From Gothic Hungarian spires to imperial Viennese treasures, discover the fairytale scenery and legendary landmarks of Central Europe. Aboard the Scenic Amber, cruise the fabled Danube River from Budapest through Austria's stunning Wachau Valley to Nuremburg. Explore gilded palaces and meticulously manicured gardens in Vienna and Salzburg; bike past charming red-roofed villages laced with lush vineyards; and witness the tapestry of medieval, Renaissance, and Roman architecture woven through old-world Europe.
Arrive in Budapest and embark the Scenic Amber. Enjoy a welcome dinner on board, complete with views of the city glittering under the night sky.
Discover the two distinct sides of this Hungarian capital—the cobbled hills of Buda and the grand boulevards of Pest, linked by eight stately bridges that span the Danube. Climb historic Castle Hill to see the Royal Palace and see Matthias Church, the stunning setting for the coronations and weddings of the Habsburg royalty. Alternatively, explore Budapest through the lens of its Jewish history; hike the Buda Hills that rise beyond the city center; or venture to the charming riverfront town of Szentendre, home to a thriving artist colony.
Cruise the Danube toward Vienna, tracing the border of Hungary and Slovakia before crossing into Austria. Relax in the lounge in views of colorful waterfront towns and hilltop fortifications. This evening arrive in Vienna for a private concert in the gilded halls of the Palais Liechtenstein, featuring the music of celebrated Austrian composers Strauss and Mozart.
Choose from among several excursions today. Stay in Vienna to visit Schönbrunn Palace, the baroque summer residence of the imperial family. You may also choose to take a guided tour of the Museum of Natural History for an inside look at its meteorite exhibit, co-curated by National Geographic grantee Ludovic Ferrière. Or opt to peruse the galleries of the Belvedere Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, including “The Kiss.” Alternatively, visit Bratislava for a guided tour through the cobbled streets of the old town. Venture into St. Martin’s Cathedral, a massive Gothic structure built in the 13th century on the site of a Romanesque church, and see the simple Church of the Poor Clares.
Glide into Austria’s lush Wachau Valley and dock at Melk for a tour of its Benedictine abbey, one of the world’s most magnificent baroque buildings. Or take a more active excursion, cycling along the Danube from Melk to Dürnstein or hiking to the hilltop ruins of a medieval castle. Or visit a local winery for a guided tour of the cellars and vines, followed by a tasting of the region’s celebrated Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings. This evening, sip sundowners in a beautiful location in the Wachau Valley.
Today, choose between excursions to two World Heritage sites. Explore Salzburg, strolling the storybook streets of the Old Town and visiting the Schloss Mirabell and its stunning manicured gardens. Or head to the Czech town of Ceský Krumlov— a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets with medieval, baroque, and Renaissance houses; lively cafés; and hidden squares. Alternatively, venture to the historic salt mines outside of Salzburg and learn about the life and work of the miners.
Set at the confluence of the Danube, Naab, and Regen Rivers, Regensburg once served as a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. On a guided visit, see the town’s splendid Gothic cathedral, 12th-century stone bridge, and the Porta Praetoria—the ancient Roman city gate. Alternatively, tour the historic Kuchlbauer Brewery and its whimsical tower—a tribute to modern art. Or take a local ferry across the Danube Gorge to Weltenburg Abbey, home to the world’s oldest monastic brewery. Explore the abbey, then head to the courtyard and sip on a pint of their popular Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel.
Arrive in Nuremberg and transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.
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