Explore the mountains and castles of Bavaria and cruise down the gentle Danube
About the Tour
Bavaria's magnificent castles, mysterious forests and magical mountains are the backdrops to this majestic tour, uncovering many hidden gems in the historic kingdom of Bavaria. Discover fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle and ride the Bavarian Zugspitz Mountain Railroad, from our base in the charming village of Füssen.
Cruise itinerary is also available from Passau to Budapest based on your travel preference.
Your vacation start or end can be tailored to meet your travel needs.
- Rail travel on board the high-speed Eurostar
- Rail travel on local rail networks
- Scenic rail excursion on the Zugspitze Railroad
- Hotel accommodations for 4 nights
- 7-night cruise on board the Amadeus Silver II or Amadeus Queen
- 28 meals
- Excursions to Hohenschwangau Castle & Neuschwanstein Castle
- Excursion to Lake Eibsee
- Tours of Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, and Regensburg
- Hungarian folklore show
- Scenic cruise along the Danube Bend
- Private on board recital from members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
- Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
- Transportation aboard a deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional Tour Manager
Day 1 - To Stuttgart
Meet your group and Tour Manager at London's St Pancras International this morning in time for the Eurostar service to Paris. Here we cross the city and catch the local train to Stuttgart for a night at the Maritim Hotel. (D)
Day 2 - Free time in Füssen
This morning we journey to Füssen by rail, spending the next three nights at the Luitpold Park Hotel. Upon arrival, you have free time to explore a little bit of this classic Bavarian town. Perched on the banks of the Lech River, Füssen offers a snapshot of Bavarian life, with its pretty squares and its cobbled streets. (B, D)
Day 3 - Neuschwanstein Castle & Hohenschwangau Castle
Today sees us venture out into the nearby countryside for an enthralling excursion to two of the finest castles in Bavaria. We begin at the honey-colored Hohenschwangau (Castle of the High Swan County), before visiting glorious Neuschwanstein Castle. The most famous of all King Ludwig II's castles, Neuschwanstein bristles with towers and spires. The building is a fantastic imitation of a medieval castle; one which was equipped with some very modern conveniences for its time. (B, D)
Day 4 - Journey on the Zugspitze Railroad
Today we ascend the tallest mountain in Germany, the noble Zugspitze. To reach the summit, we first board the remarkable Zugspitze Railroad, then the final leg of this journey is taken by cable car. On our descent back down, we stop at beautiful Lake Eibsee before returning to Füssen. (B, D)
Day 5 - To Budapest and Boarding your Ship
Following breakfast, we drive to Munich to board the train to Budapest. On arriving in Budapest, we meet the Amadeus Queen or Silver II and are welcomed with a cocktail in the lounge before dinner. Later take in the illuminated sights as we sail around the city. We are also treated to a performance from a local Hungarian folk band in the lounge. (B, D)
Day 6 - Discovering Budapest
This morning we enjoy a guided coach and walking tour, introducing us to Budapest's main sights. We pass impressive buildings and monuments on both sides of the Danube, including the neo-Gothic Parliament building, the magnificent State Opera House and St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest Castle, Matthias Church, and Fishermen's Bastion. We return to the ship for lunch, after which you have some free time before we begin cruising to Bratislava, passing through the splendid Danube Bend along the way. This section of the river has a long and fascinating history and from the sun deck or panoramic windows in the bar, you'll be able to see castle ruins, churches, pretty houses hidden in the hills and dense forests, all soaked in the golden glow of twilight. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Arrival in Bratislava
Your morning is at leisure aboard before we moor up early this afternoon. After lunch, we set out on a guided coach tour of the Slovakian capital. Located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava straddles the Danube which neatly divides the city into two parts; the Baroque Old Town (Stare Mesto) and the new city. This picture-postcard city destination boasts historic Gothic buildings, several universities, a wealth of museums and galleries, and a refreshing cosmopolitan atmosphere. The historic center features delightful cobbled stoned roads, pedestrianized plazas, pastel 18th-century rococo buildings and street cafés galore. Following our excursion, we return to the ship for another delicious, 5-course dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - The history and music of Vienna
After a calm night of cruising, we arrive into glorious Vienna for a sightseeing tour. This is a chance to relish in Austria's Imperial heritage, one full of tradition and rich in architectural, artistic and musical heritage. You'll see many of Vienna's most ornate buildings, including the impressive Opera House - one of the leading opera venues in the world, as well as the grand Parliament Building. Tonight a real treat awaits us. After dinner we are joined by musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for a private recital. Be whisked away by the music and immerse yourself in this singularly exceptional experience. (B, L, D)
Days 9 - Wachau Valley & Melk Abbey
Today we reach Austria's Wachau Valley, a famous wine-making region. We arrive in the idyllic village of Dürnstein where you have time at leisure. As we sit down to lunch on board, we begin cruising along the picturesque Wachau Valley, an extremely scenic area with green valleys and vineyards rising up from the river, picturesque riverside towns, and commanding fortresses with sweeping views. We then journey by coach to Melk Abbey, enjoying entrance to this 11th-century Benedictine Abbey which stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube. It is also home to the Abbey Church, considered one of the most beautiful Baroque churches north of the Alps. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Austria
We disembark in Linz this morning, where you have a choice of excursions. You could head further into the countryside for a day spent amidst the spectacular scenery of the Austrian lakes. Make stops at UNESCO listed Hallstatt, one of Austria's most photographed villages thanks to its traditional pastel-colored houses, Hallstättersee Lake, and Mondsee. This pretty town is set on the lake of the same name and its most famous sight is the 15th-century parish church, which featured in the wedding scenes of 'The Sound of Music'. Otherwise, travel by coach to Salzburg, via Mondsee, one of Austria's most famous cities and known as the birthplace of Mozart. A guided sightseeing tour reveals the city's internationally renowned Baroque architecture, a well-deserved UNESCO World Heritage site. We rejoin the ship in Passau. (B, L, D)
Days 11 - Regensburg
Regensberg is our port of call this morning, which we explore on foot. This medieval town contains many buildings that testify to its history as a trading center and to its influence on the whole region from the 9th century onwards. Back on board tonight, we attend the Captain's gala dinner, a chance to don our evening-wear and celebrate our cruise experience. (B, D)
Day 12 - Homeward Bound
Your cruise comes to an end and you disembark* in Passau and transfer to Munich airport (dependent on departure time) for your flight back home. (B)
*Disembarkation from your ship is by 9am
Maritim Hotel, Stuttgart
The 4-Star Maritim Hotel in Stuttgart is located in the middle of the city next to the famous Hoppenlau Park. The hotel features a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and fitness room. Room amenities include minibar, safe, telephone and television.
Luitpold Park Hotel
This upscale hotel is a 2-minute walk from Füssen train station, a 7-minute walk from St. Mang's Abbey and 6 km from Neuschwanstein Castle.
Traditional rooms feature a high-quality bathroom with a bath, hairdryer and vanity mirror, as well as a telephone, WIFI, and flat-screen TVs. The hotel offers 3 restaurants, along with a classic bar. Other amenities include a spa, saunas, a whirlpool tub, and plunge pools, plus a fitness center, a business center, and 7 meeting rooms.
The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which are arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers traveling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
We enjoy a journey on the narrow-gauge Zugspitze Railroad on some of our tours. The line takes us from the charming Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen on an 11-mile journey to the peak of Germany's highest mountain - overcoming a height difference of 2,897ft.
On leaving Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the electric train runs through the gentle countryside surrounding the town, including flat, fertile farmland and glorious meadows. Continuing past a scattering of small villages, the line begins its ascent; about four miles from Garmisch the train begins to use a rack-and-pinion system to negotiate the steep gradient.
From the base of the mountain, the scenery becomes ever-more dramatic, with the spiky, snow-covered peaks towering over dense patches of woodland below. After pausing at Eibsee station, our journey continues into the mountains, using a series of wide curves to gain height. Zugspitze Railroad then passes through Höllental or 'Hell Valley' named for its dramatic slopes and narrow gorge that made climbing the mountain difficult. We then run through an area thick with pine trees before disappearing onto a long tunnel built to protect the railroad from the most extreme weather. We emerge near the summit of Zugspitze, where the views out over Bavaria and Austria are incredible.
MS Amadeus Queen
Sleek, elegant and comfortable, the MS Amadeus Queen is an excellent river going vessel, offering one of the finest ways to discover the stunning rivers of Europe. Well-maintained facilities, superb service and tasteful cabins all combine to make passengers' time on board the Amadeus Queen a delight. Enjoy the serene scenery as it passes by, through specially designed floor-to-ceiling windows or perhaps from the Sun Deck at the top of the boat, as you relax on loungers and deck chairs with your fellow travelers.
Across the four decks, the ship has a range of amenities available to passengers including a restaurant, a panorama-bar, and a fitness room. A recent addition has seen an indoor pool installed at the rear of the boat. Each room has a television, an en suite bathroom, a minibar, and a hairdryer, while the suites enjoy a walk-out exterior balcony as well.
MS Amadeus Silver II
Designed with the express purpose of navigating Europe's finest waterways, the MS Amadeus Silver II offers a superb cruising experience. In many ways a floating hotel, the Amadeus Silver II truly makes the most of the rivers it sails upon, combining comfortable and tasteful interiors, with the tranquil beauty of the scenery outside. Run by a friendly crew who place your requirements above all else, your time aboard this special vessel should be as carefree and relaxed as possible.
This ship is made up of 4 decks and features a number of facilities including an international restaurant, a panoramic bar, a quiet lounge area, a fitness suite, and a salon. On the Sun Deck, there are loungers and deck chairs, perfect for sitting and socializing with fellow passengers. Each well-appointed cabin features a television, a walk-in wardrobe, an en-suite toilet, a hairdryer, and a minibar.