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Treasures of Central Europe’s Signature Cities

  • 08/29/2020 - 09/12/2020
  • 15 Days
  • Starting price $5,495

Cruise the mighty Danube River through eight European countries and Austria’s storied Wachau Valley, a fairy-tale stretch of cliff-top castles and terraced vineyards. Enjoy three nights in Prague, Czech Republic, sail the Danube for eight nights and savor two nights in Sofia, Bulgaria. Along the way, discover Roman ruins, cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, and fortresses, which are all part of a complex history shaped by the Danube. See Budapest illuminated at night and the Iron Gate Gorge, an engineering marvel. Enjoy first-class ship accommodations, deluxe hotels and taste traditional delicacies on this amazing trip of a lifetime. 

Call now to book! 1.800.293.5725 

Max. guests - 30

Architectural highlights

  • Take in the indescribable Prague, nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” known for its colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches, and the medieval Astronomical Clock.
  • See the Central Sofia Mineral Bath, a fine example of the Secession architectural style in Sofia.
  • Visit Budapest's treasured Buda Castle, an impressive Baroque-style palace and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
  • Marvel at the Hungarian Parliament Building, one of Budapest’s most recognizable structures, and the world’s third-largest parliament building. 
  • See the Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which directly faces the modern, glass-and-steel Haas Haus building in Vienna.
  • Admire the Dohány Street Synagogue, the world’s second-largest synagogue, designed in the Moorish Revival Style in Budapest.

 

More highlights

  • Attend a delightful evening of Viennese Waltz as your Austrian ballroom guides perform and teach master steps to you.
  • Discover the flavors of the region during a wine tasting in Pécs.
  • Explore Melk’s Benedictine abbey, an architectural jewel with impressive interiors, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Enjoy the picturesque Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the finest landscapes in all of Europe.
  • See the Iron Gate Gorge, one of Europe’s most memorable marvels.
  • Walk through Pécs, a city known for its Roman ruins and Ottoman mosques, which have been turned into churches.
  • This trip qualifies for 22 AIA learning units (including 5 HSW credits).

 

Accommodations 

  • Prague: Art Deco Imperial Hotel - Featuring art deco furniture, this lavish hotel is a 3-minute walk from the nearest metro station, and a 13-minute walk from the National Gallery and 3 kilometers from Prague Castle. 
  • Ship: MS Amadeus Star - Launched in April 2019, this stylish ship offers a total of 70 spacious deluxe cabins and 12 Suites. Cabins on the Mozart and Strauss Deck feature lowerable panoramic windows which extend across the entire cabin front. All deluxe cabins and suites offer comfortable, spacious bathrooms, infotainment systems, flat-screen television, telephone, cabin safe, minibar and air conditioning which can be individually regulated. Furthermore, the suites feature walk-on external balconies with seating.
  • Sofia: Sofia Hotel Balkan - This luxury hotel is 1 kilometers from the Bulgarian National Bank and features elegant rooms with cherry wood furniture and Italian marble bathrooms. 

 

Also included

  • Three nights in Prague, eight nights on the first-class MS Amadeus Star and two nights in Sofia.
  • 31 Meals:  13 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 9 dinners.
  • An experienced Tour Director, in addition to the Architectural Adventures Educational Expert.
  • Land transportation by private motorcoach for excursions as outlined in the itinerary.
  • Gratuities and service charges for local guides, bus drivers and restaurant staff for included meals; please note a per-traveler gratuity of approximately 10 euros per day is recommended for river ship staff.
  • All meals include water, coffee or tea; in addition, wine, beer, and soft drinks are included with lunches and dinners.
  • Group transfers between Airport & Hotel for all participants who purchase group flights from AHI FlexAir program.

 

What to expect

  • Appropriate for people in good health with overall good mobility.
  • Travelers should be comfortable participating in a full day of sightseeing.
  • Activities range from light to moderate intensity at an easy pace, but with lengthy walks, sometimes on uneven terrain, and climbing stairs.

  

Price

Book by March 3rd, 2020 to ensure your space.

  • Starting at $5,495 per person (land only) plus Port and VAT Taxes of $395 per person for all categories and suites. 
  • Category E – $5,495
  • Category D – $5,695
  • Category C – $5,995
  • Category B – $6,095
  • Category A – $6,295
  • Suite - $6,795 (Limited availability on a first-come, first-serve basis)
  • Single supplement is waived for solo travelers — limited supply.
  • MS Amadeus Star deck plans available upon request.
  • A deposit of $600 per person, payable by credit card or check, is required to reserve a space.
  • Deposits are applied to the payment of the total price and the final payment is due by May 26, 2020.

 

Not included

International airfare and air departure taxes; passport/visa fees, entry/departure fees; visa photos as required; excursions, wines, liquors, mineral waters, meals not specified in the itinerary; personal items and expenses such as laundry and valet services, medications, telephone and cable charges; gratuities other than specified; travel and trip cancellation insurance; airport transfers (if AHI FlexAir is not purchased); other items not specifically mentioned in the itinerary or as included.  

Prices, itinerary, accommodations, and experts subject to change.

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Architectural Adventures tours are managed by professional tour operators retained as independent contractors by The American Institute of Architects. To read Architectural Adventures full Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer visit architecturaladventures.org/travel-terms.  To read the tour-specific terms and conditions from our tour operator AHI Travel visit architecturaladventures.org/ahi.


 

Itinerary

Overview

Begin your journey

Depart your gateway city for Prague, Czech Republic.
Overview

Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic

Check into the Art Deco Imperial Hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure before joining fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception at the hotel.

Accommodations: Art Deco Imperial Hotel
Overview

City of a Hundred Spires

Since Prague wasn’t heavily damaged during the second world war, the Czech capital has remained intact with many original buildings boasting beautiful baroque, Gothic and art nouveau styles that speak to the city’s rich history and culture. The lively Old Town Square is bordered by delightfully rainbow-hued houses, palaces and magnificent buildings, including baroque and Gothic churches, the rococo-style Kinsky Palace, and the 14th-century Old Town Hall (Clock Tower). Witness the art nouveau Municipal House, with its elaborate mosaics and gilded decorations, and the imposing Gothic Powder Tower, which once served as the gateway into Prague. Visit Wenceslas Square and see St Wenceslas Church. Built in 1929, the church was designed by famed Czech architect Josef Gočár and constructed in classic constructivist style. Also see buildings built in the rondocubist, functionalist and historicism styles before capping off your excursion with a stroll along Charles Bridge, the city’s most familiar landmark.(Active)

Accommodations: Art Deco Imperial Hotel
Meals: Breakfast
Overview

Explore Prague

Choose one of the following excursions:

• Lobkowicz Palace and Museum (Moderate)
• Prague’s Jewish Quarter (Moderate)
• Art Nouveau and Cubist Walking Tour (Moderate)

The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodations: Art Deco Imperial Hotel
Meals: Breakfast
Overview

Visit a picturesque German town

Following breakfast, transfer to Passau, Germany. Nestled at the confluence of the Danube, Ilz and Inn rivers, Passau has been called one of the most beautifully situated towns in the world. See the many highlights of this delightful city including Niedernburg Abbey, the medieval Veste Oberhaus, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. (Moderate)

Embark on the first-class river ship in time to enjoy a light lunch. In the evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Welcome Aboard Reception, followed by dinner.

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Melk, Austria & Dürnstein & Vienna

Visit UNESCO World Heritage site, Melk’s Benedictine abbey, an architectural jewel with impressive interiors. The baroque building dates from 1736, and an amazing view of the mighty Danube waits on the abbey’s terrace. (Moderate)

Enjoy daytime sailing through the picturesque Wachau Valley en route to Dürnstein. The Wachau Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the finest landscapes in all of Europe. Along the way, admire pretty villages clustered around charming churches and medieval castles.

Choose one of the following excursions:

• Dürnstein Walking Tour (Moderate)
• Cycling the Danube (Active)
• Wachau Winery (Moderate)

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Vibrant Vienna

Discover the history of Vienna, an elegant and timeless city. Choose one of the following excursions:

• AIA Imperial City (Moderate)
• Imperial Vienna (Moderate)
• Klosterneuburg Monastery and Wine (Moderate)
• Schönbrunn Palace (Moderate)

Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure in Vienna, perhaps stopping in a café for a Viennese coffee and Sacher Torte, the famous Austrian cake. Following dinner, gather with fellow travelers for a waltz lesson. Delight in an evening of Viennese Waltz as the Austrian ballroom guides pass on secrets of ballroom etiquette, tips for a successful ballroom occasion, and how to master steps of the original Viennese Waltz. (Mild)

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Old-World Europe

In Bratislava, Slovakia, learn about the Velvet Revolution, a pivotal event that led to the end of communism in Czechoslovakia and preceded the country’s split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Choose one of the following excursions:

• Old Town and Cafe (Moderate)
• Old Town and Music (Mild)
• Iron Curtain Bike Tour (Active)

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Bustling Budapest

Choose one of the following excursions:

• AIA The Golden Age (Moderate)
• Highlights of Budapest (Moderate)
• Living Local (Moderate)
• Budapest’s Jewish Quarter (Moderate)

As the ship departs in the evening, delight in the sparkling, awe-inspiring panoramas of Budapest at night. The city’s architecture bordering the Danube is illuminated with vivid auburn and butter-toned hues, providing an unforgettable moment during your journey. Sail past the beautiful Parliament, Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda Castle, Chain Bridge, and more while admiring their rosy reflections cast on the Danube’s surface. (Mild)

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

A taste of the Slavonia region

Enjoy a walking tour of Pécs, a city known for its Roman ruins and Ottoman mosques, which have been turned into churches. Also, discover the flavors of the region during a delicious wine tasting.

Begin exploring Croatia’s Slavonia region with a visit to Rural House in Kopačevo. Watch a short presentation and learn about typical traditions of the area during a video. Taste typical Slavonian products and delicacies including Ajvar, a roasted red pepper, and eggplant relish; Šljivovica (or Slivovitz), a homemade plum brandy; and smoked pork sausage

Continue to Osijek, Croatia’s fourth-largest town. This village, which hugs the River Drava, has seventeen parks and an impressive well-preserved historic neighborhood called Tvrda, or citadel. Take a walking tour along Osijek’s cobbled streets and see its collection of baroque buildings, military complexes, and university facilities. See the plague column, built-in 1729. This monument gives thanks for protection from a plague outbreak, which killed a third of the city’s population. (Moderate)

Visit Vukovar, the town on the Vuka River. Vukovar’s infrastructure, including most of its monuments and baroque buildings, was mostly destroyed in 1991 during a three-month siege by the Yugoslav National Army. As a symbol of strength and courage, Vukovar began rebuilding and restoring its treasures in 1997 and today, many buildings have been returned to their former glory. Embark on a panoramic tour of the historical city center. Along the way, see baroque arches along the main street, churches, palaces and many other beautiful buildings.

Rejoin the ship and sail on to Belgrade, Serbia.

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Belgrade, Serbia

Get an in-depth look at life in the former Yugoslavian state of Serbia. Choose one of the following excursions:

• AIA Architecture and History at the Crossroads (Moderate)
• Belgrade City Highlights (Moderate)
• Eating Like a Local in Belgrade (Moderate)
• Science and Scientist Tour (Moderate)

Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure in Belgrade. A shuttle will be available for transport to and from the port. Following dinner, enjoy an engaging and colorful local folk show onboard the ship.

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

The unforgettable Iron Gate Gorge

Sail past the dramatic cliffs of the Carpathian Mountains. Enter the Iron Gate Gorge, one of Europe’s most magnificent natural wonders. The gorge is a passage that is only 530 feet (about 160 meters) wide. This geological wonder is part of the boundary between Romania and Serbia.

Laze on deck and join the crew for a fun social event — Frühschoppen! Eat, drink and be merry while enjoying the German tradition of drinking beer with Brezeln (pretzels), Weißwurst (sausages) and mustards. (Mild)

This evening, join fellow travelers for a Farewell Aboard Reception on the ship followed by dinner.

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Historic Vidin, Bulgaria & Sofia

After breakfast, disembark the ship. One of Bulgaria’s oldest towns, Vidin was settled by the Celts more than 2,000 years ago. During a panoramic tour of the town, see the mosque and library of Osman Pazvantouglu and other highlights. Visit the 17th-century St. Panteleimon Church and the Baba Vida Fortress. (Moderate)

Savor a memorable lunch and stunning views of rock formations at The Rocks restaurant in Belogradchik. Transfer to Sofia and check in to the Sofia Hotel Balkan.

Accommodations: Sofia Hotel Balkan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overview

Treasures of Sofia

The Middle Ages were ending when Ottoman invaders claimed Bulgaria for their empire in the 14th-century. Learn about the conditions and events that led to the Bulgarian Revival of the 19th-century when Ottoman forces were defeated and expelled. Choose one of the following excursions:

• AIA Romans to Communists (Moderate)
• City with the Name of Wisdom (Moderate)

The remainder of the day is free to continue exploring Sofia on your own. In the evening, join fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and Dinner at the hotel.

Accommodations: Sofia Hotel Balkan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overview

Return Home

This morning, transfer to Sofia Airport for flights home.

Meals: Breakfast
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