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Pegnitz River, Nuremberg, Germany

Magnificent Europe: The Rhine & Danube on APT

15-day river cruise

Summary

Short description

Cruise the Danube and Rhine in all-inclusive style, enjoying castle banquets and luxury railway charters

Highlights

  • Sail in all-inclusive luxury along one of Europe's great rivers
  • Enjoy a private cocktail concert in Vienna
  • Board a mountain rail journey through Austria
  • Dine in style at a castle in Germany
  • Tour three of Europe’s great cities – Amsterdam, Vienna and Budapest

About

Recommended for:
City | History & culture | Natural world | River cruise

Cruising in all-inclusive luxury, you’ll sail the Rhine and Danube to take in the riverside highlights of Holland, Germany, Austria and Hungary. Along the way, your included tours will showcase everything from quiet cobblestone villages to some of Europe’s city greats – Amsterdam, Cologne, Vienna and Budapest. You’ll also have a truly superb choice of included excursions. There’s vineyard tastings, a castle banquet, a world-class private concert in a Viennese palace and a luxury charter train journey that sweeps through Austria’s alpine countryside.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK/Amsterdam

Begin with complimentary airport lounge access before your flight out to Amsterdam. On arrival, an included transfer will bring you to your luxurious Concerto River Ship where you’ll check into some of the largest suites on Europe’s rivers. You’ll also enjoy complimentary beverages and a spread of all-inclusive dining experiences, from casual bistros to six-course degustation extravaganzas. And, the facilities are equally impressive. There’s a wellness centre, the floor-to-ceiling views of the comfortable lounges, and the Sun Deck’s heated pool that features a swim-up bar. Today, either side of a welcome reception and your gourmet dinner, you’ll have some time to explore the city at your leisure.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: D

Day 2
Amsterdam

After breakfast, you’ll be treated to the first of your included excursions, with APT’s expert guides leading an excellent choice of activities. Perhaps you’ll want to see Amsterdam’s canals from a glass-top boat, cruising past pretty churches and 17th-century merchant houses. Or, you might want to head out to Zaanse Schans, an idyllic Dutch village complete with traditional homes, specialty produce and, yes, windmills. But, if you want to take things easy, simply relax onboard as the Rhine scenery drifts by and a local baker conducts a stroopwafel demonstration. If you’re departing in spring, there’s also the option of visiting the tulip-lined Keukenhof Gardens.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 3
Cologne/Andernach

Hopping over into Germany, you’ll stop off at Cologne for a tour of its rich heritage. Between taking in the twin spires of its impressive cathedral, you’ll taste your way through the local beer and snacks or embark on a bike ride to see Cologne’s City Hall and the fascinating remains of its Roman and Middle-Ages heritage. Then, rejoining at Bonn’s picturesque riverside setting and old-town charm, you’ll cruise on to Andernach. Here, Princess Heide von Hohenzollern will open the doors of her home, the 14th-century Namedy Castle, exclusively for you. Enjoy time to wander about the castle's opulent rooms and manicured gardens, then savour a lavish, piano-accompanied banquet in the ballroom.

Stay: Concerto River Ship  (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Rüdesheim

Today, you’ll be treated to perhaps the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine as you glide past crumbling ruins that cap rocky cliffs and rolling hillsides terraced into pretty vineyards. You’ll even be able to sample their world-class varietals on an on-board tasting. Alternatively, explore Rüdesheim’s pretty collection of half-timber houses, abbey-dotted hills and nation-defining monuments before enjoying a tour of Siegried’s Mechanical Music Museum. It’s the world’s most beautiful collection of automated instruments and a fascinating insight into their history.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Miltenberg

As you cruise towards Miltenberg this morning you’ll witness the skilful art of glass blowing before you arrive into this pretty Franconian town. Having been spared from bombing in WWII, it’s a true step back in time, full of old-word charm. As you stroll down cobblestone lanes, you’ll mingle with friendly residents in lively squares and pause to sample local fare at quaint, half-timbered shops. Otherwise, take part in an interactive German lesson back on board or learn about the local viticulture on a guided hike through the village’s vineyard frame.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Würzburg

Würzburg is a town of immense architectural wonders, not least its 18th-century palace that once belonged to the region’s prince-bishops. Inside, you’ll marvel at everything from ornate tapestries to gilded stucco work and dramatic ceiling frescos. Alternatively, see more of Germany’s rural beauty with a drive along the aptly named Romantic Road. This historic route will bring you through lush forests to Rothenberg, a truly idyllic medieval town. Your last option is a visit to a family-owned farm for a tour of the property and sit-down morning tea as you learn about local agricultural life.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Bamberg

This morning, you’ll arrive into Bamberg, a UNESCO-listed jewellery box. Having also escaped the bombing, it’s a fascinating glimpse into pre-war Germany, with your guided tour here bringing you between historic churches, narrow streets and the impressive riverside town hall. It’s all split between canals and rolling hills – the pretty setting for pavement cafés and smoked beer breweries. Reboarding your ship, you’ll then set sail on the Main-Danube Canal, a modern engineering marvel that links the North and Black seas.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Nuremberg

Between its medieval heritage and WWII-era sites, Nuremberg is a historical treasure trove. Take in its chequered past with a visit to the Reich Party Rally Grounds where Hitler held his infamous assemblies before heading further back in time with the Imperial Castle. This 900-year-old fortification is resplendent in imposing ramparts and great brick towers. Otherwise, for something more active, follow in the footsteps of the Swedish King Gustavus-Adolphus with a hike through the Schwarzach Valley. Here, a pretty trail lead between rushing rivers and contours carpeted in dense forest. Back on board, you’ll be treated to some freshly baked gingerbread as you continue along the Main-Danube Canal.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Regensburg

Today, you’ll dock in UNESCO-listed Regensburg. Originally a Roman settlement, this imperial city is host to two millennia of heritage, evidenced in everything from 12th-century stone bridges to a spectacular old town. Here, you’ll uncover pretty squares, great cathedrals and gilded churches. There’s also a range of included excursions, from Bavarian dance lessons to onboard lectures from a student of the town’s university. However, it’s perhaps the gastronomic tour that’s the most enticing. After tasting your way through the town’s centuries-old culinary heritage, you’ll end with the chance to sample the delights of Michelin-starred Storstad restaurant.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Passau/Salzburg/Linz

Disembarking at Passau, you’ll be treated to a true trip highlight – an exquisite rail journey about the Majestic Imperator (2018 departures only). Boarding this privately charted train is a step back to the golden age of travel, complete with turn-of-the-century grandeur and gourmet refreshments. And, the trip to Salzburg is a perfect introduction to the pristine alpine countryside of Austria, bringing you to the sights from that movie classic – The Sound of Music. And, after touring the grand palaces, fountain-dotted squares and garden-lined monasteries of Salzburg, you’ll reboard the Majestic Imperator to be entertained by live music as you make the journey to Linz.


For 2019 departures

Disembark in Passau and travel to Salzburg, where a city tour takes you to several sights from Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic film, The Sound of Music. Alternatively, embark on a full-day journey to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, renowned for its World Heritage-listed status. With a stunning 13th-century castle above the Vltava River, its old town square and quaint lanes are teeming with ancient architecture. Both touring options will then conclude in the pretty city of Linz, where you will re-board your river ship. A third alternative is to enjoy a walking tour of Passau, then cruise into Austria and on to Linz. Enjoy from a selection of Freedom of Choice Sightseeing options today in Passau.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Day 11
Melk/Dürnstein

Continuing through Austria, you’ll arrive into Melk, its cobbled streets bringing you between historic churches. However, it’s the town’s Benedictine abbey that’s the most impressive sight, perched precipitously on a rocky outcrop with spectacular river views. Its squats on almost a thousand years of history, with your tour bringing you among libraries host to medieval manuscripts and marble halls beautified by spectacular frescoes. Then, either re-joining the ship or cycling along the Danube’s vineyard-dotted banks, you’ll continue to Dürnstein. Your touring here will see you wander the village’s historic laneways to take in its centuries-old castle ruins. In autumn, you can even join in the wine harvest.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 12-13
Vienna

With two days in the Austrian capital, you’ll get your bearings on a guided walking tour. Alongside its Baroque grandeur, spectacular palaces and masterpiece-filled galleries, you’ll centre on the stunningly tiered St. Stephen’s Cathedral. There are also the options of taking in the equestrian skill at the famous Spanish Riding School and the imperial Schönbrunn Palace’s sculpture-dotted gardens. You can even dip into Slovakia to compare its 18th-century rococo charm to its communist-era severity. Whichever you choose, you’ll also be treated to a cocktail reception and private concert at the princely Liechtenstein City Palace. You’ll enjoy performances from a full orchestra and members of the Mozart Boys’ Choir of operas and classical masterpieces.


Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 14
Budapest

Arriving into the Hungarian capital, your guided touring will take in the city’s myriad delights. Perhaps hike up Castle Hill, a beautifully medieval district complete with sweeping views, the Royal Palace and yes, the 13th-century Buda Castle. Or, for a something more relaxed, enjoy a soak in the city’s historic bathhouses or embark on a culinary tour of the Great Market Hall. Otherwise, walking tours will bring you among the neo-Gothic exoticism of the Fishermen’s Bastion and the 19th-century monuments of Heroes’ Square. Back on the ship, you’ll enjoy a twilight cruise through the city before a Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

New for 2019 departures.

After your Budapest city tour, follow in the footsteps of Elisabeth of Bavaria (Sisi) and embark on an imperial train journey.  Enjoy a Welcome Reception at Budapest’s Royal Waiting Room, then board your elegant steam train, which features carriages from the early 1900s. A traditional game lunch worthy of royalty is served, before disembarking for a guided tour of Gödöllő Palace, a favourite of Sisi. Operates on all 2019 departures between April and September.

Stay: Concerto River Ship (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 15
Depart for UK

After a final breakfast, an included transfer will see you to the airport for your flight home.Breakfast included

Meals: B

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