Magnificent Europe WWII History River Cruise - Avalon®

Magnificent Europe for European History and Politics Enthusiasts 2018

15 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest

2018 Information

From Amsterdam to Budapest, and many exciting stops along the way, you’ll be immersed in the culture of Central Europe in a unique way on this timeless river cruise vacation. You’ll be joined on board by a diplomacy expert who has worked at the UN on the NATO/Warsaw Pact, and on EU security and economic issues; as well as the Seconded National Expert for the European Commission’s DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusions. They will hold lectures and mini-panel discussions while sailing.

Amsterdam is Holland’s lively capital—both historical and modern. This popular city is set amongst sophisticated architecture and classic squares and canals. See the treasures of this 700-year-old city from a unique perspective—on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten. On to Germany where there’s a guided city walk in Cologne—a 2,000 year-old city known for its gothic architecture. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River and stop in the charming wine town of Rüdesheim. There’s guided sightseeing in Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, and Regensburg, and you’ll sail the Main Danube Canal connecting the Main and Danube rivers. First stop in Austria is Melk for a visit to the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, then sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley to Dürnstein, famous for its blue and white baroque Stiftskirche. And in the last days of your vacation, local experts will introduce you to three capital cities: Vienna, Austria, also known as “The City of Music” because it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss, where you can choose between regular sightseeing or joining a respected political journalist to see the city from a more historical and political point of view; Bratislava, Slovakia, where winding cobblestone streets twist and turn in the Old Town and you visit St. Martin’s Cathedral; and finally, lively Budapest, Hungary, with its unique energy and countless must-see sites! Here, you’ll learn about Communist Budapest and visit the headquarters of the former secret police. This truly is a river cruise to remember!


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome reception

Day 2 Amsterdam: canal cruise

Day 3 Cologne: choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk

Day 4 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; enjoy a special treat

Day 5 Main River Village: guided walk

Day 6 Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz

Day 7 Bamberg: guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall

Day 8 Roth–Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing of Nuremberg or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour or guided sightseeing of Roth

Day 9 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting

Day 10 Passau: guided walk

Day 11 Melk–Dürnstein: guided visit of the Benedectine Abbey in Melk; cruise through the Wachau Valley; guided walk in Dürnstein, see the Stiftskirche

Day 12 Vienna: guided sightseeing or guided tour focused on Austrian history and politics

Day 13 Bratislava: guided sightseeing, visit St. Martin’s Cathedral

Day 14 Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermen’s Bastion and Heroes’ Square; excursion “Communist Budapest”, visit the former headquarters of the secret police

Day 15 Budapest (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.
  • 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); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)

Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich 700-year-old history and a distinct ambiance. Maybe stroll through the lively marketplace or see the works of famous Dutch masters at world-renowned museums. This afternoon, board your river cruise ship and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. You will be joined on board by a diplomacy expert who has worked at the UN on the NATO/Warsaw Pact and on EU security and economic issues; as well as the Seconded National Expert for the European Commission’s DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusions. They will hold lectures and mini-panel discussions while sailing. (Dinner)

NOTE:
Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2Amsterdam

Today, get a unique perspective of Amsterdam on an included CANAL CRUISE, floating along the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time in the city this afternoon—or you might like to join an optional excursion before bidding tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and setting sail for Germany. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Cologne, Germany

Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne after lunch. One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim

This morning, cruise through the dramatic RHINE GORGE—without a doubt, the most beautiful stretch of river and where ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the rock of the Lorelei, where legend tells of enchanted siren song that lured sailors to their doom. On your included shore excursion in pretty Rüdesheim, visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll be mesmerized by the self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT and 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Main 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Würzburg

Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” makes an immediate impression with imposing Marienberg Fortress perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR this morning, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Depart Würzburg at lunchtime and spend a leisurely afternoon cruising the Main River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Bamberg

Today, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR 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! Wander the town’s serpentine streets with their charming houses and 18th-century mansions. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Roth–Nuremberg

This morning dock in Roth and after breakfast join a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of the city. This delightful Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. Take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard. Or you may prefer to choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of nearby 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. mMarvel 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9Regensburg

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, then grab a beer and enjoy a 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Passau

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 through this charming town, and find out much more about the “City of Three Rivers.” Alternatively, you might like to join a full-day optional excursion to Salzburg to see some of The Sound of Music sights or to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11Melk, Austria–Dürnstein

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 to Dürnstein, known for the magnificent baroque, blue Stiftskirche. The main street of this small town—with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century homes and charming cobblestone streets. 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12Vienna

Early this morning, arrive in Vienna, the “City of Music,” which inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. 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 sites you’ll see on your GUIDED 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! If you are an history and politics lover you can join our sightseeing related to these topics and meet a very well-known and respected political journalist who writes for “Der Standard”, one of the Austria’s leading newspapers, and has published more than 25 books on socio-political topics. An optional concert is available tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13Bratislava, Slovakia

At the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is Bratislava, the dynamic capital of Slovakia. After breakfast, join your Local Guide for a tour of the city, including a GUIDED WALK of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestoned streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. This afternoon is free to explore on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 14Budapest, 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. Be sure to note 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. In your free time this afternoon you may want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. Alternatively, consider visiting St. Stephen’s Basilica with marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform, or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street or join a guided excursion of “COMMUNIST BUDAPEST”, including a visit to the headquarters of the former dreaded secret police. Your local expert will provide an insight on how one lived and survived under communism. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15Budapest (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

Vista

Vista

The Avalon Vista's two full decks of suites feature Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air BalconySM. Enjoy fresh breezes and enchanting scenery from the comfort of your suite. With 200 square feet, Panorama SuitesSM are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording you the incomparable opportunity to wake each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include a Fitness Center,complimentary computer use in public areas and Wi-Fi access, 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
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
  • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • 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
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • 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
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Sky Deck game area
  • 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

Hotels

Amsterdam
Budapest

Amsterdam

Room Mate Aitana

Room Mate Aitana Ijdok 6, Amsterdam,  Netherlands Ijdok 6
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

A 284 room designer hotel recently built on the new artificial island in the IJ river and offers free Wi-Fi throughout. The hotel boasts a trendy cosmopolitan restaurant, which serves international food, the lounge bar provides a stylish setting for drinks and there is also a fitness center.

Hotel Amenities

Dry Cleaning
Ice Machine
Free WiFi
Fitness Room
Restaurant On-Site
Concierge desk
Parking/Valet
Bar/Lounge
Elevator
Business Center
Luggage Storage
Room Amenities

Climate Control
Iron/Ironing Board
Coffee Maker
Desk
Non-smoking Rooms
Hair Dryer
Phone
Disabled Access / Rooms
Mini-bar
Television
Complimentary Toiletries
Room Service
In-Room Safe
Wake-Up Calls
Internet Access

Budapest

InterContinental Budapest

InterContinental Budapest Apaczai Csere Janos utca 12-14, Budapest,  Hungary Apaczai Csere Janos utca 12-14
Budapest, Hungary

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Deluxe

Few would argue the InterContinental Budapest is in the city's best location: right on the Danube across from Castle Hill and the Royal Palace. With the Chain Bridge and the Parliament just steps away, there's no shortage of superb sightseeing opportunities. The Váci Utca shopping street, Central Market Hall and the Gellért Baths are also nearby.

Hotel Amenities

Spa Services
Free WiFi
Currency Exchange
Fitness Room
Restaurant On-Site
Business Center
Gift Shop
Beauty Salon
Concierge desk
Pool
Dry Cleaning
ATM
Luggage Storage
Elevator
Parking/Valet
Room Amenities

Iron/Ironing Board
Hair Dryer
Internet Access
Air Conditioning
Climate Control
Television
Room Service
In-Room Safe
Alarm Clock
Phone
Non-smoking Rooms
Coffee Maker
Cable/Satellite
Mini-bar
Smoking Rooms

 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)

No Excursions are available at this time.

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