth largest Romanesque cathedral in Germany, Cathedral St. Kilian. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Bamberg, Germany / Arrival: 08:30 – Departure: 14:30
Bamberg is in the upper Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. The beautifully preserved historic town is nestled amongst rivers and forests and is justifiably a listed UNESCO world heritage site. The town is built over seven hills, atop each of which is a church, which often leads to its comparison to Rome. Medieval architecture still exists through most of the streets, making this a delightful place to explore on foot.
From your ship a short coach transfer takes you to the center, where you start your two-hour walking tour including a beer tasting! Stroll amongst the charming houses lining the cobbled streets and see the unique Rathaus (Town Hall) which is located halfway across the Obere Bruke Bridge.
Visit Bamberg Cathedral, which has the tombs Emperor Henry II and Pope Clement II and see Klein-Venedig (Little Venice), a colony of picturesque fishermen’s houses from the 19th century along one side of the River Regnitz.
(B, L, D)
Day 9: Nuremberg, Germany / Arrival: 0:100 – Departure: 14:00
The second largest city of Bavaria awaits you! This tour starts with a 45-minute drive to Nurnberg.
The old imperial castle of emperor Friedrich I is nowadays the landmark of the former imperial city of Nurnberg. In the Middle Ages, almost all emperors of the Holy Roman Empire lived in this important imperial palace. From the castle, you will have a magnificent view over Nurnberg, where the bus will drop you off.
On foot, your tour continues to the old city center, which is completely surrounded by a city wall. After a walk by the “Dürerhaus” and the church of St. Sebald you will arrive at one of the largest Renaissance town halls in Germany. The dungeons in its cellars show the cruel justice of former times. From here you will walk across the marketplace with the beautiful fountain to the “Church of Our Lady”, built in 1355-1362 as an imperial court orchestra. Today this church is a Catholic city church, and with its delicate Gothic one of the most important churches of Nurnberg.
Your walk through the old town with its incomparable atmosphere will finish with some time free time to explore on your own. (B, L, D)
Day 10: Regensburg, Germany / Arrival: 08:00 – Departure: 17:00
Regensburg is located in the East of Bavaria on the confluence of the Danube and Regen Rivers and is one of the oldest towns in Germany. The towns’ early origins go back as far as the Stone Age. It has been the capital of Bavaria, a key town during Charlemagne’s reign, and escaped relatively unscathed during Allied bombing in World War II.
During the two hours walking tour your guide will take you through the old part of the town, which is listed as UNESCO world heritage site since 2006. Start your discovery tour with the famous stone bridge above the Danube River and continue to St. Peter Cathedral (from the outside) with its gothic architecture. You will also walk by the Roman ruin of Porta Praetoria, the old town hall and the Patrician houses. Amongst these sights, you may also find the residence of the prince house of Thurn and Taxis in Regensburg.
This tour will end at the ‘’historische Wurstküche’’ (where you shouldn’t miss to taste a sausage sandwich) directly located on the river banks of the Danube or directly at the vessel. (B, L, D)
Day 11: Linz, Austria / Arrival: 10:00 – Departure: 20:00
Welcome to the 2009 European Capital of Culture, the city of Linz! Enjoy a walking tour through the stunning Old Town district with great architecture, fascinating attractions and historic sites. Pass Landhaus, a Renaissance tower, and Kremsmünstererhof, a historic hotel. See the Old Market and the impressive Main Square, with its Baroque column.
You’ll visit Konditorei Jindrak, too, with possibility to sample its Linzer torte, the famous lattice-topped pastry of Linz. Located behind Landhaus, Mozarthaus is where the Austrian composer Wolfang Amadeus Mozart lived in 1783. The place where he composed his Linz Symphony, this building is a 16th century construction with a beautiful Baroque facade. Be sure not to miss this historic house, which has been the residence of several notable figures over time.
The Old City Hall, a 16th century building, is one of Linz’s most important attractions. Trinity Column, in the center of the Main Square, is a Baroque structure completed in 1723. Designed by Pietro Francesco Carlone, Ignatiuskirche, also known as the Old Cathedral, was built between 1669 and 1678. For Mozart lovers, we will also offer a full day optional excursion to Mozart’s hometown SALZBURG.
In the evening, we dock for overnight in the small picturesque town of Grein, where you will have a chance to stroll around and experience some of the local famous specialties. (B, L, D)
Day 12: Melk, Austria: Arrival: 08:30 – Departure: 14:30 / Durnstein, Austria: 16:30 – 19:00
Your motor coach will take you for a sightseeing tour of the magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Melk, founded by Leopold Margrave III in the 12th century.
The Abbey Church is considered the finest Baroque churches north of the Alps and is famous for its twin towers surmounted by helm roofs, along with its outstanding interior with superb 18th century ceiling paintings; ornate choir stalls and confessional chair; and the artistically carved pulpit and high altar with figures of the patron saints of the church, St. Peter and St. Paul. You will visit the library, church and some of the rooms, where monks used to live and work. The tour will end at the terrace with a fabulous view to the Danube.
After lunch, we sail to Durnstein, the medieval castle town, located in the heart of the Wachau Valley (UNESCO world cultural heritage site). The town is overlooked by a medieval castle, where Richard the Lionheart was held captive during the Third Crusade.
Enjoy a guided walking tour including Klarissinnen square, pass the Baroque Choir Monastery, town hall, lively pedestrian zone, the castle meadow and castle hotel. Tonight enjoy our Captain’s Farwell dinner! (B, L, D)
Day 13: Vienna, Austria / Disembark: 08:00 (END CRUISE)
Bid our lovely crew goodbye as you disembark after breakfast and meet your guide to transfer to the airport.
Click on the “optional excursions” tab above to see additional excursions for this cruise, including an optional 14th day of sightseeing in Vienna!
Optional excursion to Frankfurt (from Mainz), € 67 euro per-person
Full Day tour to Salzburg with lunch, €95 euro per person
Bid our lovely crew goodbye as you disembark after breakfast and depart on your city sightseeing tour which will introduce you to the most attractive sights of this “Imperial” capital.
Starting with Hundertwasserhaus, you will continue to Belvedere Palace for a tour of the grounds and gardens. Then it is on to the city center, via the Vienna Ringstrasse to view famous architectural gems such as the State Opera, the Parliament, the Burgtheatre, the Votiv-Church and others. The next stop will be in the old center of Vienna to view St. Stephan’s Cathedral and take a walk through the pedestrian zone from Graben and Kohlmarkt to Michaela Square ending at the entrance of the Hofburg (Imperial Palace). From this point, continue past the Spanish Riding School to Albertina Square, where you will see the State Opera and the famous Hotel Sacher. Then transfer to your hotel for a final overnight. (B)
Day 14: After a final breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport.
M/S River Navigator
Built In 2002 and completely renovated from hull up in 2013 the River Navigator is the epitome of style and elegance! Her public areas consist of a one seat elegant restaurant, a 1950’s themed Rat Pack bar including an original juke box and statue of Frank Sinatra, a wonderful panorama lounge, a cozy library and an oversized covered sun deck offering fabulous views of the passing countryside. All standard twin cabins are 165sq ft in size and are spread over 3 decks. Low deck C cat cabins have half-windows, Middle deck B category cabins feature big panoramic windows and Upper Deck A category cabins have full floor to ceiling French Balconies! Suites are double sized and include DVD’s and mini bars. An elevator connects the middle and upper decks. With a maximum load of 134 passengers serviced by a crew of 36 the River Navigator is sure to please even the most discriminating passengers! Non-smoking interiors – on board currency – Euro.
If you have purchased your air tickets through us, your transfers will be included. However, transfers are still available for those who would like to arrange their own airfare, for a fee. For more information about transfer rates for this program, please call our office at (714) 556-8258 or toll free (800) 795-1633.
The M/S River Navigator! Please click on the “Cruise Ships” tab to learn more about the M/S River Navigator.
While most of Western Europe has adopted the EURO, some of the Eastern European countries still use their own (Hungary-Forint, Serbia – Dinar, Bulgaria-Lev, Romania-Lei). For the rate of exchange to the US dollar, please check online a few days prior to your departure as some of these currencies fluctuate daily. Due to varying foreign currency laws, our ships do NOT have exchange offices on board. Therefore, we highly recommend that you BRING A SUFFICIENT QUANTITY OF EUROS OR DOLLARS in CASH prior to your departure. You will then have ample opportunity to change either Euro/dollar to local currencies.
While on board the ship, all costs are quoted in Euros. Direct payments are accepted in cash (Euros) or signed to your cabin and paid at the end of the navigation by cash or credit card (Visa or MasterCard only). However, a service may be applied to credit card transactions. Please check in advance and remember – cash is still “king” in most Eastern European countries. Personal and Traveler Checks are not accepted.
Due to strict foreign currency laws, here are important notes regarding on shore expenses:
Cash: is accepted and preferred. (Euros & USD)
Credit Cards: are accepted, VISA OR MASTERCARD ONLY! (Limited use outside of urban areas.)
*Credit Card Note: As of May 2014, European credit card processors require credit cards with chips and a 4-digit PIN code. Your USA magnetic strip cards may NOT work at local ATM’s requiring a PIN. Ask your bank for a chip card and/or bring along a debit card with your PIN (or enough cash to cover your expenses!)
Although everyone is different, we suggest that you set aside at least 700 Euros/$1000 USD per person – to cover your optional tours and shopping expenses. If you are planning on purchasing more expensive items you may want to bring more.
Most definitely! We do our best to ensure that each of our programs offer a healthy balance of cultural immersion through our included tours and free time for our passengers. You will have plenty of free time to shop for souvenirs, explore on your own, or take one of the optional tours (when provided.)
Yes, a number of optional excursions will be offered for sale during your cruise. These optional services are priced in Euros. Due to the last minute nature of booking optional tours which require on the spot payments to our land suppliers in local currencies – All Optional Tours require a minimum of 20 passengers in order to operate .
Tipping today has become commonplace in all former Eastern Bloc countries. Due to the volatile nature of these new economies, salaries for regular folk are pitiful compared to the rising costs and inflation – let alone if we compare them to western standards. For the majority of the people working in the service industries (hotels, ships, restaurants, travel), tips and gratuities have become large sources of their income. Therefore, your gracious generosity will be appreciated throughout your trip. However, tips in the “East” are still left to your discretion. Therefore, no service – no tip! We generally recommend that each person set aside $250 to cover all tipping needs for the total duration of the program – but this is merely a suggested amount. You may leave as little or as much as you feel comfortable with. If you endear yourself to any particular crew member and wish to award them directly – please feel free to do so!
For more information about tipping, including Individual vs. Pooled Tipping, please take a look at our detailed Travel Tips For Danube Discovery Cruise.
Special meal requests are possible. If you have any food allergies or special dietary needs, please be sure to notify our office at least 90 days prior to your departure. We and the restaurant staff will make every effort to arrange for special meals, however, if you have strict dietary restrictions, you may want to bring some non-perishable snacks, crackers, dried fruits, dietary sweeteners, or other items that will compliment the limited variety of special meals.
Here are a few important items that often get overlooked!
Electrical current in hotels and on the ship is 220 volts/50MHZ. In order to use appliances, including shavers, hair-dryers, chargers for movie cameras, etc., you will need to bring:
1) Universal Transformer: to convert from US 110 Volts to 220. (Note: recent electronic equipment such as laptops and cameras MAY automatically convert. Please check your individual item.)
2) Universal Adapter Plugs: Round pins for sockets that are different than at home. Since there are no supplies of converters/ adapters, we recommend you purchase a transformer/ adapter plug set at any electronics or appliance store before you leave.
PLEASE DO NOT FORGET: Medications which are vital to your health. A letter should accompany these from your doctor (signed and dated), certifying that such medications are vital to your health. Dosage should be indicated. Always pack any personal medications in your carry-on luggage, not in your checked baggage. Additionally, those passengers with lighter physical disabilities must report them to us at the time of booking.