22456
Europe
Prague and the Imperial Cities of the Danube River
Experience Prague and explore German, Austrian, Slovakian and Hungarian history along the Danube River.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22456RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
4,495
Flights start at
925
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13 days
12 nights
30 meals
11 B 9 L 10 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival, Hotel Check In, Welcome Orientation
Budapest
D
Hilton Budapest

Activity note: Hotel check in is at 2:00 PM.

Morning: Transfer to a centrally located hotel. Enjoy some free time to stroll around on your own. Your luggage will be stored.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Check in to your rooms. At 4:00 PM meet for a welcome orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Welcome dinner in the hotel dining room. Water is included in the program cost at all meals.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Budapest, Hungary
Budapest
B,L
Hilton Budapest

Breakfast: In hotel dining room. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water.

Morning: This morning enjoy a lecture on Life under Communism in the hotel lecture room to prepare you for the subsequent expert-led visit to the Hospital in the Rock - Secret Emergency Hospital and Nuclear Bunker Museum. Just a few minutes walking distance from our hotel this unique museum is part of an approximately 6-mile stretch of interconnected caves and cellars beneath Buda Castle Hill. The hospital was actively used during WWII until July 1945 and then during the 1956 Revolution to treat wounded civilians and soldiers. Between 1958 and 1962 it was expanded to withstand potential chemical and nuclear attacks during the Cold War. It is very rare that a complete military hospital and bunker opens its gates to the public. This museum is indeed a piece of living history.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time to do what interests you most.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Kecskemét and Ócsa, Hungary, Embarkation
Budapest
B,L,D
Amadeus Silver II

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy an all day excursion to the Great Plain, the most typical Hungarian landscape, during which you will be introduced to the Art Nouveau buildings in Kecskemét. After a lecture on Zoltán Kodály's music and his music teaching method, visit the Kodály Institute. Take in a Q & A session with an official from the school.

Lunch: Country style lunch in Kecskemét.

Afternoon: Enjoy the afternoon in the small town of Ócsa, whose 13th century church, village museum, and village center reflects traditional rural life. Afterwards, drive to the ship for embarkation.

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome cocktail followed by a welcome dinner onboard.

Evening: Folklore program and evening cruise to admire the beautifully illuminated city.

DAY
5
Danube Bend, Szentendre, Visegrád, Esztergom, Hungary
Budapest
B,L,D
Amadeus Silver II

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: Enjoy an expert-led bus and walking excursion of Budapest. During the drive, you will see, among others, World Heritage Sights such as Andrássy Avenue, the second biggest Synagogue in the world, Heroes Square, the Opera, and the magnificent Parliament building. We will also drive across the Danube to once again walk the cobbled streets of the Buda castle quarter.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we go for an excursion in the picturesque Danube Bend and visit three historical sights. Szentendre, the first stop, is a tiny Baroque town, famous for its artist's colony, numerous museums, and art galleries. It was a unique Mediterranean atmosphere due to the 17th century emigration by Serbian and Dalmatian settlers. After an expert-led walk you will have some free time to further explore this little gem. Then we drive on to Visegrád, a small village famous for its early Renaissance summer palace of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and the medieval citadel. Finally, we drive on to Esztergom, the first capital of the Kingdom of Hungary dating back to the 10th century. Today Esztergom is the seat of the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church in Hungary. Its cathedral, Esztergom Basilica is the largest church in Hungary. After our field trip, we drive to the docking place on the Danube where our ship has meanwhile arrived.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Bratislava, Slovakia and Evening Concert in Vienna, Austria
Bratislava
B,L,D
Amadeus Silver II

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: After docking in Bratislava, take in an expert-led walking excursion in the historical city center. Bratislava is one of the youngest capital cities in Europe having received this rank after the “Velvet Divorce” of the Czech and Slovakian parts of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Although new as a capital city, the history of Bratislava spans many centuries and during your walk you will see beautifully renovated historical buildings such as the Old Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and St. Martin’s Cathedral.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: While sailing on to Vienna you can join our Road Scholar exclusive lecture on the 20th Century History of Central Europe.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: Enjoy the "Sound of Vienna," a concert not to be missed.

DAY
7
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria
Vienna
B,L,D
Amadeus Silver II

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: Enjoy the Baroque elegance of Vienna during a bus excursion driving along the famous Ringstrasse and passing by the impressive palaces of the Museum Quarter, the Parliament and the City Hall, beautiful Art Nouveau buildings, like the Secession Building or the underground station at Karlsplatz. We finish the bus excursion at the magnificent Opera House. From here we start walking through the Hofburg, pass by the stables of the Lipizzaner horses, walk along the elegant Graben and finish the program at St. Stephan’s Dom.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: This afternoon explore the Schönbrunn Palace. The 1,441-room Baroque palace in its present form was built and remodeled in the mid-18th century during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa who received the estate as a wedding gift. The palace was used as the summer residence of the Habsburg emperors. Following the downfall of the monarchy at the end of WWI, the palace became the property of the newly founded Austrian Republic and was preserved as a museum. It is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: Enjoy an excursion in Vienna by night.

DAY
8
Wachau Valley, Dürnstein, Emmersdorf, Melk, Austria
Linz
B,L,D
Amadeus Silver II

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: This morning enjoy an expert-led walking excursion in Dürnstein a picturesque little village surrounded by vineyards, where Richard the Lionheart was held captive after his return from the Third Crusade in 1192. The walk will be followed by a well-deserved wine tasting.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: We continue sailing along the breathtakingly beautiful Wachau Valley. We disembark in Emmersdorf and drive to the magnificent Baroque Abbey of Melk for an expert-led visit of one of the most famous monastic sites of the world. The excursion leads through this huge complex of the Benedictine Abbey dominating the countryside and it will end in the impressive library with countless medieval manuscripts. Afterwards, visit the Abbey church independently. Meet the ship again in Emmersdorf and start sailing towards Linz.

Dinner: Dinner on board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Linz, Salzburg and Salzkammergut, or Passau
Passau
B,L,D
Amadeus Silver II

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: Arrival in Linz. After breakfast, the ship sails on to Passau. Before departure you can have several options: 1.) You can stay on board and enjoy a peaceful sailing day until the ship arrives in Passau at about 5 pm. 2.) You can opt for a walking excursion in Linz, then, after the walk you will board a bus to Aschach where you can rejoin the ship and then sail on to Passau. Linz is the third largest city of Austria, capital of the state of Upper Austria and the hometown of mathematician-astronomer Johannes Kepler and composer Anton Bruckner. Linz is well known for the Linzer torte, which is said to be the oldest cake in the world, with its first recipe dating from 1653. 3.) The third option is an all-day excursion to Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and to the romantic “Sound of Music Country,” the Salzkammergut Region, with an included lunch. Please note that in this case you will be off-board all day, you will only meet the ship in Passau just before it sets sail for Regensburg and you will not have the opportunity to take the walking excursion in Passau.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: Upon arrival in Passau those who have stayed on board can join an expert-led walk to explore this magnificent Baroque city beautifully located at the confluence of three rivers (Danube, Inn and Ilz). Highlights include the Bishop’s Residence and St. Stephan’s Cathedral which boasts with the second largest church pipe organ in the world after the organ at the First Congregational Church, Los Angeles.

Dinner: Captain's gala dinner on board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
The Architectural Gem of the Danube, Regensburg, Germany
Regensburg
B,L,D
Amadeus Silver II

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: This morning, enjoy an expert-led walking excursion through the well-preserved medieval city of Regensburg, a journey through history from Ancient Roman times to the amazing Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture of this gem on the Danube. Next to one of the oldest stone bridges of Europe you can find the famous 12th century sausage kitchen where you may want to sample the sausages which, you may be assured, are not as old as the kitchen.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: Excursion to Weltenburg, a Benedictine Monastery on a peninsula in the Danube Gorge, which boasts with the oldest monastic brewery in the world having been in operation since 1050. If you decide to stay on board, enjoy a Road Scholar lecture on Architecture.

Dinner: Farewell dinner on board.

Evening: Bavarian evening. The ship sails back to Passau.

DAY
11
Disembarkation, Passau, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic
Prague
B,L,D
Cosmopolitan Hotel Prague

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: After luggage has been loaded on the bus, depart for Prague. During the drive you can enjoy a lecture about the European Union.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Cesky Krumlov.

Afternoon: Enjoy a short walking excursion through Cesky Krumlov. Cesky Krumlov is UNESCO heritage site - medieval town located on the meander of Vltava river and mighty complex of the castle erected on the rock promontory. Arrive at the hotel late afternoon.

Dinner: In hotel dining room.

Evening: This evening, join a local guide for an orientation walk or relax.

DAY
12
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague
B,D
Cosmopolitan Hotel Prague

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Your day in Prague will start in the Municipal House – the jewel of Art Nouveau, where you will see the reception rooms. Then we start a bus excursion which will be followed by an expert-led walk in the Old Town. The highlight will be the Old Town square with famous astronomical clock.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: On your own to see and do more of what interests you the most.

Dinner: Our bus will take you to the area of Lesser Town. After short expert-led walk in the Charles Bridge area, enjoy farewell dinner in a local restaurant. Charles Bridge is one of the highlights for all visitors- an ancient gothic bridge decorated with baroque statues. You meet there a lot of people at any time, enjoying the scenic panorama of Prague Castle, magic river, street musicians and painters.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Departures
In Flight
B

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. This concludes our program.

Morning: Transfer to the airport for flights home. This concludes our program. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures






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