Few events are awaited with as much anticipation as Europe’s Christmas Markets. Be spellbound by Nuremberg and Regensburg’s Christmas Markets. In Linz, marvel at the small clay figurines representing the people of a typical village—the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker; and while in Vienna, visit four Christmas Markets. Embrace the holiday spirit in Germany and Austria where many Christmas traditions began on this magical journey through time.
EMBARKATION – NUREMBERG, GERMANY. Board your cruise in Nuremberg. Tonight, gather on board your ship and meet your fellow passengers. The ship will moor overnight in Nuremberg.
NUREMBERG. Join a city tour of WWII highlights and then walk through Nuremberg’s cobblestone streets to the Imperial Castle and 900-year-old city ramparts. Visit Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, one of the world’s largest and most famous Christmas Markets. Later in the day, cruise through the Main-Danube Canal.
REGENSBURG. Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join a guided walking tour showcasing the city’s architectural highlights, including the Old Town Hall and the Porta Praetoria, before visiting the Old Town Christmas Market. As an alternate option, sample some of Bavaria’s specialties—beer, sausage and pretzels. Or bike to the base of Walhalla where you will see the neoclassical white marble temple inspired by the Parthenon in Athens. Later in the day, you’ll be treated to one of Bavaria’s most beautiful and romantic Christmas Markets at Thurn and Taxis, where you can watch craftsmen make their unique arts and crafts.
PASSAU. 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 stunning 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.
LINZ, AUSTRIA. Linz is known for being the city of Christmas creches 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 its UNESCO-designated Old Town, its grand cathedral, inspired by St. Peter’s Cathedral at the Vatican, and its Christmas Market at Hellbrunn Palace. 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 “Cultural Mile” and the Danube. During the afternoon, you can join a half-day excursion to Salzburg or visit the charming mountain town, Česky Krumlov, located just over the Czech-Austrian border.
MELK – DÜRNSTEIN – KREMS. The awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is on full display for your enjoyment on your tour. Later in the day, set sail through the breathtaking Wachau Valley. Or for those seeking a more active adventure, bike through the Wachau Valley to Durnstein. Once in Durnstein, join a walking tour and wine tasting, or an apricots and sweets tasting. Later in the day, set sail to Krems, where you can enjoy a wine tasting or walking tour.
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 Vienna’s historic city center. Afterwards, you’ll visit the Maria Theresa Christmas markets. If you prefer a more active adventure, then join a guided bike ride through Vienna. During the afternoon, visit the Schönbrunn Palace Christmas market with its giant Christmas tree.
VIENNA – DISEMBARKATION. Your cruise comes to an end as you prepare for your homeward flight.