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Grand Christmas and New Years 2017

Grand Christmas & New Year's

13 Days from Nuremberg to Budapest

Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Day 1: Nuremberg (Embark)

Arrive at Nuremberg Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer, or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.

Day 2: Nuremberg

You could not ask for a more perfect place to begin a celebration of the holiday season than Nuremberg. The historic Old Town is an archetypal German medieval city and is home to a world-renowned gingerbread called lebkuchen.

Nuremberg city tour with Christmas market

Beautiful at any time, Nuremberg’s Old Town is especially magical when dressed in all of its holiday splendor. Stroll through the castle gardens and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, then walk through a maze of cobblestone lanes down to the central Market Square. There, spread out before the Church of Our Lady, is the largest Christmas market in Germany. Two hundred stalls filled with holiday wares—ornaments, nutcrackers, seasonal treats and hand-carved toys—await you, and the irresistible aromas of roasting nuts, cinnamon and grilled sausages waft through the air.

Adding to the fun is an area set aside especially for children, complete with a two-tiered carousel featuring carved reindeer and Santa’s sleigh. As you wander through the market, you will certainly want to indulge in some of the city’s famous gingerbread; after all, Nuremberg is known as the “Gingerbread Capital of the World.”

NOTE: The permanent exhibition at the Documentation Center will be closed until the fall of 2023. In its place, a special temporary exhibition may be available.

Nuremberg WWII historical tour

  • Duration:
    4 hours
  • Activity Level:
    Intermediate
  • Price:
    €64 EUR onboard

Hitler considered Nuremberg the perfect expression of German culture and chose it as the location for his massive rallies and most grandiose building schemes. Visit the Party Rally Grounds and the Documentation Center’s exhibit on the rise and fall of the Nazis, and see the Nuremberg Memoriam, which gives you a view of Courtroom 600, where 21 Nazi war criminals were tried in 1945—it remains an active courtroom and cannot be viewed during court proceedings, though the displays, including pieces of the original dock, can be seen. Note: The permanent exhibition at the Documentation Center will be closed until the fall of 2023. In its place, a special temporary exhibition may be available.

*Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be added to a booking up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date if space allows. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change.

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 3: Cruising the Main-Danube Canal, Regensburg

Spend a leisurely day onboard as you cruise along a marvel of modern engineering, the 106-mile-long Main-Danube Canal. Tonight, celebrate Christmas Eve in the enchanting town of Regensburg, known for its stunningly preserved medieval quarter.

Day 4: Regensburg

The Old Town of Regensburg sparkles with holiday lights and decorations this time of year, adding to its already considerable charms and captivating architectural style. Check out the best and brightest cultural sights and plunge into the town’s ancient past.

Regensburg walking tour

People have been describing Regensburg as “old and new” for a thousand years. A single structure perfectly illustrates this: Porta Praetoria, the gate built by the Romans during Marcus Aurelius’ reign. The gate and adjacent watchtower have been incorporated into a much newer building, but the plaster has been removed to reveal the ancient stones laid so long ago.

As you walk through the cobbled lanes of the UNESCO-designated Old Town, the city’s 2,000-year history is similarly revealed: the Stone Bridge that made Regensburg a 12th-century trading powerhouse, the Gothic town hall where the Imperial Diet met for three centuries, the 13th-century fortified patrician houses and the spectacular Cathedral of St. Peter, whose magnificent 14th-century stained-glass windows alone are worth your walk.

You’ll have free time to explore on your own. It’s very hard to get lost in Regensburg because the spires of the cathedral are visible all over town, so don’t hesitate to roam. The historic quarter not only boasts almost a thousand beautiful old buildings, but also many cozy pubs and some great shopping. The ship is docked conveniently close, so it’s easy to drop your treasures off and go back for more.

Day 5: Cruising the Danube River, Deggendorf (Theresienthal)

Take some time today to explore the beautifully expansive and heavily wooded Bavarian Forest. As the largest continuous forested region in Europe, there’s plenty to uncover—like unspoiled landscapes, abundant wildlife and idyllic atmosphere.

Bavarian Forest adventure

Enter the Bavarian Forest, Germany’s first and largest national park, to discover an abundant wilderness covered in diverse flora and fauna. This area is home to several unique craft traditions, and you’ll have your choice of which ones you’d like to discover today.

Enjoy a schnapps tasting at a local distillery. In Germany, schnapps refers to any hard liquor, and each is distinguished by the ingredients it is distilled from. The word means “snap,” since schnapps is generally “snapped” back in the style of a shot.

From there, you’ll choose to either move on to a glass workshop and see how the local style of glassware is crafted, or for a more active outing, join us on a visit to a former Silver Mine. Ride up to the mine by cable car, get your helmet and dive deep into the mountain.

Day 6: Cruising the Danube River, Passau

Located at the confluence of three rivers, Passau is a lovely place to take a stroll with a local expert who will regale you with stories about the town’s colorful (and ancient) past.

Passau walking tour

The skyline of Passau is dominated by two buildings that owe their existence to the prince-bishops who ruled the city until 1803: the great fortress looming on a hill above the three rivers, home to the bishops until the 17th century, and the green onion domes of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. As you walk through the cobblestone streets toward those green onion domes, you’ll realize that Passau retains the layout of the medieval town.

However, many of the wooden medieval buildings burned to the ground in the 17th century, and the prince-bishops imported Italian artists to build a new cathedral and a magnificent new residence for the bishops themselves. As a result, these splendid structures flaunt Italian baroque and rococo style and ornamentation, complete with opulent gilding and wonderful frescoes. Your guide will introduce you to some of the architectural highlights—the rococo stairways of the New Residence; the cathedral; and the Town Hall, which boasts a magnificent atrium adorned with large paintings by Ferdinand Wagner—and make sure you get a close-up view of the point where the three rivers meet.

Day 7: Linz (Salzburg)

Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg is nestled in a glorious alpine setting that sparkles like a winter wonderland. You definitely chose the perfect time of year to explore this refined and much-loved city. If you’re a fan of “The Sound of Music,” all the better—you will recognize locations from the Oscar-winning film in the city’s Old Town.

Full-day Salzburg

A 900-year-old fortress stands staunchly above Salzburg’s historic center, but the city is much better known for its musical heritage than it is for any military activities. Mozart was born here, performed in public for the first time (at the age of five) here, and composed his first pieces here. Salzburg celebrates its most famous son in many forms—with statues, with chocolates, with festivals—but there are other musical associations to discover too. Walk with your guide through the Mirabell Garden, the beautiful formal gardens where Maria sang “Do-Re-Mi” with her young charges in the movie The Sound of Music, and admire Mirabell Castle, built in 1606 by Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau for his mistress. The archbishop’s official residence, however, lies on the other side of the river, near the cathedral. You’ll ramble through the UNESCO-designated Old Town, where narrow lanes branch off your route, tempting you to explore the shops and cafés that line them, and cross the bridge for a look at the great 17th-century cathedral and the splendid episcopal residence. (Mozart worked for the archbishop of his day—whom he despised—before he moved to Vienna.) It’s part of a group of churches and priestly residences that are linked by arcades that you may wish to check out after your tour.

Following your tour, you’ll have free time for shopping and lunch on your own in the charming city center. Your guide can suggest great restaurants in the area: Café Tomaselli has hosted musical notables, from Mozart to Max Reinhardt, since 1705. You’ll find roughly 800 shops tucked into the historic buildings along the Getreidegasse, so your options are many.

Linz town and country: Linzertorte and cider farm visit

Get to know Linz on foot with a local expert who will take you by all the major sites in town, from Mozart’s apartment to the old Jesuit Cathedral. You’ll stop for a bite at Konditorei Jindrak, home of the Original Linzer Torte. Enjoy a cup of coffee alongside this thin, buttery pastry made with ground nuts, filled with fruit preserves and topped with a lattice crust.

Next, we’ll head out to a countryside cider farm, where we’ll be treated to a lunch of local specialties and house-made cider.

Day 8: Cruising the Wachau Valley, Dürnstein

After a scenic cruise through the Wachau Valley, we’ll reach the village of Dürnstein. Walk along the cobbled streets, browse the shops selling apricot schnapps and maybe take a quick jaunt up to a ruined castle (with an intriguing tale all its own).

Dürnstein village stroll with spiced wine tasting and organ concert in a monastery

Considering its diminutive size, the village of Dürnstein offers much to explore. The famous blue baroque tower of the abbey church is doubtless its best-known landmark, but the ruined castle above the town provides its most romantic tale. There Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned until he was found by his faithful bard, Blondel, and ransom could be raised—or so the legend goes. Walk with the Cruise Manager through the Kremser Gate, which dates to the 15th-century, and past 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century houses; it’s an up-close look at over 300 years of regional architecture. The inhabitants of this region have grown apricots and grapes for many centuries, and they have happily turned both into delectable beverages through the years. See what they do with the local wine in winter as you warm up with a mulled wine tasting after your walk, then sit back and enjoy an organ concert inside a rococo Augustine monastery church.

Private Artstetten Castle reception with a member of Habsburg Royalty

You’re invited to a private cocktail reception at Artstetten Castle with a member of the Habsburg royal family—a direct descendent of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. As a pivotal part of world history, Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo triggered WWI. The seven-towered castle, parts of which date back to the 13th-century, remains the private property of the Hohenberg family. It is the final resting place of the archduke and his wife, who are entombed in the family crypt, which you may explore. A museum within the castle walls is dedicated to Franz Ferdinand; you might be surprised to discover that the archduke, a stern military man if one judges him by his portrait, renounced his descendants’ claim to the Habsburg throne in order to marry for love.

Day 9: Vienna

Vienna is a city steeped in history, music and elegant architecture. Mozart, Austria’s most famous citizen, was at the height of his creative powers when he lived here, writing perhaps his best-known works, including “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Don Giovanni” and “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.”

“Morning with the Masters” at the Vienna Art History Museum

The Vienna Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) is home to an astonishing collection of artistic treasures. Its doors open early especially for you as you join an art historian for a tour of some of the masterpieces gathered here: View a unique group of works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Vermeer’s Allegory of Painting, Raphael’s Madonna in the Meadow, and portraits by Rembrandt, Velazquez, Rubens, Titian, Tintoretto and Van Eyck, among others, in the Picture Gallery before moving on to the Kunstkammer galleries, where you can see Benvenuto Cellini’s legendary salt cellar (the only gold sculpture he created that has survived to the present day) and hear its remarkable story. Your exclusive tour ends with a reception in the magnificent Cupola Hall, perhaps the architectural highlight of the splendid building.

Private Mozart and Strauss concert

Vienna is linked inextricably with music, as so many great composers lived and worked here: Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Schubert, Mahler, Brahms—the list is as long as it is glorious. Enjoy an evening of chamber music performed by some of Vienna’s world-class professionals in a historic and intimate concert venue.

Vienna city tour with Christmas market

Today's panoramic tour includes a visit to Ring Street, the great horseshoe-shaped boulevard lined with many of the city’s major landmarks—Parliament, City Hall, the Vienna State Opera, and numerous glorious palaces and museums. Ring Street (Ringstrasse) is a mere 150 years old, practically an infant for a city of Vienna’s age. It replaced the walls that had protected the city for centuries. Next, set off on foot for a guided walking tour with a local expert, passing more top sites—such as Hofburg Palace, the Spanish Riding School and St. Stephan’s Cathedral. You’ll also have time to explore on your own and to visit Vienna’s most famous Christmas market, situated in front of City Hall, where more than 140 wooden stalls entice you with every sort of delicacy. Be sure to try the rum balls and nutmeg-spiced macarons, which are local favorites, and roam through the adjacent park to admire the elaborately decorated trees. On the way to the Christmas market, you will be treated to some gingerbread and Glühwein.

“Taste of Christmas” Vienna walking tour

Vienna is a delicious experience for visitors (and for locals too, of course) at any time of the year, but it’s especially inviting during the winter holidays. Join an exclusive excursion that combines delectable treats of the season with a look at some of the highlights in the Innere Stadt—the historic city core. A drive along Prater and Ring streets provides a glimpse of the magnificent buildings that showcase the Habsburgs’ grandeur, followed by a closer look. This district offers a stunning array of Vienna’s gems in just a few blocks.

Drop by the 14th-century Minorite Church to see the animated Nativity scene, then stroll with your local guide down elegant shopping streets, including the Graben and Kohlmarkt (don’t miss the dazzling display of holiday confectionary art in the windows of Café Demel, which once supplied Empress Sissi with candied violets), step into a newly restored 15th-century courtyard house, see where Mozart once lived (though he moved often as his finances changed), peek into some of the Hofburg’s courtyards and churches, and discover as you go along the luscious flavors of Vienna’s favorite holiday sweets and savories. You’ll sample delicate vanilla crescents, the fruit-filled pastry called kletzenbrot, poppy-seed cake, fluffy apple krapfen (a type of doughnut) and air-dried Tyrolean ham and rye bread. Vienna also cherishes its New Year’s traditions, so you’ll find market stalls offering the good-luck charms Viennese people exchange on New Year’s Eve: You may spot marzipan pigs, chocolate chimney sweeps, plush mushrooms, tiny metal ladybugs, even lucky pennies— they all symbolize prosperity and good fortune for the coming year. Pick up some good luck and a mug of mulled wine and roam on your own through this short- lived market before returning to the ship.

Day 10: Vienna

Begin the day with a visit to a palace that pays tribute to the taste and wealth of the Habsburg emperors, spend some time exploring Vienna on your own and then ring in the New Year in style.

Day 11: Vienna, Cruising the Danube River

After enjoying some extra free time to explore Vienna on your own, relax onboard as the ship cruises to Budapest. You have the morning at leisure. You could relax onboard or ramble through glorious Vienna.

Vienna New Year's Concert at Gartenpalais Lichtenstein

  • Duration:
    3.75 hours
  • Activity Level:
    Easy
  • Price:
    €166 EUR onboard

TBA

*Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be added to a booking up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date if space allows. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change.

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 12: Budapest

Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each have their own distinctive character and allure. You’ll get a taste of this dynamic capital with a city tour that will show you all the highlights.

Budapest panoramic highlights with Parliament visit

Take in the highlights of Budapest on a panoramic tour down Andrassy Avenue, a bustling promenade lined with breathtaking Neo-Renaissance architecture. The construction of this street was part of a concerted effort to establish Budapest as a modern metropolis during the 19th century, making the grandeur of these buildings as much a political statement as an artistic one. Today, you can enjoy both the beauty and the history of this UNESCO-designated avenue as you pass through, marvel at Heroes’ Square, and make your way to the top of Gellért Hill, where you’ll look down to incredible views of both the Buda and Pest sides of the city.

Stepping off the coach, you’ll enter the iconic Parliament building that commands Budapest’s skyline. Likely the most famous building in Budapest, this masterpiece of Neo-Gothic architecture is as spectacular inside as out.

Day 13: Budapest (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer, or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to the Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home.

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Grand Christmas & New Year's

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