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The Leader in Enriching Cultural Experiences since 1958

Worldwide Discovery at Extraordinary Value

New! 2018 Romantic Blue Danube: Budapest to Prague

Hungary: Budapest • Slovakia: Bratislava • Austria: Vienna, Krems • Czech Republic: Cesky Krumlov, Prague

ABOARD OUR PRIVATELY OWNED 140- TO 162-PASSENGER SHIPS DESIGNED FOR AMERICAN TRAVELERS
89% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

15 Days from only $3695 including international airfare

Activity Level:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Courtesy Small World Productions
Prague and Budapest

Join travel expert Rudy Maxa to discover the Old World splendor on display in Prague and Budapest.

Courtesy Regina Fraser, Pat Johnson and Kathy Monk
Poland – Warsaw and Krakow: Sophisticated Sister Cities

Join the Grannies on Safari for a preview of the cultural delights on display during our trip extension to Poland.

Courtesy CNN
The Best Puppet Show in Prague

Local artists show off their favorite spots in Prague—from a marionette workshop to a pub.

©2014 The New York Times
36 Hours in Vienna

Discover the modern food scene, imperial heritage, and artisanal offerings that await in Vienna.

Courtesy CNN
Berlin's hidden charm

From concert halls to currywurst stands—Berlin’s locals show you their favorite side of the city.

FROM
$3695
15 DAYS
$247/DAY
including international airfare
14 DAYS FROM $2895 River Cruise Tour Only
Extend Your Trip
 

Enjoy $250 in new trip savings
on ANY 2018 departure.
Reserve by 9/15. See details >

 
 

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NEW: Activity Level

Our NEW Activity Level rating system ranks our trips on a scale of 1 (easiest) to 5 (most difficult) to help you determine if a trip is right for you. The information below is a general guide to our rating system, but see our itineraries for much more detailed physical activity information about each trip.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Itinerary Overview

Join us on our New & Enhanced Danube River Cruise Tour in 2018 and discover the storied capital cities of Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and the Czech Republic on this comprehensive four-country journey. Each former Imperial City of the Austro-Hungarian Empire offers its own unique blend of late 19th-century elegance and modern appeal. Witness the detailed Art Nouveau architecture of Budapest … explore Bratislava’s quirky art scene … taste the local flavors of Vienna’s famed Naschmarkt ... and stroll along the fairytale streets of Old World Prague. En route, you’ll cruise through the stunning Wachau Valley outside picturesque Krems, and visit the impressive Gottweig Abbey, one of Austria’s longest-running Benedictine monasteries. What’s more, you’ll experience the legendary Danube River’s beauty in comfort aboard our award-winning river ship. 

Day-to-Day Itinerary

  • 3 nights from only $695

    Experience Budapest, the lively capital of Hungary and both the political and cultural heart of the nation. Full of monuments to its past, it is also a place of contemporary arts and culture, cafes and restaurants, and museums and galleries—all enhanced by the presence of the mighty Danube.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • Depart today for your flight to Budapest, Hungary.

  • Arriving in Budapest, you'll be met at the airport by a Grand Circle representative and transferred to your ship, joining travelers who took our Budapest, Hungary, pre-trip extension.

    Early this evening, gather onboard with your fellow travelers for a Port Talk—something you'll enjoy every evening throughout your Danube River Cruise Tour to learn a bit about Budapest. Your Program Director will describe the approaching port area and town prior to arrival so you can prepare for the next day's activities, including any free time you may have. After dinner aboard ship, enjoy a scenic cruise as the ship crosses from the Buda side of the Danube to Pest.

  • After breakfast, set off on a tour of Hungary's lovely capital, situated on both sides of the magnificent Danube River. In Buda, on the western bank of the Danube, you'll see Castle Hill, encircled by ramparts that protect the massive castle complex. Destroyed during World War II, the palace has been restored, approximating its previous splendor, and it is now a vast museum complex, where remains of the original structure are displayed.

    Later, cross the Danube and see Heroes' Square, with its Millennial Column set off by equestrian statues of historic ninth-century Magyar conquerors. The adjoining colonnade displays more statues of kings, dukes of Transylvania, and liberty fighters who influenced the history of Hungary.

    Following lunch onboard, enjoy free time in Budapest to explore on your own. Perhaps you'll visit the Church of Our Lady, formerly used for the coronations of Hungarian kings. Its popular name of Matthias is in recognition of the Renaissance king who ruled in the 15th century and whose heraldic sign—a raven—is displayed on one of the towers of the church. Dating back to the 13th century, the structure is an interesting mix of architectural styles used during reconstruction of the building at different times in its history. Note that during the 150-year Turkish occupation of Hungary, the church served as Eski Djami (Old Mosque) for the Turks. Inside the church you can view art of Bertalan Szekely and Karoly Lotz, 19th-century Hungarian painters.

    Tonight, enjoy a Captain's Welcome Dinner.

  • Head into the city or enjoy a morning at leisure. You may also choose to join an optional tour to discover the fascinating Hospital in the Rock. Connected to underground caves below Castle Hill in Buda, this hospital that tended to scores of sick and wounded during World War II, and again during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. It was even concerted into a nuclear fallout shelter during the Cold War. Today, it is a museum, with wax figures in period clothing and vintage medical equipment giving visitors a feel for the intensity of the work performed here.

    Then, return to the ship for lunch on board and begin your Central European River Cruise towards Bratislava. As you do, you'll enjoy scenic views of the historic city of Esztergom, along with riverside views of the remarkable 16th-century basilica that stands near the banks of the Danube.

  • Arrive in Bratislava this early morning, and after breakfast, set off on a city tour of Slovakia's capital known for its picturesque setting at the foot of the Little Carpathian Mountains.

    This petite city—the smallest of the four capitals you'll visit on this itinerary—is full of irresistible charm and personality, and was once the seat of power for neighboring Hungary. As you stroll through Old Town, Bratislava’s historic heart, take in the beautiful St. Martin's Cathedral, built in the 14th and 15th centuries. Walk along the pedestrian zone, and you’ll find Michael's Gate with its 15th-century tower, offering excellent views of the city, including the massive Bratislava Castle. Despite, the its historical depths—with settlements dating back to Celtic and Roman times—whimsical public art installations, such as the photo-favorite “The Watcher” sculpture, serve as visual reminders of Bratislava’s eyes towards the future.

    Following lunch onboard, join a local family for coffee, cake, and a glimpse of everyday life in this enchanting Danube city during an exclusive Discovery Series Home-Hosted Visit.

    This evening, partake in an onboard exclusive Discovery Series roundtable discussion about Bratislava’s next generation.

  • Disembark your river ship after breakfast, and start your day with an exclusive Discovery Series visit to a local school supported by the Grand Circle Foundation. 

    Please note: The school visit is not possible on weekends or during the summer and national holidays when school is not in session.

    Return to the ship for lunch, and take in an afternoon of scenic cruising towards Vienna. Arrive in the Austrian capital this evening before dinner onboard.

  • Explore Vienna, Austria, this morning, starting at the Ringstrasse—Vienna's grand main boulevard—one of the many achievements of the Emperor Franz Joseph. In 1857, the Emperor ordered the demolition of the ancient city walls, which were no longer needed as fortifications and were impeding the growth of the city. In their place was constructed an elegant 2.5 mile-long boulevard, encircling the city center. The buildings that line the Ringstrasse bring together all the greatest architectural styles in an exuberant celebration of all that seemed possible during the Industrial Revolution. Continue on along the city sidewalks, passing by the well-known Imperial Palace, home to many generations of the Habsburg family, and the renowned Spanish Riding School. 

    You'll have time to pursue your own interests before and after lunch at a local restaurant. You may want to head to the old Jewish Quarter to see the only Viennese synagogue to have survived the 1938 Kristallnacht. Or perhaps explore Austria's capital aboard a fiaker. These horse-drawn carriages have been in business since the 17th century, and drivers are happy to show you the sights and delight you with Viennese anecdotes. You'll also find out for yourself whether or not it's true that drivers whistle strains of Mozart's beloved Magic Flute as they conduct passengers through the city.

    After an early dinner onboard, enjoy an evening at leisure. Or, perhaps you’ll experience our Musical Vienna optional tour to one of the city's famed concert halls to attend an enchanting performance of the classical Austrian music of Strauss and Mozart.

  • This morning, discover more of Vienna's charms on your own.

    Or, take an optional tour of the expansive summer estate of Habsburg royalty, Schoenbrunn Palace (whose name means “beautiful spring”). Featuring 1,400 rooms, meticulously maintained gardens, and an architectural legacy that stretches back to the 17th century, the palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your visit includes a tour of palace highlights and free time to spend exploring the palace's stunning park and gardens.

    Rejoin the group for an onboard lunch this afternoon, then head over to Vienna's bustling Naschmarkt. You'll peruse the more than 100 permanent stalls of this centuries-old outdoor market, sampling local products—like candy apple red olives and fresh vegetables—along the way. 

    After dinner tonight onboard, relax with your fellow travelers as your ship cruises toward Krems.

  • Discover Krems an der Donau, a large, charming town set at the confluence of the Krems and Danube rivers, on a morning walking tour. Then, get an introduction to the region's established wine heritage at Winzer Krems, a famed local producer where you'll also enjoy a tasting.

    Return to the ship for lunch, the afternoon is yours to relax onboard or continue discovering the town's delights on your own.

  • Disembark in Krems this morning after breakfast and set off for an included tour of the Gottweig Abbey.

    In some form or another, the still-active monastery has been sitting on a hilltop overlooking the unspoiled Wachau Valley below since 1072. In the 470 years after its formal dedication in 1083, the abbey developed into a center of spiritual learning followed by a decade of near abandonment. Two major fires and several abbots later, the monastery was rebuilt in the grandiose style of the 18th century. The centerpiece of this Baroque gem is the Kaiserstiege, one of Europe’s largest and most striking imperial staircases. Ornate carvings and the busts of famous artists line this large, white structure. Above, a pastel-hued ceiling fresco depicts the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI as a Greek god. In addition to its cosmetic treasures, the Benedictine monastery’s library is filled with more than 130,000 books, illustrated manuscripts, and religious engravings.

    Following your tour, you'll have free time to explore the abbey on your own, before returning to the ship for lunch onboard.

    Then, begin cruising along one of the most beautiful parts of the Danube—the Wachau Valley—this afternoon, taking in the stunning landscape of sculpted hills and medieval towns built along the river that comprise this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Dinner is onboard this evening. 

  • Wake up this morning in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria (one of the country's nine states) that bestrides the Danube. Disembark after breakfast for an included walking tour followed by free time to explore the city independently.  

    Later, take part in a sobering visit to the Mauthausen concentration camp with a local guide. This complex was one of the Nazi's first large-scale concentration camps—and the last to be liberated. High-profile Jewish prisoners and captive Russian soldiers were brought to the camp to work as free labor for the local stone quarry, harvesting and hauling granite slabs.

    After your tour of the camp, return to the ship. Lunch is onboard followed by free time to explore Linz.

    Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Drink and Port Talk, followed by the Captain's Farewell Dinner.

  • This morning, disembark in Linz and begin your transfer to Prague in the Czech Republic. Along the way, you'll stop in the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a walking tour, an included lunch at a local restaurant, and free time for independent discoveries.

    You arrive in Prague in the late afternoon and check into your hotel. Your evening is at your leisure. Dinner tonight is on your own.

  • After breakfast, set out to explore Prague. During the reign of Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Moravia, Prague was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire. Later, it was the vital center of the Habsburgs. While other European capitals were leveled during World War II, Prague survived virtually intact.

    Visit Stare Mesto, the Old Town, with its many wonderful Gothic and Baroque buildings, and see the famous 15th-century Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Hall. Every hour, crowds assemble below to watch Christ and the twelve Apostles appear at two little windows above the clock face, followed by the skeleton of Death tolling the bell. Stroll across the city's famed Charles Bridge, a 15th-century structure spanning the Vltava River that functions as a makeshift performance and gallery space for musicians, artists, dancers, and more.

    The rest of the day is yours in Prague to spend as you please. This evening, you can choose to attend an optional folk show that includes a full-course meal and wine. Watch dancers dressed in Bohemian costume step to folk songs and classical compositions played on traditional instruments such as hammer-dulcimer, fujara (shepherds-whistle) and bagpipe. 

  • The day is yours to explore this beautiful city. As it was during the zenith of the Bohemian kingdom, Prague still ranks as the thriving center of the country, with an artistic community reminiscent of Paris in the 1920s. It boasts one of Europe's most notable Jewish quarters, world-class museums and cathedrals, architectural masterpieces that span a thousand years—and mighty Prague Castle. Perched regally over the Vltava River and offering stunning views of the city, Prague Castle is more than 1,000 years old and features residential quarters, chapels, galleries, gardens, and the bustling Castle District surrounding it.

    Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.

    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or, continue your discoveries with our Highlights of Poland or Dresden & Berlin, Germany, post-trip extensions.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Berlin & Dresden, Germany

    5 nights from only $895

    Discover two of Germany’s best-loved cities: Dresden, a city risen from the ashes of World War II to reclaim its place as an intellectual and cultural center, and Berlin, the imperial capital turned epicenter of the Third Reich whose eventual liberation affected us all.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Highlights of Poland: Warsaw & Krakow

    5 nights from only $995

    Immerse yourself among the highlights of Poland, and discover all that Warsaw and Krakow have to offer. Explore the history and charm of Warsaw’s Old Town on an included city tour, discover Krakow’s rich architecture and culture with your expert Program Director at your side, and with your fellow travelers, pay a memorable—and moving—visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Auschwitz.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • 5 nights from only $895

    Discover two of Germany’s best-loved cities: Dresden, a city risen from the ashes of World War II to reclaim its place as an intellectual and cultural center, and Berlin, the imperial capital turned epicenter of the Third Reich whose eventual liberation affected us all.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • 5 nights from only $995

    Immerse yourself among the highlights of Poland, and discover all that Warsaw and Krakow have to offer. Explore the history and charm of Warsaw’s Old Town on an included city tour, discover Krakow’s rich architecture and culture with your expert Program Director at your side, and with your fellow travelers, pay a memorable—and moving—visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Auschwitz.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • Depart today for your flight to Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Arriving in Prague, you'll be met at the airport by a Grand Circle representative and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time and hotel check-in policy, you may not be able to check into your hotel immediately upon arrival. Your Program Director will advise you of your check-in status and activity schedule for the day when you arrive.

    You have the balance of the day to relax after your overseas flight. You may want to join your Program Director for an orientation walk to get better acquainted with the area around your hotel. Celebrate your arrival in Prague and beginning of your Danube River Cruise Tour with a Welcome Drink and a short orientation briefing, and get acquainted with your traveling companions and your Program Director. This evening, enjoy dinner on your own.

  • After breakfast, set out to explore Prague. During the reign of Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Moravia, Prague was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire. Later, it was the vital center of the Habsburgs. While other European capitals were leveled during World War II, Prague survived virtually intact.

    Visit Stare Mesto, the Old Town, with its many wonderful Gothic and Baroque buildings, and see the famous 15th-century Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Hall. Every hour, crowds assemble below to watch Christ and the twelve Apostles appear at two little windows above the clock face, followed by the skeleton of Death tolling the bell. Stroll across the city's famed Charles Bridge, a 15th-century structure spanning the Vltava River that functions as a makeshift performance and gallery space for musicians, artists, dancers, and more.

    The rest of the day is yours in Prague to spend as you please. This evening, gather with you fellow travelers at a local restaurant for a Welcome Dinner.

  • Enjoy a free day exploring this beautiful city independently. As it was during the zenith of the Bohemian kingdom, Prague still ranks as the thriving center of the country, with an artistic community reminiscent of Paris in the 1920s. It boasts one of Europe's most notable Jewish quarters, world-class museums and cathedrals, architectural masterpieces that span a thousand years—and mighty Prague Castle. Perched regally over the Vltava River and offering stunning views of the city, Prague Castle is more than 1,000 years old and features residential quarters, chapels, galleries, gardens, and the bustling Castle District surrounding it.

    The city also boasts a variety of restaurants featuring elevated local favorites, international fare, and fresh locally-sourced ingredients. You may decide to visit one or two of Prague's eclectic eateries for your independent lunch and dinner.

    Or, you can choose to join an optional folk show this evening that includes a full-course meal and wine. Watch dancers dressed in Bohemian costume step to folk songs and classical compositions played on traditional instruments such as hammer-dulcimer, fujara (shepherds-whistle) and bagpipe.

  • After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to Linz, Austria. Along the way, and prior to crossing the border into Austria, enjoy a walking tour of Cesky Krumlov—a medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site—followed by an included lunch at a local restaurant.

    Embark your ship in Linz late this afternoon. Then, gather to mingle with your fellow travelers. Throughout your Central European River Cruise, you'll be invited to nightly Port Talks, during which your Program Director will describe the approaching port area and town prior to arrival so you can prepare for the next day's tour, and so you'll be able to make the best use of your free time at the next day's port of call.

  • Bestriding the Danube, Linz is the capital of Upper Austria—one of the country's nine states. Disembark after breakfast to discover the city on a walking tour, followed by a bit of free time to further explore on your own.

    This afternoon, visit the Mauthausen concentration camp with a local guide. This complex was one of the Nazi's first large-scale concentration camps—and the last to be liberated. High-profile Jewish prisoners and captive Russian soldiers were brought to the camp to work as free labor for the local stone quarry, harvesting and hauling granite slabs.

    After your tour of the camp, return to the ship. Lunch is onboard followed by free time to explore Linz.

    Gather with your fellow travelers for this evening's Port Talk, and Captain's Welcome Dinner.

  • Cruising along one of the most beautiful parts of the Danube—the Wachau Valley—this morning on your way to Krems, taking in the stunning landscape of sculpted hills and medieval towns built along the river that comprise this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Arrive in Krems this afternoon. After lunch, discover Krems an der Donau—a large, charming town set at the confluence of the Krems and Danube rivers—on a walking tour. Then, get an introduction to the region's established wine heritage at Winzer Krems, a famed local producer where you'll also enjoy a tasting.

    Tonight, begin cruising to Vienna.

  • Disembark in Krems this morning after breakfast and set off for an included tour of the Gottweig Abbey.

    In some form or another, the still-active monastery has been sitting on a hilltop overlooking the unspoiled Wachau Valley below since 1072. In the 470 years after its formal dedication in 1083, the abbey developed into a center of spiritual learning followed by a decade of near abandonment. Two major fires and several abbots later, the monastery was rebuilt in the grandiose style of the 18th century. The centerpiece of this Baroque gem is the Kaiserstiege, one of Europe’s largest and most striking imperial staircases. Ornate carvings and the busts of famous artists line this large, white structure. Above, a pastel-hued ceiling fresco depicts the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI as a Greek god. In addition to its cosmetic treasures, the Benedictine monastery’s library is filled with more than 130,000 books, illustrated manuscripts, and religious engravings.

    Following the tour, you'll have free time to explore the abbey on your own.

    After returning to the ship for lunch onboard, the remainder of the day is at your leisure to unwind on the ship or to explore Krems on your own.

    The evening is at your leisure with dinner onboard.

  • Explore Vienna, Austria, this morning, starting at the Ringstrasse—Vienna's grand main boulevard—one of the many achievements of the Emperor Franz Joseph. In 1857, the Emperor ordered the demolition of the ancient city walls, which were no longer needed as fortifications and were impeding the growth of the city. In their place was constructed an elegant 2.5 mile-long boulevard, encircling the city center. The buildings that line the Ringstrasse bring together all the greatest architectural styles in an exuberant celebration of all that seemed possible during the Industrial Revolution. Continue on along the city sidewalks, passing by the well-known Imperial Palace, home to many generations of the Habsburg family, and the renowned Spanish Riding School. 

    You'll have time to pursue your own interests before and after lunch at a local restaurant. You may want to head to the old Jewish Quarter to see the only Viennese synagogue to have survived the 1938 Kristallnacht. Or perhaps explore Austria's capital aboard a fiaker. These horse-drawn carriages have been in business since the 17th century, and drivers are happy to show you the sights and delight you with Viennese anecdotes. You'll also find out for yourself whether or not it's true that drivers whistle strains of Mozart's beloved Magic Flute as they conduct passengers through the city.

    After an early dinner onboard, enjoy an evening at leisure. Or, perhaps you’ll experience our Musical Vienna optional tour to one of the city's famed concert halls to attend an enchanting performance of the classical Austrian music of Strauss and Mozart.

  • This morning, explore more of Vienna at your leisure. Or, join us for an optional tour of the expansive summer estate of Habsburg royalty, Schoenbrunn Palace (whose name means “beautiful spring”). Featuring 1,400 rooms, meticulously maintained gardens, and an architectural legacy that stretches back to the 17th century, the palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your visit includes a tour of palace highlights and free time to spend exploring the palace's stunning park and gardens.

    Rejoin the group for an onboard lunch this afternoon, then head over to Vienna's bustling Naschmarkt. You'll peruse the more than 100 permanent stalls of this centuries-old outdoor market, sampling local products—like candy apple red olives and fresh vegetables—along the way. 

    After dinner tonight onboard, relax with your fellow travelers as your ship cruises toward Bratislava.

  • Arrive in Bratislava this early morning, and after breakfast, set off on a city tour of Slovakia's capital known for its picturesque setting at the foot of the Little Carpathian Mountains.

    This petite city—the smallest of the four capitals you'll visit on this itinerary—is full of irresistible charm and personality, and was once the seat of power for neighboring Hungary. As you stroll through Old Town, Bratislava’s historic heart, take in the beautiful St. Martin's Cathedral, built in the 14th and 15th centuries. Walk along the pedestrian zone, and you’ll find Michael's Gate with its 15th-century tower, offering excellent views of the city, including the massive Bratislava Castle. Despite, the its historical depths—with settlements dating back to Celtic and Roman times—whimsical public art installations, such as the photo-favorite “The Watcher” sculpture, serve as visual reminders of Bratislava’s eyes towards the future.

    Following lunch onboard, join a local family for coffee, cake, and a glimpse of everyday life in this enchanting Danube city during an exclusive Discovery Series Home-Hosted Visit.

    This evening, partake in an onboard exclusive Discovery Series roundtable discussion about Bratislava’s next generation.

  • Disembark your river ship after breakfast, and start your day with an exclusive Discovery Series visit to a local school supported by the Grand Circle Foundation.

    Please note: The school visit is not possible on weekends or during the summer and national holidays when school is not in session.

    Return to the ship for lunch, and take in an afternoon of scenic cruising towards Budapest. Arrive in the Hungarian capital this evening before dinner onboard.

  • Disembarking after breakfast for a tour of Hungary's lovely capital, situated on both sides of the magnificent Danube River. In Buda, on the western bank of the Danube, you'll see Castle Hill, encircled by ramparts that protect the massive castle complex. Destroyed during World War II, the palace has been restored, approximating its original splendor, and it is now a vast museum complex, where remains of the original structure are displayed. Cross the Danube and see Heroes' Square, with its Millennial Column set off by equestrian statues of historic ninth-century Magyar conquerors. The adjoining colonnade displays more statues of kings, dukes of Transylvania, and liberty fighters who influenced the history of Hungary.

    After lunch onboard, spend the afternoon as you please. Perhaps you'll visit the Museum of Applied Arts, or stroll through Nagycsarnok, the city's largest market, known for it's fresh produce and Hungarian handicrafts.

    Return to the ship for dinner onboard.  

  • Enjoy today at leisure to continue exploring Budapest. Perhaps you'll visit the Church of Our Lady, formerly used for the coronations of Hungarian kings. Its popular name of Matthias is in recognition of the Renaissance king who ruled in the 15th century and whose heraldic sign—a raven—is displayed on one of the towers of the church. Dating back to the 13th century, the structure is an interesting mix of architectural styles used during reconstruction of the building at different times in its history. Note that during the 150-year Turkish occupation of Hungary, the church served as Eski Djami (Old Mosque) for the Turks. Inside the church you can view art of Bertalan Szekely and Karoly Lotz, 19th-century Hungarian painters.

    Or choose to join an optional tour to the Hospital in the Rock. Connected to underground caves below Castle Hill in Buda, this hospital that tended to scores of sick and wounded during World War II, and again during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. During the Cold War era, it was outfitted as a nuclear fallout shelter. Today, it is a museum, with wax figures in period clothing and vintage medical equipment giving visitors a feel for the intensity of the work performed here.

    Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a special Captain's Farewell Dinner.

    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or, continue your discoveries with our Budapest post-trip extension.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Budapest, Hungary

    3 nights from only $695

    Experience Budapest, the lively capital of Hungary and both the political and cultural heart of the nation. Full of monuments to its past, it is also a place of contemporary arts and culture, cafes and restaurants, and museums and galleries—all enhanced by the presence of the mighty Danube.

    View Extension Itinerary

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on Romantic Blue Danube: Budapest to Prague

Read Travel Planning Guide

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