Vienna, Austria’s capital, is known as the “City of Music” and inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. This afternoon, board your cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. NOTE: Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire, this is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys' Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you'll see on your guided tour. Visit the delightful Christmas market and savour the sounds and smells of holiday cheer. Be sure to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! An optional concert is available tonight.
This morning, arrive in Dürnstein in the heart of the Wachau valley. Standing on the banks of the Danube, the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade is without a doubt the landmark of this small town. A Local Guide will take you on a walking tour and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. Then, sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk in the early afternoon. The magnificent 11th-century Benedictine Abbey dominates the town and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You’ll be captivated by the splendour of the church with its frescoed ceilings. This evening you’ll be able to sample some of the famous wines of this region.
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