Along the Danube Educational Tour

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Along the Danube tour map

Along the Danube

12 Days Salzburg 2 • Vienna 2 • Budapest 2 • Prague 2 • Munich 2

Accommodations

Accommodations in centrally-located three-star or four-star hotels. Rooming on a triple basis. Double rooms: $400 per person.

Transportation

Round-trip transportation on scheduled airline. Deluxe touring motorcoach.

Meals

All breakfasts. All dinners. Heuriger dinner on Day 5. Czarda dinner and show on Day 7.

Guides

Services of a specially-trained passports Tour Director throughout.

Inclusions

Entrances and activities as noted on itinerary.

Travel Protection

passports provides and pays for a Post Departure Travel Protection Plan that includes coverage for Trip Interruption, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss or Delay, Medical Expense and Evacuation and more.

Days 1-2: Home - Salzburg

Day 3: Salzburg

Professionally guided walking tour in Salzburg: Visit to Mozart's Birthplace

Optional Excursion to Hellbrunn Palace

Day 4: Salzburg - Vienna

Sightseeing stop in Melk, Danube cruise Melk-Dürnstein, Sightseeing stop in Dürnstein

Day 5: Vienna

Half-day city sightseeing: Local Guide, Visit to Schönbrunn Palace with audioguide

Heuriger dinner in the Vienna Woods: Round-trip transfers

Day 6: Vienna - Budapest

Sightseeing stop in Bratislava

Day 7: Budapest

Half-day city sightseeing: Local Guide, Visits to the Palace Courtyards and Matthias Church

Czarda dinner and show

Day 8: Budapest - Prague

Sightseeing stop in Brno

Tour director-led evening walking tour in Prague

Day 9: Prague

Half-day city sightseeing: Local Guide, Visit to the Courtyards of Prague Castle

Optional Guided tour of Prague's Jewish Quarter

Day 10: Prague - Munich

Pilsen

Day 11: Munich

Half-day city sightseeing: Local Guide, Visit to the Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens

Excursion to Dachau: Dachau Memorial Concentration Camp

Day 12: Departure

Departure transfer

Days 1-2: Arrival Munich, Salzburg

Depart the U.S. for Europe via scheduled carrier. This is the big day! Watch the morning light gather slowly, first off the left-hand side of the airplane, then everywhere. It's the next day, and Germany!

Travel by coach along the foothills of the Alps to Austria and the fairytale city of Salzburg.

Day 3: Salzburg Guided Walking Tour, Optional Excursion to Hellbrunn Palace

Get acquainted with the City of Bells (thus nicknamed for the innumerable church bells that regularly chime throughout the day) on a walking tour led by a local guide. Landmarks include Dom zu Salzburg, regarded as the first Baroque cathedral built north of the Alps, the unforgettable Getreidegasse, the Hohensalzburg Fortress, and the sculptured Horse Trough once reserved exclusively for the horses of the Archbishop of Salzburg.

Visit to Mozart's Birthplace

Visit Mozart's Geburtshaus, the house in which he was born in 1756 and where he composed most of his child-prodigy works. See personal documents, pictures of his family and his childhood instruments.

Free time in Salzburg

Plan your free time or consider an optional excursion.

Optional Excursion to Hellbrunn Palace

Enjoy an excursion south of the city center.

The highlight of your visit to the 17th-century Schloss Hellbrunn, the summer residence of Salzburg's visionary but somewhat daft ruler Marcus Sitticus, may well be its park. Watch out for the famous Wasserspiele! This amazing system of whimsical trick fountains was designed by Marcus Sitticus himself for his amusement, as he inflicted his unique sense of humor on his unsuspecting guests. Today's visitors share his delight as they dodge the showers that come from nowhere in this quirky repository of fantasy and fun.

Day 4: Melk, Danube River Valley, Vienna

Today, discover the beauty of the Danube River Valley.

Stop in Melk, at the head of the Wachau Valley, where a famous abbey overlooks the Danube from a height of 150 feet.

Danube cruise Melk-Dürnstein.

Board a riverboat for a cruise in waltz time on the River Danube and through the scenic valley known as the Wachau. There, dotted among the vine-clad slopes and fields of corn and fruit trees, are innumerable picturesque villages and medieval castles looming in romantic ruin above the river.

Dürnstein

Stop in Dürnstein, perhaps the loveliest of all the Wachau Valley towns.

You'll see the Baroque parish church and and small, well-kept streets where wrought-iron signs advertise stores and decorative flower boxes adorn dwellings. On a hill overlooking the town stand the ruins of Dürnstein Castle, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned upon his return from the Third Crusade, back in 1192.

Travel to Vienna

Proceed to Austria's capital city.Hearken to the music, which floats everywhere in the air.

Day 5: Vienna City Sightseeing, Heuriger dinner

A wealth of sights is yours to discover today. See the Opera House, the Houses of Parliament and Emperor Franz Joseph's Hofburg Palace. A city within a city with more than 2,600 rooms, the Hofburg also houses the Imperial Treasury and the Burgkapelle, which features the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir. See the Heldenplatz, where Hitler announced the Anschluss (Annexation) of Austria to the German Reich in 1938.

Local Guide

A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Vienna, will accompany your group.

Visit to Schönbrunn Palace with audioguide

Enjoy a visit to a royal hunting lodge which was transformed into a magnificent summer palace for the Hapsburg monarchs. Outside and inside, Schloss Schönbrunn presents a dizzying display of Baroque and Rococo art. The park, with its fountains, is one of the finest examples of 18th-century landscape architecture.

Free time in Vienna

Enjoy some free time in Vienna today.

You could climb the 345 steps of the Old Steffel, the south steeple of St. Stephen's Cathedral, to catch a bird's eye view of the city.

Visit Freud's house or the House of Music, a museum which uses the latest in audiovisual techniques to offer unequaled, hands-on encounters with music making.

Don't miss the Prater Amusement Park (free of admission charge). Attractions (each with a fee) range from old-fashioned carousels to the high-tech Flyboard flight simulator and, of course, the Vienna Ferris Wheel, featured in Orson Wells' 1949 film The Third Man and in James Bond's The Living Daylights. The Riesenradplatz, nearby, is a sparkling venue at night with its shops and restaurants.

Heuriger dinner in the Vienna Woods

Tonight's dinner at a typical Heuriger restaurant in the forested hills of the Wienerwald will be a fitting tribute to a joyful capital city of palaces and music.

Day 6: Bratislava, Budapest

Travel on to the capital city of Slovakia, which straddles the River Danube and was once the capital of nearby Hungary.

Known during the Austrian occupation by its German name, Pressburg, Slovakia's capital city can be traced back to a fort built by the Romans on the edge of their empire. Its castle testifies to centuries of Slavic invasions and stormy struggles between the kings of Central Europe.

See landmarks such as the castle's Gothic gateways, the Castle Steps, patrician houses clustered below Castle Hill, the Cathedral of St. Martin, where Hungary's kings were crowned, the the Baroque Town Hall, the Archbishop's Palace, and the site of a university founded in 1465.

Cross the lush farmland of Transdanubia on your way to Hungary's capital city, which lies on either side of the River Danube. Buda is the picturesque part of town, where a medieval jumble of lanes cling to the hills overlooking the river; the newer part, Pest, offers a perfect contrast, impressing with its grand neo-classical boulevards, large squares and splendid vistas.

Day 7: Budapest City Sightseeing, Czarda Dinner and Show

A sightseeing introduction to Budapest provides an unforgettable panorama of Hungary's thousand-year history.

Drive up Gellért Hill for a spectacular view embracing the beautiful parks on Margaret Island, the proud Danube bridges, and the 110-foot-high Liberation Memorial.

Continue across the Danube and tour the new town of Pest. Among its most breathtaking monuments are the Parliament buildings, facing the river, and the monumental Square of the Heroes.

Local Guide

A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Budapest, will accompany your group.

Visits to the Palace Courtyards and Matthias Church

Visit Castle Hill, where you'll stroll through the Palace Courtyards to visit Matthias Church and see the celebrated neo-Gothic fantasy of the Fishermen's Bastion.

Free time in Budapest

Enjoy some free time in Budapest today.

You may want to plan a visit to one of Budapest's Turkish-style baths.

Don't miss the Castle Hill cafés, notably Ruszwurm, the country's oldest pastry and tea shop.

Czarda dinner and show
Tonight, enjoy dinner with some local color at a Czarda gypsy folklore show!
Day 8: Brno, Prague Evening Walking Tour

Travel across Slovakia's on your way to the Czech Republic. You'll go through Moravia, a region once known as the breadbasket of Czechoslovakia for its vast wheat fields. As a coal-mining region, it claimed the largest iron works in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Stop the city that was once Moravia's capital, and which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Landmarks include the Cathedral, which dominates the city from its site on Petrov Hill, Spilberk Castle, and the Augustinian Abbey, where the Mendel Museum is dedicated to the work of the abbot and scientist Johann Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), famously known for his pioneering research on the genetics of pea plants.

Ride past many medieval towns, each dominated by its spire and castle, before reaching the City of a Hundred Spires.

Tour director-led evening walking tour in Prague

On an evening walking tour, you will discover picturesque districts of Eastern Europe's prettiest city! Prague was mercifully spared major damage in World War II, and its classical 19th-century buildings are strikingly reminiscent of Vienna, once its sister city in the Austrian Empire.

Day 9: Prague City Sightseeing,Optional Jewish Quarter Guided Walking Tour

See the major landmarks of "Golden Prague" on a sightseeing tour of the city: Charles Bridge (one of the first stone bridges in Europe), the Old Town Square with the Town Hall and its Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church, Wallenstein Palace, Wenceslas Square, the Archbishop's Palace (where Amadeus was filmed), Charles University, and the Bethlehem Chapel, where the Reformer Jan Hus preached.

Local Guide

A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Prague, will accompany your group.

Visit to the Courtyards of Prague Castle

Head up Hradcany Hill to have a look at the courtyards of Prague Castle and their monumental gates.

Free time in Prague

Enjoy some free time in Prague today.

Walk along the Vltava River (Smetana's Moldau). Cross the Charles Bridge and wander through Mala Strana along Nerudova Street, the old coronation route of the Czech kings, now bedecked with cafés and souvenir shops selling genuine Bohemian glass.

Optional Guided tour of Prague's Jewish Quarter

Set out on a guided tour of Prague's Jewish Quarter. You will hear about the great 16th-century scholar, mystic and philosopher Rabbi Löw, who was credited in later centuries with the creation of the Golem of Prague, a monster brought to life to protect Prague's Ghetto against anti-Semitic pogroms.

Visits to selected sites of the Jewish Museum of Prague, as time allows (Old Jewish Cemetery, Pinkas Synagogue, Spanish Synagogue, Maisel Synagogue, Klausen Synagogue, Ceremonial Hall, Robert Guttmann Gallery

Although ghetto dwellings were razed in the 1890s and 1900s, many Jewish sites have been preserved as the "Jewish Museum of Prague." During your tour, you will visit some of these sites.

The poignant Old Jewish Cemetery is one of the oldest Jewish burial sites in Europe. It was used from 1478 to 1787 for an estimated 100,000 burials. Today, 12,000 gravestones are crowded in its small space, including the headstone of Rabbi Löw, where visitors still leave notes scribbled on bits of paper.

The walls of the Pinkas Synagogue are inscribed with the names of 80,000 Jewish victims of the Nazis.

The Spanish Synagogue is known for its Moorish Revival sanctuary built in 1868 on the site of the Old Synagogue.

The Maisel Synagogue was built by the mayor of the Jewish Town, Mordechai Maisel, who funded the Renaissance reconstruction of the entire ghetto in the early 1900s.

The Klausen Synagogue was the largest synagogue in the ghetto.

The Ceremonial Hall and Mortuary of the Old Jewish Cemetery was completed in 1912.

The Robert Guttmann Gallery's permanent collection displays parchments, old books, and historic textiles in light and climate-controlled rooms.

Day 10: Pilsen, Munich

Your coach heads west, past the farming villages of the old Kingdom of Bohemia, toward Plzen (Pilsen).

The famous Skoda Works, one of Europe's largest munitions factories is located here, but the city owes its world-wide reputation to a more pleasant industry: the brewing of beer, which goes back to the Middle Ages. Consider a visit to the Pivovarské or Brewery Museum.

Don't miss the old city center, which is known for its Renaissance façades and the 26 houses decorated by modern artist Mikolas Ales with historical friezes. The 343-foot tower of the Gothic Church of St. Bartholomew dominates the central square, now called Namesti Republiky. Inside the church, there's the revered Plzener Madonna, carved in limestone.

Cross the German border and continue into Munich, the world capital of Gemütlichkeit! You'll be struck by your first impression of the city and its landmarks, which have been beautifully restored and returned to their pre-war condition.

Day 11: Munich City Sightseeing, Excursion to Dachau

A sightseeing tour in München takes you around the impressive Theresienwiese, site of the famous annual Oktoberfest. In the center of the city discover the grand set-piece boulevards of the Ludwigstrasse and Maximilianstrasse with their Neoclassical palaces, and the monumental Feldherrnhalle where, in 1923, Hitler failed in his attempt at the coup d'état known as the Munich Putsch. See the student area of Schwabing, Königsplatz, the Residenz, the Frauenkirche, whose 300-foot-high onion-domed towers symbolize the Munich skyline, and the historic Marienplatz. The tour ends with a performance of the red-coated mannequins in the Town Hall Glockenspiel.

Local Guide

A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Munich, will accompany your group.

Visit to the Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens

Visit Nymphenburg Palace, once the summer residence of the Bavarian sovereigns. See rooms decorated in their original Baroque style from the 17th century, as well as Rococo and Neoclassical decor. The gardens were landscaped in the 18th century by an employee of André Le Nôtre, who designed the gardens of Versailles.

Excursion to Dachau

Set out for a town located a mere twelve miles from Munich.

Visit KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau, the somber concentration camp which has been preserved as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

The town of Dachau itself, paradoxically, has long been renowned for the beauty of its scenery and the gaiety of its summer festival.

Day 12: Departure

Memories of clean cities and fast, sleek automobiles all blur together as you bid auf Wiedersehen to Germany at Munich's airport. Your suitcase filled with memorabilia, arrive home later today, eager to share your discoveries with family and friends.

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