Christmastime on the Danube - Eastbound
This festive European river cruise vacation begins in Prague, the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic. See famous sights like Old Town’s Astronomical Clock and the Charles Bridge, but also get the unique chance to stroll through the Christmas markets. It’s a treat to see the rows of brightly decorated wooden huts that sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Explore to your heart’s content with a warm cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine).
Board your river cruise vessel in Nuremberg, Germany, with its medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and palaces. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations and the Christmas market, one of the most famous in the world, has dozens of stalls offering traditional wares, such as Lebkuchen (spiced gingerbread), Glühwein (hot mulled wine), and unique decorations and ornaments. Learn about local Christmas traditions, as you cruise to historical Regensburg, the only German city not bombed during WWII. After a guided tour, savor local sausages at Historiche Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants, and enjoy a tasting of German beers. Experience Passau’s charming Christmas market set against the breathtaking backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral—a masterpiece of baroque architecture.
Arrive in Melk, Austria, and tour the magnificent 11th century Benedictine Abbey—one of Europe’s largest monasteries. As you cruise through the wintery landscape of the picturesque Wachau Valley, enjoy a tasting of traditional Austrian cookies. This Christmas river cruise ends in Austria’s magical capital of Vienna, home to the sounds of Mozart and Strauss, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, and the Spanish Riding School. See the famous sights with a Local Guide, or opt to go on a culinary tour through the Christmas markets to get a taste of all the best flavors Austria offers during this time of year.
Christmastime on the Danube – Westbound
This Christmastime river cruise begins in Austria’s magical capital of Vienna, home to the sounds of Mozart and Strauss, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, and the Spanish Riding School. See the famous sights with a Local Guide, or opt to go on a culinary tour through the Christmas markets to get a taste of all the best flavors 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 breathtaking backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. In Regensburg, after a guided tour of the city, savor traditional sausages at Historiche Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants and enjoy a tasting of German beers. 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) and unique decorations and ornaments. Then, make your way to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic—one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
In Prague’s Old Town, see the magical Astronomical Clock, built in 1410, and once the envy of all Europe. The Christmas markets offer an array of Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Explore to your heart’s content with a warm cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine) among the rows of brightly decorated wooden huts, and be sure to see the beautifully decorated tree in Old Town to end this perfect, seasonal river cruise.
Christmastime in Alsace & Germany – Northbound
This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France and Germany, with beautiful passing landscapes and quaint villages festively lit and decorated—a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season!
Board your ship in Basel, Switzerland, then stop in Breisach, considered the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest. An area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. There is no better setting than at this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Strasbourg, France, located on the border with Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. The city is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe—dating back to the 16th century. Take in the aromas of mulled wine, spice cakes, and biscuits. Bask in the holiday atmosphere as you visit Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock.
You’ll go on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. This time of year, an ice rink can be found at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market is spread over five town squares. Delight in the holiday cheer with Glühwein (hot mulled wine), bratwursts, and other regional delicacies. There’s plenty of time to find just the right Christmas present amongst the array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts before this magical European river cruise ends in Wiesbaden, Germany.
Christmastime From Prague to Basel
Celebrate this magical time of year with a Christmastime river cruise vacation starting in the Czech Republic, on through the heart of Germany, and ending in Switzerland.
Prague, the beautiful Czech capital, is set on the banks of the Vltava River and a Local Guide will be proud to show you the famous sights. The Christmas market offers rows of brightly decorated wooden huts selling ornaments and Czech handicrafts. Explore to your heart’s content and try a traditional hot sausage from one of the stalls.
Board your ship in Nuremberg, Germany, host to one of the oldest Christmas markets. Get into the holiday spirit as you stroll through the illuminated Old Town. 200 stalls sell traditional German Christmas wares and seasonal delicacies. In delightful Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll find nativity scenes built by local citizens throughout the town. Learn about holiday traditions as you cruise to Würzburg, and here walk through the halls of the ornate Bishop’s Residenz—home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). Learn how to bake a traditional cookie before arriving at one of the charming small towns with half-timbered houses that are dotted along the Main River. In Rüdesheim on the Rhine River, see Europe’s largest nativity scene with life-size figures. Visit Heidelberg Castle, which towers magnificently over the city, before cruising to Strasbourg, France. This time of year, the historic charm of the city is mixed with the festive aromas, sights, and sounds—creating a truly magical atmosphere! Visit the gothic cathedral with its ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Continue your Christmastime river cruise to Breisach, Germany—gateway to the famous Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, before ending in Basel Switzerland.
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