2018 : Magnificent Europe - Westbound (WBA) - Illumination
15 Day River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam
From Budapest to Amsterdam, and many exciting stops along the way, you'll be immersed in the culture of Central Europe in a unique way on this timeless river cruise vacation.
Your river cruise adventure begins with visits to three of Europe's vibrant capital cities: Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Vienna, Austria. A Local Guide will show you the must-see sites in each city and you'll have plenty of time to explore on your own. Admire the view from Fishermen's Bastion in Budapest, stroll through Bratislava's Old Town with its winding streets and bronze sculptures, and stop in a classic Viennese cafe for a decadent treat. Sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley and the dramatic Rhine Gorge. Visit Melk's magnificent Benedictine Abbey and Wurzburg's baroque Bishop's Residenz. Enjoy a tasting of Wachau wines and Germany's beers and bratwurst. Explore quaint towns like Durnstein with its blue and white baroque Stiftskirche; Passau, known for its narrow cobblestone streets and the stunning St. Stephen's Cathedral; and Bamberg, with its town hall straddling the River Regnitz. Enjoy guided walks in historic Nuremberg, Wurzburg, and Regensburg-one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. In the charming Rhine Valley town of Rudesheim, enjoy a stroll through its famous cobblestone Drosselgasse lined with shops, restaurants, and lively taverns. Straddling both sides of the Rhine River is Cologne, Germany-a 2,000 year-old city known for its gothic architecture. Here, enjoy a guided walk and see its famous twin-spired cathedral.
This European river cruise would not be complete without a visit to Holland's lively capital of Amsterdam. See the treasures of this 700-year-old city from a unique perspective-on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten.
You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind-offering expansive views and wider perspectives. That's why we've used our 89 years to design a cruise experience that's just a bit different. Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.Panoramic windows throughout the shipElegant, contemporary design & decorFriendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise DirectorComplimentary Wi-Fi throughout the shipAvalon FreshSM healthy cuisine optionsComplimentary wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch & dinnerAvalon Choice® cruising experienceIncluded sightseeing with headsets by Certified Local GuidesComplimentary Nordic walking sticksComplimentary bicycles available for time on shoreLocal FavoritesSM - onboard cultural & artisan experiencesSky Deck shade system & premium lounge chairsWell-stocked library with books, cards, and gamesComfort Collection BedsSMEgyptian super-combed cotton linensBathrobes & slippersPremium L'Occitane bath products & hairdryerLarge bathroom featuring shower with glass doorFlatscreen satellite TV with free movie channelsIndividual climate controlComplimentary bottled water dailyClub Lounge with 24-hour, self-serve beverage stationPremium coffees, cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate & teasCookies & fresh fruit available throughout the dayAnd, much more
Highlights & Sightseeing
Day 1 Budapest (Embarkation): welcome reception
Day 2 Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermen's Bastion and Heroes' Square
Day 3 Bratislava: guided sightseeing, visit St. Martin's Cathedral
Day 4 Vienna: guided sightseeing
Day 5 Durnstein-Melk: guided walk, see the Stiftskirche in Durnstein; cruise through the Wachau Valley; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; wine tasting
Day 6 Passau: guided walk
Day 7 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstkuche; beer tasting
Day 8 Roth-Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing of Roth; or guided sightseeing in Nuremberg, or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour
Day 9 Bamberg: guided walk, see the Old Town Hall
Day 10 Wurzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop's Residenz
Day 11 Main River Village: guided walk
Day 12 Rudesheim-Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge
Day 13 Cologne: choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk
Day 14 Amsterdam: canal cruise
Day 15 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning
MealsCaptain's welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapesWelcome dinnerFarewell dinnerDaily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu itemsEarly and Late Riser breakfastDaily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stationsAlternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky DeckDaily four-course a la carte dinner in the main dining roomAlternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama BistroDaily Afternoon TeaDaily Night FareComplimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel
NotesIn 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.Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.In the event that a high-speed train is not available due to strikes or technical reasons, the route will be operated by motorcoaches.Departure October 26 is offered as an exclusive Music & Opera Cruise, including special lectures and features at no additional cost. Our Music & Opera Cruise includes an excursion to Mozart's hometown of Salzburg and a visit to the Budapest Opera House; and throughout the itinerary you will be accompanied by Opera singers who will perform for you on board.
Arrive in Budapest, Hungary (Embarkation)
Welcome to Hungary's exciting capital city! This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner)
Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe's liveliest cities. 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 TOUR of the city, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen's Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church. Be sure to take note of the city's eight bridges-famous sights in and of themselves-which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. In your free time this afternoon, you may want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest; visit St. Stephen's Basilica with marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform; or stroll along Vaci utca, the main shopping street. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, arrive in Bratislava, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and the dynamic capital of Slovakia. Join a Local Guide for a tour of the city, including a GUIDED WALK of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN'S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. Later, enjoy free time to explore on your own. Tonight, depart for Vienna. (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 Boys' Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral-plus, countless other sights you'll see on your included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, 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! An optional concert is available tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Durnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region, is known for the magnificent baroque, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s. 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. A Local Guide will take you on a 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. Then, cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley to reach Melk after lunch. Visit the magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY which towers over the town and is one of Europe's largest. It houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of its church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. This evening, you'll be able to sample some of the region's FAMOUS WINES. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, choose from full-day optional excursions: to Salzburg, taking in some of The Sound of Music sights or to Ceský Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rejoin your ship in Passau in the early evening. 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 and dominated by St. Stephen's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. 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. 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. 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 Historische Wurstkuche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany's oldest restaurants. Bask in the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner, we'll introduce you to some of Germany's FAMOUS BEERS. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, relax on board, before docking in Roth. After lunch, join a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of the city. This delightful Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. Take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard. Or you may prefer to choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR 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), or join a more specialized NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany's most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR 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, cruise gently along the Main River as you head for Wurzburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Wurzburg, 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 included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP'S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon, you are free to explore on your own, or perhaps join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Main River Village
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. With 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)
Today, arrive in Rudesheim, a quintessential Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED'S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you'll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then head downstream from Rudesheim, through the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the water. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive in Cologne this morning. One of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built-a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with cafes, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Holland's sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafes and restaurants, and lively marketplace has a distinct ambiance. With over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Get a unique perspective of the city on an included CANAL CRUISE, floating along the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's "Golden Age." There's free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
|Call (800) 533-5343 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13762370|
|Offer valid through 3/31/2018|
Port charges:Departure October 26 is offered as an exclusive Music & Opera Cruise, including special lectures and features at no additional cost. Our Music & Opera Cruise includes an excursion to Mozart's hometown of Salzburg and a visit to the Budapest Opera House; and throughout the itinerary you will be accompanied by Opera singers who will perform for you on board.
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 $230 to $290, in twin room from $125 to $155
Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
in single room from $185 to $355, in twin room from $115 to $245
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
B / Sapphire Deck / $1,298
A / Sapphire Deck / $1,398
P / Royal Deck / $1,598
Avalon Suite / Royal Deck / $2,998
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 / $3,998
Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.
Travel Terms & Conditions
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.
View full Terms & Conditions
Important NotesVacation 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 $4.10 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. Additional airline-imposed fees for seat assignments may apply and are not included in your total package cost. Please refer to carrier websites for seat assignment policies and applicable pricing.
Booking your Vacation with Air
Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Early Airfare Price Guarantee locks in a price that is guaranteed not to increase. Air pricing and schedules are available approximately 330 days prior to last travel date in the itinerary. At that time the best air price will be utilized and a new invoice with the air cost and confirmed schedule will be sent. The identity of the carrier, which may include the carrier's codeshare partner, will be assigned and disclosed at this time. If the guaranteed price is the lowest, the schedule with the lowest fare per contracted classes of service will be booked. Any voluntary change to the confirmed flights negates the guaranteed price and is subject to air pricing at the time of the change.
Guaranteed air-inclusive prices - air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional non-refundable air deposit of $300 per person is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus a non-refundable per person service fee of $30 (North/Central America), $50 (Europe/Middle East) or $80 (all other international destinations). Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.
Air-Inclusive Vacations - Applicable Taxes & Fees
Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.