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

Program Number: 20816RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/15/2014 - 5/29/2014; 10/10/2015 - 10/24/2015;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Germany/Austria/Hungary/Slovakia
Price starting at: $5,973.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats
Meals: 34; 13 Breakfasts, 10 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
   Berlin Mark Hotel
  Berlin, Germany 3 nights
   MS Amacerto
  MS Amacerto - At Sea, At Sea 7 nights
   Carat Hotel Munich
  Munich, Germany 3 nights
 Berlin Mark Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Berlin Mark Hotel is situated centrally in Berlin's West City in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, just a few steps from the famous Kurfuerstendamm. Located in a side street off Ku’Damm, there are many major Berlin sights within walking distance, such as the Zoo, the Gedaechtniskirche, Käthe Kollwitz Musuem and the KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) department store. A subway station can also be found nearby.
  Contact info: Meinekestraße 18-19
Berlin,  10719 Germany
phone: +49 30 97808360
web: www.berlinmarkhotels.de/en/berlin
  Room amenities: Each room features a minibar, telephone with voicemail, iron and ironing board, clock radio, television, wireless Internet access (for a fee), hair dryer, complimentary newspaper, and complimentary toiletries.
  Facility amenities: This hotel features a 24-hour front desk, restaurant and bar, snack bar and deli, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, dry cleaning and laundry services (for a fee), wireless Internet access (for a fee), safe-deposit boxes at the front desk, currency exchange, room service, and use of a nearby fitness center (complimentary).
  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. 1-800-241-1404.
  Check in time: 3:00 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. 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 Berlin Mark Hotel 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. Take bus 109 towards S+U Zoologischer Garten via Kurfürstendamm. Get off at U Uhlandstr. and walk 5 minutes to the hotel. Walk down Kurfürstendamm and turn right onto Meinekestraße. This will cost approximately 3 Euros and will take about 30 minutes.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Munich
  Nearest highway: A8 Motorway, A9 Motorway.
  Nearest airport:  Franz Josef Strauss Airport Munich.
  Transportation from site: From the Carat Hotel Munich, walk to the München Karlsplatz station. Take the S1 Commuter train towards München Flughafen Terminal. The train ticket will cost approximately 10 Euros.
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, May 15)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international flights.

Day 2: Berlin, Germany
(Friday, May 16)
   
 Morning: Arrival at Berlin's Tegel Airport (TXL). Transfer to hotel.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Start your stay in Berlin with a guided bus excursion of the city followed by a Road Scholar orientation to the program at the hotel.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Berlin Mark Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Berlin, Germany
(Saturday, May 17)
   
 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: Berlin Mark Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Berlin, Germany
(Sunday, May 18)
   
 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: Berlin Mark Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Budapest, Hungary / Embark
(Monday, May 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: After checking out of the hotel, transfer to the airport for a 8:35 AM flight to Budapest. Upon arrival, take a bus to the city center to stroll through Vaci utca and explore the Old Great Market. Embark the MS Amacerto in the early afternoon.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Orientation to the ship and crew, followed by a welcome reception.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Budapest, Hungary
(Tuesday, May 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided bus excursion through Budapest, passing Hero's Square, St. Stephan's Dom, the Parliament Buildings, and the Synagogue. Later, a walk through the Buda Castle District will pass by the Fisherman's Bastion and St. Michael's church.
 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, May 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a walking excursion through the old city center of Bratislava. Pass by the Opera, the Old Town Hall, the Gothic St. Martin's Cathedral, and the stunning Mirbach Palace.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Sail towards Vienna while enjoying the beautiful scenery and attending a lecture on the History of Central Europe.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Tonight, there will be the option to enjoy a musical performance in a wine village near Vienna.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Vienna, Austria
(Thursday, May 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy the Baroque elegance of Vienna during a guided bus excursion which passes the Ringstrasse, Hofburg, the Museum District, Parliament buildings, Town Hall, and the Old Stock Exchange. Stroll through the Belvedere gardens. End the excursion with a walk beginning at the Albertine museum, walking through the Hofburg, and ending at St. Stephen's Cathedral.
 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.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Durnstein and Melk, Austria
(Friday, May 23)
   
 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 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, May 24)
   
 Breakfast: Late brunch on board.
 Morning: Dock in Linz. After brunch, in the late morning, you will have a small walk in the city center of the second biggest city of Austria. Later in the morning you can join one of the following three excursions: 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."
 Afternoon: Continue your full day excursion.
 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, Dinner

Day 11: Passau, Germany / Vilshofen an der Donau
(Sunday, May 25)
   
 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 have free time to stroll around this charming 1200 year old Bavarian town.
 Dinner: Captain's dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MS Amacerto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Disembark / Munich, Germany
(Monday, May 26)
   
 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. Enjoy a guided walk up to Marienplatz, the very heart of the Bavarian capital.
 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, May 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided bus excursion along the important landmarks outside of the old town. Back in the hotel 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.
 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, May 28)

Note: There is a steep, 15 minute downhill walk on paved, smooth dirt paths to the entrance of the Neuschwanstein Castle. Inside the castle, there are many stairs.



   
 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, May 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to the Munich Airport (MUC) for departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  MS Amacerto - At Sea Bicycles
Each ship has plenty of bicycles with helmets and locks onboard which can be used by passengers, free of charge, to explore the small towns. Most regions offer well-maintained bicycle paths along the river.
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


The Danube


Author: Nick Thorpe


Description: Thorpe travels against the current on a year-long journey from the Black Sea to the Black Forest, mixing accounts of his daily morning swims with environmental research, archaeological observations and, especially, tales of the ferrymen and fisherman, shopkeepers, activists and others he meets along the way. Central Europe correspondent for the BBC, the British journalist and writer has lived in Budapest since 1986.



A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889


Author: Frederic Morton


Description: A portrait of Vienna at the end of the 19th century, this book focuses on Crown Prince Rudolph, his devastating suicide and the rich texture of gossip and daily life at the Habsburg Court.



A Time of Gifts


Author: Patrick Leigh Fermor


Description: Fermor effortlessly interweaves anecdote, history and culture in this exuberant account of a walk from Holland, up the Rhine and down the Danube, through Germany, Prague and Austria in 1933. Written not in the moment, but 40 years later, the accumulation of time and experience give the book particular poignancy.



All Along the Danube: Recipes from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, & Bulgaria


Author: Marina Polvay


Description: A cookbook full of classic recipes from Central Europe, with some valuable morsels of culture.



Bury Me Standing


Author: Isabel Fonseca


Description: This marvelous portrait of the Roma, also known as the Gypsies, offers insight into their music, foods, religions and folk traditions and also examines their influential but complex relationship with Eastern Europe.



Czech and Slovak Republics Map


Author: Michelin Travel Publications


Description: Showing the route of the Danube between Regensburg and Budapest, this regional map shows Budapest, Vienna and Prague.



Danube


Author: Claudio Magris


Description: Mixing history, personalities and literature, Magris traces the course of the Danube from its source in the heart of the Austro-Hungarian empire through the Balkans to the Black Sea in this anything but conventional travelogue, first published in 1986.



Danubia, A Personal History of Habsburg Europe


Author: Simon Winder


Description: Simon Winder, author of Germania (GER270), considers legacy of Habsburg Europe in this charmingly digressive history and travelogue.



Fodor's Berlin's 25 Best


Author: Fodors


Description: A shirt-pocket guide with a map and brief overview of Berlin's many museums, grand buildings and other not-to-be-missed cultural attractions.



Frommer's Vienna Day by Day


Author: Teresa Fisher


Description: With hand-picked recommendations and highlights, this compact guide offers the "must see" attractions of Vienna for a shorter visit.



Lonely Planet Central Europe


Author: Lonely Planet


Description: With dozens of maps, color photographs and sections on history and culture, this practical guide introduces Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and their neighbors.



Nuremberg, Infamy on Trial


Author: Joseph E. Persico


Description: A narrative history of the Nazi war crime trials in Nuremberg. Persico poignantly portrays the numerous characters and events surrounding the proceedings. Well-informed and engrossing.



The Danube, A Cultural History


Author: Andrew Beattie


Description: Beattie gives a comprehensive overview of the Danube’s role as a vital shipping artery and a uniting thread through the region’s turbulent history.



The German Way


Author: Hyde Flippo


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


Author: Gordon A. Craig


Description: A gifted historian, Craig explores the complex paradoxes of German identity in this masterly portrait of German life, past and present, with chapters on religion, money, Jews, women, literature and society, Berlin and language.



The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire


Author: Andrew Wheatcroft


Description: With skillful scholarship and engaging style, Wheatcroft reveals the history of this family of eccentric monarchs.



The Radetzky March


Author: Joseph Roth, Joachim Neugroschel (Translator)


Description: Magnificently set against the backdrop of the twilight of the Habsburg empire, Roth's family saga takes in the sweep of history and empire in Central Europe. The richly textured novel opens at the battle of Solferino, when young Lieutenant Trotta saves the life of the Emperor.



The Third Man and the Fallen Idol


Author: Graham Greene


Description: A haunting tale and penetrating portrait of Vienna after World War II, "The Third Man" is the result of Greene's collaboration with Carol Reed on the classic movie. "The Fallen Idol" is a separate tale of intrigue set in Britain.



Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Donald Daviau


Description: Organized by neighborhood, these 15 alluring tales introduce both the city and its writers, including Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil, Stefan Zweig and even Franz Kafka, who had a long and complicated association with the city.





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