13 Nights | Grand Christmas & New Year's Cruise
Discover heaven on Earth with a grand cruise through picture-perfect Christmas countries.
If you’re looking to celebrate the holidays and welcome the New Year in incredible style, this special holiday and New Year’s cruise is for you. You’ll sail through Germany, Austria, and Hungary along the shimmering Danube and past incredible sights on this unique itinerary. Explore charming Old World villages and Gothic cathedrals, and escape the hurry and hassle of the holidays, as you relax onboard a luxurious ship and cruise through the ravishing landscapes of the Danube.
On Christmas Eve, walk through the quiet medieval streets of Regensburg to the Gothic cathedral for midnight mass. As you pass through the magnificent doors, look up: you’ll see chalk marks invoking age-old blessings for all who enter. Listen to the harness bells chime as you ride through the serene Bavarian Forest in a horse-drawn wagon. Wander through locations from The Sound of Music in beautiful Salzburg and then warm up with rum-laced coffee. Meet Habsburg royalty during a private reception in a castle overlooking the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley. Visit stunning churches and sample delicious wines in enchanting baroque villages. Ring in the New Year dancing in a real Viennese palace, and see how a dusting of snow adds to the glamour of Hungary’s historic capital. The mighty Danube takes you through three nations decked in all their holiday finery at this most delightful time of year.
Who will enjoy this cruise
Those who wish to just get away and relax during the busy holiday season, and anyone seeking to celebrate Christmas and welcome in the New Year in an extraordinarily memorable way.
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Arrive at Nuremberg Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship. (D)
FEATURED EXCURSION: Nuremberg city tour with Christmas Market
See the highlights of this quintessential medieval city on a panoramic tour, then visit Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, Germany’s oldest and bestknown Christmas Market. Be sure to sample some lebkuchen (gingerbread) here in the “Gingerbread Capital of the World.” In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Cruising the Main-Danube Canal, Regensburg
Spend a leisurely day onboard as you cruise along the remarkable 106-mile-long Main-Danube Canal to the Danube River. Arrive in Regensburg in the evening; if you wish, you can attend midnight mass in the spectacular Gothic cathedral in the medieval town center—a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of “2,000 Years in One Hour” Regensburg walking tour of Old Town or Jewish Regensburg walking tour
Regensburg is a delight to explore, with its quaint cobblestone streets, medieval alleys and ancient Roman ruins. If you wish, attend Christmas Day Mass in a local church before exploring the city with a local expert. Alternatively, you can see sites associated with one of the oldest Jewish communities in Germany. Return to the ship for a festive Christmas meal, complete with all the trimmings.
Cruising the Danube River, Deggendorf (Theresienthal)
FEATURED EXCURSION: Exclusive Bavarian Forest Village and Theresienthal glass manufactory visit
Snuggle down in warm blankets aboard a horse- drawn wagon and take a ride through a charming village in the Bavarian Forest. Then you’ll get a close-up view at the art of making the famous ruby-red Bohemian glass with a visit to the world-renowned glass manufacturer, Theresienthal (which produced glassware for the rulers of Europe for centuries).
Cruising the Danube River, Passau
FEATURED EXCURSION: Passau walking discovery tour
Enjoy scenic cruising en route to the beautiful city of Passau. Situated at the confluence of three rivers, Passau was an important center of trade during the Middle Ages, and you will see its charming Old Town on a guided walking discovery tour.
FEATURED EXCURSION: Full-day Salzburg tour
On your guided tour through Salzburg’s UNESCO World Heritage-designated Old Town, view such gems as the 17th-century cathedral and the house where Mozart was born, as well as the Mirabellgarten, where scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed. You’ll also have time to visit some of the many lovely shops in the area.
Cruising the Wachau Valley, Dürnstein
FEATURED EXCURSIONS:Dürnstein village stroll with exclusive spiced wine tasting and organ concert in rococo Augustine monastery church, and exclusive cocktail reception at Artstetten Castle with Princess Anita von Hohenberg
Explore charming Dürnstein with your Cruise Manager and enjoy an exclusive mulled wine tasting. Then attend an exclusive cocktail reception at Artstetten Castle with Princess Anita von Hohenberg, a descendant of the royal Habsburgs.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Vienna city tour with Winter Palace of Prince Eugene visit and exclusive waltz tuition or exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking tour, and Mozart & Strauss concert at a Viennese palace
See the highlights of Vienna on a city tour that takes you inside Prince Eugene’s magnificent Winter Palace. Or, stroll through the Old Town on an exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour, venturing down famous shopping streets, marveling at shop window displays of decadent confections and browsing the stalls of the Am Hof and Freyung Christmas markets. This evening, enjoy the music of Mozart and Strauss at a private concert at a Viennese palace
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Schönbrunn Palace, and exclusive New Year’s gala dinner and dance at a Viennese palace
Take a guided tour of Schönbrunn Palace, the former Habsburg summer residence that rivals Versailles with its ornate décor and elaborate gardens. Tonight, ring in the New Year in a glorious Viennese palace, with a festive dinner, private concert and dancing.
Vienna, cruising the Danube River
After exploring Vienna on your own, relax onboard as the ship cruises to Budapest. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
FEATURED EXCURSION: Budapest city tour
Your panoramic tour of beautiful Buda and Pest— situated on opposite sides of the Danube—features the city’s famous 19th-century Chain Bridge, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district.
Disembark the ship and transfer to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home.
You will visit the following 8 places:
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it serves as the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2010, Budapest had 1,721,556 inhabitants, down from its 1980 peak of 2.06 million. The Budapest Commuter Area is home to 3,271,110 people. The city covers an area of 525 square kilometres (202.7 sq mi) within the city limits. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with a unification on 17 November 1873 of right (west)-bank Buda and Óbuda with left (east)-bank Pest. Budapest is one of Europe's most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture it is nicknamed "Paris of the East".
Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.7 million (2.4 million within the metropolitan area, more than 25% of Austria's population), and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 10th-largest city by population in the European Union. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, such as the United Nations and OPEC. The city is also known for its Imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence. Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud.
Nuremberg is a city on the river Pegnitz and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. When people think of Nuremberg, they usually think of gingerbread, toys, Christmas, the Reich Party Rally Grounds, or the Nuremberg Trials. But the old town of Nuremberg is much more than this and indeed Nuremberg probably comes closest to many tourists' expectations of a typical German city: On the one hand one can find half-timbered houses, gothic churches within a medival city wall in the shadow of the towering imperial castle, which was one of the most important residences of the emporers of the Holy Roman Empire.
Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the city of the federal state of Salzburg. The city's ''Old Town'' has internationally renowned baroque architecture and one of the best-preserved city centres north of the Alps. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The city is noted for its Alpine setting. Salzburg was the birthplace of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In the mid-20th century, the city was the setting for parts of the American musical and film The Sound of Music, which features famous landmarks in Austria. The musical was a partnership between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The capital city of the State of Salzburg, the city has three universities.