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The Great Rivers of Europe 2014

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Post-trip: Vienna, Austria

Explore Vienna, Austria—a magnificent, culture-rich hub that retains the grace and charm that has helped it stand out among great European cities for centuries. This is a city of museums and music, art and architecture, and famous people from a storied past. Walk the streets where Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Freud strolled about on their daily business. Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna came to symbolize the splendor of an age. You can recapture some of that feeling while wandering among the city’s Baroque palaces and other stunning architecture. Vienna is a feast for the senses that you will not soon forget.

It's Included:
Accommodations: for 3 nights at the Ramada Encore Vienna or similar
Transportation: complimentary public transportation pass
3 meals: 3 breakfasts
Included tour: Audio guided Schoenbrunn Palace tour
Exclusive services of a resident Grand Circle Program Director
All transfers
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    When your journey along The Great Rivers of Europe comes to a close, you'll get the chance to spend more time exploring Vienna, Austria on this post-trip extension.

    This morning, you will receive a day pass for use on the city's public transportation. You’ll then visit the well-manicured gardens of Maria Theresa's Schoenbrunn Palace on an included audio guided tour.

    The rest of the day is yours to do as you please. You may want to browse through one of the city's many museums. Perhaps you'll enjoy a visit to the famous Spanish Riding School, known as much for its architecture as for the renowned Lipizzaner horses. Here, you can take a tour and see live riding demonstrations.

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    You have the day at leisure to relax, shop, or explore this unique city on your own. Vienna has served as home and inspiration to some of the world's greatest artists, thinkers, and musicians. You'll see statues of Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven, and Mahler throughout the city, and see how music is such an integral part of Viennese life. The numerous performances of the Vienna State Opera House are the constant talk of the town, and its performers are treated like celebrities. The strains of waltz music emanate from the many cafes, and the entertainment moves outdoors to the sidewalks in good weather.

    Or join us for an optional tour of the imperial spa town of Baden, which is known for its curative mineral waters. First, you'll set off on a guided walking tour, followed by free time to explore on your own.

    En route back to Vienna, you'll pass through Gumpoldskirchen, a town famous for its hillside vineyards and heurigen, wine taverns that serve the year's most recent vintages and are widely known for their Gemütlichkeit, or hospitality. Along the way, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

    Tonight, dinner is on your own.

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    Enjoy a whole day of leisure to further sample the delights of Vienna.

    You might want to visit the Imperial Apartments at the Hofburg Palace. Formerly the residence of the Habsburg rulers, the Hofburg contains the 19-room state and residential apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth, which are open to the public. In an impressively staged exhibition, the Sissi Museum seeks to give the visitor an understanding of the myths and reality surrounding the figure of Empress Elisabeth. The Imperial Silver Collection is a fascinating museum containing the porcelain, glass, and silverware once used at the imperial table.

    Gather this evening to hear the details of your departure in the morning. Then share memories with your traveling companions during a Farewell Drink at your hotel before enjoying dinner on your own.

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    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.