Active Discovery on the Danube with Prague – Westbound 2018

12 Day River Cruise from Budapest to Prague

2018 Information. Switch to 2019 »

This exciting new vacation introduces you to the people and places along the Danube from Budapest to Linz, as well as to the UNESCO World Heritage Site city of Česky Krumlov and Prague, in the most active, engaged and fun ways imaginable. Start your vacation with one night in Hungary’s capital city before boarding your Avalon ship and heading for Visegrad. The choice is always yours: you might like to learn a little Hungarian in Budapest; attend a medieval knights’ tournament in Visegrad; take a jogging tour around Vienna, or visit the city when it first awakes; meet with a local produce grower in the Wachau Valley, or paddle a canoe; be introduced to a count in his castle; bike to an ancient border defense near Mauthausen or visit World War II’s largest concentration camp; taste locally produced cheese and beer brewed by Trappist monks near Linz, or hike along an old smugglers’ route. And all the while enjoy the comfort of your Avalon ship, with its delectable meals and warm, personal service. Certainly your home from home while you explore your new surroundings every day. Disembark and spend one night in Linz. Choose from a conventional city tour or a history tour, or a gentle hike to the Pöstlingberg for a fantastic panoramic view of Linz. An optional cooking class is available or the chance to learn more about farming in the region. Then visit beautiful Česky Krumlov en route to Prague. Your vacation ends with two nights in the Czech Republic’s capital, exploring the city in the company of a Local Guide, or during an urban hike or on your own. We also offer a variety of optionals such as a visit to a microbrewery or a cooking school to make sure you never run out of things to do!


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Budapest: welcome to Hungary

Day 2 Budapest (Embarkation)–Scenic Cruising Around Danube Bend–Visegrád: choice of walking tour with language lesson, guided bike tour, or city sightseeing tour; onboard welcome reception; scenic cruising around the Danube Bend

Day 3 Visegrád: in Visegrád, choice of medieval knights tournament or guided hiking in Danube-Ipoly National Park

Days 4 & 5 Vienna: choice of bike tour, jogging tour, encounter with area business people, or city sightseeing tour with visit of Belvedere Palace to see Klimt’s Kiss; choice of early riser walking tour with breakfast at a Viennese café and entrance to Habsburg private art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts; Habsburg collection entrance with time in the Italian & Dutch Masters Gallery; or Habsburg collection entrance with Military Museum visit

Day 6 Krems–Wachau Valley & Strudengau Scenic Cruising–Grein: choice of canoe tour down the Danube; bike tour from Krems to Spitz with a stop in Dürnstein to sample local specialties; Wine World Experience with tasting; or local encounter showcasing regional products with included snack and beverage; scenic cruising through Wachau Valley, Strudengau, and past Melk Abbey; visit Greinburg or Clam castle in Grein

Day 7 Grein–Mauthausen–Linz: guided walk in Grein, visit the historical theater; in Mauthausen, choice of visit to St. Florian Monastery, guided tour of Mauthausen Concentration Camp, or guided bike tour; onboard tasting of local specialties

Day 8 Engelhartszell–Schlögen Oxbow Scenic Cruising–Linz: choice of visit to Engelszell Abbey to tour its brewery, enjoy a tasting, and explore its sensory garden, or join a guided tour to the “House by the Stream” and walk across the Danube Power-Station Jochenstein; choice of scenic cruising around the Schlögen Oxbow or guided hike on the Danube Trail; onboard gala farewell dinner

Day 9 Linz (Disembarkation): choice of guided city walk, or history tour, or a casual hike across to Mount Pöstlingberg

Day 10 Linz–Česky Krumlov–Prague: guided sightseeing of Česky Krumlov; transfer to Prague

Day 11 Prague: choice of urban hike, or guided city tour including Hradčany Castle grounds and St. Vitus Cathedral; afternoon at leisure

Day 12 Prague: your vacation ends this morning

Meals

  • Welcome & farewell cocktails 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

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1

Arrive in Budapest, Hungary

Welcome to Budapest, the beautiful “Pearl of the Danube.” This evening, join your Cruise Director for a WELCOME COCKTAIL and brief chat about how you can enjoy the city to the fullest!

Day 2

(B, D)

Budapest (Embarkation)–Scenic Cruising Around the Danube Bend–Visegrad

One of Eastern Europe’s most dynamic cities, Hungary’s capital practically begs you to get out and explore! Awaken refreshed and dig in to a hearty breakfast before making the day your own. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • take an enjoyable 2-hour WALKING TOUR with some “Fungarian” instruction of useful local words and phrases;
  • join a GUIDED BIKE TOUR along the bike paths and car-free areas for a safe and enjoyable way to see the city’s most fantastic sights, or;
  • see the best of Budapest on a CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR featuring Heroes’ Square, Fishermen’s Bastion, Matthias Church, and an inside visit of the OPERA HOUSE.
Afterward, you have free time to shop for Hungarian paprika or handcrafted souvenirs, to savor a piece of cream cake in the worldfamous Gerbeaud Café, or to join an optional tour of Budapest’s limestone cave system. This afternoon, transfer to the AVALON LUMINARY for embarkation. After a mandatory safety exercise, meet your friendly crew and fellow shipmates at a WELCOME RECEPTION. As your ship pulls away from the dock, be sure to have your camera ready for unforgettable views of the magnificent Parliament Building. At dinner, your ship’s chef will delight your tastebuds with Hungarian specialties. Later, as scenic panoramas of the Danube Bend drift by, consider toasting your adventure with a cocktail on the Sky Deck. Your ship docks for the night near Visegrad.

Day 3

(B, L, D)

Visegrád

Another exciting day is on tap. After breakfast, CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • cheer your favorite champion at a MEDIEVAL KNIGHTS TOURNAMENT at Visegrád's Lower Castle, featuring targeting and fighting demonstrations by members of the St. George Knightly Order. During free time here, be sure to explore Palotaház, where stonemasons, smiths, potters, and paper-makers produce their traditional items using age-old techniques, or;
  • spend your day in the great outdoors on a GUIDED HIKE through Danube-Ipoly National Park, home to eagles, falcons, bats, terrapins, fire salamanders, and other wildlife.
This afternoon, your ship passes by the mighty Esztergom Basilica, coronation church of Hungary’s monarchs. Relax on board as we sail upstream towards Austria. After a delectable dinner of Viennese specialties, experience the first of 10 locks your ship will pass through on this cruise.

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Vienna, Austria

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, this “City of Music” inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss—and will inspire you, as well! Waltz ashore and CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • enjoy a BIKE TOUR that takes in the sights along the famed Ringstrasse and areas of Vienna inaccessible to buses and cars;
  • slip on your sneakers and join a JOGGING TOUR that shows you the highlights as you jog between sites;
  • take a unique INSIDERS TOUR that features something different every day. It could be anything, from a visit to a musical instrument maker to a crash course on etiquette and protocol at diplomatic gatherings. You will meet locals, have the chance to prepare some food at a cooking class, and will enjoy other surprises as well, or;
  • get a proper introduction to Vienna during a CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR that includes an inside visit of Belvedere Palace to see Klimt’s celebrated Kiss.
Afterward, you have free time to explore on your own. Maybe stroll through the pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, take a break for a piece of decadent Sachertorte, or join an optional excursion. Tonight’s onboard dinner pays a delicious tribute to the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Vienna

A second full day in Vienna presents even more opportunities to immerse yourself in the magic. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY for an experience most meaningful to you:

  • wrap yourself in the peace of the city at sunrise during an EARLY RISER WALKING TOUR that includes breakfast at a Viennese café and an exclusive viewing of the Habsburg family’s private art collections at the Museum of Fine Arts;
  • for a more leisurely start to your morning, skip the walking tour and onshore breakfast and simply join us for the MUSEUM VISIT, which includes time in the ITALIAN & DUTCH MASTERS GALLERY, or;
  • perfect for military history buffs, begin with the MUSEUM VISIT of the Habsburg collection, then explore the MILITARY MUSEUM, commemorating the heroic past of the Habsburg Empire.
In your free time later, consider joining an optional guided hike through the vineyards outside town, with a wine tasting and dinner at a Heurigen wine tavern.

Day 6

(B, L, D)

Krems–Wachau Valley & Strudengau Scenic Cruising–Grein

Early this morning, arrive in Krems, the eastern gateway to the famed Wachau Valley. After breakfast, CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • PADDLE A CANOE on a guided tour down the Danube and along some of its tributaries, for a completely unique perspective of the river and riverbank villages;
  • bask in the fresh air and incredible views on an easy guided BIKE TOUR from Krems to Spitz. Enjoy a break in Dürnstein to see the mesmerizing blue Stiftskirche, and sample local specialties;
  • join an interactive WINE WORLD EXPERIENCE with wine tasting, or;
  • get a hands-on LOCAL ENCOUNTER that showcases production of regional fruits, vegetables, wine, or other products, depending on the season. A snack and beverage are included.
And whatever activity you are enjoying, marvel at today’s SCENIC HIGHLIGHT, the picturesque Wachau Valley. Slowly cruise past the stately Benedictine Melk Abbey, and through the stunning Strudengau, popular among climbers and hikers for its enticing geological formations. Arrive in Grein, and visit GREINBURG or CLAM CASTLE, where you will meet the owner.

Day 7

(B, L, D)

Grein–Mauthausen–Linz

This morning, a GUIDED WALK through Grein features a visit of its unique historical THEATER, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances. Back on board, relax, enjoy lunch, and bask in the breathtaking scenery. Disembark in Mauthausen, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Neolithic Age. Here, we let you place your own personal stamp on your day as you CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • take a GUIDED BIKE TOUR along the Limes Cycle Route and follow part of the northern border line of the Roman Empire, which in the 2nd century AD ran from the Dutch border all the way to the Black sea;
  • visit the 9th-century ST. FLORIAN MONASTERY, an architectural rival to Melk Abbey. While exploring, you may meet one of the monks (when available) or attend a short music recital, or;
  • join a heart-wrenching tour of MAUTHAUSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP, one of World War II’s largest and most brutal Nazi work camps.
This evening in Linz, Austria’s third-largest city, optional theater and music excursions are available—or you can mingle with the locals at a fun pub crawl!

Day 8

(B, L, D)

Engelhartszell–Schlögen Oxbow Scenic Cruising–Linz

As you slept, your ship arrived in the pretty market town of Engelhartszell near the German border. Step ashore and CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • visit the stunning rococo ENGELSZELL ABBEY to tour its brewery, explore its SENSORY GARDEN—complete with stone labyrinth, herb garden, and vineyard—and attend a TASTING of locally produced cheeses and beer brewed by the Trappist monks, or;
  • join a guided tour to the “House by the Stream” and walk across the Danube POWER-STATION JOCHENSTEIN
Back on your ship, an excellent lunch of Bavarian specialties will leave you energized and ready to join an exhilarating HIKE ALONG THE DANUBE. Fresh air and incredible vistas await as you watch the Avalon Luminary pass through the Schlögen Oxbow, a particularly beautiful horseshoe-shaped curve of the river. Re-join your ship in Aschach, and prepare for an exquisite GALA FAREWELL DINNER featuring foods specially paired with just the right area wines or beers.

Day 9

(B)

Linz (Disembarkation)

A European Capital of Culture and,Austria’s third-largest city welcomes you with open arms and plenty to see and do. This morning CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • Join a GUIDED CITY WALK or
  • A contemporary HISTORY TOUR during which your guide reveals what life was like in the city during WWII and how Linz just managed to escape becoming a divided city like Berlin
  • The more active might enjoy a CASUAL HIKE to Mount Pöstlingberg
Then there’s free time for shopping, exploring on your own, or joining an optional activity. How about a cooking class so you can dazzle your friends back home with an authentic Linzer Torte, the world’s oldest known cake? The evening is free for independent activities.

Day 10

(B)

Linz–Česky Krumlov, Czech Republic–Prague

Today we leave Austria as we travel north to the charming city of Česky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here time seems to have stood still. GUIDED SIGHTSEEING gives you an overview of this medieval jewel. In the late afternoon, arrive in Prague. This evening you might like to join an optional dinner excursion.

Day 11

(B)

Prague

Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time, and, unlike other Central European capitals, it was not bombed during the 20th-century wars. To explore the “Golden City”, CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • Participate in an URBAN HIKE characterized by stunning views of the city, steep cliffs and woods – and all this a few minutes form the crowded city center; or
  • Join a conventional GUIDED TOUR during which a Local Guide shows you its best-known treasures, such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; HRADČANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St. Vitus Cathedral.
Later browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books. Mix with the locals in Wenceslaus Square, an important meeting point and where people demonstrated against the communist regime; or watch performers on Charles Bridge. And if that is not enough to keep you busy, how about joining one of a variety of optional excursions: a microbrewery tour, focusing specifically on local mini-breweries which produce really unique beers, varying in color, and taste and the overall drinking experience; or participate in a cooking class which introduces you to typical Czech cuisine. Maybe an e-bike tour around the city is more to your liking and tonight we can even offer you the “Dark Shadows of Old Town” tour.

Day 12

(B)

Prague

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning!

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.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); the responsibility for obtaining a visa rests with the traveler.
  • Departure June 9 is offered as an exclusive President’s Cruise, including special features at no additional cost. Join the President of Avalon Waterways on an incredible cruise, with exclusive highlights including a special excursion and a President’s Gala Dinner that is sure to please!

Ship Details

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Hotels

Budapest
Linz
Prague

 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)


Budapest
Packages
Vienna
Grein
Linz
Prague

Budapest

Budapest Retro Tour

Budapest Retro Tour

Step behind the Iron Curtain on this unique guided tour to discover what life was like in Hungary from the 1960s to the 1980s during the Communist era-and to explore some of its currently popular retro hot spots.

Price Range: $$$$

Budapest Cave-Hiking Adventure

Budapest Cave-Hiking Adventure

Do something truly adventurous on an incredible guided caving tour through Budapest's massive underground cave system!

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: $$

Vienna

Green Vienna: From Ornamental to Urban Gardens

Green Vienna: From Ornamental to Urban Gardens

Learn all about the history, present, and future of Vienna's gardens, and visit an interactive urban gardening workshop on this enriching walking tour with an expert guide.

Price Range: $$

Musical Conductor for a Day

Musical Conductor for a Day

Become a real musical conductor on this unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Vienna, the City of Music!

Price Range: $$$$

Classical Concert

Classical Concert

Enjoy a spellbinding evening of classical works by Mozart and Johann Strauss, performed brilliantly by professional Salon Orchestra Alt-Wien musicians in one of Europe's prettiest venues.

Price Range: $$

Austrian Chef for a Day: Viennese Specialties

Austrian Chef for a Day: Viennese Specialties

Join an expert chef and learn how to create a lunch of authentic Viennese specialties, then savor the delicious final product afterward!

Price Range: $$

Vienna: City of Music & Musicians

Vienna: City of Music & Musicians

On this captivating guided tour, discover how Vienna has influenced the many musical geniuses who lived and worked here, and then visit the innovative House of Music to compose your own waltz or virtually conduct the Viennese Philharmonic!

Price Range: $$

Traditional Heurigen Wine Tavern Dinner

Traditional Heurigen Wine Tavern Dinner

Travel into the Grinzing area for a traditional dinner at a Heurigen wine tavern, with music, entertainment, and wine from the latest harvest!

Price Range: $$

Hit the Trail: Guided Hike with Heurigen Dinner

Hit the Trail: Guided Hike with Heurigen Dinner

Enjoy a scenic guided hike and a traditional dinner at a Heurigen wine tavern, with music, entertainment, and wine from the latest harvest!

Price Range: $$

Grein

People & Pubs of Linz

People & Pubs of Linz

Discover the charming people and active nightlife of Linz on this engaging guided nighttime walking tour of the city's most popular bars, pubs, and beer gardens!

Price Range: $

Linz

Discover Steyr: A Thousand Years of History

Discover Steyr: A Thousand Years of History

Discover one of Upper Austria's most postcard-perfect towns, 1,000-year-old Steyr, on this delightful half-day guided tour.

Price Range: $

Prague

Czech Dinner

Czech Dinner

A typical Czech meal in a famous wine restaurant to experience the real Prague atmosphere.

Price Range: $$

Prague on Two Wheels: City Highlights by eBike

Prague on Two Wheels: City Highlights by eBike

Pedal your way around Prague on this guided eBike tour for a fun and proper introduction to the treasures of the Golden City.

Price Range: $$$

Discover Prague Microbrewery Tour

Discover Prague Microbrewery Tour

Visit the oldest beerhouses and breweries in Prague on this guided tour that gives you a peek into the brewing process, a look at historic equipment, and ends with a tasting of delicious local brews, breads and cheeses.

Price Range: $$

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