AmaWaterways Celebrates Jewish Heritage on the Danube with 2012 Themed Cruises

Vienna's Judenplatz, the historic Jewish Quarter from the middle ages, where there is the Jewish Museum, and the Holocaust Memorial. AMAWaterways has introduced a 2012 series of Danube River cruises oriented around Jewish Heritage © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

From visiting the oldest synagogue in the world to touring Europe’s charming cities, AmaWaterways celebrates Jewish history with two of its most popular cruises: The Legendary Danube Jewish Heritage and Blue Danube Discovery Jewish Heritage. The themed cruises will journey across four countries on the Danube River on the AmaDolce, AmaLegro and AmaWaterways’ newest ship, the AmaCerto.

“This itinerary provides a glimpse into the rich history of the Jewish community in Europe,” said Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways’ executive vice president and co-owner. “AmaWaterways is thrilled to offer our guests this unique opportunity to explore Jewish ancestry while enjoying a relaxing and luxurious experience onboard our ships.”

AmaWaterways’ Jewish Heritage itineraries highlight the beautiful sights and sounds of the Danube River with visits to Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and extensions in Prague and Budapest. The itineraries include shore excursions to well-known World War II sites, historic Jewish synagogues and sightseeing tours in some of Europe’s most beautiful cities. AmaWaterways’ 2012 Jewish Heritage cruise itineraries are as follows:

The Legendary Danube Jewish Heritage– The 11-night itinerary starts with two nights in Prague, Czech Republic with a tour of Josefov, the former Jewish ghetto which is now the second largest Jewish museum in the world. Passengers will next enjoy a stop in Karlovy Vary, famous for its Bohemian Spas. Passengers travel to Nuremberg, Germany to embark on the Danube River onboard AmaWaterways’ newest ship: AmaCerto. In Nuremberg, passengers visit Zeppelin Field and view Hitler’s Party Rally grounds and Justice Palace where the war crimes tribunal sat in 1946. Passengers then cross the Continental Divide on their way to Regensburg to explore Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. The itinerary includes excursions to the oldest Jewish Ghetto in Germany; the Regensburg Synagogue; Jewish Cemetery “Judenau” and Oscar Shindler’s House.

Passengers also visit Austria’s beautiful cities such as Passau, Linz, Melk and Vienna. The itinerary includes excursions to Salzburg, the setting for “The Sound of Music,” and a Benedictine Abbey tour in Melk. In Vienna, travelers enjoy excursions to the Jewish Museum, Judenplatz; Sigmund Freud’s House; Jewish Cemetery and the Jewish Quarter in Vienna’s 2nd District. Also available is a Vienna city tour and an optional Mozart and Strauss concert.

Ending in Budapest, Hungary, passengers explore old Buda and modern Pest which includes sightseeing stops at the Sankt Stephen Park where travelers visit the statues of Raoul Wellenberg and Gabor Sztehlo, both credited with saving thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II. Other excursions include visits to the Jewish District, 1956 Hungarian Revolution Tour, and a visit to the Parliament building still bearing bullet holes from the Soviet intervention. Travelers will also visit the “House of Terror,” a feared location of the Hungarian secret police. North American travelers can book this special itinerary now with a U.S. departure date of July 22, 2012.

Blue Danube Discovery Jewish Heritage – The 13-night itinerary starts with two nights in the beautiful and historical city of Budapest. Passengers explore Sankt Stephan Park and the Jewish District for a walking tour featuring stops at the Dohany St. Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Tree of Life. Passengers also visit the distinctive Fisherman’s Bastion, the Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica and the famous Heroes’ Square before embarking onboard the AmaDolce or AmaLegro.

Cruising along the Danube River, passengers stop in Bratislava, Slovakia to visit the tomb of Chatam Sofer, Bratislava’s most famous Rabbi. Passengers can take a walking tour of Bratislava to visit landmarks such as the Old Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and the Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. Other shore excursions include the Bratislava Communist Tour to discover bizarre architecture of the “Slovensky Rozhlas” (Slovak Radio;) a visit to Liberty Square; visit to the memorial and cemetery for fallen soldiers of the Russian Army that helped liberate the city during World War II.

Traveling form Slovakia to Austria, passengers stop in Vienna, the country’s capital. Excursions include visits to the Jewish Museum, Judenplatz, Sigmund Freud’s House, the Jewish Cemetery and Jewish Quarter in Vienna’s second district. Additional stops in the itinerary include Melk, Linz and Salzburg, the setting for the “Sound of Music;” Regensburg, home to Oscar Schindler’s House; Nuremberg, where passengers visit Zeppelin Field to view Hitler’s Party Rally grounds and Justice Palace where the war crimes tribunal sat in 1946. The itinerary ends with two nights in Prague, Czech Republic with a tour of Josefov, the former Jewish ghetto. North American travelers can book this special itinerary now with U.S. departure dates of August 2, October 14 and October 25, 2012.

AmaWaterways’ AmaCerto, AmaDolce and AmaLegro ships carry a maximum of 148-164 passengers that incorporates the most advanced river cruise ship design including Twin or French Balconies in the majority of its spacious staterooms and suites, which range up to 350 sq. feet. Passengers will enjoy gourmet dining with free-flowing local wine at the multiple fine dining venues available onboard. The ships also feature a sun deck; fitness center and spa; complimentary Internet and Infotainment system in all staterooms plus ship wide Wi-Fi. For passengers wanting to explore the serene paths along the rivers, the ships offer a fleet of bicycles onboard (capacity controlled).

Other themed cruises available: Romantic Danube Wine Themed, The Legendary Danube Wine Themed, The Enchanting Rhine Wine Themed, Provence and Spain Wine Themed, Christmas Time Cruise and Christmas on the Rhine.

For more information on AmaWaterways, visit www.amawaterways.com. To book, contact a local travel agent or visit www.amawaterways.com, like on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

See also: Jewish Heritage Preserved in Vienna, Austria and slideshow

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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