Welcome to Budapest! You will be met and transferred from the airport to your Emerald Waterways luxury river cruise ship. After boarding, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore Budapest. This evening, enjoy a traditional Hungarian dinner, then a Hungarian folk dancing and music performance on board.
A traditional Hungarian folklore show
Join a local guide for a tour of the Hungarian capital today, as you board a comfortable coach and drive pass the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Chain Bridge that links both sides of this storied city and the Buda Castle district, where historic façades line cobblestone streets. Following your guided tour, enjoy free time to explore the stalls of Budapest’s main Christmas market, where handcrafted ornaments are aplenty and colorful strings of lights line the streets.
A guided tour of Budapest
Across Europe, different cultures intertwine at Christmas time, sharing their traditions, treats and unique customs. The Slovakian capital is a truly charming city, whose roots can be traced across the continent. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city today, including its enchanting historic district and some of its many bustling Christmas markets.
A walking tour of Bratislava
Home-hosted coffee and cake with a local family
Welcome to Vienna, the European capital of classical music and the lavish capital of Austria. Today, you will have every opportunity to soak in the illustrious façades of Vienna’s Ringstrasse during your included coach tour and walking tour of Vienna, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. After your tour, enjoy free time at leisure to explore many of Vienna’s wonderful Christmas markets, each set in a different open square.
A guided tour of Vienna
An exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss (extra expense)
Tastes of Vienna (extra expense)
Dürnstein - Melk
Relax on board this morning as we sail through one of the most charming wine regions in Europe and on to Dürnstein. This is the site where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned following his return from the Third Crusade in the 12th century. Later, return to your Star-Ship and enjoy the luscious amenities on board until we reach Melk, where an illustrious tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Melk Abbey awaits. This 900-year-old Baroque palace features some of Austria’s finest Italian Baroque architecture.
A guided tour of Melk Abbey
A blanket of powdered snow graces the European countryside at Christmastime, creating a magical setting as we cruise into Passau. On this afternoon’s included walking tour of the town, enjoy visiting its annual Christkindlmarkt, set in front of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Almost a hundred gingerbread-like stalls selling festive souvenirs and handmade gifts can be found here, each connected to the next by strings of twinkling fairy lights.
A guided tour of Passau
Excursion to the Bavarian Forest (extra expense)
Today, you will have the opportunity to visit one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Germany, Regensburg. Our guided walking tour will offer every chance to get to know this UNESCO World Heritage-listed city’s past, as you stroll across one of the oldest bridges on the Danube and witness the city’s ancient fortifications. Stop to visit one of the loveliest Christmas markets in the region, with its many quaint wooden stalls, twinkling lights and festive goods adorning hidden passageways and narrow cobblestone streets.
A guided tour of Regensburg
A visit to the Christmas Market at Thurn und Taxis Palace
A traditional Bavarian performance
Nuremberg - Prague
After breakfast, it is time to transfer to Prague to your centrally located hotel for a three-night stay.
Today, you will have the opportunity to explore Prague as it is effortlessly enveloped by the wonder of the seasonal period. Your local guide will take you through the old town square, a cobblestoned area that perfectly captures the city’s architectural heritage.
A guided tour of Prague with Christmas market
Coffee & Cake at Lobkowicz Palace
Your tour director will be available to help you plan your day of independent exploration today. We would recommend going to one of Prague’s memorable Christmas markets, where colourful stalls owned by local craftsmen are full of handcrafted ornaments and freshly baked Czech Christmas treats.
Tastes of Czechia (extra expense)
After breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to your fellow guests as you are transferred from your hotel to the airport, taking memories of ancient monasteries and cobblestone streets with you.
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.