Grand Voyage on the Danube: Featuring Doris Kearns Goodwin and Sylvia Poggioli

This world-class European river voyage along the Danube, offers special access and private events with Pulitzer-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and 30-year NPR European correspondent Sylvia Poggioli. Begin with 5-star accommodations in Berlin and enjoy seven nights aboard the all-suite Crystal Ravel, disembarking in Budapest. Excursions options personalize your experience as you sail one of Europe’s loveliest and most famous rivers.

Apr 7 - Apr 17, 2022  (11 Days)

from $9,990 per person, double occupancy

For more Information

(415) 597-6720

Thursday, April 7
Depart U.S.

Depart the U.S. on your flight to Berlin, Germany.

Friday, April 8
Arrive Berlin, Germany

Upon arrival in Berlin on Friday, check in to our hotel then gather for a welcome reception and dinner.  
Adlon Kempinski (R,D)

Saturday, April 9

Take advantage of all that this dynamic capital city has to offer, whether visiting private contemporary art galleries, tasting delicacies from leading restaurants, or venturing to Potsdam, a UNESCO World Heritage region, with views of the Sanssouci and Cecilienhof Palaces. Alternatively, take a tour of the Reichstag and its iconic dome, join an architectural city tour featuring the Jewish Museum or instead learn about the history of East Berlin. 
Adlon Kempinski (B,L)

Sunday, April 10
Vilshofen / Embark the Crystal Mahler

Board a privately chartered flight from Berlin to Munich Airport, then transfer to Vilshofen to embark Crystal Ravel. Stop en route for lunch in scenic riverside Regensburg.   
Crystal Ravel (B,L,D)

Monday, April 11
Passau / Salzburg, Austria

Morning Passau options include delving into the city’s Roman history, viewing artifacts dating back to 750 A.D. and tasting traditional Roman fare; or a walking tour of the Old Town and a recital by Europe’s largest organ, boasting nearly 18,000 pipes. Or choose a full-day excursion to Salzburg to visit its charming Old Town, most famous for being the birthplace of Mozart. 
Crystal Ravel (B,L,D)

Tuesday, April 12
Linz / Český Krumlov, Czechia

Tour the enchanting city of Linz, often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors. Options today include a Linzer torte baking workshop or a somber visit to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Others may choose a full-day excursion to the picturesque Czech town of Český Krumlov.
Crystal Ravel (B,L,D)

Wednesday, April 13
Grein / Melk / Wachau Valley

The lecture program continues during a morning of cruising. Disembark this afternoon in the World Heritage site of Wachau Valley to visit Artstetten Castle (former residence of the Hapsburgs), wander through Melk Abbey and Old Town, or choose a more active option to explore the valley.
Crystal Ravel (B,L,D)

Thursday, April 14
Vienna, Austria

Excursion options include the intricate Belvedere Palace, the Imperial Schönbrunn Palace of the Hapsburg rulers, or a Jewish heritage tour of the city. Others may choose an e-bike adventure along the waterways of Old Danube Island. Overnight in port for further explorations of Vienna throughout the day on Friday, ending with a private concert by members of the Vienna Philharmonic.
Crystal Ravel (B,L,D)

Friday, April 15
Bratislava, Slovakia

Dock midday in Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava. Excursion options include a walking tour of Old Town, with the choice of a culinary emphasis, stopping to savor local specialties and wines, or an architectural emphasis, with several interior viewings plus a local beer tasting.
Crystal Ravel (B,L,D)

Saturday, April 16
Budapest, Hungary

Admire Budapest’s magnificent neo-Gothic Hungarian Parliament Building, or go on a Jewish heritage tour of the city ending at Europe’s largest synagogue. Head to a stable outside the city to watch a display of horsemanship and learn about the region as an equestrian center, or indulge in a culinary tour to sample fisherman’s soup, Hungarian goulash, and savory lángos, a traditional street food. Gather again this evening for a musical performance at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, followed by a farewell reception and dinner.
Crystal Ravel (B,L,D)

Sunday, April 17
Budapest / U.S.

Disembark the Crystal Ravel for flights home. (B)


Program rates, per person based on double occupancy
Category A, Petite Suite (aft), Deck 2, 188 square feet; Panoramic Balcony-Window              $9,990
Category B, Petite Suite (aft), Deck 3, 188 square feet; Panoramic Balcony-Window              $11,490
Category C, Deluxe Suite (forward), Deck 2, 237 square feet; Panoramic Balcony-Window   $12,990
Category D, Deluxe Suite, Deck 2, 253 square feet; Panoramic Balcony-Window                    $13,490
Category E, Deluxe Suite, Deck 3, 253 square feet; Panoramic Balcony-Window                    $15,990
Category F, Crystal Penthouse, Deck 3, 506 square feet; one bedroom with separate living/dining area; suite-wide Panoramic Balcony-Window $21,490

Single Occupancy
Category A, Petite Suite (aft), Deck 2     $14,990
Category B, Petite Suite (aft), Deck 3     $17,290
Category D, Deluxe Suite, Deck 2          $20,290

Fees and services are based on exchange rates as of August 2021, and are subject to change.

This program is limited to 93 participants, including travelers from the Commonwealth Club, Harvard Alumni Travels, Stanford Travel/Study, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, and Yale Alumni Academy

Crystal Ravel
The beautiful Crystal Ravel is one of the world’s best-rated river vessels, offering exceptional service from professionals chosen for their expertise and traveler care. Extraordinary personal attention is among the ship’s defining characteristics, as are plush onboard amenities, European butler service, expansive social spaces crowned with skylights and glass roofs, and an ambiance of boutique elegance. The Crystal Ravel features all-suite, all-balcony staterooms with king-sized beds and walk-in closets, a dual vanity in the bathrooms in most categories, and panoramic windows. Amenities include robes and slippers; personal iPads; wall-mounted 42-inch, flat-screen HD TVs; and complimentary Wi-Fi. The Crystal Ravel’s farm-to-table menus are regionally inspired and sourced with the freshest ingredients from local suppliers. Multiple open-seated eateries include three restaurants and a bistro café; service includes unlimited pours of fine wines, champagnes, premium spirits, and beers. The Crystal Ravel has an indoor swimming pool, a full-service spa, and a fitness center equipped with cardio equipment and free weights—with dedicated professionals for service. Daily fitness and yoga classes are also provided.

All accommodations and excursions as specified in the itinerary including two nights deluxe hotel accommodations and seven nights aboard the 5-star Crystal Ravel; All meals and receptions except one dinner in Berlin; On-tour charter flight from Berlin/Munich; comprehensive program of lectures, and presentations; Transfers for all participants on group arrival and departure dates; Baggage handling; Gratuities to porters, waitstaff, guides, and drivers; Gratuities to shipboard personnel; Port charges; Entrance fees; Unlimited wine, beer, and soft drinks aboard the ship; Bottled water on motorcoaches; professional tour manager throughout.

Not included
U.S. domestic and international airfare; Passport/visa expenses; Medical expenses and immunizations; Private transfers or airport transfers outside of group arrival and departure days; Travel insurance; Optional excursions or deviations from the scheduled tour; Airline baggage charges; Meals not specified in the itinerary; dishes and beverages not part of the included meals; liquor or soft drinks except as noted; Laundry or dry cleaning; Telephone, fax, internet and email charges; Room service; Other items of a personal nature

What to Expect

This is a moderately active program. Participants should be physically fit, and in reasonably good health, and able to keep up with the group without assistance from tour staff. Shore excursions from the Crystal Ravel will be active, ranging from a half-day to all day. On most days, travelers will be offered a choice of excursions, allowing travelers to match their desired activity level. Travel on land will be by modern air-conditioned motorcoach, with most drives generally lasting under an hour at a time (depending on your choice of excursions). Excursions can involve standing for extended periods and up to two miles of walking, often over uneven terrain or cobblestone streets. Elevators may not be available at some locations, and you may encounter stairs without handrails. Travelers should feel comfortable going up and down stairs unassisted. The Crystal Mahler has an elevator that connects passenger decks 2 and 3; one flight of stairs must be taken to reach the open-air Vista Deck (deck 4), as well as the Harmony Deck (deck 1).

An extraordinary lecture team highlights the history, politics, culture, and U.S. foreign relations with Europe.
Trip Educators
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker, and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times #1 best-selling author. Her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, was published in September 2018 to critical acclaim and became an instant New York Times bestseller. A culmination of Goodwin’s five-decade career studying the American presidents, the book provides a road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field, and for all of us in our everyday lives. Goodwin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and is well known for her appearances and commentary on television—in programming ranging from Ken Burns documentaries and Meet The Press to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Simpsons.
Sylvia Poggioli
Sylvia Poggioli is the award-winning Senior European Correspondent for the International Desk of National Public Radio. She covers political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe, and the Balkans. Poggioli’s in-depth, on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed major European issues and events from the past three decades, including the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, race and politics in Europe, and how immigration has transformed European societies. Throughout her career, Poggioli has been recognized for her work with honors including election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences “for her distinctive, cultivated and authoritative reports on ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Bosnia.”
Peter W. Galbraith
Peter W. Galbraith has held senior positions in the US Government and the United Nations. He served as the first US Ambassador to Croatia where he negotiated the 1995 Erdut Agreement that ended the Croatia War. In 2000 and 2001, he served as a senior official in the UN mission in East Timor and concurrently as a cabinet minister in East Timor’s first government with responsibility for negotiations on issues resulting from East Timor’s independence. Currently, he is the Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and his
most recent work focuses on the war in Syria.

Complete terms and conditions, including a Statement of Responsibility, will be made available to you at the time of registration, or in advance upon request. A signed release is required from each applicant prior to participation on the tour.

Reservations & Payments
An initial deposit of $1,000 per person is required to reserve a space on this tour. Final payment is due by December 8, 2021. For those who register after December 8, 2021, full payment is due on registration.

Upon payment of the $1,000 per person deposit all reservations are subject to the cancellation provisions set forth below. Cancellation fees are based on the date written notice is received by the Commonwealth Club. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Deposits are !00% refundable if written notice of cancellation is received before December 8, 2021. 
  • Cancellations after December 8, 2021: All payments are 100% non-refundable, regardless of the booking date.

No refunds will be made for any part of this program on which you choose not to participate. Neither Criterion Travel nor The Commonwealth Club of California accept liability for any airline cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in conjunction with this tour.

We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a national membership. To learn about membership types and purchase a membership, call 415-597-6720 or visit

All participants should be in good health and capable of keeping up with an active group of travelers. By forwarding the deposit for passage, the passenger certifies that he/she does not have any physical or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other passengers. SARS-COV-2 (COVID 19) vaccinations are a requirement.

We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website.

The itinerary presented for this tour is subject to modification and change by the Commonwealth Club and Criterion Travel. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate the program as planned; however, should unforeseen world events and conditions require the itinerary to be altered, the Commonwealth Club and the tour operator reserve the right to do so for the safety and best interest of the group. Any extra expenses incurred in this situation are the responsibility of the participant.

Please call (415) 597-6720 or email

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