A Culinary Experience on the Danube – An Avalon Waterways River Cruise

Departure Date:           Return Date:
Tuesday, July 17            Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Tour Length: 9 Days/8 Nights (AW)

Day One: Arrive Vienna, Austria

avalon waterwaysWelcome to Vienna, known as the “City of Music” and a place that inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss. This afternoon, board the Avalon Artistry II by 5:00 pm. This ship delivers an intimate setting, along with two full decks of suites featuring wall-to-wall panoramic windows that transform the living space into a unique open-air balcony. With 200 square feet, panorama suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, giving you the rare opportunity to wake each morning to the enchanting scenery and fresh breezes. Onboard amenities include complimentary computer use in public areas and Wi-Fi access, a Fitness Center, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, shade system, whirlpool, and the delightful Sky Bistro.

Meet your crew at an evening welcome reception.

Day Two: Vienna

Today, join a local guide for a city tour of Vienna. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the Blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. During your tour see sites such as; the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir, dazzling Lipizzaner stallions, the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Alternatively, you can join a Vienna culinary walk, during which you will learn about Austrian food culture and taste some local products. Following the tour enjoy a cooking class at the “Wrenkh” restaurant, where two famous chefs, the Wrenkh brothers, will teach you how to prepare a famous Viennese dessert.

In your free time, stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture!

An optional concert is available tonight.

 Day Three: Dürnstein–Melk

wachauDürnstein, known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, lies right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. Above town are the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. A local guide will tell you the tale during your guided walk.

Those seeking some sporting activity might like to climb up the steep hill to the castle ruins for spectacular views of the town and river. Alternatively, you may just want to stroll through the narrow streets on your own.

Return to the ship where a Master of Wine will join you on board and will introduce you to some of Austria’s famous wines as you cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley. Arrive in Melk mid-afternoon and visit the magnificent 11th-century Benedictine Abbey. Melk’s abbey towers over the town and is one of Europe’s largest. It houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of its church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues and 210-foot-high cupola.

This evening, you’ll be able to sample some of the region’s famous wines paired with cheese during an on board tasting presented by Avalon’s Master of Wine.

 Day Four: Grein–Linz

This morning, arrive in the attractive country resort of Grein, which is nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Take an included guided walk through the town and visit its unique historical theater, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances. Embark on a behind-the-scenes tour to learn about some of the curiosities of this rococo-style, 167-seat theater that will certainly tell you much about life as it was and as it is now in this small town. Or, you may prefer to join one of a variety of optional excursions today.

Sail to Linz where you dock overnight. This evening, enjoy a special on board Food and Wine Pairing Dinner hosted by Avalon’s Master of Wine, who has specifically chosen the wines for this occasion.

Day Five: Linz–Passau, Germany

passauToday, enjoy a relaxing morning of sailing. This afternoon, arrive in Passau, located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz and Danube. This is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses and dominated by St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Join a local guide for a walking tour through this charming town and find out much more about the “City of Three Rivers.” Alternatively, you can join a city tour more focused on the culinary traditions of both Germany and Austria, during which you will taste some local specialties.

 Day Six: Passau/Munich

Say goodbye to your crew this morning, disembark the ship, and board the motor coach. Today, you will travel to Munich, capital of Bavaria. The afternoon is free to explore on your own, or you might like to take an optional excursion to Salzburg, which will bring you to Munich in the late afternoon.

Lunch and dinner are on your own.

nymphenburg palaceDay Seven: Munich

Although a large city, Munich offers a small-town feel with its pedestrian and bike-friendly atmosphere. With its historical museums, splendid English Garden, traditional cafés, and delightful shops, Munich offers plenty to see and do. Join a local for a highlights tour of this fascinating city, including Nymphenburg Palace, summer residence of the Bavarian monarchs; Marienplatz with its Old and New Town Halls; and the gothic Frauenkirche, a prominent landmark for Munich. Then, enjoy time on your own in this vibrant city. Watch the famous Glockenspiel, which recreates a royal wedding from the 16th century; enjoy the pedestrian zone; linger at an outdoor café; or relax alongside the locals at one of the many Biergärten or breweries to sample one of the Bavarian beer specialties.

Lunch and dinner are on your own.

Day Eight: Excursions to Neuschwanstein & Oberammergau

This morning, a full-day outing takes you into the garden-like landscapes of the Bavarian Alps and for a visit to King Ludwig’s fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle that sits high above the village of Hohenschwangau. Continue to Oberammergau, famous for its once-a-decade production of the "Passion Play," and enjoy free time here to stroll the streets and admire the typical Bavarian houses, many beautifully painted with scenes from fairytales.

Lunch and dinner are on your own.

 Day Nine: Munich

After breakfast, transfer to the Munich airport for flights home.

DETAILS

Departure Date:           Return Date:
Tuesday, July 17            Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Tour Length: 9 Days/8 Nights (AW)

Your Package Includes:

  • 5 Nights aboard Avalon Waterways Artistry II
  • 3 Nights accommodations in Munich
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • 4 Lunches
  • 5 Dinners (Including a Food and Wine Pairing dinner on board the ship)
  • Guided tour Vienna or a Vienna Culinary walk with Cooking Class
  • Guided walking tour of Durnstein
  • Guided tour of the Benedictine Abbey
  • Wine and Cheese Tasting onboard
  • Guided walking tour of Grein
  • Visit the Historical Theater
  • Guided walking tour in Passau or a Passau Culinary Walk
  • Guided tour of Munich
  • Visit the Marienplatz
  • Visit the Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Free time to explore Oberammergau
  • Daily Afternoon Tea on board the ship
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast onboard
  • Wine, beer or soft drinks included with lunch and dinner on board the ship
  • Onboard lectures and activities
  • Nightly Entertainment on board the ship
  • Motor coach transportation on arrival in Munich
  • Taxes and Gratuities (NOTE: Gratuities local guides and coach drivers are not included and are at your discretion based on service.)

Pricing Information:

  • Per person double occupancy from: 2,551.00
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NOTE: Above price does not include roundtrip air transportation. Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation as well as pre and post night stays.