The Blue Danube: A Classical Music Cruise
When: September 19, 2013 - October 01, 2013 (iCal)
“Amazing! I loved all aspects of the trip!”
Travel with us to six countries and their UNESCO World Heritage sites on a journey showcasing the musical heritage of the European Masters. We will take in the medieval gems of Prague and Kraków and embark on a five-night river cruise aboard the deluxe M.S. AMADEUS ELEGANT. on the legendary Blue Danube from Budapest to Passau, through the picturesque Wachau Valley. We will visit the legendary centers of music in Europe’s cultural centers of the Habsburg Empire that inspired the musical genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. Attend a program of classical music-themed performances and excursions in this musical capital. Optional Budapest pre-tour and Warsaw post-tour extensions are available.
Activity Level: Moderate
Price From: $4,935
Price From: $3,935 (if booked by March 7, 2013)
Includes cruise only; per person, based on double occupancy.
For an early booking incentive and to avoid the disappointment of a sold out program, Register Now!
Usha Nand Sellers Ed. D., Director Tufts Travel-Learn Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-627-5323.
Day 1 - U.S. & Budapest, Hungary
Departure from the U.S., arrive in Budapest, “Pearl of the Danube.” After embarking the M.S. AMADEUS ELEGANT, we will meet for a welcome reception and dinner this evening.
Day 2 - Budapest, Hungary
The twin cities of Buda and Pest have faced each other across the Danube River for centuries. The Danube embankments and the Buda Castle Quarter are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. Our excursion will begin in Pest, where the elegant limestone Parliament Building looms beside the river. We will pass through Heroes’ Square and admire its monuments to the Magyar chiefs who conquered Hungary before crossing the imposing Chain Bridge to the hillier Buda. On Castle Hill, we will visit the Gothic Matthias Church and the neo-Romanesque Fisherman’s Bastion, which commands a panoramic view of the city.
Day 3 - Bratislava, Slovakia & Vienna, Austria
Today we will dock in Bratislava, located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Beautifully restored since the end of the Cold War, this city showcases 21st-century life amid its 1,000-year-old history. Together, we will take a morning walking tour of the Old Town to see its medieval, Renaissance, and 19th-century architecture, among the finest in central Europe. Our visit will also take us to the Romanesque Cathedral of St. Martin, the elaborate Primatial Palace, and the magnificent Slovak National Theater. We will view St. Michael’s Gate, the only remaining portion of the city’s medieval fortifications. This evening, our cruise will continue to Vienna.
Day 4 – Vienna, Austria
The former seat of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna is an open-air museum of Baroque architecture and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. This morning, we will visit Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the Habsburgs’ summer residence, to learn about the lineage of the Austrian Empire. After a lecture on the Habsburgs by a local expert, we will visit the great Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral), renowned for its distinctive zigzagged roof tiles. This evening, we will attend a specially arranged orchestra performance on board the ship.
Day 5 – Dürnstein & Melk
The charming medieval village of Dürnstein sits below the hilltop ruins of Castle Kuenringer, where Richard the Lionheart was held prisoner after the Third Crusade. We will walk through this tiny picturesque village to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Abbey Church. Then, our cruise will take us through the Danube’s spectacular and fabled Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where terraced vineyards blanket hillsides dotted with the haunting ruins of medieval castles. This afternoon, we will visit Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey, a spectacular example of Austria’s Baroque architecture. A prestigious center of scholarship throughout the Middle Ages, the abbey’s library is now a repository of medieval manuscripts, priceless relics and “Danube School” masters’ works. Our tour will conclude with a private organ recital in the abbey’s beautiful church.
Day 6 - Passau, Germany & Prague, Czech Republic
We will disembark the ship in Passau and travel through the rolling, wooded German and Czech countryside to Prague. Upon arrival we will check into the deluxe HOTEL INTERCONTINENTAL PRAHA, located near the historic Old Town.
Days 7 & 8 – Prague, Czech Republic
Our seventh day of the journey will start with a tour of the fascinating former residence of Bohemian royalty: the Hradc˘any complex of castles, churches and museums, which dominates the city skyline. We will see St. Vitus Cathedral and walk through the “Golden Lane,” a street formerly lined with goldsmiths that is now known for its small Mannerist houses. Later, we will walk down the narrow, picturesque lanes of the Old Town to the Orloj, the ornate astronomical clock of the Old Town Hall. Continuing on to the Jewish Quarter, we will visit Europe’s oldest Jewish house of worship, the Gothic Old-New Synagogue; walk among the moss-covered headstones of the Jewish Cemetery; and conclude at the famous Charles Bridge, adorned with statues of saints. On our eighth day, our guided tour will showcase the diverse cultural legacy of Prague, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the “City of a Thousand Spires.” We will enjoy a brief performance of Mozart’s music during a specially arranged tour of the Estates Theater, where the prodigy’s opera Don Giovanni premiered in 1787. Later, we will visit the Strahov Monastery, one of the world’s oldest monasteries of the Premonstratensian Order, for a private music recital.
Day 9 – Prague & Brno, Czech Republic & Kraków, Poland
This morning we will transfer to Kraków, Poland, stopping en route in Brno for lunch. The second largest city in the Czech Republic, Brno is located at the crossroads of ancient trade routes and will provide an interesting pause in our day of travel. Upon arrival in Kraków, we will check into our deluxe, centrally located hotel.
Days 10 & 11 – Kraków, Poland
Kraków is the only major Polish city to have emerged from World War II unscathed, and its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site whose treasures have remained untarnished through the centuries. To begin our time in Poland, our walking tour of the grounds of Wáwel Hill will take us to some of Kraków’s most notable sites. The Royal Castle, the seat of the monarchy for 500 years, blends Florentine architecture with Polish motifs and houses the state art collection. We will also see the Cathedral of Saints Stanislaus and Waclaw, where all of Poland’s kings were crowned and buried. We will then walk into the Old Town to see the Main Market Square and to visit the twin-spired Mariacki (St. Mary’s) Church to see the famous medieval altar by Wit Stwosz. We will also pass by the former residence of Pope John Paul II. During our time in Kraków, there will be an optional excursion to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a poignant memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust. Another optional excursion will be offered to tour Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site known as “The Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland,” featuring the richly ornamented Chapel of the Blessed Kinga, carved entirely from salt and an underground salt mining exhibition. On our final evening, we will attend a farewell reception.
Day 12 – Kraków, Poland to U.S.
Today we will transfer to the airport for our return flights to the U.S.
*Price and Itinerary are tentative and subject to change