From the legend of Dracula’s castle, to the “Paris of the East” in Bucharest, you’ll embark on an odyssey of new discoveries to treasure. You’ll begin driving into the soaring Carpathian Mountains to Sinaia to visit Peles Castle. Continue to Brasov for a guided tour and a visit to Bran Castle, inspiration of legendary Romanian vampire of folklore—Dracula. In Bucharest, enjoy a tour of the capital’s boulevards, Arc de Triomphe, Royal Palace Square, and historic sites from a dramatic history. Embark your Avalon Suite Ship® and cruise through the Balkans and Budapest to Vienna and Austria.
During the second portion of your holiday, you will explore some of Central Europe’s most splendid capitals and charming towns. Delve deeper into this historic era on a special departure cruise with special guest, His Imperial Highness Archduke Carlos Felipe, who shares insight into the first World War that changed the map of Europe and signified the downfall of most of Europe’s great monarchies. Hear first-hand accounts the Archduke gleaned as a scholar and from personal conversations with his grandmother Zita – the last empress of Austria and Hungary. A fascinating journey through history comes to life! Begin this timeless European river cruise in Budapest, where guided sightseeing acquaints you with the highlights of the vibrant capital of Hungary, including a visit to Gödöllö Royal Palace. Set sail on the Danube, take pictures of the impressive Parliament Building as you leave Budapest, and head for Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Here, enjoy a guided walk through the delightful Old Town and visit the Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. Vienna, Austria, the “City of Music,” was also the home of the Habsburg monarchy, with the stunning Schönbrunn Palace and summer home of the family dynasty. Hear a fascinating lecture on royal dynasties in Europe with a historian on board your ship, and take a Viennese waltz lesson.
Enjoy the magnificent views through the picturesque wine region of the Wachau Valley, with stops for a guided walk in Dürnstein, a visit of the impressive Benedictine Abbey of Melk, and a tasting of renowned local wines. In Linz, walk around the Hauptplatz, Austria’s largest medieval square, which forms the center of the city, and be sure to photograph the splendid Trinity Column. Passau, Germany, the “City of Three Rivers,” is uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube rivers converge. See its maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful Patrician houses, and marvel at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Join us on this great adventure for exclusive views, from Romania to the Black Sea Delta to the Golden City of Prague, a memorable last stop on this delightful cruise holiday!