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The Great Rivers of Europe 2015

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Pre-trip: Vienna, Austria

After your European River Cruise, 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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    Depart the U.S. today on your flight for Vienna.

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    Arrive the following day in Vienna. A Grand Circle representative meets you at the airport and helps you transfer to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time and hotel check-in policy, you may not be able to check into your hotel room immediately upon arrival at your hotel. Your Program Director will advise you of our check-in status and activity schedule for the day when you arrive.

    Enjoy a brief walk with your Program Director to get acquainted with the area around your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax after your overseas flight, or venture out on your own explorations.

    Join your Program Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Drink and Orientation Briefing before enjoying dinner on your own this evening. Your Program Director will have many suggestions for you as you select a restaurant in this extraordinary city.

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    This morning, you will receive a day pass for use on the city's public transportation, which will take you to the well-manicured gardens of Maria Theresa's Schoenbrunn Palace for 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.

    Tonight, you may want to enjoy an unforgettable optional Musical Vienna excursion to one of Vienna’s famed concert halls. You’ll hear enchanting performances of some of the most wonderful melodies of classical Austrian music by professional singers.

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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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    • Meals included:

    You have a morning of leisure to further sample the delights of Vienna.

    Mid-day, you are transferred to the pier to embark your waiting cruise ship. You now join the travelers on your Great Rivers of Europe River Cruise.