Day by Day
Day 2 – Budapest
Budapest is one of Europe’s most regal and storied cities—and many of its most iconic sights can be seen right off the banks of the Danube. Your tour through this sprawling World Heritage city offers splendid views from historic Buda Castle of the twin cities on both banks of the river. You’ll also visit Fisherman’s Bastion and see the marvelous Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Heroes’ Square and much more. Later, explore this beautiful city’s Christmas Markets. As an alternative, you can hike to Castle Hill, walking along Fishermen’s Bastion and take in all the iconic sites of Budapest with an active exploration.
Day 3 – Vienna
The “City of Waltzes” offers a treasure trove of gems just waiting to be discovered. Join a tour showcasing its regal splendors , such as the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs before concluding in Vienna’s historic city center. Afterwards, you’ll visit the Christmas Markets. If you prefer a more active adventure, then join a guided bike along the Danube River. During the afternoon, visit the Schönbrunn Palace with a giant sparkling Christmas tree. This market presents a glittering and stellar Christmas experience.
Day 4 – MELK
High on a rocky outcrop lies the Melk Abbey, one of Europe’s most revered Baroque monasteries. Visit this magnificent Benedictine Abbey, which now houses a museum chronicling its history and a famous library with countless medieval manuscripts. Alternatively, go on a guided bike ride around Melk. Afterward, enjoy a scenic cruise of the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley before arriving in Vienna and exploring the local Christmas markets.
Day 5 – Passau
Join a walking tour of this 2,000-year-old city, noted for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture and St. Stephen’s. Go in search of Bavarian-style crafts at the Christmas Market. Or, for the active adventurer, join a guided bike tour along the Danube. Alternatively, you can travel through the serene Austrian Alps to Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart. Your full-day excursion in Salzburg includes a walking tour of the UNESCO-designated Old Town, its magnificent cathedral and its Christmas Markets, including the Hellbrunn Palace, where its inner courtyard is turned into a romantic backdrop for one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Austria.
Day 6 – Regensburg
Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join a guided walking tour showcasing the city’s architectural highlights, including the Old Town Hall and the Porta Praetoria, before visiting the Old Town Christmas market. As an alternate option, sample some of Bavaria’s specialties—beer, sausage and pretzels. Or bike to the base of Walhalla where there is a neoclassical white marble temple inspired by the Parthenon in Athens. Later in the day, you’ll be treated to one of Bavaria’s most beautiful and romantic Christmas markets at Thurn and Taxis, where you can watch artisans make their unique arts and crafts
Day 7 – Nuremberg
Join a city tour of WWII highlights and then walk through Nuremberg’s cobblestone streets to the Imperial Castle and 900-year-old city ramparts, followed by a visit to some of the local Christmas markets. Later, you can visit Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, one of the world’s largest and most famous Christmas markets. You will also cross the Continental Divide via the Main-Danube Canal as the day ends.
Included Biking Excursions
We are proud to have been the first river cruise line to carry an entire fleet of complimentary state-of-the-art bicycles on board, so you can pedal alongside enchanting riverside pathways and in city centers on a variety of included excursions throughout Europe. Whether you feel like joining one of our exclusive guided bike tours, or you want to reserve a bike to discover a destination on your own, there are many ways for you to explore on two wheels during your river cruise. From lighter five-mile bike tours to rides that stretch over 20 miles, we offer excursions for guests at any level.
Bike Tour Guides
Your guide will be sure to stop and point out highlights along the way, providing interesting facts and history, as well as much-needed water breaks! Often, there is some built-in free time for you to explore off your bike. And best of all, to ensure no guests are left behind, there is typically a guide both at the front and back of the tour group, so whatever pace you pedal, you will have peace of mind you will be taken care of and find your way back to the ship.
There are a limited number of child-size bicycles available on board as well. This enables you to enjoy family-friendly active excursions in many destinations along the rivers.