Spain and the Danube River: 16-Night Tour and Cruise

Be blown away by the beauty of historic Europe with an unforgettable 16-night tour and river cruise. Take in the cultural sights of Spain – from the Royal Palace of Madrid to the architecture of Gaudi – before embarking on a scenic cruise of the Danube River through Germany, Austria and Hungary. Enjoy 16 nights’ accommodation, daily breakfasts, select lunches and dinners and sightseeing aboard both an air-conditioned coach and a deluxe ship for just $3,599 per person, valued up to $5,622.
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Discover Historic Spain, Germany, Austria and Hungary

Awe-inspiring architecture, medieval cities and scenic river views await on this unforgettable 16-night experience. Take in the cultural sights of Spain before embarking on a cruise of the Danube River through Germany, Austria and Hungary. Includes nightly accommodation, a flight from Barcelona to Munich, daily breakfasts, select meals and more for just $3,599 per person, valued up to $5,622.

Lovers of art, culture and history will be in their element with this unforgettable tour, which incorporates several UNESCO World Heritage-listed sights, towns and cities with architecture dating back hundreds of years and museums filled with riches.

Enjoy 9 nights' accommodation in a series of specially selected hotels before checking into your own cabin with French balcony on the MS Monarch Empress – a deluxe river boat boasting a sundeck, putting green and fitness centre – for 7 nights, to cruise the River Danube in style.

Itinerary Highlights

See the Sights of Spain

Kick off this unforgettable experience with a sightseeing tour in Spain’s capital city, Madrid, taking in the Opera District, Plaza de Colon, the Royal Palace and more before arriving at the famous Prado Museum. Founded in 1819, Spain’s national art museum boasts an exceptional collection of European art and is acknowledged to be one of the greatest art museums in the world.

Immerse yourself in culture while in the medieval city of Toledo on a walking tour of famous monuments including St. Tome Church and the oldest synagogue in Europe, Santa Maria la Blanca. Continue to Andalucia via La Mancha, taking in panoramic views of the iconic windmills featured in the famous 17th-century Spanish novel, Don Quixote.

In Cordoba, marvel at the exquisite, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mezquita de Cordoba – one of the largest mosques in the world – and enjoy a walking tour of the city with narrow streets and flower-filled courtyards.

Embark on a tour of Seville. Admire the beautiful Plaza de Espana, the gardens of Maria Luisa Park and stop at Seville Cathedral; the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the site of Christopher Columbus’ tomb.

In Granada, admire another UNESCO World Heritage-listed site: the 13th-century Alhambra Palace, which is spectacularly located atop a hill overlooking the city.

Enjoy a scenic journey through groves of olives, almonds, lemons and oranges to the port city of Valencia to discover one of the 12 Treasures of Spain – the City of Arts and Sciences, designed by architect and artist Santiago Calatrava and home to incredible avant-garde architecture.

Enjoy an orientation tour of Barcelona then spend the day in the city as you please, whether that’s discovering the jaw-dropping works of Gaudi, taking in the works of art housed in the city’s museums or simply relaxing at the beach.

Cruise the Danube - Germany, Austria and Hungary

Board a flight to Munich, Germany, where the second phase of your trip, a river cruise of Europe’s second-largest river, the Danube, will commence.

Enjoy a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed medieval city of Regensburg with its beautiful old churches and stone bridge over the Danube dating back to the 12th century.

Disembark in ‘Three Rivers City’, the Bavarian town of Passau on the border of Austria. Explore its cobblestone lanes, pastel buildings, historic architecture and riverfront at your leisure or join an optional full day tour to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for The Sound of Music.

Stop in the Austrian town of Melk and admire its beautiful 11th-century Benedictine Abbey.

Continue to Vienna, the capital of Austria which was once home to famous composers Mozart and Beethoven. Enjoy a tour of the city, taking in its baroque palaces, parks, cathedral, parliament building and Vienna Opera House.

Next stop: Bratislava. Discover the capital of Slovakia with a tour of the city, incorporating sights that marry old with new. Stroll down the cobblestone lanes, visit the 13th-century town hall and marvel at St Martin’s Cathedral.

To complete this epic adventure, you’ll embark on a tour of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. See the sights of the city including Parliament, City Park, Heroes Square, the Royal Palace and more before browsing the shops and cafes at your leisure.

Your Package Includes

16 nights’ accommodation across the duration of the tour and cruise, including nine nights in specially-selected hotels and seven nights aboard the deluxe MS Monarch Empress in an A or B cabin on the Empress Deck with your own French balcony (see 'Fine Print' tab for further details).

Daily breakfasts, six lunches and thirteen dinners with wine, including a Captain's welcome dinner and farewell dinner on board the MS Monarch Empress. Enjoy unlimited wine and beer with meals served on the boat.

A transfer flight from Barcelona to Munich.

Sightseeing and shore excursions as listed in a modern, air-conditioned coach, with wireless earphones for enhanced touring.

River port charges, hotel taxes, fees, service charges, cruise and hotel porterage, entrance fees as required and all tips and gratuities.

Important Information

All bookings must be made by 13 January 2017.

Additional tours are available in some locations, bookable directly with the tour company. See the 'Fine Print' tab for further details.

Weather conditions may impact the cruise itinerary – please see 'Fine Print' for further details.  

No need to worry about getting your preferred dates. The Booking Guarantee means that if you try to make a booking within 14 days from purchase and can't get your preferred dates within the validity period, you can get a full refund.

Click on the 'Fine Print' tab above to read all the terms and conditions relating to this offer.

What We Like

Make sure you have plenty of space on your camera as this tour promises a wealth of picture-perfect sights. Capture the memories as you marvel at Gaudi’s creations in Barcelona, the windmills of La Mancha, the beautiful streets of Vienna and much more.

Make your tour as action-packed as you please: use free time to relax or explore at your leisure or make use of optional additional tours along the way.

Click on the 'Fine Print' tab above to read all the terms and conditions relating to this offer.

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Departure Dates: Tours depart on 26 May 2017, 9 June 2017 (sold out, updated 5.12.16 at 3:45pm), 15 September 2017, 29 September 2017, 13 October 2017 and 27 October 2017.

Please note, departure dates mark the first day of the tour. Guests must make their own travel arrangements to ensure they are in Madrid on their chosen departure date.

IMPORTANT: All bookings must be made by 13 January 2017.

Voucher is valid for ONE PERSON aged eighteen years or older (based on twin share). If you are travelling with another person you must purchase TWO VOUCHERS, otherwise an additional single traveller surcharge will apply.

Single Traveller Surcharge: Guests travelling alone must pay a single traveller surcharge of AU$3,650 (approx. US$2,717) per person and will get their own room throughout the tour, payable directly to the tour company.

These packages are for luxury accommodation and one transfer flight from Barcelona to Munich only. Other flights are not included and need to be purchased separately.

Booking Guarantee: Make a booking within 14 days from the date of purchase and if you don't get your preferred dates within the validity period of the deal then we will give you a FULL refund. Please note that evidence of an attempted booking must be provided to our Support Team via email no more than 2 days after the 14 day period. At this point, we will escalate with management to try and secure your preferred dates and if they are still unavailable, a full refund will be payable (bookings must be made before 13 January 2017).

Strictly subject to availability and please book early to lock in your preferred dates. After the booking guarantee period, bookings for specific dates during the validity period will be accepted on a first in, best-dressed basis.

2 nights at Meliá Madrid Princesa or Hotel Miguel Angel by BlueBay in Madrid
1 night at Hotel Macià Alfaros in Cordoba
2 nights at NH Collection Sevilla in Seville
1 night at Hotel Carmen in Granada
1 night at Hotel Primus in Valencia
2 nights at Ayre Hotel Caspe in Barcelona
7 nights aboard the MS Monarch Empress

Maximum Room Capacity: The maximum room capacity is two adults.

Please note, connecting rooms are not available.

Bedding configuration in all rooms is either a queen bed or twin beds – please specify your preference to the tour company at the time of booking.

No additional guests may stay and no additional beds may be added.

Accommodation on board the MS Monarch Empress is in an A or B cabin on the Empress Deck with a French balcony. Allocation to an A or B cabin is on a first come, first served basis. 

Facilities on board the MS Monarch Empress include a bar/lounge, restaurant, sundeck, putting green, fitness centre, Wi-Fi on board, an email station, an on-board musician and a 24-hour tea and coffee station.

The maximum tour group size during the Spain section of the tour will be 42 people. The maximum group size on board the MS Monarch Empress will be 144.

Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs and walkers are not allowed on motor coaches and/or river cruises. The Monarch Empress is equipped with elevator access between the Empress and Countess decks, however passengers will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes while touring. 

Please note that weather conditions may unavoidably impact the itinerary for the cruise segment of the tour. In the event that the cruise is unable to go ahead either in part or in its entirety, the affected segment will take place by deluxe motor coach accompanied by a tour manager, with overnights in hotel accommodation. The itinerary will include as many of the originally scheduled destinations as possible, considering the travel and distances required, and any meals that were included in the original itinerary.

Voucher must be presented at check-in.

All surcharges are payable directly to the hotel.

Dining inclusions do not include beverages (unless otherwise stated) and menu options are subject to change.

"Unlimited wine and beer" applies only to dinner periods on board the MS Monarch Empress.

Optional additional tours are available and priced per person as follows, bookable directly with the tour company in advance:
Madrid – El Escorial Tour, AU$109 (approx. US$81)
Seville – Evening Flamenco Show, AU$82 (approx. US$61)
Salzburg – Tour of Salzburg, AU$143 (approx. US$106)
Vienna – Classical Viennese Concert, AU$85 (approx. US$63)
Vienna – Schonbrunn Palace Tour AU$67 (approx. US$50)

Travel insurance is strongly recommended. We suggest purchasing travel insurance as soon as possible after purchasing this voucher.

Departure dates are subject to availability and early booking is highly recommended.

Strictly no refunds for this voucher for amendments and change of date - fees are at the tour company’s discretion/policy. Tour company’s cancellation and change policy applies. Voucher is not refundable after purchase other than in accordance with the Booking Guarantee.

Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or on existing reservations.

Any unused portion of the package is non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for other services or cash.

Additional expenses such as (but not limited to) international flights are not included with this voucher.

The package cannot be split.

Offer only available for consecutive nightly stays.

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond your intended stay overseas.

A visa may be required to the countries you are visiting and transiting. It is your responsibility to ensure you are holding a current visa.

The value and comparative savings have been determined based on the tour company’s published rack rates and the value of inclusions. Please be advised that rack rates may not be reflective of actual rates being charged, dependent on the timing and manner of your booking and therefore are only indicative of the level of saving.

All activities and services (including late checkout) are subject to availability.

Please note that full terms and conditions apply - refer LuxuryEscapes.com/terms

Redemption instructions can be found on your voucher.

Gate 1 Travel Australia

Gate 1 Travel Australia
6/10 Hoddle Street Abbotsford

Our Booking Guarantee is our commitment to you to ensure that you get to travel when you want to travel and not when you have to travel.

And why do we offer this?

Well it's quite simple, we love to travel just as much as you do and we understand that it's hard to find dates to suit your work, family and personal commitments, so we guarantee you that if you can't get the dates you want we will give you a full refund. Yes, that's right...a 100% money back guarantee if you aren't able to book the dates that you want! It can't get much better than that!

How does it work?

It's very simple - make your booking request within 14 days of purchase and if you don't get your preferred dates (within the validity period) you will receive a FULL Refund. If you aren't able to get your preferred dates you'll get a refund directly back to your credit card (or PayPal account). Please note, if you get your preferred dates and later change your mind on when you want to travel, the Booking Guarantee will not apply to your request for a change of dates.

What do I need to do?

Make a booking within 14 days from the date of purchase and if you don't get your preferred dates within the validity period of the deal then we will give you a FULL refund. Please note that evidence of an attempted booking must be provided to our Support Team via email no more than 2 days after the 14 day period. At this point, we will escalate with management to try and secure your preferred dates and if they are still unavailable, a full refund will be payable

Minimal effort for maximum peace of mind! Purchase with confidence and assurance.

DAY 1 - Arrive in Madrid
Welcome to Madrid! The capital of Spain since 1562, this lively city is the birthplace to many of the world's greatest writers, painters and artists. Arrive and transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Drink with your Tour Manager and fellow travelers followed by an orientation and a Welcome Dinner. 
Overnight: Madrid
Meals: Dinner

DAY 2 - Madrid City Tour
Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Madrid. Drive along the Gran Via through the Opera District, Plaza de Colon, and view the Royal Palace. Pass through Puerta del Sol Plaza and Plaza de España with its monument to the author Cervantes. The tour will end at the Prado Museum, where you will be able to admire works of art by famous artists such as El Greco, Velázquez, and Ribera. Afternoon and evening at leisure to enjoy a walk in Retiro park, visit museums or join the optional tour to El Escorial, the combination monastery-palace-mausoleum erected by King Phillip II as a memorial to his father. It has since become an enduring legacy to Spain and burial place of Kings and Queens. 
Optional: Half Day Escorial Tour (PM)
Overnight: Madrid
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3 - Toledo Sightseeing En Route to Cordoba
This morning, travel to nearby Toledo, the former capital city of Spain that still retains its medieval atmosphere and charm, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a walking tour of the most famous monuments, visiting the St. Tome Church with its El Greco masterpiece and Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue with its beautiful Moorish architecture, the oldest synagogue in Europe still standing. Also admire its famous handcrafted work, the Damasquinado. Continue south to Andalucia via the region of La Mancha, legendary home of Don Quixote, featuring panoramic views of its famous windmills. Arrive in the former Roman city of Cordoba for dinner. 
Overnight: Cordoba
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4 - Cordoba City Tour, Travel to Seville
Cordoba, due to its strategic location, was once an important port city. Visit the astonishing Mezquita de Cordoba, one of the largest mosques in the world, transformed into a soaring cathedral in the 16th century. A walking tour of the city reveals the ancient Jewish Quarter with its labyrinth of winding narrow streets, shady flower-filled courtyards and picturesque squares; visit the beautifully restored 14th-century Synagogue on Calle de Los Judios. Afterward, you proceed to Seville, the capital of Andalucia. After dinner, you will have the opportunity to attend an optional Flamenco Show in this city known as the birthplace of Flamenco.
Optional: Evening Flamenco Show (PM)
Overnight: Seville
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 - Seville City Tour
A morning tour of Seville begins with a visit to the Cathedral of Seville, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and home to the burial site of Christopher Columbus. Built on the site of the former great Mosque, its original minaret, the Giralda Bell Tower, still stands. Admire the beautiful Plaza de España and the fragrant gardens of Maria Luisa Park by the Guadalquivir River before visiting the quaint Barrio Santa Cruz. Explore the narrow winding streets and the beautiful plazas of the Old Quarter. Afternoon at leisure to explore Seville's shops, museums and cafes. 
Overnight: Seville
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6 - Travel to Granada, Visit Alhambra Palace*
A morning drive to Granada. Here, your sightseeing of Moorish Granada is highlighted by a visit to the magnificent 13th-century Alhambra Palace, one of Spain's most celebrated monuments, dramatically perched atop Assabica Hill overlooking the entire city. This imposing hilltop fortress, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the world's finest examples of Moorish art and architecture. During the reign of the Moors, the Alhambra served as the summer residence of the royal family. Walk along the lanes of the serene Generalife Gardens with its beautifully designed courtyards, waterfalls and ponds and views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Dinner together at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Granada
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7 - Travel to Valencia
Today head north through the groves of olives, almonds, lemons and oranges to the garden city of Valencia. Upon arrival, enjoy an orientation tour of the huge Arts and Science City designed by contemporary artist Santiago Calatrava, with its extraordinary avant-garde architecture that includes impressive buildings such as the Hemisfèric and Oceanogràfic. The rest of the day is yours to discover Valencia independently. Tonight, dinner together. 
Overnight: Valencia
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8 - Valencia City Tour, Travel to Barcelona, Barcelona City Tour
This morning, tour the city of Valencia. Discover this treasure trove of Roman and Arabic architecture before continuing to the City Gates, City Hall and Gothic Cathedral. Depart Valencia and drive along the coastline of Catalunya to Barcelona. This afternoon's tour of Barcelona begins with a panoramic tour of the old Harbor, Plaza de España and Plaza Catalunya. You will also have a chance to pass by Gaudi's iconic Sagrada Familia, a colossal church that is legendary and still unfinished. Ascend Montjuic Hill, home to the Olympic Stadium built for the 1992 Olympics. Tonight, a dinner at a local restaurant is a perfect way to end your tour. 
Overnight: Barcelona
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 - Full Day in Barcelona
Today enjoy a full day at leisure in Barcelona. Perhaps revisit some of the city's extraordinary sights or spend time at the shops and galleries.
Overnight: Barcelona
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10 - Depart Spain, Fly to Munich and Transfer to Regensburg for Cruise Embarkation
Bid farewell to your tour manager in Spain and transfer to the Barcelona airport for your flight to Munich. Arrive in Munich and transfer to the port in Regensburg. The group transfer will operate at approximately 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm. The port is a 1.5-hour drive from the Munich airport. Embarkation begins at 3 pm. After arrival formalities, meet your Gate 1 cruise directors and relax on board. Tonight, a gala Welcome Dinner sets the mood for your delightful river cruise. 
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11 - Regensburg City Tour
This morning, explore Regensburg, one of Germany's largest and best preserved medieval cities, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The guided walking tour highlights the city's stunning architecture as you view the Old Town Hall, Dom St. Peter and the Porta Praetoria, gateway to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Marvel at beautiful churches and one of the oldest stone bridges crossing the Danube. Return to the boat for lunch or spend the afternoon at leisure discovering the delights of Regensburg on your own. At 3:00 pm, the ship will set sail for Passau.
Overnight: River Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12 - Morning in Passau
Dock this morning in 2500-year-old Passau, known for its pastel patrician houses, cafes, cobblestone lanes and the riverfront promenade. Passau is a Bavarian town with a mix of Roman, Italian Baroque and Gothic architecture. Explore Passau independently in the morning, or, join the optional full day tour to picturesque Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and setting for the Sound of Music. The walking tour will include some of Salzburg's most historic sites including the Mirabell Palace, the Abbey, Salzburg Cathedral, and St. Peter's Cemetery. After lunch at a local restaurant, there will be time to discover Salzburg on your own before returning to the ship. If you choose to remain on the boat, continue sailing during lunch and relax on board this afternoon. In the early evening, all passengers will rejoin the ship and continue sailing for Melk.
Optional: Full Day Tour of Salzburg
Overnight: River Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13 - Melk Abbey
Disembark in Melk this morning for a guided tour of the historic Benedictine Abbey, considered one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Europe. View the Abbot's chambers, the Kaiser's walk and the lavish library. Then, return to the ship and continue cruising through the scenic Wachau Valley on the way to Vienna, the Imperial city legendary for its opulence and elegance. Tonight, perhaps take the opportunity to attend an evening of Viennese culture in the "City of Music" at an optional concert performance of the classical masterpieces of Mozart and Strauss, two of Vienna's most famous citizens. 
Optional: Classical Viennese Concert (PM)
Overnight: River Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14 - Vienna City Tour
This sparkling city on the Danube has captivated travelers for years with its elegant shops, world-class museums, and beautiful gardens. Drive along the famed Ringstrasse, Vienna's main boulevard lined with magnificent Baroque palaces, parks and monuments. View the lavish Hofburg Palace and the impressive Vienna Opera House. Continue to majestic St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Parliament building. Enjoy the afternoon at a café sampling the famous Viennese Sacher Torte, or, join the optional afternoon tour to the Imperial Schonbrunn Palace, once the summer residence of the Hapsburgs. Visit the opulent baroque apartments and stroll through the world-famous manicured gardens. Set sail for Bratislava this evening.
Optional: Schonbrunn Palace Tour (PM)
Overnight: River Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15 - Bratislava City Tour
This morning, enjoy the tranquil scenery as the boat sails along the scenic Danube. At noon, arrive in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, a mix of modern and Baroque architecture. This capital city is among the youngest in Europe, yet retains a rich history dating back more than 2000 years. Walk along the cobblestone lanes of the historic town center; view St. Martin's Cathedral, coronation site of the Kings of Hungary, the 13th-century Old Town Hall and the Franciscan church. Time to explore this colorful city on your own before returning to the ship for dinner as you sail for stunning Budapest.
Overnight: River Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 16 - Budapest City Tour
Your morning tour begins on the Pest side of the river, view the Parliament, City Park and Heroes Square. Cross to Buda to see the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and the graceful medieval architecture along the cobbled streets. Explore the city's wonderful shops and cafes this afternoon on your own. Tonight, enjoy a lavish Captain's Dinner on board.
Overnight: River Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

*Please note that due to local events, the order of the Granada sightseeing might be altered. Details will be provided locally by your Tour Manager.

Facilities on-board MS Monarch Empress

Captain's welcome dinner and farewell dinner
Unlimited wine and beer with dinners
Locally inspired recipes
Early riser breakfast in addition to buffet breakfast
Complimentary bottled water replenished daily in state rooms
Late night snack
Complimentary Wi-Fi access
Self-serve coffee and tea station
Lounge serving premium spirits
Daily entertainment including an on-board musician
Fitness centre
Non-smoking ship interior
Cruise director & tour managers throughout
Shore excursions conducted exclusively in English by licensed guides

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