CHRISTMASTIME ON THE DANUBE WESTBOUND CRUISE/TOUR
9 DAYS FROM $2,540 US
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Enjoy the festive atmosphere from Vienna to Prague and all along the legendary Danube on this enchanting river cruise vacation. Enjoy guided sightseeing in each city and delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of centuries-old Christmas markets in Vienna, Regensburg, Nuremberg, and Prague. Be sure to sample the Glühwein, Lebkuchen, and other traditional holiday specialties! Other highlights include a guided visit of the amazing Benedictine Abbey in Melk, a wine tasting, fun beer tasting, and a visit of the magnificent Hradcany Castle grounds in Prague. What a fantastic way to start your holiday season!
DAY 1: Arrive in Vienna, Austria (Embarkation)
Vienna, Austria’s capital, is known as the “City of Music” and inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. This afternoon, board your cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner)
Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
DAY 2: Vienna
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, this is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see on your GUIDED TOUR. Visit the delightful Christmas market and savor the sounds and smells of holiday cheer. Be sure to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! An optional concert is available tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 3: Krems–Melk
This morning, arrive in Krems where a local guide will take you on a WALKING TOUR. During lunchtime, sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Pass the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, the landmark of Dürnstein, before arriving in Melk in the early afternoon. The magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY dominates the town and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You’ll be captivated by the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings. This evening you’ll be able to sample some of the FAMOUS WINES of this region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4: Passau, Germany
This morning, you may wish to join an optional full-day excursion to Salzburg to see some of the popular Sound of Music sites, find out how mice caused the composition of the famous Silent Night carol, and learn how Austrians celebrate Christmas. Rejoin your ship in Passau in the early evening or stay on board and relax as you cruise to Passau, located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of cobblestone streets, lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5: Regensburg
Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. The only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights included on your GUIDED WALK are the 13th-century Old Town Hall and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. The afternoon is free to visit the Regensburg Christmas market. The tempting aromas of mulled wine, sausage, roasted almonds, and gingerbread create a memorable atmosphere. Before dinner tonight we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6: Nuremberg
Spend a relaxing morning cruising before reaching Nuremberg. Although 90% of its Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Choose from an included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at the city’s medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights, and the Christmas market is one of the biggest in Germany, featuring 200 stalls selling traditional wares and foods. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 7: Nuremberg (Disembarkation)–Prague, Czech Republic
After breakfast, say goodbye to your crew and travel by motorcoach to Prague, the “Golden City.” (Breakfast)
DAY 8: Prague
Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time. See its Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; HRADCANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. Browse the Christmas market’s brightly decorated wooden huts, which sell Christmas ornaments and decorations, handcrafted wooden toys, and other Czech crafts. Get a little inner warmth with a cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine) and a traditional hot sausage. The beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the Old Town is an impressive sight. (Breakfast)
DAY 9: Prague
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
You see life differently. While others chase what’s popular, you follow your own path. We share your unique point of view. That’s why we've used our 85-plus years to design a cruise experience that’s just a bit different. Here are some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our ships.
Panoramic windows throughout.
Elegant, contemporary design.
Included excursions with Certified Local Guides.
Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship.
24-hour self-serve beverage station.
Premium coffees, cappuccinos & lattes.
Upscale bar serving premium spirits.
Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment.
Comfort Collection Beds SM.
Premium L'Occitane bath products.
Large bathrooms - showers with glass doors.
Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels.
Spacious 3-door closets for ample storage.
Complimentary bottled water daily.
Choice of regional, Western and vegetarian dishes.
Daily early- and late-riser breakfasts.
Full buffet breakfast with sparkling wine.
Complimentary juices with breakfast.
Made-to-order egg station at breakfast.
Daily full breakfast buffet with hot/cold menu items.
Complimentary soft drinks with lunch.
Daily lunch buffet with pasta and carving stations.
Alternate grill fare at the Sky Bistro (weather permitting).
Chef-inspired regional recipes.
Four-course dinners with open seating.
Nightly choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrées, desserts or cheese.
Complimentary wine (including regional) at dinner.
Complimentary soft drinks or beer with dinner.
Night Fare served at 10:30 pm.
Well-stocked library with books, cards and games.
Headsets for shore excursions.
Professional Cruise Director.
Friendly, English-speaking crew.
Light dinners and wines in the Panorama Bistro on Suite Ships®.
And, much more.
Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
Daily Afternoon Tea
Daily Night Fare
Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
Christmas markets operate from late November until the third week of December, depending on the location (Prague markets are open from early December until the first days of January).
In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
From approx $2,540 US
per person based on double occupancy
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