Explore the highlights of historic cities, appealing river towns, and marvel at the remarkable landscapes of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley and the bucolic Wachau Valley. This innovative cruise allows you to customize your journey with a choice of cultural and active excursions in most ports while you enjoy the first-class amenities aboard Amadeus Silver II.

Starting at: $4,990 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Amsterdam's elaborate canal system and popular narrow houses  The Parliament Building and Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary  Experience the magic of Amsterdam's canals by night.  City of Cologne, showcasing the High Gothic cathedral   Interior of Melk Abbey, the renowned Benedictine monastery overlooking the Danube  Fisherman's Bastion, found on the Buda side of Budapest

Voyage Through Europe

From Amsterdam to Budapest Featuring the Rhine, Main & Danube Rivers Aboard the Amadeus Silver II

16 days from $4,990

Explore the highlights of historic cities, appealing river towns, and marvel at the remarkable landscapes of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley and the bucolic Wachau Valley. This innovative cruise allows you to customize your journey with a choice of cultural and active excursions in most ports while you enjoy the first-class amenities aboard Amadeus Silver II.

or Call 855-330-1542

SOLO TRAVELERS

No single supplement for solo travelers! (Limited availability. Book early to ensure your place.)

Overview

Join us as we explore the charming canals of Amsterdam and cruise along the storied Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers. Explore the highlights of historic cities, appealing river towns, and marvel at the remarkable landscapes of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley and the bucolic Wachau Valley. This innovative cruise allows you to customize your journey with a choice of cultural and active excursions in most ports while you enjoy the first-class amenities aboard Amadeus Silver II

Highlights Include

  • Amsterdam: Enjoy a narrated cruise through Amsterdam’s lovely tree-lined canals.
  • Koblenz: Full of history and fascinating architecture, take a walking tour to discover this ancient city at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine Rivers.
  • Vienna: A city rich in World Heritage sites, see monuments to Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, take in Vienna's art and wine, and tour Schönbrunn Palace.
  • Budapest: Beautifully situated along both banks of the Danube, visit the Grand Market and enjoy a panoramic tour which includes both the Buda and Pest sections of the city. 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Smithsonian Journeys travelers depart the U.S. on evening transatlantic flights to Amsterdam.

Day 2 — Amsterdam

There’s an early morning flight arrival at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport. After arrival formalities, transfer to the Amadeus Silver II docked near the Amsterdam Centraal Station. Each traveler will receive a special welcome kit including general information about the cruise route and a river map. After settling in, the balance of the day offers “quiet time” free of planned activities. Start the evening and board a canal cruiser for a one-hour narrated cruise through Amsterdam’s lovely tree-lined canals. Dinner will be served in the dining room after returning to the ship. (D)

Day 3 — Amsterdam

Begin the day with a talk on contemporary Holland and its place in today’s Europe. This morning there’s a choice of fascinating shore tours.

Choice #1 - Amsterdam Sightseeing and the Rijksmuseum: Amsterdam is one of the largest historic centers in Europe. There is much to take in as you tour the city. Admire lovely 17th-century architecture as you pass historic landmarks like the Royal Palace, the Mint Tower, the unique Skinny Bridge and the Portuguese Synagogue. Tour the magnificent Rijksmuseum showcasing a collection of Dutch Masters including Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals.

Choice #2 - Waterland Bicycle Ride: Travel to “Waterland” for guided bike ride in a rural setting. Waterland is located north of the city and nearly half its acreage is fen, a marshy wetland important to local bird and wildlife. Additionally, there are small villages and many officially registered historic sites. After the ride, there’s time for refreshments in the village of Broek.

Choice #3 - Canal District Walking Tour: The best way to see the historic Canal District is on foot. Join a walking tour of one of the most beautiful and canals in Amsterdam; the Herengracht. Explore the history of the district at Herengracht Museum with fantastic 3D animation, models, projection and an interactive multimedia exhibition. The museum was opened in 2011 after the Amsterdam canal district was listed as a World Heritage Site.

A buffet lunch will be served aboard ship. The balance of the afternoon is free of planned activities. At 4:00 pm the ship will depart Amsterdam for Cologne, Germany. The evening begins with a Smithsonian Journeys welcome cocktail reception followed by dinner. (B,L,R,D)

Day 4 — Cologne

Begin the day with an initial presentation by the Smithsonian Journeys expert. After lunch, there will be a choice of tours ashore.

Choice #1 - Cologne’s Magnificent Cathedral Walking Tour: This medieval city showcases lovely Patrician Houses and quaint cobblestone streets. Discover the Kölner Dom, the world-famous cathedral that survived the ravages of WWII. It is one of the largest Gothic structures in the world. UNESCO has designated it a World Heritage Site.

Choice #2 - Jewish Heritage Walk: Learn the story of the important archeological excavations going on in Cologne that are uncovering the old historic Jewish Quarter and visit Cologne’s City Museum.

This evening dinner will be served in the dining room. At 10:00 pm the ship leaves Cologne and sails overnight to Koblenz, Germany. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Koblenz

The day starts with a fascinating walking tour of Koblenz. The city was once a Roman outpost at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine Rivers. During the walking tour, you’ll pass through the town’s narrow streets and see the Town Hall; the famous Schängel Fountain; the Church of Our Lady and the Old Castle of the Electors of Trier, that today houses the Municipal Archives and Library. Continue to the Old Merchant’s Hall home to the Middle Rhineland Museum. See the German Corner with the monument to Emperor Wilhelm II.

In late morning, the ship will depart for Miltenberg and spend the balance of the day cruising through the most beautiful part of the river. Pass through the Rhine Gorge and be on the lookout for ancient hilltop castles. Marvel at remarkable scenery and the Lorelei Rock made famous in a German fable. Get together in the Smithsonian Journeys traveler’s corner with your Smithsonian expert for an informal discussion about recent travel experiences. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Miltenberg

Spend the morning at leisure cruising toward Miltenberg. After lunch, the ship will dock and you’ll be able to join a walking tour of this charming river town. During the tour, pass the Market Square and a 16th-century fountain and half-timbered houses that make this one of the most photographed places in Germany. See the old Town Hall and the oldest inn in Germany built in 1590. Visit St. Kilian’s winery and sample the local “Franken” wines in the old vaulted cellar. In late afternoon, the ship will sail on the Main River toward Würzburg. Admire the rolling hills, thick forests, and lovely riverside villages. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Würzburg

Begin exploring after breakfast with a tour to the Würzburg Residence, one of Europe’s finest Baroque palaces. Later there is a walking tour of the historic city center where you’ll see St. Kilian’s Cathedral, the Old Town Hall, the University and the bustling Marketplace. After lunch, there’s free time before the ship departs for Bamberg. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Bamberg

After breakfast, join your Smithsonian Journeys expert for a fascinating presentation. After lunch, the ship will arrive in Bamberg, a World Heritage Site where there will be a choice of shore excursions.

Choice #1 - Bamberg: A walking tour showcases remarkable Gothic and Baroque architectural masterpieces. Explore the Rococo arch of the Obere Brücke and admire the red-roofed fishermen’s houses and the Baroque mansions of this town that is evocative of a German fairytale.

Choice #2 - Culinary Delights: For those interested in local food specialties, join this special culinary tour to visit the town’s bakery, butcher, deli, and candy store to learn about and sample local Franconian specialties such as the famous Bamberger Hörnle, a variation of the croissant; the Bamberger Weck, a type of roll with sausage; the famous local licorice and the unique smoked beer!

This evening, the ship will depart for Nuremberg. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Nuremberg

Early this morning, the ship will arrive in the famous city of Nuremberg where there’s a choice of interesting shore-side excursions.

Choice #1 - Nuremberg Sightseeing: In Nuremberg, see the courthouse where the Nazi War Trials were held between 1945 and 1949. Continue on a walking tour visiting Nuremberg’s renowned hilltop castle courtyard. Visit the center of town and the Hauptmarkt, dominated by the Schoener Brunnen, a beautiful 14th-century Gothic fountain, one of Nuremberg's most famous attractions. See Our Lady's Church, then St. Lorenz Church, built in the 15th-century.

Choice #2 - Historical Tour: Join a WWII historical tour of Nuremberg including a visit to Documentation Center that showcases the tragic ramifications of the National Socialist Party regime.

Choice #3 - Rural Life: Enjoy an exclusive visit to a Franconian farm to learn about rural life then continue to see nearby countryside villages. After lunch, a shuttle will provide bus service to and from Nuremberg. 

Join your Smithsonian Journeys expert in the Smithsonian traveler’s corner for lively discussion. Dinner will be served aboard ship. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Regensburg

The day begins with an engaging presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys expert. After lunch, the ship will arrive at historic Regensburg. The city is wonderfully preserved and is designated as a World Heritage Site. Join a walking tour that will showcase the old Roman Tower and the Roman Gate. The 12th-century Stone Bridge is a great example of medieval engineering. See the Gothic Old Town Hall and St. Peter’s Cathedral with its remarkable stained-glass windows. Next, visit the Thurn and Taxis Castle, a former monastery and royal residence. After dinner, the ship will depart for Passau. (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Passau

After an early arrival, depart the ship for a walking tour of Passau. Explore the15th-century St. Stephen’s Cathedral known for the world’s largest church organ. See the Residenzplatz with its old patrician homes. See the Gothic Town Hall, the residences of the Prince-Bishops, the Niedernburg Abbey and the Holy Cross Church. The tour ends back at St. Stephen’s Church to hear music played on the famous organ. This afternoon, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys travelers corner. (B,L,D)

Day 12 — Melk and Dürnstein

Get an early start this morning with a visit to Melk Abbey, a World Heritage Site and Austria’s most beautiful and impressive Benedictine Abbey. From the terrace, there are remarkable views of the Danube. Later, spend some time exploring the historic town of Melk.

The ship departs Melk and sails through the beautiful Wachau, a 25-mile valley shaped by the Danube River. It is thought the valley was home to pre-historic people and today it displays remarkable vineyards, villages, monasteries and castles. After lunch, the ship will arrive in Dürnstein. This afternoon, there’s a choice of shore tours.

Choice #1 - Dürnstein Walking Tour: In the 12th-century, Richard the Lionheart was held prisoner here in Dürnstein on his return to England from the Crusades. Spend some time in town and see the baroque Stiftskirche with its blue and white decoration. Dürnstein is often called the Pearl of the Wachau Valley.

Choice #2 - Bicycling the Danube: Join a two-hour bicycle tour (about 10 miles) along the Danube and enjoy a wine and snack break along the way in Weissenkirchen.

Choice #3 - Winery Visit: Join an excursion to visit a local winery. Sample some of the wines produced in the Wachau Valley.

The ship departs in late afternoon for Vienna. Dinner is served in the dining room. (B,L,D)

Day 13 — Vienna

After breakfast, gather for a talk on “Timeless Vienna.” Later, there’s a choice of shore excursions.

Choice #1 - Imperial Vienna: The historic city center of Vienna is designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Visit the Imperial Apartments of the opulent Hofburg Palace. Drive along the Ringstrasse, one of the most famous avenues in Europe. See the University, one of the oldest in Europe; the City Hall; the Burgtheater; Houses of Parliament and the State Museums. Drive past monuments to Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. See the Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Stadtsoper, one of the most revered opera houses in the world.

Choice #2 - Art and Wine: Of all the Austrian monasteries, the Klosterneuburg Monastery showcases great medieval and baroque art treasures as well as fascinating artifacts in the monastery’s treasury. After the tour, enjoy a sampling of wine produced at the monastery. Afterwards, there is a short walking tour in the center of Vienna.

Choice #3 - Schönbrunn Palace: Tour the Schönbrunn Palace, a World Heritage Site, and the lavish summer residence of the Habsburgs. Visit its magnificent State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors and remarkable Formal Gardens.

After sightseeing, return to the ship for lunch and a leisure afternoon. Shuttle buses will operate between the ship and the city center throughout the afternoon and evening. After dinner, there’s a charming waltz performance and lesson accompanied by a classical trio. (B,L,D)

Day 14 — Bratislava

This morning, join your Smithsonian Journeys expert for a fascinating presentation. There’s a leisurely morning sailing on the Danube toward Bratislava, Slovakia where there will be a choice of shore tours.

Choice #1 - Bratislava City Walking Tour: Bratislava, the capital of the Slovakia is a vibrant showcase of medieval architecture. See the National Theater; St. Martin's Cathedral; the Old Town Hall; St. Michael's Gate, the only remaining portion of Bratislava's medieval fortifications and the 16th-century Primate’s Palace, former winter residence of the Bishops of Esztergom. Stop in a famous café and see 17th-century frescoes depicting scenes from the city’s rich past. See how their pastry is made and sample one with coffee.

Choice #2 - Cradle of Classical Music: Bratislava is a city with a formidable musical heritage. It’s here that Hummel was born, Liszt began his career, Bartok attended school, Beethoven taught, and Haydn composed. This special tour of the quaint Old Town directs focus to the venues associated with these famous musicians. Next travelers will visit a Rococo Palace now the City Gallery. A musical performance is planned featuring a young local talent.

Choice #3 - The Old and New Capital: Explore former Pressburg, as Bratislava was once known, with a tour of the Castle, the former Royal Residence and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Visit the Old Town center with its charm and great architecture. At the end of the tour, experience the rich local brewing tradition and enjoy the best Slovak beers during a tasting at a typical pub in the Old Town.

This evening, join Smithsonian Journeys fellow travelers at a farewell reception. (B,L,R,D)

Day 15 — Budapest

After a morning arrival in Budapest, there will be a choice of shore excursions and activities.

Choice #1 - Budapest City Sightseeing: Budapest is situated beautifully along both banks of the Danube. This panoramic tour includes both the Buda and Pest sections of the city. See Heroes Square, the Opera House and the iconic Gothic Parliament Building. Continue to the old Castle District, with its Matthias Church and the turreted Fisherman's Bastion.

Choice #2 - Living Local: Join a local guide for a visit to the Grand Market and then stop at a coffee house to watch and learn how strudel is made. Enjoy a piece of delicious strudel, coffee or tea, and end your excursion with a taste of the local schnapps called Palinka.

Choice #3 - Jewish Interest Tour: Take an extraordinary walk through the old Jewish Quarter to see the great Synagogue and “Tree of Life.” Continue to the “Glass-House,” a remarkable place that served as a hiding place for thousands of Jews sheltered by Carl Lutz, the Consul of Switzerland in late 1944. Later, it was center of the underground Zionist organization in Hungary. See the remarkably poignant “Shoes Memorial” located on the banks of the Danube that serves as a memorial to Jews, shot by Hungarian fascists, who fell into the Danube River in the winter of 1944-45 leaving only their shoes behind. The tour includes a visit to the Páva Street Synagogue and the Holocaust Memorial Center.

Follow your own path and explore on your own this afternoon. The ship will remain in Budapest overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 16 — Return to the U.S.

After breakfast, depart the ship and transfer to Budapest's Ferenc Liszt International Airport and return to the U.S. via transatlantic flights. (B)