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Christmastime From Frankfurt to Vienna

12 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Save $500 per couple off Europe cruises. Expires June 6. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save $200 per couple off this trip. This offer is combinable with other promotions. Expires May 31. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement on this river cruise. Offer excludes certain suites. Expires June 6. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Avalon Journeys Club members save 5% off the cruise/land price. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 Frankfurt, Germany. (Embarkation)
Welcome to Germany! This afternoon board your ship and meet your crew at a welcome reception before dinner, as you sail out of Frankfurt. (Dinner)

NOTE: Flights into Frankfurt must arrive by 3.30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2 Miltenberg
Tucked away behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates, the picturesque Bavarian village of Miltenberg is a cultural gem on the banks of the Main River. This afternoon’s GUIDED WALK will acquaint you with the town’s delightful Marktplatz (market square), which centers around a Renaissance-era fountain and features striking half-timbered buildings, cobblestone lanes, and one of the oldest inns in Germany, Haus zum Riesen (the giant’s house) and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall. Later, continue your cruise on the Main River to Würzburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3 Würzburg
Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The city makes an immediate impression with imposing Marienberg Fortress perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore the beautifully decorated streets on your own, visit the Christmas markets, or perhaps join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. Here, try a Schneeball (snowball), a local specialty not at all suitable for a diet! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4 Bamberg
Medieval Bamberg is the former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! This time of year, the town is decked out for Christmas. Especially interesting are the many nativity scenes built by local citizens and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you’ll find regional delicacies such as gingerbread and nut bread. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Nuremberg
Although 90% of Nuremberg’s 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 either 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 more specialized “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. You’ll find dozens of stalls offering traditional wares, including Nuremberg Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), baked goods and sweets, Christmas decorations, ornaments, and more. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Nuremberg. (Disembarkation) Excursion to Munich. (Embarkation)
After breakfast, disembark the vessel which has brought you to Nuremberg and drive to Munich, where a local expert will proudly show you the sights of the Bavarian capital. An inspiring mix of historic buildings and impressive architecture, you’ll see the Olympic Stadium, 1,000-foot-high Television Tower, Nymphenburg Palace, MARIENPLATZ in the historic heart of the city with the Old and New Town Halls, and the gothic Frauenkirche. Later, there’s free time to explore on your own. The traditional Christmas market is located on the Marienplatz, with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread filling the air and the strains of alpine Christmas music coming from the town hall. At the nearby Rindermarkt, you’ll find the Kripperlmarkt, one of the largest markets in Germany to specialize in mangers and other nativity accessories. And don’t leave Munich without paying a visit to the famous Hofbräuhaus for a stein of beer! Return to Nuremberg in the late afternoon and embark on the ship which will take you to Vienna. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 7 Nuremberg
A day to relax and enjoy Nuremberg at your own pace. Stroll through the festively lit streets, buy those last-minute Christmas gifts, or ask your Cruise Director for suggestions of things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11 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! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12 Vienna (Disembarkation)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Cruise: deluxe 11-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Frankfurt: onboard welcome reception
  • Miltenberg: guided walk
  • Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz; Christmas market
  • Bamberg: guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall; Christmas market
  • Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; Christmas market
  • Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich: guided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz
  • Nuremberg: day at leisure
  • Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting; Christmas market
  • Passau: guided walk; Christmas market
  • Melk: guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey
  • Vienna: guided sightseeing; Christmas market
  • Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
  • Attend a traditional cookie-baking demonstration.
All This Included
Experience the holiday season on this festive river cruise vacation from Frankfurt to Vienna. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Munich, Regensburg and finally Vienna. There’s a fun tasting of German beers, and a guided visit of the awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey in Melk. You’ll have opportunities galore to explore the many Christmas markets, try some festive Glühwein, sample tasty holiday treats, smell the festive aromas, shop for locally crafted Christmas ornaments, and delight in the holiday cheer. This year, celebrate the holiday season in style on this memorable and joyous cruise.
  • 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
  • Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
  • Included shore excursions with Local Guide
  • Headsets for shore excursions
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Personalized room options & excursions
  • Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard the Avalon Tranquility II and Avalon Vista
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Frankfurt:
in single room $274, in twin room $153

Extra nights per person in Vienna:
in single room $230, in twin room $125
Notes
  • Christmas markets operate from late November until the third week of December, depending on the location
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Port charges not included: $264
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
  • Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* 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.



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