8 Day Dashing Through The Danube
1. Embark At Regensburg
What's up, river roaming crew? Who's pumped for 2 weeks of water based good times? Good, because our welcome party complete with tasty German street food is the perfect ice breaker. Tonight is our first as a group, so let's start out on a high, and given the fact that Regensburg offers the highest concentration of bars per square mile, it won't be difficult.
2. Regensburg To Passau
Today, explore this medieval city and its Christmas markets as you learn about its 2,000 years of history with an included walking tour. Then, you have free time to explore more Christmas markets, narrow old town alleys, bars, antique shops and general x-mas party feel on your own. Or, be tempted by one of our U Time optionals, like a Brewery class from a Bavarian brewmaster, a guided tour of BMW's factory or learn about the history of Regensburg through the middle ages. Tonight, join us onboard for a beer mixology class and traditional Bavarian dinner (think sausages, roasts, sauerkraut and dumplings. YUM!). Say goodbye to Regensburg as we party the night away with an onboard DJ party and make our way to Passau overnight.
3. Passau To Melk
We'll start the day's adventures with a scenic winter hike to two viewpoints overlooking Passau, admiring the town's Christmas markets in front of the baroque cathedral and crooked lanes on route. Then, it's decision time - either explore the town's shopping and great selection of Traditional Lederhosen and hip Dirndl Dresses or to take part in one of our U Time optionals - a scenic drive through the Bavarian Forests to the Christmas markets located in an old granite quarry. Or, enjoy the outdoors with a Bavarian Curling lesson - a typical Bavarian/Austrian winter pastime. Tonight, enjoy a delish Viennese dinner onboard, followed by a European movie night. Then, we say goodbye to Passau and make our way to Melk overnight.
4. Melk To Vienna
After a leisurely brunch, enjoy some free time to explore Melk's Old Town Market or perhaps take a winter jog up Abbey Hill or along the Danube banks before you refuel with some delish local cuisine. Or, opt to check out Melk Abbey, which boasts a 900 year old history and has a library any book nerd will literally drool over. Of course, like many other European countries, Austria has a dark and often deeply saddening past, so today you'll have the option to venture to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, which operated from 1938-45, to learn more with an educational tour. Then, this evening join us onboard for a PM scenic sail of the Wachau Valley, villages, castle ruins and mountains as we set sail to Vienna. After a well-deserved dinner, learn all about the spirits of Christmas with a Mixology class before we arrive in Vienna later tonight just in time for a tour of the city including a late night subway/tram tour.
Even the Grinch would find it hard not to fall in love with during Christmas time. With its enchanting Christmas Markets and lights, the atmosphere during this festive time of year is pure magic. After a leisurely breakfast, get oriented with Austria's artistic capital city as you explore the X-mas markets of Feyung, the illuminated neo-gothic City Hall, and the artisan markets and festivities of Karlsplatz square (x-mas delights tasting included). Then, the choice is yours with a free afternoon in . You could explore the world-class museums, famous coffeehouses, pastry stores, ice rink at Konzert House, vintage shops or all of the above. Or let us tempt you with an opera music/Viennese cooking class (at the same time, incredibly), and even a unique Neni cooking class and dining experience at Naschmarkt. Then tonight, opt to join us for an evening of Mozart and Strauss performed by a high profile chamber orchestra at a concert hall in Klosterneuburg Abbey (with a musician meet and greet plus bubbling after). And if all THAT wasn't enough, we'll conclude with an included Magic Christmas evening complete with a spectacular light show, video projection broadcast onto building sides, DJs and live music, ice skating and curling, as well as a specialty punch to keep you toasty and warm.
6. Vienna To Budapest Via Bratislava
With its small town charm, Czech beer, bohemian cuisine and art deco cafes, Slovakia's capital city doesn't disappoint. An hour long walking tour will get you fully orientated, then feast your eyes on our ME Time Optionals on how to make this pit stop one to really remember - wakeboarding, anyone? Onboard, chef will be teaching us all a thing or two about his favourite Austrian deserts. ...and then bam, we're in (yet another) country, and how pumped are you to be in Budapest? Who's up for heading straight out to see what the ruin bars are saying...?
Majestic, sprawling, bohemian, post-modern - just some of the words we could use to describe . But hey, we'll leave you to make your own judgements. What we will do, however, is take you to one of our favourite spots, the covered market, where chef will introduce you to some of Hungary's most iconic flavours, including its favourite spice, paprika. Of course this IS the city of spas and a hot bed for geothermal activity, so naturally soaking in various water temperatures until you resemble a prune is likely high on the agenda. If we can tempt you away, our Optionals include visiting some seriously gorgeous libraries, and braving the aptly named House of Terror museum. Tonight, we'll feast like Kings on the produce we bought earlier from the market.
8. Disembark At Budapest
After one more blissful sleep, we're sad to say it's all over. River cruising, you're our new favourite way of travelling