Duration: 7 Days
This Christmastime river cruise begins in Austria’s magical capital of Vienna, home to the sounds of Mozart, Strauss, and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. See the famous sights with a Local Guide and enjoy at our through the Christmas markets to get a taste of all the best flavours Austria offers during this time of year. Cruise through the wintery landscape of the picturesque Wachau Valley to Melk. Here, you’ll tour the magnificent 11th century Benedictine Abbey—one of Europe’s largest monasteries—where monks still stroll amidst the sacred walls. Arrive in Passau, Germany, and visit the city’s charming Christmas market set against the breath-taking backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. In Regensburg, after a guided tour of the city, savour traditional sausages at Historiche Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Learn about Christmas traditions as you cruise to Nuremberg, the thousand-year-old city with its medieval fortifications and gothic churches. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations, and the Christmas market has dozens of stalls offering traditional wares, such as Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), Glühwein (mulled wine), and unique decorations and ornaments. A unique holiday river cruise holiday which offers the chance to savour the views, smells, and tastes of centuries-old Christmas markets and explore historical medieval sites...a fantastic way to celebrate the holiday season!
Please note: Itinerary is based on 2022 and is subject to change. Full details will be confirmed in 2022.
Welcome to Austria. Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Vienna must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm. Indulge in traditional holiday fare and hot libations to warm your heart and soul before boarding. (D)
Royal Collections, and Culinary Confections
DISCOVERY - Join a Guided Tour of Vienna ending at magical Christmas Advent Markets! Along the way, discover the history of Austrian foods and traditions as you sample local specialties.
You may join a Guided Optional Tour of Schonbrunn Palace-summer home of the Habsburg dynasty for 300 years. Spend free time on your own to enjoy the Christkindlesmarkt, or relax by the fire's glow in a Viennese cafe this evening. Alternatively, this evening, you may choose to attend an Optional Excursion to a Royal Waltz Concert for an unforgettable evening of music in an elegant hall.
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK (B,L,D)
Frescoes above the Wachau Valley
CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour of Melk's magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings.
DISCOVERY - Enjoy an Austrian Cookie Tasting onboard while sailing to Grein.
CLASSIC - Take a Guided Walk of Grein, including its historic theater, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances.
Enjoy live entertainment on board.
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU (B,L,D)
Saint Stephens, Salzburg, and the Story of Silent Night
CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful "City of Three Rivers."
You may like to join a Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg, Austria. See the setting of The Sound of Music, and learn the story behind the beloved Christmas hymn, Silent Night.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG (B,L,D)
Christmas Magic in Bavaria
CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria-entrance to the Castra Regina fortress built in 179 AD. Take time to browse Regensburg's sparkling Christmas markets. Enjoy hot-mulled wine, candied almonds, gingerbread, or bratwurst.
Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NUREMBERG (B,L,D)
Legends and History Lessons
DISCOVERY - Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this morning.
CLASSIC - Choose a Guided Tour of Nuremberg's medieval architecture, gilded fountain, Gothic cathedral, and Kaiserburg Castle, OR:
CLASSIC - Join a Guided Tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally Grounds-used by the Third Reich.
Spend free time on your own to browse the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample favorite Bavarian fare-from dozens of bratwurst varieties, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other culinary delights of the Christkindlmarkt.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG (B,L,D)
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Notes: Christmas markets generally operate from late Nov until the third week of Dec, depending on the location.