This Christmastime river cruise begins in Austria’s magical capital of Vienna, home to the sounds of Mozart and Strauss, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, and the Spanish Riding School. See the famous sights with a Local Guide, or opt to go on a culinary tour through the Christmas markets to get a taste of all the best flavors Austria offers during this time of year. Cruise through the wintery landscape of the picturesque Wachau Valley to Melk. Here, you’ll tour the magnificent 11th century Benedictine Abbey—one of Europe’s largest monasteries—where monks still stroll amidst the sacred walls.
Arrive in Passau, Germany, and visit the city’s charming Christmas market set against the breathtaking backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. In Regensburg, after a guided tour of the city, savor traditional sausages at Historiche Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants and enjoy a tasting of German beers. Learn about Christmas traditions as you cruise to Nuremberg, the thousand-year-old city with its medieval fortifications and gothic churches. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations, and the Christmas market has dozens of stalls offering traditional wares, such as Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread) and unique decorations and ornaments. Then, make your way to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic—one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
In Prague’s Old Town, see the magical Astronomical Clock, built in 1410, and once the envy of all Europe. The Christmas markets offer an array of Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Explore to your heart’s content with a warm cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine) among the rows of brightly decorated wooden huts, and be sure to see the beautifully decorated tree in Old Town to end this perfect, seasonal river cruise.
Multiple itineraries are available:
Day 1 Vienna, Austria (Embarkation)
Welcome to Austria! Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding.
Flights into Vienna must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guest must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Indulge in traditional holiday fare and hot libations to warm your heart and soul before boarding.
Day 2 Vienna
Royal Collections, Amusing Attractions, and Culinary Confections
Take a Guided Tour of Vienna to see the Imperial Palace complex—the winter residence of the Imperial family, OR:
Join a Guided Culinary Tour of Vienna’s magical Christmas Advent Markets to sample Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel.
You may join a Guided Optional Tour of Schönbrunn Palace—summer home of the Habsburg dynasty for 300 years.
Spend free time on your own to enjoy the Christkindlesmarkt, or relax by the fire’s glow in a Viennese café this evening.
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK
Day 3 Melk
Striking Frescoes and the Breathtaking Wachau Valley
Take a Guided Tour of Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings.
This afternoon cruise to Grein, where this evening you will enjoy live entertainment on board
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU
Note: Christmas markets usually operate from late November until the third week in December, depending on location.
Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:
Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.
We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.
Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.
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"Excellent cruise from start to finish, attention to detail, well organised, food and trips were..."