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  • Escorted Tour
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Heart of Europe River Cruise

Budapest to Amsterdam

What better way to experience the heart of europe by five star river boat from budapest to amsterdam along the iconic rhine, main and danube rivers.

Visit quintessential European towns and villages; castles and medieval cities. Wander cobblestone streets, see magnificent Vienna and be captivated by the bridges of Budapest.

Drink beer, enjoy German sausages and pastries at a famous cafe in Vienna and sip a cold Riesling along the way – always returning to your comfortable ‘home’ aboard ‘Avalon Illumination.’ There is also the opportunity to extend your holiday to other European destinations.


Your travel itinerary

Friday 30 May

Auckland - Dubai

Depart in the evening on Emirates Airlines for a direct flight to Dubai.

Saturday 31 May

Dubai - Budapest

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Morning arrival, change planes and continue onto Budapest. Arrive midafternoon with time to rest before a Welcome Dinner.

Sunday 01 June

Budapest (Embarkation)

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After a leisurely breakfast we transfer to the ‘Avalon Illumination’ for embarkation with time to settle into your home for the next 15 nights. This afternoon there is free time to explore, before a ‘Meet the Crew’ welcome reception in the evening.

Monday 02 June

Budapest (Hungary)

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Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. See the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and the city’s eight bridges which connect ancient Buda on the right with Pest on the left. Free afternoon to shop, visit a café or walk one of the iconic bridges. Evening departure out of Budapest.

Tuesday 03 June

Bratislava (Slovakia)

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After breakfast enjoy a guided walk of Bratislava with its fascinating Old Town of cobbled streets and alleyways. Afternoon free to explore on your own.

Wednesday 04 June

Vienna (Austria)

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Arrive early morning in Vienna, known as the ‘City of Music’ and once the centre of the mighty Hapsburg Empire. Your guided tour includes many of the city highlights. An optional evening concert is available.

Thursday 05 June

5 Durnstein – Wachau Valley – Melk

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After breakfast, join a guided walking tour where we hear tales of England’s King Richard the Lionheart. Later, sail through the Wachau Valley past vineyards, castles and charming villages on the way to Melk for a guided tour of Benedictine Abbey (A UNESCO site).


Friday 06 June

Passau (Germany)

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Passau is uniquely located where the Inn, Liz and Danube rivers converge. Today choose from two optional excursions 

a) Salzburg – the city of Mozart

b) Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic – a city on the Vitava River with its 13th century castle. Alternatively, stay on the ship as you cruise into Passau. 

A guided walk of this charming town will take in a maze of narrow, cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses.

Saturday 07 June


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Located at the confluence of the Danube, Naab and Regen rivers, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities and was the only German city not bombed during WWII. The walking tour highlights the best of the city.

Sunday 08 June

Roth – excursion to Nuremberg (Bavaria)

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Today we have three options to choose from:

a) Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Bavarian town of Roth with its half-timbered houses, market square and 1535 hunting lodge – Schloss Ratibor.

b) A tour of Nuremberg’s medieval architecture, gilded fountain, Gothic Cathedral and Kaiserburg Castle.

c) A tour of the historic Nuremburg Rally grounds used by the Third Reich.

In the afternoon relax on board as you cruise the Main – Danube Canal.


Monday 09 June

Bamberg (Bavaria)

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Your guided walking tour of medieval Bamberg, a World Heritage Site takes in the historic centre, winding streets and 18th century mansions. Relax as you cruise along the Main River towards Wurzburg. 


Tuesday 10 June


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Join a walking tour of the quaint town of Volkach with its half-timbered houses and cobblestoned streets.


Wednesday 11 June

Wurzburg (Bavaria)

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Wurzburg, surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, is known as ‘The Pearl’ with its imposing fortress and 15th century bridge. Your morning sightseeing tour includes visiting the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Afternoon free to explore the city.

Thursday 12 June

Main River Village (Miltenburg)

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On the banks of the Main River there are small towns, many of them tucked away behind walls and towered gates. Relax on board this morning as you sail along the tranquil Main River. An afternoon guided walk of a picturesque small town will acquaint you with the town’s delightful features.

Friday 13 June

Rudesheim – Rhine Gorge

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On your included morning shore excursion in attractive Rudesheim, visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. Later cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge where ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs high above the river.

Saturday 14 June

Cologne (Germany)

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Morning arrival in Cologne, one of Germany’s largest cities which straddles both sides of the Rhine and is known for its twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a guided city walk, or a Jewish heritage walk. Be sure to sample Kölsch beer – locally brewed for more than 100 years.



Sunday 15 June

Amsterdam (Holland)

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After arriving in Amsterdam, a unique perspective of the city on an included Canal Cruise, floating along the elegant grachten (canal) lined with stately homes. Free time in the afternoon - you may like to join an optional cycling tour (weather permitting). 

Amsterdam, the Netherland’s sophisticated, 700-year-old capital, has elegant and classic architecture, cafés and restaurants, a lively market place, canals and waterways and more than 400km of cycle paths. 


Monday 16 June


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After breakfast, we bid farewell to our floating home and disembark ‘Avalon Illumination ’ Enjoy our city tour which includes  Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank’s House. Check into our hotel to refresh before our Farewell Dinner.

Tuesday 17 June

Amsterdam – Dubai

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A day to relax before an evening transfer to the airport for your flight to Dubai or continue with your European holiday.

Wednesday 18 June

Dubai – Auckland

Arrive Dubai early morning, change planes for a mid-morning flight to New Zealand.

Thursday 19 June


Arrive Auckland mid-morning



• Return Emirates economy air Auckland –    Dubai - Budapest // Amsterdam – Dubai -    Auckland

• Includes all gratuities on board ‘Avalon   Illumination’

• One night Budapest pre cruise

• One night Amsterdam post cruise

• 15 nights cruise on board ‘Avalon   Illumination’

• Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Dinners

• All meals, afternoon teas and night fare

• Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks at   dinner

• On-board enriching activities • wine tastings 

• talks by experts • local artisan emonstrations • performances by local entertainers 

• Included selected guided shore excursions

• Most entrance fees

• Meals as specified

 • English speaking guides throughout

• Pukekohe Travel escort subject to 20   persons travelling



Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle
 Category P         - 2 left       


 Category A                 



 Category D   (2x Only)     - 1 left       



EK Business Class Upgrade


 EK Premium Economy Class Upgrade  P.O.A
Early Booking Discount ( 01 December 2024 ) $100
Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount $150

*This is a cash / direct debit price. Credit cards will incur a 1.5% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment


• Travel Insurance – compulsory- Please ask for a quote
• Items of a personal nature
• Items not specified
• Airport and airline taxes (NZD275)

Booking Conditions

• A deposit of $1,250 per person will secure a   place on this tour

• Full payment is due no later than 25 February   2025



• From the date of booking until 25 February   2025 – loss of deposit

• After 25 February 2025 - no refund

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

General Information

• A current passport is required, valid six months beyond date of travel
• No visa is required for New Zealand passport holders
• All other passport holders please ask

Weather          Max ˚c      Min ˚c
Amsterdam      18           10
Vienna             23          13
Budapest        24           13


On board ‘Avalon Illumination’ by day – comfortable touring clothes and walking shoes; By night – smart casual



Health and Mobility

• A good standard of health and fitness is required as walking and standing are an important part of this itinerary.

• The ability to walk at least 500 metres unaided on uneven surfaces and negotiate flights of stairs is essential.

• It is excepted you will arrive on tour fit, healthy and ready to travel. 

Ship Information

‘Avalon Illumination ’

Custom Built For European Waterways

• Built 2014

• Length 135m

• Capacity 130

• Crew 47



Included for every Guest

• Spacious outside Deluxe Stateroom

• Large three-door closets and in-room safe

• ‘Comfortable Collection Beds’ with Egyptian    cotton linen

• Large desk & power outlets

• Individual climate control

• Well-stocked mini bar with complimentary   bottled water

• Plush bathrobes and slippers

• Flatscreen TV

• L’Occitane bath products

• Complimentary WIFI throughout

• Regional wines & beer with every on-board   lunch and dinner

• Sparkling wine with breakfast 

• High quality coffee / hot chocolate / tea   available all day

• Fitness room with top quality equipment

• Included sightseeing with certified local guides

• Professional Cruise Director and staff to assist


Terms and Conditons

For full terms and conditions please visit our website www.pukekohetravel.co.nz/termsandconditions or please ask our tour consultant for a copy


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change