European Craft Beer River Cruise
October 24 – November 2, 2016
- 7 night cruise in a Riverview stateroom on the sunning River Princess
- 2 nights Prague at the Art Deco Imperial Hotel (or similar) with breakfast
- All transfers on arrival and departure days
- All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
- 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell
- Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
- Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee, tea, and mineral water
- Private tours and tasting at world-renowned Eastern European Breweries
- Custom beer pairing dinners created exclusively for this specialty-themed cruise
- Beer lectures hosted by our beer expert Deron Weet, discussing history, production and consumption
Day 1 – Arrive Prague – October 24, 2016
Arrive at Václav Hotel Airport Prague
Day 2 – Prague – October 25, 2016
A thousand years of architecture styles, from ornate Gothic to fanciful postmodern, have been beautifully preserved in Prague, which has been a magnet for artists, writers, scientists and composers for centuries. It also boasts great beer, a lively art scene and up-and-coming fashion designers, making it a fun as well as a beautiful place to visit.
Choice A – Staropramen
Explore the history of Czech beer making with a tour of Staropramen, which has been brewing fine pilsners (among other beers) in the heart of Prague since 1869.
Choice B – Prague City Tour
Get an overview of the city with a panoramic tour that carries you past such sights as the State Opera House, the National Museum, Wenceslas Square and the massive Prague Castle.
Day 3 – Prague/Nuremberg – October 26, 2016
Leave Prague and either head directly for Nuremberg or stop en route at Urquell, perhaps the Czech Republic’s most famous brewery.
Choice A – Urquell Brewery Tour
Pilsner was born here. Visit the modern bottling plant, learn about the history of the lager and, best of all, sample unfiltered, unpasteurized pilsner drawn from huge oak barrels in the historic cellars.
Choice B – Nuremberg City Tour
Discover the archetypal medieval German city among the great ramparts, gate towers and maze of cobblestone lanes in Old Town. The red sand stone Church of Our Lady faces the central market square – the 14th-century facade survived WWII bombing and, like much of Old Town, was meticulously reconstructed after the war, with the original stones plucked from the rubble.
Day 4 – Regensburg – October 27, 2016
An ancient town in the heart of Bavaria, Regensburg is home to excellent brew pubs (some dating back 800 years or more) that serve a variety of beers, including those made from wheat and rye, despite Bavaria’s 16th-century beer purity law, which specified that beer could only be made from water, hops, and barely.
Choice A – “From Hopes Field to Beer Stein”
In Bavaria’s Holledau region, the largest hops-growing district in the world, you’ll see hops growing in the fields, sample local brews with a beer sommelier, and stop at the oldest brewery in the world before returning to the ship in Regensburg.
Choice B – “2,000 Years in One Hour” Regensburg Walking Discovery Tour
A walk through the cobbled lanes of the UNESCO – designed Old Town reveals the city’s 2,000-year history: the ancient Roman gate, the 12th-century Stone Bridge, the Gothic town hall where the Imperial Diet met for three centuries, the 13th-century fortified patrician houses, and the spectacular Cathedral of St. Peter.
Day 5 – Passau – October 28, 2016
Passau, where three rivers meet – the Inn, the Liz, and the Danube – and three nations almost meet (Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic), offers an inviting, easy-going Old Town core and an intriguing location to explore the history of beer-making in Bavaria.
Choice A – Aldersbach Brewery
Aldersbach Monastery, in the midst of Passau, has been brewing beer since it was founded in 1127. The brewery was secularized in 1803 and now offers exhibits on the history of beer making, as well as brews made in typical Lower Bavarian style. Tour the museum, with its new Bavarian state exhibition “Beer in Bavaria”, and sample the state-of-the-art modern product.
Choice B – Passau Walking Discovery Tour
Your guide will introduce you to some of the town’s architectural highlights – the rococo stairways of the New Residence; the cathedral; and the Town Hall, which boasts a magnificent atrium adorned by large paintings by Ferdinand Wagner- and make sure you get a close-up view of the point where the three rivers meet.
Day 6 – Passau/Engelhartzell/Gein – Cruising the Danube River – October 29, 2016
This may be the most leisurely day of your entire journey, as you spend it onboard. Your ship leaves Germany behind, sailing into Austria and cruising through the Schlögener Schlinge – a hairpin loop in the Danube that was once very hazardous for ships.
Day 7 – Spitz – October 30, 2016
Take a break from beer tasting today in Spitz, an enchanting village on the Danube in the UNESCO-honored Wachau Valley, and sample some of the Wachau’s famous wine and apricot brandy.
Choice A – Spitz Apricot Brandy Distillery Tour
Stroll through charming Spitz with your guide on your way to a distillery where the Wachau’s celebrated apricot brandy is made. A delectable spirit that showcases the apricots grown on the slopes above the Danube, this apricot schnapps is a far cry from the cloying liqueur you might have encountered previously.
Choice B – Spitz Village Stroll with Exclusive Wine Tasting
Ramble with your local guide along the cobblestone lanes of Spitz, passing baroque and Renaissance-era houses and perhaps pausing to admire the 15th-century parish church. Then head to one of the wine estates that dominate the slopes above the town, where you may taste Riesling and Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s very own varietal.
Day 8 – Vienna – October 31, 2016
The grand dame of the Danube, Vienna was the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and remains, to this day, the political and cultural center of Austria. Klimt painted here; Beethoven and Mozart composed here; Freud developed his theories here. It’s a treasure trove of splendid architecture, astonishing art collections, and inviting cafés – and some delightful pubs as well.
Choice A – Vienna City Tour with Microbrewery Pub Crawl
Vienna’s been brewing its own special beers for centuries; the craft may have fallen from favor a while but it’s back with a vengeance now. Follow up a panoramic tour of the capital’s architectural highlights with visits to three popular microbreweries.
Choice B – Vienna City Tour with Vienna State Opera Visit
A panoramic tour will show you the architectural highlights of the Habsburg capital – the City Hall, the Hofburg, Sr. Charles’s Church, and other land marks – but it will also take you inside the legendary opera house in the heart of the city. The Neo-Renaissance-style theater, which opened in 1869, is surprisingly intimate and gloriously ornate.
Day 9 – Budapest – November 1, 2016
Vibrant Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is an enchanting combination of East and West, old and new. Even the city’s geography is made up of two parts – Buda (the hills) and Pest (the flatlands) – divided by the Danube.
Choice A – Budapest City Tour with Dreher Brewery and Unicum Distillery Visits
Combine a panoramic tour of the city’s landmarks (including the spectacular Parliament Building) with stops that let you experience two of Hungary’s iconic alcoholic beverages. Unicum, the dark herbal liqueur, has been distilled since 1790 and is considered Hungary’s national drink. Dreher, the nation’s largest brewery, offers a museum that outlines the long history of beer-making in the nation and a chance to try the local brew.
Choice B – Budapest City Tour
This panoramic tour will carry you from Heroes’ Square, created in 1896 to honor the thousand-year anniversary of Hungary’s founding and its greatest historical figures, past some of the city’s most striking architectural sights – Dohány Street Synagogue, the Hungarian Museum, the state opera house, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the truly stunning Parliament Building – to Castle Hill, which has been called the heart of the nation.