15 Day Grand European Discovery

Uniworld River Cruise starting in Basel and finishing in Vienna

Countries Visited: Germany  Switzerland  Austria 
2015 Uniworld River Cruises
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Operator: Uniworld Reviews: Not Yet Reviewed
Style: Premium    Email a Friend
Duration: 15 Days    Compare Tour
From: Basel to Vienna    Save to Shortlist
Tour Code: UNIGED

River Cruise Description

Travel along three majestic rivers - the legendary Rhine, the meandering Main, and the enchanting Danube - and be inspired at every turn. Touch history in Switzerland, France, Germany, and Austria. Experience wonderfully preserved towns that offer a glimpse into life as it must have been lived centuries ago. Take in Miltenberg's crooked streets and leaning houses and Strasbourg's canal lined 'Petite France.' Explore legendary landmarks - the Niederwald Monument in Rüdesheim, 900-year-old Melk Abbey, and the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Würzburg Residenz.

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the enchanting Bavarian Forest. Enjoy culinary diversity while indulging in wiener schnitzel in Austria, sipping fine Rheingau and Franconian wines, and drinking hearty beer in Germany. Come discover what's grand about Europe on this all-encompassing adventure.


  • 14-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the stylish River Ambassador
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days

Fine Dining

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners
  • 2 Captain's Welcome and 2 Captain's Farewell Receptions
  • 2 Welcome and 2 Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and bottled water

Included Highlights

  • 4 countries
  • 28 excursions, including 'Choice Is Yours' options, fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided 'Go Active,' 'Do as the Locals Do,' 'Village Day,' and 'Gentle Walking' programs
  • 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio headset system on all excursions
  • Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks

The Uniworld Experience

  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including 2 Signature Lectures
  • Exclusive Epicurean Adventurer Program

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Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship. (CB/BB)
Strasbourg, cruising the Rhine River
Featured Excursions: Choice of Strasbourg by canal with Notre Dame Cathedral or exclusive 'Do as the Locals Do' Strasbourg walking tour

Admire picturesque Strasbourg, called the 'Crossroads of Europe' for its location halfway between Paris and Prague, as you glide along its canals in a glass-enclosed water taxi. You'll feel like you're in a fairytale as you sail through the city's beautiful historic core, where half-timbered houses are adorned with flower boxes. Or choose to see Strasbourg à pied with a walking tour that will have you feeling like a local. Explore the winding lanes of Old Town; walk through lively markets like the one at Broglie Square; and indulge in tasty pastries and coffee at a charming café. In the evening, enjoy a Captain's Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB/L/FD)
Nierstein (Nierstein or Heidelberg)
Featured Excursions: Choice of exclusive Nierstein vineyard tractor ride with Riesling wine tasting and naturalist-led vineyard hike or tour of Heidelberg*

Spend the day on an exclusive visit to the village of Nierstein, where renowned white wines have been made for centuries. Ride a tractor through the steeply sloping vineyards to sample some of the world's finest Rieslings, and meet a naturalist who will discuss the region's viniculture as you get a close-up view of wine-grape growing. After your stimulating vineyard visit, you'll get to taste some of the region's fabulous wines. Or, opt to have a motorcoach take you to Heidelberg, a perfectly preserved Medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany's Castle Road. Heidelberg is home to Germany's oldest university and is forever immortalized by Sigmund Romberg's operetta, The Student Prince. You'll be guided through the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle's courtyard, and then continue into downtown Heidelberg and Old Town.

*Note: Lunch is not included with the tour of Heidelberg.
Cruising the Main River, Miltenberg
Featured Excursion: Miltenberg walking tour and exclusive village day

Delightful Miltenberg, the 'Pearl of the Main River,' is still protected by its Medieval walls and two gates—one facing east and another facing west. On your walking tour, you will discover a town that seems to embody a German fairytale, with its 14thand 15th-century half-timbered houses (including the famed Crooked House) and the venerable Royal Inn, which has been a working hotel since the 17th century. Further explore Miltenberg's surroundings on an exclusive visit to a nearby village. Enjoy a beer tasting at Brauhaus Faust, one of Miltenberg's famous breweries; hike to Helmstetter vineyard and the nearby castle ruins; and learn about boules and traditional springerle cookies from the locals. The day concludes with a relaxing scenic sail. (BB/L/D)
Cruising the Main River, Würzburg
Featured Excursions: Choice of Würzburg Residenz visit or exclusive Franconian village of Aschfeld visit

Tour the magnificent Würzburg Residenz, an immaculate example of Baroque architecture and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace was designed in the 18th century by an international team of architects and artists. Particularly noteworthy is Tiepolo's ceiling fresco— the largest in the world. Enjoy the lovely gardens after your tour. Alternately, chat with the residents of a Franconian village over cake and coffee before joining them on a guided tour of their town to learn about daily life in the region. This cultural exchange is precisely what travel is all about—getting to know your fellow global citizens. Later, relax onboard with more scenic sailing. (BB/L/D)
Cruising the Main River, Würzburg (Rothenburg)
Featured Excursion: Tour of Medieval Rothenburg

After enjoying a scenic stretch of the river, embark on a guided tour of picturesque Rothenburg, a well-preserved Medieval walled town. Then venture off on your own to see even more of the treasures this delightful city has to offer. You may wish to explore the Christmas magic of Käthe Wohlfahrt's museum, which enchants at any time of the year. After dinner onboard, take a walk through ancient Würzburg. Stroll across the 15th-century Alte Mainbrücke, the oldest bridge spanning the Main, for a great view of the city lights. (BB/L/D)
Featured Excursion: Bamberg walking tour
Awaken in charming Bamberg, a lively city with one of Europe's largest intact Old Town centers (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Like Rome, Bamberg is built on seven hills—only here, a church tops each one. Your tour takes you past the imperial Cathedral of St. Peter and St. George; the huge 17th-century bishop's palace and its glorious rose garden; the Town Hall; and Little Venice, an area of colorful fishermen's houses. In the evening, enjoy a Captain's Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB/L/WD)
Enjoy a day at leisure.
Nuremberg, cruising the Main-Danube Canal
Featured Excursions: Choice of Nuremberg city tour or Nuremberg WW II historical tour with Documentation Center visit
After cruising the most scenic parts of the Main-Danube Canal, a marvel of modern engineering, you'll visit Nuremberg. Discover the beautiful Medieval city during a panoramic tour. Or take a guided tour of Nuremberg's most important WW II sites. You'll also visit the Nuremberg Trials Memoriam, which includes Courtroom 600, the actual venue of the trials. In the evening, enjoy a Captain's Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB/L/FD)
Note: Courtroom 600 is an active court. Visitors will only be permitted to see the courtroom during trial breaks.
Featured Excursions: Choice of '2,000 Years in One Hour' Regensburg walking tour or Jewish Regensburg or Audi factory visit
Regensburg, one of the best-preserved Medieval towns in Europe, captures 2,000 years of history with outstanding monuments like the 12th-century Stone Bridge and the towering Gothic cathedral. Your walking tour takes you past the architectural treasures of Old Town as well as the Cathedral of St. Peter, with its magnificent 14th-century stained-glass windows. For a different view of Medieval Regensburg, tour sites associated with Germany's oldest Jewish community, dating back more than a thousand years. Or visit the Audi factory in Ingolstadt for a fascinating look at how a well-engineered German car is built. (BB/L/D)
Deggendorf (Theresienthal), cruising the Danube River, Passau
Featured Excursion: Exclusive Bavarian Forest horse-drawn wagon ride with Theresienthal visit
Enjoy the stunning river scenery as you cruise to your next delightful port of call. Take a ride in a horse-drawn wagon through a scenic village in the Bavarian Forest and sample home-baked bread fresh from the village oven. Then you will head to Theresienthal, a world-famous glass workshop, where you'll see firsthand how Bohemian crystal is made. Spend your afternoon taking a scenic stroll or biking along the Danube and through the small town of Deggendorf. (BB/L/D)
Engelhartszell, Passau
Featured Excursions: Passau walking tour with St. Stephan's organ concert or exclusive guided'Go Active' bike ride along the Danube or Inn rivers or guided 'Go Active' hike along the Ilz River
Passau boasts a delightful layer of Italian style on top of quintessential German foundations. Your guided walking tour will introduce you to an accessible, charming, and well-preserved town, where you'll have time to roam on your own before you hear the magnificent pipe organ (the largest in Europe) at St. Stephan's Cathedral. Alternately, you might bike along the Danube or Inn rivers with an expert guide or hike along the Ilz River with a naturalist. (BB/L/D)
Note: St. Stephan's organ concert is only available from May 2 to October 31, excluding Sundays and Catholic holidays. An excursion to an alternative venue will be organized if the organ concert is not available.
Weissenkirchen (Weissenkirchen or Melk), cruising the Wachau Valley
Featured Excursions: Choice of Weissenkirchen village day with exclusive fruit brandy distillery visit or exclusive guided 'Go Active' vineyard hike and wine tasting or Melk Abbey with library visit
Take your pick from a host of delightful excursions. Ramble through the lovely village of Weissenkirchen, named for its famous white church, and sample the local apricot schnapps, which is made with fruit harvested from the orchards lining the river. If you prefer a more active option, hike with a guide through a celebrated vineyard and taste the fine wines made there. Or visit Melk's magnificent abbey, a masterpiece of Baroque art and architecture situated high atop the granite cliffs of the Danube. Whichever adventure you choose, you'll relax onboard later in the day as you sail through the UNESCO designated Wachau Valley. In the evening, enjoy a Captain's Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB/L/WD)
Featured Excursions: Choice of Vienna city tour with Kunstkammer visit or exclusive 'Do as the Locals Do' walking tour of Vienna

Your panoramic city tour showcases the Habsburg grandeur of the stately Ring Street, taking you past the City Hall, Parliament, the Hofburg Imperial Palace, and the State Opera. You will walk through the Hofburg grounds to the Art History Museum, where you'll see treasures collected by the Habsburgs on display in the newly reopened Cabinet of Curiosities, including a dazzling salt cellar made by Benvenuto Cellini. For a more intimate look at this stunning city, opt for our 'Do as the Locals Do' walking tour of Vienna and discover the daily life of the Viennese people in the historic town center with a visit to a popular park and a stop at a traditional Viennese coffee house. (BB/L/D)
Note: The Art History Museum is closed on Mondays. If the tour lands on a Monday, Albertina Museum will be visited instead.
Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport. (CB/BB)
Uniworld presents an unrivalled river cruise program with unique itineraries and superb five-star inclusions. Travel onboard intimate, luxurious ships with a maximum of 134 guests - fewer guests than any other river cruise company in Europe.
Region: Europe Shore Excursions: Included Flights: Not Included
Type: River Cruise Balconies: French & Private Balcony Airport Transfers: Included
Average Age: 45 - 55 Free Onboard WiFi: Yes Pool on Ship: Yes
Tips: All Gratuities Included
Drinks: Local Wine, Beer & Spirits Included with Meals
* Source: Uniworld for river cruises in Europe . Some variances may occur on this cruise and info provided as a guide only.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the deck plans, cabin types and more ship information?

We have a dedicated section on our website providing more detailed information on Uniworld including FAQ's on what you need to know before, during and after your travel; as well fleet information, deck plans, and a comprehensive search facility to enable you to easily find more of their cruises. Read more> (Note: This link will take you away from this tour itinerary page).

Which direction of the cruise should I book? Is one better than the other?

It does not matter which direction you choose, as each direction contains the same included features. Timings of activities may, of course, vary a little due to cruising times up- or downstream, but you will not see or do more in one direction than in the other.

What is the dress code onboard?

During the day, comfortable, casual attire is appropriate. The weather in Europe can be very changeable, so take a sweater or windproof jacket and an umbrella. Comfortable walking shoes are also recommended for excursions. Evenings are a little dressier. Gentlemen may wish to wear a jacket to the Captain's dinner. You'll find average temperatures listed on each of the cruises on our website.

How large are the ships?

Our ships accommodate between 100 and 138 guests. They are generally 360 feet long (110 meters), and 37.5 feet wide (11.4 meters). The draft is approximately 4 feet (1.2 meters). There are typically 34 crew members aboard. We have a dedicated section on our website providing more detailed information each ship. Read more> (Note: This link will take you away from this tour itinerary page).

Do your ships have any exclusive features?

Magnetic key cards have been introduced on the River Empress, River Countess and River Duchess. The magnetic card functions as your cabin key, your onboard charge card, and your ID card for boarding. Passengers swipe the cards as they disembark and embark, enabling our staff to keep track of everyone onboard. Our ships were the first - and are still the only - river cruise ships to offer this convenience. The River Empress, River Countess and River Duchess offer guests the convenience of checking and sending e-mails. On the River Princess, River Queen, River Empress, River Duchess and River Countess, each guest is provided with a terry cloth robe in their cabin. Our ships have one of the largest fitness centres aboard any river cruise ship. There is also a sauna and a steam room on the River Princess, River Queen, River Empress, River Duchess and River Countess.

Are meals included onboard?

Sumptuous buffets at breakfast and lunch offer an extensive array of hot and cold selections. Breakfast features crispy Belgian waffles topped with whipped cream and warm maple syrup, a dozen or more homemade breads and jams, an omelette station, and hand-cut seasonal fresh fruit.

Lunch offers a delectable feast with salads, soups, carved-to-order roasts, and more. Evenings provide exquisite ambience with relaxed open seating. Each dish is flawlessly prepared using the finest ingredients—local meats and seafood along with tasty side dishes. Always included with dinner onboard are European fine wines and a selection of beer and soft drinks served by an attentive, caring staff. Of course, every meal concludes with a wide range of freshly prepared, decadent desserts that look every bit as delicious as they taste.

Uniworld also provides a variety of dining experiences including: al fresco “under the stars” and light-lunch dining—both on the sun deck; Captain's Welcome Gala and Farewell Dinner; early-riser breakfast; and afternoon tea. Plus, Uniworld gives you the choice of dining on lighter cuisine with our Traveling Lite menu.

What are your handicapped facilities like?

The ships are not handicapped or wheelchair accessible. There are elevators on the River Princess, River Queen, River Countess, River Duchess, and River Empress. On the River Queen, the elevator does not reach all decks. Additionally, most shore excursions involve some walking. Some excursions are walking cruises only, and several occur on cobblestone streets.

Are tips/gratuities included in our tour price?

Tips & gratuities including the customary end-of-trip gratuity/tip for the cruise/tour manager, crew onboard and local guides for the included shore excursions are included in the price of your trip (excluding Optional Excursions). Europe & Russia cruises only.

How do I pay for purchases and services onboard?

Magnetic key cards have been introduced on the River Countess, River Duchess, and River Empress. The magnetic card functions as your cabin key, your onboard charge card, and your ID card for boarding. Passengers swipe the cards as they disembark and embark, enabling our staff to keep track of everyone onboard. Our ships were the first - and are still the only - river cruise ships to offer this convenience.

On other ships all purchases and paid services on board are billed with a guest check and added to your shipboard account. At the end of the cruise, you will receive a total, which can be paid with cash or credit card. The ships do not accept payments made by Diners Club cards. The onboard currency is the Euro. View individual ships here.

What is Gold Seal Protection?

Gold Seal Protection is coverage for cancellation and return flight security which gives you total peace of mind for $99 per person when booking any Uniworld River Cruise. This will cover you (in most cases) if you cancel your tour prior to departure, or if you or a member of your direct family falls sick while on tour and you need to change your flights home. Read Details. If you wish for us to include this protection in your quote, please let us know when completeing the 'Quote Request'.

Do we always dock in the heart of the city?

It depends; in many places you will dock within walking distance to the city center, but there are places where the river only touches the outskirts of a town (i.e. Bamberg or Nuremberg), and thus a motorcoach transfer is necessary.

Arrival & Departure Information


Transfers to/from airports will be provided only for flights arriving/departing on the start/finish day of the cruise (and for extensions/extra nights). There may be a waiting period of up to 2 hours or more unless private car transfers have been purchased. The following time limits apply:

  Arrival Departure
Europe 5am - 5pm 6am - 6pm
Russia 6am - 8pm 5am - 6pm
Extensions 24 hours 24 hours 
Extra Nights 24 hours 24 hours

Passenger flight details must be given to Global Journeys 45 days prior to departure. If your flight arrangements arrive/depart outside of the above you may purchase a private car transfer from Uniworld or make your own transfer arrangements. Uniworld will not be responsible for late arrivals or missed transfers due to delayed or cancelled flights, for missed cruise/trip days or for extra costs resulting from the foregoing.

Boarding Time

On turnaround day, the entire ship must be cleaned in preparation for your arrival. The facilities of the ship, including your cabin, will not be available before 4pm. We appreciate your understanding on this matter. Should you arrive early, you may leave your bags in the Reception area and take a walk into the city, or relax in the lounge.

Terms & Conditions:

Yep, all the boring small print! We still recommend you read it though, as no one likes surprises!

Pay in full for a 2015 cruise at the time of booking for further amazing savings of up to 15%. Read more.
Book your river cruise this month for earlybird savings. 2015 Earlybird Savings applied to prices below.
All past Uniworld clients receive exclusive benefits including extra savings & free upgrades. Read more.
Have you booked a holiday with Global Journeys before? Save an additional $100 per booking! Read more.
31 May 2015 14 Jun 2015 AU $8,579 River Ambassador AU $585 AU $7,994  
28 Jun 2015 12 Jul 2015 AU $8,479 River Ambassador AU $580 AU $7,899  
26 Jul 2015 09 Aug 2015 AU $8,349 River Ambassador AU $580 AU $7,769  
23 Aug 2015 06 Sep 2015 AU $8,479 River Ambassador AU $580 AU $7,899  
20 Sep 2015 04 Oct 2015 AU $8,709 River Ambassador AU $590 AU $8,119  
18 Oct 2015 01 Nov 2015 AU $7,999 River Ambassador AU $570 AU $7,429  
Note: The majority of departures above will proceed or are guaranteed to depart. We will outline the status of your departure date in your quote along with all applicable river cruise specials.


Deck Plans: River Ambassador


Cabin Upgrades (per person):

Upgrade your cabin from Category 3

Category 2 AU $1,065
Category 1 AU $2,225
Category Suite AU $4,035

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