Central European River Cruise - Avalon Waterways

Jewels of Central Europe – Cruise Only Westbound 2018

15 Day River Cruise from Budapest to Remich

2018 Information. Switch to 2017 »

On this Europe river cruise vacation, you’ll sail along the Danube, Main, Rhine, and Moselle Rivers. Board your ship in vibrant Budapest, Hungary, then see some of the most intriguing cities of Austria and Germany, before ending your cruise in Luxembourg.

Sail out of Budapest, past the impressive Parliament Building on the Danube River, to Austria’s elegant capital of Vienna. There’s a guided walk in the quaint village of Dürnstein, in the heart of the Wachau Valley, and a visit to the magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Melk. You’ll be introduced to the treasures of Passau, Regensburg, and Nuremberg, and take an excursion to Bavaria’s capital, Munich. On the banks of the Main River, you’ll find small towns tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. These picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer's dream. Visit Würzburg and the impressive Bishop’s Residenz, then sail into the Rhine River and stop in Rüdesheim—a quintessential Rhine Valley town. Later, cruise the wide, peaceful curves of the Moselle River Valley, famous for its picturesque scenery, and arrive in the wine village of Bernkastel surrounded by Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards. Before you leave, we’ll introduce you to some of the famed Moselle wines. In Trier, Germany, believed to be even older than Rome—having been populated over a thousand years before the Romans arrived—a Local Guide will show you the sights, including the Porta Nigra, the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement.

Disembark in Luxembourg and take home many happy memories of this fascinating European river cruise!


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Budapest (Embarkation): welcome to Hungary; onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Budapest–Vienna: cruising

Day 3 Vienna: guided sightseeing

Day 4 Dürnstein–Melk: guided walk in Dürnstein, see the Stiftskirche; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; wine tasting

Day 5 Passau: guided walk

Day 6 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting

Day 7 Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds Tour

Day 8 Nuremberg: excursion to Munich, guided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz

Day 9 Bamberg: guided walk, see the Old Town Hall

Day 10 Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz

Day 11 Main River village: guided walk

Day 12 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge

Day 13 Bernkastel: guided walk, wine tasting

Day 14 Trier: choice of guided city sightseeing or “Roman Trier,” see the Porta Nigra

Day 15 Remich (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Farewell dinner
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck
  • Daily four-course à la carte dinner in the main dining room
  • Alternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel

Notes

  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • In the event that a high-speed train is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the route will be altered or operated by motorcoach.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Budapest, Hungary (Embarkation)

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital spanning the banks of the Danube. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring Eastern Europe’s most cosmopolitan metropolis. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Dinner)

Day 2Budapest–Vienna, Austria

Enjoy a day of relaxation on board and marvel at the beautiful scenery on both banks of the Danube. Hungary is on your left as you cruise upriver and Slovakia is on your right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58-mile stretch, with the border in the middle of the river. This evening, arrive in Vienna, Austria’s capital. Known as the “City of Music,” it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available during your stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Vienna

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 lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boy’s 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. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Dürnstein–Melk

Dürnstein, known for the magnificent baroque, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s, is situated right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. The main street of this small town—with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century residences and charming cobblestone streets. This morning, your Local Guide will take you on an included WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. During lunchtime, sail the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk in the early afternoon. Here, enjoy a GUIDED VISIT of the magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You’ll be captivated by the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace of the abbey over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! This evening you’ll be able to sample some of the Wachau Valley’s FAMOUS WINES. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Passau, Germany

Today, you might wish to choose from a couple of full-day optional excursions: to Salzburg taking in some of "The Sound of Music" sights or to medieval Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, you may choose to stay on the ship and relax as you cruise to Passau, uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses and dominated by St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Regensburg

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the 17th-century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Here—where the locals congregate—feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner, we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Nuremberg

Although 90% of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. This afternoon choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle). Alternatively, join a more specialized ‘NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS” tour. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich

After breakfast, drive to Munich, capital of Bavaria. With its historical museums, splendid English Garden, traditional cafés, and delightful shops, Munich has 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. Watch the famous Glockenspiel, which recreates a royal wedding from the 16th century; linger at an outdoor café; visit St. Peter’s, the oldest church in town; or maybe relax alongside the locals at one of the many Biergarten or breweries to sample one of the Bavarian beer specialties. Return to your ship in the afternoon. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 9Bamberg

In the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALK takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! This afternoon, enjoy some relaxing time on board as you cruise toward Würzburg on the Main River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Würzburg

Arrive in Würzburg during breakfast. Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, also known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you might like to join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11Main River Village Experience

On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. With half-timbered houses, narrow streets and medieval town centers, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer’s delight. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Boppard

Pretty Rüdesheim is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town, and SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to explore the Drosselgasse and pick up some souvenirs. Downstream, the dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Pass the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where sweet songs of local beauties lured enchanted sailors to their doom. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13Bernkastel

Early this morning, you arrive in the charming wine village of Bernkastel on the Moselle River. With its fascinating narrow streets and half-timbered houses that have stood since the Middle Ages, you’ll enjoy a GUIDED WALK that includes the beautiful marketplace with its renaissance-style Town Hall—built in 1608—and the “pointed house,” built in 1416. The Moselle is famous for its wines, and growers in this area look after Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards, the most celebrated of the vintages being the Bernkasteler Doktor. Later this afternoon, enjoy a TASTING of some of these well-loved German wines. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 14Trier

After breakfast, an excursion takes you to Trier, Germany’s oldest city. Some say Trier is even older than Rome and that it was populated over a thousand years before the Romans arrived. Many Roman remains have survived, including a 20,000-seat amphitheater; the Porta Nigra, a fortified gate from the original Roman settlement, which still gives access to the town’s center; imperial baths; and the Roman bridge, Germany’s oldest bridge, with stone pilings dating from 144 AD—all evidence of this once-grand Roman city. Trier also offers pleasant market squares, Germany’s oldest Christian church, and a cornucopia of architectural styles—Roman, baroque, neo-classicism, renaissance, and gothic. Choose from the included CITY SIGHTSEEING or the more history-focused “ROMAN TRIER” guided tour, followed by some free time, which gives you the opportunity to discover this magnificent town. Rejoin your vessel and head for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15Remich, Luxembourg (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

Visionary

Visionary

The Avalon Visionary delivers an intimate setting, along with two full decks of suites featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air BalconySM. With 200 square feet, Panorama SuitesSM are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, giving you the rare opportunity to wake each morning to the enchanting scenery and fresh breezes. Onboard amenities include complimentary computer use in public areas and Wi-Fi access, a Fitness Center, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, shade system, whirlpool, and the delightful Sky Bistro.

Included Amenities

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Fitness Center
  • Elevator
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Hair salon
  • Additional biking excursions available in Amsterdam, Breisach and Bernkastel
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Bicycles available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
  • Local FavoritesSM onboard experiences to bring the customs, cultures and tastes of your destinations to life, including local entertainers, artisans & experts
  • Well-stocked library
  • Full-size closet mirror

Staterooms & Suites

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) - 200 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
Royal Suite - 300 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
DECK PLANS

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)


Vienna
Passau
Regensburg
Wurzburg
Bernkastel
Trier
Packages

Vienna

Classical Concert

Classical Concert

Enjoy an unforgettable concert in one of the city's elegant concert halls.

Price Range: $$

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace

Visit magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Price Range: $$

Passau

Southern Bohemia

Southern Bohemia

Travel to Southern Bohemia, which calls itself the "pearl of the Czech Republic" and enjoy this unique region visiting their impressive age-old towns full of life and culture and its beautiful countryside.

Price Range: $$

The Sound of Music Tour

The Sound of Music Tour

This tour takes you along the footsteps of Maria von Trapp and her famous family, while taking in local historical sights both from the city of Salzburg and also the picturesque Lakes and Mountains region along the way.

Price Range: $$

Regensburg

Weltenburg

Weltenburg

The Danube Gorge has both a gentle and a strange beauty. In a magnificent show of force, the Danube has carved its way through the Swabian Alb to create a stunning landscape - a wild, romantic stretch of river with sheer cliffs rising over 300 feet out of the water.

Price Range: $$

Wurzburg

Rothenburg

Rothenburg

If you had to pick only one place to visit in the whole of Germany, it should be Rothenburg. The best preserved medieval town in Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber fits the word "romantic" perfectly.

Price Range: $$

Bernkastel

Bernkastel Biking

Bernkastel Biking

A bike tour is a great way to experience this historic region. The bikes will be delivered to the ship and your local guide will show you all the hidden gems along the Moselle River.

Price Range: $$

Panoramic Moselle Drive

Panoramic Moselle Drive

The Moselle Region is not only beautiful seen while sailing on our vessel, a panoramic tour on higher elevation provides for even more stunning views. Our afternoon tour takes in the best from the region, which provides you with magnificent views over the meandering river, vineyards and villages.

Price Range: $$

Trier

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Drive through the majestic countryside of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and enjoy an expertly guided tour of Luxembourg City.

Price Range: $

Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebrating a birthday or anniversary while you're cruising? Add an Avalon Celebration Package to your vacation. You can make your special day even more memorable with special touches ranging from flowers to a private cocktail reception.

Price Range: $$

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Cruise Details