Travel through the heart of Europe
Absorb the atmosphere of Budapest’s Café Gerbeaud and learn the Viennese waltz. Sample the food and wine of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Admire Rhine Valley vistas from a 900-year-old castle. Our most iconic itinerary traces the Danube, Main and Rhine Rivers between the stunning landscapes of Hungary and the windmill-dotted waterways of Holland, with engaging encounters at every bend.
- Return flights from regional airports throughout the UK; including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Birmingham, Manchester or Newcastle at no extra cost
- 14 night cruise with river-view stateroom
- 12 guided tours with audio headset
- Visit 6 UNESCO World Heritage Site
- All on board meals
- Quality wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
- Specialty tea and coffee any time on board
- An included shore excursion in almost every port
- Savings of £1000pp – must book by 31 March 2019
Subject to availability. Single supplements apply.
To speak to an adviser regarding more information for this cruise or to book this cruise, please call 0800 1707 233 and quote *DC THOMSON TRAVEL*
Save £1000pp on your 2019 river cruise – MUST BOOK BY 31 March 2019.
Grand European Tour Itinerary
Day 1 – Budapest, Hungary
Welcome to Budapest, capital of Hungary. Transfer to your ship from the airport.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or do a bit of exploring. After dinner on board tonight, enjoy an evening cruise on your ship to admire Budapest’s beautiful scenery from the vantage point of the Danube River.
Day 2 – Budapest, Hungary
Today we visit highlights of the hilly Buda and cosmopolitan Pest sides of the city, starting with Pest’s National Opera House and historic Heroes’ Square. In Buda, walk along Castle Hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. Enjoy lunch on board your ship; the rest of the day is yours to explore the city. You may choose to join us on an optional excursion to experience the thermal springs, restorative natural spas whose waters locals have bathed in for centuries. Or, perhaps select another of our optional excursions designed to allow you to delve deeper into the history, culture and cuisine of this fascinating city. Return to your ship for dinner and evening departure.
Day 3 – Vienna, Austria
Enjoy a day of scenic cruising along the beautiful Danube toward Vienna. As we sail, perhaps join this morning’s German language lesson to learn a few key words and phrases. You may also choose to attend an afternoon presentation on Viennese coffee houses. We arrive early this evening. After dinner, relax or enjoy an optional classical concert.
Day 4 – Vienna, Austria
Today we tour the Austrian capital of Vienna. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the city’s baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Alternately, you may wish to join us on one of the day’s optional excursions, perhaps touring Schönbrunn Palace, the “Versailles of Vienna,” visiting the Spanish Riding School’s famed Lipizzaner stallions, or celebrating a local tradition this evening at a high-spirited Heurigen dinner.
Day 5 – Melk, Austria
Today, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture. See its wonderful frescoes and admire the comprehensive collection of medieval manuscripts in its library. Rejoin your ship and cruise through dinner.
Day 6 – Passau, Germany
Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. Admire the New Bishop’s Residence and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ, considered Europe’s largest church organ.† Enjoy lunch on board your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own before departing. Alternately, set out this morning with your guide to enjoy a full-day optional tour of picturesque Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and setting of The Sound of Music. We cruise through the night.
Day 7 – Regensburg, Germany
Arrive in Regensburg after breakfast and tour this wonderfully preserved medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including structures dating back to Roman times. Discover many 13th- and 14th-century patrician houses and see the splendid St. Peter’s Cathedral. During free time, visit the Alte Würstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany’s oldest restaurant. Alternately, you may choose to disembark this morning and drive with your guide to Munich for an optional full-day tour of this cultural and historic city, rejoining your ship before our evening departure. Cruise through dinner.
Day 8 – Nuremnerg, Germany
Cruise the Main–Danube Canal this morning. Or, instead, disembark in Roth for a short drive to Nuremberg and use your free time to explore until lunchtime. After lunch, venture out on a tour of the city. Visit the ruins of Zeppelin Field, the Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s, and see the Palace of Justice, site of the infamous Nuremberg Trials. See the Old Town area as you walk past the Albrecht Dürer House and Main Market Square. Alternately, you may choose to join an optional afternoon World War II tour including the illuminating Documentation Center. Dinner is served on board your ship before we depart late this evening.
Day 9 – Bamberg, Germany
Continue along the Main–Danube Canal this morning, arriving in Bamberg in early afternoon. Enjoy a tour of Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the picturesque city hall built on a tiny island in the middle of a river. Take some free time to enjoy Bamberg and sample some of the town’s distinctive smoke-flavored beer before returning on board.
Day 10 – Würzburg, Germany
Today, enjoy an onboard lunch, then tour Würzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or, you may choose to disembark this morning to experience an optional full-day journey along Germany’s picturesque “Romantic Road” to Rothenburg, with its turreted city wall and impressive Gothic and baroque architecture. Upon returning to Würzburg, enjoy a tour of the Bishops’ Residenz before rejoining your ship for dinner and an evening glassblowing demonstration.
Day 11 – Wertheim, Germany
Wertheim is located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers. During your morning walking tour, experience life in a typical small German town. Stop in a bakery and a butcher shop, and learn about Wertheim’s glassblowing tradition. Enjoy free time to explore before returning to your ship for lunch. Alternately, depart this morning on an all-day optional excursion that offers a rare glimpse into noble life, enjoying Privileged Access visits to two very different castles: Schloss Mespelbrunn and Schloss Löwenstein.
Day 12 – Koblenz, Germany
Today, we cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine; this stunning stretch of the river is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Lorelei Rock, which marks the river’s narrowest point; the rock is named after a legendary Rhine Maiden who lured sailors to their demise. This afternoon, we’ll stop to visit Marksburg Castle, the only Rhine fortress never destroyed. Rejoin your ship in Koblenz and dine on board.
Day 13 – Cologne, Germany
Arrive in Cologne during breakfast, then disembark for a tour of Germany’s fourth largest city. Stroll through Old Town past St. Martin’s Church and visit the Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend your free time enjoying Cologne’s atmospheric waterfront, or perhaps join an optional excursion on which you will ascend to the Dom’s roof for up-close views of the cathedral’s architecture and bird’s-eye vistas of Cologne. Afterward, return on board for dinner. Alternately, you may set off on an optional excursion to explore Cologne’s spirited beer culture, sampling Kölsch, a light, crisp beer brewed only in Cologne, and enjoying a brauhaus dinner. After, return to your ship for a late-evening departure.
Day 14 – Kinderdijk, The Netherlands
We sail along the Rhine during the morning hours. Admire scenic views and enjoy a morning of enjoyable Dutch diversions: sample Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, and take in a culturally enriching presentation on the Dutch Golden Age. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Disembark for an afternoon tour of this ingenious network of windmills and other flood management devices. You learn why the windmills were built and see how they work, plus you enter a working windmill for a tour of its mechanisms and living quarters. Board your ship for departure and dinner. Arrive in Amsterdam around midnight.
Day 15 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Amsterdam; take time to explore the city’s neighborhoods, museums and exciting nightlife.
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
Grand European Tour 2020 River Cruise
- 4th April 2020
- 12th April 2020
- 18th April 2020
- 2nd May 2020
- 10th May 2020
- 16th May 2020
- 30th May 2020
- 7th June 2020
- 13th June 2020
- 27th June 2020
- 5th July 2020
- 11th July 2020
- 25th July 2020
- 2nd August 2020
- 8th August 2020
- 22nd August 2020
- 30th August 2020
- 5th September 2020
- 19th September 2020
- 27th September 2020
- 3rd October 2020
- 17th October 2020
- 25th October 2020
- 31st October 2020