Jewels of Central Europe - Eastbound 2018

17 Day River Cruise from Paris to Budapest

2018 Information. Switch to 2019 »

On this remarkable Europe river cruise vacation, you’ll sail along the Moselle, Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers. Start with two overnights in dazzling Paris and end in Budapest, Hungary’s vibrant capital—with the most intriguing cities of France, Germany, and Austria along the way.

Before you embark on your European river cruise, the famous sights of romantic Paris will be yours. You’ve seen pictures of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, and the Eiffel Tower—now experience these treasures up close. Ride the high-speed train from Paris, then board your ship to cruise the wide, peaceful curves of the Moselle River Valley, famous for its picturesque scenery. First stop is Trier, Germany, believed to be even older than Rome and many remnants can still be found, such as imperial baths. The wine village of Bernkastel, surrounded by Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards, will fascinate you with its narrow streets and half-timbered houses still standing from the Middle Ages. Continue your European river cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, considered the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River. See the rock of the Lorelei and ancient castles standing majestically on cliffs 400 feet above the water. Visit the magnificent Bishop’s Residenz in Würzburg and marvel at medieval Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a guided visit of historic Nuremberg and an excursion to Bavaria’s capital, Munich. Along the Danube River is Regensburg, Germany, one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities, where you can taste some of Germany’s famous beers! Visit Passau with its narrow, winding cobblestone streets, and Melk’s magnificent 11th-century Benedictine Abbey, before arriving in Vienna, the “City of Music” that inspired the genius of Beethoven, Mozart, and Strauss.

There are countless opportunities to be enchanted by the sights on this fascinating Europe river cruise, and it doesn’t end until you’ve experienced the unique energy of Budapest. A local expert will show you the famous sights and you can walk across the Chain Bridge and bask in the coffee house culture with a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café.


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Days 1-2 Paris: welcome to France; guided sightseeing on Day 2

Day 3 Paris–Remich (Embarkation): travel from Paris to Metz or Luxembourg City by high-speed train and on to Remich by motorcoach; onboard welcome reception

Day 4 Trier: choice of guided city sightseeing or “Roman Trier” sightseeing, see the Porta Nigra

Day 5 Bernkastel: guided walk; wine tasting

Day 6 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; enjoy a special treat

Day 7 Main River Village: guided walk

Day 8 Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz

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

Day 10 Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich: guided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz

Day 11 Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour

Day 12 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting

Day 13 Passau: guided walk

Day 14 Melk–Vienna: guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk

Day 15 Vienna: guided sightseeing

Day 16 Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermen’s Bastion and Heroes’ Square

Day 17 Budapest (Disembarkation): 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 Paris, France

Arrive in Paris, France. Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine and the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air!

Day 2

(B)

Paris

Known as one of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris delights the senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre.

Day 3

(B, D)

Paris–Remich, Luxembourg (Embarkation)

This morning, board a HIGH-SPEED TRAIN for a swift and comfortable journey to Metz or Luxembourg City. Continue to Remich in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, where your river cruise vessel is docked on the Moselle River. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. The Moselle River is some 312 miles long, rising in the Vosges Mountains of northeastern France and entering Germany at Trier.

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Trier, Germany

At the head of the Moselle Valley is Trier, Germany’s oldest city. Some say Trier is even older than Rome and was populated over a thousand years before the Romans arrived. Many Roman remains have survived, including a 20,000-seat amphitheater; the Porta Nigra, the only surviving 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 144-152 AD—all evidence of this once-grand Roman city. Choose from an included GUIDED CITY SIGHTSEEING or the more history-focused “ROMAN TRIER” guided tour. As you cruise the wide, peaceful curves of the Moselle River, it becomes obvious why the Moselle Valley is famous for its picturesque scenery, and that this is an important wine-growing region.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Bernkastel

In the middle of the Moselle region is the charming wine village of Bernkastel with its fascinating narrow streets and half-timbered houses that have stood since the Middle Ages. 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. Wine 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.

Day 6

(B, L, D)

Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim

This morning, sail through the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. In Rüdesheim, the quintessential Rhine Valley wine town, visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes, mechanical violins, and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colorful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere.

Day 7

(B, L, D)

Main River Village

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.

Day 8

(B, L, D)

Würzburg

Relax on board this morning as you cruise the Main River. This afternoon, arrive in Würzburg. Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Then, there’s time to relax, do some shopping, or stop in a Konditorei for a mouth-watering pastry and a cup of coffee—a German afternoon tradition.

Day 9

(B, L, D)

Bamberg

Enjoy another pleasant morning of sailing before you arrive in medieval Bamberg in the early afternoon. The town is the former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your included GUIDED WALK takes in its historic center, with 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!

Day 10

(B, D)

Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich

Early this morning, arrive in Nuremberg and after breakfast, drive to Munich, the capital of Bavaria. With its historical museums, splendid English Garden, traditional cafés, and delightful shops, Munich has plenty to see and do. A GUIDED TOUR 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 Biergärten or breweries to sample one of the Bavarian beer specialties. Return to your ship in the afternoon.

Day 11

(B, L, D)

Nuremberg

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 morning, choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized “NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS” tour.

Day 12

(B, L, D)

Regensburg

Arrive in Regensburg today. 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 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!

Day 13

(B, L, D)

Passau

This morning, dock in 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. Alternatively, choose from several full-day optional excursions while your ship continues to sail into Austria. Rejoin your vessel in the late afternoon.

Day 14

(B, L, D)

Melk, Austria–Vienna

This morning, enjoy a GUIDED VISIT of Melk’s 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. Words cannot describe the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. Then, cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley. Pass the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, the landmark of Dürnstein, arriving in Vienna this evening. Known as the “City of Music,” it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available tonight.

Day 15

(B, L, D)

Vienna

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 Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights shown to you by your Local Guide during your included CITY TOUR. Shop in 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! In the late afternoon, leave Vienna for Budapest.

Day 16

(B, L, D)

Budapest, Hungary

Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, see Heroes Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica; shop at the Great Market Hall and purchase paprika at one of its 180 vendor stalls; wander around the Royal Palace grounds; or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street.

Day 17

(B)

Budapest (Disembarkation)

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.
  • 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.

Ship Details

Artistry II

Artistry II

The Avalon Artistry II 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
  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • Convenient Elevator Service
  • Outside viewing deck
  • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
  • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, Nordic walking sticks, watercraft & maps
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
  • Onshore & Onboard experiences with regional customs, cultures & tastings with local artisans, experts & entertainers
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and board games
  • Full-size closet mirror
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, shade awnings, & outdoor deck game area
  • Non-smoking staterooms & ship interior
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Expert Local Guides
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Breisach
  • Light lunch & casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • Complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit, and cookies available throughout the day

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
  • USB Ports
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
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
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 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
  • 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
  • USB Ports
  • 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
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Paris
Budapest

 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)


Paris
Trier
Packages
Regensburg
Passau
Vienna
Budapest

Paris

Discover Paris' Metro & Le Marais

Discover Paris' Metro & Le Marais

Feel like a true Parisian on this guided excursion as you ride the Metro to the chic Le Marais district to explore its ancient architecture, fascinating Jewish Quarter, and hub of cafés, galleries, and boutiques!

Price Range: $

Palace of Versailles Visit

Palace of Versailles Visit

Spend part of your day like a French aristocrat, strolling through the halls and gardens of Louis XIV's opulent Palace of Versailles.

Price Range: $$$

Biking in Paris

Biking in Paris

Awaken your inner Parisian as you explore the city as only a local would: by bicycle! This active guided excursion has it all -- the City of Light's most incomparable sights, mesmerizing history, and incredible ambiance.

Price Range: $$

Trier

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Gibraltar of the North

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Gibraltar of the North

Explore the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe, on this mesmerizing half-day guided excursion.

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: $$$$

Regensburg

Weltenburg Abbey Visit

Weltenburg Abbey Visit

Visit Bavarian's oldest monastery, 7th-century Weltenburg Abbey, with its stunning setting in the Danube Gorge, splendid interior, and the oldest monastic brewery in the world!

Price Range: $$

Passau

Sound of Music Tour

Sound of Music Tour

Follow in the footsteps of Maria von Trapp and 'The Sound of Music' film locations on this unforgettable half-day excursion through Salzburg and its majestic alpine surroundings.

Price Range: $$$

Southern Bohemia

Southern Bohemia

You'll feel like you've stepped right into the Middle Ages on this full-day excursion to Ceský Krumlov, the 'Pearl of the Bohemian Forest'.

Price Range: $$$

Vienna

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: $$

Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Jewel of Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Jewel of Vienna

Visit magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former summer residence of the Habsburg imperial family.

Price Range: $$

Budapest

Illuminated Budapest

Illuminated Budapest

The nighttime magic of Budapest comes to life on this enchanting guided coach tour of the most famous landmarks illuminated in a most unforgettable way!

Price Range: $

Etyek Wine Discovery

Etyek Wine Discovery

Travel into the beautiful Hungarian countryside for an enriching half-day discovery of the Etyek wine region, including a visit to a family winery with wine tasting.

Price Range: $$

Discover Budapest's Art & Architecture

Discover Budapest's Art & Architecture

Travel back to the Golden Age of Budapest's Belle Époque on this captivating guided excursion featuring Andrássy Avenue, glass-painter Miksa Róth's Memorial House, and crown jewel of Budapest: the incomparable Hungarian State Opera House!

Price Range: $$

Bites & Highlights of Budapest

Bites & Highlights of Budapest

Experience some of Budapest's most famous sights and most delectable foods on this unique guided foodie tour at the city's famed Central Market Hall!

Price Range: $$

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