Optional Pre-Cruise Tour in Budapest
December 9-12, 2021
The Cruise Itinerary:
Experience timeless holiday traditions and elegant pageantry in five countries—Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. Let iconic capital cities—Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna—decked in holiday finery with glittering Christmas trees illuminated by thousands of lights, bells pealing from cathedral towers and children dressed as angels singing Christmas carols, dazzle you. Wander the stalls of Europe’s most traditional and enchanting Christmas Markets, including Regensburg and Salzburg, shopping for handcrafted toys and gifts and inhaling the fragrance of gingerbread and roasted chestnuts. Cherish all the glory and magic of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Danube during this festive time of the year.
December 12, 2021 - BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
Board the ship for your Iconic Christmas Markets cruise.
December 13, 2021 - BUDAPEST
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. The remainder of this tour takes you to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river. Afterwards, you’ll visit Vorosmarty Square, the oldest, richest and the most spectacular of all the Christmas Markets in Budapest. 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 14, 2021 - BRATISLAVA - VIENNA
Host to the crowning ceremonies of 11 Hungarian kings and queens between 1536 and 1830, Bratislava certainly has earned the title “Coronation City of Kings,” as you’ll discover during your walking tour. You’ll also have an opportunity to visit Bratislava’s charming Christmas market. Or join a special “Tastes of Slovakia” tour. For a more active adventure, hike up to Bratislava Castle, offering magnificent views of the city. Enjoy a free evening to explore Vienna on your own.
December 15, 2021 - VIENNA
The “City of Waltzes” offers a treasure trove of gems just waiting to be discovered. Join a tour showcasing its regal splendors, such as the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs, before concluding in Vienna’s historic city center. If you prefer a more active adventure, then join a guided bike ride through Vienna. During the afternoon, visit the market at Schönbrunn Palace with a giant sparkling Christmas tree. Cap the day off with “Vienna by Night” Christmas Markets at the beautifully decorated Rathaus Christmas Market, Vienna’s largest Christmas Market.
December 16, 2021 - WEISSENKIRCHEN – WACHAU VALLEY – MELK
After reaching Weissenkirchen, you’ll have a choice of excursions. Join a walking tour in Dürnstein. Or visit a local boutique to taste Durnstein’s special apricot treats, such as jams and chocolates. Prefer more active adventures? Join a guided bike tour from Weissenkirchen to Melk. For those not biking to Melk, you’ll sail through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley to Melk. Once in Melk, you’ll visit its magnificent Benedictine Abbey.
December 17, 2021 - LINZ
Linz is known for being the city of Christmas crèches and its ever-popular Linzer torte. While here, you have a choice of three excursions. The first is a morning walking tour through Linz’s old city center and by the Mozart House, where he composed the Linz Symphony in only three days, as well as visit Linz’s Christmas Markets. Or you can go on a guided bike tour through Linz and along the city’s famed “Culture Mile” and the Danube River. Or go on a full-day visit to Salzburg where you’ll enjoy 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. During the afternoon, for those not going on the full-day Salzburg excursion, visit the charming Czech mountain town of Cesky Krumlov.
December 18, 2021 - PASSAU
During the season of Advent, beautiful Passau dresses in her Bavarian holiday splendor, which you will discover on your walking tour through the city and at its Christmas Market at St. Stephen’s Square—also home to its magnificent cathedral. Go in search of unique crafts, including Bavarian-style houses and glass ornaments. If you prefer a more active adventure, hike to Paulinerkloister Mariahilf or join a guided bike ride along the Danube. Later, sail for Vilshofen, where you’ll be treated to an exclusive Oktoberfest celebration.
December 19, 2021 - VILSHOFEN – DISEMBARKATION
Disembark the ship and bid farewell to Vilshofen as you prepare for your flight home.