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    Passau, the 'City of Three Rivers'
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    Melk Abbey
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    Nuremberg Castle
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River Cruise
River Cruise

Grand European Voyage from Budapest

The Rhine and her tributaries

  • VIP travel service included on selected European tours VIP on selected river cruises

An exciting journey from Budapest to Basel

Explore some of Europe's most vibrant cities – including Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Strasbourg – on this exciting cruise.


41 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners


  • City tour of Budapest
  • Sightseeing tour of Vienna
  • Tour of Nuremberg
  • Lake Titisee visit and cruise

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

Fly to Budapest and embark MS Serenade. Enjoy a welcome drinks reception and dinner on board this evening while you remain moored here overnight.

Budapest Hungary Europe

Day 2 Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is a city made up of two parts: Buda and Pest, built on opposite banks of the Danube. The cities have been officially united since 1873, but they are still very different in character. An included city sightseeing tour reveals a wealth of attractions from the elaborate Hungarian State Opera House and grand Parliament Building, to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Buda Castle.

Sail towards Bratislava this afternoon.

Budapest Hungary Europe

Day 3 Bratislava to Vienna

Vienna Opera house, Austria

Spend the morning in historic Bratislava, Slovakia's capital city. The Old Town has palaces, churches and cathedrals and is overlooked by two castles – see more on an optional city tour. Sail into Austria and on to Vienna this afternoon.

Perhaps go ashore after dinner this evening to attend an optional concert of music by Mozart and Strauss.

Vienna Austria Europe

Day 4 Vienna to Dürnstein


Spend the morning in Vienna, the capital of Austria and home to the waltz, tempting coffee houses, the Prater amusement park and one of the world's finest opera houses. For 600 years was the centre of the Hapsburg Empire, as you’ll discover on an included city tour that also reveals the Opera House and St Stephen’s Cathedral. This afternoon sail the Wachau Valley to Dürnstein and moor overnight.

Dürnstein Austria Europe

Day 5 Dürnstein to Melk

Durnstein and the Wachau Valley, Austria

Spend part of the morning in Dürnstein, one of the most picturesque towns on the Danube River. Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned here, in the now ruined Kuenringer Castle, during the late 12th century. Later this morning, depart for Melk, known for its great baroque abbey with a magnificent church and a famous library. Perhaps visit the abbey on an optional guided tour that reveals the lavishly decorated interior and the artistic treasures within it.

Depart Melk early this evening.

Melk Austria Europe

Day 6 Passau

Passau Old Town on the Danube

Enjoy the afternoon in Passau, which stands at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers and is the most easterly city in Bavaria.

You may like to explore St Stephen's cathedral or join an optional walking tour and discover the oldest part of the town which stands on a narrow tongue of land between the Inn and the Danube.

Your ship departs before dinner.

Passau Bavaria Germany Europe

Day 7 Regensburg to Kelheim

Regensburg Cathedral

Spend the morning in the medieval city of Regensburg with time to explore on an optional excursion.

Head to the Domplatz (Cathedral Square), to see the 13th-century Gothic Cathedral of St Peter, famous for its 14th-century stained glass and its boys’ choir. The 12th-century stone bridge across the Danube provides the perfect spot from which to photograph the city. This afternoon you may like to join a tour of Weltenberg Abbey, famous for its old brewery. Arguably one of the most beautiful in the world, it was completely rebuilt in the Baroque style between 1716 and 1739 by two brothers – architect and painter Cosmos Damian Asam and sculptor Quirin.

The excursion also includes a short cruise through the Danube Gorge. Otherwise, remain on board and continue cruising to the cathedral city of Kelheim where the ship will make a brief stop to pick up excursion participants.

Kelheim Bavaria Germany Europe

Day 8 Nuremberg

Kaiserburg in Nuremberg, Germany

Arrive in Nuremberg this morning.

The Imperial Castle, Kaiserburg, dominates the skyline but the city has undergone a great deal of restoration since it was heavily bombed in World War II. In 1935 the Nazis built a stadium here in which they held their infamous rallies and, later, Nazi war criminals were tried in Nuremberg by the Allies. On a happier note, the artist Albrecht Durer lived here from 1509 to 1528 and his house is now a museum, while the main square, the Hauptmarkt, hosts a world-famous Christmas market.

Enjoy a full day here – plenty of time to enjoy an included city tour and have some time to explore independently before setting sail this evening.

Nuremberg Bavaria Germany Europe

Day 9 Bamberg

The Old City Hall, Altes Rathaus, Bamberg, Germany

You have the whole day to explore Bamberg, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany and, like Rome, built on seven hills.

Because of its well-preserved mixture of imposing architectural styles and baroque town houses it’s designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore independently – perhaps stroll around the old town and visit the famous Imperial Cathedral on Cathedral Hill and Altenburg Castle at the town's highest point – or you can join an optional excursion.

Depart this evening and cruise towards Würzburg.

Bamberg Bavaria Germany Europe

Day 10 Würzburg

Wurzburg, Bavaria, Germany

Sail to the university city of Würzburg which flourished in the Middle Ages and has a wealth of beautiful Baroque buildings.

Arrive after lunch then you might like to join an optional city tour, including a visit to the Residenz Palace, this afternoon. The castle was built between 1720 and 1724 for the prince-bishop Johann Philipp Franz, who commissioned master builder Balthasar Neumann to create the 'palace of all palaces'. The result is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Your ship departs this evening for Miltenberg.

Würzburg Bavaria Germany Europe

Day 11 Miltenberg

Colourful half-timbered houses in Miltenberg

Spend a few hours this afternoon in medieval Miltenberg, where squares of traditional half-timbered houses are enclosed by ancient walls and overlooked by a fortress. Perhaps join an optional excursion to a local brewery. This evening, cruise along the Main River to Mainz where the Danube meets the Rhine.

Miltenberg Bavaria Germany Europe

Day 12 Mainz-Mannheim

Mannheim, Germany

This morning you can explore Mainz' impressive Romanesque cathedral or the famous Gutenberg Museum, dedicated to the ‘father of modern printing’.

Johannes Gutenberg, who was born here, invented the printing press with moveable wooden or metal letters that made the production of books quicker and cheaper. You also have the opportunity to join an optional excursion to the medieval university city of Heidelberg. Set on the pretty River Neckar, beneath an imposing castle, the town became a favourite destination for 19th-century travellers undertaking ‘The Grand Tour’.

Otherwise, spend the afternoon cruising to Mannheim where MS Serenade will make a brief stop to allow excursion participants to rejoin the ship.

Mannheim Baden-Württemberg Germany Europe

Day 13 Strasbourg

St Paul Church in Strasbourg, France

Spend a full day exploring Strasbourg's many architectural treasures.

Sitting on the border of France and Germany, the city is a wonderful combination of the cultures of both countries. Much of the architecture is German in style, while the ancient quarter of La Petite France is a maze of narrow streets of medieval buildings, crossed by canals and surrounded by old fortifications. See more on an optional excursion which also includes a canal cruise. This afternoon you might wish to join an optional excursion to the pretty wine town of Obernai.

Depart Strasbourg late tonight and sail overnight to Breisach.

Strasbourg Alsace France Europe

Day 14 Breisach-Basel

Rhine and Breisach, Germany

Wake up in Breisach, situated in the beautiful Rhine Valley.

After breakfast bid MS Serenade farewell and join an included excursion which visits Lake Titisee in the heart of the enchanting Black Forest. Enjoy a short boat ride on the glacial lake before a light lunch in a lakeside location. Afterwards, there will be some free time to explore.

Afterwards transfer to the locally rated 4-star Swissotel Le Plaza Basel for an overnight stay with dinner and breakfast included at the hotel.

Day 15 Basel to UK

Check out after breakfast in the city of Basel where the French, German and Swiss borders meet.

Travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Grand European Voyage from Budapest

The Rhine and her tributaries

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Grand European Voyage from Budapest

The Rhine and her tributaries