Day 1 Arrive in Vienna, Austria (Embarkation)
Vienna, Austria’s capital, is known as the “City of Music” and inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner)
NOTE: Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2 Vienna
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, this is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see on your GUIDED TOUR. We will offer you a special CULINARY TOUR at the Viennese Christmas markets where you can taste all the best flavors that Austria has to offer during Christmas time. Be sure to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! An optional concert is available tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Krems–Melk
This morning, arrive in Krems and enjoy a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING. Then sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk in the early afternoon. The magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY dominates the town and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You’ll be captivated by the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings. This evening you’ll be able to sample some of the FAMOUS WINES of this region. Later your Cruise Director will introduce you to one of the most popular legends in Europe: ST. NICHOLAS’ LEGEND (December 3 departure). (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Passau, Germany
This morning, you may wish to join an optional full-day excursion to Salzburg to see some of the popular Sound of Music sites, find out how mice caused the composition of the famous Silent Night carol, and learn how Austrians celebrate Christmas. Rejoin your ship in Passau in the early evening or stay on board and relax as you cruise to Passau, located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of cobblestone streets, lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Regensburg
Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. The only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights included on your GUIDED WALK are the 13th-century Old Town Hall and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. The afternoon is free to visit the Regensburg Christmas market, including the ones hosted by Thurn und Taxis Palace. The tempting aromas of mulled wine, sausage, roasted almonds, and gingerbread create a memorable atmosphere. Before dinner tonight we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Nuremberg
Spend a relaxing morning cruising and enjoy an ONBOARD LECTURE about Christmas Traditions before reaching Nuremberg. Although 90% of its Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Choose from an included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at the city’s medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights, and the Christmas market is one of the biggest in Germany, featuring 200 stalls selling traditional wares and foods. After your free time at Christmas Market, a shuttle bus service will be at your disposal to take you back to the ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Nuremberg (Disembarkation)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Enjoy the festive atmosphere from Vienna to Nuremberg and all along the legendary Danube on this enchanting river cruise vacation. Enjoy guided sightseeing in each city and delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of centuries-old Christmas markets in Vienna, Regensburg, and Nuremberg. Be sure to sample the Glühwein, Lebkuchen, and other traditional holiday specialties! Other highlights include a guided visit of the amazing Benedictine Abbey in Melk, a wine tasting, and fun beer tasting. What a fantastic way to start your holiday season! Your ship will be decorated and dressed up in Christmas colors.
Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
Superb dining with meals on board featuring full breakfast with complimentary sparkling wine, lunch with complimentary soft drinks, and dinner including complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks; a welcome reception, Captain’s reception, and farewell dinner; one sitting with open seating arrangements
Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection Beds
Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
Included excursions with Certified Local Guide.
Headsets for shore excursions.
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.