Embrace the beauty of the Christmas season! Marvel at cities dressed in holiday splendour along the stunning Danube River. Nuremberg’s festive Christkindlesmarkt, the largest and oldest Christmas market in Germany; Regensburg’s Christmas market at Thurn and Taxis Castle, considered one of Bavaria’s most beautiful and romantic; Vienna with its impressive Christmas markets that seem to majestically appear around every corner; and Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square, where products sold in the market are traditionally handmade are yours to explore. Together with like-minded tour members, reflect on Christ’s birth as you visit historic cathedrals, sing carols, and admire nativity scenes, and pick out unique gifts and sample signature holiday treats along the way.
2023 Iconic Christmas Markets Cruise
December 9 Nuremberg, Germany
Arrive in Nuremberg. Board your ship, settle in, and meet your fellow travellers.
December 10 Nuremberg, Germany
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, followed by a visit to some of the local Christmas markets. Later, you can visit Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, one of the world’s largest and most famous Christmas markets. Cross the Continental Divide via the Main-Danube Canal as the day ends.
December 11 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. As an alternate option, 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 12 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 13 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. Afterward, enjoy a scenic cruise of the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley before arriving in Vienna and exploring the local Christmas markets.
December 14 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 center. Afterwards, you’ll visit the Christmas Markets. If you prefer a more active adventure, then join a guided bike along the Danube River. During the afternoon, visit the Schönbrunn Palace with a giant sparkling Christmas tree. This market presents a glittering Christmas experience.
December 15 Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is one of Europe’s most regal and storied cities—and many of its most iconic sights can be seen right off the banks of the Danube. Your tour through this sprawling World Heritage city offers splendid views from historic Buda Castle of the twin cities on both banks of the river. You’ll also visit Fisherman’s Bastion and see the marvelous Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Heroes’ Square and much more. Later, explore this beautiful city’s Christmas Markets. As an alternative, you can hike to Castle Hill, walking along Fishermen’s Bastion and take in all the iconic sites of Budapest with an active exploration.
December 16 Budapest, Hungary
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.
Pre-cruise extension to Prague
December 6 Prague, Czech Republic
Arrive in Prague and settle into your hotel.
December 7 Prague, Czech Republic
The fairytale city of Prague always enchants, but it really 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. You will visit 1,000-year-old Prague Castle and St. Vitus before walking over the romantic Charles Bridge to the Old Market Square, where you will find the capital’s famous Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church and the statue of Jan Husek. You may also hike to Prague Castle. Later in the day, you will have free time to explore Prague’s renowned Christmas markets in the Old Town Square.
December 8 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 the Czech’s beer some of the very best in the world.
December 9 Prague, Czech Republic to Nuremberg, Germany
Check out of your hotel in Prague and drive through the pastoral countryside to head to Nuremberg where you will board the ship for your Iconic Christmas Markets cruise.
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.