The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Symphony on the Blue Danube

Sept. 5 – Sept. 14, 2018

Details

Visit five countries and up to five UNESCO World Heritage sites on this exclusive journey to the cultural centers that inspired classical music’s Great Masters.

Framed by rolling hillsides, lush vineyards and medieval castles, the Danube River Valley has resonated with musicians, artists, poets and travelers throughout the centuries and has contributed to the world the genius of its most renowned virtuosos. This unique combination of river and land travel includes three nights in the medieval gem of Prague and a five-night cruise on the legendary Blue Danube from Passau, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary, through the stunning Wachau Valley aboard the exclusively chartered, deluxe m.s. Amadeus Princess, one of the finest ships to ply the waterways of Europe. This custom-designed itinerary has been carefully orchestrated to include private performances featuring the musical heritage of Europe’s accomplished composers, including Mozart and Beethoven, and a comprehensive schedule of exclusive expert lectures and guided excursions featuring magnificent Melk Abbey, the storybook village of Dürnstein, imperial Vienna and medieval Bratislava. Berlin Pre-Program and Budapest Post-Program Options are offered.

Tour highlights and included features

  • Three nights in the centrally located, deluxe InterContinental Praha Hotel, with breakfast each morning.
  • Welcome Reception in the hotel.
  • Walking tour of Prague’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, through the Staré Mˇesto (Old Town) and Josefov (Jewish Quarter).
  • Private tour of the Estates Theatre, with an exclusive short private performance of Mozart compositions.
  • Visit to the magnificent Hradˇcany Castle complex, including its Gothic-style St. Vitus Cathedral.
  • Specially arranged guided tour of Lobkowicz Palace, with private concert of classical music.
  • Private tour of the Art Nouveau Municipal House.
  • Five-night cruise on the legendary Danube River from Passau, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary, with port calls at Melk, Dürnstein and Vienna, Austria; and Bratislava, Slovakia.
  • Deluxe, river-view, air-conditioned Suite or Stateroom, each with a private bathroom.
  • All meals served at single, unassigned seatings—early-risers’ coffee, buffet breakfast and lunch, afternoon tea, four-course dinner and late-evening snack—featuring fine continental cuisine.
  • Complimentary house wine and beer are served with lunch and dinner.
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship.
  • Two specially arranged classical performances by musicians on board.
  • Tour of the magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Melk, a Baroque masterpiece.
  • Walking tour of picturesque Dürnstein, featuring a brief, private organ recital inside Dürnstein Abbey.
  • Cruise through the scenic Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Panoramic tour of the world-class city of Vienna, a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring a private performance of Mozart and other composers’ music.

Dates Sept. 5 – Sept. 14, 2018

Cost $3,795* (Airfare is not included. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and early booking deadlines. Dates, itineraries, and prices are subject to change.)

Type Land and Cruise

Region Europe

Activity level

Host

Operator

Contact Addie Natalie
natalie.6@osu.edu
614-292-2372
800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 3

Map

Experiences

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Itinerary

Depart the U.S. for Prague, the “City of a Thousand Spires,” a UNESCO World Heritage site showcasing 600 years of virtually untouched architecture.

Upon arrival, check into the deluxe InterContinental Praha Hotel. Attend the private Welcome Reception this evening in the hotel. (R)

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On the guided walking tour, explore the diverse cultural legacy of Prague, celebrated for its splendid combination of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Walk along the narrow, picturesque lanes of the Staré Mˇesto (Old Town) to the Orloj, the ornate, 15th-century astronomical clock of the Old Town Hall. See the world-famous Charles Bridge, adorned with 17th- and 18th-century Baroque statues. Enjoy a brief private performance of Mozart’s music and a specially arranged private tour of the Estates Theatre, where the prodigy’s opera Don Giovanni premiered in 1787. In Josefov, the Jewish Quarter of Prague, visit Europe’s oldest extant Jewish house of worship—the Gothic-style Old-New Synagogue—and walk amongst the moss-covered, 15th-century headstones of the Old Jewish Cemetery.

Tour the fascinating former residence of Bohemian royalty, the Hradˇcany complex of castles, churches and museums, whose spires dominate the city skyline. By special arrangement, view original Beethoven manuscripts and enjoy a private string quartet concert in the family-owned, 16th-century Lobkowicz Palace. Visit the neo-Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, the largest and most significant cathedral in Prague, and see the Royal Mausoleum and magnificent St. Wenceslas Chapel. Then walk through the “Golden Lane,” a quaint byway lined with small, Mannerist-style houses and workshops once occupied by castle goldsmiths, alchemists, artisans and guards. Author Franz Kafka was said to have lived here between 1916 and 1917.

On the former site of the Bohemian Kingdom’s Royal Court, enjoy a private tour of the spectacular Municipal House, an early 20th-century Art Nouveau masterpiece. (2B)

Travel across rolling hills and through the bucolic wooded Czech and German countryside to Passau, where three legendary rivers—the Danube, Ilz and Inn—meet. Enjoy lunch in a historic, traditional German restaurant before the walking tour along the cobblestone streets of Altstadt, Passau’s Old Town. Visit the Baroque-style St. Stephan’s Cathedral, consecrated in the 12th century, where the largest pipe organ in Europe is housed.

Embark m.s. Amadeus Queen, attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and, following dinner, enjoy a short concert by musicians on board the ship. (B,L,R,D)

In the riverside town of Melk, visit the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, a showcase of impressive Austrian Baroque architecture, priceless relics and stunning 18th-century ceiling frescoes by Paul Troger. In Melk Abbey’s beautiful kirche (church), admire the striking, perfectly intact 16th-century altarpiece by Danube School master Jörg Breu the Elder. A prestigious center of scholarship throughout the Middle Ages, the abbey’s library is today a repository of 100,000 medieval manuscripts. Return to the ship for lunch.

This afternoon, dock in the charming medieval village of Dürnstein, situated below the hilltop ruins of Castle Kuenringer, where Richard the Lionheart was held prisoner after the Third Crusade. Walk through the quaint, picturesque village to visit the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Abbey Church and enjoy a short, private organ concert inside the cathedral.

Be on deck this evening as you cruise the Danube’s spectacular and fabled Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where terraced vineyards blanket hillsides dotted with the haunting ruins of medieval castles. (B,L,D)

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The former seat of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna’s historic center is an open-air museum of splendid Baroque architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour this remarkable city, which owes its present appearance to Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef, who created the famous Ringstrasse showcasing its finest landmarks—the impressive Vienna State Opera House and the lavish Hofburg Palace. Visit the iconic, Gothic-style Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral). Enjoy a private, specially arranged performance of Mozart’s music in the Sala Terrena, Vienna’s oldest concert hall and where Mozart resided, worked and performed briefly in 1781.

After lunch on board, the afternoon is at leisure to peruse the cultural treasures of Vienna on your own. (B,L,D)

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Enjoy a free morning in Vienna or join an optional excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens, the spectacular summer estate of the imperial Habsburgs. It was here, in one of the grand salons decorated in a priceless collection of art and antiques, that a six-year-old Mozart first performed for Empress Maria Theresa and her daughter, the future Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. Return to the ship for lunch.

This afternoon, en route to Bratislava, cruise through Austria’s scenic Donau-Auen National Park, which preserves the last remaining major wetlands in central Europe.

The charming capital of Slovakia, Bratislava is nestled in the foothills of the impressive Carpathian Mountain range overlooking the banks of the Danube River. Beautifully restored since the end of the Cold War, the city showcases 21st-century life amidst its 1000-year-old history. Enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town; its medieval, Renaissance and 19th-century architecture is among the finest in central Europe. Visit the Romanesque, 14th-century Cathedral of St. Martin and the elaborate Primatial Palace and see St. Michael’s Gate, Bratislava’s oldest preserved medieval fortification, originally built in 1300.

After dinner on board, musicians play in the ship’s lounge. (B,L,D)

Austrian-born, nevertheless the “most Hungarian Habsburg,” Archduke Joseph is credited with creating in Budapest an imperial capital that rivaled Vienna. Buda and Pest, the centuries-old twin cities that face one another across the Danube River, the embankments along this storied river and the Buda Castle Quarter together are designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Begin your tour in Pest to see the elegant, neo-Gothic limestone Parliament Building, built between 1884 and 1904 and towering over the river. Pass through Heroes’ Square and admire the monuments honoring the Magyar chiefs who conquered Hungary in A.D. 896. Visit the 19th-century, neo-Renaissance Hungarian State Opera House. One of the most beautiful performing arts venues in the world, its interiors are decorated with frescoes by eminent painters, including Mór Than and Károly Lotz. Here, you will enjoy a private, specially arranged, brief aria performance by an opera singer.

Reboard the ship for lunch before the afternoon tour. The imposing Chain Bridge links river-level Pest to the hills of Buda on the other side of the Danube. On Castle Hill, visit the stately, late-19th-century, neo-Romanesque Fisherman’s Bastion, where seven turrets symbolize the seven Magyar tribes that settled in the Carpathian Basin, offering exceptional panoramic views of the city, and explore the Gothic-style St. Matthias Church, where Charles I, the last Habsburgian ruler, was coronated in 1916.

This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner followed by a traditional Hungarian folklore performance. (B,L,R,D)

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Continue on the Budapest Post-Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

*Itinerary subject to change due to local conditions.

Contact

Contact Addie Natalie at Ohio State Alumni Tours:
Phone: 614-292-2372 or 800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 3
Email: natalie.6@osu.edu

Space is limited. Book your tour now!