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Authentic Danube & Prague

Authentic Danube

8 Days from Vienna to Nuremberg

Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Day 1: Vienna (Embark)

Transfer from Vienna International Airport to your ship. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.

Day 2: Vienna

On this day, explore the “City of Waltzes” and dive into its vast artistic legacy with your choice of tours. The city is known for its imperial palaces, famous residents and expansive art collections. See the Musikverein, a beautiful concert hall that is home to the Vienna Philharmonic. Or delve into the hidden secrets of Vienna in some of its most historical sites.

Viennese highlights with Musikverein

Vienna is a city that has never failed to impress, and you’ll see why the moment your tour begins as you drive through streets lined with baroque architecture and pass by the grand, imperial Ringstrasse on your way to the famous Musikverein.

Vienna’s musical history is one of particular renown, and lays claim to such greats as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss. The Musikverein is Vienna’s premier center for classical music. Enjoy a guided tour through this historical building.

The Golden Hall of the Musikverein is known by friends of music all over the world, not only for being the permanent seat of the renowned Vienna Philharmonic and the main stage of the Vienna Mozart Orchestra, but also for its unique architecture.

After touring the Musikverein, you will set out on foot to see the city up close, passing by the Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and all the other highlights of downtown Vienna.

The secrets of Vienna

The city of Vienna is famous for its charm and beauty, but it’s also full of mystery under the surface. Uncover the many secrets of Vienna with your guide as you head all over town, diving deep into the city’s past at such historical sites as the allegedly haunted Imperial Palace.

The star of our tour is Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, whose gothic spire and extravagantly tiled roofs are an iconic element of Vienna’s cityscape. Also known as the Stephansdom, this nearly millennium-old building has seen many architectural changes over the centuries and features various secret signs and symbols, added to send covert messages to those who could decipher them. Luckily, your guide can help you do just that.

Magical history tour

Watch as history comes alive on this exploration of the city at the interactive multimedia venue Time Travel Vienna. Discover Vienna’s eventful history in a unique way; Time Travel Vienna features a 5D cinema, animatronic wax figures, rides and multimedia shows equipped with extraordinary sound and light effects. After, you’ll embark on a humorous and expertly-led walk around the city that will bring you to the historic St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Schönbrunn royal experience

Learn more about the everyday life of the imperial family at the “Schloss Schönbrunn Experience” Children’s Museum. Dress up as a prince or princess, learn the secret language of fans, play with imperial toys or set the table for an imperial dinner. Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, is a stunning 1,441 room Baroque palace that’s revered as one of the most important architectural and historical monuments in the country. Marvel at its over 300 years of history that reflect the changing tastes of former monarchs and wander through its vast gardens.

Private Mozart and Strauss Concert

  • Duration:
    3.5 hours
  • Activity Level:
    Intermediate
  • Price:
    $149 pre-purchase / €96 EUR onboard

Vienna is linked inextricably with music, as so many great composers lived and worked here: Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Schubert, Mahler, Brahms- the list is as long as it is glorious. Enjoy an evening of chamber music performed by some of Vienna's world class professionals in a historic and intimate concert venue.

*Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be added to a booking up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date if space allows. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change.

Schönbrunn with strudel show

  • Duration:
    3.5 hours
  • Activity Level:
    Intermediate
  • Price:
    $119 pre-purchase / €76 EUR onboard

Embrace the imperial flair of Vienna with a visit to the famous Schönbrunn Palace complex. Arrive to marvel at the massive Baroque building with its iconic yellow exteriors and head straight to the East Wing, where you’ll find Cafe Residenz. Housed in the former kitchens for the palace guard, this elegant Viennese coffee shop and restaurant prepares the same traditional strudel recipe once used by the imperial palace bakers. Today, their pastry chef will demonstrate the laborious process of preparing this pastry. To get a perfectly smooth, elastic dough, a particularly rigorous kneading method is required. The dough is then rolled paper thin and topped with apple filling, and the entire pastry is then rolled up to create the characteristic spiral pattern that appears when sliced after baking. You’ll leave this demonstration with your own copy of the original recipe. After the Strudel show, enjoy a guided visit of the palace. Stroll hallways elaborately decorated with golden stucco, rich velvet and stunning frescoes. This palace complex was the primary summer residence of the Habsburgs and features many testaments to their history and extravagance.

*Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be added to a booking up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date if space allows. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change.

Day 3: Weissenkirchen, Melk

Start your day in the heart of the Danube’s Wachau Valley, strolling through Weissenkirchen’s idyllic wine village while sampling mouth watering apricot treats. Named for its white church that dominates the landscape, the city is flanked by vineyard-lined hills, historic houses and beautiful courtyards. The Melk Abbey is a baroque monastery and sits atop a rocky formation overlooking the Danube.

Melk Abbey with library visit

The Babenbergs, a great medieval ducal family that controlled a wide swath of Austria before yielding to the Habsburgs, were the first to erect a castle on the hill above Melk, which they subsequently gave to Benedictine monks. These monks, some 900 years ago, turned it into a fortified abbey—and the greatest center of learning in Central Europe. Their library was celebrated far and wide (and still is; Umberto Eco paid tribute to it in his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose). Medieval monks there created more than 1,200 manuscripts, sometimes spending an entire lifetime hand-lettering a single volume. Today the library contains some 100,000 volumes, among them more than 80,000 works printed before 1800. This beautiful complex, completely redone in the early 18th century, is a wonderful example of baroque art and architecture, and the views from its terrace are spectacular. As you walk through the abbey’s Marble Hall with your guide, look up at the ceiling fresco painted by Paul Troger: Those classical gods and goddesses represent Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, allegorically bringing his people from dark to light and demonstrating the link he claimed to the original Roman Empire.

After your tour of the abbey, you’ll have time to explore Melk on your own, or you can take the motorcoach back to the ship.

Weissenkirchen village walk with wine tasting

You’ve seen the apricot orchards along the river banks; now taste the fruit. Begin with an easy walk to Weissenkirchen, which may be the prettiest village in the Wachau—and that’s saying quite a bit. Named for its famous white church, Weissenkirchen is simply picture-perfect. Its centuries-old wine estates, houses with colorful flower boxes, lovely gardens and apricot orchards make for a wonderfully idyllic setting between the river and the mountains. Later, sample some Wachau wines at a local winery where your guide will share various details about why these extraordinary wines are so unique.

“Let’s Go” vineyard hike

If you're up for a hike, join a group on a hike up through the vineyards. A stairway at the church will take you past the ancient cemetery and up to the hiking trail that leads through the vineyards planted with Riesling and Grüner Veltliner grapes. You'll enjoy expansive views over the river valley as you approach your resting point. An easy walk back to the ship; instead of a reverse hike, you can comfortably stroll back into the village via a different route, passing many small vintners along the way.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 4: Engelhartszell, Passau, Vilshofen

A new day brings new experiences in the forest-lined district of Engelhartszell. Experience Germany’s great outdoors by biking along the Danube River. Arrive in the afternoon at the “City of Three Rivers,” Passau, where the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers join together, at one time bringing an influx of wealth and culture into the region.

“Let’s Go” scenic Bavarian river biking

Set off on an invigorating bike ride from Engelhartszell to Passau, led by an experienced professional bike guide. Wind your way through the lovely countryside, along the Danube’s right side, into the picturesque Danube Valley. These particular landscapes are some of the most beautiful in all of Europe—characterized by expansive vineyards, tree-lined slopes, and castle-dotted hillsides—and seamlessly blend the region’s cultural, historical and natural components together. Pedal onwards toward Passau, past more charming villages, meadows and orchards, rounding out your trip in Passau’s Old Town.

Passau walking tour

The skyline of Passau is dominated by two buildings that owe their existence to the prince-bishops who ruled the city until 1803: the great fortress looming on a hill above the three rivers, home to the bishops until the 17th century, and the green onion domes of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. As you walk through the cobblestone streets toward those green onion domes, you’ll realize that Passau retains the layout of the medieval town.

However, many of the wooden medieval buildings burned to the ground in the 17th century, and the prince-bishops imported Italian artists to build a new cathedral and a magnificent new residence for the bishops themselves. As a result, these splendid structures flaunt Italian baroque and rococo style and ornamentation, complete with opulent gilding and wonderful frescoes. Your guide will introduce you to some of the architectural highlights—the rococo stairways of the New Residence; the cathedral; and the Town Hall, which boasts a magnificent atrium adorned with large paintings by Ferdinand Wagner—and make sure you get a close-up view of the point where the three rivers meet.

"Let's Go" hiking around Passau

Set off on a nice but strenuous hike up St. Georgsberg mountain to the highest spot of Passau, where the fortress Veste Oberhaus is located. Designed to be a symbol of military strength and aristocracy, the imposing building sits high on the hill facing the rest of Passau across the Danube River. Now it is home to the Oberhausmuseum, a youth hostel, a restaurant and an open-air theater.

We’ll have time to walk around to see the Oberhaus up close and, more importantly, enjoy the most picturesque views to be found anywhere in Passau, before hiking back down the hill. At the bottom, we’ll find the historic Old Town, where St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located. After a total of 2 hours hiking, we end our tour in front of the Cathedral, whose baroque white façade and aquamarine domes are an iconic fixture of Passau architecture.

Pedal Passau

Head out on a cycling excursion on the famous Danube Bike Trail, venturing through Passau, Engelhartszell and other fascinating locales. This flat pathway hugs the river and offers spectacular views of Germany’s lush scenery. The Danube Bike Trail is one of Europe's largest, following stretches of the Danube in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

Ilz River splash

Enjoy an afternoon on the water with the chance to try out rowing, canoeing or paddle-boarding on the Ilz River, nicknamed the “Black Pearl,” due to the moors and bogs at its river basin that give the water a mesmerizing black color. The Ilz is a paradise for kayakers and paddle boarders alike and allows people of all experience levels to have fun here.

Treasure hunt trek

Join a local geocaching guide on a unique discovery of Passau’s historical and hidden spots. Pay close attention to clues and hints as you make your way from one station to the next, uncovering important historical information about your current location. Each station also includes a special activity for kids.

Bavarian Country Cooking Class

  • Duration:
    5 hours
  • Activity Level:
    Intermediate
  • UNESCO:
  • Price:
    $465 pre-purchase / €299 EUR onboard

Discover the true meaning of farm-to-table! Roll through the lush hills of lower Bavaria--with a stop to at a farm store to pick up cooking supplies--to serene and bountiful Hofgut Hafnerleiten. This rural haven, a compound of guest houses, gardens, orchards and a state-of-the-art kitchen, is a dream come true for your hosts today, Erwin and Anja Rückerl. “Hofgut” means big farm, and this big farm began as a rural cooking school 15 years ago. Erwin Rückerl is an award-winning chef who abandoned a successful restaurant career in Munich to live in harmony with nature, growing the food he cooks. Don an apron and help him prepare a delectable three-course meal of Bavarian specialties; naturally, the menu varies with the season and the fruits of the farm--you might make dumplings or schnitzel or apple strudel--and then dine on the patio with a glorious view of the countryside or inside in the cozy dining room. One thing is always true though: good food, good wine and beer (or a yummy farm-made non-alcoholic beverage), and good company make for the most memorable meals.

*Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be added to a booking up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date if space allows. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change.

Day 5: Deggendorf, Straubing

Nestled between Regensburg and Passau sits a town surrounded by the foothills of the Bavarian Forest, Deggendorf. Journey deep into the alluring Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany’s first national park, and discover outdoor leisure at its best.

Bavarian Forest Adventure

Enter the Bavarian Forest, Germany’s first and largest national park, to discover an abundant wilderness covered in diverse flora and fauna. This area is home to several unique craft traditions, and you’ll have your choice of which ones you’d like to discover today.

Enjoy a schnapps tasting at a local distillery. In Germany, schnapps refers to any hard liquor, and each is distinguished by the ingredients it is distilled from. The word means “snap,” since schnapps is generally “snapped” back in the style of a shot.

From there, you’ll choose to either move on to a glass workshop and see how the local style of glassware is crafted, or for a more active outing, join us on a visit to a former Silver Mine. Ride up to the mine by cable car, get your helmet and dive deep into the mountain.

Into the woods

Enter the Bavarian Forest, Germany’s first and largest national park, to discover an abundant wilderness covered in diverse flora and fauna.

You’ll explore the forest in one of two ways today. If you choose to visit the glass workshop, you’ll join a family host to see how the local style of glassware is crafted. And for those looking for a more active outing, join a family host on a visit to a former silver mine. Ride up to the mine by cable car, get your helmet and dive deep into the mountain.

Day 6: Regensburg

The nearly 2,000-year-old history of Regensburg begins with a Roman fort in 90 AD, from which Regensburg grew into the large and prosperous trade center that it became in the last few centuries of the Medieval period. This long history has been excellently preserved through Regensburg’s iconic architecture—particularly its many Gothic and Romanesque churches and Patrician houses.

Regensburg walking tour

People have been describing Regensburg as “old and new” for a thousand years. A single structure perfectly illustrates this: Porta Praetoria, the gate built by the Romans during Marcus Aurelius’ reign. The gate and adjacent watchtower have been incorporated into a much newer building, but the plaster has been removed to reveal the ancient stones laid so long ago.

As you walk through the cobbled lanes of the UNESCO-designated Old Town, the city’s 2,000-year history is similarly revealed: the Stone Bridge that made Regensburg a 12th-century trading powerhouse, the Gothic town hall where the Imperial Diet met for three centuries, the 13th-century fortified patrician houses and the spectacular Cathedral of St. Peter, whose magnificent 14th-century stained-glass windows alone are worth your walk.

You’ll have free time to explore on your own. It’s very hard to get lost in Regensburg because the spires of the cathedral are visible all over town, so don’t hesitate to roam. The historic quarter not only boasts almost a thousand beautiful old buildings, but also many cozy pubs and some great shopping. The ship is docked conveniently close, so it’s easy to drop your treasures off and go back for more.

“From Hops Field to Beer Stein” farm visit

Hops vines grow up their strings in a field tower almost twice a person’s height. They’re grown for their flowers, which add a distinctive flavor to beer—but the fields they grow in add a distinctive flavor to the hops. You could call it terroir for beer, and you can delve into hops cultivation and hops brewing today. Travel through Bavaria’s Holledau region, the largest hops growing district in the world, and meet an enthusiastic ambassador of hops growing and beer making. She will give you a quick and lively history of hops in Germany—including Bavaria’s law governing the making of beer, which has specified since 1560 that the only ingredients permitted in beer are water, barley and hops—and lead you on a tour through the growing fields her family owns, followed by a craft beer tasting in the cozy barn turned beer hall. It’s a delicious way to get to know a fascinating aspect of the international farm-to-table movement.

Revved engines

Tour BMW’s state-of-the-art facility with an expert guide and see how their cars are produced from start to finish. Put on your safety goggles and factory coats and watch how massive conveyors lift the 3-series BMW up to be welded by computer-controlled robots. This tour offers a captivating look at the production of “the ultimate driving machine.”

BMW Factory Visit

  • Duration:
    3 hours
  • Activity Level:
    Intermediate
  • Price:
    $91 pre-purchase / €59 EUR onboard

TBA

*Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be added to a booking up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date if space allows. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change.

Day 7: Nuremberg

The archetypal medieval German city, Nuremberg was once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, housing many German kings in the Kaiserburg castle complex. Later, this city became the epicenter of the Nazi party. When the end of WWII left Nuremberg almost completely leveled, it was chosen to be the site of the war crimes tribunal—the Nuremberg Trials. Now, most of the city has been restored, including the old castle.

Nuremberg panoramic city tour

Nuremberg was never officially the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, but German rulers made this city their base for 500 years. They surrounded the medieval city with stout walls and built a great castle on a hilltop, which they expanded again and again over the centuries. Prosperous, secure and vibrant, Nuremberg lured artists and thinkers, merchants and scientists, for centuries.

Discover this archetypal medieval German city today as you trace the great ramparts and gate towers around the Old Town. Stroll through the castle gardens and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, then walk through a maze of cobblestone lanes down to the central Market Square, gathering around the well-named Beautiful Fountain, first erected in 1396. The red sandstone Church of Our Lady stands on the east side of the square—the 14th-century façade survived WWII bombing and, like much of Old Town, was meticulously reconstructed after the war, with the original stones plucked from the rubble.

Browse on your own following your tour; there is much to see and enjoy. The Germanisches National Museum is one of the largest museums in the world; in it, you'll find the first pocket watch ever made, the first globe produced in Europe, works by German artists and more. The half-timbered shops in Crafts Court, next to the King's Gate in the old wall, give you a sense of what it was like to buy goods in Renaissance Nuremberg—wooden toys, pewter cups and leather goods are for sale here, as are commemorative coins hand-stamped on a 15th-century press. Visit Dürer House, where Nuremberg's most famous native son, Albrecht Dürer, lived, or simply relax in a beer garden and enjoy the city's specialty sausages and dark beer.

Nuremberg city tour with WWII Rally Grounds and Documentation Center visits

Hitler considered Nuremberg the perfect expression of German culture (partly because of its significance in the Holy Roman Empire, which he called the First Reich), and so beginning in 1927, he chose to hold his massive rallies in the city. By 1933, his favorite architect, Albert Speer, had designed the vast Nazi Party Rally Grounds, where thousands upon thousands of Nazi troops saluted Hitler. (Leni Riefenstahl captured these events in her famous propaganda film Triumph of the Will.) Not all of Speer’s plans were executed, and some of his grandiose structures were bombed out of existence, but the remainder stand as vivid testimony to Hitler’s megalomania. A four-square-mile (10-square-kilometer) complex known as Zeppelin Fields contains parade grounds and a huge grandstand, the excavation site where a stadium for 400,000 people was begun—the hole is now filled with water—and the half-finished Congress Hall.

NOTE: The permanent exhibition at the Documentation Center will be closed until the fall of 2023. In its place, a special temporary exhibition may be available.

Nuremberg fox trail

Set out on a Nuremberg adventure that is equal parts scavenger hunt, sightseeing tour and city-wide escape room. Your quest: find the fox in the big city jungle. You’ll break into teams for this exciting challenge, roaming the city to look for the elaborately staged clues. In order to track down the fox, you’ll need your heads, hands and all of your senses—the clues can be anywhere! Fun for the whole family, this experience turns the whole city into your playground.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 8: Nuremberg (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Nuremberg Airport for your flight.

Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Day 1: Nuremberg (Embark)

Transfer from Nuremberg Airport to your ship. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.

Day 2: Nuremberg

The archetypal medieval German city, Nuremberg was once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, housing many German kings in the Kaiserburg castle complex. Later, this city became the epicenter of the Nazi party. When the end of WWII left Nuremberg almost completely leveled, it was chosen to be the site of the war crimes tribunal—the Nuremberg Trials. Now, most of the city has been restored, including the old castle.

Nuremberg fox trail

Set out on a Nuremberg adventure that is equal parts scavenger hunt, sightseeing tour and city-wide escape room. Your quest: find the fox in the big city jungle. You’ll break into teams for this exciting challenge, roaming the city to look for the elaborately staged clues. In order to track down the fox, you’ll need your heads, hands and all of your senses—the clues can be anywhere! Fun for the whole family, this experience turns the whole city into your playground.

Nuremberg panoramic city tour

Nuremberg was never officially the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, but German rulers made this city their base for 500 years. They surrounded the medieval city with stout walls and built a great castle on a hilltop, which they expanded again and again over the centuries. Prosperous, secure and vibrant, Nuremberg lured artists and thinkers, merchants and scientists, for centuries.

Discover this archetypal medieval German city today as you trace the great ramparts and gate towers around the Old Town. Stroll through the castle gardens and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, then walk through a maze of cobblestone lanes down to the central Market Square, gathering around the well-named Beautiful Fountain, first erected in 1396. The red sandstone Church of Our Lady stands on the east side of the square—the 14th-century façade survived WWII bombing and, like much of Old Town, was meticulously reconstructed after the war, with the original stones plucked from the rubble.

Browse on your own following your tour; there is much to see and enjoy. The Germanisches National Museum is one of the largest museums in the world; in it, you'll find the first pocket watch ever made, the first globe produced in Europe, works by German artists and more. The half-timbered shops in Crafts Court, next to the King's Gate in the old wall, give you a sense of what it was like to buy goods in Renaissance Nuremberg—wooden toys, pewter cups and leather goods are for sale here, as are commemorative coins hand-stamped on a 15th-century press. Visit Dürer House, where Nuremberg's most famous native son, Albrecht Dürer, lived, or simply relax in a beer garden and enjoy the city's specialty sausages and dark beer.

Nuremberg city tour with WWII Rally Grounds and Documentation Center visits

Hitler considered Nuremberg the perfect expression of German culture (partly because of its significance in the Holy Roman Empire, which he called the First Reich), and so beginning in 1927, he chose to hold his massive rallies in the city. By 1933, his favorite architect, Albert Speer, had designed the vast Nazi Party Rally Grounds, where thousands upon thousands of Nazi troops saluted Hitler. (Leni Riefenstahl captured these events in her famous propaganda film Triumph of the Will.) Not all of Speer’s plans were executed, and some of his grandiose structures were bombed out of existence, but the remainder stand as vivid testimony to Hitler’s megalomania. A four-square-mile (10-square-kilometer) complex known as Zeppelin Fields contains parade grounds and a huge grandstand, the excavation site where a stadium for 400,000 people was begun—the hole is now filled with water—and the half-finished Congress Hall.

NOTE: The permanent exhibition at the Documentation Center will be closed until the fall of 2023. In its place, a special temporary exhibition may be available.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 3: Regensburg

The nearly 2,000-year-old history of Regensburg begins with a Roman fort in 90 AD, from which Regensburg grew into the large and prosperous trade center that it became in the last few centuries of the Medieval period. This long history has been excellently preserved through Regensburg’s iconic architecture—particularly its many Gothic and Romanesque churches and Patrician houses.

Regensburg walking tour

People have been describing Regensburg as “old and new” for a thousand years. A single structure perfectly illustrates this: Porta Praetoria, the gate built by the Romans during Marcus Aurelius’ reign. The gate and adjacent watchtower have been incorporated into a much newer building, but the plaster has been removed to reveal the ancient stones laid so long ago.

As you walk through the cobbled lanes of the UNESCO-designated Old Town, the city’s 2,000-year history is similarly revealed: the Stone Bridge that made Regensburg a 12th-century trading powerhouse, the Gothic town hall where the Imperial Diet met for three centuries, the 13th-century fortified patrician houses and the spectacular Cathedral of St. Peter, whose magnificent 14th-century stained-glass windows alone are worth your walk.

You’ll have free time to explore on your own. It’s very hard to get lost in Regensburg because the spires of the cathedral are visible all over town, so don’t hesitate to roam. The historic quarter not only boasts almost a thousand beautiful old buildings, but also many cozy pubs and some great shopping. The ship is docked conveniently close, so it’s easy to drop your treasures off and go back for more.

“From Hops Field to Beer Stein” farm visit

Hops vines grow up their strings in a field tower almost twice a person’s height. They’re grown for their flowers, which add a distinctive flavor to beer—but the fields they grow in add a distinctive flavor to the hops. You could call it terroir for beer, and you can delve into hops cultivation and hops brewing today. Travel through Bavaria’s Holledau region, the largest hops growing district in the world, and meet an enthusiastic ambassador of hops growing and beer making. She will give you a quick and lively history of hops in Germany—including Bavaria’s law governing the making of beer, which has specified since 1560 that the only ingredients permitted in beer are water, barley and hops—and lead you on a tour through the growing fields her family owns, followed by a craft beer tasting in the cozy barn turned beer hall. It’s a delicious way to get to know a fascinating aspect of the international farm-to-table movement.

Revved engines

Tour BMW’s state-of-the-art facility with an expert guide and see how their cars are produced from start to finish. Put on your safety goggles and factory coats and watch how massive conveyors lift the 3-series BMW up to be welded by computer-controlled robots. This tour offers a captivating look at the production of “the ultimate driving machine.”

BMW Factory Visit

  • Duration:
    3 hours
  • Activity Level:
    Intermediate
  • Price:
    $91 pre-purchase / €59 EUR onboard

TBA

*Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be added to a booking up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date if space allows. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change.

Day 4: Straubing, Deggendorf, Vilshofen

Nestled between Regensburg and Passau sits a town surrounded by the foothills of the Bavarian Forest, Deggendorf. Journey deep into the alluring Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany’s first national park, and discover outdoor leisure at its best.

Bavarian Forest Adventure

Enter the Bavarian Forest, Germany’s first and largest national park, to discover an abundant wilderness covered in diverse flora and fauna. This area is home to several unique craft traditions, and you’ll have your choice of which ones you’d like to discover today.

Enjoy a schnapps tasting at a local distillery. In Germany, schnapps refers to any hard liquor, and each is distinguished by the ingredients it is distilled from. The word means “snap,” since schnapps is generally “snapped” back in the style of a shot.

From there, you’ll choose to either move on to a glass workshop and see how the local style of glassware is crafted, or for a more active outing, join us on a visit to a former Silver Mine. Ride up to the mine by cable car, get your helmet and dive deep into the mountain.

Into the woods

Enter the Bavarian Forest, Germany’s first and largest national park, to discover an abundant wilderness covered in diverse flora and fauna.

You’ll explore the forest in one of two ways today. If you choose to visit the glass workshop, you’ll join a family host to see how the local style of glassware is crafted. And for those looking for a more active outing, join a family host on a visit to a former silver mine. Ride up to the mine by cable car, get your helmet and dive deep into the mountain.

Day 5: Vilshofen, Passau

A new day brings new experiences in the “City of Three Rivers,” Passau, where the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers join together, at one time bringing an influx of wealth and culture into the region.

“Let’s Go” scenic Bavarian river biking

Set off on an invigorating bike ride venturing through Passau and Engelhartszell, led by one of our certified wellness instructors. Pedal through Passau's Old Town, past more charming villages, meadows and orchards. Wind your way through the lovely countryside, along the Danube’s right side, into the picturesque Danube Valley. These particular landscapes are some of the most beautiful in all of Europe—characterized by expansive vineyards, tree-lined slopes, and castle-dotted hillsides—and seamlessly blend the region’s cultural, historical and natural components together.

Passau walking tour

The skyline of Passau is dominated by two buildings that owe their existence to the prince-bishops who ruled the city until 1803: the great fortress looming on a hill above the three rivers, home to the bishops until the 17th century, and the green onion domes of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. As you walk through the cobblestone streets toward those green onion domes, you’ll realize that Passau retains the layout of the medieval town.

However, many of the wooden medieval buildings burned to the ground in the 17th century, and the prince-bishops imported Italian artists to build a new cathedral and a magnificent new residence for the bishops themselves. As a result, these splendid structures flaunt Italian baroque and rococo style and ornamentation, complete with opulent gilding and wonderful frescoes. Your guide will introduce you to some of the architectural highlights—the rococo stairways of the New Residence; the cathedral; and the Town Hall, which boasts a magnificent atrium adorned with large paintings by Ferdinand Wagner—and make sure you get a close-up view of the point where the three rivers meet.

"Let's Go" hiking around Passau

Set off on a nice but strenuous hike up St. Georgsberg mountain to the highest spot of Passau, where the fortress Veste Oberhaus is located. Designed to be a symbol of military strength and aristocracy, the imposing building sits high on the hill facing the rest of Passau across the Danube River. Now it is home to the Oberhausmuseum, a youth hostel, a restaurant and an open-air theater.

We’ll have time to walk around to see the Oberhaus up close and, more importantly, enjoy the most picturesque views to be found anywhere in Passau, before hiking back down the hill. At the bottom, we’ll find the historic Old Town, where St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located. After a total of 2 hours hiking, we end our tour in front of the Cathedral, whose baroque white façade and aquamarine domes are an iconic fixture of Passau architecture.

Ilz River splash

Enjoy an afternoon on the water with the chance to try out rowing, canoeing or paddle-boarding on the Ilz River, nicknamed the “Black Pearl,” due to the moors and bogs at its river basin that give the water a mesmerizing black color. The Ilz is a paradise for kayakers and paddle boarders alike and allows people of all experience levels to have fun here.

Treasure hunt trek

Join a local geocaching guide on a unique discovery of Passau’s historical and hidden spots. Pay close attention to clues and hints as you make your way from one station to the next, uncovering important historical information about your current location. Each station also includes a special activity for kids.

Pedal Passau

Head out on a cycling excursion on the famous Danube Bike Trail, venturing through Passau, Engelhartszell and other fascinating locales. This flat pathway hugs the river and offers spectacular views of Germany’s lush scenery. The Danube Bike Trail is one of Europe's largest, following stretches of the Danube in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

Bavarian Country Cooking Class

  • Duration:
    5 hours
  • Activity Level:
    Intermediate
  • UNESCO:
  • Price:
    $465 pre-purchase / €299 EUR onboard

Discover the true meaning of farm-to-table! Roll through the lush hills of lower Bavaria--with a stop to at a farm store to pick up cooking supplies--to serene and bountiful Hofgut Hafnerleiten. This rural haven, a compound of guest houses, gardens, orchards and a state-of-the-art kitchen, is a dream come true for your hosts today, Erwin and Anja Rückerl. “Hofgut” means big farm, and this big farm began as a rural cooking school 15 years ago. Erwin Rückerl is an award-winning chef who abandoned a successful restaurant career in Munich to live in harmony with nature, growing the food he cooks. Don an apron and help him prepare a delectable three-course meal of Bavarian specialties; naturally, the menu varies with the season and the fruits of the farm--you might make dumplings or schnitzel or apple strudel--and then dine on the patio with a glorious view of the countryside or inside in the cozy dining room. One thing is always true though: good food, good wine and beer (or a yummy farm-made non-alcoholic beverage), and good company make for the most memorable meals.

*Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be added to a booking up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date if space allows. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change.

Day 6: Weissenkirchen, Melk

Start your day in the heart of the Danube’s Wachau Valley, strolling through Weissenkirchen’s idyllic wine village while sampling mouth watering apricot treats. Named for its white church that dominates the landscape, the city is flanked by vineyard-lined hills, historic houses and beautiful courtyards. The Melk Abbey is a baroque monastery and sits atop a rocky formation overlooking the Danube.

Weissenkirchen village walk with wine tasting

You’ve seen the apricot orchards along the river banks; now taste the fruit. Begin with an easy walk to Weissenkirchen, which may be the prettiest village in the Wachau—and that’s saying quite a bit. Named for its famous white church, Weissenkirchen is simply picture-perfect. Its centuries-old wine estates, houses with colorful flower boxes, lovely gardens and apricot orchards make for a wonderfully idyllic setting between the river and the mountains. Later, sample some Wachau wines at a local winery where your guide will share various details about why these extraordinary wines are so unique.

Melk Abbey with library visit

The Babenbergs, a great medieval ducal family that controlled a wide swath of Austria before yielding to the Habsburgs, were the first to erect a castle on the hill above Melk, which they subsequently gave to Benedictine monks. These monks, some 900 years ago, turned it into a fortified abbey—and the greatest center of learning in Central Europe. Their library was celebrated far and wide (and still is; Umberto Eco paid tribute to it in his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose). Medieval monks there created more than 1,200 manuscripts, sometimes spending an entire lifetime hand-lettering a single volume. Today the library contains some 100,000 volumes, among them more than 80,000 works printed before 1800. This beautiful complex, completely redone in the early 18th century, is a wonderful example of baroque art and architecture, and the views from its terrace are spectacular. As you walk through the abbey’s Marble Hall with your guide, look up at the ceiling fresco painted by Paul Troger: Those classical gods and goddesses represent Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, allegorically bringing his people from dark to light and demonstrating the link he claimed to the original Roman Empire.

After your tour of the abbey, you’ll have time to explore Melk on your own, or you can take the motorcoach back to the ship.

“Let’s Go” vineyard hike

If you're up for a hike, join a group on a hike up through the vineyards. A stairway at the church will take you past the ancient cemetery and up to the hiking trail that leads through the vineyards planted with Riesling and Grüner Veltliner grapes. You'll enjoy expansive views over the river valley as you approach your resting point. An easy walk back to the ship; instead of a reverse hike, you can comfortably stroll back into the village via a different route, passing many small vintners along the way.

Day 7: Vienna

On this day, explore the “City of Waltzes” and dive into its vast artistic legacy with your choice of tours. The city is known for its imperial palaces, famous residents and expansive art collections. See the Musikverein, a beautiful concert hall that is home to the Vienna Philharmonic. Or delve into the hidden secrets of Vienna in some of its most historical sites.

Viennese highlights with Musikverein

Vienna is a city that has never failed to impress, and you’ll see why the moment your tour begins as you drive through streets lined with baroque architecture and pass by the grand, imperial Ringstrasse on your way to the famous Musikverein.

Vienna’s musical history is one of particular renown, and lays claim to such greats as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss. The Musikverein is Vienna’s premier center for classical music. Enjoy a guided tour through this historical building.

The Golden Hall of the Musikverein is known by friends of music all over the world, not only for being the permanent seat of the renowned Vienna Philharmonic and the main stage of the Vienna Mozart Orchestra, but also for its unique architecture.

After touring the Musikverein, you will set out on foot to see the city up close, passing by the Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and all the other highlights of downtown Vienna.

The secrets of Vienna

The city of Vienna is famous for its charm and beauty, but it’s also full of mystery under the surface. Uncover the many secrets of Vienna with your guide as you head all over town, diving deep into the city’s past at such historical sites as the allegedly haunted Imperial Palace.

The star of our tour is Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, whose gothic spire and extravagantly tiled roofs are an iconic element of Vienna’s cityscape. Also known as the Stephansdom, this nearly millennium-old building has seen many architectural changes over the centuries and features various secret signs and symbols, added to send covert messages to those who could decipher them. Luckily, your guide can help you do just that.

Magical history tour

Watch as history comes alive on this exploration of the city at the interactive multimedia venue Time Travel Vienna. Discover Vienna’s eventful history in a unique way; Time Travel Vienna features a 5D cinema, animatronic wax figures, rides and multimedia shows equipped with extraordinary sound and light effects. After, you’ll embark on a humorous and expertly-led walk around the city that will bring you to the historic St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Schönbrunn royal experience

Learn more about the everyday life of the imperial family at the “Schloss Schönbrunn Experience” Children’s Museum. Dress up as a prince or princess, learn the secret language of fans, play with imperial toys or set the table for an imperial dinner. Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, is a stunning 1,441 room Baroque palace that’s revered as one of the most important architectural and historical monuments in the country. Marvel at its over 300 years of history that reflect the changing tastes of former monarchs and wander through its vast gardens.

Private Mozart and Strauss Concert

  • Duration:
    3.5 hours
  • Activity Level:
    Intermediate
  • Price:
    $149 pre-purchase / €96 EUR onboard

Vienna is linked inextricably with music, as so many great composers lived and worked here: Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Schubert, Mahler, Brahms- the list is as long as it is glorious. Enjoy an evening of chamber music performed by some of Vienna's world class professionals in a historic and intimate concert venue.

*Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be added to a booking up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date if space allows. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change.

Schönbrunn with strudel show

  • Duration:
    3.5 hours
  • Activity Level:
    Intermediate
  • Price:
    $119 pre-purchase / €76 EUR onboard

Embrace the imperial flair of Vienna with a visit to the famous Schönbrunn Palace complex. Arrive to marvel at the massive Baroque building with its iconic yellow exteriors and head straight to the East Wing, where you’ll find Cafe Residenz. Housed in the former kitchens for the palace guard, this elegant Viennese coffee shop and restaurant prepares the same traditional strudel recipe once used by the imperial palace bakers. Today, their pastry chef will demonstrate the laborious process of preparing this pastry. To get a perfectly smooth, elastic dough, a particularly rigorous kneading method is required. The dough is then rolled paper thin and topped with apple filling, and the entire pastry is then rolled up to create the characteristic spiral pattern that appears when sliced after baking. You’ll leave this demonstration with your own copy of the original recipe. After the Strudel show, enjoy a guided visit of the palace. Stroll hallways elaborately decorated with golden stucco, rich velvet and stunning frescoes. This palace complex was the primary summer residence of the Habsburgs and features many testaments to their history and extravagance.

*Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be added to a booking up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date if space allows. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 8: Vienna (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Vienna International Airport for your flight home.

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