Day 1 Budapest. Fly to Budapest where you will be met and transferred to the InterContinental Hotel for two nights.
Day 2 Budapest. Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe's liveliest cities. Today's guided city tour takes in the massive hilltop castle complex, Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church. This afternoon, explore this vibrant city at your own pace, perhaps strolling across the famed Chain Bridge, a symbol of Budapest built in 1849 that connects ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. Or why not visit St Stephen's Basilica for fantastic city views, or stroll along Vací Utca main shopping street? (B)
Day 3 Budapest. This morning is free for you to enjoy Hungary's exciting capital. Visit one of the many museums, take a walk to see some of the remaining statues from the communist era, shop at the Great Market Hall to purchase paprika and embroidery, or stroll along Vací Utca main shopping street. Later, transfer to your cruise ship for four nights and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (B, D)
Day 4 Budapest - Vienna. Relax on board this morning and marvel at the beautiful scenery on both banks of the Danube. As you cruise upriver, Hungary is on your left and Slovakia is on your right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58 mile stretch, with the border in the middle of the river. This evening, arrive in Vienna, Austria's capital. Known as the 'City of Music', it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Vienna. Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Vienna has much to offer. See the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex, with its Vienna Boys' Choir and Lipizzaner stallions, the impressive neo-Renaissance Vienna Opera House, and awe-inspiring St Stephen's Cathedral on your included city tour with a local guide. Stroll on the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrüdel in a classic Viennese coffee house. An optional concert is available during your stay. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Dürnstein - Melk. Included today: Guided walk in Dürnstein; guided sightseeing in Melk; wine tasting.
This morning your first stop is Dürnstein, set right in the heart of the romantic Wachau Valley wine region and known for its pretty baroque blue Stiftskirche. Explore this picturesque town with a Local Guide and learn about the castle ruins overlooking the town, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. Later, cruise to Melk for a guided tour of the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, which dominates the town from its commanding hilltop site and is one of Europe's largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. The splendour of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola is inspiring and the view from the abbey terrace across the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking. This evening, sample some of the Wachau Valley's famous wines. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Linz - Passau. Included today: Guided walk in Passau.
Reaching Linz, perhaps join an optional full-day excursion to either Salzburg, to take in the popular 'Sound of Music' sights, or Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO town in the Czech Republic. This afternoon, cruise to Passau, ideally located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz and Danube and a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. Explore the highlights on a guided walk. St Stephen's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian Baroque architecture, houses one of the world's largest church organs with more than 17,000 pipes. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Regensburg. Included today: Guided sightseeing; beer tasting.
Regensburg dates back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC and is one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of 'historic interest'. Architectural highlights on your guided walk this afternoon include the Old Town Hall and the Porta Pretoria - gates to the Roman fort built in 179AD. Enjoy an included snack at Germany's oldest restaurant, the 12th century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen). After dinner, sample some of Germany's famous beers. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Nuremberg. Included today: Guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Trials tour
This morning, learn more about the fascinating Main-Danube Canal at our included on board lecture as you cruise towards Nuremberg. Although Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during World War II, much of it has been restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its fabulous Gothic churches, Kaiserburg Imperial Castle and elegant patrician houses on an included guided sightseeing tour or perhaps join the more specialised 'Nuremberg Trials' tour. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Nuremberg - Prague. After breakfast, disembark and drive, via the Czech border in the Bohemian Forest, to Prague, the 'Golden City' for three nights at the InterContinental Hotel, Prague. (B)
Day 11 Prague. Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Prague is a 1,200 year old city preserved in time. See its best-known treasures on a guided walking tour, including the Old Town's astronomical clock, Hradcany Castle grounds, St Vitus Cathedral and the Charles Bridge. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books, mingle with the locals in Wenceslaus Square, an important meeting point and the site of famous demonstrations against the communist regime, or watch performers on Charles Bridge. (B)
Day 12 Prague. A free day for you to explore the city at leisure. Perhaps visit the Communist Museum; sample the local plum dumplings and Pilsner; stroll along the banks of the Vltava River; discover the Jewish Quarter; or wander around Prague's medieval Old Town, dating from the 10th century. Your Cruise Director will have lots of suggestions for things to do. (B)
Day 13 Prague. Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. (B)