As you cruise along one of Europe’s most romantic rivers, you will sail through history into a world filled with a variety of amazing architecture and breathtaking scenery. Our Budapest to Passau cruise and Oberammergau Passion Play takes you on a journey of discovery into “Old Europe,” uncovering ancient abbeys, beautiful palaces, historic landmarks and stunning vistas. From vibrant and cosmopolitan cities of Budapest, Vienna and Munich, to the villages of Melk & Passau, your trip will highlight iconic sights and bustling city streets. You can look forward to enjoying all this from the deck of a 4 ½ star Ship!
Budapest, Esztergom, Vienna, Melk, Passau, Oberammergau & Munich
Departure: May 17 to May 26, 2020
10 days, 8 nights including cruise, accommodations, some meals and drinks, airfare from NYC as well as entrance to the “once every decade” Oberammergau passion play.
Then, as a Grand Finale, your tour will continue on to Oberammergau for you to experience a play like no other in the world. What made Oberammergau town famous, was its performance of the Passion of Christ every decade. It is believed that the Passion Play has been held every 10 years since 1634. A play of life and death, promised in a moment of mortal threat, and so began the history of the Oberammergau Passion Play in 1633. During that time, the Black Plague was sweeping through Europe. The villagers of Oberammergau vowed that if their town was spared, they would perform the Passion of Christ every 10 years. The town was spared, and it is amazing that they have been honoring this pledge from generation to generation. The Passion Play performance follows Christ from His triumphant entry into Jerusalem through His Trial, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension.
Interesting Facts About the Oberammergau Passion Play: To be in the play, you must be a
resident of Oberammergau. Over 2,000 citizens are involved including acting, singing,
musicians and technical support. There are 124 speaking roles, a 65-member orchestra,
48 person chorus and hundreds of people involved in the back end including stagehands,
seamstresses, firemen, auditorium attendants and more. Men grow out their hair and beards
to make the look authentic to the time. Costumes are hand made. The play is held May
through late September or early October. During these months, the play is performed 5 days
per week in an open-air theater which seats about 4,700 people. The performance begins
at 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is then a dinner break, and the play resumes from 8:00 p.m.
to 10:30 p.m. The play is performed in German, but it doesn't seem to stop people from
all over the world, including those that are not of religious backgrounds that are intrigued
by the way the town comes together to perform this play. It is anticipated over 750,000
will attend in 2020. The Passion Play theatre is open, and the background of the mountains
makes it an unforgettable scene
Included cruise features:
Fuel surcharges and air taxes are included (valid at time of printing.)
- Transfers from airport to the riverboat and from riverboat to the airport, with luggage
handling for one checked bag per person. Services of a professional cruise director throughout
- Luxurious accommodations for 5 nights on a CroisiEurope Ship”
- Port charges.
- While cruising: Daily gourmet meals onboard: a rich buffet breakfast, a festive lunch,
tea & coffee throughout the day and a multi-course dinner with free complimentary
selection of wines, draught beers during meals and at the bar.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet
- Applicable entrance fees, admission charges according to itinerary.
- Welcome drink upon arrival.
- Onboard entertainment
- Bar consumptions
Included shore excursions:
· Deluxe air-conditioned motor coach transportation for all transfers, tours and guided excursions.
· Daily shore excursion program (outlined and included in the itinerary) during the cruise with local English-speaking guides. The use of our Guide System headsets is also included at no additional cost.
Included Oberammergau Passion Play experience
· 1 Night in 4 star hotel (or 5 star guest house) on a ½ board basis in Oberammergau area. (1 dinner) including hotel/city tax.
· Category 2 entrance ticket to the Passion Play, including Text Book
· Shuttle Transportation to and from the hotel to the Play, and back.
· Coach transfer from Oberammergau to Munich airport.
Optional post tour excursion:
- Optional 3-night PRE extension to Paris.
- Optional 3-night POST extension to Burgundy & Champagne including Beaune, Dijon, Langres, Troyes, Epernay & Paris.
ITINERARY (subject to change / approval from the cruise company)
Day 1 – May 17, 2020: Depart the USA: Depart New York (JFK-EWR) for Budapest, Hungary.
Day 2 - May 18, 2020: Arrive Budapest: Welcome to Budapest, one of Eastern Europe's most ancient cites. On arrival at the airport, you will be met by a Jet Vacations representative and transferred* to your deluxe cruise ship in Budapest. Here, you will have the chance to unpack, relax in your room and explore all of the ship’s fantastic facilities and acquaint yourself with life on the river. This evening, you have a special invitation to a Cocktail Reception and after dinner, an evening of traditional entertainment on the ship. (Welcome Dinner)
Day 3 - May 19, 2020: Budapest / Bratislava: Widely known as one of the continent’s most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities, Budapest is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Underground Railway – the second oldest railway in the world. Today, your private guided tour takes you past the Royal Palace of Buda –home to the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest History Museum, the National Library, Lion Courtyard, Matthias Well, and the statue of the Turul Bird, the mythological bird of the Magyars. The tour then continues to Fisherman’s Bastion, situated on Castle Hill, where you can admire the most breathtaking panoramic views of the city, before moving on to see Matthias Church and the iconic Chain Bridge. As one of Budapest’s most symbolic landmarks, the Chain Bridge designed by English engineer William Tierney Clark, links Buda and Pest, and was considered one of the world’s engineering marvels at the time of construction. In the afternoon, sail for Bratislava. As we leave Budapest you will have a chance to see Budapest landmarks such as The Chain Link Bridge and Parliament, a breathtaking sight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 - May 20, 2020: Bratislava / Vienna: Wake up this morning in Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic. Today you will experience the bustling pedestrian plazas and stylish street cafés of Bratislava. And for a more profound insight, you will tour Old Town, home to a plethora of historical buildings. Highlights will include the including the Old Town Hall, the stunning Mirbach Palace and Gothic St. Martin's Cathedral. Here, you will also find Bratislava’s Town Hall, a complex of three buildings erected in the 14th and 15th centuries, Michael’s Gate, one of the oldest of the town’s structures, and nearby, the narrowest house in Europe. After the visit, board the ship and cruise the Danube en-route to Vienna. After dinner on the ship, you may join our Vienna by night excursion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 – May 21, 2020: Vienna: Austria’s vibrant city of Vienna is a fantastic fusion of old and new. As well as being known as ‘The City of Music’ because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also regarded as ‘The City of Dreams’ as it was home to Sigmund Freud, the world’s first psychoanalyst. Today, we take you on an icon-filled tour along the Ringstrasse where you will see Vienna’s world-famous Konzerthause House with a backstage visit of the concert hall. Visit of the Schönbrunn Palace – Empress Sisi’s former summer residence - featuring an enchanting park, zoo and labyrinth. After the tour, enjoy a steaming cup of Vienna coffee and a delicious pastry. In the afternoon, visit the Hofburg Palace, an imperial march through history, art and luxury. And after dinner, in the evening, you can also book an optional Viennese concert. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 - May 22, 2020: Melk / Passau: In the morning, sail through the great Wachau Valley and arrive in Dürnstein. You will marvel at the magnificent blue façade of the baroque Stiftskirche. Above town you'll spot the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lionheart, King of England, was imprisoned in 1192. Your walking tour through medieval cobblestone streets reveals 16th-century town houses and wine taverns. Afterwards, you will return to the ship and set sail to Melk Abbey, the famous 900-year old Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe's largest baroque monasteries, located above the town on a splendid rocky outcrop, overlooking where the Danube joins the picturesque Wachau Valley. Melk Abbey boasts the finest Italian architecture, elaborate gold leaf walls, a 640-foot Imperial Corridor and fabulous fresco ceilings. This evening, you have a special invitation to the Captain’s Gala Dinner, where you will join your fellow guests. (Breakfast, Lunch, Captain’s Gala Dinner)
Day 7 - May 23, 2020: Passau (Disembarkation) / Oberammergau: After an early breakfast, disembark from your ship and board your coach towards Oberammergau town center. Enjoy a group lunch upon arrival and all afternoon and evening Passion Play experience. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Oberammergau. (Breakfast, Dinner):
Day 8 - May 24, 2020: Oberammergau / Munich: After breakfast at the hotel, check out and transfer by coach and set out to discover Munich with your guide. Start your Munich Old Town tour and explore the medieval streets while learning about the city’s fascinating history and culture. A city of many names, Munich has been called the heart of medieval Europe, the Athens of the Alps and beer capital of the world. Visit pretty Marienplatz, the central city square since the 1100s, and admire the town hall with its glockenspiel that re-enacts stories from the 16th century. Stop for photos by the Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady (Frauenkirche), Munich’s iconic red-roofed cathedral that was bombed during WWII, and wander around one of city’s oldest places of worship: St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche). Pass through the food market of Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt) with its brightly colored stalls and peer in the windows of Hofbräuhaus – the must-visit beer hall while in town. Stop at the former royal palace of Bavarian monarchs, Munich Residenz, and then pass into the square of Odeonsplatz where Adolf Hitler made his first push for power during the infamous ‘beer hall putsch.’ Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight at your hotel in Munich.
Day 9 - May 25, 2020: Munich – Optional Salzburg Tour: After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Munich on your own or join us on an optional tour of Salzburg. Arrive in Salzburg by mid-morning. Nestled in the foot of the Alps, on the beautiful Salzach River, lies the picturesque city of Salzburg. As if designed specifically for picture postcard images, the entirety of this charming city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the home of stunning views, and quaint streets. It also enjoys the reputation of being the epitome of Austrian hospitality, is the birthplace of Mozart, the setting of The Sound of Music, and so much more. Admire baroque-era architecture and visit castles, churches, monasteries, gorgeous piazzas and more. Ask questions and snap photos along the way. After your guided tour, break off from the group for independent exploring. Plot your trip through the preserved medieval town, wandering along picturesque lanes to see sites like Domkirche Cathedral, the magnificent Festung Hohensalzburg, and Mirabell Garden and Palace, the setting for the classic ‘Do-Re-Mi’ scene from The Sound of Music (admission not included). You’ll have plenty of time to sightsee, souvenir shop and explore local boutiques and eateries. In the evening, enjoy your group’s Farewell Dinner in a typical Munich restaurant. Overnight at your hotel in Munich. (Breakfast, Farewell Dinner)
Day 10 - May 26, 2020: Departure day: After breakfast, pick up at your hotel and transfer to the Munich airport for your flight back to the US. (Breakfast) END OF SERVICES
2 NIGHT BUDAPEST PRE-TOUR EXTENSION
Day 1 May 15, 2020 – Depart the U. S. for Budapest, Hungary.
Day 2: May 16, 2020 – Arrival in Budapest. Welcome to Budapest. Upon arrival, proceed to baggage claim and after clearing customs, look for your guide who will be holding a Jet Vacations sign at the exit. After a private transfer to your hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure. In the evening, we will gather for a welcome dinner at the hotel or in a nearby local restaurant. Overnight in Budapest. (D)
Day 3: May 17, 2020 – Full Day Trip to Szentendre with lunch at a Renaissance Restaurant. After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll depart to Szentendre Island overlooking the Danube river and situated 30 kms from Budapest. Upon arrival, visit the Baroque artists' village of Szentendrewhereyour guide will lead you on a walk-through town. There you can marvel at the pieces on display while learning about the manufacturing process. Following the tour, travel 500 years back in time and experience a Medieval feast in the Renaissance restaurant! Return to the hotel for an afternoon / evening at leisure. Overnight in Budapest. (B, L)
Day 4: May 18, 2020 – Transfer to your river cruise ship: After breakfast, you will be met by a Jet Vacations representative and transferred to your deluxe cruise ship in Budapest. Here, you will have the chance to unpack, relax in your room and explore all of the ship’s fantastic facilities and acquaint yourself with life on the river. This evening, you have a special invitation to a Cocktail Reception and after dinner, an evening of traditional entertainment. (B, D)
3 NIGHT PRAGUE POST EXTENSION
Day 10 - May 26, 2020: Munich to Prague: After breakfast, check-out from the hotel in Munich. You will be met by a Jet Vacations representative and transferred to Prague. On the way to Prague, stop in Regensburg Set on the banks of the Danube River, the medieval city of Regensburg made a name for itself as an important trade center in the Middle Ages and now serves as a popular tourist destination for those traveling the Romantic Road. The UNESCO World Heritage listed historic center is one of few German towns not destroyed in the war and retains some fine examples of its heritage. Architectural highlights include the Roman Porta Praetoria Palace; the Herzogshof, once the Palace of the Agilolfingian Dukes; the landmark Dome St Peter, largely regarded as Bavaria’s finest Gothic cathedral dating back to 1260; and the 12th-century Stone Bridge, a crucial river crossing during the Middle Ages and the oldest working bridge in the country. Remnants of the ancient Roman fortress Castra Regina, the grand Old City Hall and the exquisite Rococo style Cathedral Zu unserer lieben Frau, are also all worth a visit. Lunch on your own and continue on by deluxe coach to your Hotel in Prague. In the evening, we will gather for a welcome dinner at the hotel or in a nearby local restaurant. Overnight in Prague. (B, D)
Day 11 - May 27, 2020: Prague: After breakfast at the hotel, meet your local coach and guide and depart for a Prague City Sightseeing Tour - partly by air-conditioned coach, partly on foot. The highlight of the trip is a walk through the fascinating Prague Castlecomplex and a guided tour of the major areas within; admire the grandeur of this royal castle, visit the magnificent Saint Vitus Cathedraland the ancient architecture of the Old Royal Palace, complete with the imperial Vladislav Hall. Not forgetting of course a visit to ST. George Basilica and the Rosenberg Palace. Lunch break on your own. From Prague Castle, walk down to the picturesque Vltava River, then cross over into the Old Town to discover the origins of one of the best-preserved medieval cities. The tour continues at the most famous place of all, the Old Town Square, one of Europe's most beautiful historical sights. Finish your tour with a visit to the church of Our Lady Victorious and of the Prague Infant Jesus, which holds an extraordinary significance not only for its architecture and artistic decoration, but mainly for the fact that the famous statue of the Prague Infant Jesus is kept and venerated within. The extraordinary well-preserved baroque interior is decorated by works of the best artists of the 17th and 18th century. After the tour, free time and transfer back to your hotel for overnight. (B)
Day 12 - May 28, 2020: Prague at leisure or optional tour to Ceske Budejovice / Cesky Krumlov: After breakfast at the hotel enjoy your day at leisure. Explore the Old Town Square and New Town, the Charles Bridge, and the Old Jewish Cemetery with its ancient tombstones dating from the mid 14th to late 17th centuries. You might also visit Hradcany Castle on your own or take an optional tour to Cesky Krumlov. Your factory visit in Ceske Budejovice will show you how beer was brewed and drunk in the past, and how it is brewed and drunk today. You'll visit the museum's collection documenting the brewery's history, and have lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, travel to Cesky Krulov. Known as 'the Pearl of the Renaissance', the State Castle of Cesky Krumlov is one of the most important historic sites in Central Europe. You'll travel by coach from Prague through the beautiful south Bohemian countryside passing picturesque villages and ponds. The whole town of Cesky Krumlov is on the UNESCO heritage list, comprising 300 historic houses, the castle and chateau. Dinner on your own and overnight at your hotel. (B, L)
Day 13 - May 29, 2020: Departure: After breakfast, pick up at your hotel and transfer to the Prague airport for your flight back to the US. (B)
Notes: Onboard currency is the Euro. The ship’s captain reserves the right to modify the cruising itinerary to ensure the safe navigation of the vessel. This cruise is dependent on the sea and tides and arrival, departure and stop over times may be adjusted accordingly. All taxes and fuel surcharges are included and correct at the time of printing, but subject to change. The price does not include beverages except the ones mentioned above, shore excursions that might be offered in addition to our daily included shore excursion program, gratuities/tips for guides/drivers and onboard staff such as maids, waiters, and maitre d’, wellness/spa center, airline luggage overage fees, passports fees, visas as well as items of a personal nature.
*Price is in US$, per person based on double occupancy, in your choice of cabins (Email us for pricing), chartering the vessel with a minimum of 100 passengers on board. Single supplement is an additional 75% of the double occupancy price.