Featuring a Six-Night Danube River Cruise
November 26–December 4, 2018
Join us for a special Christmas celebration on the banks of a historic European river!
After an overnight flight to Europe, you’ll spend the day relaxing in Bavaria before meeting your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner. The next day, you are free to explore the town of Wurzburg, also known as the “Jewel of the Main River.” This ancient Franconian wine town includes the stunning, eighteenth-century residence of the Prince-Bishops, where you can view the largest ceiling fresco in the world and the oldest bridge on the River Main. You’ll also get to see Rothenburg, one of the most well-preserved, medieval walled towns in Germany, where you can enjoy a charming Christmas market and an ornament-making demonstration.
In the late afternoon, we’ll head to Nuremberg to board our cruise ship, a beautiful vessel that caters to comfort and adventure. The next day, we’ll get the chance to really explore Nuremberg with a guided tour featuring Old Town, the 900-year-old ramparts that surround the city, and the Imperial Castle. We’ll stop at the Christmas market, which dates back to 1628, and have the chance to shop for traditional handcrafted nutcrackers and sample the town’s famous Lebkuchen (gingerbread).
The next day, our ship stops in Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities, with nearly 1,400 ancient buildings. Find the first stone bridge built over the Danube, the old Town Hall, and the Porta Praetoris, one of only two remaining Roman gates in Germany, built in 179 A.D. We’ll do some more browsing in the charming Christmas market and the brightly lit wooden huts where shopkeepers sell wooden toys and local handicrafts.
In the wee hours of the next morning, we’ll sail past charming riverside towns on our way to Passua, nestled at the intersection of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers. We’ll take a leisurely walking tour of this 2,000-year-old fairytale city that boasts ornate Baroque architecture, cobblestone streets, and St. Stephen’s cathedral.
The next day, we’ll cruise to the charming town of Emmersdorf and join an excursion to the nearby town of Durnstein and the 900-year-old Benedictine Mel Abbey. Before we return to the ship, we’ll enjoy a Gluhwein party! Later in the day, we’ll continue down the Wachau Valley, dotted with magnificent castles and quaint riverside towns.
And then—Vienna! Austria’s gorgeous capital city welcomes us. We’ll have dinner and then those of us who wish can join an excursion to experience the magic of Vienna by night.
In the morning, we’ll join a local expert for a tour of Vienna’s imperial architecture, including the lavish Hofburg Palace, the Vienna Opera House, Ringstrasses, and St. Stephen’s cathedral. Let your eyes feast on these masterpieces of baroque before we spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the rest of the city. You’ll also have the option of joining an optional tour of the Schonbrunn Palace, the opulent summer retreat of the Hapsburg dynasty.
We’ll end our delightful Christmas cruise of the Danube with a farewell evening of food, music, and entertainment about the ship, and even enjoy a Christmas concert to cap off a week of seasonal festivities!
Enjoy Christkindlesmarkt! A Christmas market is a street market that happens during the four weeks of Advent. These special occasions originated in Germany, Austria, and the Alsace back in the Middle Ages. The Nuremberg Christmas market was first held in 1628 and is one of the oldest Christmas markets in the world! It attracts 2 million people every year and features more than 250 wooden stalls offering traditional ornaments, gifts, handicrafts, and delicious food. Christmas markets are wonderful celebrations of the season!
Fee (per person): $3,609 double, lower outside • $4,009 double, middle outside • $4,409 double, upper outside • $5,409 double, suite
Includes: round-trip airfare from Logan International Airport, air taxes and fees/surcharges, hotel transfers, 7 breakfasts,
5 lunches, 7 dinners, comprehensive travel insurance