2017 : Jewels of Central Europe - Westbound (WBR) - Visionary
19 Day River Cruise from Budapest to Paris
Sail along the Danube, Main, Rhine, and Moselle Rivers, and through the Main Danube Canal and dramatic Rhine Gorge on this remarkable river cruise vacation. Begin your trip with two nights in the vibrant Hungarian capital of Budapest, with guided sightseeing and time to explore the city on your own. Then, set sail and enjoy guided sightseeing that shows off the highlights in each city, including inside visits of Melk's awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey, the Bishop's Residenz in Wurzburg, and Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in charming Rudesheim. In Regensburg we'll introduce you to some of Germany's famous beers, and in Bernkastel you'll enjoy a tasting of Moselle wines. Travel by high-speed train to Paris, where your vacation concludes with two overnights, guided sightseeing, and plenty of free time to explore the "City of Light" at your own pace!
You see life differently. While others chase what's popular, you follow your own path. At Avalon, we share your unique point of view. That's why we've used our 85-plus years to design a cruise experience that's just a bit different. Here are some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships. Panoramic windows throughout Elegant, contemporary design Remarkable service Professional Cruise Director Friendly, English-speaking crew Non-smoking interior Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment Upscale bar serving premium spirits Included sightseeing with headsets by Certified Local Guides Complimentary Nordic walking sticks Complimentary bicycles available for time on shore Sky Deck shade system & premium lounge chairs Hair Salon Well-stocked library with books, cards, and games Comfort Collection BedsSM Egyptian super-combed cotton linens European-style duvets Nightly turn-down service Bathrobes & slippers Premium L'Occitane bath products & hairdryer Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door Flatscreen satellite TV with free movie channels Spacious 3-door closets for ample storage Well-stocked minibar In-room safe Individual climate control Complimentary bottled water daily Captain's welcome & farewell receptions Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board daily Daily full breakfast buffet with hot/cold menu items Complimentary sparkling wine at breakfast Complimentary juices at breakfast Made-to-order egg station at breakfast Daily early- and late-riser breakfasts Daily lunch buffet with pasta and carving stations Grilled lunch alternative at the Sky Bistro (weather permitting) Light lunch alternative in the Panorama Bistro Four-course a la carte dinners with open seating Nightly choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, desserts or cheese Regional wine, beer & soft drinks at all onboard lunches and dinners Daily regional, Western & Avalon FreshSM vegetarian/healthy cuisine Alternative dinner of petite portions and wine in the Panorama Bistro Club Lounge with 24-hour, self-serve beverage station Premium coffees, cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate & teas Cookies & fresh fruit available throughout the day Daily Afternoon Tea with tea, coffee, sweet treats & sandwiches Daily Night Fare served at 10:30 pm And, much more
Highlights & Sightseeing
Cruise: deluxe 14-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon's exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM
Days 1-2 Budapest: welcome to Hungary; guided sightseeing on Day 2, see Fishermen's Bastion and Heroes' Square
Day 3 Budapest (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
Day 4 Budapest-Vienna: cruising
Day 5 Vienna: guided sightseeing
Day 6 Durnstein-Melk: guided walk in Durnstein, see the Stiftskirche; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; wine tasting
Day 7 Passau: guided walk
Day 8 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstkuche; beer tasting
Day 9 Roth-Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing in Roth or guided sightseeing of Nuremberg
Day 10 Nuremberg: excursion to Munich, guided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz
Day 11 Bamberg: guided walk, see the Old Town Hall
Day 12 Wurzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop's Residenz
Day 13 Main River Village: guided walk
Day 14 Rudesheim-Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge
Day 15 Bernkastel: guided walk; wine tasting
Day 16 Trier: choice of guided city sightseeing or "Roman Trier," see the Porta Nigra
Day 17 Remich (Disembarkation)-Paris: travel by motorcoach from Remich to Luxembourg City or Metz; continue by high-speed train to Paris; guided sightseeing
Day 18 Paris: day at leisure
Day 19 Paris: your vacation ends this morning; guided sightseeing
Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
Enjoy a tasting of the area's Famed Moselle wines, and learn about the Main Danube canal at an onboard lecture.
Meals Captain's welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapes Welcome dinner Daily Afternoon Tea Daily Night Fare Farewell dinner Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel
NOTES:In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program. In the rare event that the high-speed train is unavailable, due to strikes or technical reasons, the route will be operated by motorcoach. Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered. Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
Arrive in Budapest, Hungary
Welcome to Budapest, Hungary's lively capital spanning the banks of the Danube. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring Eastern Europe's most cosmopolitan metropolis.
Whether you're seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Cafe, Budapest's unique energy is positively palatable. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen's Bastion-for spectacular views of the city-and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city's eight bridges-many famous sights in and of themselves-which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. (Breakfast)
You have time this morning to explore Budapest further. Perhaps visit St. Stephen's Basilica for marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Enjoy a day of relaxation on board and marvel at the beautiful scenery on both banks of the Danube. Hungary is on your left as you cruise upriver and Slovakia is on your right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58-mile stretch, with the border in the middle of the river. This evening, arrive in Vienna, Austria's capital. Known as the "City of Music," it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available during your stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria's magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boy's Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral-plus, countless other sights your Local Guide will show you during an included CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Karntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Durnstein, known for the magnificent baroque, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s, is situated right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. The main street of this small town-with a population of less than 1,000 people-is lined with 16th-century residences and charming cobblestone streets. This morning your Local Guide will take you on an included WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England's King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. During lunchtime, sail the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk in the early afternoon. Here, enjoy a GUIDED VISIT of the magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europe's largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You'll be captivated by the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace of the abbey over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! This evening you'll be able to sample some of the Wachau Valley's FAMOUS WINES. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, you might wish to choose from a couple of full-day optional excursions: to Salzburg taking in some of the Sound of Music sights or to medieval Ã??esky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, you may choose to stay on the ship and relax as you cruise to Passau, uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephen's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world's largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of "historic interest." Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city's lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brucke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the 17th-century Historische Wurstkuche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany's oldest restaurants. Here-where the locals congregate-feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. After dinner, we'll introduce you to some of Germany's FAMOUS BEERS. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning the choice is yours - join a Certified Local Guide for GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of nearby Nuremberg. Although 90% of Nuremberg's Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Marvel at this thousand-year-old city's medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle). Alternatively, join a Local Expert for GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of Roth. This delightful Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. In contrast, take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge, built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich
After breakfast, drive to Munich, capital of Bavaria. With its historical museums, splendid English Garden, traditional cafes, and delightful shops, Munich has plenty to see and do. A LOCAL GUIDE will show you the highlights of this fascinating city, including Nymphenburg Palace, summer residence of the Bavarian monarchs; MARIENPLATZ with its Old and New Town Halls; and the gothic Frauenkirche, a prominent landmark for Munich. Then, enjoy time on your own in this vibrant city. Watch the famous Glockenspiel, which recreates a royal wedding from the 16th century; linger at an outdoor cafe; visit St. Peter's, the oldest church in town; or maybe relax alongside the locals at one of the many Biergarten or breweries to sample one of the Bavarian beer specialties. Return to your ship in the afternoon. (Breakfast, Dinner)
In the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany's most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALK takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)-built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! This afternoon, enjoy some relaxing time on board as you cruise toward Wurzburg on the Main River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive in Wurzburg during breakfast. Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Wurzburg, also known as the "Pearl of the Romantic Road," makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP'S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you might like to join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Main River village experience
On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. Half timbered houses, narrow streets and medieval town centers, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer's delight. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Pretty Rudesheim is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town, and SIEGFRIED'S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there's free time to explore the Drosselgasse and pick up some souvenirs. Downstream, the dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Pass the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where sweet songs of local beauties lured enchanted sailors to their doom. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Early this morning you arrive in the charming wine village of Bernkastel on the Moselle River. With its fascinating narrow streets and half-timbered houses that have stood since the Middle Ages, you'll enjoy a GUIDED WALK that includes the beautiful marketplace with its renaissance-style Town Hall-built in 1608-and the "pointed house," built in 1416. The Moselle is famous for its wines, and growers in this area look after Germany's largest expanse of vineyards, the most celebrated of the vintages being the Bernkasteler Doktor. This evening enjoy a TASTING of some of these well-loved German wines. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, an excursion takes you to Trier, Germany's oldest city. Some say Trier is even older than Rome and that it was populated over a thousand years before the Romans arrived. Many Roman remains have survived, including a 20,000-seat amphitheater; the Porta Nigra, a fortified gate from the original Roman settlement, which still gives access to the town's center; imperial baths; and the Roman bridge, Germany's oldest bridge, with stone pilings dating from 144 AD-all evidence of this once-grand Roman city. Trier also offers pleasant market squares, Germany's oldest Christian church, and a cornucopia of architectural styles-Roman, baroque, neo-classicism, renaissance, and gothic. Choose from the included CITY SIGHTSEEING or the more history-focused "ROMAN TRIER" guided tour, followed by some free time, gives you the opportunity to discover this magnificent town. Rejoin your vessel and head for Remich in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Remich, Luxembourg (Disembarkation)-Paris, France
Reach Remich in the early morning hours and say goodbye to your crew after breakfast. Travel to Luxembourg City or to Metz to board the HIGH-SPEED TRAIN to Paris, and enjoy GUIDED sightseeing upon arrival. Known as one of the world's most romantic and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your INCLUDED CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. (Breakfast)
Today in your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysees with its lavish cafes, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre museum, Palace of Versailles or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacre Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colorful nightlife, and an optional excursion to one of the world's most famous cabaret shows, is available. All of this awaits your discovery! (Breakfast)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
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Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.
Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
Extra nights per person in Budapest:
in single room from $175 to $326, in twin room from $101 to $172
Extra nights per person in Paris:
in single room from $303 to $777, in twin room from $251 to $404
Prices shown include cruise in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck.
To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:
Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo / Deck / $398
B / Sapphire Deck / $2,298
A / Sapphire Deck / $2,398
P / Royal Deck / $2,598
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $3,798
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The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.
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Important Notes Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change. A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you. View Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions. The following charges are not included in the land/cruise vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; intra-vacation air, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $11.20 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $4.00 per segment, and U.S. and international arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature.
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