Embrace the beauty of the Christmas season! Marvel at cities dressed in holiday splendour along the stunning Danube River. Together with like-minded tour members, reflect on Christ’s birth as you visit historic cathedrals, sing carols, and see nativity scenes. Shop for unique gifts and sample signature holiday treats at Christmas markets in Budapest (Hungary), Vienna (Austria), Passau, Regensburg, and Nuremburg (Germany).
2021 Iconic Christmas Markets Cruise
November 28 Budapest, Hungary
Arrive in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. Board your ship, settle in, and meet your fellow travellers.
November 29 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 and tradition. Your city tour begins with a visit to the vibrant Great Market Hall. The remainder of this tour takes you to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river. Afterwards, visit Vörösmarty Square, the oldest and the most spectacular of all the Christmas Markets in Budapest.
November 30 Vienna, Austria
The “City of Waltzes” offers a treasure trove of gems just waiting to be discovered. Join a tour showcasing its regal splendours, such as the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs before concluding in Vienna’s historic city centre. Afterwards, visit the Rathaus (Town Hall) Christmas Market. If you prefer a more active adventure, then join a guided bike ride to Klosterneuburg Abbey. During the afternoon, visit the Schönbrunn Palace with a giant sparkling Christmas tree. This market offers a stellar Christmas experience. Cap the day off with “Vienna by Night” Christmas Markets at the beautifully decorated Maria-Theresien-Platz Christmas Market, set amongst the world-renowned sights of Vienna’s majestic Ringstrasse, and at the illuminated Rathaus, Vienna’s largest Christmas Market.
December 1 Melk, Austria
High on a rocky outcrop lies the Melk Abbey, one of Europe’s most revered Baroque monasteries. Visit this magnificent Benedictine Abbey, which now houses a museum chronicling its history and a famous library with countless medieval manuscripts. Alternatively, go on a guided bike ride around Melk.
December 2 Passau, Germany
Join a walking tour of the 2,000-year-old city of Passau, noted for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Go in search of Bavarian-style crafts at the Christmas Market. Alternatively, you can travel through the serene Austrian Alps to Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart. Your full-day excursion in Salzburg includes a walking tour of the UNESCO-designated Old Town, its magnificent cathedral and its Christmas Markets, including the Hellbrunn Palace, where its inner courtyard is turned into a romantic backdrop for one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Austria. For the active adventurer, join a guided bike tour along the Danube.
December 3 Regensburg, Germany
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. You could also sample some of Bavaria’s specialties—beer, sausage and pretzels. Or bike to the base of Walhalla where there is a 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 artisans make their unique arts and crafts.
December 4 Nuremberg, Germany
Enjoy a scenic morning cruise as the ship crosses the Continental Divide via the Main-Danube Canal to 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. Alternatively, you can taste your way through the city with a Franconian specialties tour, which introduces you to bratwurst, rotbier (red beer) and lebkuchen (gingerbread). Later, visit Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, one of the world’s largest and most famous Christmas Markets.
December 5 Nuremberg, Germany
Disembark the ship and say farewell to your companions as you take home warm memories (and lots of special gifts) from the Christmas markets of Europe. OR, disembark the ship and enjoy the wonder of Nuremberg’s other Christmas Markets before departing for Prague, where you will check into your hotel.
Pre-cruise extension to Budapest
November 26 Budapest, Hungary
Arrive in Budapest and settle into your hotel.
November 27 Budapest, Hungary
Often described as the “Queen of the Danube,” Budapest is well known for Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda Hill and its magnificent Hungarian Parliament building. However, this sprawling city is full of rich history and culture and offers many “hidden” treasures as you venture further past its riverbanks. During this excursion, your guide will take you deeper into the city to discover fascinating sites lesser known to the average traveler.
Post-cruise extension to Prague
December 6 Prague, Czech Republic
The fairytale city of Prague always enchants, but it sparkles even more during the holiday season. Prague offers a collection of Art Nouveau, Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic architecture, which you’ll get to see on your tour. Discover Prague on a city tour or a castle hike. Both will reveal why Prague is considered one of Europe’s most attractive cities, with a historic city center that’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will then have free time to explore Prague’s renowned Christmas Markets in the Old Town Square.
December 7 Prague, Czech Republic
Beer has a long and illustrious history in the Czech Republic, with the first brewery established in 993. Beer is a core part of the country’s national identity, so join a Czech beer tasting and discover for yourself what makes Czech beer some of the very best in the world.
December 8 Prague, Czech Republic
Bid farewell to Prague as you depart on your flight home.
Check the pricing page for what is included and excluded in the tour fare.
For further information, please contact us. We would be happy to be of assistance.
Click here for a printable PDF of the tour itinerary and costs (Currently not available).