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Along the Romantic Danube: A Photo Safari on Viking River Cruises

Travel on Viking River Cruises with Washington Photo Safari down the Danube River

Quick Details

Along the Romantic Danube:
A Photo Safari on Viking River Cruises
October 10-17, 2020

 Over the past 3 years Washington Photo Safari has taken you to the best photo ops in and around the nation’s capital, on river cruises from Paris to Normandy and Amsterdam to Basel, on a sea cruise from Baltimore to the Bahamas, and to street photography in Cuba.

Now our newest offering for you is a professionally guided 8-day photo journey in October  of 2020 along the  Danube River into some of the most beautiful cities of Europe, such as Budapest, Vienna, Krems, Passau, Regensburg and Nuremburg for as little as $365 /day including all cruise and round-trip international airfare costs!

We will photograph  imperial architecture, gracious Old World culture, riverside towns, baroque cathedrals and cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses and ending in Nuremburg, the site of the famous postwar Nuremburg Trials!

 And we are doing it through our travel agency, Dream Vacations, on Viking River Cruises, rated a World’s Best River Cruise Line—a distinction they have received every year since the award’s inception in 2010. Here is the kicker: Viking will arrange for you a round-trip airfare from East Coast cities starting from only $599 to Budapest and back from Nuremburg, about half the regular fare, if you book the cruise by August 31, 2019.

This 8 day river cruise/photo safari on Viking River Cruises along the “Blue Danube” in the fall will first take us to cities of Buda and Pest, linked by the famous Chain Bridge pictured above, to Gottweig Abbey, one of Austria’s most revered monastic centers. We get to celebrate Vienna’s musical heritage at a concert featuring Mozart and Strauss, and we get to photograph by day and by night at each of the 7 stops along the way in Hungary, Austria and Germany.

We end up in historic Nuremburg, scene of the famous postwar Nuremburg Trials, where we can take an optional World War II heritage tour. All of this for a cruise price as low as $365/day, including round-trip international  airfare!

The photographic techniques taught on this safari will include:

–        Architectural photography

–        Travel photography

–        Street photography

–        Nighttime photography

–        Food and wine photography

–        Interior Museum and Church photography

–        Outdoor portraiture

–        Interior Ship Photography

 The safari will be led by E. David Luria, professional architectural photographer, founder and director of the Washington Photo Safari, which has trained over 37,000 amateur photographers in camera technique and composition since 1999. Washington Photo Safari has twice been given Trip Advisor’s Hall of Fame Award due to dozens of 5-star customer reviews and in 2019 was voted Runner Up in the Best Photography Services in DC Category by the readers of DC’s City Paper.

Trained in Paris at the Parsons School of Design by a protege of Henri Cartier Bresson, Mr. Luria has seen his photographs appear in over 100 publications and 20 magazine covers. Born in Hamburg , Germany, he is a US Army veteran who served during the Cold War  in Germany, is  fluent in French, German and Spanish and has traveled widely in Europe ever since the age of 17, when he spent 6 weeks with a wine merchant’s family in eastern France!

Suggested photo equipment for this safari: 

  • A DSLR or mirrorless camera body, either cropped sensor or full-frame
  • Lenses for cropped sensor camera ranging from 10mm to 300 mm
  • Lenses for full frame cameras ranging from 16mm to 400mm
  • Sturdy tripod, cable release, and flashlight for nighttime work
  • A Hoodman Loupe to see images in bright sun
  • A hip bag or sling bag, not a backpack, to carry equipment
  •  Highly recommended for cropped sensor cameras;  Tamron 18-400mm lens

GREAT SAVINGS OPPORTUNITY IF YOU BOOK RIGHT AWAY!

And here is the kicker: if you register for this Safari before August 31, you are guaranteed a round-trip airfare of only $599 from East Coast US cities to Budapest ($699 from Central US states, $799 from West Coast states). If you are a past guest on Viking River cruises you also are eligible for past guest savings of $200 per person, $400 per couple if you have sailed in the past year or a $100 per person discount if the last sailing was over a year ago. These promotional discounts are good IF YOU BOOK AND PAY IN FULL BY AUGUST 31, 2019 . (Cabin prices are listed below).

If you do not wish to pay the full amount this far in advance, you can reserve your spot with a $500 pp deposit to Dream Vacations, and a 50% ($750/photographer) tuition deposit to Washington Photo Safari  by August 31, 2019, with full payment of the cruise fees  by September 15, 2019 .

GETTING THERE FOR $599 ROUND TRIP IF BOOKED BY August 31, 2019

The $599 round-trip air rate to Budapest and back from Nuremberg is from selected East Coast U.S. airports. Central states airfare is $699, West Coast cities $799.

The $599/$699/$799  rate is also for arriving the day of the departure.  If someone wants to come earlier and not do pre-hotels through the cruise line, Viking will charge an air deviation fee of $100 per person.  This will also mean that the client is responsible for getting transfers on their own.

If someone has to cancel before 121 days prior to the sailing, the cancellation fee is only $100 per person.  If you cancel closer than 121 prior to the sailing, there could be a penalty for the air if it is already ticketed as well as the standard cancellation fee schedule. 

If you do the Viking air to arrive on the ship departure date, but choose to extend your vacation and fly home later than the cruise end date, there will be a deviation fee of $100*.  You would get the transfers to the ship at the beginning of the cruise but not to the hotel or airport at the end.  If you want to arrive early and do hotel on your own but fly home on the scheduled cruise end date, there would be the deviation fee.  They would not get transfers to the ship but would get transfers to the airport at the end.  *Fee may vary.

With the $200/pp previous guest savings made available by Viking on this cruise, a returning Viking guest can get the round-trip airfare and the entire 8-day cruise for as little as $347/day. A new Viking guest pays just a little more: $365/day!

You can book this air travel and the cruise through our travel agent, Renee Gerber at Dream Vacations, by going here.

Cancellations

Once there is money on the booking there will be a cancellation penalty of $100 per person as long as the booking is canceled no later than 121 days prior to departure.  Even if the booking is paid in full, the penalty is $100 per person as long as the cancellation request is received no later than 121 days prior to departure.  All cancellations must be sent to Renee Gerber via email as Viking needs this in writing.

The penalty increases as you get closer to the departure date.  Terms and conditions attached with the cancellation schedule. Air can be deleted from a booking at any time without a penalty as long as it hasn’t been ticketed.

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TUITION FEES

This Safari will be limited to just 12 photographers. This includes Photographers paying full tuition ($188/day, or $1500) and their accompanying Photographer Companions paying half-tuition ($750). Non-photographer companions are welcome for a minor service fee of $75.

If you are traveling without a photographer companion or non-photographer companion, we will make every effort to pair you up with  another photographer participant of the same gender to share cabin costs.

Our group rates on this Cruise negotiated for us by Renee Gerber of Dream Vacations will start at $2574 per person double occupancy for the standard cabin. All cabins have a river view.

Viking River Cruises also provides an opportunity for pre and post packages to Budapest and Prague.  Current pricing for the Pre and Post packages are as follows:

  • Budapest, 2 nights from $399 per person
  • Prague. 3 nights  from $699 person double occupancy

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Here is the day by day itinerary of this 8 day photo safari  with Viking River Cruises. At each site along the way we will stop to take pictures, with Mr. Luria helping you get the best images in terms of composition, lens settings, shutter speeds and white balance.

Day 1:

Welcome to Budapest, capital of Hungary. Transfer to your ship from the airport.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or do a bit of exploring and to meet your fellow photo safarians and get an orientation on the whole excursion from WPS director E. David Luria. After dinner on board tonight, enjoy an evening cruise on your ship to admire and photograph Budapest’s beautiful scenery from the vantage point of the Danube River.

Day 2:

Our morning begins with a panoramic tour of the Pest side of the city. Journey along Andrássy Avenue and see the 19th- and 20th-century mansions, National Opera House, Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Stop in Heroes’ Square to learn more about Hungarian history, then cross the Danube to Buda’s Castle District. Visit Matthias Church and enjoy brilliant views of the Danube and the beautiful Hungarian Parliament building from Fishermen’s Bastion. Rejoin your ship in Visegrád for lunch as we cruise along the scenic Danube River. Enjoy a mid-afternoon Viennese coffee workshop, complete with apple strudel. (B, L, D)

Day 3:

Today we tour the Austrian capital of Vienna. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the city’s baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to our ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or, you may choose to join us for an optional excursion. Perhaps visit Schönbrunn Palace, erected in 1778 and admired as the “Versailles of Vienna,” or go behind the scenes at the Spanish Riding School to see its famed Lipizzaner stallions. This evening, you might enjoy an optional classical concert or celebrate the bottling of this year’s wine vintage among the locals at a high-spirited optional Heurigen dinner. For the photographers, we will organize a special Vienna By Night Photo Safari (B, L, D)

Day 4:

After breakfast, disembark in Krems and set off for Göttweig, a working Benedictine abbey that owns many of the vineyards along the Danube. See the splendid ceiling fresco in its imperial stairwell, one of the largest in the world. Visit the abbey church, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. Alternately, you may instead choose to explore your environs by bicycle, enjoying a ride along a riverside bike path considered one of Europe’s most scenic. Afterward, rejoin your ship and cruise leisurely through the captivating Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste some local Austrian specialties during lunch on board, taking in views of attractive towns and castle ruins along the way. (B, L, D)

Day 5:

Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. See the New Bishop’s Residence and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ, considered Europe’s largest church organ.† Enjoy lunch on board your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own before departing. Alternately, you may instead journey into the countryside on an optional excursion to a local farm where you will have the opportunity to join a festive Bavarian party, experiencing traditional German music and food and tasting locally brewed beer. Or, you may choose a full-day optional excursion to explore glorious Salzburg; visit the Italianate Old Town, see settings from the film The Sound of Music and enjoy lunch at Austria’s oldest restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 6:

After breakfast, meet your local guide for a walking tour through the scenic town of Regensburg, considered one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities. See one of the largest groupings of 13th- and 14th-century church spires, towers and patrician houses north of the Alps. You also encounter the 12th-century Old Stone Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral and a number of idyllic courtyards. Take time to stroll the streets, shop or visit Germany’s oldest restaurant, the Alte Würstküche. Lunch is served on board your ship.

This afternoon, enjoy scenic cruising along the Danube River, or take an optional excursion to visit Weltenburg Abbey and experience a short cruise through a stunning mountain pass, one of the most breathtakingly scenic bends in the Danube Narrows. Travel by road to Kelheim and board a ferryboat to explore the 400-foot chalk cliffs and dramatic scenery of the Danube Narrows. Visit Weltenburg Abbey*, renowned for the dark ale brewed here by monks since 1050, then rejoin your ship in Kelheim in time for dinner. Alternately, you may choose a full-day optional excursion to see the highlights of the grand city of Munich. (B, L, D)

Day 7:

When you awake this morning, your ship will be on the Main–Danube Canal, an engineering marvel that stretches 106 miles from Kelheim on the Danube to Bamberg on the Main River. It began as Charlemagne’s dream in 793 and was completed in 1992 with 16 locks that raise the water level 1,332 feet. Today, it enables river travel from the North Sea to the Black Sea.

Disembark in Roth to take a shuttle directly to Nuremberg and begin exploring; or, stay on board to enjoy cruising this legendary canal and arrive in Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second largest city, around lunchtime. After lunch, take a city tour that features a drive to Zeppelin Field, the former Nazi parade grounds, and Congress Hall. You will also drive by the Palace of Justice, the venerable vestige of the Nuremberg Trials. Then visit medieval Nuremberg Castle. Your tour comes to a close with a walk from the imperial palace grounds, past the Albrecht Dürer House and on to the Main Market Square with its elaborate Gothic fountain. Afterward you have some time on your own to explore.

Alternately, you can join an optional World War II tour. Visit Zeppelin Field on foot, see Congress Hall and spend time at the illuminating Documentation Center Museum. After, visit Courtroom 600 at the Palace of Justice (unless court is in session) before heading to Nuremberg’s medieval Old Town, enclosed within ancient city walls. (B, L, D)

Day 8:

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic, including a tour of Old Town and Prague Castle. (B)

Itinerary and shore excursions are subject to change and may vary by departure. Average temperatures in our destination cities are 50-52 degrees Farenheit at this time of year

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Please make your cabin reservations directly with Renee Gerber at Dream Vacations by placing a deposit on your cabin of $500/person of which $400 is fully refundable during the next six months. The full cabin fare must be paid by August 31, 2019 to take advantage of the $200/pp past guest  discount. Otherwise, if you do not wish to take advantage of those savings, full payment does not have to be paid until 9/15/19.

To make your reservations, you must contact Renee Gerber directly at [email protected] 

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TUITION PAYMENTS TO WASHINGTON PHOTO SAFARI

 For those of you coming as Photographers there is a photography tuition fee of just $188 per day, or a total of $1,500, payable directly to Washington Photo Safari.

Your Companion Photographer is only charged $750. A non photographer companion will pay only a $75 service fee to Washington Photo Safari. A 50% deposit on these fees to Washington Photo Safari is required by August 31, 2019, with the balance due on May 31, 2020.

Our previous excursion in 2018 from Paris to Normandy on Viking river cruises was a big success. We found many opportunities to photograph during the well-planned guided tours set up by Viking and during private excursions that we took on our own which we will also do during this Cruise.

This is a great opportunity for people who love not only photography but also architecture, history, music, food and wine/ we hope that you can join us by meeting the August 31st deadline to take advantage of that extraordinarily bargain round trip airfare of $599.

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CRUISE PRICING

Here are the discounted group fares we have obtained through our travel agency, Dream Vacations:

Romantic Danube
10/10/20-10/17/29
Viking Gullveig

 Category F (Standard)- $2574.00 per person double occupancy

Category E (Standard)- $2674.00 per person double occupancy

Category D (French Balcony) – $3374.00 per person double occupancy

Category C (French Balcony) – $3574.00 per person double occupancy

Category B (Veranda) – $3774.00 per person double occupancy

Category A (Veranda) – $3974.00 per person double occupancy

Here is what is included in your cruise fee:

  • 8-day cruise making 7 stops
  • All onboard meals including regional specialties
  • One complimentary shore excursion in every port of call
  • Unlimited free Wi-Fi
  • Visits to 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Culture Curriculum: destination performances and concerts
  • Lectures on the European Union
  • Visits to Viennese  coffeehouses, lessons on making appel strudel
  • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
  • All port taxes & fees
  • Airport transfers on embarkation/disembarkation day with Viking Air purchase
  • River-view stateroom
  • Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows
  • 40″ flat-screen LCD TV with complimentary Movies On Demand
  • 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports
  • Refrigerator; security safe; hair dryer
  • Spacious glass-enclosed shower
  • Heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror
  • Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers
  • Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping

CRUISE PRICING

The per person cost for the 8-day Viking cruise including the cruise, cabin berth, all meals, and excursion tours booking by August 31, 2019, start at $2,574 per person double occupancy, or $321.75 per day, plus RT airfares of $599. (The per person berth fees go as high as $3,974 per person double occupancy, or $496.75 per day, depending upon the cabin selected.)  A 2-person cabin can be reserved with a $500 per person deposit (or $1,000 for a single cabin). Single person cabin pricing will be higher than the double occupancy rate stated.  Check with Renee Gerber for the exact pricing. If a reservation is canceled before June 1, 2020 there is a $100 per person fee.  If canceled after June 1, 2020, the cancellation fee schedule will apply. Optional (but recommended) trip cancellation insurance ranges from $299 to $399/person.  (Based on the cruise fare and air fee.  If pre or post extensions or AirPlus is added, the insurance may be higher.) Final payment of cruise  fees is due Sept. 15, 2019 

AirPlus can be added for $150 per person.  AirPlus allows passengers to work with Renee and Viking to select the flights you would like as long as they are within the allowable limits for Viking Cruises.  You can also choose which carrier you would like to fly.

If cabins are booked in August of 2019 there is as past passenger promotion.  However, using these promotions requires Final Payment by 8/31/19.

  • $250 pp Cruies Credit for Past Viking Guests
  • Final payment by 8/31/19

Pre-cruise and post-cruise options are also available through Dream Vacations.

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HOW TO BOOK YOUR CRUISE:

STEP 1: RESERVE YOUR AIRFARE AND CRUISE HERE.

Our travel agent, Renee Gerber, with Dream Vacations-Gerber & Associates will process all payments via credit card with Viking Cruises. She can be reached at [email protected]

All passengers must have a valid Passport.  The passport must be valid until 6 months after the return date of the cruise.  Renee Gerber will need a copy of your valid passport emailed to her prior to booking your cabin.

Travel protection insurance is highly recommended.  This will be quoted depending on the cabin you choose to book.  If you have a pre-existing condition that you need covered by insurance, the premium for the insurance must be paid at the time of deposit for the cruise. Once a deposit is paid and space is confirmed, all changes are subject to a $30. charge per change through Viking Cruises.

CANCELLATION POLICY

Cancellation received                                                      Charges will apply
120+ days or more prior to time of departure:       $100.00 per person
119-90 days prior to time of departure:                    20% of Full Fare
89-70 days prior to time of departure:                     35% of Full Fare
69-50 days prior to time of departure:                     50% of Full Fare
49-30 days prior to time of departure:                     75% of Full Fare
29-0 days prior to time of departure:                      100% of Full Fare 

STEP 2: MAIL A 50% DEPOSIT ON YOUR TUITION TO WPS

Fees are:

  •   $1,500 for a photographer
  •   $750 for a photographer-companion
  •   $75 for a non-photographer companion

These can be paid by personal check to Washington Photo Safari, mailed to Washington Photo Safari, 4545 Connecticut Ave NW #418, Washington DC

Questions?  Call me at 202-669-8468, or write to [email protected] 

Photo Credit: Miklos Mayer, Director of Hungary Photo Tours