Discover eight countries and many World Heritage sites as you cruise the fabled Danube River through the heartland of Central and Eastern Europe between Germany and Bulgaria, with stays in Prague and Sofia.

Starting at: $5,090 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Wachau Valley of the Danube, a World Heritage site, Austria  Budapest, one of Europe's most beautiful cities, situated along the Danube River  Fishermen's Bastion, Budapest  The Matthias Church, located on the Buda side of Budapest  The Strauss Memorial in Vienna, a city renowned for music  St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna  The gardens at Vienna's Schonbrunn Palace, a World Heritage site and the Habsburgs' summer residence  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  Historic Melk Abbey, overlooking the Danube River, Austria  Prague's Old Town Square  Prague and the Vltava River and historic Charles Bridge   The legendary Charles Bridge, Prague  Hradcany Hill with St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague  The 13th-century Old New Synagogue, Prague  The medieval astronomical clock, Old Town Square, Prague

A Danube River Cruise

From Bulgaria to Germany and the Czech Republic Aboard the 160-guest Amadeus Silver

15-16 days from $5,090

Discover eight countries and many World Heritage sites as you cruise the fabled Danube River through the heartland of Central and Eastern Europe between Germany and Bulgaria, with stays in Prague and Sofia.

or Call 855-330-1542

SOLO TRAVELERS

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

Overview

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. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

The fabled Danube River flows through the heartland of Central and Eastern Europe—an evocative landscape of ancient capitals, lovely villages, and magnificent churches, palaces, and castles. Join us for this unique itinerary that showcases eight countries and many World Heritage sites, plus features a choice of specialty excursions in many cities.

Highlights Include

  • Bulgaria: Explore Sofia and learn about its history and culture during a panoramic tour featuring the Royal Palace and a stroll along Vitosha Boulevard. In Vidin, visit a 17th-century church and a 19th-century synagogue.
  • Romania: Enjoy a walking tour and wine tasting in Drobeta-Turnu Severin.
  • Serbia: Follow the Danube along the Serbian-Romanian border. Sail through the Iron Gate Gorge, a remarkable passage just 530 feet wide. In Belgrade, enjoy a choice of excursions featuring the Nikola Tesla Museum, a culinary tour, or a city highlights tour with a stop at Kalemegdan Park.
  • Hungary: In Pécs, you’ll see Ottoman mosques and enjoy a wine tasting. Cruise into the heart of Budapest, one of Europe’s most striking capitals, nestled along the banks of the Danube. Visit the Grand Market, join a tour through the old Jewish Quarter, or explore both the Buda and the Pest sections of the city.
  • Slovakia: Discover Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital and largest city. View St. Michael’s Gate and National Theater during a walking tour, enjoy an afternoon immersed in musical history, or visit the castle and Old Town.
  • Austria and the Wachau Valley: In Vienna, tour the lavish Imperial Apartments of the Hofburg Palace, the incredible Schönbrunn Palace, or Klosterneuburg Monastery, plus enjoy an evening focused on the Viennese waltz. Then sail through the beautiful Wachau Valley, stopping at lovely Dürnstein and the Benedictine Abbey at Melk, a masterpiece of Austrian baroque architecture.
  • Germany: Cruise to Passau, located at the confluence of three rivers—the Danube, Inn, and Ilz—and visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Old Town Hall, and other sites.
  • Czech Republic: Journey to Prague and enjoy three days in the capital of Old World Europe. Your stay features tours of Charles Bridge and the historic district; a choice of excursions, including Lobkowicz Palace, the Jewish Quarter, or Prague’s architecture; and some time at leisure.

Organization and execution of our trip with Smithsonian Journeys was excellent from first contact to farewell.

- Eleanor C.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

June 10-24, 2018 & September 9-23, 2018 Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the U.S.

Smithsonian Journeys travelers depart the U.S. on evening transatlantic flights to Prague in the Czech Republic.

Day 2 – Prague

After an early morning flight arrival at Prague International Airport, transfer to the luxurious and centrally located Imperial Hotel. Each traveler will receive a welcome kit with city information and a map of Prague. After settling in, the balance of the day is free of planned activities. The Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available this afternoon and throughout the program for suggestions regarding tours, restaurants and independent activities. This evening gather with new friends at a Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception at the hotel. (R)

Day 3 – Prague

A full American-style buffet breakfast will be served each day in the hotel. Start exploring at the Old Town Square where you’ll see buildings in many architectural styles. Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque houses, palaces and churches blend to create a unique city square in all of Europe. See the animated Astronomical Clock that offers a performance each hour with a procession of Apostles. Continue with a walk across the iconic Charles Bridge, built in 1357 and lined with 30 statues, it’s one of Prague’s most splendid landmarks. The balance of the day is free of planned activities. This evening, get together with the Smithsonian Journeys Expert for a presentation followed by a beer tasting. “Na zdravi!” or “Cheers!” Join fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for dinner at a popular local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 4 – Prague

Personalize your Prague experience today with a choice of one of the following excursions.

Choice #1 – Lobkowicz Palace and Museum

Spend time exploring this fascinating museum, originally a 16th-century palace located within Prague Castle. The Lobkowicz Palace and Museum offers both remarkable panoramic views of the city and a vibrant cultural experience. For 700 years, the Lobkowicz family amassed one of the most extensive collections of Czech art and cultural artifacts in Central Europe. See collection highlights with a local expert guide.

Choice #2 – Prague’s Jewish Quarter

This powerful experience begins as you enter the Jewish Quarter. Visit the Prague National Jewish Museum, founded in 1906. The museum endured turbulent times under both the Nazi and Communist regimes. Today, it is a remarkable showcase of Jewish history and religious treasures. The collections are housed in six synagogues, and the exhibits provide a comprehensive look at Jewish heritage in Eastern Europe. Learn about traditions and the role they play in different stages of one’s life at Klaus Synagogue. The Maisel Synagogue follows the history of Bohemian and Moravian Jews between the 10th and 18th centuries. Pinkas Synagogue has one of the most poignant exhibits with the names of thousands of Bohemian and Moravian Jews who perished in the Holocaust written on its walls.

Choice 3 – Art Nouveau and Cubist Walking Tour

Discover the highlights of Prague’s remarkable 20th-century architecture on a walking tour with an expert local guide. Take a route through the city that focuses on Art Nouveau jewels and Cubist landmarks. Learn about the most distinctive features of the two styles. Stop at the Municipal House, home to the Smetana Concert Hall, one of Prague’s most important Art Nouveau landmarks. See the dramatic contrasts between Art Nouveau and Cubism. Visit the unique Lucerna Bar and the Grand Hotel Europe to get a feel for turn-of-the-century Czech optimism and avant-garde movements before war changed the course of Prague history.

There’s time to follow your own path this afternoon and explore on your own. Later, join new friends in the Smithsonian Journeys travelers corner. (B)

Day 5 – Passau

Depart Prague for a drive through the southern Czech countryside to Passau, Germany. Approximate driving time is four hours with a rest stop en route. Situated at the confluence of three rivers; the Danube, Inn and Ilz, Passau has been called “one of the seven most beautifully situated towns in the world.” On a tour, see the Veste Oberhaus, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Old Town Hall, and the Niedernburg Abbey. After the tour, board the Amadeus Silver for an eight-night Danube cruise. This evening, join fellow travelers for a welcome aboard reception followed by dinner aboard ship. (B,L,R,D)

Day 6 – Melk / Durnstein

Start the day with a visit to Melk Abbey, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture with its remarkable views overlooking the Danube. The ship will depart Melk and sail through the spectacular Wachau Valley, considered one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe and a World Heritage site. Admire beautiful villages clustered around charming churches and town squares. Arrive in Durnstein where there’s a choice of afternoon shore tours.

Choice #1 –  Richard the Lionheart was held prisoner at Durnstein in the 12th century on his way back to England from the Crusades. Visit the blue-and-white baroque Stiftskirche in this charming town known as the "Pearl of the Wachau Valley."

Choice #2 –  Join a two-hour “bike hike” along the Danube, past local vineyards and enjoy wine and a snack break along the way.

Choice #3 – On this excursion, visit a local winery and sample some of the wines of the renowned Wachau Valley.

In the late afternoon, your Smithsonian Journeys Expert will give an engaging presentation. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Vienna

This morning, select from a menu of the following shore excursions.

Choice #1 – Visit the Imperial Apartments of the ornate Hofburg Palace. Drive the Ringstrasse, and see the University, the City Hall, the Burgtheater, the Houses of Parliament, the two State Museums and the Opera House. Travel past monuments to Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. See the Musikverein, the “Golden” Concert Hall, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Staatsoper, one of the most renowned opera houses in the world.

Choice #2 – The Klosterneuburg Monastery provides remarkable examples of the Medieval and Baroque periods. Highlights include the Medieval Cloister, the Seven-Armed Candelabra, the Verdun Altar, the Austrian Archducal Coronet, Leopoldian Vestments and ends with a wine tasting of the Klosterneuburg’s splendid wine.

Choice #3 – Marvel at Schönbrunn Palace, the remarkable summer palace, residence of the Habsburgs, and a World Heritage site. Visit its opulent State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors and stunning gardens.

After dinner on board the ship, an exclusive waltz performance and lesson will be offered accompanied by a classical trio. A highlight of the cruise! (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Bratislava

Begin the day with a talk by a local speaker focusing on The Velvet Revolution and the Making of Slovakia. Afterward, there is a choice of tours ashore.

Choice #1 – Bratislava Old Town and Cafe; The city is the center and capital of the political, social and cultural life of the Slovak Republic and a showcase of fine medieval architecture. See the National Theater, St. Martin's Cathedral and the Old Town Hall. View St. Michael's Gate, the only remaining part 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 completely painted in frescoes depicting scenes from the city’s rich past. See how local pastry favorites are baked and sample one with coffee or tea.

Choice #2 – Batislava Old Town and Music; Bratislava is the place the composer Hummel was born, Liszt started his career, Bartok went to school, Beethoven taught, and Haydn worked. On a special tour of the quaint Old Town center, there’s focus on the rich local musical traditions including the venues associated with these famous composers. At the end of the tour, travelers will visit a historic Rococo palace in the Old Town; now the City Gallery. There you’ll enjoy a wonderful musical experience offered by a young, local talent.

Choice #3 – Iron Curtain Bike Tour The charming city of Bratislava straddles the Danube River. It’s the only city of the former Eastern Bloc that sat directly on the Iron Curtain. On this two-hour bicycle tour, you’ll ride along the Right Bank passing the imposing Bratislava Castle, the new Zuckermandel and River Park developments. Ride across the Lafranconi Bridge to the Left Bank and through a venerable forest area to see a preserved WWII Bunker built for protection against the Nazis. Continue toward the city center to see the UFO Bridge, then cross the Old Bridge to the Eurovea development, Bratislava’s modern city center where you’ll see the New Opera and a lovely promenade with an array of inviting riverside cafes.

Gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for a lively discussion. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Budapest

After arrival this morning, there’s a choice of shore excursions.

Choice #1 – Budapest is one of the world's most beautiful cities in the heart of Europe and is a World Heritage site. Travel through both the Buda and Pest sections of the city. On the excursion, see Heroes Square, the Opera House, and the famous Parliament Building. Continue to the old Castle District, with its old Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion.

Choice #2 – Join a guide for a visit to the Grand Market and stop at a coffee house to see how the famous strudel is made. Enjoy a piece of delicious strudel, coffee or tea, and end your excursion with a sampling of Palinka, a local schnapps.

Choice #3 – This tour includes a walk through the Old Jewish Quarter. See the great Synagogue and the Tree of Life. Continue to the Glass House, a place that was once a shelter and hiding place for about 3,000 Jews saved in late 1944 and also the center of the underground Zionist organization in Hungary. See the Shoes Memorial that remembers a place and time when Hungarian Nazis shot Jews who fell into the Danube River in the winter of 1944-45. The tour includes a visit to the Páva Street Synagogue and the Holocaust Memorial Center. The afternoon is at leisure for independent exploration. As a special treat, see the lights of Budapest on an evening cruise on the Danube. See the dramatically illuminated Parliament Building, Buda Castle, and sail under Chain Bridge. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Kalocsa / Pecs

This morning, take an excursion through the beautiful Hungarian countryside to Pecs. On a walking tour, see a city known for its Roman ruins and Ottoman mosques that have now been turned into Christian churches. Stop to enjoy a sampling of local wines. Return to the ship late in the day and gather for an engaging presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. (B,L,D)

Day 11 – Belgrade

Begin the day with a discussion on present day life in the former Yugoslavian state of Serbia. Later, personalize your day with a choice of shore excursions.

Choice #1 – Known as the "White City", Belgrade is one of the oldest Eastern European capitals. The city’s signature monument is the well-preserved hillside Kalemegdan Citadel that dominates the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. It is evocative of centuries of Serbian history, from Celtic times to the present day. Enjoy a walking tour of the park and fortress and drive through the main streets of Belgrade. In the Old Town, see the remarkable Orthodox Cathedral, adorned with gold and religious icons, then visit St. Sava Cathedral.

Choice #2 – Explore the Serbian culinary scene during a tour that showcases local culture through the “food experience.” Start with morning coffee and watch the city wake up and start moving. Try Rakija, the local brandy and continue to the old bohemian quarter of the city, Skadarlija. Visit one of the oldest restaurants in the city. Try the local barbecue cevapcici, meat skewers and sausage. Enjoy the traditional suva pita or walnut pie and local wine.

Choice #3 – Discover the Nikola Tesla Museum conceived as a cultural institution, to protect and honor Tesla’s life and work. The museum also holds his remains, which makes it one of the few museums in the world which is a memorial as well as a technical institution.

The afternoon will be free of planned activities. A shuttle into town from the dock will be provided. After dinner, enjoy a local Folkloric Show on board. (B,L,D)

Day 12 – Iron Gate Gorge / Dobreta Turnu Severin

Start the day with a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. The ship will follow the Danube along the Serbian-Romanian border where you’ll see dramatic landscapes and cliffs. Sail through the remarkable Iron Gate Gorge, a geological marvel where the Danube is forced through a narrowing gap and creates one of the most dramatic natural wonders in Europe. You’ll be invited to the Sun Deck for Früschoppen, an old German tradition of drinking beer along with pretzels, sausage with mustard. After docking at Dobreta Turnu Severin, travel to the Museum of the Iron Gates Region showcasing the regions Roman period. After the visit, there’s a tour of the city that features highlights like the silhouette of the Old Water Tower, a miniature reproduction of the Roman Bridge, the Theater and the main boulevards adorned with roses that gives the city its name “The City of Roses”. This evening, join fellow travelers for a farewell reception aboard the ship followed by dinner. (B,L,R,D) 

Day 13 – Vidin / Sofia

Arrive at Vidin located on the Romanian-Bulgarian border and one of the Danube’s oldest riverside towns. Disembark and depart on a shore tour, to see the Mosque, Library of Osman Pazvantouglu, Crucifrom Barracks and the Konkan. Stop and enjoy a visit of the 17th-century St. Panthaleimon Church and the 9th-century Baba Vida fortress. After lunch in Belogradchik, drive to Sofia where the balance of the day is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 14 – Sofia

At an engaging lecture, learn about the conditions and events that led to the Bulgarian Revival of the 19th century when the Ottomans were defeated and expelled. Enjoy an excursion of Sofia showcasing the ancient ruins of Serdica, the St. George Rotunda, Alexander Batenberg Square with its former Royal Palace, the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Alexander of Neva and Vitosha Boulevard, Sofia’s upscale pedestrian avenue. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the city on your own. This evening, meet fellow travelers at a farewell reception and dinner at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 15 – Depart for U.S. Gateway Cities

Depart the hotel for Sofia International Airport and return trans-Atlantic flights to the U.S. (B)

Note:

During this voyage we will share the ship with other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience.

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

June 19 - July 4, 2018 Itinerary

Our June 19 - July 4, 2018 departure will run in the reverse direction, starting in Sofia and concluding in Prague. 

Day 1 – Depart the U.S.

Smithsonian Journeys travelers depart the U.S. on evening transatlantic flights to Sofia, Bulgaria.

Day 2 – Sofia

After an early morning flight arrival at Sofia International Airport, transfer to the luxurious and centrally located Sofia Hotel Balkan. At the hotel, each traveler will receive a welcome kit containing information on Sofia and a map of the city. After settling in, the balance of the day is free of planned activities. This evening, join fellow travelers at the Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception at the hotel. The Smithsonian Journeys Expert will offer a short welcome and presentation.

Day 3 – Sofia

A full American-style buffet breakfast will be served each morning in the hotel. An engaging local speaker will give a talk about the conditions and events that led to the Bulgarian Revival of the 19th century when the Ottomans were defeated and expelled. Enjoy an excursion of Sofia showcasing the ancient ruins of Serdica, the St. George Rotunda, Alexander Batenberg Square with its former Royal Palace, and the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Alexander of Neva. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the city on your own. Your Smithsonian Journeys Expert will offer an engaging presentation. This evening, meet fellow travelers at a Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception and dinner. (B,R,D)

Day 4 – Sofia to Vidin

Drive to the historic town of Vidin. A stop will be made en route in Belogradchik for lunch. Vidin is located on the Romanian-Bulgarian border and is one of the Danube’s oldest riverside towns. On a tour, see the Mosque, Library of Osman Pazvantouglu, Crucifrom Barracks and the Konak. Enjoy a visit of the 17th-century St. Panthaleimon Church and the 9th-century Baba Vida. Embark the Amadeus Silver for the cruise from Vidin to Passau. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a festive welcome aboard reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D) 

Day 5 – Dobreta Turnu Severin / Iron Gate

After docking at Dobreta Turnu Severin, travel to the Museum of the Iron Gates Region showcasing the regions Roman period. After the visit, there’s a tour of the city that features highlights like the silhouette of the Old Water Tower, a miniature reproduction of the Roman Bridge, the Theater and the main boulevards adorned with roses that gives the city its name “The City of Roses”. The ship will continue to follow the Danube along the Serbian-Romanian border where you’ll see dramatic landscapes and cliffs. Sail through the remarkable Iron Gate Gorge, a geological marvel where the Danube is forced through a narrowing gap and creates one of the most dramatic natural wonders in Europe. Join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an informative lecture.(B,L,D)

Day 6 – Belgrade

Begin the day with a discussion on present day life in the former Yugoslavian state of Serbia. Today, you’ll have a choice of shore excursions:

Choice #1 – Belgrade, known as the “White City”, it’s one of the oldest Eastern European capitals. The city’s signature monument is the well-preserved hillside Kalemegdan Citadel that dominates the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. It is evocative of centuries of Serbian history, from Celtic times to the present day. Enjoy a walking tour of the park and fortress and drive through the main streets of Belgrade. In the Old Town, see the remarkable Orthodox Cathedral, adorned with gold and religious icons, then visit St. Sava Cathedral.

Choice #2 – Explore the Serbian culinary scene during a tour that showcases local culture through a unique “food experience.” Start with morning coffee and watch the city wake up and start the day. Try Rakija, the local brandy, then continue to the old Bohemian quarter of the city, Skadarlija. Visit one of the oldest restaurants in the city. Try the local barbecue, cevapcici, meat skewers and sausage. Enjoy the traditional suva pita or walnut pie and local wine.

Choice #3 – Discover the Nikola Tesla Museum conceived as a cultural institution, to protect and honor Tesla’s life and work. The museum also holds his remains, which makes it one of the few museums in the world which is a memorial as well as a technical institution.

The afternoon will be free of planned activities. A shuttle into town from the dock will be provided. Get together in Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for lively conversation. After dinner, enjoy a local Folkloric Show on board. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Kalocsa / Pecs

After lunch, take an excursion through the beautiful Hungarian countryside to Pecs. On a walking tour, see a city known for its Roman ruins and Ottoman mosques that have now been turned into Christian churches. Stop to enjoy a sampling of local wines. Drive to Mohacs, Hungary to rejoin the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Budapest

Begin the day with a choice of one of the following excursions.

Choice #1 – Budapest is one of the world's most beautiful cities in the heart of Europe and is a World Heritage site. Travel through both the Buda and Pest sections of the city. On the excursion see Heroes Square, the Opera House, and the famous Parliament Building. Continue to the old Castle District, with its old Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion.

Choice #2 – Join a guide for a visit to the Grand Market and stop at a coffee house to see how the famous strudel is made. Enjoy a piece of delicious strudel, coffee or tea, and end your excursion with a sampling of Palinka, a local schnapps.

Choice #3 – This tour includes a walk through the Old Jewish Quarter. See the great Synagogue and the Tree of Life. Continue to the Glass House, a place that was once a shelter and hiding place for about 3,000 Jews saved in late 1944 and also the center of the underground Zionist organization in Hungary. See the Shoes Memorial that remembers a place and time when Hungarian Nazis shot Jews who fell into the Danube River in the winter of 1944-45. The tour includes a visit to the Páva Street Synagogue and the Holocaust Memorial Center. The afternoon is at leisure for independent exploration. As a special treat, see the lights of Budapest on an evening cruise on the Danube. See the dramatically illuminated Parliament Building, Buda Castle, and sail under Chain Bridge. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Bratislava

Join fellow travelers and your Smithsonian Journeys Expert in the Travelers Corner for an informal presentation. Attend a talk by a local speaker focusing on The Velvet Revolution and the Making of Slovakia. Afterward, there is a choice of tours ashore:

Choice #1 – Bratislava Old Town and Cafe: The city is the center and capital of the political, social and cultural life of the Slovak Republic and a showcase of fine medieval architecture. See the National Theater, St. Martin's Cathedral, and the Old Town Hall. View St. Michael's Gate, the only remaining part 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 completely painted in frescoes depicting scenes from the city’s rich past. See how local pastry favorites are baked and sample one with coffee or tea.

Choice #2 – Bratislava Old Town and Music; Bratislava is the place the composer Hummel was born, Liszt started his career, Bartok went to school, Beethoven taught, and Haydn worked. On a special tour of the quaint Old Town center, there’s focus on the rich local musical traditions including the venues associated with these famous composers. At the end of the tour, travelers will visit a historic Rococo palace in the Old Town; now the City Gallery. There you’ll enjoy a wonderful musical experience offered by a young, local talent.

Choice #3 Iron Curtain Bike Tour;  The charming city of Bratislava straddles the Danube River. It’s the only city of the former Eastern Bloc that sat directly on the Iron Curtain. On this two-hour bicycle tour, you’ll ride along the Right Bank passing the imposing Bratislava Castle, the new Zuckermandel and River Park developments. Ride across the Lafranconi Bridge to the Left Bank and through a venerable forest area to see a preserved WWII Bunker built for protection against the Nazis. Continue toward the city center to see the UFO Bridge, then cross the Old Bridge to the Eurovea development, Bratislava’s modern city center where you’ll see the New Opera and a lovely promenade with an array of inviting riverside cafes.

The balance of the afternoon will be at leisure. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Vienna

Start the day with a presentation, by a local speaker, on the relevance of Vienna over the centuries. Begin exploring with a choice of one of three tours ashore. The historic center of Vienna has been designated a World Heritage site.

Choice #1 – Visit the Imperial Apartments of the ornate Hofburg Palace. Drive the Ringstrasse, and see the University, the City Hall, the Burgtheater, the Houses of Parliament, the two State Museums and the Opera House. Travel past monuments to Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. See the Musikverein, the “Golden” Concert Hall, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Staatsoper, one of the most renowned opera houses in the world.

Choice #2 – The Klosterneuburg Monastery provides remarkable examples of the Medieval and Baroque periods. Highlights include the Medieval Cloister, the Seven-Armed Candelabra, the Verdun Altar, the Austrian Archducal Coronet, Leopoldian Vestments and end with a wine tasting of the Klosterneuburg’s splendid wine.

Choice #3 – Marvel at Schönbrunn Palace, the remarkable summer palace and residence of the Habsburgs and a World Heritage site. Visit its opulent State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors and stunning gardens.

After dinner on board the ship, an exclusive waltz performance and lesson will be offered accompanied by a classical trio. (B,L,D)

Day 11 – Durnstein and Melk

Durnstein is one of the most beautiful towns on the Austrian Danube, with its medieval charm and Baroque character. Start your day of discovery with a choice of excursions.

Choice #1 – Richard the Lionheart was held prisoner in Durnstein in the 12th century on his way back to England from the Crusades. Visit the blue-and-white baroque Stiftskirche in this charming town known as the "Pearl of the Wachau Valley."

Choice #2  Join a two-hour “bike hike” along the Danube, past local vineyards and enjoy wine and a snack break along the way.

Choice #3 – On this excursion, visit a local winery and sample some of the wines of the renowned Wachau Valley.

After sailing from Durnstein, the ship sails through the spectacular Wachau Valley, considered one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe and a World Heritage site. You’ll be invited to the Sun Deck for Früschoppen, an old German tradition of drinking beer along with pretzels, sausage with mustard. Admire beautiful villages clustered around charming churches and town squares. Visit Melk Abbey, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture with its remarkable views overlooking the Danube. Get together for a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. (B,L,D) 

Day 12 – Passau

Rising at the confluence of three rivers; the Danube, Inn and Ilz, Passau have been called “one of the seven most beautifully situated towns in the world.” See the Old Town Hall, Niedernburg Abbey, the Veste Oberhaus and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This evening, join fellow travelers for a farewell reception followed by dinner aboard ship. (B,L,D) 

Day 13 – Prague

This morning, disembark the ship and drive through the southern region of the Czech Republic to Prague and the deluxe Art Deco Imperial Hotel. The balance of the day is free of planned activities. Get together with fellow travelers for a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. Join fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for dinner at a popular local restaurant. (B,D) 

Day 14 – Prague

A full buffet breakfast will be served each day in the hotel. Start exploring at the Old Town Square where you’ll see buildings in many architectural styles. Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque houses, palaces and churches blend to create one of the most unique city squares in Europe. See the animated Astronomical Clock that offers a performance each hour with a procession of Apostles. Continue with a walk across the iconic Charles Bridge, built in 1357 and lined with 30 statues, it’s one of Prague’s most splendid landmarks. The balance of the day is free of planned activities. (B)

Day 15 – Prague

Personalize your Prague experience today with a choice of excursions.

Choice #1 – Spend time exploring this fascinating museum, originally a 16th-century palace located within Prague Castle. The Lobkowicz Palace and Museum offers both remarkable panoramic views of the city and a vibrant cultural experience. For 700 years, the Lobkowicz family amassed one of the most extensive collections of Czech art and cultural artifacts in Central Europe. See collection highlights with a local expert guide.

Choice #2 – This powerful experience begins as you enter the Jewish Quarter. Visit the Prague National Jewish Museum, founded in 1906. The museum has turbulent times under both the Nazi and Communist regimes. Today, it is a remarkable showcase of Jewish history and religious treasures. The collections are housed in six synagogues, and the exhibits provide a comprehensive look at Jewish history in Eastern Europe. Learn about traditions and the role they play in different stages of one’s life at Klaus Synagogue. The Maisel Synagogue follows the history of Bohemian and Moravian Jews between the 10th and 18th centuries. Pinkas Synagogue has one of the most poignant exhibits with the names of thousands of Bohemian and Moravian Jews who perished in the Holocaust written on its walls.

Choice #3 – Discover the highlights of Prague’s remarkable 20th-century architecture on a walking tour with an expert local guide. Take a route through the city that focuses on Art Nouveau jewels and Cubist landmarks. Learn about the most distinctive features of the two styles. Stop at the Municipal House, home to the Smetana Concert Hall, one of Prague’s most important Art Nouveau landmarks. See the dramatic contrasts between Art Nouveau and Cubism. Visit the unique Lucerna Bar and the Grand Hotel Europe to get a feel for turn-of-the-century Czech optimism and avant-garde movements before war changed the course of Prague history.

There’s time to follow your own path this afternoon and explore on your own. Later, join fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for a farewell reception and dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 16 – Depart for U.S. Gateway Cities

Depart the hotel for Prague International Airport and return transatlantic flights to the U.S. (B)

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