Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

SPECIAL OFFERS

European River Cruises: Free Airfare or $1,000 off

Book by December 31, 2018 and receive free round-trip economy airfare between the U.S. and Europe or take $1,000 per person off the expedition cost on 2019 departures.

Offer is subject to availability and valid for new bookings only, and may not be combined with other promotions. Please call for details.

Available Departures
  • Aug 1-8, 2019
  • Join a National Geographic expert to explore fascinating UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as Austria’s Wachau Valley, the Bavarian town of Regensburg, and the medieval Czech gem of Český Krumlov.
  • Take a specially arranged tour of Vienna’s renowned Museum of Natural History, and meet with Ludovic Ferrière, the National Geographic grantee who co-curator the museum’s meteorite exhibit.
  • Get guidance on technique and artistry from a National Geographic photographer, and capture a unique angle on iconic cityscapes from Budapest to Salzburg.
  • Enjoy a private classical concert in the gilded halls of Vienna’s Palais Liechtenstein.

Itinerary

Itinerary

From Gothic Hungarian spires to imperial Viennese treasures, discover the fairytale scenery and legendary landmarks of Central Europe. Aboard the Scenic Amber, cruise the fabled Danube River from Budapest through Austria's stunning Wachau Valley to Nuremburg. Explore gilded palaces and meticulously manicured gardens in Vienna and Salzburg; bike past charming red-roofed villages laced with lush vineyards; and witness the tapestry of medieval, Renaissance, and Roman architecture woven through old-world Europe.

Day 1: Budapest, Hungary

Arrive in Budapest and embark the Scenic Amber. After settling into your spacious suite, enjoy a welcome dinner on board, complete with views of the city glittering under the night sky.

Meals Included:Dinner
Day 2: Budapest or Szentendre

Discover two distinct sides of the Hungarian capital—the cobbled hills of Buda and the grand boulevards of Pest, linked by eight stately bridges that span the Danube. Climb historic Castle Hill to see the Royal Palace and Matthias Church, the stunning setting for the coronations and weddings of the Habsburg royalty. Alternatively, you may wish to hike the Buda Hills that rise beyond the city center; explore Budapest through the lens of its Jewish history; or venture to the charming riverfront town of Szentendre, home to a thriving artist colony.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Vienna, Austria

Cruise the Danube toward Vienna, tracing the border of Hungary and Slovakia before crossing into Austria. Relax in the lounge, taking in views of colorful waterfront towns and hilltop fortifications; or join our National Geographic photographer on deck to learn techniques for capturing the splendid scenery on camera. This evening, arrive in Vienna for a private concert in the gilded halls of the Palais Liechtenstein, featuring the music of Strauss and Mozart.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Vienna or Bratislava, Slovakia

Choose from among several available excursions today. Take a special behind-the-scenes tour of Vienna’s Museum of Natural History led by Ludovic Ferrière, a National Geographic grantee and co-curator of the museum’s meteorite exhibit. For a glimpse at the city’s more opulent side, visit Schönbrunn Palace, the baroque summer residence of the imperial family; or peruse the ornate galleries of the Belvedere Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, including “The Kiss”. Or cross the Slovakian border and take a guided tour through Bratislava’s old town.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Melk, Austria

Glide into Austria’s lush Wachau Valley and dock at Melk for a tour of its Benedictine abbey, one of the world’s most magnificent baroque buildings. Or take a more active excursion, cycling along the Danube from Melk to Dürnstein, or hiking to the hilltop ruins of a medieval castle. There is also the option to visit a local winery for a guided tour of the cellars and vines, followed by a tasting of the region’s celebrated Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings. This evening, sip cocktails on deck as we wind our way beneath the valley’s vineyard-draped hillsides and iconic onion-domed churches.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Salzburg or Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Today, choose between two excursions to World Heritage-listed cities. Explore Salzburg, strolling the storybook streets of the old town and visiting the Schloss Mirabell and its stunning manicured gardens. Or head to the Czech town of Český Krumlov—a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets with medieval, baroque, and Renaissance houses; lively cafés; and hidden squares. Alternatively, venture to the historic salt mines outside of Salzburg and learn about the life and work of the miners.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Regensburg, Germany

Set at the confluence of the Danube, Naab, and Regen Rivers, Regensburg once served as a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. On a guided visit, see the town’s splendid Gothic cathedral, 12th-century stone bridge, and the Porta Praetoria—the ancient Roman city gate. Or explore Bavaria’s long tradition of brewing beer on one of two excursions: a tour of the historic Kuchlbauer Brewery; or a visit to Weltenburg Abbey, home to the world’s oldest monastic brewery.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Nuremberg

Arrive in Nuremberg and transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast

Extensions

Extensions

  • Prague Extension
    4 days from $700
Prague Extension

Having survived throughout the centuries with much of its architecture intact, Prague is considered one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe. Gain firsthand insights into the city’s turbulent history as you explore the cobbled streets that wind beneath the baroque domes and Gothic spires that grace the stunning skyline.

Day 1: Prague, Czech Republic

Arrive in Prague and settle into our centrally located hotel.

Accommodations:Prague Marriott Hotel
Day 2: Prague

Trace centuries of history on a guided tour through this “city of a hundred spires.” Get acquainted with spacious plazas and magnificent cathedrals as you wind your way along the cobbled streets of the Old Town. Visit the lively Old Town Square, a focal point of the 15th-century conflict between the reformist Hussites and the ruling Roman Catholics, and see the statue commemorating Jan Hus, the religious reform leader and Czech national hero who was burned at the stake for heresy. Gaze up at the impressive Astronomical Clock, and catch its festive hourly performance.

Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Prague Marriott Hotel
Day 3: Prague

Set out to explore Prague at your leisure. Consider a visit to the historic Jewish Quarter, where the synagogues, museums, and cemetery tell an unforgettable story of struggle and perseverance. Cross the iconic Charles Bridge to see St. Vitus Cathedral and the courtyards and palaces that make up Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle in the world. Or delve into Prague’s modern history in Wenceslas Square, where citizens gathered during the Velvet Revolution to first demand, and then celebrate, the end of communism.

Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Prague Marriott Hotel
Day 4: Prague

After breakfast, transfer to the airport or continue on to your next destination.

Meals Included:Breakfast