A Grand European Tour

Amsterdam to Budapest with Viking River Cruises
By Jean Newman Glock

Sail the most iconic, and grand, Viking river cruise.
What is so grand about the “Grand European Tour”? 15 answers for a 15-day river cruise:

1. Explore four countries: The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Hungary
2. Sail on the original highways of Europe, the Rhine, the Main, and the Danube, tracing the steps of history, explorers and trading routes.
3. Enjoy the comfort and elegance of Viking’s Longships, the top-rated riverboats sailing today.
4. Savor the food and wine of each region, on land and onboard your Longship.
5. Learn about each stop before you visit from your onboard expert lecturers. Join them for coffee to learn more about your own interests.

6. Begin your journey in Amsterdam where treasures abound. Sail along the canals or visit the world-class Van Gogh Museum, your choices are endless in this pristine city.
7. Sailing on to Germany, Cologne’s magnificent cathedral looms large over the city and in history, but don’t miss the ancient Roman ruins that tell an even earlier story. Or you might choose to spend the day sampling beer, pretzels and schnitzel.
8. Koblenz, Germany is the gateway to your first castle, the impressive 13th century Marksburg Castle. Knights in shining armor and a glimpse of daily castle life will transport you to another time.
9. Your stops in Miltenberg, Germany and further along the rivers, in Melk, Austria will introduce you to two of Europe’s finest wine growing regions. Learn about the terroir, the history and most significantly the tastes of each region.
10. Nuremberg, Germany is a town most Americans associate with the trials held there after World War II. Learn about the wartime history of this city and of Germany.

11. Regensburg, Germany is one of the few German cities to escape the bombs of World War II. Much of the medieval center of the city remains intact and offers the visitor a well-preserved vision of life in the 13th century.
12. Two full days in Vienna, Austria will give you time to get to know the vibrant city of the Hapsburgs. The elegant boulevards and magnificent museums are impressive, but the coffee culture at turn of the century coffee houses is not to be missed. Similarly, you have not visited Vienna unless you have tasted the world-renowned Sachertorte.
13. Budapest, Hungary, or “Paris of the East”, shines in the daytime, but it is at night that the illuminations will take your breath away. The city reverberates with an enthusiasm, reflecting the playful Art Nouveau architecture that dominates the city.
Add a pre-extension to explore Europe’s best preserved medieval city, Bruges, Belgium
15. Or a post-extension to visit the “City of a Hundred Spires”, Prague, Czech Republic to complete your truly “Grand European Tour.”

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