Sat, Aug 5: Overnight flight to Prague, Czech Republic.
Sun, Aug 6: Prague, Czech Republic. Arrive in Prague and transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this wondrous city, often said to be equal to Paris in terms of beauty. Cross the 14th-century Charles Bridge or explore some of the quirky city sights such as water foundations that are as old as 400 years. Check into the Old Town Hilton (or similar) for three nights.
Mon, Aug 7: Prague. This morning, choose between a standard city tour and a hike. Both will reveal why Prague is considered one of Europe’s most attractive cities, with a historic city center that’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see Rudolfinum, the National Museum, Wenceslas Square and the Hundertwasser Dancing House. Next, visit the 1,000 year-old Prague Castle and St. Vitus before walking over the romantic Charles Bridge to the Old Market Square, where you will find the capital’s famous Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church and the statue of Jan Husek. The rest of the day is at your leisure, perhaps to enjoy yourself in one of the city’s many charming cafés. (B)
Tue, Aug 8: Prague. Spend a day at your leisure, strolling through a museum or gallery, wandering along the banks of the lazy Vltava River, relaxing in a café or shopping for local handicrafts. Prague is known for the best beer in Europe, so you might consider some time in a local beer hall. (B)
Wed, Aug 9: Regensburg & Vilshofen, Germany. Depart Prague this morning and stop in Regensburg for a guided walking tour of one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities (and UNESCO World Heritage Site). After lunch on your own, continue to the charming 1,200-year-old Bavarian town of Vilshofen and board your luxurious ship, the AmaStella. Later, join your fellow travelers at a private Oktoberfest celebration in Vilshofen, with traditional beer and Bavarian folk music and dancing. After, enjoy a festive Welcome Dinner aboard the ship. (B)
Thu, Aug 10: Vilshofen & Passau. Explore Vilshofen on your own before cruising to the 2,000-year-old city of Passau, known as the “town on three rivers.” Experience the city on a walking tour, noted for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture, cobblestone streets, Rathaus (City Hall) and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. (B,L,D)
Fri, Aug 11: Linz, Austria. The ship arrives this morning in Linz. Enjoy a walking tour of the second largest city in Austria or choose a guided bike tour that will show you around the Old City Center, along the Danube River, and past the ultra-modern Ars Electronica Center. Later, you’ll have a choice of three different excursions. The first option is an excursion to Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, where you will take a walking tour of the historic center made famous by "The Sound of Music.” The second option is an excursion to the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov, a wonderfully preserved medieval town nestled in the hills just over the Austrian-Czech border. The third option is a visit to the Austrian Lake District, the scenic Salzkammergut region. All three regions are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (B,L,D)
Sat, Aug 12: Dürnstein & Weissenkirchen, Germany. Cruise through the narrow Strudengau this morning en route to Weissenkirchen (“White Church”). You have three choices of how to explore Dürnstein today. The first is a walking tour along the town’s cobblestone streets, followed by a visit to the magnificent Benedictine Abbey at Melk, Austria, one of Europe’s largest and most famous monastic sites, home to religious relics and a library filled with medieval manuscripts. Alternatively, you may join a hike up to the fortress where Richard the Lionheart was once held for ransom, or enjoy an Apricots and Sweets tasting instead. Tonight, after dinner onboard, enjoy a wine tasting at a local winery. (B,LD)
Sun, Aug 13: Vienna. This morning you’ll have an opportunity to savor the Baroque elegance of romantic Vienna through your choice of one of three different excursions. The first option is a panoramic tour of Vienna that guides you past the majestic Opera House, the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburg Emperors, Parliament, Town Hall and Vienna University. Afterward, you’ll visit Vienna’s history city center – a UNESCO World Site – and see St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Graben and the world-famous Spanish Riding School. The option is a walking tour of Vienna’s hidden treasures that takes you to secret places and sights like Arikeruhr, a whimsical Art Nouveau clock. Your third option is a guided bike tour along the Sanube and through the Donaupark. This afternoon, join a guided bike ride to Klosteneuburg Monastery or explore more of Vienna at your leisure. Be sure to sample some Viennese coffee and pastries. (B,L,D)
Mon, Aug 14: Bratislava, Slovakia. Enjoy a scenic morning cruise to Bratislava, Slovakia. Upon arrival, choose between a walking tour of Bratislava, a Slovakian Specialties tasting with wine, creamy soup and learn how to prepare stuffed potato ravioli, or a hike to Bratislava Castle. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Tue, Aug 15: Budapest, Hungary. After your arrival in Budapest, Hungary, your morning excursion includes sightseeing in the cities of Buda and Pest, which are spread over opposite banks of the Danube. See the famed Heroes’ Square and Castle Hill home to Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church and spectacular views of the Danube. Alternatively, you may opt to join a hike up to Castle Hill, on which you will see Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and Parliament Square. After dinner, sail on a special Illuminations Cruise past the glittering Budapest riverfront. (B,L,D)
Wed, Aug 16: Budapest. Disembark and bid farewell to Budapest before flying home. (B)
Launched in 2016, the AmaStella features the most advanced design of any river cruise ship currently in operation. Enjoy impeccable service, dining and onboard entertainment by local performers during your cruise. Complimentary small group shore excursions with top local guides are available from each port. Highlights: 79 spacious staterooms with twin balconies or French balconies in outside staterooms (4 suites also available) • spacious bathrooms with multi-jet showerheads • hotel-style plush bedding and terry bathrobes • complimentary ship-wide Wi-Fi and in-room Internet access • large-screen Apple computer/TV • in-stateroom first-run Hollywood movies • complimentary bottled water replenished daily • two dining rooms • lounge with bar, piano and dance floor • wine bar • 24/hour specialty coffee and tea station • heated pool with swim-up bar and whirlpool • fitness center • walking track • complimentary bicycles and bike tours • massage, beauty and hair salon • gift shop • elevator (reaches main restaurant, lobby/main lounge and staterooms on the Violin and Cello Decks).
Hotel: Hilton Prague Old Town, Prague, Czech Republic
Stay in the heart of the city. Situated at the gates to the Old Town, this hotel is within walking distance to shops, restaurants and attractions. Highlights: stylish guestrooms with large windows • bathrobes for use during stay • A/C • in-room coffee makers and mini bars • Wi-Fi Internet access (fees apply) • restaurant • bar/lounge • room service (limited hours) • fitness center • heated indoor pool • spa.