DANUBE CRUISE FROM HUNGARY TO SLOVAKIA, AUSTRIA & GERMANY
Danube Cruise: Budapest – Bratislava – Vienna – Wachau Valley – Duernstein – Linz – Salzburg – Passau – Vilshofen
September 15 – 25, 2021 (11 days)
Explore the beauty, culture and history as we cruise these fabled shores and experience an exceptional concert program.
We board our overnight flight to Budapest.
Upon arrival in Budapest, we transfer to our hotel and check in. We’ll gather for a Welcome Drink and overview of our Classical Music on the Danube Cruise.
The Gryphon Trio, Roman Borys, Dr. Jamie Parker and Annalee Patipatanakoon will be our musical hosts, providing an introduction to the Danube Concert Series arranged in cooperation with Artistic Director George Zukerman, OC, OBC. (D)
Gryphon Trio © Bo Huang
This ancient and artistic capital offers tremendous culture, tradition, and an air of myth and mystery. We take a Panoramic Tour of both the Buda (hill) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river, beginning with the Great Market Hall. We’ll see Heroes Square and Castle Hill, home to 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 Matthias Church with its richly painted interior. (B,L,D)
Symphony or Opera at Béla Bartók National Concert Hall or Hungarian State Opera.
Foyer, Hungarian State Opera © Nagy Attila
This morning we enjoy a Tour of the historic Opera house. We have a little time at leisure to enjoy this ancient and artistic capital and this afternoon we embark upon our 7-night luxury Danube journey with an Evening Illumination cruise to enjoy the city’s shimmering riverfront. (B,D)
Chamber music by the Gryphon Trio at a local venue.
Budapest at night © AmaWaterways
The “Coronation City of Kings” saw 11 Hungarian kings and queens crowned between 1536 and 1830. We’ll discover some of its history during our Walking Tour past sites such as the Old Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and St. Martin’s Cathedral. Those wishing a more active challenge can hike up to Bratislava Castle to enjoy magnificent views of the city. (B,L,D)
Opera at the Slovak National Theatre.
Bratislava Castle @ MS Agency, VisitBratislava.com
We’ll experience the regal elegance of Vienna on a City Tour which will take us by the majestic Opera House and Hofburg Palace, the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburg Emperors. We conclude our tour in Vienna’s stately and historic city centre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the afternoon, enjoy leisure time to further explore this iconic city. (B,L,D)
Symphony at the Musikverein
Musikverein © Wolf Dieter Grabner
Enjoy a day at leisure in Vienna; numerous options await you. There are a wealth of monumental buildings, historic sites and famed institutions.Perhaps visit some of its museums, an art exhibit at the Belvedere, or the Spanish Riding School at the Hofburg. Stroll cosmopolitan Kartnerstrasse and enjoy a slice of Sacher torte, or seek out the city panorama from the Prater ferris wheel. Explore the Ringstrasse, Vienna’s ring road lined with majestic buildings, monuments and parks. Maybe make a trip to Schoenbrunn Palace, where a six-year-old prodigy named Mozart gave his first concert, for the indomitable Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa in 1762. Or consider joining us for a special music related jaunt beyond the city, as we visit Vienna Zentralfriedhof, the world’s second-largest cemetery, and resting place of many famous musicians. Then we’ll drive to Eisenstadt in neighbouring Burgenland, enjoy lunch, and visit Esterhazy Palace and the Bergkirche which houses the Haydn Mausoleum. (B,L,D)
Performance at Vienna State Opera or local venue.
Belvedere © Christian Stemper, WienTourismus
Weissenkirchen is the gateway to historic Duernstein in the heart of the famously beautiful Wachau Valley. Upon arrival we’ll enjoy a Walking Tour of the city’s landmarks and visit a local vintner to taste the wine for which this region is known and sample special apricot treats from a local boutique. 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. Later in the day, we sail through the Strudengau Valley to medieval Grein, above which Greinburg Castle has been imperially perched for over half a millennium. (B,L,D)
Chamber music by the Gryphon Trio at a local venue
Aggstein, Wachau Valley
Arriving in Linz, we’ll depart for Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and setting for the Sound of Music. We’ll enjoy a Tour of Salzburg’s lovely historic centre, Mirabell Gardens, Residenz Square and the Old Market. If you prefer, there are optional excursions including a bike tour of the city’s famed “Cultural Mile” and the Danube. We’ll reconvene aboard ship in Linz for dinner. (B,L*,D)
*Lunch may not be included when opting for full day excursions.
Chamber music or symphony at a local venue in Linz
Fortress Hohensalzburg and the Old Town of Salzburg © Salzburg Tourism
The fairytale city of Passau, the ‘City of Three Rivers,‘ was founded more than 2,000 years ago at a strategic junction of the three waterways. On our Walking Tour, we will see the city fortifications and marvel at Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture and St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to Europe’s largest pipe organ. A scenic cruise then transports us to the charming 1,200-year 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. (B,L,D)
Chamber music by the Gryphon Trio at a local venue.
Passau panorama © Bayern Tourismus Marketing GmbH
Our journey ends as we disembark at Vilshofen today. We include transfers to Munich, Salzburg or Prague airports, depending on your preference.
Or you may opt to extend your adventure to explore the scenic and cultural landscape on your own. (B)