Magnificent Europe – Eastbound

Magnificent Europe – Eastbound 2015 / 2016

15 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest

See the highlights of Central Europe on this enchanting river cruise between Amsterdam and Budapest. Guided sightseeing in each city shows you the highlights, and is conducted by Certified Local Guides. Cruise through the scenic canals of Amsterdam and through the dramatic Rhine Gorge past the legendary Lorelei rock. Spend time in magnificent Cologne, the charming wine village of Rüdesheim, medieval Bamberg, historical Nuremberg, and magical Vienna. Attend a beer tasting in Bamberg and enjoy inside visits of Würzburg’s Bishop’s Residenz, the phenomenal Benedictine Abbey in Melk, and St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava. While on board, be sure to have your camera ready to capture the scenic beauty, quaint towns, fascinating architecture, and historic buildings dotting the landscape as you sail along.

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Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions and on-board packages are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

We know that many times travelers celebrate special occasions on vacation and you can now pre-purchase celebration packages before your cruise departure. We offer special birthday, anniversary and wedding vow packages. These packages include all the elements you need to celebrate with family & friends.

Availability of optional excursions is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

Once you have booked your vacation, Avalon Waterways provides the ability to pre-purchase excursions and packages, register for your cruise and provide emergency contact information online.

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans If you are in the Netherlands only for a short time, then this is a great excursion to see the typical Dutch sights in just one afternoon. Join our local expert for a journey through times when Dutch sailing ships crossed the seven seas and goods from all corners of the world traded in Holland. A short coach ride gives you picturesque views of the Dutch "polder" landscape, reclaimed land with the endless horizons and cattle grazing on the green grasslands. The open air village of Zaanse Schans is a collection of typical Dutch houses, windmills & craft stores which all have preserved their original character. We will have an inside visit of a functioning windmill showing you how they function. Highly interesting is the clog making demonstration and the cheese factory. In the little stores you can easily find all the Dutch souvenirs you want to take home. Zaanse Schans is a pleasant half day excursion which includes an array of typical sights for which Holland is famous.

Approximate value: €34 EUR per person


Amsterdam Castle: Muiderslot, a genuine castle, for a real taste of history Take a traditional boat ride on the former Zuiderzee, where the Dutch East and West Indian Company ships sailed to and from Amsterdam for centuries. End your boat ride at the imposing Amsterdam Castle, the Muiderslot, which gives you a taste of real Dutch history. It is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam and included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. During the guided tour through rooms full of authentic furniture and paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, you will imagine yourself in a painting by Rembrandt or Frans Hals. The guided tour through the museum's rooms, all refurbished in 17th-century style, evokes the period, when Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, also known as the Dutch Shakespeare', occupied the castle. In the beautiful herb and vegetable gardens, which still retain the atmosphere of the Dutch Renaissance, you will find many, often forgotten, flowers, herbs and vegetables from times gone by. A walk along the ramparts offers fantastic views of the water-rich environments and the Pampus island fortress. You should not miss the visit in the most beautiful and best kept medieval castle in the Netherlands.

Approximate value: €53 EUR per person


Anne Frank House A Museum with a Story. Visit the hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her diary during the Second World War. For more than two years, Anne Frank, her family, and four others lived secretively in the back part of her father's office building at # 263 Prinsengracht, before being betrayed and turned in to the Nazis. If you have read the famous diary much of this will be familiar to you, but even if you haven't this can be a fascinating place to see. The Anne Frank House is probably the most famous attraction in town for new visitors. Take advantage of our tailor made tour, with an introduction by our local escort, hassle free transport and priority entrance.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person


Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local The Netherlands is known for being the perfect country to go for a bike ride. After a short bike ride from your ship, a ferry takes you out of the hectic city. Then continue your biking tour into the beautiful and green nature reserve called "Waterland". Your local guide will take you through centuries old picturesque villages with typical wooden houses, past countless brooks and waterways, across old wooden bridges, along the Ijsselmeer, through green pastures. Designated bicycle paths connect the entire region. On a nice spring or summer day, the green fields are full of flowers, sheep and cows are in the meadows. Comfortable bicycles, helmets and refreshment in a typical Dutch Inn are provided and of course all these experiences under guidance of a local guide. A different way to experience Holland.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person


Excursion to Weltenburg Abbey and the Danube Gorge 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. At its upper end the Weltenburg Abbey is located on a peninsula directly beneath the cliffs of the Gorge. It was founded by Irish or Scottish monks in 620 and is one of the oldest abbeys in Bavaria. The present Benedictine abbey dates back to the 18th century when it was extensively rebuilt in baroque style. Their ceiling frescos of the Heavenly Jerusalem blend seamlessly with the abbey interior and are particularly noteworthy. Important is also that Weltenburg Abbey houses the oldest abbey brewery in the world, as the monks have been brewing beer since 1050. A beer and a pretzel are a welcome refreshment.

Approximate value: €46 EUR per person


Cesky Krumlov - a sleeping beauty awakes Take a scenic route across the rolling hills of Upper Austria and Bohemia to one of the most beautiful, charming and romantic little towns that is to be found in Europe. For centuries, this small town has enjoyed the reputation of being the "Pearl of the Bohemian Forest", an extraordinary fortified town built by princes and bishops on the most beautiful bend of the Vltava River. This hidden gem of European history remains as it was centuries ago, a colourful place with over 300 historic buildings, small lanes, art galleries, charming shops and medieval inns; a truly stunning experience. When after WW II the Iron Curtain fell, Cesky Krumlov found itself even more off the beaten track, with hardly a visitor finding his way there. Our local experts will guide you back in time. Pass by the Vltava (Moldau) River, which has been made immortal by Frederic Smetana's composition of the same name, before you return to your ship with happy memories from this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Approximate value: €64 EUR per person


Romantic Austria - a countryside excursion to the Salzkammergut Lake District The picturesque mountain lakes, the luscious green of the hills and fields, the striking mountain cliffs and the romantic villages - these are just a few reasons for centuries that attracted countless writers, composers and creative artists to find inspiration in the magnificent landscape of Salzkammergut region, shared between the provinces of Salzburg, Upper Austria and Styria - the famous Austrian Lake District. The literal translation of the Salzkammergut is `salt chamber estate` and refers to an area where salt was mined and which was formerly under the control of the Imperial Chamber in Vienna. Today, the term has developed into a brand name for one of the loveliest holiday regions of Central Europe with over 70 lakes, which are of drinking water quality and range in color from turquoise to emerald green. Let us reveal to you the unspoiled beauty of Gmunden and St. Wolgang region and some of the most panoramic routes in Austria.

Approximate value: €64 EUR per person


Salzburg - Sound of Music Picturesquely located at the foothills of the Alps the city is known as the birth-place of Mozart. Salzburg is also the setting for the Sound of Music Movie, which has shaped the city's perception in the minds of generations. But Salzburg is much more. It is a wealthy city with history based on the salt trade from the nearby Alpine Mountains- it is a city full of beautiful baroque buildings, and a city perched between the mountains and green waters of the Salzach River. In your free time strolling through the small but busy lanes with their wrought iron signs, using a cable car to ride up to the castle on the hill for views or just passing time by relaxing on one of the many terraces makes you feel part of the scenery. On our scenic ride by coach you will admire the beauty of the region. Our dedicated local experts will talk about and show you the city, and relive scenes from the Sound of Music. After free time we shall also visit the church at Mondsee where the "von Trapps" were married.

Approximate value: €64 EUR per person


Biking in the Wachau Valley with picnic Biking along the Danube is becoming a popular pastime. So if you are fit and ready for some exercise grab a bike, a helmet and cycle between the waters of the mighty stream and the lovely vineyards and romantic villages of the Wachau Valley. A light picnic en route will restore some of your energy. (Minimum physical condition necessary- not allowed for hearing impaired- weather dependent)

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person


Wachau dinner with wine tasting End your day dining in one of Austria's iconic wine institutions: the "Heurigen", where vintners serve their own wines from the current harvest year. The "Heuriger" combines the conviviality of the city with the rural ambiance of the vineyards. The wine is traditionally accompanied by cold dishes, assorted cheese, cold cuts, and sometimes warm dishes from the buffet, typical Austrian desserts, apricot dumpling, poppy seed noodles to name a few. Unlimited wine and soft drinks are included. During dinner you will be entertained by an accordion player, sounding typical Viennese "Schrammelmusik", which is the most popular form of modern Austrian folk music.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person


A Visit of Schonbrunn Imperial Palace Schonbrunn, the former summer residence of the Imperial family, is considered one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Europe. The Habsburgs resided here for the better part of the year in numerous rooms to house the large Imperial family in addition to representational rooms. Emperor Franz Joseph, who later married the enchanting Sisi and reigned from 1848 to 1916, was born here in 1830. The monarch spent his last years entirely in the palace, which became the property of the new Republic of Austria only two years after his death. Today, the palace is part of UNESCO's cultural heritage due to its historic importance, its unique grounds and its splendid furnishings. Follow our local expert and visit Empress Sisi's former summer residence, afterwards take your time to stroll through the park and enjoy the impressive gardens.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person


Salut to Vienna: Walzer and Operetta concert Dont miss a truly magical evening in Vienna, featuring the most famous opera Arias by Mozart, Strauss Waltzes, polkas and operetta excerpts from "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss, "The Merry Widow" by Franz Lehar, the Blue Danube waltz, the Radetzky March and many others, performed by a brilliant cast of top European singers, beautifully costumed dancers and the Original Wiener Salon Orchestra. A true celebration of joy and optimism featuring familiar music, combined with dance and storytelling that recalls happy memories of a time when music helped to shape the city of Vienna: a city of world-class artistry and a true flair for celebration.

Approximate value: €57 EUR per person


Schloss Hof - A castle and its people Just another castle? No! Schloss Hof is more than just a castle. Like other palaces Schloss Hof shows you the splendor of representation, this one also offers beautiful gardens and the empress' farm & animals. After the guided visit of the Palace you can explore the animal garden; maybe pet the white donkeys, and take your time to explore the palace grounds in order to get a picture of the aristocracy centuries ago.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person


Budapest's Night Lights The Hungarian capital is known for its splendid views accentuated by the romance of illumination. Let the unique atmosphere of this magnificent city enchant you, while our expert guide tells you the hidden secrets and stories behind the facades. Do not miss out on a visit to the must see viewpoint from the highest hill in Budapest, a view overlooking this splendid city with an illumination rivaling the one of Paris, a view which decorates numerous travel brochures and books. Unforgettable sights, wonderful memories and the magic of lights guaranteed during this panoramic tour with photo opportunities. Discover why Europeans call it deservedly the Paris of the East! This excursion is by comfortable coach and includes three must-see photo stops.

Approximate value: €21 EUR per person


Communist Budapest From 1947 to 1989, the Hungarian Communist Party held sway. Although the regime was not as deferential to the Soviet Union, the collective economy and fear of the secret police shaped the lives of Hungarian citizens. Our guided tour starts on Liberty Square making a photo stop at the Russian monument, which honors the soldiers of the Red Army who died during the liberation Budapest from the Nazis. Ironically, it is located directly across from the US embassy and a statue of Ronald Reagan stands on the other side of it. Visit the area surrounding the Hungarian Parliament Building and hear stories about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, when it was overrun by Russian tanks when Hungary stood up against Communism. Visit the former headquarters of the AVH (Hungarian version of KGB), the dreaded secret police, which is a museum today. This part-museum, part-multimedia experience records grim moments of the communist period and is one of the most interesting of its kind. Your local expert will provide you an interactive commentary on how to live and survive under communism.

Approximate value: €39 EUR per person


Gold & Glamorous: "Belle Epoques" of Budapest Travel back in time with your guide; join a short coach trip along the Danube embankment with a short walk to one of the hidden treasures of Budapest, to the House of Hungarian Art Nouveau. It houses a unique exhibition representing the refined world of Art Nouveau, including paintings, furniture, decorative objects and interiors, to give an insight into the atmosphere of middle-class life in Budapest in the "happy pre-war times". The second stop of your tour is the "musical jewelry box" of Pest, the Hungarian State Opera House. The building enchants not only the lovers of opera and ballet, but everyone who is amazed by the fine neo-Renaissance architecture. Following the visit you will be treated to a coffee and a cake in the Book Cafe, the glamorous main hall of the Paris Department Store, one of the hidden secrets of the city. Sip your coffee and taste a fine delicacy of Hungarian confectioners in this lustrous literary cafe with glittering chandeliers and flamboyant ceiling frescoes, painted by the same artist whose masterpieces raise the splendor of the State Opera House, the Parliament and several other public buildings. This tour is a must for any passionate photographer as there are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person


Anniversary Celebration Cake

Group Excursion for up to 6 passengers

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary cake presented during dinner. Make this a cruise like no other.
Approximate value: €38 EUR per group


Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Group Excursion for up to 6 passengers

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.
Approximate value: €168 EUR per group


Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Group Excursion for up to 6 passengers

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with house wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lunge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.
Approximate value: €348 EUR per group


Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Group Excursion for up to 6 passengers

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner.
Approximate value: €147 EUR per group


Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Group Excursion for up to 6 passengers

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with house wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening.
Approximate value: €336 EUR per group


Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Group Excursion for up to 6 passengers

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special cake and present it to you during dinner. Make this a cruise that you will never forget.
Approximate value: €38 EUR per group


Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Group Excursion for up to 6 passengers

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and a wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.
Approximate value: €168 EUR per group


Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Group Excursion for up to 6 passengers

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with house wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.
Approximate value: €396 EUR per group


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