British Isles and Grand European1

01MAY - 02 JUN 2014

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airfares included  AUD$9,998* per person twin share

Sorry Sold Out ask about 2015 departures

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includes return airfares from Melbourne / Sydney & Brisbane

 

Day 1 - 01 MAY 2014 Depart Australia on an overnight flight to Amsterdam
 

Day 2
Arrive in Amsterdam, where you will be met and transfered to your hotel, the rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore the wonderful city of Amsterdam.
 

Day 3
You embark in the late afternoon. There’ll be a welcome cocktail party before dinner is served on board. The ship remains moored overnight in Amsterdam.
MS amadeus silver image1

Day 4
In the morning we have our city tour of Amsterdam (included), the capital of the Netherlands. On this drive you’ll see its most important buildings and monuments and learn much about this city’s vivid history before enjoying the very popular attraction of cruising through its canals. The ship leaves Amsterdam at midday and cruises south along the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal through the flat polder landscape of southern Holland to the old Hanseatic city Nijmegen. In the evening there’ll be a typical Dutch folklore show on board.
 

Day 5
This morning the cruise passes the great industrial conurbations of Duisburg and nearby Essen, docking in Cologne in the early afternoon. There’ll be a guided city walk (included) of this city, which was founded by the Romans and has been an important trading centre for many hundreds of years. It is dominated by its vast Gothic cathedral, which was founded in 1248 as a pilgrimage church and now houses the relics of the three holy kings. The cathedral’s two lofty spires (which were not completed until 1880) are 157 meters high. The vessel sails from Cologne in the evening and continues south up the Rhine.
 

Day 6
The vessel docks in Coblenz very early in the morning. A walking tour (included) shows you the highlights of this city, which stands at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle. Later in the morning the ship continues towards Rüdesheim, along what is probably the most famous and scenic stretch of the Rhine, passing hilltop castles, terraced vineyards and attractive riverside villages. Your vessel docks in Rüdesheim in the afternoon. This charming old wine town is popular with tourists and has a long narrow street, the Drosselgasse, lined on both sides with wine taverns. There’ll be a walking tour (included) here, including a visit to Siegfried’s Music Museum, which displays all kinds of mechanical musical instruments from barrel organs and music boxes to horn gramophones. The ship casts off again in the early evening.
Miltenberg

Day 7
In the early afternoon you arrive at Miltenberg, a small town on a bend in the river. A walking tour (included) takes you along its narrow cobbled streets with gabled, half - timbered houses. Miltenberg’s sights include the historic church of Saint Johann Nepomuk, at the south end of the bridge, and the “Gasthaus zum Riesen”, one of the oldest hotels in Germany. A coach then drives you to Wertheim, a charming fairy - tale standing at the confluence of the Main and Tauber rivers. There’ll be a walking tour here, too, and a visit
to Wertheim’s famous glass museum. The vessel casts off from Wertheim in the evening.
 

Day 8
You arrive at the historic city of Würzburg in the morning. Our walking tour (Included - € 45 value) here includes a visit to the Residenz, the beautiful Baroque palace built for the prince - bishops by local architect Balthasar Neumann between 1720 to 1744 and famous for its great marble staircase and frescoes by the Venetian master, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. This tour ends with a wine tasting in a well - known vineyard. In the afternoon you could take an excursion (Included - €30 value) to Rothenburg, a town justly mostly famous for its well - preserved medieval quarter and, of course, for its Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store. The ship leaves Würzburg this evening before dinner.

 

Day 9
The ship moors at Bamberg in the early afternoon. Bamberg is one of the best - preserved medieval cities in Germany. Its very large number of historic buildings (2,300 of them) has brought it on to the UNESCO World Heritage register. These include the Gothic cathedral, the old and new episcopal palaces and the old town hall, which is a quaint half - timbered structure on an island in the river Regnitz. The guided walking tour (Included - € 23 value) of the old quarter is optional. Your cruiser leaves Bamberg in the evening and heads south along the Main -Danube canal towards Nuremberg.

Nuremburg

Day 10
In the very early morning you arrive in Nuremberg. Enjoy a sight seeing tour (Included - € 30 value) of this historic city. See the fairytale 900 -year - old ramparts, the Imperial Castle and the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946. This tour shows you the city’s major sights, from its medieval origins to the present. In the afternoon there’ll be an optional excursion (Included - € 31 value) to the sites, to the southeast of Nuremberg, where Nazi party rallies were held from 1933 until 1938. The remains of the buildings with their immense proportions stand to this day as a vivid testimony to the megalomania of the National Socialist regime. The ship will continue from Nuremberg in the evening.
 

Day 11
This morning takes you through the final stretch of the fascinating Main - Danube Canal. In Kelheim you can take an exciting optional boat when joining our excursion to Weltenburg Abbey (Inlcuded - €45 value). The gorge is beautiful and the monastery, founded by Irish or Scottish monks in about 620AD, is the oldest monastery in Bavaria. After a short tour of the abbey church you can sample some famous dark Weltenburg beer, which is brewed here in the oldest abbey brewery in the world. You rejoin the ship at midday in magnificent Regensburg, one of Germany’s best - preserved medieval cities. Our sightseeing tour (Included - € 15 value) will show you the city’s architectural highlights, including the Old Town Hall and the Porta Pretoria. In the evening there will be Bavarian entertainment on board the ship.

Passau

Day 12
After breakfast the ship arrives at Passau, the Bavarian city where the rivers Inn and Ilz join the Danube. During our walking tour (Included -€ 15 value) around the old quarter of Passau our guide will point out many buildings that bear witness to this charming city’s historical importance. Visitors are usually particularly impressed by St. Stephen's cathedral (which has the world's largest organ consisting of 17,974 pipes and 233 registers), the new Bishop's residence and the town hall. Alternatively you can visit Salzburg, the city where Mozart was born, by taking an excursion (€87) starting here in Passau and ending in Linz (Austria’s third - largest city). The old quarter of Salzburg, with its world famous Baroque architecture, is one of the best - preserved city centres north of the Alps and was adopted by UNESCO on its World Cultural Heritage list in 1997. The excursion ends in Linz, where the ship has docked meanwhile. There’ll be a guided walking tour (Included - € 15 value) through the former cultural capital for those who have not taken the excursion to Salzburg. After dinner the vessel casts off downstream towards the Wachau district.
 

Day 13
Early in the morning the ship reaches the Wachau district, having cruised through the narrow Strudengau, docking in Melk /
Emmersdorf before breakfast. There’ll then be an interesting coach excursion through the Wachau (Included - € 48 value), driving first to Dürnstein, one of the best - known wine villages in the Wachau and set in a glorious position. Then you drive through the district’s
picturesque scenery to the 900 - year old Benedictine abbey of Melk. In the course of a guided tour you see the bishops’ rooms, the
Emperor’s gallery, the marble hall, the altars and the library. Sometimes there will also be a short organ recital in the abbey
church. At the end of the tour we invite you to have a glass of wine at a local restaurant. During lunch the ship continues downstream to Vienna (Austria’s capital), where it ties up in the evening. After dinner on board you can take our “Vienna by night” (Included - € 35 value) excursion on which you drive through the Wienerwald to the Kahlenberg, Vienna’s best viewpoint, with a view of the city over
vineyards. Then a drive through the traditional wine village Grinzing takes you to oldest champagne cellars in Austria. On a tour through the 300 year old basement of Schlumberger world you will learn interesting details about the "Traditional Method", that came from the region Champagne to Vienna.
 

Day 14
Our sightseeing tour (Included - € 30 value) of Vienna provides you with an overall impression of the city’s most important sights, taking
you along the Ringstrasse, into the Schwarzenbergplatz, passing by the Karlskirche and Vienna’s stunning opera house, where there’ll be time to visit the building or shop for souvenirs. Last stop is at the city’s famous St. Stephan’s cathedral, where there will be time to see round inside. In the afternoon you can take an optional excursion to the Schoenbrunn castle (Included - €40 value),one of Vienna’s most beautiful buildings. After dinner you could attend a music performance called “The Sound of Vienna” (Included - € 47 value)
(subject to availability) where the Salonorchester „Alt Wien“, one of the famous interpreters of classical music, sparks off a unique
firework of the most beautiful on its highest level. The vessel leaves Vienna after midnight.
Bratislava Castle

Day 15
The vessel continues the cruise downstream to Slovakia during the early hours, docking at Bratislava for the day. A sightseeing tour
(Included - € 30 value) of Bratislava reveals the city’s major sights. From its 13th - century castle there are breathtaking views over the
countryside where three countries - Slovakia,Austria and Hungary -meet. In the afternoon you can take our excursion to the Imperial
Festival Palace Castle Hof (Included - € 37 value). This complex of magnificent Baroque buildings was built in the early 18th century
and its authenticity and diversity attracts Baroque enthusiasts from all over the world. On this penultimate evening of the cruise the
captain will be delighted to welcome you to a special dinner during which the ship’s orchestra will, as usual, entertain everyone with its
spirited playing.
 

Day 16
We arrive at Budapest, Hungary’s famous capital, in the morning. Budapest is a city made up of two parts: Buda and Pest, built on
opposite banks of the Danube. Buda, with its cobbled streets and medieval architecture, is the older and more graceful part while Pest,
with its wide avenues and impressive 19th - century public buildings, is the administrative and commercial centre. East meets West in this fascinating city, which has an amazing variety of shops and restaurants. Our sightseeing tour (Included - € 30 value) takes you up
to historic Buda Castle, from which there are splendid views of both Buda and Pest astride the Danube. The tour includes the 500 - year - old Matthias Church, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the distinctive Fishermen’s Bastion, the marvellous Royal Palace and much more. In the afternoon you have a choice of two excursions: you can either visit Castle Gödöllö (Included - € 43 value) or discover Szentendre, the little artists’ village (Included € 30). Castle Gödöllö is about 30 km from Budapest and was built in the 18th century. During the imperial monarchy the castle was closely associated with Empress Elisabeth, who was nick - named ”Sisi” and much loved by the Hungarians. The excursion continues to a Csarda where there will be a memorable performance of superb Hungarian horsemanship. Szentendre began to be frequented by artists in 1926. Its main little square, the Foetér, surrounded by impressive rococo and Baroque buildings, is well worth seeing. There’s also the “ Szabo”, a marzipan museum, and the Margit Kovács museum, which is one of Hungary’s most visited museums. After dinner there’ll be an included cruise, passing the magnificently floodlit buildings on both sides of the river and under the illuminated chain bridge. A gypsy band will be playing and there will also be a performance by a Hungarian folklore group on board.

 

Day 17
Disembarkation after breakfast in Budapest. You will be met by your driver and transfered to your hotel, the remainder of the is yours to discover more of the beautiful city of Budapest.
 

Day 18 - Fly to London - Arrival & Tour
Start your trip at Heathrow Airport with an independent transfer to your hotel. At 2:00 pm take a panoramic tour of central London to see famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus, Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square and Big Ben. Visit Tower Bridge Exhibition for
stunning London views and learn about the inner workings of this famous bridge. In the evening meet your tour director for a welcome
drink before dinner in your hotel.
(D)
London Big Ben Red Bus

Day 19 - Tower of London & City Sights
Today you may schedule your London sightseeing when you take an open-top bus tour around the many famous landmarks. There are a number of different bus routes as well as a walking tour and a cruise on the River Thames. Visit either the Tower of London to view the magnificent Crown Jewels or Kensington Palace, home of Princess Diana. You are free to choose a restaurant to dine independently.
(B)
 

Day 20 - Cambridge & York Walking Tours
Visit Cambridge for a stroll past some of the famous colleges, including King’s College, and the Mathematical Bridge over the River Cam. Head north to York for a walking tour to appreciate narrow streets and medieval houses. The stately York Minster, with towers and stained glass, is the highlight of the walk. Check in to your hotel and relax before dinner.
(B,D)
Cambridge Ponding

Day 21 - Alnwick Castle & Edinburgh Evening
Head north to visit Alnwick Castle, the second largest inhabited castle in England. View the lavish State Rooms with a stunning array of art, portraits and furniture. The Alnwick Garden is beautifully landscaped and enhanced with architectural and water features. Travel through the scenic Northumberland National Park and make a brief stop in Jedburgh to view the ruins of the abbey. Drive to Edinburgh and enjoy dinner at a Scottish Evening with bagpipes, dancing and song.
(B,D)
Edinburgh

Day 22 - Edinburgh Castle & Guided City Tour
Discover Edinburgh’s highlights on a city tour. See the elegant Georgian “New Town” with spacious streets and the compact
medieval city along the Royal Mile. Tour Edinburgh Castle to view the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. Also enjoy
splendid views of central Edinburgh. The rest of the day is free for independent activities. On August 3 to 17 departures, experience the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
(B)
 

Day 23 - Titanic Belfast & Ballygally Castle Stay
This morning will be an early start as you drive to Cairnryan for a short ferry ride to Belfast. Take a panoramic tour to see the highlights, including Victorian buildings, the impressive City Hall and the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Visit Titanic Belfast to
learn about this ill-fated famous liner through state-of-the-art displays. Continue to historic Ballygally Castle Hotel in time for dinner
and your overnight stay.
(B,D)
Giants Causeway

Day 24 - Giant’s Causeway & Derry Walk
Travel along the scenic coastal route of the “Nine Glens of Antrim” and visit the Giant's Causeway, hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity over 60 million years ago. The enormous rocks have spawned legends about the mythical giant, Finn McCool. Continue to Derry for a walking tour around the medieval city walls with a local guide. Drive south to your Victorian hotel located on Dublin Bay, a few miles from the city and dine on your own this evening.
(B)
 

Day 25 - Dublin Tour & Taylor’s Three Rock Pub
This morning tour central Dublin to see spacious Georgian squares and streets, landmark public buildings and graceful townhouses. Take a guided tour of Trinity College’s campus and view the priceless Book of Kells. The afternoon is free and enjoy dinner at Taylor’s Three Rock Pub followed by a show with Irish music and dance.
(B,D)
Cliffs Of Moher

Day 26 - Cliffs of Moher & Killarney
This morning drive through central Ireland to view the Cliffs of Moher on the west coast. These magnificent cliffs extend for five miles and rise to heights of almost 700 feet and offer wonderful views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. Take a ferry across the River Shannon Estuary to reach Killarney. Check in to your centrally-located hotel.
(B,D)
 

Day 27 - Skellig Experience & Sheepdogs
Embark on the Ring of Kerry tour for constantly-changing vistas of mountains, open Atlantic Ocean, beaches and cliffs. Visit the Skellig
Experience to learn about early Christian monks and savor a casual lunch. Stop at Moll’s Gap for panoramic views and at a nearby sheep farm for a demonstration of trained dogs herding sheep before returning to Killarney.
(B,L)
Blarney Castle

Day 28 - Blarney Castle & Waterford Crystal
Visit the famous Blarney Castle this morning to kiss the “Stone of Eloquence” and shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills. Travel to Waterford and at the House of Waterford Crystal see how glass is blown and cut by master craftspeople and view a collection of amazing trophies. In the evening take a gentle walking tour with a local guide to discover the history of this old port city.
(B,D)
 

Day 29 - South Wales & Cardiff Castle Banquet
Depart Waterford early this morning to catch the ferry from Rosslare to South Wales. Journey through South Wales where coal used to be mined to Cardiff and take a brief tour of the city. Head to Cardiff Castle, developed in Roman times and transformed into an elaborate Gothic-style residence in the 19th century. A tour of the Castle is followed by a fun Welsh banquet.
(B,D)
Stone Henge

Day 30 - Roman Baths & Stonehenge
Day 13: Roman Baths & Stonehenge This morning drive to Bath, popular for its natural hot springs with the Romans 2,000 years ago
and again in the 18th century. Tour the Roman Baths and Pump Room, well preserved after two millennia and renowned for hot
springs. Drive to Salisbury Plain to view the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths at Stonehenge. Continue to your London hotel again.
(B)
 

Day 31 - Independent London Sightseeing
Today you have a full day to schedule your preferred activities. If you wish you may use your open-top bus tour and Tower of London
vouchers today instead of on day 2.
(B)
Big Ben and Westminster Bridge

Day 32 - Tour Ends Heathrow Airport
Transfer to Heathrow Airport for your flight home, using your voucher for a shuttle service. Allow enough time to reach the airport in good time for check in formalities. Board your flight for Australia. Transfers to Gatwick Airport can be arranged at additional cost.
(B)
 

Day 33 - Arrive home in Australia
 

Tour Date: 01 MAY 2014 - 02 JUN 2014
 

AIRFARES INCLUDED

Cat E   AUD $9,998* per person twin share
Cat D   AUD$10,298 per person twin share
Cat B   AUD$11,198 per person twin share
Cat A   AUD$11,998 per person twin share
Suite   AUD$13,698 per person twin share

33 DAY RIVER CRUISE AND COACH TOUR

Grand European Waterways and Best of the British Isles

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