A festive extravaganza celebrating two holidays in grand and unforgettable style.
Celebrate the holiday season in truly extraordinary fashion with a special Uniworld itinerary that gives you the best of four different countries at their most magical time of year. Cruise the mighty Danube, visiting classic capitals like Budapest and Vienna. Spend Christmas Eve in Passau, then ring in the New Year in elegant style in Budapest. Festive celebrations are plentiful during this cruise—what better way to create perfect holiday memories?
Commemorate a splendid musical heritage as you lift your voice and sing “Silent Night” in Oberndorf, where the beloved Christmas carol was composed. Sip a cocktail with a princess in the seven-towered Artstetten Castle. Spend Christmas Day in Salzburg and enjoy a holiday lunch within the walls of St. Peter’s Abbey. Discover the seasonal delicacies of Slovakia in Bratislava’s picturesque downtown and enjoy the merriment of traditional hospitality in an Austrian wine village. Ring out the old year and ring in the new with art, wine and song as you cruise through four nations during this enchanting season.
Who will enjoy this cruise? Those who wish to celebrate a European Christmas and New Year in festive elegance. All lovers of art, music and merriment.
Arrive at Munich Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer, or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship docked in Passau.
Old-town Passau is built on a spit of land that looks almost like a ship with its narrow prow jutting into the water, a fitting shape for a city that has been an important center of river trade since it was founded by the ancient Romans. Today a local expert shows you the highlights of this delightful and accessible town located at the confluence of three rivers— the Danube, Inn and Ilz.
Linz (Salzburg and Oberndorf)
Your ship docks in Linz today. From there, you’ll travel to the alpine cities of Salzburg and Oberndorf for a delightful full-day excursion. Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg, is nestled in a glorious alpine setting that sparkles like a winter wonderland. Fans of “The Sound of Music” may recognize locations from the Oscar-winning film in the city’s Old Town, the site of a grand cathedral and a wonderful Christmas Market. You’ll also visit the nearby town of Oberndorf, where the world’s most beloved Christmas carol was composed and performed for the first time.
Your diary entry for today will say “Cocktails with the princess at the castle.” Raise a glass with a bona fide member of Austrian royalty at her 13th-century home, Artstetten Castle, and hear some intriguing tales about her Habsburg ancestors. Also on the agenda—a walk through charming Grein and a peek inside Austria’s oldest theater.
Melk, Cruising the Wachau Valley, Dürnstein
Melk Abbey has an unexpectedly opulent library filled not only with rare and precious books but also secret doors and optical illusions. After your visit, cruise the Wachau Valley to the tiny village of Dürnstein, where you can browse the shops selling apricot schnapps, hike up to the ruins of a castle, taste mulled wine and attend an organ concert at a local church. Your river adventure today takes you through one of the most beautiful regions in Austria, bookended by two picturesque and historic towns, Melk and Dürnstein.
Renowned for its art and architecture, its classical music, its decadent pastries and its lengthy list of famous former residents, the refined city of Vienna is a cultural treasure trove. Experience the city with your choice of tours, followed by an evening concert of Mozart and Strauss, performed at a 12th-century monastery.
A day of free time to explore Vienna at your leisure awaits. Maybe the Viennese love for music, food, drink and stunning architecture will compel you to visit one of the many pubs, coffeehouses, wine taverns, art museums and sprawling palaces.
Once hidden from the world behind the “Iron Curtain,” Slovakia retains an air of mystery and intrigue, and its small capital city has an unexpectedly colorful history. You’ll learn more about Bratislava’s past from a local expert, then have free time to check out the whimsical street art and sample delicious delicacies found only in Slovakia.
Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each have their own distinctive character and allure. Get a taste of this dynamic capital city with your choice of tours.
Start off the New Year on a high note with an excursion to a village of talented artisans and craftspeople who live and create beautiful things together. The village is also home to two museums you’re welcome to visit—one devoted to lovely ceramics and the other to the art of marzipan.
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer, or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to the Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home.