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Length:  9 days from Prague to Vienna

Overview

Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere from Prague to Vienna and all along the legendary Danube on this enchanting river cruise vacation. Enjoy guided sightseeing in each city and delight in the special winter atmosphere of this time of year. Highlights include a visit to the magnificent Hradcany Castle grounds in Prague, a fun beer tasting, and a guided visit of the awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey in Melk. Visit the Christmas markets and be sure to sample the Glühwein, Lebkuchen, and other traditional holiday specialties along the way!

Duration:  9 Days



Ships Serving this Tour:   Passion      

Start Date End Date
23 November, 2018 01 December, 2018
05 December, 2018 13 December, 2018





Day 1   Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic. Welcome to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, a fascinating city straddling the Vltava River.

Day 2   Prague. A 1,200-year-old city preserved in time, Prague’s best-known treasures include the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of Europe; HRADČANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague, which is guarded on both ends by a tower. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books and stroll through the Christmas markets. Rows of brightly decorated wooden huts sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Get a little inner warmth with a cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine) and a traditional hot sausage from one of the stalls. The beautifully decorated tree in the Old Town is an impressive sight. (B)

Day 3   Prague–Nuremberg, Germany (Embarkation). After lunch, drive to Nuremberg, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew for a welcome reception. (B,D)

Day 4   Nuremberg. Although 90% of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to its former glory as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations, and the Christmas market is one of the most famous in the world. The market has dozens of stalls offering traditional wares, including Lebkuchen (spiced gingerbread), baked goods, and typical Christmas decorations and ornaments. (B,L,D)

Day 5   Regensburg. Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Highlights included on your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR are the 13th-century Old Town Hall, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers, built by wealthy families in the Middle Ages to emphasize their status. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy a SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. This afternoon is free to explore on your own or to visit the Regensburg Christmas market. The tempting aromas of mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, sausages, and gingerbread create an unforgettable atmosphere. Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS. (B,L,D)

Day 6   Passau. Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. The Christkindlmarkt, Passau’s charming Christmas market, is set against the stunning backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Take in the highlights of the “City of Three Rivers” on an included GUIDED WALK. Afterward, set sail for Linz, where you arrive in the evening. Alternatively, you might like to join a full-day optional excursion to Salzburg to see some of the sites from The Sound of Music, find out how mice caused the composition of the famous Silent Night Christmas carol, and learn how the Austrians celebrate Christmas. (B,L,D)

Day 7   Melk, Austria–Vienna. This morning, enjoy a GUIDED VISIT of Melk’s 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of the frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. During lunchtime, cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, the landmark of Dürnstein, before arriving in Vienna this evening. This “City of Music” inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available tonight. (B,L,D)

Day 8   Vienna. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boy’s Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—and countless other sights you’ll see on your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Visit the Christmas market in the town center, and be sure to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! (B,L,D)

Day 9   Vienna (Disembarkation). Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)






Meals:  
  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Farewell dinner
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
Note: Flights are NOT included with the Tour and unless otherwise stated above transfers are also NOT included.