Christmas Markets of Europe

Resort: Christmas Markets of Europe
Operator: Emerald Waterways
Destination: Austria
Price From: £3295.00

Overview

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival Amsterdam

Welcome to Amsterdam, a fascinating 700-year-old city of picturesque canals, world class museums, theatres and cafs. You will be met and transferred from the airport to your Emerald Waterways luxury river Star-Ship. After boarding, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore Amsterdam. This evening, join your fellow travellers for dinner on-board.

Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2 – Amsterdam Cruising

This morning you will enjoy a glass top canal boat tour through Amsterdams canal. After the canal tour, enjoy free time to visit some of Amsterdams other famous attractions, such as the Rijks or Van Gogh Museums, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere and watch the world go by. Tonight, the captain will be delighted to host a gala dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 – Cologne

Seven markets transform picturesque Cologne into a winter wonderland over the Christmas period. Be sure to pay a visit to the stalls around the Alter Markt, Neumarkt, Rudolfplatz and the cathedral, beneath which youll locate the Christmas tree. Decorated mugs hold steaming hot Glhwein, and local vendors sell handmade sweets and local delicacies. Be sure not to miss the mesmerising Stars at Night theme adopted around the Neumarkt, where looking up unveils a beautiful light display above your head.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 – Rdesheim

Todays cruising will be a highlight of your trip, as we cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge. Keep your camera at the ready as around every bend there are stunning vistas of castles perched above steep vinecovered slopes. We will also pass the infamous Lorelei Rock where sailors are said to have been lured onto treacherous rocks by enchanted temptresses. We also pass the impressive Pfalzgrafenstein Castle which was formerly a toll gate perched on an island in the middle of the river. In the afternoon, we arrive in Rdesheim, one of Germanys most popular towns. You will visit the Siegfrieds Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and in your free time, continue exploring and perhaps taste the famous Rudesheimer Coffee, made with Germanys most famous brandy Asbach Uralt. Later in the day, experience a special on-board performance.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 – Miltenberg – Wertheim

Welcome to Miltenberg, a picturesque village on the Main River, which creates an imitable feeling of Bavarian life in medieval times due to the Old Town being lined with well-preserved half-timbered buildings. The gothic Merchant Hall is an impressive symbol of past affluence created by trade from river traffic. After your included tour of Miltenberg and free time, you will be transferred by coach to the stunning medieval glass-blowing town of Wertheim to enjoy free time until the ship arrives.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 – Wrzburg

Known as the Pearl of the Romantic Road, Wrzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. After breakfast, visit the Bishops Residenz, one of Germanys largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. Your tour highlights the palaces unique staircase, elaborate 18th century frescoes and the amazing 3dimensional stuccowork. Later in the day, experience a special onboard performance.

DiscoverMORE: Tour to Rothenburg (extra expense)

***passengers on this tour will not be able to attend the included walking tour of Wrzburg & visit to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bishops Residenz as both tours run at the same time

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 – Bamberg

Relax on-board this morning as we cruise to Bamberg. Feel the magic of the past as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage-listed city with your guide. Boasting one of Europes largest intact medieval town centres, Bamberg is bursting with character and charm. At the town centre is the largest preserved old quarter in Europe. Around 2,400 listed buildings and the centuriesold garden quarter form a special cultural heritage. Admire hundreds of building faades richly decorated in fascinating detail with spectacular ornamentation.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 – Nuremberg

Today you will have a sightseeing coach tour of the historic city of Nuremberg. Your coach tour would pass by the 900-year-old ramparts, the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 194, the Nazi party rally grounds, where rallies were held from 1933 until 1938. Nuremberg is also known for its Christmas market squares which you can visit in your free time.

DiscoverMORE: Gingerbread Cooking Class (extra expense)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 – Kelheim – Regensburg

This morning takes you through the final stretch of the fascinating MainDanube Canal to Kelheim. Continue cruising along the Danube River to UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Regensburg, one of Germanys best-preserved medieval cities. On our guided walking tour, youll have the chance to see one of the oldest bridges crossing the Danube and see the citys architectural highlights including the Old Town Hall. Regensburg is also home to one of the loveliest Christmas market of the German-speaking countries. With its many quaint wooden stalls, the market is located around the Neupfarr Church and the city Guard House, adorned by row-upon-row of twinkling lights. Taste your way through the narrow streets and hidden passageways, picking up a mug of delicious Glhwein and treating yourself to homemade gingerbread and cookies.
EmeraldPLUS: Traditional Bavarian Band on-board & Visit to Christmas Market at Thurn & Taxis Palace grounds

DiscoverMORE: Excursion to Kuchlbauer Brewery (extra expense)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 – Passau – Linz

Cruise along the Danube this morning, in the afternoon we reach Passau. Cobblestone streets and graceful arcades welcome you in this beautiful city. On this afternoons walking tour, stroll through the old towns narrow alleys and see the hilltop Oberhaus Fortress from the town below. Visit St. Stephens Cathedral, a wonderful example of Baroque architecture and home to Europes largest church organ with more than 17,000 pipes. Passaus annual Christmas market, or Christkindlmarkt, takes place in front of the St. Stephan Cathedral. Around 70 gingerbread-like stalls selling festive souvenirs, handmade gifts and delicious treats are illuminated by strings of twinkling fairy lights, as the smell of Glhwein and fresh baking fills the cool air. Indulge on gingerbread as music groups and choirs take to the stage as the perfect accompaniment.
DiscoverMORE: Tour to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Salzburg (extra expense)

OR

Tour to UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Cesk Krumlov (extra expense)

***passengers need to choose between either Salzburg or Cesky Kumlov DiscoverMORE tours, and they will not be able to attend the included walking tour of Passau, as all tours run at the same time

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 – Melk – Drnstein

Situated within Austrias winegrowing region, Melk is home to the imposing UNESCO World Heritage-listed 900year old Benedictine Melk Abbey. The Abbey features Austrias finest Italian baroque architecture, with its ornate gold leaf walls, 640ft Imperial Corridor and fresco ceilings. Later, the ship sails through the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley and on to Drnstein, one of the most enchanting villages of the Wachau wine region. This is the site of the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned after returning from the crusades in the 12th century.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 – Vienna

Welcome to Vienna, the capital of classical music. Today, you have a choice of either exploring Austrias capital beginning with a drive along the magnificent Ringstrasse, where we will see the sights of the Viennas world-famous attractions such as the Opera House, Burgtheater, Town Hall, St. Stephens Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. After the tour, enjoy your free time to sample the wonderful Christmas markets of Vienna which are set up in 15 different squares in the city.
DiscoverMORE: UNESCO World Heritage-listed Schnbrunn Palace tour (extra expense)
AND / OR
DiscoverMORE: Exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss (extra expense)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 – Bratislava

Set on the crossroads of ancient trade routes in the heart of Europe, Bratislava the capital of Slovakia, embodies various cultures primarily Celtic, Roman and Slavic. Enjoy a sightseeing tour including the enchanting Old City with its Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and the Gothic Cathedral of St Martin. Bratislava also hosts charming Christmas markets throughout the city, which you can enjoy. This evening, the Captain will be delighted to welcome you to the Captains Gala Dinner.
EmeraldPLUS: Home hosted coffee and cake with Slovakians

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 – Budapest

Budapest is Eastern Europes liveliest and most cosmopolitan city. Enjoy a guided bus tour passing by the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge linking Buda and Pest, amongst other fantastic sights. This evening, enjoy a Hungarian folk dancing and music performance on-board followed by a traditional Hungarian farewell dinner. After dinner, join your fellow travellers for a nighttime cruise along the Danube, passing under the citys numerous bridges.
EmeraldPLUS: Traditional Hungarian Folklore Show on-board & Budapest evening cruise

DiscoverMORE: Budapest Jewish Heritage tour (extra expense)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 – Budapest Disembarkation

After breakfast, your tour concludes and you will be transferred to the airport for your ongoing flight.

Please note: Pre-release itinerary subject to change

Meals Included: Breakfast

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