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Christkindlmärkte along the Danube River

December 6 – 14, 2024 | starting at $3,145 | Tour Partner: Gohagan

About This Trip

Celebrate the enduring magic of the Yuletide season on an enchanting 7-night river cruise to enjoy Europe’s most beloved Christmas markets. Discover magnificent settings where cobblestoned streets strung with colorful lights meet festive market stalls of handcrafted ornaments, fine wooden toys, and irresistible holiday treats. This unique itinerary brings the old-world charm of the holidays to life in a vivid celebration of history and culture. Be inspired by some of Europe’s most noteworthy landmarks—Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg, the 900-year-old Abbey of Melk in the legendary Wachau Valley, and the glamorous imperial monuments of Hapsburg Vienna. Enhance your journey with the Munich and Vienna Optional Extension.

Book Tour

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Depart Home City

    Friday, December 6, 2025

    Depart your home city for an overnight flight.

  • Day 2: Nuremberg, Germany/Embark River Boat

    Saturday, December 7, 2025

    Arrive the next day in the storied city of Nuremberg, where you will embark the Amadeus Queen. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner on board this evening.

  • Day 3: Nuremberg

    Sunday, December 8, 2025

    Explore the historic center of Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second largest city. Divided by the River Pegnitz, its medieval city walls and imperial castle complex are straight out of a fairytale. Behold the medieval, Gothic‑style St. Lawrence Church, damaged during the World War II and later masterfully restored. In the Hauptmarkt, see the Frauenkirche, or Gothic church, and the Schöner Brunnen fountain. Spend the afternoon at leisure and visit Germany’s most famous Christmas Market, known for preserving Nuremberg’s famous rostbratwurst and Nürnberger lebkuchen gingerbread.

  • Day 4: Regensburg

    Monday, December 9, 2025

    This morning, enjoy a walking tour of medieval Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural testament to the city’s history as an important trading center. Even though it suffered repeated bombing during World War II, most of its medieval structures survived. Festooned with pine boughs and sparkling lights, the city features four enchanting Christmas Markets—each purveying distinctive handmade pottery, carved figures, and Bavarian delicacies.

  • Day 5: Passau

    Tuesday, December 10, 2025

    Admire graceful arcades, cobblestone streets, and the breathtaking Baroque cathedral of St. Stephan. Visit the Christmas Market in front of that iconic cathedral with time to explore at your own pace. Shop the stalls and taste the gingerbread and other aromatic treats with the splendor of the city all around you.

  • Day 6: Linz for Salzburg, Austria

    Wednesday, December 11, 2025

    Begin your discovery of historic Salzburg with a walking tour of its UNESCO-inscribed old town. See St. Peter’s Cemetery, The Residenz Palace, and the Festival Halls as you stroll along the 12th century Getreidegasse shopping boulevard. You will also walk past Mozart’s birthplace at Getreidegasse No. 9 before arriving at the Mirabell Castle Cathedral for a private Mozart string quartet concert. Marvel at the majestic Dom Cathedral as you walk to Salzburg’s Christmas Market in Cathedral Square to enjoy a lunch of local specialties. Conclude your tour with a visit to the 11th century Fortress of Hohensalzburg, the largest, fully preserved fortress in central Europe.

  • Day 7: Emmersdorf/Melk/Dürnstein

    Thursday, December 12, 2025

    Visit Melk’s famous Benedictine abbey, one of the most significant Baroque‑style building complexes in Europe. Providing a sweeping panorama of the Lower Alps and Danube River below, the abbey’s elaborate cloister has been ruined and then rebuilt several times and contains such artistic treasures as original frescoes, statuary, and medieval manuscripts. From there, we cruise to the lovely village of Dürnstein, situated in the heart of Wachau Valley wine country. Visit the uniquely situated Dürnstein Abbey, which began in 1372 as a small chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. High above the town, see the ruins of Künringer Castle, where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned on his way back from the Third Crusade. Enjoy a short organ recital at the cathedral in Dürnstein.

  • Day 8: Vienna

    Friday, December 13, 2025

    Discover the Gothic beauty of St. Stephen’s, or Stephansdom, on a visit to a structure that represents eight centuries of architectural history. Explore the UNESCO‑inscribed Schönbrunn Palace, the Hapsburg’s extravagant summer residence. Learn more about these extravagant rulers as you stroll palace hallways and enjoy free time in the gardens, followed by a visit to the Schönbrunn Christmas Market. Enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner this evening.

  • Day 9: Vienna/Return to Home City

    Saturday, December 14, 2025

    Disembark the river boat and transfer to the airport for a flight back to your home city.

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