16 Nights | European Jewels
Uncover Europe’s majestic jewelsIndulge your passion for majestic art, architecture, music and history on an all-encompassing journey through four countries along three great rivers— the Danube, Main and Rhine—and to numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites.From exotic Budapest, “Queen of the Danube,” to imperial Vienna, “City of Waltzes,” to the sky-high spires of Cologne’s Gothic cathedral—centuries of intriguing history and culture unfold before your eyes. The Melk Abbey’s great library overlooking the Danube, the Würzburg Residence’s soaring ceiling fresco by Tiepolo and the Winter Palace of Prince Eugene will leave you mesmerized. Enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences like a visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. And throughout your journey, tantalize your senses with exclusive wine, apricot brandy and beer tastings, along with regional culinary delicacies. Discover the grand sweep of history and the dynamic present along legendary rivers on a magnificent journey that gives you the best of Europe’s great treasures as well as off-the-beaten- path gems.Who will enjoy this cruiseTravelers wishing to discover the full spectrum of European culture, history, art and architecture; and connoisseurs of fine food and world-class wine.The Monarch Collection (select sailings)Get exclusive insider access to Europe’s rich aristocratic heritage. Celebrate with a festive concert and dinner at a Renaissance palace and garden. Be hosted at a private reception by a real princess at her baroque castle. Go behind the scenes at Vienna’s Spanish Riding School to discover the 450-year-old equestrian tradition of the true horse of royalty, the Lipizzaner stallion, a living work of art. These are only a few highlights you’ll be treated to on your royal journey.
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You will visit the following 14 places:
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it serves as the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2010, Budapest had 1,721,556 inhabitants, down from its 1980 peak of 2.06 million. The Budapest Commuter Area is home to 3,271,110 people. The city covers an area of 525 square kilometres (202.7 sq mi) within the city limits. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with a unification on 17 November 1873 of right (west)-bank Buda and Óbuda with left (east)-bank Pest. Budapest is one of Europe's most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture it is nicknamed "Paris of the East".
Amsterdam is the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is the country's largest city and its financial, cultural, and creative centre. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and seven of the world's 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city in which to live by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. Amsterdam derives its name from the city’s origin as “Dam” of river “Amstel”. In the past, the name was "Amstelredamme" which later changed as “Amsterdam”. The city is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, attracting over 7 million international travellers annually. The city is colloquially known as ''Venice of the North'' because of its lovely canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. There is something for every traveller's taste here; whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying, or just the relaxing charm of an old European city!
Cologne is the largest city in the German federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth-largest city in Germany. In medieval times it was the largest city of the Holy Roman Empire. It is one of the nation's media, tourism and business hotspots. Cologne is known to be one of the most liberal cities in Germany. Cologne is a traditionally Ripuarian-speaking city, though this has mostly been replaced by German, which is now the main language of the city. English-speaking guides and information are available for many of the landmarks of the city. Cologne's citizens are also very friendly and jovial people, welcoming tourists of all types and with all interests.
Frankfurt am Main, commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2009 population of 672,000. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,295,000 in 2010. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5,600,000 and is Germany's second largest metropolitan area. In English, this city's name translates to Frankfurt on the Main (pronounced like English mine or German mein). The city is located on an ancient ford on the river Main, the German word for which is "Furt". A part of early Franconia, the inhabitants were the early Franks. Thus the city's name reveals its legacy as being the "ford of the Franks".
Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.7 million (2.4 million within the metropolitan area, more than 25% of Austria's population), and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 10th-largest city by population in the European Union. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, such as the United Nations and OPEC. The city is also known for its Imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence. Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud.
Nuremberg is a city on the river Pegnitz and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. When people think of Nuremberg, they usually think of gingerbread, toys, Christmas, the Reich Party Rally Grounds, or the Nuremberg Trials. But the old town of Nuremberg is much more than this and indeed Nuremberg probably comes closest to many tourists' expectations of a typical German city: On the one hand one can find half-timbered houses, gothic churches within a medival city wall in the shadow of the towering imperial castle, which was one of the most important residences of the emporers of the Holy Roman Empire.