Duration: 8 Days
What entices you most about a river cruise through Central Europe? Does visiting historical sites pique your interest? How about architecture preserved from the 14th century or cities virtually untouched since Roman times? Maybe it’s walking down narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses or enjoying Germany’s famous beers? From Nuremberg to vibrant Budapest, this Danube river cruise holiday takes you to four countries. Sail through a winter wonderland and revel in the Advent season as each town is festively lit and decorated, and Christmas markets selling traditional wares, abound.
Board your ship in Nuremberg, Germany, and visit this thousand-year-old city with a Local Guide. The Christmas market is one of Europe’s oldest—be sure to try the traditional gingerbread for which the city is famous. Next, reach Regensburg—the only German city not bombed during WWII. Here, you’ll taste some of Germany’s famous beers and sausages. Next stop is Passau, known for its narrow winding streets lined with patrician houses, and the magnificent Italian baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral which forms a perfect backdrop for the delightful Christkindlmarkt. In Melk, visit Austria’s majestic Benedictine Abbey, and enjoy a traditional Austrian cookie tasting as you cruise through the wintry Wachau Valley to romantic Vienna. Here, where Christmas markets are scattered around the city, you may opt for a culinary walk through the markets to taste some of the local traditional specialties.
Your European river cruise holiday ends in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, with guided sightseeing and free time to explore one more Christmas market and buy last-minute gifts.
Welcome to Germany. Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding.
Flights into Nuremberg 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.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG (D)
Living Heritage and History Lessons
CLASSIC - Choose a Guided Tour of Nuremberg's medieval architecture, gilded fountain, gothic cathedral, and Kaiserburg Castle, OR:
CLASSIC - Take 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.
This evening, enjoy live entertainment after dinner while sailing to Regensburg
AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG (B,L,D)
Magical Regensburg-Bavaria's Medieval Miracle
DISCOVERY - Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this morning
CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria-built in 179 AD as the entrance to Castra Regina fortress.
DISCOVERY - Later, indulge in a Beer Tasting on board.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU (B,L,D)
Go for Baroque in Passau-Where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers Meet
CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful "City of Three Rivers."
You may join a full day Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg-the city of Mozart and learn how Austrians celebrate Christmas. Sail to Linz this afternoon, or join your ship after your selected full-day excursion.
The Linzer Torte and a Legendary Love of Art and Music
Enjoy a free afternoon to linger in Linz. Take a chance to get off your feet and warm up in one of the many pastry shops and cafes. .
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK (B,L,D)
Striking Frescoes and Breathtaking Views of the Wachau Valley
CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour of Melk's magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings, statues, incredible library, and ornate pipe organ.
DISCOVERY - Enjoy an Austrian Cookies Tasting while sailing to Vienna.
During lunchtime sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley to Vienna.
Vienna Waltzes and the Beautiful Blue Danube
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 DOCKING IN VIENNA (B,L,D)
Royal Collections, Amusing Attractions, and Culinary Confections
CLASSIC - Venture into the Habsburg empire on a Guided City Tour of Vienna's gilded landmarks. See the Imperial Palace complex-the winter residence of the Imperial Family, the historic Vienna Opera House and stunning St. Stephen's Cathedral, OR:
DISCOVERY - Join a Guided Culinary Tour of Vienna's magical Christmas Advent Markets to sample Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel.
Join a Guided Optional Excursion to Schonbrunn Palace-a Habsburg Empire summer home 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.
Later, relax on board with live entertainment as you sail to Budapest.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BUDAPEST (B,L,D)
The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe
CLASSIC - Enjoy a Guided City Sightseeing, including the iconic Heroes' Square.
Take in the beauty of Budapest while enjoying a free afternoon exploring such famous sights as the Chain Bridge. Get to know the city's cafes and pubs, and don't miss the unique Christmas markets that Budapest hosts every year during the Festive season.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BUDAPEST (B,L,D)
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning. (B)