Austrian Highlights & Bavaria 2014 (Beer Tasting Cruise, Vienna to Munich)
9-day River Cruise with Avalon Waterways
Day 1 Arrive in Vienna, Austria (Embarkation)
Welcome to Vienna, known as the “City of Music” and a place that inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner)
NOTE: Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2 Vienna
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 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)
Day 3 Dürnstein–Melk
Dürnstein, known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, lies right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. Above town are the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. A Local Guide will tell you the tale during your GUIDED WALK. Those seeking some sporting activity might like to climb up the steep hill to the castle ruins for spectacular views of the town and river. Alternatively, you may just want to stroll through the narrow streets on your own. Then, cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley to reach Melk after lunch. This afternoon you may choose to visit either Melk’s 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, or renaissance SCHALLABURG CASTLE. Melk’s abbey 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. Schallaburg Castle was built as a defensive stronghold 900 years ago, but was later redesigned as a magnificent princely home. This evening you’ll be able to sample some of the region’s FAMOUS WINES. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Grein–Linz
This morning, arrive in the attractive country resort of Grein, which is nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Take an included GUIDED WALK through the town and visit its unique historical THEATER, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances. A behind-the-scenes peek to learn about some of the curiosities of this rococo-style, 167-seat theater will certainly tell you much about life as it was—and as it now is in this small town. Or, you may prefer to join one of a variety of optional excursions today. This afternoon, arrive in Linz, Austria’s third-largest city and an important river port where culture plays a significant role in everyday life. Composer Anton Bruckner lived here, and Mozart’s Linzer Symphony was composed in the city. There is free time to explore on your own. See the 13th-century Hauptplatz, Austria’s largest medieval square, and the Trinity Column, built in 1723 as thanks for the city escaping the ravages of the plague, war, and fire. You may want to wander around the old castle grounds and take in the beautiful views of the river. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Linz–Passau, Germany
Today, enjoy a relaxing morning of sailing. This afternoon, arrive in Passau, located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube. This is a city of graceful arcades and 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. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK through this charming town, and find out much more about the “City of Three Rivers.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Passau (Disembarkation)–Munich
Say goodbye to your crew this morning and drive to Munich, capital of Bavaria. The afternoon is free to explore on your own, or you might like to take an optional excursion to Salzburg, which will bring you to Munich in the late afternoon. (Breakfast)
Day 7 Munich
Although a large city, Munich offers a small-town feel with its pedestrian- and bike-friendly atmosphere. With its historical museums, splendid English Garden, traditional cafés, and delightful shops, Munich offers 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; enjoy the pedestrian zone; linger at an outdoor café; or relax alongside the locals at one of the many Biergartens or breweries to sample one of the Bavarian beer specialties. (Breakfast)
Day 8 Munich. Excursion to Neuschwanstein & Oberammergau
This morning, drive into the garden-like landscapes of the Bavarian Alps and visit King Ludwig’s fairytale NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, high above the village of Hohenschwangau. Continue to Oberammergau, famous for its once-a-decade production of the Passion Play, and enjoy free time here to stroll the streets and admire the typical Bavarian houses, many beautifully painted with scenes from fairytales. Next, visit the smallest of King Ludwig’s three castles—LINDERHOF PALACE, whose style was inspired by the Palace of Versailles outside Paris, and the palace the king lived in most. It showcases beautiful gardens and fountains, and its lavish rooms are brimming with ornate decorations, tapestries, mirrors, and crystal chandeliers. (Breakfast)
Day 9 Munich
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
Vienna: Onboard welcome reception; guided sightseeing
Dürnstein–Melk: Guided walk in Dürnstein; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk or visit to Schallaburg Castle; wine tasting
Grein–Linz: Guided walk of Grein, visit the historical theater
Passau: Guided walk in Passau
Munich: Travel by motorcoach to Munich; guided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz; Excursion to Neuschwanstein & Oberammergau: visit Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles
Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by local chefs, entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
Attend a Wachau wine tasting, and savor a delectable dinner of regional specialties prepared by a local chef.
All This Included
On this marvelous cruise vacation, visit Austria’s capital, Vienna, and be delighted by its charming small towns—like Melk, Dürnstein, and Grein—before heading into Germany’s Bavaria. First, enjoy Vienna, with its spectacular museums, awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and delightful music. In Dürnstein, explore the small town above which stand the ruins of the castle where King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. Visit magnificent Melk Abbey, and Grein’s quaint historical theater. In Germany, visit the Bavarian capital of Munich, the charming town of Oberammergau, and the fairytale castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. All of this and much more await you on this wonderful cruise on the Danube River through Austria’s highlights and Bavaria—it’s a vacation of a lifetime!
Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast, soft drinks with lunch, and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included on board your vessel
Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
Services of a professional Cruise Director
Onboard lectures, activities & nightly piano music
Sightseeing with Local Guides
Headsets for all guided shore excursions
Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges, where applicable
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: outside cabin aboard the Avalon Artistry II
Munich: Sofitel Munich Bayerpost (D)
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Vienna:
in single room $235, in twin room $140
Extra nights per person in Munich:
Departures May 19, August 25 & October 13: in single room $418, in twin room $230
Departure July 7: in single room $360, in twin room $200
Cabin upgrades are available.
Port charges: $90.
This departure is offered as an exclusive Beer Tasting Cruise, including lectures and special features at no extra cost.
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.
Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.