Christmas Markets on the Danube
Cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest
9 Days | December 2019
Starting At $Custom
Experience timeless holiday traditions and elegant pageantry in four countries—Hungary, 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 Europe’s most traditional and enchanting Christmas Markets, including 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.
|Your AMAWaterways Cruise Includes:
||U.S. Tours Select Special Features:
Pre-Cruise Packages and Airfare are extra costs.
Prices Per Person
Custom Pricing, please contact us for a quote.
Day 1 – Travel Day
Today, depart the US for an overnight flight to Europe. (Pre-Cruise Packages and Airfare are extra costs).
Day 2 – Vilshofen, Germany
Board your AmaWaterways cruise in Vilshofen. This evening enjoy meeting your fellow passengers on board. (D)
Day 3 – Vilshofen, Germany
Explore Vilshofen’s beautiful old town before cruising to Passau, known as the “City of Three Rivers.” Picturesque Passau, a fairytale city founded more than 2,000 years ago is noted for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture. During the season of Advent, the city dresses in her Bavarian holiday splendor, which you will discover on your walking tour through the city and at its Christmas Market at St. Stephen’s Square— also 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. (B,L,D)
Day 4 – Linz, Austria
Linz is known for being the city of Christmas crèches and its ever-popular Linzer Torte. While here, you have a choice of three excursions. The first is a full-day visit to magnificent Salzburg dressed in her holiday best. Enjoy a walking tour of UNESCO-designated Old Town, its magnificent cathedral, inspired by St. Peter’s Cathedral at the Vatican and its Christmas Market, which is a feast for the senses. Alternatively, you can choose a morning walking tour through Linz’s old city center and by the Mozart House, where he composed the Linz Symphony in only three days, as well as visit Linz’s Christmas Markets. Or you can go on a guided bike tour through Linz and along the city’s famed “Culture Mile” and the Danube. During the afternoon, you can join a half-day excursion to Salzburg or visit the charming mountain town, Český Krumlov, located just over the Czech-Austrian border. (B,L,D)
Day 5 – Weissenkirchen, Austria
Cruise to Weissenkirchen, gateway to Dürnstein located in the heart of the Wachau Valley. Once here, you can choose to join a walking tour in Dürnstein along its cobblestone streets to the Baroque Stiftskirche, Dürnstein’s famed church tower. For the more active adventurer, you can opt to hike up to the fortress where Richard the Lionheart was once held, or take a bike ride along the Danube. As an alternative excursion, visit a local apricot grower, where you’ll enjoy the region’s finest apricot treats. (B,L,D)
Day 6 – Weissenkirchen, Austria
Enjoy a second day in Weissenkirchen. Visit the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s largest and most revered monasteries before setting sail to Krems. Later in the evening, enjoy a special wine tasting of locally grown, world-renowned Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. (B,L,D)
Day 7 – Vienna, Austria
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 Vienna’s historic city center. Afterwards, you’ll visit the Rathaus (Town Hall) Christmas Market. If you prefer a more active adventure, then join a guided bike ride along the Danube. During the afternoon, visit the Karlsplatz (Artisans) Christmas Market, a local favorite, and the market at Schönbrunn 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 Vienna’s majestic Ringstrasse, and at the illuminated Rathaus, Vienna’s largest Christmas Market. (B,L,D)
Day 8 – Budapest, Hungary
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, tradition and even a secret labyrinth of caves and caverns under the city. Your city tour begins with a visit to the vibrant Great Market Hall brimming with vendors selling everything from food to souvenirs. The remainder of this tour takes you to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river. Afterwards, you’ll visit Vörösmarty Square, the oldest, richest and the most spectacular of all the Christmas markets in Budapest. During the evening, be treated to a special Illuminations cruise around Budapest’s famed Parliament building as at night, the city virtually glitters as these landmarks are awash in lights. (B, L,D)
Day 9 – Budapest, Hungary
Disembark the ship as you prepare for your flight home. (B)
*note: depending on departure the itinerary may run in reverse.