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Grand European Discovery

Basel to Vienna | 15 Days
Date Range: May 2015 - Nov 2015Ship: River Ambassador

Basel to Vienna | 15 Days

Print Day-To-Day
Program offerings are subject to change.
Day 1:
Basel (embark) Embark/DisembarkMotorcoach
Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship. (CB/BB)
Day 2:
Strasbourg UNESCOChoice Is YoursUniworld ExclusiveMotorcoachInsider

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Strasbourg by canal or exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Strasbourg walking tour

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.

Day 3:
Cruising the Rhine River, Mannheim (Heidelberg or Nierstein), Nierstein MotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchDinner

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive Nierstein “Village Day” with vineyard tractor ride, Riesling wine tasting, and naturalist-led vineyard hike or Heidelberg city tour*

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. 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.

Day 4:
Cruising the Main River, Miltenberg Uniworld ExclusiveVillage Days

FEATURED EXCURSION: Miltenberg walking tour with exclusive “Village Day”

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 14th- and 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 by enjoying a beer tasting at Brauhaus Faust, one of Miltenberg’s famous breweries; make an exclusive visit to a farm in a nearby village; learn about watercolor painting with an artist in her home; or “Go Active” with a hike up to Helmstetter vineyard or the nearby castle ruins.

Day 5:
Cruising the Main River, Würzburg UNESCOChoice Is YoursUniworld ExclusiveMotorcoachVillage Days

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Wu¨rzburg Residenz visit or exclusive Franconian “Village Day”

Tour the magnificent Wu¨rzburg 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). After your tour, enjoy the lovely Court Gardens. Alternately, chat with the residents of a Franconian village over cake and coffee before joining them on a guided tour of their village 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.

Day 6:
Kitzingen (Rothenburg), cruising the Main River Motorcoach

FEATURED EXCURSION: Tour of medieval Rothenburg

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 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 Wu¨rzburg. Stroll across the 15th-century Alte Mainbru¨cke, the oldest bridge spanning the Main, for a great view of the city lights.

Day 7:
Bamberg UNESCOMotorcoach

FEATURED EXCURSION: Bamberg walking tour

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 New Palace (once home to the prince-bishops) 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.

Day 8:
Nuremberg Embark/DisembarkMotorcoachBuffet Breakfast

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Prague city tour or Jewish Prague

Beauty and drama abound in the “City of Spires.” Enjoy a panoramic city tour, taking in such places as the State Opera House, Wenceslas Square, Charles Bridge, and the avant-garde Dancing House, before arriving at Prague Castle. Here, you’ll visit St. Vitus Cathedral, Vladislav Hall, and Golden Lane. You’ll cross Charles Bridge on foot to the beautiful Old Town Square, where you’ll see Tyn Church and the famous astronomical clock. Or explore Jewish Prague on a walking tour of Josefov, the city’s old Jewish quarter. Here you’ll see Europe’s oldest surviving Jewish cemetery; Old New Synagogue, the Continent’s oldest active temple; and Pinkas Synagogue, now a memorial to Holocaust victims.

Note: The synagogues and Jewish cemetery are closed on Saturdays. If the tour lands on a Saturday, we will visit sites in the Josefov district associated with writer Franz Kafka.

Day 9:
Nuremberg, cruising the Main-Danube Canal MotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchWelcome Gala Dinner

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Nuremberg city tour or Nuremberg WWII historical tour with Documentation Center visit

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 WWII sites; you’ll visit the Nuremberg Trials Memorial, which includes Courtroom 600 (the actual venue of the trials). In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

Note: Courtroom 600 is an active court. Visitors will only be permitted to see the courtroom during trial breaks.

Day 10:
Regensburg UNESCOMotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchDinner

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of “2,000 Years in One Hour” Regensburg walking tour or Jewish Regensburg or BMW factory visit

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 BMW factory for a fascinating look at how a well-engineered German car is built.

Note: If the tour lands on a day when the BMW factory is closed, we will visit the Audi factory instead.

Day 11:
Deggendorf (Theresienthal), cruising the Danube River, Passau MotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchDinner

FEATURED EXCURSION: Exclusive Bavarian Forest village and Theresienthal glass manufactory visit

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.

Day 12:
Passau, Engelhartszell MotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchDinner

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Passau walking tour with St. Stephan’s organ concert or exclusive guided “Go Active” bike ride along the Danube river

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 river with an expert guide on one of the most scenic routes in Europe, the Donau Radweg.

Note: St. Stephan’s organ concert is only available May 1 – October 31, excluding Sundays and Catholic holidays. An alternative venue will be organized before and after these dates.

Day 13:
Weissenkirchen (Weissenkirchen or Melk), cruising the Wachau Valley UNESCOMotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchFarewell Gala Dinner

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Weissenkirchen “Village Day” with exclusive fruit brandy distillery visit or exclusive guided “Go Active” vineyard hike and wine tasting or Melk Abbey with library visit

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.

Day 14:
Vienna UNESCOMotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchDinner

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Vienna city tour with visit to Vienna State Opera or exclusive “Vienna, City of Arts” tour

Your panoramic city tour showcases the Habsburg grandeur of stately Ring Street, taking you past the City Hall and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. You’ll then enjoy a lovely stroll to the Neorenaissance State Opera House, where you’ll be treated to a guided tour of this magnificent mid-19th-century structure. Or, you can follow a panoramic tour of the city with a walk through the majestic Belvedere, once the imperial capital and home to the Habsburg dynasty, before heading to the famous Art History Museum. There, you’ll see treasures collected by the Habsburgs on display in the spectacular Kunstkammer (or “cabinet of curiosities”) Wing. Representing a microcosm of the world, the Kunstkammer contains the largest collection of its kind.

Note: The Art History Museum is closed on Mondays. If the tour lands on a Monday, Albertina Museum will be visited instead.

Day 15:
Vienna (disembark), transfer to the airport Embark/DisembarkMotorcoachContinental Breakfast/Buffet Breakfast

Disembark the ship and transfer to Vienna International Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay with a visit to Prague.

Vienna to Basel | 15 Days

Print Day-To-Day
Program offerings are subject to change.
Day 1:
Vienna (embark)
Arrive at Vienna International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship. (D)
Day 2:
Vienna

Featured Excursions: Choice of Vienna city tour with a visit to the Imperial Treasury or exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Vienna walking tour

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.  Then it's on to the oldest section of the Hofburg Palace, the Imperial Treasury rooms, where the empire's dazzling crown jewels are displayed.  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)

Day 3:
Weissenkirchen (Weissenkirchen or Melk), cruising the Wachau Valley

Featured  Excursions: Choice of Weissenkirchen village day with exclusive fruit brandy distillery visit or exclusive guided “Go Active” vineyard hike and wine tasting or Melk Abbey with library visit

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)

Day 4:
Passau

Featured Excursions: Passau walking tour with St. Stephan’s organ concert or exclusive guided “Go Active” bike ride along the Danube or Inn rivers or guided “Go Active” hike along the Ilz River

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.

Day 5:
Deggendorf (Theresienthal), Vilshofen

Featured Excursion: Exclusive Bavarian Forest horse-drawn wagon ride with Theresienthal visit

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)

Day 6:
Regensburg

Featured Excursions: Choice of “2,000 Years in One Hour” Regensburg walking tour or Jewish Regensburg or Audi factory visit

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)

Day 7:
Nuremberg, cruising the Main-Danube Canal

Featured Excursions: Choice of Nuremberg city tour or Nuremberg WWII historical tour with Documentation Center visit

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 WWII 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.

Day 8:
Nuremberg
Day 9:
Bamberg

FEATURED EXCURSION: Bamberg walking tour

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)
Day 10:
Cruising the Main River, Schweinfurt (Rothenburg)
Day 11:
Cruising the Main River, Würzburg

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Würzburg Residenz visit or exclusive Franconian village of Aschfeld visit

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)
Day 12:
Cruising the Main River, Miltenberg

FEATURED EXCURSION: Miltenberg walking tour with exclusive village day

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)
Day 13:
Mannheim (Heidelberg), Nierstein

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive Nierstein vineyard tractor ride with Riesling wine tasting and naturalist-led vineyard hike or tour of Heidelberg*

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. (BB, L, D)

*Note: Lunch is not included with the tour of Heidelberg.
Day 14:
Strasbourg

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Strasbourg by canal with Notre Dame Cathedral or exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Strasbourg walking tour

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)
Day 15:
Basel (disembark), transfer to the airport
Disembark the ship and transfer to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg for your flight home. (CB/BB)
Note: Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary.  Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.
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