As the days turn cooler and the summer crowds fade, come explore the cultural landscapes of four countries situated along three legendary rivers—the Rhine, Maine, and the Danube—on this special cruise featuring a choice of excursions and many World Heritage sites. 

Starting at: $6,090 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Budapest, one of Europe's most beautiful cities, situated along the Danube River  Fisherman's Bastion, found on the Buda side of Budapest  View of the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna Austria  The beautiful Strauss memorial in Vienna  The village of Durnstein, along the Wachau Valley, Austria  Interior of Melk Abbey, the renowned Benedictine monastery overlooking the Danube  The beautiful rococo design of St. Stephan's Cathedral in Passau  Hilltop medieval castle overlooking the Rhine River near Oberwesel  The idyllic Rhine River, near Kaub  The picturesque town of Bamberg

Voyage Through Europe

Featuring the Rhine, Main & Danube Rivers

14 days from $6,090

As the days turn cooler and the summer crowds fade, come explore the cultural landscapes of four countries situated along three legendary rivers—the Rhine, Maine, and the Danube—on this special cruise featuring a choice of excursions and many World Heritage sites. 

or Call 855-330-1542


Save $250 per person when you book by October 22, 2021!

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

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 


Explore the cultural landscapes of four countries situated along three legendary rivers on this cruise, featuring a choice of excursions and many World Heritage sites.

Highlights Include

  • Hungary: Begin your cruise in Budapest as you explore the city’s highlights, Jewish heritage, or cuisine.
  • Slovakia: Choose a tour featuring Bratislava’s musical heritage, medieval architecture, or Castle Hill.
  • Austria: In elegant Vienna, tour the Hofburg Palace, Schönbrunn Palace, or Klosterneuburg Monastery. Cruise along the beautiful Wachau Valley and stop in Dürnstein to enjoy a walking tour, bicycle ride along the river, or tour and tasting at a local winery. Then cruise to the Benedictine abbey at Melk for a tour of this impressive site.
  • Germany: Cruise along the Danube to lovely Passau and Regensburg, as well as Nuremberg, known for its associations with World War II. On the Main River, stop in the medieval towns of Bavarian Bamberg, Würzburg, and Miltenberg. Marvel at hilltop castles as you sail through the breathtaking Rhine Gorge and enjoy guided walk through Koblenz or take a tour of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.
  • Small Ship Experience: Enjoy cruising aboard an upscale small ship that features sophisticated staterooms and public spaces, superb amenities, excellent cuisine, and an informal ambiance. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience. See more information on the Tour Details page. 


Day 1& 2 — Depart the U.S. / Arrive in Budapest, Hungary

Depart the U.S. for Budapest, Hungary on your transatlantic flight. After arrival at Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport, clear brief arrival formalities and transfer to the MS Amadeus Silver III. Luggage will be expedited to traveler’s cabins. Early arrivals will make a visit to Budapest’s Margaret Island. Transfer to the ship and settle in. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available to assist with information and planning independent activities. This evening, gather for a welcome reception and dinner aboard ship. (R,D)

Day 3 — Budapest

Today, you’ll have your choice of one of the following shore excursions:

Choice #1 –Highlights of Budapest: 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 for exceptional views of the city.

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 strudel with coffee or tea, and conclude the excursion with a taste of the local schnapps called Palinka.

Choice #3 – Budapest’s Jewish Quarter: Take an extraordinary walk through the old Jewish Quarter to visit the Great Synagogue and the "Tree of Life." Then visit the Holocaust Memorial Center, a renovated synagogue that dates back to the 1920s and serves as a memorial and museum for and about Hungarian Jews that were killed in The Holocaust. Finally, see the compelling Shoes Memorial. This is the place where the Nazi Hungarians shot Jews who fell into the Danube River in winter of 1944-45.

Lunch will be served on board and the afternoon is free of planned activities so you can explore on your own.

After dinner, the ship will set sail from Budapest. You’ll glide past the impressive Parliament building, Buda Castle, under the Chain Bridge and watch the city sparkle. The buildings and bridges along the river are illuminated at night for an unforgettable evening departure from this romantic city. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Bratislava

Morning cruising at leisure. This afternoon, the ship arrives in Bratislava. A local speaker will offer a talk about the Velvet Revolution, a pivotal event that led to the end of communism in Czechoslovakia and preceded the country’s split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Further, learn about the surprising success of Slovakia as an independent nation.

Later, personalize your cruise with a choice of one of the following tours ashore:

Choice #1 – Bratislava Old Town and Cafe: Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is a 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 at a famous café and see 17th-century frescoes depicting scenes from the city’s rich past. Learn how their local pastry is made and sample one with coffee.

Choice #2 – Bratislava Old Town and 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 local musical performance is planned, featuring young talent.

Choice #3 – Bratislava Castle and Beer Tasting: 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.

In the early evening, the ship departs Bratislava for Vienna, Austria. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Vienna

Start the day with a local speaker who will give a talk on the history of Vienna, one of the world’s most elegant and timeless cities.

Afterward, you’ll have your choice of one of the following tours:

Choice #1 – Imperial Vienna: The historic city center of Vienna is designated a World Heritage Site. 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 Staatsoper, of the most revered opera houses in the world.

Choice #2 – Art and Wine Tour: 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. Afterward, 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.

Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. After dinner, attend an exclusive, onboard waltz performance accompanied by a classical trio. A highlight of your visit to Vienna! There will be a brief introduction to the history of the waltz followed by a performance by dance professionals. Later, you’ll be invited to give the waltz a try!  (B,L,D) 

Day 6 – Dürnstein/Melk

The ship cruises the beginning of scenic the Wachau Valley just before arriving in Dürnstein. Here, you’ll have your choice of shore tours:

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

Choice #2 – Bicycling the Danube: Join a two-hour "bike hike" along the Danube. Stop in the charming town of Krems and enjoy a coffee and cake break.

Choice #3 – Wachau Valley Wines: Take an excursion to visit a local winery. Sample some of the wines produced in the Wachau Valley.

Continue scenic cruising through the Wachau Valley to Melk. Depart the ship for a visit to Melk Abbey. Here, visit Austria’s most beautiful Benedictine Abbey, designated a World Heritage site. The baroque building dates from 1736 and is considered an architectual masterpiece. From the terrace, enjoy a beautiful view of the Danube River. The crowning jewel is the lavish Abbey Church. The opulent frescoes, paintings, gilded woodwork, and elegant marble are breathtaking.

Join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner this evening for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Passau

After arrival in Passau, your walking tour begins in its delightful Old City. Visit the 15th-century St. Stephen's Cathedral located on the Residenzplatz among fine old patrician houses. Also see the Gothic Town Hall, the Old and New Residences of the Prince-Bishops, and the former Niedernburg Abbey with the Holy Cross Church. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to pursue your own individual interests. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Regensberg

Begin your day with an interesting talk on Contemporary Germany by a local expert. Afterwards, take a guided walk through Regensburg, a wonderfully preserved city and a World Heritage site. View the old Roman Tower and the Roman Gateway—still standing after 1,800 years—and the 12th-century Stone Bridge, which is one of the wonders of medieval engineering. See the Old Town Hall, built in Gothic style, where German Emperors presided over early parliaments, and St. Peter’s Cathedral, with its beautiful 14th-century stained glass windows. Then, visit the Thurn and Taxis Castle, a former monastery. Later today the ship enters the Main-Danube Canal, once the dream of Emperor Charlemagne, he ordered the construction of the beginning of the canal in 793. It was finally completed in 1992. Join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner this evening for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Nuremberg

Today, you can personalize your cruise and choose one of three compelling shore tours:

Choice #1 – The Sights of Nuremberg: In Nuremberg, take a motorcoach through the city and take in the sights including the courthouse where the World War II war trials were held. Begin a walking tour that includes Nuremberg’s renowned hilltop castle. Stroll down to the center of town and the Hauptmarkt, an open square dominated by the Schoener Brunnen, a 14th-century Gothic fountain—Nuremberg's most famous attraction. View Our Lady's Church, then St. Lorenz Church, which dates from the 15th century.

Choice #2 – Documentation Center Museum: Nuremberg’s history cannot be detached from that of the Nazi party. The city often played host to Nazi demonstrations, organized as a display of power, at the massive Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Drive from the ship past the courthouse where the WWII trials were held, make a stop at the Zeppelinfeld, then explore the Center, home to the Fascination and Terror exhibit that examines the National Socialist Party’s control.

Choice #3 – Rural Life: Enjoy an exclusive visit to a Franconian farm to learn about rural life. Drive north from Nuremberg, passing countryside villages along the way, to the town of Moggast. Meet the family and learn about the traditions and workings of a local farm. Local snacks will be served for lunch during the visit. This afternoon, a shuttle bus will be provided for those who would like to go back into Nuremberg for additional sightseeing. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Bamberg

In historic Bamberg, there’s a choice of tours ashore:

Choice #1 – Bamberg Walking Tour: Embark on a walking tour of Bamberg, a designated World Heritage site, and colorful showcase of architectural masterpieces. See the Statue of Neptune, the centerpiece of the most famous fountain in Bamberg sculpted in 1697. Wander under the grand rococo archway of the Obere Brücke and enjoy the view of the red-roofed fishermen’s houses and baroque mansions that highlight this fairy tale town.

Choice #2 – Culinary Delights: Enjoy a culinary tour around the town of Bamberg, visiting a bakery, butcher, deli, and candy store to learn about and taste local Franconian specialties. Sample the famous local licorice and other food specialties with a glass of smoked or traditional Bavarian beer with the Bamberger Weck, a type of roll with sausage.

Join fellow travelers this evening for an informal discussion in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Würzburg

Personalize your experience today and choose one of the shore tours that interests you most:

Choice #1 – Würzburg Residenz and City Walk: Travel by motor coach from the ship to visit the famous Würzburg Residence, one of the finest baroque palaces in Europe. Afterwards, there’s a 1-hour walking tour of the historic city center that takes you past the Romanesque St. Kilian’s Cathedral; the Neumünslerkirche, where St. Kilian’s Crypt is found; the Old Town Hall; the University; and the bustling marketplace.

Choice #2 – The Romantic Road: Head out to experience Germany’s Romantic Road, once a Roman roadway that originates in Würzburg. Travel through spectacular walled villages and towns featuring cobbled streets and medieval charm to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, known for its medieval Altstadt and surrounded by 14th-century medieval walls.

Lunch and dinner are served on board ship. (B,L,D)

Day 12 —Miltenberg

This morning the ship sails along the Rhine bound for Miltenberg. The ship’s crew invites you to the Sun Deck at mid-morning for the age-old German tradition of Frühschoppen. You’ll partake in the local beer with pretzels, sausage, served with a variety of mustards! 

After arrival, depart the ship for a walking tour that passes through the town’s charming market square where a 16th-century fountain and unusual half-timbered houses make it one of the most photographed sites in all of Germany. See the Town Hall which was mentioned in 1379 for the first time and has been restored totally between 1979 and 1983. See the oldest inn in Germany. The half-timbered building was built in 1590 and over the centuries it has been the place where electors, nobility, and kings stayed the night. There will be a visit of St. Kilian’s winery with a liqueur tasting in the old vaulted cellar, which dates from the 15th century. (B,L,D)

Day 13 — Koblenz

Today, the ship cruises through the remarkable Rhine Gorge. Gather on deck to marvel at ancient hilltop castles, historic riverside towns, and villages and view the Lorelei Rock made famous in a German fable. After arrival in Koblenz, you have a choice of shore excursions. 

Choice #1 – City Walk of Koblenz – More than 2,000 years ago, the Romans established a settlement at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine rivers. Today, this beautiful town occupies that same strategic location. During your tour through the romantically narrow streetsyou’ll pass the Town Hall with the famous landmark Schängelbrunnen or Schängel fountain, the Church of Our Ladythe Old Castle of the Electors of Trier, now housing the Municipal Archives and Library, and the Old Merchant’s Hall. 

Choice #2 – Ehrenbreitstein Fortress  At nearly 400 feet above the Rhine, the fortress has the most fantastic views over Koblenz and the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, the second largest preserved fortress in Europe, was constructed in its present form between 1817 and 1828. Its origin dates back to the year 1,000. Today the fortress is home to the Landesmuseum Koblenz that showcases diverse exhibitions including the history and archaeology of the country. Enjoy a cable car ride over the river to visit the castle and hear about its history. 

Join fellow travelers this evening for a farewell reception and dinner on board ship. In late evening the ship will depart for Mainz. (B,L,R,D)

Day 14 — Mainz / Return to the U.S.

After breakfast, depart the ship for the transfer from Mainz to Frankfurt am Main International Airport for your homeward flight. (B) 

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)