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 – VIENNA, AUSTRIA. Embark your ship in Vienna and later this evening, meet your fellow passengers on board. (D).
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 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.
DÜRNSTEIN – WACHAU VALLEY – MELK. After reaching the Wachau Valley in the morning, you’ll have a choice of three excursions in Dürnstein. Partake in a walking tour along cobblestone streets to the luminous blue facade of the Baroque Stiftskirche, its famed church tower, before enjoying a wine tasting in a local cellar. Alternatively, visit a local boutique, where you’ll be treated to the region’s finest apricot products. After your morning excursions, you have a choice to cruise through the Wachau Valley to Melk or join a bike tour along the Danube. Upon reaching Melk, take a tour of the UNESCO-designated Melk Abbey.
LINZ. 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.
PASSAU, GERMANY. 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.
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 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 Castle, where you can watch craftsmen make their unique arts and crafts.
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. Browse through over 100 red and white canvas-topped booths offering an assortment of unique treasures, toys and seasonal goodies.
NUREMBERG – DISEMBARKATION. Bid farewell to Nuremberg as you prepare for your homeward flight.