Danube Holiday Market 2017

Day 1: Budapest (embark)

Arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship.

Day 2: Budapest

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Budapest city tour with Christmas Market

Discover the wonders of the “Queen of the Danube” as you savor the beauty of both Buda and Pest, which lie on opposite sides of the Danube on a panoramic tour showcasing key highlights, including St. Stephen’s Basilica and the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district, before exploring the Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square. Only the finest Hungarian craftsmen are invited to display their wares here, so you’re sure to find many well-made, one-of-a-kind gifts. Another extra-special feature of the market is a hand-carved manger with a Nativity scene that includes live animals. Savor mulled wine, cinnamon-spiced gingerbread and traditional honey cakes as you stroll and shop. Celebrate the spirit of the holidays at the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Optional Excursions:
Szentendre artist´s village visit and shopping

Szentendre artist´s village visit and shopping

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $75.90

Head to the charming little town of Szentendre, with its well-preserved 17th-century houses and active community of artists and craftspeople. A guide will introduce you to the village’s main street, which is also its primary shopping boulevard. Here you’ll find all the traditional Hungarian arts and crafts you can imagine, including ceramics, hand-embroidered blouses and tablecloths, and wool sweaters, as well as fine Herend porcelain and Tokaji wines. You can then visit either the Margit Kovács Ceramics Museum or the unique Szabo Marzipan Museum, which features a display of the Hungarian Parliament building made entirely out of marzipan.

Day 3: Cruising the Danube River, Bratislava

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Bratislava walking discovery tour with Christmas Market

Slovakia’s capital city is full of surprises, as you will discover on your walking tour of the historic downtown area, which concludes at Bratislava’s Christmas Market. While a relatively new tradition here—the city’s first Christmas Market was held in 1993—the local residents have fully embraced this delightful wintertime event, and today you’ll find a generous array of stalls brimming with unique handicrafts, folk art and decadent holiday treats.
Optional Excursions:
Schlosshof Christmas village

Schlosshof Christmas village

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $49.50

A visit to the magnificent Schloss Hof gives you the opportunity to experience the idyllic, rural yet royal lifestyle led by the likes of Prince Eugene of Savoy and Empress Maria Theresa. You’ll arrive by motorcoach for your guided tour of one of the most fascinating baroque palaces in Austria, only recently restored and opened to the public. The palace was purchased in the late 1720s by the art-loving Prince Eugene, who was a major figure in European affairs. Schloss Hof was his country residence, and he turned it into a much-cherished showplace. The palace grounds host a marvelous Christmas Market, where you can watch a variety of craft demonstrations as you shop. Almost every Christmas Market has its own mug; Schloss Hof’s comes with an illustration of the palace.

Day 4: Vienna

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Vienna city tour with Winter Palace of Prince Eugene visit and Christmas markets OR exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour, and exclusive Mozart and Strauss concert at a Viennese palace

Vienna is at its most dazzling during the holiday season, and you’ll have two choices for how you wish to experience it—both options include the Christmas Market in front of City Hall, Austria’s largest and most famous Christmas market, as well as the small but charming market at Freyung Square. Choose to visit Prince Eugene’s magnificent Winter Palace or experience a taste of Christmas as you are guided through famous shopping streets with windows bedecked with their holiday finery, including stops to sample some of the local seasonal treats with a Viennese coffee. And no visit to the “City of Waltzes” is complete without music, so you’ll be treated to an exclusive private concert of Mozart and Strauss at a Viennese palace in the evening.
Optional Excursions:
Schönbrunn Palace with Christmas market

Schönbrunn Palace with Christmas market

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $53.90

Perhaps the apex of baroque design in Vienna, Schönbrunn was Empress Maria Theresa’s favorite palace, and, beginning in 1740, she made it the social and political center of her empire. Your visit will concentrate on the rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his empress, Elisabeth (known as Sissi). Franz Joseph restored the state rooms to their rococo splendor, but his private rooms reflect his rather severe nature, making for an illuminating contrast. You will also have some time to explore the charming Christmas Market set up right in front of the Schönbrunn, which is spectacularly illuminated for the season.

Day 5: Krems, cruising the Wachau Valley

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Göttweig Abbey with private organ recital

The baroque-style Benedictine Göttweig Abbey, often referred to as Austria’s Monte Cassino because of its fantastic location, is where you’ll be treated to a private organ concert inside the abbey’s beautiful church. You’ll then set sail on a scenic cruise through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley, a 19-mile stretch of the Danube with spectacular landscapes and quaint towns and wine villages clustered along the river. Note: The organ concert may take place in a different location if the Göttweig Abbey visit falls on a Catholic holiday.

Day 6: Linz (Salzburg or Linz and Steyr)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of full day Salzburg with walking discovery tour and Christmas Market OR Linz and Steyr with Christmas markets

Journey through the region known to many as the “smile on the face of Austria,” Salzburg. On your guided tour through the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, view historical gems, from the 17th-century cathedral to Mozart’s birth house to the famous gardens where scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed and then enjoy the city’s marvelous Christmas Market. Alternatively, visit the lovely Austrian towns of Steyr and Linz, each with their own Christmas markets, holiday traditions and unique character and charm.

Day 7: Passau

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Passau walking discovery tour with Christmas Market and gingerbread-making and floral-decorating demonstrations

Situated at the convergence of three rivers, the medieval town of Passau is a delightful place to explore on foot, especially during the holidays. Your walking discovery tour takes you past all the top sights—including St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to Europe’s largest pipe organ—and visits the city’s festive Christmas Market. As an extra-special treat, learn how to make delicious lebkuchen and beautiful holiday floral centerpieces. Celebrate your last night onboard with a festive evening at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 8: Passau (disembark), transfer to Munich Airport

Disembark the ship in Passau and transfer to Munich Airport for your flight home.

Day 1: Munich Airport, transfer to Passau (embark)

Arrive at Munich Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship docked in Passau.

Day 2: Passau

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Passau walking discovery tour with Christmas Market and gingerbread-making and floral-decorating demonstrations

Situated at the convergence of three rivers, the medieval town of Passau is a delightful place to explore on foot, especially during the holidays. Your walking discovery tour takes you past all the top sights—including St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to Europe’s largest pipe organ—and visits the city’s festive Christmas Market. As an extra-special treat, learn how to make delicious lebkuchen and beautiful holiday floral centerpieces. Celebrate your last night onboard with a festive evening at the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Optional Excursions:
Szentendre artist´s village visit and shopping

Szentendre artist´s village visit and shopping

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $75.90

Head to the charming little town of Szentendre, with its well-preserved 17th-century houses and active community of artists and craftspeople. A guide will introduce you to the village’s main street, which is also its primary shopping boulevard. Here you’ll find all the traditional Hungarian arts and crafts you can imagine, including ceramics, hand-embroidered blouses and tablecloths, and wool sweaters, as well as fine Herend porcelain and Tokaji wines. You can then visit either the Margit Kovács Ceramics Museum or the unique Szabo Marzipan Museum, which features a display of the Hungarian Parliament building made entirely out of marzipan.

Day 3: Linz (Salzburg or Linz and Steyr)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of full day Salzburg with walking discovery tour and Christmas Market OR Linz and Steyr with Christmas markets

Journey through the region known to many as the “smile on the face of Austria,” Salzburg. On your guided tour through the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, view historical gems, from the 17th-century cathedral to Mozart’s birth house to the famous gardens where scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed and then enjoy the city’s marvelous Christmas Market. Alternatively, visit the lovely Austrian towns of Steyr and Linz, each with their own Christmas markets, holiday traditions and unique character and charm.
Optional Excursions:
Schlosshof Christmas village

Schlosshof Christmas village

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $49.50

A visit to the magnificent Schloss Hof gives you the opportunity to experience the idyllic, rural yet royal lifestyle led by the likes of Prince Eugene of Savoy and Empress Maria Theresa. You’ll arrive by motorcoach for your guided tour of one of the most fascinating baroque palaces in Austria, only recently restored and opened to the public. The palace was purchased in the late 1720s by the art-loving Prince Eugene, who was a major figure in European affairs. Schloss Hof was his country residence, and he turned it into a much-cherished showplace. The palace grounds host a marvelous Christmas Market, where you can watch a variety of craft demonstrations as you shop. Almost every Christmas Market has its own mug; Schloss Hof’s comes with an illustration of the palace.

Day 4: Cruising the Wachau Valley, Krems

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Göttweig Abbey with private organ recital

The baroque-style Benedictine Göttweig Abbey, often referred to as Austria’s Monte Cassino because of its fantastic location, is where you’ll be treated to a private organ concert inside the abbey’s beautiful church. You’ll then set sail on a scenic cruise through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley, a 19-mile stretch of the Danube with spectacular landscapes and quaint towns and wine villages clustered along the river. Note: The organ concert may take place in a different location if the Göttweig Abbey visit falls on a Catholic holiday.
Optional Excursions:
Schönbrunn Palace with Christmas market

Schönbrunn Palace with Christmas market

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $53.90

Perhaps the apex of baroque design in Vienna, Schönbrunn was Empress Maria Theresa’s favorite palace, and, beginning in 1740, she made it the social and political center of her empire. Your visit will concentrate on the rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his empress, Elisabeth (known as Sissi). Franz Joseph restored the state rooms to their rococo splendor, but his private rooms reflect his rather severe nature, making for an illuminating contrast. You will also have some time to explore the charming Christmas Market set up right in front of the Schönbrunn, which is spectacularly illuminated for the season.

Day 5: Vienna

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Vienna city tour with Winter Palace of Prince Eugene visit and Christmas markets OR exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour, and exclusive Mozart and Strauss concert at a Viennese palace

Vienna is at its most dazzling during the holiday season, and you’ll have two choices for how you wish to experience it—both options include the Christmas Market in front of City Hall, Austria’s largest and most famous Christmas market, as well as the small but charming market at Freyung Square. Choose to visit Prince Eugene’s magnificent Winter Palace or experience a taste of Christmas as you are guided through famous shopping streets with windows bedecked with their holiday finery, including stops to sample some of the local seasonal treats with a Viennese coffee. And no visit to the “City of Waltzes” is complete without music, so you’ll be treated to an exclusive private concert of Mozart and Strauss at a Viennese palace in the evening.

Day 6: Bratislava

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Bratislava walking discovery tour with Christmas Market

Slovakia’s capital city is full of surprises, as you will discover on your walking tour of the historic downtown area, which concludes at Bratislava’s Christmas Market. While a relatively new tradition here—the city’s first Christmas Market was held in 1993—the local residents have fully embraced this delightful wintertime event, and today you’ll find a generous array of stalls brimming with unique handicrafts, folk art and decadent holiday treats.

Day 7: Budapest

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Budapest city tour with Christmas Market

Discover the wonders of the “Queen of the Danube” as you savor the beauty of both Buda and Pest, which lie on opposite sides of the Danube on a panoramic tour showcasing key highlights, including St. Stephen’s Basilica and the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district, before exploring the Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square. Only the finest Hungarian craftsmen are invited to display their wares here, so you’re sure to find many well-made, one-of-a-kind gifts. Another extra-special feature of the market is a hand-carved manger with a Nativity scene that includes live animals. Savor mulled wine, cinnamon-spiced gingerbread and traditional honey cakes as you stroll and shop. Celebrate the spirit of the holidays at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 8: Budapest (disembark)

Disembark the ship in Budapest and transfer to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Prague.