Prague – Regensburg – Vilshofen – Passau – Linz –
Duernstein – Weissenkirchen – Wachau – Budapest – Vienna
October 15 – 29, 2018 (15 days)
Classical Music Concert series by Artistic Director George Zukerman, O.C., O.B.C.
Allow yourself to be transported by the music, culture and history
that lies at the heart of Europe in the company of musical host Kai Gleusteen.
We board our overnight flight to Prague.
We arrive in Prague, transfer to our hotel and are checked in. Later we’ll gather for a Welcome Drink and dinner.
During our Welcome reception our host will provide an Introduction to our Danube Concert Series, arranged by our Artistic Director, George Zukerman. (D)
This morning we can look forward to an exclusive private Tour of Strahov monastery and its extraordinary Library. Dating back to the 12th century, the Strahov Monastery is the second oldest Monastery in Prague. The famous Library (Strahovsky kláster) contains approximately 260,000 works, with over 1,500 incunabula (first editions), 3,000 sheaves of manuscripts, and a wealth of old prints dating from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Next, we visit the Municipal House, the jewel in Prague’s Art Nouveau crown and a particular tribute to its famous son, Alfons Mucha. We will visit the ceremonial halls including Smetana Hall, a famous 1200-seat concert hall featuring an original organ from the high Art Nouveau period, and the Mayor’s Hall, exquisitely decorated by Alfons Mucha and preserved intact. We have included a special lunch today, integrated into our sightseeing program.
Then we have an opportunity to tour the Theatre of the Estates, one of the most beautiful historic theaters in Europe. Officially opened in 1783, the theatre is forever associated with Mozart, as two of his best-known works were premiered here. The first of these, “Don Giovanni” was conducted by Mozart himself on the 29th of October 1787. The second opera which saw its world premiere on this stage in 1791 was “La Clemenza di Tito,” to mark the coronation of Leopold II. The theatre’s conductor will guide our unique backstage tour of this landmark.
Following this, there are a couple of hours to relax before dinner. (B,L,D)
CONCERT: We will enjoy a private performance in a charming small concert hall.
Our City Tour will start at the 1000-year-old Prague Castle, residence of the head of state, where we’ll visit the Old Royal Palace, the Basilica of St. George and St. Vitus Cathedral, in all its Gothic glory. From the castle’s hilltop situation you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city’s domes, spires and red roofs. Both Kafka and Neruda lived in the picturesque lanes which lead down to the town below. We’ll see the lively pedestrian-only Charles Bridge, a delight for the views on and off the span, as it draws clusters of musicians and artists. Our tour concludes in the Old Market Square which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site instantly recognizable for its famous Astronomical Clock and distinctive spiky towers. The artisan traditions of Bohemia are evident in Prague’s colourful architecture, beautifully crafted crystal and hand-pulled prints, puppet theatre and celebrated beer. After a break for lunch on your own and a little time in the Old Town, we’ll have a period to rest before dinner and tonight’s opera. Please refer to your Musical Itinerary booklet for full details. (B,D)
CONCERT: Tonight we’ll enjoy Beethoven’s Fidelio at the spectacular Theatre of the Estates.
After breakfast, we depart for Regensburg, have lunch in an historic restaurant and then set off on a guided walking Tour of this exquisitely-preserved Medieval city. Here we can marvel at the beautiful churches, the homes of wealthy families, and one of Germany’s oldest bridges across the Danube.
A special Organ Concert at the Cathedral (please refer to your Musical Itinerary booklet for full details) will round off our Regensburg adventure, and we will then proceed to the charming 1200year old town of Vilshofen, on the confluence of the rivers Vils and Danube. Vilshofen’s beautiful old town, located directly on the banks of the Danube and the Vils, when seen from the river resembles a floating peninsula. Above the town, the imposing double towers of the Benedictine Abbey Schweiklberg dominate the landscape.
Docked in the center of town for the night, our luxurious ship awaits. After embarkation, there is time to get settled in and then we will have our first dinner aboard the AmaSerena. (B,L,D)
CONCERT: Organ recital at Regensburg Cathedral.
*See detailed information in the brochure (“Download” button on right)*
Enjoy the scenic cruise toward Passau, the ‘City of Three Rivers‘. Picturesque Passau is a fairytale city founded more than 2,000 years ago. On our Walking Tour we will see the city fortifications and St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to Europe’s largest pipe organ. (B,L,D)
CONCERT: The Gleusteen Duo and guests will delight us with a special performance.
Arriving in Linz, we’ll depart for Salzburg, the beautiful birthplace of Mozart and home of the Sound of Music. We’ll enjoy a Tour of the lovely city and a short performance of Mozart’s Magic Flute at the famous Marionette Theatre. If you prefer, there are options to explore Linz, or join an excursion to the charming Czech town of Český Krumlov. We’ll reconvene aboard ship in Linz for dinner. (B,L*,D)
*Lunch may not be included when opting for full day excursions
CONCERT: We’ll enjoy a short performance of Mozart’s Magic Flute at the Marionette Theatre in the town of his birth.
Today we cruise to Weissenkirchen, gateway to historic Duernstein in the heart of the fabled Wachau Valley. On arrival, we can enjoy a Walking Tour of the city’s landmarks. The cobblestone streets of this quaint 16th-century town are overlooked by ruins of a castle where, according to legend, Richard I “The Lionheart” was imprisoned and held for ransom on his return from the Crusades. (B,L,D)
CONCERT: The Gleusteen Duo take us on a whirlwind musical tour while we are in Krems.
We journey to Melk to tour its magnificent Benedictine Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site perched dramatically on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river and town. Melk Abbey is one of Europe’s largest and most revered monasteries with stunning Baroque architectural details and numerous frescoes and religious artifacts. The 900-year-old Abbey is renowned for its beautiful chapel and library, the latter housing a rich manuscript collection which inspired novelist Umberto Eco to write The Name of the Rose. (B,L,D)
We’ll experience the regal elegance of Vienna on a City Tour which will take us by the majestic Opera House, the Ringstrasse, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace, the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburg Emperors. Vienna’s stately and historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B,D)
CONCERT: Tonight we experience Verdi’s Un Ballo In Maschera at the Vienna State Opera.
We begin with a Panoramic Tour of Budapest’s primary sites including Heroes Square, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the Great Synagogue, which is Europe’s largest. After lunch, our sightseeing tour to the Buda Castle District takes in the Royal Palace; the Fisherman’s Bastion, which enjoys a splendid view of the twin cities of Buda and Pest spread over both banks of the River; and the richly painted interior of Mathias Church. The ship will remain moored overnight in Budapest. (B,L,D)
This morning we disembark and travel via bus the short distance back to neighbouring Vienna. After a traditional Austrian Lunch in the surroundings of Vienna, we check into our hotel this afternoon, enjoy some time at leisure and dinner at the hotel before this evening’s event. (B,L,D)
CONCERT: The Gleusteen Duo and a guest will engage us with a performance at Mozart Haus in Vienna.
Today we have the privilege of a Private Tour of the Musikverein, where the famously elegant New Year’s concert is held. Next we will visit the Central Cemetery, second largest in the world and final resting place of many famous musicians, writers and thinkers. We’ll return to the city and have time for lunch in the the area around the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s popular open-air market. In the afternoon we will visit stately Schoenbrunn Palace. (B,D)
CONCERT: We’ll enjoy chamber music this evening in Vienna, details to be confirmed.
Today is at leisure for you to visit the town on your own. Consider visiting one of the great museums, explore the historic city centre - the guide will be able to give you some great suggestions.
This evening we will have a bittersweet farewell dinner and final Music Event, as we reflect on a memorable tour with our many new friends. (B,D)
CONCERT: This evening we’ll enjoy Concerto Koeln at the Musikverein.
We transfer to the airport for our flight home. (B)