Christmas Markets on the Danube

Resort: Christmas Markets on the Danube
Operator: AMA Waterways
Destination: Austria
Price From: Contact for latest offers

Overview

Experience timeless holiday traditions and elegant pageantry in four countriesHungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. Let iconic capital cities Budapest and Vienna decked in holiday finery with glittering Christmas trees illuminated by thousands of lights, bells pealing from cathedral towers and children dressed as angels singing Christmas carols, dazzle you. Wander the stalls of Europes most traditional and enchanting Christmas Markets, including Nuremberg, Regensburg and Salzburg, shopping for handcrafted toys and gifts, sipping hot mulled wine and inhaling the fragrance of gingerbread and roasted chestnuts. Cherish all the glory and magic of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Danube during this festive time of the year.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Budapest

Arrive in Budapest and board your luxurious river cruise ship. This evening, meet your fellow travelers at the Welcome Dinner. (D)

Day 2 – Budapest

Home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Buda Castle quarter in Castle Hill and Heroes Square, Budapest offers an unmatched combination of culture and tradition. Your city tour begins with a visit to the vibrant Great Market Hall. The remainder of this tour takes you to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river. Afterwards, youll visit Vorosmarty Square, the oldest, richest and the most spectacular of all the Christmas markets in Budapest. As an alternative, you can hike to Castle Hill, walking along Fishermens Bastion and take in all the iconic sites of Budapest with an active exploration. (B,L,D)

Day 3 – Bratislava & Vienna

Host to the crowning ceremonies of 11 Hungarian kings and queens between 1536 and 1830, Bratislava certainly has earned the title Coronation City of Kings, as youll discover during your walking tour. Youll also have an opportunity to visit Bratislavas charming Christmas Market. Or join a special Tastes of Slovakia tour. For a more active adventure, hike up to Bratislava Castle, offering magnificent views of the city. Tonight, explore Viennas splendid Rathaus (Town Hall) Christmas Market. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Vienna

The City of Waltzes offers a treasure trove of gems just waiting to be discovered. Join a tour showcasing its regal splendors, such as the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs, before concluding in Viennas historic city center. If you prefer a more active adventure, then join a guided bike ride through Vienna. During the afternoon, visit the market at Schnbrunn Palace with a giant sparkling Christmas tree. Cap the day off with Vienna by Night Christmas markets at the beautifully decorated Maria Theresaplatz Christmas market, set amongst the world-renowned sights of Viennas majestic Ringstrasse, and at the illuminated Rathaus, Viennas largest Christmas market. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Weissenkirchen & Melk

After reaching Weissenkirchen, youll have a choice of excursions. Join a walking tour in Drnstein and then a visit to a local boutique where youll enjoy a tasting of special apricot treats. Prefer more active adventures? Join a guided bike tour from Weissenkirchen to Melk. For those not biking to Melk, youll sail through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley to Melk. Once in Melk, youll visit its magnificent Benedictine Abbey. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Linz

Linz is known for being the city of Christmas crches and its ever-popular Linzer torte. While here, you have a choice of three excursions. The first is a full-day visit to Salzburg where youll enjoy a walking tour of the UNESCO-designated Old Town, its magnificent cathedral and its Christmas Markets, including the Hellbrunn Palace, where its inner courtyard is turned into a romantic backdrop for one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Austria. Alternatively, you can choose a morning walking tour through Linzs old city center and by the Mozart House, where he composed the Linz Symphony in only three days, as well as visit Linzs Christmas Markets. Or you can go on a guided bike tour through Linz and along the citys famed Culture Mile and the Danube. During the afternoon, you can join a half-day excursion to Salzburg. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Passau & Vilshofen

During the season of Advent, beautiful Passau dresses in her Bavarian holiday splendor, which you will discover on your walking tour through the city and at its Christmas Market at St. Stephens Squarealso home to its magnificent cathedral. Go in search of unique crafts, including Bavarian-style houses and glass ornaments. If you prefer a more active adventure, join a guided bike ride along the Danube. Later, sail for Vilshofen, where youll be treated to an exclusive Oktoberfest celebration. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Vilshofen

This morning, disembark your ship in Vilshofen. (B)

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