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Cities of Light Viking River Cruise with Free Airfare in March 2025

Set sail with Viking River Cruises on a luxurious and unforgettable river cruise through Europe's most stunning waterways, including the picturesque Main, Rhine, and Moselle rivers. Enjoy 2 pre-nights in Prague, a 7-night river cruise, and 2 post-nights in Paris. Explore a complimentary shore excursion in every port of call. Includes roundtrip airfare from Calgary. Don't miss this opportunity!

Cities of Light Viking River Cruise with Free Airfare in March 2025

- SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
DEPARTURE DATE: March 5, 2025
Countries Visited: Czech Republic, France, Germany
Departure Port:Prague, Czech Republic

OVERVIEW

See great cities & landscapes

Sail Europe’s most iconic rivers: the Main, lined with quaint villages; the castle-studded Rhine; and the Moselle with its steep vineyards. Enjoy Privileged Access to Prague’s Lobkowicz Palace. Delve into Nuremberg’s history at the Imperial Castle and the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Taste legendary Moselle Rieslings. Savor Czech, German and French cuisine. With bookends in Paris and Prague, this 12-day journey celebrates Europe’s most luminous ports.

Travel Dates & Pricing

TRAVEL DATEPRICETYPE
March 5, 2025from $4,699 CADPer Person

What's Included

  • FREE round trip air from Calgary (please inquire for airfare from other cities)
  • 2 night accommodation in Prague
  • 7 night river cruise in standard stateroom
  • 2 night accommodation in Paris
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Meals including regional specialties
  • Welcome Cocktails & Farewell Dinner
  • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
  • One complimentary shore excursion in every port of call
  • Visits to UNESCO Sites
  • Enrichment lectures & Destination Performances
  • 24-hour room service
  • Transfers
  • Taxes and port charges

Itinerary

DAYDATEPLACE
1Wed Mar 5Prague, Czech Republic
2Thu Mar 6Prague, Czech Republic
3Fri Mar 7Nuremberg, Germany
4Sat Mar 8Bamberg, Germany
5Sun Mar 9Würzburg, Germany
6Mon Mar 10Heidelberg, Germany
7Tue Mar 11Mainz, Germany
7Wed Mar 12Rüdesheim, Germany
8Thu Mar 13Scenic Sailing: Middle Rhine
8Fri Mar 14Cochem, Germany
9Sat Mar 15Bernkastel, Germany
9Sun Mar 16Trier, Germany
10Mon Mar 17Reims, France
10Tue Mar 18Paris, France
11Wed Nov 6Paris, France
12Thu Nov 7Paris, France

Day 1 – Prague, Czech Republic

Arrive and check in to your hotel. Prague is known as the “City of a Hundred Spires” and it is easy to see why. The towering twin steeples of Týn Church and the beautiful baroque Church of St. Nicholas are among some of the city’s most notable. Best explored on foot, Prague’s Old Town is a maze of ancient cobblestone lanes with the Old Town Square at its core. Here, the medieval Astronomical Clock still chimes today and provides for its viewers a little theater with the “Walk of the Apostles” on the hour, every hour.

Day 2 – Prague, Czech Republic

Few cities embody the past as authentically as Prague, the Czech Republic’s atmospheric capital on the Vltava River that clings to its history with unwavering passion. Prague’s medieval architecture is its most prominent, but the city is also a rich repository of Romanesque, baroque and art nouveau buildings that stir the imagination. The city’s graceful, pedestrian-only Charles Bridge served as the coronation route of the kings of Bohemia across the river to Hradčany Castle and its rich complex of royal buildings.

Day 3 – Nuremberg, Germany

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and begin your journey to your embarkation city. The second-largest city in Bavaria, Nuremberg is filled with traditional half-timbered houses and Gothic churches with intricate spires. Although nearly destroyed during World War II, the remaining medieval city walls stretch some three miles and feature original gateways and 80 original watchtowers. Nuremberg is well known historically for its metal and toy craftsmanship. But it is infamous for its role in World War II, first as the site of Zeppelin Field’s Nazi rallies and later as the site of the war crimes trials at the Palace of Justice that captured the attention of a generation. Transfer to your hotel and settle into your room.

Day 4 – Bamberg, Germany

Bamberg is famed for its beer, particularly its distinctive rauchbier. To create the rauchbier’s unique flavor profile, the earliest breweries dried malted barley over fires fed by German beechwood. With the advent of kiln-drying, smoky brews became less common and all but disappeared for a short period. Two breweries, however, clung to the rauchbier tradition: Schlenkerla and Spezial. For almost two centuries, they have been producing several varieties of the brew by drying malt over beechwood fires, honoring a method that was almost lost. Today, rauchbier fills steins throughout the city.

Day 5 – Würzburg, Germany

Surrounded by Franconian vineyards, Würzburg was heavily damaged during World War II, but has since been completely restored. This prestigious university city is a jewel of baroque architecture. Its most pristine example of pomp and glory is the great Bishops’ Residenz palace, built in 1744 for the prince-bishop; his unwavering support of artists is evidenced by the sweeping staircase and magnificent ceiling frescoes by Tiepolo. Other landmarks include the medieval, statue-lined Old Main Bridge and Marienberg Fortress, originally a Celtic hill fort and later residence of the bishops. The city remains a major wine-making center, hosting Germany’s oldest and largest vineyard.

Day 6 – Heidelberg, Germany

Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg is situated in the Neckar Valley just east of the Rhine. Known as the cradle of the German Romantic movement, it also boasts beautiful baroque architecture. Heidelberg is most famous as the site of the imposing Heidelberg Castle. A magnificent red sandstone ruin perched 330 feet above the river, it was home to the Palatinate princes until it was partially destroyed by fire in the 17th century. It has been said that Heidelberg’s cityscape is so beautiful and so admired that American forces deliberately chose to avoid bombing it during World War II.

Day 7 – Mainz, Germany
Mainz is part of the Rheinhessen wine region, Germany’s largest wine region that is renowned for producing high-quality white wines, such as Riesling. Wine has long played a key role in the city’s economy and culture, with numerous wine festivals and events throughout the year, including the Mainzer Weinmarkt and the Mainzer Weinwoche. The city is also home to the renowned Geisenheim University, which offers programs in viticulture and oenology. Mainz’s wine culture and history continue to thrive today, with a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation in winemaking.

Rüdesheim, Germany

Located in the heart of Germany’s Rheingau region, Rüdesheim is the area’s center of winemaking. The famed Drosselgasse, a cobblestone street lined with taverns that pour local vintages and spill music into alleyways, attracts locals and visitors alike. Half-timbered houses, narrow warrens and old inns lend the town a medieval flavor. Castles once provided security for the region, including the 9th-century Brömserburg Castle, the oldest on the Rhine. The Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet museum also houses an impressive collection of self-playing instruments.

Day 8 – Scenic Sailing: Middle Rhine

The Rhine River flows through one of Germany’s most scenic regions. As you sail its most picturesque stretch, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Middle Rhine, you will pass vineyard-blanketed hills whose steep slopes require vintners to pick grapes by hand, keeping a centuries-old tradition alive. Splendid castles line the banks, all of which have stories to share, and the Lorelei Rock presides at a dramatic curve in the river. This infamous river maiden mesmerized sailors with her song and lured them to their demise at her feet.

Cochem, Germany

Perched on a hilltop above the city and the Moselle, a 1,000-year-old imperial castle is the signature landmark of Cochem. Its mighty rectangular keep and many small towers strike a dramatic pose against a curtain of green hills. In Cochem’s lively Old Quarter, the market square boasts old timber-framed houses that overlook Martin’s Fountain and the bay-windowed baroque Town Hall. In this historic center, the 15th-century St. Martin’s Church and the Capuchin monastery, which now serves as an artistic and cultural center, are all beautifully preserved. Wine taverns along the river offer a “green wine,” a very young wine.

Day 9 – Bernkastel, Germany

Nestled between soft rolling hills and the gently flowing Moselle River, Bernkastel, the “Pearl of the Moselle,” boasts medieval squares laden with charming half-timbered houses and inviting lanes and alleys. For much of their history, Bernkastel and its sister town of Kues across the river stood worlds apart. A bridge united them in 1874, paving the way for actual unification in 1905. Today, Bernkastel plays the charming host with history to share, while Kues pours the wine, more attentive to the sweet grapes of its fertile valley. Indeed, the twin towns produce some of Germany’s finest vintages.

Trier, Germany

One of Germany’s most treasured cities for its rich history, Trier was once the regional capital of the Holy Roman Empire. After Emperor Constantine the Great had a vision of Christ, he and his mother Helena built great churches and cathedrals here. A few still stand, the magnificent Romanesque Cathedral of Trier among them. The 20,000-seat amphitheater, the Roman Bridge and the massive Porta Nigra, the ancient city gate, are further relics of that time. Today, Trier is a picturesque town surrounded by forests and vineyards, known also as the birthplace of Karl Marx and as a vibrant university town.

Day 10 – Reims, France

After breakfast, disembark your ship and transfer to your destination. Reims lies in the heart of France’s renowned Champagne region. A testament to its rich history, which can be traced back to Gallo-Roman times, is its diverse collection of landmarks. Among its most iconic are the Abbey of Saint-Rémi, the final resting place of the archbishop who baptized Frankish king Clovis and initiated Reims’s long line of coronations; the Palace of Tau, an archiepiscopal residence constructed in the Middle Ages; and Reims Cathedral, where 25 kings of France were coronated. These three monuments were collectively inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Transfer to your hotel and settle into your room.

Paris, France

Arrive and check in to your hotel. Long a hub of French culture and cuisine, Paris is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Over the centuries, Parisian culture has been built on the wings of inspiration. Music, film, architecture, literature, dance and the visual arts all have their brilliant place in the museums, theaters, bookstores and remarkably preserved buildings of this magnificent city. At the center of it all is the Champs-Élysées. With its inviting riverside promenade, graceful bridges and splendid views of all things Parisian, from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre Museum.

Day 11 – Paris, France

One of the most pleasurable activities in Paris is whiling away the time in one of the city’s outdoor cafés. Whether you are sipping a café au lait or a kir royal, there is no better way to feel like a Parisian. The hub of social and culinary life, cafés have been part of the city’s fabric since the 1600s. During the 20th century, literary and artistic figures—such as Ernest Hemingway, Colette and Pablo Picasso—famously met over drinks to share their works and ideas. Today, thousands of cafés line the pavements and squares to connect with France’s culture and history.

Day 12 – Paris, France

Life in Paris revolves around the Seine River, with 37 bridges crossing the river, each telling a story. Perhaps none are so extravagant as the Pont Alexandre III, a graceful span named for the Russian tsar who signed the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. Downriver, the five-arched Pont d’Iéna is beloved for its scenic location linking the Eiffel Tower to the Trocadéro district. The Pont des Arts, set between the Louvre and the Institut de France, was famed for its thousands of padlocks, attached by couples to the railing grate as a sign of their devotion to each other. After breakfast, check out of your hotel and journey home.

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