Style : River cruise
Grand European Tour tour

Grand European Tour

Viking River Cruises Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.8 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. 2- 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: $ 4,899 $ 327 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Visit fascinating abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery
  • Opportunity to tour Regensburg a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Get an opportunity to visit 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Discover Netherlands
  • Visit Marksburg Castle, the only Rhine fortress never destroyed

Short Description

Travel through the heart of Europe

Admire Rhine Valley vistas from a 900-year-old castle. Sample the food and wine of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Learn the Viennese waltz and linger in Budapest’s Café Gerbeaud. Indulge all your senses on this 15-day journey spanning the best of Europe. Our most iconic itinerary traces the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers between the windmill-dotted waterways of Holland and the stunning landscapes of Hungary, with engaging encounters at every bend.

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: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Meals: Dinner

Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Rijksmuseum, or the van Gogh Museum next door.

Day 2: Kinderdijk, The Netherlands

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning we sail to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a tour of this ingenious network of windmills and other flood management devices. You learn why the windmills were built and see how they work, plus you enter a working windmill for a tour of its mechanisms and living quarters. Return aboard for lunch and an enjoyable afternoon of Dutch diversions: sample handcrafted Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, and try your hand at sjoelen (Dutch table shuffleboard). We cruise through the night.

Day 3: Cologne, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

You have a morning tour of Cologne, including a visit to the Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After your tour, spend the rest of the day and evening exploring Cologne on your own: There are Roman ruins, interesting neighborhoods and wonderful museums like the Fragrance Museum and the Chocolate Museum. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Lunch and dinner are served aboard; we depart at midnight.

Day 4: Koblenz, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine, stopping in Koblenz to visit Marksburg Castle, the only Rhine fortress never destroyed. After your tour, continue cruising this stunning stretch of the Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass the Lorelei Rock, which marks the river’s narrowest point and is named after the legendary Rhine maiden who lured sailors to their demise. Lunch and dinner are served aboard your ship.

Day 5: Miltenberg, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

The morning is spent sailing along the beautiful Main River as it winds its way through the Spessart region, home of the actual Snow White. After lunch, we stop in Miltenberg, known for its half-timbered houses and Germany’s oldest inn. Join our walking tour that concludes with free time for you to explore. Back on your ship, learn about the region’s glassblowing traditions during a live demonstration. We sail through the night to Würzburg.

Day 6: Würzburg, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After breakfast, tour Würzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then enjoy scenic afternoon cruising. Or, instead of touring Würzburg, join an optional full-day journey along Germany’s “Romantic Road” to Rothenburg, which features a turreted city wall and impressive Gothic and baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship for dinner.

Day 7: Bamberg, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Sail through the morning; after lunch we visit Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the picturesque city hall built on a tiny island in the middle of a river. Take some free time to enjoy Bamberg and perhaps try some of the town’s distinctive smoke-flavored beer before returning aboard.

Day 8: Nuremberg, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After breakfast, disembark in Nuremberg and visit the ruins of Zeppelin Field, the Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s; then see the Palace of Justice, site of the infamous Nuremberg Trials. Spend free time exploring Nuremberg’s Old Town, or join an optional World War II tour that includes the illuminating Documentation Center Museum. We depart just before dinner.

Day 9: Regensburg, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Arrive in Regensburg midday. After lunch, tour this wonderfully preserved medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including structures dating back to Roman times. Discover many 13th- and 14th-century patrician houses and see the splendid St. Peter’s Cathedral. During free time, visit the Alte Würstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany’s oldest restaurant. Dinner is served aboard before our evening departure.

Day 10: Passau, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. You’ll see the New Bishop’s Residence and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ, considered Europe’s largest church organ.† Enjoy lunch aboard your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own before departing. We cruise through the night.

†Passau organ concert is only available May 1-October 31 and is closed on Sunday.

Day 11: Melk, Austria

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After breakfast, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship; cruise through the spectacular Wachau Valley this afternoon. Before dinner, you have time to explore the time-honored town of Krems and see the Steiner Tor, the last remaining city gate, or sample some local vintages from this famous wine-producing region.

Day 12: Vienna, Austria

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today we tour the Austrian capital of Vienna. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the city’s baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephan’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or you may take an optional tour to Schönbrunn Palace, the “Versailles of Vienna,” erected in 1778 and graced by a number of formal gardens, Grecian statuary, the world’s oldest zoo and Roman ruins. After dinner, relax or enjoy an optional classical concert.

Day 13: Vienna, Austria

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Enjoy a day at leisure in Vienna. Perhaps see an unrivaled collection of Old Masters and other spectacular art treasures at the Museum of Fine Arts, or visit the Albertina, with the most valuable graphic arts collection in the world. Maybe ride the Riesenrad, the world’s oldest Ferris wheel, or go shopping for high-quality gifts inspired by the turn-of-the-century arts movement. A cup of coffee or tea and a slice of exquisite sächertorte are a must for any afternoon in Vienna. Later, rejoin your ship and sail for Budapest.

Day 14: Budapest, Hungary

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

The Danube River divides Hungary’s capital city into the once separate towns of Buda and Pest. Explore both sides, starting with Pest’s National Opera House and historic Heroes’ Square. In Buda, walk along Castle Hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. Enjoy lunch aboard your ship, with the rest of the day to explore on your own. Return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian dinner.

Day 15: Budapest, Hungary

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic, where you tour Old Town landmarks and Prague Castle.

Availability

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Price From $ 4,899
Price Per Day: $ 327 per day
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39 Viking River Cruises Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.8 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 37
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 2
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8

Grand European Tour

Incredible experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Incredible experience sailing on the Grand European tour from Amsterdam to Budapest! Just wonderful! The tours were interesting, and most allowed for adequate free time to explore the areas visited. But the staff! Beyond compare.
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Company Reviews

Tourico Vacations -Rhine River Cruise

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Rhine Getaway Itinerary:
We sailed from Basel, Switzerland up north on the Rhine River and ended at Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Viking also offers the same route in reverse, from Amsterdam to Basel so you can pick either. For a couple stops on the journey, boats running in opposite cities are docked together.

We had a wonderful time and especially loved how organized the entire Viking journey was, from pre-departure to on-board, everything was seamless. Also unlike many other cruises or guided tours, almost everything was included, which made it feel like a truly relaxing vacation.

Here’s a snapshot of our 7-day itinerary and what we got up to each day!

Day 1: Arrive in Basel, Switzerland

We arrived in the small, quaint town of Basel after our international flight. This was the general arrival / travel date so we expected to just check in and relax but discovered that Viking organized a guided walking tour of the town. That was a nice surprise!

There’s also the option to arrive a couple days early and/or stay a couple days late. If you are thinking of this, here’s a quick guide to the best hotels in Basel to help with accommodation.

Basel is an underrated tourist attraction and the third largest city in Switzerland. The town has a gorgeous Medieval center and plenty of world-class art museums. There’s a reason Art Basel is held here!

We checked out the Romanesque cathedral, took endless pictures of the colorful medieval buildings and headed back to our ship to relax and meet everyone for cocktails and dinner. A great first day!

Read more: An Afternoon in Basel, Switzerland’s Most Underrated City!

Day 2: Germany’s Black Forest & Colmar, France

On our second day, we sailed northward to dock at Breisach, Germany. In the morning, we learned how to make cuckoo-clocks, put together Black Forest cake and walked a bit throughout the Black Forest.

The wooded mountain range is the site of many local legends and populated all over with black fir trees. If you like hiking, the mountains are wonderful!

In the afternoon, we signed up for an optional tour to Colmar. Located in the Alsace Lorraine region, the town is part of France but throughout much of history, changed hands between Germany and France. You’ll find lots of German and French spoken as a result!

I highly recommend visiting this quaint medieval town. Every street looks perfectly preserved and it’s quite colorful. We wandered mostly on our own, ducking into gelato shops and chocolate stores while enjoying the colorful, medieval feel.

Read more: The Most Picturesque Alsatian Town of Colmar

Day 3: Strasbourg, France

If you skip the optional to Colmar, no worries! Strasbourg is its larger cousin and also located in Alsace, France.

We had a wonderful guide for this day who guided us throughout the small canals, pointing out colorful streets and letting us know about Strasbourg’s tangled history in the hands of Germany and France.

Strasbourg occupies a strategic position on the Rhine River and is the ninth largest city in France. It’s home to many European councils and organizations, like the European Court of Human Rights (a building built like a ship) and the Council of Europe.

For the most part, we stuck to the Old Medieval Town but drove through the modern section. Highly recommend a visit to the Cathedral!

Read more: 24 Hours in Strasbourg (coming soon)

Day 4: Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg is a university town with a energetic, small town feel. In the morning, we visited Heidelberg Castle, which perhaps should be called a ruined fortress, as much of it was destroyed by lightening, fires and war.

The ruins and castle are built high above the city and the observation terrace is well worth a look! Meanwhile, the city was almost entirely spared from bomb attacks during World War II and it’s narrow streets and baroque charm remain largely intact.

We explored Heidelberg’s Old Town (Altstadt) by walking along the main shopping street Hauptstrasse. This is actually the longest shopping street in Europe! For the most part, I spotted large chain stores & restaurants.

I actually recommend skipping this street to explore the quaint alleyways and backstreets instead. Much more picturesque!

Read more: The Best of Heidelberg Germany in 1 Day

Day 5: Rhine River Castles & Koblenz, Germany

By day 5, we had reached the middle Rhine and spent our morning above deck watching the gorgeous small German towns and castles along both sides of the Rhine River. Our Viking program director gave a guided tour along the way, pointing out castles left and right.

Many of them are situated high above local towns and we saw lots of German camper vans parked at the base. I recommend bringing a pair of binoculars for this part, as some of the castles can be set a bit farther away and the detail through a zoom is incredible.

By afternoon, we reached Koblenz, a city set at the mouth of two rivers. We explored Marksburg Castle and wandered a bit on our own after. This was another ruined fortress high above the river. Interesting history, but wear good shoes! The entire castle is unpaved, rocky and entirely uneven.

A couple others from the cruise did the optional dinner excursion on this day and raved about it.

Read more: A Photo Diary of Pretty Rhine Castles

Day 6: Cologne, Germany

During the Holy Roman Empire, Cologne was the largest medieval town in Europe. Naturally, it’s Gothic cathedral is the hallmark draw! The nice thing about this stop is the ship can dock right into town, so you can join the tour or explore on your own.

We explored the Kölner Dom’s interior and were suitably awed. If you want a great view, Viking offers an optional tour that takes you all the way to the very top! I had already been to Cologne on a previous trip so instead, we opted for a palace excursion.

We visited Augustusburg Castle, one of two gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site classified as Bruhl Palaces. The castle was once home to the prince-archbishops of Cologne and is decked out in gold, marble and all-around extravagance.

I particularly liked the massive entryway staircase which was gilded and made my mouth drop open when we turned the corner. Highly recommend this day trip if you love castles half as much as I do!

The interiors were really unique and the guided tour was excellent. After the main palace, we did a quick tour of the hunting lodge as well, which was just as stunning.

Read more: Exploring Cologne (coming soon)

Day 7: Kinderdijk, The Netherlands

Kinderdijk is home to the Netherlands’ famous windmills. I’ll admit I didn’t know too much about the country outside of Amsterdam and our guide was quite helpful to explain the history of the nation and the purpose of its many windmills. Much of the Netherlands would sink, were it not for windmills to pump away water.

We even got to tour inside the home of a windmill keeper (see photos of a windmill interior here!). What I didn’t realize was that windmill caretakers actually lived inside them with their families!

I thought the interiors were particularly interesting and our guide mentioned that some Dutch families managed to fit 13 children inside.

They’re quite small so I noticed lots of hooks for hanging, curved bunk-bed type rooms and lots of stair ladders. The Dutch windmill keepers also had a number of really unique boats which I took too many pictures of!

Fun fact: Kinderdijk is in the region of Holland in the nation of The Netherlands where the people speak Dutch.

Read more: Visiting A Dutch Windmill Home (and other day trips from Amsterdam!)

The Rhine Getaway Cruise

One thing I liked about sailing with Viking is how leisurely the day to day pace is. There’s generally an opportunity to sight see in the morning and afternoon, with one included tour and one optional tour.

We chose to do 2 optionals and on the other days, relaxed on board or went into town to explore on our own! It was a well-balanced pace and I truly felt “on vacation”.

Here’s a recap of our daily itinerary with Viking:
Day 1 Arrive in Basel, Switzerland
Day 2 Morning: Sail to the Black Forest

Afternoon: Explore Colmar, France
Day 3 Explore Strasbourg, France
Day 4 Morning: Explore Heidelberg’s Castle and Old Town.

Evening: Stop in Rudesheim
Day 5 Morning: See German castles along the Rhine River

Afternoon: Visit Koblenz, Germany
Day 6 Morning: Visit Cologne, Germany

Afternoon: Day trip to Bruhl Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Day 7 See dutch windmills at Kinderdijk. Arrive in Amsterdam in late evening.
Watch video: Tourico Vacations Viking River Cruise

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Great time

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Took our first trip on a Viking River Cruise on the Danube and had a great time. Viking's included and optional tours were wonderful and having their own tour buses was a real plus as all were well maintained and clean. Some of the best tour guides we have ever encountered. Service was superb and the food was very good. One member of our party became quite ill and the staff did an excellent job ensuring their safety and providing assistance even after the cruise ended as they had to stay on at our last stop before being able to travel home. Cabins were very nice and clean. Would highly recommend them to anyone and we plan on another trip in the near future.
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WONDERFUL STAFF & SEAMLESS ORGANIZATION

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our first Viking cruise, and hopefully not our last. Wonderful staff and seamless organization. . . .The excursions were well planned and informative, and the local guides were well prepared. We would like to compliment some of the staff for their ever-smiling attention
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What a memorable trip!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A truly “golden” adventure. My sister and I took our first Viking cruise on the Passage to Eastern Europe and had been impressed with Viking’s service. For years, I’d wanted to explore the Douro River of Portugal, being interested in “roads”—or in this case, rivers—less traveled. This trip exceeded my expectations and proved without any doubt that Viking’s attention to service and to hiring a real “team” of happy crew members pays off for everyone on board. Not only were the excursions—both included and optional—excellent, as was the cuisine, but the camaraderie among the staff was obvious. What a memorable trip! Hopefully, every other passenger on this trip in the future will experience the beauty and history that the Douro River affords as well as Viking’s delightful and personal service.
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wonderful memories on this trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We just got home traveling down the Danube from Passau to Budapest. We did the pre stay in Prague. I must start by saying that we were extremely worried about this trip due to the low water situation. Everything about this trip was organized. All the Viking reps and guides were extremely knowledgeable and helpful to answer any questions we had.

Once on the boat we had a large group 18 people of all different ages and the staff took very good care of us. The waiters in the dining room took care of our family as if it was their own and paid close attention to our needs. If we suggested or asked for something it was there for us the next day. Of all the tour guides we had there were only 2 that weren’t that good. All the others were extremely knowledgeable and answered any questions we had. The only thing I would suggest to do different is cut out the 3 hrs we have in Slovakia and either add time to Vienna or Budapest. Those 2 cities are beautiful and it was hard to squeeze everything in. All in all my family had a great time and made wonderful memories on this trip.
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Details

Ship Name

Viking Longship Aegir

Ship Stats

Explorer Suite (Es) Features

  • Suite size: 445 sq. ft.
  • Hotel-style beds 79 inches x 63 inches (with optional twin-bed configuration)
  • Private wraparound veranda off the spacious living room offers 270-degree views
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, known as a French balcony, in the bedroom
  • Large bathroom with shower, heated mirror & floor, premium bath products
  • Telephone, refrigerator, safe, hair dryer & bottled water replenished daily
  • Bathrobe and slippers available upon request
  • Individual climate control
  • Space under bed for storing suitcases
  • Roomy wardrobe with wooden hangers
  • Voltage: 220V and 110V in stateroom
  • Two Sony 40-inch flat-panel TVs with premium entertainment package including: BBC News, CNBC, CNN, National Geographic, TNT Series, Sky Sports, videos on demand and “View From the Bridge”
  • View the Explorer Suite in our 360° Longship Tour

Ship Description

Sailing our most popular itineraries, our award-winning Viking Longships showcase innovative engineering, streamlined design and understated elegance for the most comfortable river cruise experience available.

See the 360° Longship Walking Tour

See the 360° Longship Tour

Deck & Cabin Plans

Features

All Deck & Cabin Plans (affiliate link) Trip Photos (affiliate link)

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Standard Group - 25 + people

Cancellation policy

For any cruise/land booking, whether under deposit, partially paid, or paid in full and air-inclusive packages paid in full, the following travel agent or guest-requested situations are considered cancellations and penalties will apply as noted below: changes to departure date; substitutions of itinerary; substitution of another person for original booked guest(s); or changing to a promotional fare. All cancellations must be in writing. For all air-inclusive packages cancelled after issuance of an airline ticket, the air portion of the refund, if any, will be processed only after the return of airline ticket to Viking. The following cancellation charges will be assessed for all written cancellations received prior to departure up to the scheduled time of departure.

 

Cancellation received | Following charges will apply: (Broken out by days before departure) 121 days or more is $100 per person | 120-90 days is 15% of full fare | 89-60 days is 35% of full fare | 59-30 days is 50% of full fare | 29-0 days is 100% of full fare.

Full Fare is defined as the full cost of any cruise, land or air component purchased from Viking.

Trip ID#:

GraEurVik

Meals Included

14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches and 14 Dinners

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