Cruising the Legendary Rivers of Europe

On your 15 day cruise, explore a region steeped in the history of ancient trade routes. Today the rivers of the Rhine, Main and Danube meander through forested hillsides, romantic towns and vineyards.

15 Days
Budapest to Amsterdam
From (CAD)
$ 10,595
Dates & Pricing

2020 Budapest > Amsterdam

Experience the cultural treasures and enchanting landscapes of five European countries as we cruise along some of the continent’s most scenic rivers: the Danube, Main, and Rhine.
On board the elegant Scenic Ruby or Scenic Opal, glide from stately cities to medieval towns, and explore castle-crowned river valleys blanketed in grapevines. Encounter relics of Europe’s greatest empires—from the Romans and Austro-Hungarians to the Dutch—and delve into World War II history in fascinating cities like Nuremberg, Salzburg, and Budapest. Along the way, savor the continent’s culinary delights and rich musical heritage. As we sail these storied waterways, enjoy the freedom and flexibility to tailor the itinerary to your interests, choosing from a variety of available excursions at each port of call—and benefit from the insights provided by the National Geographic Expert and the National Geographic photographer who accompany us on the journey.
Tour Map
Tour Code:
15 days
Departure City:
Return City:

National Geographic Photographer, Susan Seubert

Departure date: September 23, 2020

Award-winning travel and editorial photographer Susan Seubert has photographed more than 30 feature stories for National Geographic Traveler.

Her subjects range from Canada to the Caribbean and from Europe to Asia and beyond. Based in Portland, Oregon and Maui, Hawaii, Susan travels throughout the world shooting a variety of subjects and capturing a sense of place through her wide-ranging imagery.

She has worked in Europe for National Geographic Traveler magazine and joined numerous National Geographic Expeditions over the years, from Alaska to Antarctica. Susan’s in-depth knowledge of digital technologies and her multimedia skills keep her at the cutting edge of visual storytelling, and she also lectures regularly at such institutions as Harvard University and the Portland Art Museum.


15 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Budapest, Hungary

    Arrive in Budapest and embark the Scenic Crystal.

    Meals Included: Dinner

  2. Day 2 - Budapest

    Today brings several options for discovering Budapest. Take a guided hike to Lion's Rock in the Buda Hills; set out on a walking tour of the city; or descend into the Hospital in the Rock, a subterranean military hospital used during World War II.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  3. Day 3 - Vienna, Austria

    Cruise to Vienna, arriving in time for a private evening concert in the gilded halls of the Palais Liechtenstein. Sip sparkling wine as you take in the timeless music of Strauss, Beethoven, and Mozart.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  4. Day 4 - Vienna

    Choose from among several excursions today. Meet National Geographic grantee Ludovic Ferrière at Vienna’s Museum of Natural History for a behind-the-scenes tour of the meteorite exhibit he co-curated. Or opt to take a bicycle tour of Vienna, explore Schönbrunn Palace with a guide, or cross into Slovakia for a visit to Bratislava.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  5. Day 5 - Melk

    Glide into Austria’s lush Wachau Valley and dock at Melk for a tour of its Benedictine abbey. Or pay a visit to Artstetten Castle, the final resting place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and meet with direct descendants of the family who still live in the castle. Alternatively, choose a more active excursion, cycling along the Danube from Dürnstein to Melk, or hiking to the hilltop ruins of a medieval castle.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  6. Day 6 - Salzburg

    Spend the day in Salzburg, featured prominently in the classic Hollywood musical The Sound of Music. Enjoy a tour of this picturesque town—the birthplace of Mozart—then transfer to a beautiful chalet in the hills outside of the city. After a traditional Austrian lunch here overlooking scenic alpine valleys, we’ll watch The Sound of Music come to life with an unforgettable performance of popular songs from the film.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  7. Day 7 - Regensburg, Germany

    Cross into the German state of Bavaria and sample the region’s celebrated beers on a visit to the historic Weltenburg Abbey, home to the world’s oldest monastic brewery. Today’s active options include a walk through Regensburg’s charming medieval center or a bike ride to the Walhalla memorial.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  8. Day 8 - Nuremberg

    In Nuremberg, tour the city’s World War II sites or try your hand at baking traditional ginger bread.

  9. Day 9 - Bamberg

    This morning take a guided walk along Bamberg’s enchanting medieval streets.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  10. Day 10 - Wurzburg

    Enjoy a guided tour of Würzburg’s 18th-century Residenze—one of Germany’s most magnificent baroque buildings. Or choose to ride along the Romantic Road to the postcard-perfect town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  11. Day 11 - On the Main

    Spend the day soaking in spectacular scenery along the Main River as we drift to our next destination. Attend talks given by our National Geographic expert, and head to the sundeck to practice landscape shots with our National Geographic photographer.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  12. Day 12 - Rudesheim am Rhein

    Ride into Rudesheim am Rhein on the Winzerexpress mini-train, then enjoy a guided visit through Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet; or opt to hike or ride a cable car to the Niederwald Monument. Feast on medieval fare at enchanting Marksburg Castle, perched above the Rhine

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  13. Day 13 - Cologne

    Today, disembark in Cologne. Tour the city and its twin-towered cathedral, enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit to the Neanderthal Museum in nearby Mettmann.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  14. Day 14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

    See timeless Amsterdam from the water during a canal cruise, and hear from our guide about its history as a center for art and seafaring trade. Alternatively, enjoy a guided visit to the Rijksmuseum, opt for a bike ride through the outskirts of the city, or head to Zaanse Schans in the countryside to see rural houses and iconic Dutch windmills.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  15. Day 15 - Amsterdam

    Depart for home on our final day.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Tour inclusions

The National Geographic Difference
  • Alongside a National Geographic expert, explore 11 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including medieval Bamberg, the Wurzburg Residenze, and the Gothic cityscape of Budapest.
  • Meet National Geographic grantee Ludovic Ferrière at Vienna’s Museum of Natural History for a behind-the-scenes look at the meteorite exhibit he co-curated.
  • With guidance from a National Geographic photographer, frame classic European scenes, from the canals of Amsterdam to the Alpine meadows surrounding Salzburg.
  • Enjoy a private concert in the opulent halls of Vienna’s Palais Lichtenstein and a medieval feast at enchanting Marksburg Castle, perched high above the Rhine

Pricing & Availability