Embark on a magnificent cruise-tour through some of Europe’s most fascinating landscapes! Your journey starts with a visit to the enchanting lakeside town of Lucerne, surrounded by the majestic Swiss Alps. Journey to the picturesque Tyrol Region of Austria for a stop in Innsbruck and proceed to delightful Salzburg where the film Sound of Music was set. The final stop on the land portion of your vacation is in vibrant Munich, Germany. You’ll then embark on a 7-night deluxe cruise of the romantic Danube River, taking in the captivating countryside vistas. The leisurely cruise includes shore excursions and visits to some of the most charming towns and cities along the river including magnificent Melk Abbey, cosmopolitan Vienna and lively Budapest. All meals aboard the cruise are included as well as free wine with dinner! Availability is limited so please reserve early!
Your fascinating cruise-tour journey begins as you depart today on your overnight flight bound for Europe.
Arrive Zurich/Lucerne (Switzerland).
After landing in Zurich International Airport in Switzerland you’ll be met and escorted to your hotel located in the nearby charming lakeside town of Lucerne at the foothills of the majestic Swiss Alps. This evening, your tour director hosts a welcome orientation followed by dinner. Grand Europe Hotel (D)
Set on the shores of sparkling Lake Lucerne and with a backdrop of dramatic mountains, Lucerne’s old town is circled by medieval walls and is dotted with watchtowers and ancient covered bridges. Enjoy a brief guided morning tour to view the impressive Lion Monument, the 14th century Chapel Bridge and the scenic lakeshore drive. The balance of the day is at leisure to spend as you please. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets, relax in a local cafe, shop for delicious Swiss chocolates, watches or cuckoo clocks. An optional tour ($97) to nearby Mount Pilatus is available. (B)
Vaduz (Liechtenstein)/Innsbruck (Austria).
After departing Lucerne, your first stop is in the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein and its capital Vaduz, a proud remnant of feudal Europe, sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria. Next cross into Austria and journey to the heart of the picturesque Tyrol Region and the mountains encircling Innsbruck. On arrival view the Winter Olympics’ ski jump, the Wilten Basilica with its stunning rococo decorations, the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) with its Golden Roof and the medieval arcaded shops in the old town. Your hotel is centrally located within a short walk of the charming old town. Dinner is included tonight. Grauer Baer Hotel (B,D)
Neuschwanstein Castle Excursion/Salzburg.
After enjoying a sumptuous breakfast journey through glorious Alpine scenery for a memorable visit to Bavaria’s “Mad” King Ludwig’s fantasy castle, the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle, perched high above the valley below. This afternoon, continue your journey to Salzburg, the baroque jewel and birthplace of the composer Mozart. This is where the film “Sound of Music” was set! Holiday Inn Hotel (B)
This morning, a local expert leads you on a tour of delightful Salzburg, crowned by the 11th century Hohensalzburg Fortress. Stroll through the historic city center, admire exquisite Mirabel Gardens, the Great Festival Hall, St. Peter’s Churchyard and the monumental Domplatz. You’ll also visit Mozart’s Birthplace in the charming Getreidegasse. Free time to explore independently or join an optional tour to Berchtesgaden and Eagle’s Nest ($67). Later drive through the stunning landscapes of the Bavarian Alps and arrive in Munich. Hilton City Hotel (B)
On this morning’s guided tour of Munich view the Olympic Stadium, 1,000-foot-high Television Tower, Marienplatz with the mechanical clock and the Old and New Town Halls, and the gothic Frauenkirche church. The afternoon is at leisure to explore at your own pace. This evening enjoy dinner at a famous local restaurant. (B,D)
Enjoy the morning at leisure in Munich. Later transfer to nearby Nuremberg and embark your elegant cruise boat. Unpack and settle-in before the captain’s welcome dinner. MS Sound of Music Cruise Boat (B,D)
Sound of Music Cruise: Nuremberg/Set Sail.
After breakfast, join a guided tour of Nuremberg that includes such sights as the Palace of Justice, the venue of the Nuremberg trials, the Market Square and the Church of Our Lady. Enjoy some free time to stroll and marvel at this historic city with its fabulous gothic structures and elegant patrician houses. Return to the ship in time for lunch and set sail. Over the next week you’ll leisurely sail along the romantic Danube, take in the captivating countryside and visit some of the most charming towns and cities along the river. (B,L,D)
Sound of Music Cruise: Regensburg/Passau.
This morning dock in Regensburg, one of Germany’s best preserved medieval towns. Enjoy a guided walking tour of this city, built in 179 BC by the Romans. The tour includes such sights as the Old Town Hall, the Dom St. Peter, the Roman Gates at Porta Pretoria and one of the oldest stone bridges over the Danube. Free time is available to explore independently this vibrant university town before returning to the ship and setting sail for Passau. (B,L,D)
Sound of Music Cruise: Passau/Sailing.
Disembark in Passau and explore independently. Most well-known for its St. Stephen’s Cathedral and old town, Passau boasts many fine examples of Baroque and Gothic architecture. Discover the winding cobblestone streets and graceful arcades. As you continue sailing the Danube River this afternoon savor the passing majestic scenery. (B,L,D)
Sound of Music Cruise: Melk Abbey (Austria)/Vienna.
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent Benedictine Abbey in Melk, considered one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Europe. The abbey is perched on a hill site, offering breathtaking views of the Danube River and surrounding countryside. On your tour, you’ll have the opportunity to view the abbot’s chambers, the Kaiser’s walk and the library. Return to the ship and continue sailing through the scenic Wachau Valley to splendid Vienna, the center of the Hapsburg Empire. (B,L,D)
Sound of Music Cruise: Vienna.
This morning explore Vienna’s glorious past on a guided tour that takes you along the Ring Boulevard, past Emperor Franz Josef’s Hofburg Palace and the ornate State Opera to a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Cathedral of St. Stephen’s. The afternoon is at leisure to explore on your own or relax in a charming Viennese cafe. You may opt to visit the magnificent Schonbrunn Palace, the baroque summer residence built for the Hapsburgs. Set sail later this evening. (B,L,D)
Sound of Music Cruise: Budapest (Hungary).
This morning dock in Budapest, the capital of Hungary and one of central Europe’s most lively cities. On an included guided tour you’ll be introduced to the history and sights of the city. Enjoy panoramic views from Fishermen’s Bastion located on Castle Hill. You’ll also see the 13th century Matthias Coronation Church and the Citadel on Mount Gellert. The afternoon is at leisure to explore at your own pace. Perhaps stroll the charming cobbled streets of the Buda section of the city and admire the graceful medieval architecture. This evening join your fellow travelers for the captain’s farewell dinner onboard. (B,L,D)
Today disembark your riverboat and transfer to the airport for your return flight. Your fascinating voyage ends as you arrive in New York later today. (B)
MS Sound of Music
The deluxe MS Sound of Music river boat is a charming vessel offering a delightful itinerary and entertainment by live musicians. A maximum of 128 guests are looked after by highly experienced, dedicated and friendly crew.
Public areas include a spacious restaurant, an elegant lounge, a bar and a panoramic sun-deck. The vessel is air-conditioned throughout. Join us on this cruise-tour for a thoroughly enjoyable experience!
Category C Rhine Deck Cabin
Deck Plan for MS Sound of Music
To enhance your Sound of Music cruise-tour, your tour/cruise director will offer you several optional tours and cultural/evening activities. Payment can be made by major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) or by cash (US dollars). Optional tours are subject to a minimum number of participants and may therefore be cancelled if this minimum is not met. Rates are subject to change.
Mount Pilatus Excursion ($102 per person)
An unforgettable opportunity to savor the best views of the Alps on today’s optional excursion. Travel outside Lucerne and ascend by the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, winding through lush meadows carpeted with Alpine flowers past sparkling mountain streams and fascinating rock formations. After admiring the splendid views of the Bernese Oberland and the snow-capped Swiss peaks from the nearly 7,000ft summit of Mount Pilatus, descend by aerial cableway and a panoramic gondola to your waiting bus that will transport you back to your hotel in Lucerne. Please note: This entire tour and/or components of the tour are subject to weather conditions. In some cases cogwheel railway ride may be substituted by roundtrip cable car ride.
Tyrolean Evening with Drink ($55 per person)
On tonight’s festive optional tour enjoy a varied entertainment program including authentic folk music, Tyrolean dances and “shoe-slapping” as well as typical Tyrolean songs and “yodeling.”
Berchtesgaden & Eagle’s Nest Excursion ($67 per person)
Join a guided excursion to the surrounding countryside of Salzburg’s surrounding countryside and to the ruins of Obersalzburg, once an important mountain retreat for senior SS and top party members. From here transfer to special motor coaches adapted for the scenic mountain climb to Hitler’s notorious “Eagle’s Nest.” Ascending with the original elevator to the Kehlsteinhaus, you will have dramatic views of the snow-capped peaks. Please note: This entire tour and/or components of the tour are subject to weather conditions.
Classical Viennese Concert ($82 per person)
What better way to dive into the heart of Viennese culture than to enjoy a delightful evening in the City of Music, the center of the Western musical world since Renaissance times. Attend a fantastic concert performance in the city and enjoy the ambiance of a world-class concert hall, the epitome of the refined life, as you appreciate the classical masterpieces of Mozart and Strauss, two of Vienna’s most famous citizens. Listen in awe as the musicians bring to life the passionate strains of Mozart, a child prodigy who blossomed into one of history’s greatest composers and Strauss, the Waltz King, who composed the Blue Danube, arguably the world’s most famous waltz. The orchestral arrangement is accompanied by a professional dance performance, recalling the golden age of the 19th-century Viennese ballrooms. At intermission, sip a glass of sparkling wine and mingle with the audience before returning for the conclusion of the concert.
Schonbrunn Palace Tour ($67 per person)
Enjoy a guided tour of Schonbrunn Palace, once the summer residence of the Hapsburg emperors. This tour includes a visit to the magnificent baroque apartments and free time to stroll through the magnificent garden grounds.
Your flights from New York’s JFK Airport to Europe are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules. We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure.
Aug. 24 2014, Sep. 7 2014
Oct. 5, 2014
May 24 2015, Jun. 7 2015
Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting flight. We recommend at least 3 ½ hours. Please keep in mind that flight schedules are always subject to change.
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT
Please note that Lufthansa Airlines and British Airways do not assign seats in advance. Seat assignments can only be arranged upon check-in at the airport. Please note that smarTours is not involved in your seat assignment. It is between you and the airline!
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. American citizens do not require a visa to enter the countries visited. Non U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates of the countries visited on this tour as to the most current visa requirements. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS
Your airline tickets along with final instruction and some additional travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour. Please advise us in writing should your address change.
Immunizations are NOT currently required; however, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions.
You may expect daytime temperatures averaging in the 60’s & low 70’s in May & September and 70’s & low 80’s in August. Night and morning temperatures will be cooler (upper 40’s and 50’s).
CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY
We suggest that you use credit cards as much as possible and also bring along an ATM card to draw local currency as needed. You’ll need to have a small amount of cash for miscellaneous expenses as well as for tipping. Detailed recommendation will be sent prior to departure. The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc, of Austria and Germany the Euro and of Hungary the Forint.
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase) max. 44 pounds and one carry-on piece. Carry on must not exceed 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you bring a good pair of walking shoes and a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind. The dress code on board the cruise for dinner is “smart-casual”.