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The Blue Danube Legendary River Cruise 2012

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9 Days · 20 Meals
Travel Type: Air Holiday
Passport Required

Germany • Austria • Slovakia • Hungary Relax aboard the MS Swiss Diamond for seven nights sailing to incredible ports of call. Enjoy amazing culinary delights, regional wines with dinner and included shore excursions.

Highlights
  • Experience the Danube River aboard the exclusively chartered river ship MS Swiss Diamond on a seven-night cruise.
  • Visit four countries - Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary - while cruising the best of the Danube River including the beautiful Wachau Valley.
  • Included shore excursions escorted by local, English-speaking guides in Passau, Bratislava, Esztergom including a visit to the Basilica and Budapest.
  • Unpack just once in your tastefully furnished outside stateroom with large picture windows for perfect viewing.
  • All meals included onboard featuring local and international specialties served at one leisurely seating. All dinners are four courses served with regional wines. Afternoon tea and late evening snack served daily in the lounge.
  • Spacious public areas with large windows in the lounge and bar furnished with comfortable sofas and chairs, evening piano music and an onboard performance of a Hungarian Folklore Show.
  • 20 Meals (7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners)
  • Airport transfers when air is provided by Mayflower
  • Mayflower Tours expert staff onboard to assist
  • $45 in Mayflower Money
Description
The Blue Danube

Welcome aboard the exclusively chartered MS Swiss Diamond designed solely for river cruising. Unpack just once in your comfortable river-view stateroom and journey with us on a relaxing seven-night cruise along the most romantic section of the Danube River. Cruise from medieval Passau, Germany, past centuries old villages and through idyllic rolling landscapes to the former imperial city of Vienna, Austria, where you can explore palaces and sample the delights of traditional coffee shops. Next Bratislava, Slovakia, followed by the twin cities of cosmopolitan Buda and Pest, all which have witnessed a fascinating and turbulent history of Middle Europe. See splendid Baroque churches, cathedrals and abbeys contrasting with their natural scenic surroundings. Stroll old quarters of winding lanes and alleys lined with medieval houses. All meals are included as well as complimentary wine during dinner. Mayflower Tours’ expert staff will be onboard to make your cruise experience even more enjoyable.

Passau, Germany

After arriving in Munich, Germany, transfer to Passau, one of Germany’s oldest cities situated at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube rivers. Passau is a beautiful and fascinating fairytale town with a history dating back more than 2,000 years. During an included city tour, admire graceful arcades, cobblestone streets and see the breathtaking Baroque cathedral of St. Stephan which contains the largest pipe organ in Europe with 17,000 pipes.

Linz, Austria

In the 2nd century, Roman soldiers built a fortified camp on the riverbank, and in the 15th century, Emperor Frederick III built a castle high above the river. Today the city’s history is told through its Baroque architecture which surrounds an ancient market square. From Linz, you may choose to join an optional full-day excursion to Mozart’s Salzburg where in the Old Town you can walk the famous Getreidegasse shopping lane, past Mozart’s birthplace.

Melk and Dürnstein, Austria

Arriving early in the morning in Melk, join an optional excursion to visit the glorious and magnificent 900-year-old Benedictine Abbey (UNESCO World Heritage Site). This 1,000-year-old golden abbey perched high above the Danube boasts a breathtakingly opulent Baroque interior. See the Marble Hall and Library with its thousands of identically bound books and also its terraced gardens, which command breathtaking views over the river. Later return to your cruise ship and sail to the pretty medieval town of Dürnstein, “The Pearl of the Wachau,” set in Austria’s spectacular vine-terraced Wachau valley. Dürnstein, with its cobblestone streets and old burgher houses, is dominated by the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade and the ruined hilltop Kuenringerburg Castle, which served as a prison to England’s Richard the Lionhearted in 1193.

Vienna, Austria

For over 600 years, the magnificent baroque capital city of Vienna was the seat of the mighty Habsburg Emperors, a heritage that has bestowed it with many dazzling palaces and monuments: the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse. The capital is also known as the “City of Music” for having once been the home of composers such as Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart and Johann Strauss. On an optional excursion, see some of the famous sights of this impressive city and visit Shönbrunn Palace, with its magnificent interiors and landscaped gardens. We will stay overnight in Vienna so that the following morning you can explore more of the city on your own.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Enjoy the views as your river ship sails to Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital (formerly known as Pressburg and for more than three centuries during the Middle Ages, capital of Hungary.) On an included panoramic tour of the city see the imposing Bratislava Castle built more than 1,000 years ago, the National Slovakian Theatre and Blumental Church. After passing through the Vienna Gate, discover Bratislava’s charming old quarter on foot, admiring St. Martin’s Cathedral, the coronation site of 11 Hungarian monarchs, and quaint central square with its fairytale Town Hall.

Esztergom, Hungary

The striking skyline of 1,000-year-old Esztergom is dominated by the massive dome of the Basilica. This magnificent cathedral is reminiscent of St. Peter’s in Rome.

Budapest, Hungary

Be on deck for a breathtaking morning cruise into Budapest, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. The city straddles both banks of the Danube linked by seven bridges, including the famous Chain and Elizabeth Bridges. An included morning sightseeing tour presents you with a fantastic opportunity to become acquainted with Hungary’s beautiful capital. Enjoy a photo stop at Gellert Hill, see historic Buda Castle, 500-year-old Matthias Church, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the distinctive Fisherman’s Bastion and the marvelous Royal Palace.

Enjoy some time in the afternoon to explore on your own and shop for renowned peasant embroidery, Herend porcelain and paprika. In the afternoon join an optional excursion to visit the Parliament with its lace-worked stone façade, the Opera House and Heroes Square. In the evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner onboard followed by a Hungarian Folklore show.

Your wonderful cruise comes to an end in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Day-by-Day
1
  1. Transatlantic flight to Munich, Germany
2
  1. Arrive in Munich, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to Passau on the Danube River.
  2. Embark the MS Swiss Diamond
  3. Included city tour of Passau
  4. Captain’s Welcome Reception and dinner
  5. Depart Passau in the early evening
3
  1. Arrive Linz, Austria, in the early morning
  2. Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries, and dinner onboard
  3. Optional full day excursion to Mozart’s Salzburg
  4. Depart Linz in the early evening
4
  1. Arrive Melk in the early morning
  2. Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries, and dinner onboard
  3. Optional excursion to the famous Melk Abbey
  4. Depart Melk and cruise to Dürnstein nestled in the spectacular Wachau Valley
  5. Explore Dürnstein on your own or join an included walking tour.
5
  1. Depart Dürnstein in the early morning
  2. Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries, and dinner onboard
  3. Arrive Vienna
  4. Optional panoramic excursion of Vienna and a visit to Schönbrunn Palace
  5. Optional evening excursion of the Vienna Mozart Concert
6
  1. Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries, and dinner onboard
  2. Morning at leisure in Vienna
  3. Cruise during lunch to Bratislava, Slovakia
  4. Included city tour of Bratislava
7
  1. Breakfast, lunch, tea with pastries, and dinner onboard
  2. Depart Bratislava in the morning and cruise to Esztergom, Hungary
  3. Included visit to the Basilica of Esztergom
8
  1. Depart Esztergom in the early morning
  2. Breakfast, lunch and tea with pastries onboard
  3. Morning arrival into Budapest, Hungary
  4. Included city tour of Budapest
  5. Afternoon optional excursion of Pest
  6. Captain’s Farewell dinner
  7. Enjoy an evening Hungarian Folklore show onboard
9
  1. Breakfast onboard
  2. Transfer to Budapest Airport for return flights home
Accommodations

Lodging

Days Two through Eight

Aboard the MS Swiss Diamond

Deck Plan

Deck Plan
Dates and Rates
2012 Departure Dates Category Per Person Twin Single Room Add
September 16 Emerald Stateroom $2,498 $1,629
Ruby Stateroom $2,798 $1,729
September 23 Sailing from Hungary to Germany aboard the MS Amadeus Diamond
Click here for a complete itinerary

All staterooms are outside staterooms and have two twin beds with large picture window, private bathroom with shower, hair dryer, radio, television, individually controlled heating and air conditioning, safe, telephone.

Please add $75 for port charges

Call for air rates and schedules from your city to Munich, Germany and from Budapest, Hungary

Destination Map



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Each U.S. citizen must have a valid passport. Expiry date of passports should be at least 6 months after the return date of tour. If you don't have a passport, call our office and we'll tell you how to apply for one. Some countries require visas for entry by U.S. citizens. We will send visa applications and instructions if a visa is required for your tour. Holders of non-U.S. passports should contact their nearest consulate and inquire about the necessary passport or visa documentation required for entry into the countries visited. NOTE: Due to airline security measures, your passport name must match your airline ticket name and your tour reservation name or you may be denied aircraft boarding.

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