8 Nights / 9 Days
Mention offer code: EXPLORE500
Begin your holiday season with a relaxing cruise along the scenic Danube River, stopping at traditional Christmas markets in Vienna, Regensburg, Passau, Rothenburg, and Nuremberg. Nuremberg is home to one of the oldest and largest Christmas markets in the world and is famous as a toy-making centre, known for its fanciful nutcrackers and Lebkuchen (gingerbread). Enjoy a German holiday party with mulled wine, referred to as a Glühwein Party. Float through the Wachau Valley dotted with castles and small riverside towns. Discover Würzburg, an ancient Franconian wine town. Delight in the fairytale, Baroque architecture in Passau. In Vienna, join a local expert in exploring the historic sites where you’ll indulge in the city’s atmosphere of opulence and elegance. Visit the 900-year-old Benedictine Melk Abbey, one of Europe’s largest Baroque monasteries.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Welcome the winter season with a timeless trip on the Danube River. Your holiday tour begins with an overnight flight to Europe
Day 2: Vienna, Austria - Tour Begins - Board Cruise Ship
Your tour opens in Vienna, Austria’s beautiful capital city. Unpack once for a relaxing 6-night Danube River cruise aboard your lovely ship. This beautiful vessel offers the newest technology; a panoramic deck terrace café; panorama salon and bar; excellent cuisine including unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks with all dinners; and outstanding service. This evening, enjoy a special welcome dinner onboard. Afterwards, the ship’s orchestra provides a musical Christmas concert for your enjoyment.
Day 3: Vienna
Join a local expert exploring Vienna's Imperial architecture including the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Vienna's Baroque elegance, stroll along the Karntner Strasse, or sample some of Vienna's famous pastries. If you wish, you may join an optional excursion to the opulent Schönbrunn Palace, the summer retreat of the Hapsburg dynasty, and visit Vienna’s most famous Christmas market, located in front of the “Rathaus” (City Hall).
Day 4: Vienna - Emmersdorf - Wachau Valley
This morning cruise through the romantic Wachau Valley, dotted with magnificent castles and small riverside towns. View the picturesque landscapes as you cruise to the charming town of Emmersdorf. Relax and enjoy the surrounding scenery before joining an excursion to the nearby town of Durnstein and the 900-year-old Benedictine Melk Abbey, one of Europe’s largest Baroque monasteries. Next, enjoy a Glühwein Party before returning to the ship.
Day 5: Passau
Amid the early morning light, cruise past scenic valleys and charming riverside towns to Passau, situated at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers. Enjoy a leisurely paced walking tour of this 2,000-year-old fairy-tale city, exploring the ornate Baroque architecture, the quaint cobblestone streets, St. Stephen’s Cathedral – home to Europe’s largest church organ – and the charming Christmas market. Then, enjoy free time to explore the town on your own.
Day 6: Regensburg
A guided walking tour of magnificent Regensburg reveals one of Germany's best-preserved medieval cities with nearly 1,400 historic buildings. Some of the architectural highlights you may view include the first stone bridge built over the Danube, a 1,400-foot-long span built in the 12th century; the old Town Hall; and the Porta Praetoria, one of only two remaining Roman gates in Germany, built in A.D. 179. This afternoon, take a stroll through Old Town to Regensburg's charming Christmas market and marvel at the festive lights and decorations. Browse and shop at the brightly lit wooden huts that sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys and local handicrafts. A wonderful evening of food, music and entertainment awaits you at the Captain’s Gala Dinner.
Day 7: Nuremberg
Your cruise continues across the continental divide to Roth, where a short transfer will bring you into picturesque Nuremberg. A local expert provides an interesting city tour of historic Nuremberg featuring Old Town, the 900-year-old ramparts that surround the city, and the Imperial Castle. Your city tour concludes with a visit to Nuremberg’s Christmas market, Germany’s most famous and oldest, dating back to 1628. Nuremberg is a toy-making centre and you will have the opportunity to shop for traditional handcrafted nutcrackers and sample its famous Lebkuchen (gingerbread).
Day 8: Nuremberg - Disembark Ship - Rothenburg - Würzburg
Disembark your ship in Nuremberg. Proceed to lovely Rothenburg, one of the most well-preserved medieval walled towns in all of Germany. Enjoy free time to explore the town's hidden treasures and its charming Christmas market, plus the chance to meet the locals during a Christmas ornament-making demonstration. Late afternoon you arrive in Würzburg where you will join a local guide on a leisurely paced walking tour of the city and surrounding sights. Würzburg is an ancient Franconian wine town rich in historic sites, including the magnificent 18th-century residence of the Prince-Bishops which boasts the largest ceiling fresco in the world, and the ornate Alte Mainbrucke, the oldest bridge on the River Main. Celebrate the end of your trip at dinner with your fellow travellers.
Day 9: Würzburg - Tour Ends
Your tour ends in Würzburg this morning.