Style : River cruise
Stunning Danube, Hungary

Magnificent Europe Eastbound

Avalon Waterways Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.8 . Excellent
97%
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments. Very Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
15 days
From: $ 5,197 $ 346 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • 15 day river cruise from amsterdam to Budapest
  • Deluxe 14-night cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
  • Charming wine village of Rüdesheim
  • Visits to Würzburg’s Bishop’s Residenz
  • The phenomenal Benedictine Abbey in Melk
  • Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim

Short Description

See the highlights of Central Europe on this enchanting river cruise between Amsterdam and Budapest. Guided sightseeing in each city shows you the highlights, and is conducted by Certified Local Guides. Cruise through the scenic canals of Amsterdam and through the dramatic Rhine Gorge past the legendary Lorelei rock. Spend time in magnificent Cologne, the charming wine village of Rüdesheim, medieval Bamberg, historical Nuremberg, and magical Vienna. Attend a beer tasting in Bamberg and enjoy inside visits of Würzburg’s Bishop’s Residenz, and St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava. While on board, be sure to have your camera ready to capture the scenic beauty, quaint towns, fascinating architecture, and historic buildings dotting the landscape as you sail along.

Style River cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Amsterdam
End City Budapest

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive In Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)

Meals: Dinner

Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich 700-year-old history and a distinct ambiance. Maybe stroll through the lively marketplace or see the works of famous Dutch masters at world-renowned museums. This afternoon, board your river cruise ship and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception.

Note: Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2: Amsterdam

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today, get a unique perspective of Amsterdam on an included CANAL CRUISE, floating along the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time in the city this afternoon—or you might like to join an optional excursion before bidding tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and setting sail for Germany.

Day 3: Cologne, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne after lunch. One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during free time, consider checking out the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years!

Day 4: Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, cruise through the dramatic RHINE GORGE—without a doubt, the most beautiful stretch of river and where ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the rock of the Lorelei, where legend tells of enchanted siren song that lured sailors to their doom. On your included shore excursion in pretty Rüdesheim, visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll be mesmerized by the self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT and free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colorful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Main Village River

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. With half-timbered houses, narrow streets, and medieval town centers, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer’s delight. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a GUIDED WALK.

Day 6: Würzburg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” makes an immediate impression with imposing Marienberg Fortress perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR this morning, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Depart Würzburg at lunchtime and spend a leisurely afternoon cruising the Main River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7: Bamberg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! Wander the town’s serpentine streets with their charming houses and 18th-century mansions. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8: Nuremberg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Although 90% of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. This morning, choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized “NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS” tour.

Day 9: Regensburg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany, then grab a beer and enjoy a SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Here—where the locals congregate—feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS.

Day 10: Passau

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow 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. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK through this charming town, and find out much more about the “City of Three Rivers.” Alternatively, you might like to join a full-day optional excursion to Salzburg to see some of The Sound of Music sights or to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 11: Dürnstein, Austria. Excursion To Göttweig Abbey

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

A day of magical scenery awaits you today! As you cruise into the Wachau Valley, pass unmistakable Melk Abbey, high up and overlooking the river. Then, head into the heart of the Wachau wine region to Dürnstein, known for its baroque blue Stiftskirche. A Local Guide will take you on a WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. Later, an excursion takes you to the magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Göttweig, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also positioned high up overlooking the Danube.

Day 12: Vienna

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Early this morning, arrive in Vienna, the “City of Music,” which inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. 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 Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sites you’ll see on your GUIDED 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.

Day 13: Bratislava, Slovakia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

At the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is Bratislava, the dynamic capital of Slovakia. After breakfast, join your Local Guide for a tour of the city, including a GUIDED WALK of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestoned streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. This afternoon is free to explore on your own.

Day 14: Budapest, Hungary

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, see Heroes Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church. Be sure to note the city’s eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. In your free time this afternoon you may want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. Alternatively, consider visiting St. Stephen’s Basilica with marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform, or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street.

Day 15: Budapest (Disembarkation)

Meals: Breakfast

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 5,197
Price Per Day: $ 346 per day
  • Deposit Price: $ 250

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Avalon Waterways .

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

1,580 Avalon Waterways Travel Reviews & Ratings

97%
4.8 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 1,362
Great 130
Average 44
Disappointing 12
Terrible 32
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8

Magnificent Europe Eastbound

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Company Reviews

This was our first riverboat cruise and…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our first riverboat cruise and we loved it! The staff was awesome, and the entire experience was great. The food was delicious, service was excellent. The excursion options were nice. Will definitely do another during warm weather.
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Avalon boats are wonderful

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
The services on the boat were top notch. There wasn't a bad place on the boat to spend time. The cabins were lovely, the various decks were well stocked and comfortable. It was a great way to view the Balkans.
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Avalon continues to provide excellent service

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We experienced our second Avalon River Cruise this year (first one was in 2018) sailing from Basel to Amsterdam. During those 4 years, Avalon has developed a kiosk in the lobby where information about the day's itinerary and dining options are easily accessed. "Checking out and in" from excursions also happens at the kiosk. My husband wears braces on his ankles due to end stage osteoarthritis, and although he can walk short distances, without a wheelchair, he would not have been able to participate in excursions. His battery operated wheelchair is designed for travel, folds and is easily transported. We worked with Avalon to allow his wheelchair to be brought on board with the understanding that it would be stored in our cabin when not on excursions. He was able to navigate cobblestone streets, hills, and was able to reach places where he could not have gone without use of a wheelchair. We chose to extend our vacation to Paris and London as part of the package we booked with Avalon. Even with needing to use the wheelchair with those transfers via high speed train and the Eurostar, our transfers were completed with absolutely no issues. Thanks to Avalon, we were able to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary trip and my husband was able to experience all that Avalon offered to us. Our best vacation to date!!
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Outstanding Egypt tour

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Overall an excellent experience. Our tour guide Hassan was extraordinary. Cairo hotels were top notch; and don't miss the Indian restaurant at Marriott Mena House! Enjoyed the Nile cruise aboard MS Farah. Didn't expect two super-early-AM departures during the tour, but as they say, it builds character!
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We loved the entire adventure!

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We loved the entire adventure! The room, the food, the service, all excellent. We are planning another Avalon river cruise in 2023.

Everything was top notch

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Everything was top notch. The food and wine were all very good. Our cruise director Tony was top notch! All the staff from the bar/dining rooms to housekeeping were top of the line. Thanks to all these folks our cruise rates a 5 out of 5.
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Standard Group - 25 + people

Cancellation policy

Booking Cancellations & Cancellation Fees:

If a booking cancellation is received by Avalon prior to the final payment date of your vacation, your non-refundable land deposit and Travel Protection payments will be retained in addition to your Flex-Air deposit, Instant Purchase Air payment and service fee, and/or intra-vacation air deposit. For individual reservations, the following per person cancellation fees apply. Total price does not include discounts, promotions, or special incentives. (For group reservations, refer to the Group Policy.)

Standard Cancellation Fees:

90-60 days prior to commencement of services: 35% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

59-30 days prior to commencement of services: 50% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

29-1 days prior to commencement of services: 80% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

On departure day and later: 100% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

Additional Information

Meals

Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés

Welcome dinner

Daily Afternoon Tea

Daily Night Fare

Farewell dinner

Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel

Notes:

Departure October 28 is offered as an exclusive Music Cruise, including special concerts and performances at no additional cost. Our Music Cruise includes excursions to a classical concert in Vienna, a visit to Mozart’s Salzburg birthplace, and the countryside where “the hills are alive with the sound of music.”

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 becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.

Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Trip ID#:

MagEurAva

What's excluded

  • Transfers
  • Alcohol & beverages outside of the contracted menu
  • Additional excursions and activities not listed as 'included' in the itinerary
  • Travel Protection premiums
  • Other items of a personal nature.

Meals Included

14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches and 14 Dinners

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