Road Scholar : Home
Berlin, Bavaria and Great Cities of the Danube

Program Number: 20816RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/6/2013 - 6/20/2013; 5/16/2015 - 5/30/2015; 10/10/2015 - 10/24/2015;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Germany/Austria/Hungary/Slovakia
Price starting at: $5,573.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats
Meals: 35; 13 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Experience Gemütlichkeit — cheerfulness and peace of mind — on a voyage through the lands of Hohenzollerns and Habsburgs. Experience the capitals of Germany, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. Absorb the beauty of the Danube River, the Wachau Valley and alpine Bavaria. Savor delightful music, stunning buildings and pure German beer.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day. Some cobblestones and unavoidable stairs.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Berlin (Germany), 3 nights; aboard MS AmaSonata, 7 nights; Munich, 3 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-4: Arrival Berlin (Germany):

Discover Germany’s capital city on expert-led walks and a boat excursion on the Spree River. Enjoy an evening at the Komische Oper Berlin opera. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.



Days 5-6: Flight to Budapest (Hungary) / embark MS AmaSonata:

Experience Budapest including Heroes’ Square and the Buda Castle Quarter.



Day 7: Bratislava (Slovakia):

An expert-led walk brings you to the 14th-century Town Hall and St. Martin’s Cathedral, where eleven Hungarian monarchs were crowned.



Day 8: Vienna (Austria):

Ride around the Ringstrasse and step inside Hofburg Palace, seat of the Habsburg Dynasty.



Day 9: Dürnstein & Melk:

Ride through a vineyard inthe picturesque Wachau Valley to medieval Dürnstein. Continue to Melk Abbey, a beautiful Baroque monastery.



Day 10: Linz:

Explore the riverside city of Linz, where highlights include the towering New Cathedral and the Pestsäule or “plague column.”



Day 11: Passau (Germany):

Discover the “City of Three Rivers” and see the St. Stephan’s Cathedral organ, the largest in Europe with 17,774 pipes.



Days 12-15: Vilshofen / disembark / coach to Munich / departure:

Journey through the Bavarian Forest to the medieval city of Regensburg, then on to Munich. Enjoy two days to experience this cosmopolitan city and venture to a fairytale alpine castle. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.



MS AmaCerto

This brand new 162-passenger river vessel debuted in 2012. Its state-of-the-art design includes a signature glass elevator. Public areas include a lounge, sun decks, swimming pool, walking track and fitness center. Fine regional cuisine is prepared under the direction of gold medal-winning chefs from Chaine des Rotisseurs.


Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel BelAhr
  Berlin, Germany 3 nights
   MS Amacerto
  MS Amacerto - At Sea, At Sea 7 nights
   Carat Hotel Munich
  Munich, Germany 3 nights
 Hotel BelAhr
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of the Berlin, the Hotel BelAhr is only a 5-minute walk from the Potsdamer Platz subway station, which allows easy access to Berlin Mitte and major landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Holocaust Memorial, and Gemäldegallerie.
  Contact info: Stresemannstraße 97
Berlin,  10963 Germany
phone: +49 30-200049-0
web: www.belahr.de
  Room amenities: Each room has a telephone, satellite TV, radio, mini bar, free wireless Internet, soundproof windows, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, 24-hour reception, safe box at the front desk, laundry services and facilities (washing machines and dryers), and free wireless Internet.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 MS Amacerto
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: AMAWATERWAYS has redefined the concept of luxury travel. From gorgeous contemporary artwork in the lobbies, to the inviting hallways, you will feel at home the moment you step onboard the MS Amacerto. The professional ship staff does their best to ensure that each day is filled with memorable experiences.
  Ship Information: Built in 2012. Decks: 4 - Bottom to top; Piano Deck, Cello Deck, Violin Deck, Sun Deck Crew: 49 Passengers: 164 Registry: Switzerland Length: 443 ft; Width: 38 ft
  Contact info: 21625 Prairie Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311 USA
phone: 800-626-0126
web: www.AmaWaterways.com
  Room amenities: Deluxe down bedding, marble bathrooms w/multi-jet shower (bathtubs in Jr. suites), premium toiletries, plush terry bathrobes, hair dryer, safe, telephone, flat screen TV, individually controlled air-conditioning, an Infotainment System and ample closet space.
  Facility amenities: With a design inspired by classic ocean yachts, the new 164-passenger MS Amacerto (2012) offers a distinctive river cruise experience on the Danube, Rhine, Main and Mosel. Featuring our exclusive “Twin Balconies” in the majority of spacious staterooms and suites (which range up to 350 sq. ft) the ship also boasts a magnificent glass elevator. A member of the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, guests on the MS Amacerto enjoy fine dining in the main dining room, an intimate Chef’s Table restaurant, two wine bars plus a casual al fresco bistro. The MS Amacerto also features a heated Sun Deck swimming pool with a “swim-up” bar; fitness center, Massage, Hair and Beauty salon; complimentary in-stateroom Internet access and first-run Hollywood movies; ship-wide Wi-Fi plus a fleet of bicycles.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Carat Hotel Munich
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Carat Hotel Munich is located in the city center, close to Marienplatz and the main railway station. The pedestrian zone and many places of interest can all be accessed easily on foot. The Sendlinger Tor underground station is only 200 meters from the hotel, with connections to the following locations; Main railway station: 2 minutes, Marienplatz: 2 minutes, Olympic center: 13 minutes, New Exhibition Center/ICM: 18 minutes, airport: 45 minutes.
  Contact info: Lindwurmstrasse 13
Munich,  D-80337 Germany
phone: +49 89 230 380
web: www.carat-hotel-muenchen.de
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, mini bar, wireless LAN (for a fee) and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a bar, 24-hour front desk, newspapers, terrace, safety deposit box, room service, laundry and dry cleaning services, wireless Internet hotspot in public areas (free of charge) and Internet access with printing facility in the lobby.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance in making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 800-241-1404
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Berlin, Germany. Program starts at 4:00 PM with an introductory excursion to the city followed by an orientation to the program at the hotel. You will be staying at Hotel BelAhr that night.
  End of Program:
Munich, Germany. After breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Carat Hotel Munich the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
n/a
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Berlin
  Transportation to site: Take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. It costs approx. 30 Euro, and takes about 30 minutes. Alternatively, take express bus S-Bhf Sudkreuz in the direction of SXF1, and get off at the S-Bhf Sudkreuz stop (20 minutes). Take the S-Bahn in the direction of S2, to Bernau (4 minutes). Get off at the Anhalter Bahnhof stop, and turn right into Schonebergerstrasse. Turn left into the next street, Stresemannstrasse. Your hotel is a 5-minute walk down this street. This costs about 5 Euros.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Munich
  Nearest highway: A8 Motorway, A9 Motorway.
  Nearest airport:  Franz Josef Strauss Airport Munich.
  Transportation from site: Take a taxi from Munich center to the airport (45 minutes and costs 45 Euro). Or, take the subway U-Bahn line 3 or 6 to Marienplatz, change to S-Bahn to the airport (about 1 hour, costs E. 10).
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: In Transit
(Thursday, June 6)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international flights.

Day 2: Berlin, Germany
(Friday, June 7)
   
 Morning: Arrival at Berlin's Tegel Airport (TXL). Transfer to hotel, close to Potsdamer Platz.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Start your stay in Berlin with a guided bus excursion of the city at 4:00 PM followed by a Road Scholar orientation to the program at the hotel.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel BelAhr
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Berlin, Germany
(Saturday, June 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided boat excursion on the Spree River. Pass Museum Island; the Berlin Cathedral, once part of the destroyed Prussian Imperial Castle on the Schlossplatz, the topographical center of the capital; the government quarter with the German Parliament, the Reichstag; and Schloss Bellevue, the Berlin home of the Federal President.
 Lunch: Lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time to relax or explore some of the sites close to the hotel. Later in the afternoon, attend a lecture about the history of Germany and its capital - spanning the creation of one German state from a loose league of sovereign duchies and kingdoms to the late 19th century reunification.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy an evening at the Komischen Oper at the famous Boulevard unter den Linden.
   
Accommodations: Hotel BelAhr
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Berlin, Germany
(Sunday, June 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning you will be introduced by an expert to the famous Gemaldegalerie which houses major works by Dutch and Flemish masters, Rembrandt and Vermeer; the Italian painters Raphael, Caravaggio, Mantegna, and Titian; and the German masters Holbein, Durer, and Cranach.
 Lunch: Lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: A free afternoon to explore Berlin.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel BelAhr
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Budapest, Hungary / Embark
(Monday, June 10)

Note: The ship is docked between Liberty Bridge and Elizabeth Bridge.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: After checking out of the hotel, transfer to the Berlin airport for an 8:40 AM flight to Budapest. Estimated arrival in Budapest 10:05 AM. Upon arrival, transfer to the MS Amacerto to drop off your luggage.
 Lunch: Enjoy a light snack onboard.
 Afternoon: Following your snack, enjoy a small walk into town to stroll through Vaci utca and explore the Old Great Market. Enjoy some free time to stroll around on your own, before heading back to the ship for orientation to the ship and crew, followed by a welcome cocktail. Cabins will be available at 3:30 PM. The Orientation will be at 5:00 PM in the Aft Lounge.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Budapest, Hungary
(Tuesday, June 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided bus excursion through Budapest, passing the Grand Boulevard, Hero's Square, Andrassy Street, the Parliament Buildings, the Synagogue, the Royal Palace, and the Fisherman's Bastion.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore Budapest.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Bratislava, Slovakia
(Wednesday, June 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a walking excursion through Bratislava. Pass by the City Hall, St. Martin's Cathedral, and Michael's Gate. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to explore on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Sail towards Vienna while enjoying the beautiful scenery and attending a lecture on the History of the Carpathian Basin.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Vienna, Austria
(Thursday, June 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy the Baroque elegance of Vienna during a guided bus excursion which passes the Belvedere, Karlsplatz and the Secession Building. Then drive along the Ringstrasse to admire its beautiful buildings before ending at the Opera for a guided walk through the city center with a visit to the Augustiner church. End your morning excursion at St. Stephan's Dom.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Take the shuttle bus to the Musikverein and enjoy a free afternoon in the city center.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: This evening there will be an optional classical concert in Vienna. To be booked onboard by the cruise manager.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Durnstein and Melk, Austria
(Friday, June 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a train ride through the vineyards of Durnstein, the town known for its story of Richard the Lionheart and Durnstein castle. The morning concludes with a guided stroll through this charming town with its cobblestone streets and galleries.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Sail along one of the beautiful stretches of the Danube, the Wachau valley, and end at Melk, a small town known for its breathtaking Baroque monastery, The Abbey of Melk. You will have a guided excursion of this world famous monastery, during which you will be led through this huge complex which dominates the countryside. You will have the opportunity to bike along the Danube from Durnstein to Melk.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Linz, Austria
(Saturday, June 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Dock in Linz and enjoy a guided walking excursion through the city center taking in St. Mary's Cathedral, Marian Column, Landestheater, and the oldest church Austria, St. Martin.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Choose from three optional excursions offered by the ship. You may take a bus excursion to the scenic Salzkammergut region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and stop in the historic town of Gmunden. Or you may choose to take an excursion to the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov, a lovely medieval town on the Austria-Czech border. Or you can discover Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and the city of "The Sound of Music."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy a musical performance highlighting the sounds of Austria, on board in the lounge.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Passau, Germany / Vilshofen an der Donau
(Sunday, June 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Upon arrival in Passau, take a guided walking excursion through this town that sits at the confluence of three rivers (the Danube, Inn, and Ilz). Highlights include St. Stephan's Cathedral, home of the largest cathedral organ in the world, and the Bishop's residence.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: The last stretch of sailing will bring us to Vilshofen an der Donau. Here you will enjoy a guided walk around this charming 1200 year old Bavarian town.
 Dinner: Enjoy a Captain's cocktail in the lounge before the Captain's Farewell dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Disembark / Munich, Germany
(Monday, June 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark in Vilshofen and transfer to Munich. En route, stop in Regensburg for a guided walking excursion of this well preserved medieval town with a history that extends to the times of the Romans.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Continue to Munich and check in at the hotel upon arrival. Attend a lecture about the history of 20th century Germany, Bavaria, Munich, and the famous Bavarian "Gemutlichkeit" - a special sense of informality and coziness, which is said to characterize Munich.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Free time to relax or stroll through Marienplatz.
   
Accommodations: Carat Hotel Munich
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Munich, Germany
(Tuesday, June 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided bus excursion along the important landmarks outside of the old town and then discover the historical city center of Munich during a walking field trip. Explore this city's historic sites, great museums, architectural treasures, and world-class shops. Munich's most famous landmark is the Gothic Church of Our Lady - the Frauenkirche with its two onion-domed towers. A few steps further is the Marienplatz with its Gothic New City Hall (Rathaus).
 Lunch: Lunch in a local beer hall.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore of the famous picture galleries (Pinakothek) or the Residenz Palace. Enjoy a drink in the English Garden or in a beer garden in the old town.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Carat Hotel Munich
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: Munich, Germany / Bavarian Alps
(Wednesday, June 19)

Note: There is a steep, 15 minute downhill walk to the entrance of the Neuschwanstein Castle.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning we begin an all-day excursion to the Bavarian Alps and Neuschwanstein Castle. En route you will have an introduction to Murnau, a charming little town that was the cradles of the early Expressionist group, "Der Blaue Reiter" (the Blue Rider), which includes painters such as Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Munter, Alex ej Jawlensky, and Franz Marc. Discover the picturesque landscapes that inspired these painters and enjoy a guided field trip of the town.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue the full day excursion to Schwangau and Neuschwanstein Castle. This palace was built in the 19th century by the eccentric King Ludwig II of Bavaria as an homage to the grandiose operas of composer Richard Wagner. Many of the castle's rooms were inspired by Wagner's characters. In the afternoon, transfer back to Munich.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Carat Hotel Munich
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Departures
(Thursday, June 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to the Munich Airport (MUC) for departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


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A Time of Gifts


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Fodor's Berlin's 25 Best


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Frommer's Prague Day by Day


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Lonely Planet Central Europe


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Mozart


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My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin


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The Danube, A Cultural History


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The Fall of Berlin 1945


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The German Way


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Description: This clever A-to-Z guide to quirks, attitudes, behavior and customs is a terrific resource for travelers seeking insight into why the Germans, Austrians and Swiss do what they do.



The Germans


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The Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral


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The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire


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The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World


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The Radetzky March


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The Third Man and the Fallen Idol


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Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion


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