Grand European Discovery
Admire picturesque Strasbourg, called the “Crossroads of Europe” for its location halfway between Paris and Prague, as you glide along its canals in a glass-enclosed water taxi. You’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale as you sail through the city’s beautiful historic core, where half-timbered houses are adorned with flower boxes. Or choose to see Strasbourg à pied with a walking tour that will have you feeling like a local. Explore the winding lanes of Old Town; walk through lively markets like the one at Broglie Square; and indulge in tasty pastries and coffee at a charming café. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, FD)
Spend the day on an exclusive visit to the village of Nierstein, where renowned white wines have been made for centuries. Ride a tractor through the steeply sloping vineyards to sample some of the world’s finest Rieslings, and meet a naturalist who will discuss the region’s viniculture as you get a close-up view of wine-grape growing. After your stimulating vineyard visit, you’ll get to taste some of the region’s fabulous wines. Or, opt to have a motorcoach take you to Heidelberg, a perfectly preserved Medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s Castle Road. Heidelberg is home to Germany’s oldest university and is forever immortalized by Sigmund Romberg’s operetta, The Student Prince. You’ll be guided through the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle’s courtyard, and then continue into downtown Heidelberg and Old Town.
*Note: Lunch is not included with the tour of Heidelberg.
Delightful Miltenberg, the “Pearl of the Main River,” is still protected by its Medieval walls and two gates—one facing east and another facing west. On your walking tour, you will discover a town that seems to embody a German fairytale, with its 14thand 15th-century half-timbered houses (including the famed Crooked House) and the venerable Royal Inn, which has been a working hotel since the 17th century. Further explore Miltenberg’s surroundings on an exclusive visit to a nearby village. Enjoy a beer tasting at Brauhaus Faust, one of Miltenberg’s famous breweries; hike to Helmstetter vineyard and the nearby castle ruins; and learn about boules and traditional springerle cookies from the locals. The day concludes with a relaxing scenic sail. (BB, L, D)
Tour the magnificent Würzburg Residenz, an immaculate example of Baroque architecture and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace was designed in the 18th century by an international team of architects and artists. Particularly noteworthy is Tiepolo’s ceiling fresco— the largest in the world. Enjoy the lovely gardens after your tour. Alternately, chat with the residents of a Franconian village over cake and coffee before joining them on a guided tour of their town to learn about daily life in the region. This cultural exchange is precisely what travel is all about—getting to know your fellow global citizens. Later, relax onboard with more scenic sailing. (BB, L, D)
After enjoying a scenic stretch of the river, embark on a guided tour of picturesque Rothenburg, a well-preserved Medieval walled town. Then venture off on your own to see even more of the treasures this delightful city has to offer. You may wish to explore the Christmas magic of Käthe Wohlfahrt’s museum, which enchants at any time of the year. After dinner onboard, take a walk through ancient Würzburg. Stroll across the 15th-century Alte Mainbrücke, the oldest bridge spanning the Main, for a great view of the city lights. (BB, L, D)
Awaken in charming Bamberg, a lively city with one of Europe’s largest intact Old Town centers (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Like Rome, Bamberg is built on seven hills—only here, a church tops each one. Your tour takes you past the imperial Cathedral of St. Peter and St. George; the huge 17th-century bishop’s palace and its glorious rose garden; the Town Hall; and Little Venice, an area of colorful fishermen’s houses. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, WD)
After cruising the most scenic parts of the Main-Danube Canal, a marvel of modern engineering, you’ll visit Nuremberg. Discover the beautiful Medieval city during a panoramic tour. Or take a guided tour of Nuremberg’s most important WW II sites. You’ll also visit the Nuremberg Trials Memoriam, which includes Courtroom 600, the actual venue of the trials. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, FD)
Note: Courtroom 600 is an active court. Visitors will only be permitted to see the courtroom during trial breaks.
Regensburg, one of the best-preserved Medieval towns in Europe, captures 2,000 years of history with outstanding monuments like the 12th-century Stone Bridge and the towering Gothic cathedral. Your walking tour takes you past the architectural treasures of Old Town as well as the Cathedral of St. Peter, with its magnificent 14th-century stained-glass windows. For a different view of Medieval Regensburg, tour sites associated with Germany’s oldest Jewish community, dating back more than a thousand years. Or visit the Audi factory in Ingolstadt for a fascinating look at how a well-engineered German car is built. (BB, L, D)
Enjoy the stunning river scenery as you cruise to your next delightful port of call. Take a ride in a horse-drawn wagon through a scenic village in the Bavarian Forest and sample home-baked bread fresh from the village oven. Then you will head to Theresienthal, a world-famous glass workshop, where you’ll see firsthand how Bohemian crystal is made. Spend your afternoon taking a scenic stroll or biking along the Danube and through the small town of Deggendorf. (BB, L, D)
Passau boasts a delightful layer of Italian style on top of quintessential German foundations. Your guided walking tour will introduce you to an accessible, charming, and well-preserved town, where you’ll have time to roam on your own before you hear the magnificent pipe organ (the largest in Europe) at St. Stephan’s Cathedral. Alternately, you might bike along the Danube or Inn rivers with an expert guide or hike along the Ilz River with a naturalist. (BB, L, D)
Note: St. Stephan’s organ concert is only available from May 2 to October 31, excluding Sundays and Catholic holidays. An excursion to an alternative venue will be organized if the organ concert is not available.
Take your pick from a host of delightful excursions. Ramble through the lovely village of Weissenkirchen, named for its famous white church, and sample the local apricot schnapps, which is made with fruit harvested from the orchards lining the river. If you prefer a more active option, hike with a guide through a celebrated vineyard and taste the fine wines made there. Or visit Melk’s magnificent abbey, a masterpiece of Baroque art and architecture situated high atop the granite cliffs of the Danube. Whichever adventure you choose, you’ll relax onboard later in the day as you sail through the UNESCO designated Wachau Valley. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, WD)
Your panoramic city tour showcases the Habsburg grandeur of the stately Ring Street, taking you past the City Hall, Parliament, the Hofburg Imperial Palace, and the State Opera. You will walk through the Hofburg grounds to the Art History Museum, where you’ll see treasures collected by the Habsburgs on display in the newly reopened Cabinet of Curiosities, including a dazzling salt cellar made by Benvenuto Cellini. For a more intimate look at this stunning city, opt for our “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour of Vienna and discover the daily life of the Viennese people in the historic town center with a visit to a popular park and a stop at a traditional Viennese coffee house. (BB, L, D)
Note: The Art History Museum is closed on Mondays. If the tour lands on a Monday, Albertina Museum will be visited instead.