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23686
Europe

Five Countries of Central Europe: An Easy-Paced River Voyage

Sail through time along the Danube River at a relaxed pace to the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary to study their fascinating political and cultural histories.
Program No. 23686RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
3,499
Europe

Five Countries of Central Europe: An Easy-Paced River Voyage

Sail through time along the Danube River at a relaxed pace to the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary to study their fascinating political and cultural histories.
Length
10 days
Starts at
3,499
Program No. 23686 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

Transport yourself back in time to Central Europe, where even the small towns and large cities harken back to a past era, with cobbled streets and historic architecture. As you sail along the Danube River, journey through authentic Europe with local experts eager to show you the secrets of their cities. On easy-paced explorations of Vienna’s music history, Budapest’s architectural history and Prague’s political history, delve deep into the past while experiencing these cities like a local. Then, learn about the cities’ modern developments to understand fully the progression of time along the Danube and immerse yourself in these beautiful countries that seamlessly blend old traditions with contemporary culture.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Learn about classical music in Vienna during a lecture with the talented musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic.
  • Sail through the beautiful Wachau Valley and learn about the region’s connection with Richard the Lionheart.
  • Study the beautiful architecture of Prague at the Charles Bridge alongside local experts.

General Notes

Some departures sail in reverse. Go online or call for details.
Featured Expert
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Tímea Howard
Timea Howard was born in Budapest and has lived there for all her life. Timea pursued a degree in business management and worked in advertising for 20 successful years. Following a life-changing ski accident, she decided to pursue her love of Budapest, history and languages by becoming an official group leader. Since receiving her certification as a group leader in 2015 in English and Italian, Timea has shared her city with visitors from all over the world.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Tímea Howard
Tímea Howard View biography
Timea Howard was born in Budapest and has lived there for all her life. Timea pursued a degree in business management and worked in advertising for 20 successful years. Following a life-changing ski accident, she decided to pursue her love of Budapest, history and languages by becoming an official group leader. Since receiving her certification as a group leader in 2015 in English and Italian, Timea has shared her city with visitors from all over the world.
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10 days
9 nights
22 meals
8 B 7 L 7 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival, Hotel Check In, Welcome Orientation
Prague
D
Vienna House Andel’s Prague

Activity note: Hotel check in is at 3:00 p.m. See your program's "Transportation Information" regarding transfers.

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. Later, at 5:30 p.m., we will 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
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague
B,L
Vienna House Andel’s Prague

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, driving a short distance to Prague Castle. Walking up to 2 miles in 2 hours over uneven sidewalks or cobblestones.

Breakfast: 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: We will board our motorcoach to begin our day at Prague Castle, home of Bohemian kings and a textbook of Prague architecture itself! Standing tall amidst the magnificent Hradcany District, or Castle District, it is said to be the biggest castle in the world. You will explore interiors of St Vitus Cathedral and the Old Royal Palace on a guided walk.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities, which can be found in the first Information Packet. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague
B,L,D
Vienna House Andel’s Prague

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, driving a short distance to Lesser Town. Walking up to 2 miles in 3 hours over uneven sidewalks or cobblestones.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will begin our day with a lecture on architecture at our hotel. Afterwards, we will set out for a guided walk of Old Town.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will explore the Jewish district with a local expert. Afterwards, we will board our motorcoach to transfer back to the hotel.

Dinner: Our bus will take you to the area of Lesser Town. After short expert-led walk in the Charles Bridge area, enjoy 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
5
Transfer to Passau, Embarkation
Passau
B,L,D
MS Symphonie

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, driving about 140 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Walking up to 1.5 miles in 1 hour.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of our hotel, we will board a motorcoach to transfer to Passau for embarkation. En route, enjoy a lecture on the EU. Once we arrive in Passau we will enjoy an expert-led walk to explore this magnificent Baroque city, beautifully located at the confluence of three rivers: the Danube, Inn, and Ilz.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch embark the ship and settle into your cabin.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Melk Abbey & Dürnstein
Vienna
B,L,D
MS Symphonie

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, walking up to 2 miles in 2 hours. Walking over uneven sidewalks or cobblestones.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will board our motorcoach for a short drive to the magnificent Baroque Abbey of Melk for an expert-led visit of one of the most famous monastic sites of the world. We will walk through this huge complex of the Benedictine Abbey dominating the countryside, ending in the impressive library with countless medieval manuscripts. Afterwards, visit the Abbey church independently before boarding our motorcoach to transfer back to the ship.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: We will board a mini-train for an expert-led 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. Our excursion will be followed by a wine tasting. After returning to the ship, take in a lecture about the history of Central Europe.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Vienna, Austria
Vienna
B,L,D
MS Symphonie

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, walking up to 1.5 miles in 2 hours. Walking over uneven sidewalks or cobblestones.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach to take in the Baroque elegance of Vienna during a bus excursion. We will drive along the famous Ringstrasse and pass 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 will continue on foot through the Hofburg, pass by the stables of the Lipizzaner horses, walk along the elegant Graben and finish at St. Stephan’s Dom.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon to see and do what interests you most in Vienna. Shuttle buses between the ship and Schwedenplatz will be available.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: Join a local expert for a lecture on Mozart, Schubert, and Strauss. Learn more about the very diverse lives of three of Vienna's best loved composers. Wolfgang Amadé Mozart -- the name he called himself -- achieved renown as a child prodigy, brilliant young pianist, and composer, but struggled financially later and suffered from a variety of illnesses. Franz Schubert, whom we revere today for his masterful songs, symphonies, masses, and chamber music, was relatively unrecognized outside his own circle of friends and colleagues. Johann Strauss (the Elder), however, was a leading conductor, composer of popular dance music, and one of the first international superstars of music. The presentation will be enhanced by live performance of selected works by all three composers.

DAY
8
Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava
B,L,D
MS Symphonie

Activity note: Getting on/off mini train. Walking up to 2 miles in 2 hours. Walking over uneven sidewalks or cobblestones.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: After docking in Bratislava, we will board a mini-train for an expert-led 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: Enjoy an afternoon on board, sailing towards Budapest. Take in a lecture about Life Under Communism while sailing.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Budapest
Budapest
B,L,D
MS Symphonie

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, walking up to 1.5 miles in 2 hours. Walking over uneven sidewalks or cobblestones.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach to explore the Pest side of the city. During the expert-led drive, you will see, World Heritage Sights such as Andrássy Avenue, the second biggest Synagogue in the world, Heroes Square, the Opera, and the magnificent Parliament building.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: Afterwards, start our walking excursion in the Buda Castle District. Today, Castle Hill is recognized as a World Heritage Site, and has many must-see attractions, Gothic arches, 18th century Baroque houses and cobblestone streets. Though Castle Hill has changed much since building began in the 13th century, its main streets still follow their medieval paths. Some houses date back to the 14th and 15th centuries, giving us an idea of what the Castle District may have looked like back then.

Dinner: Farewell dinner on board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Departures
In Flight
B

Activity note: Disembark ship. See your program's "Transportation Information" regarding transfers.

Breakfast: On board. This concludes your program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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