Day 1 – Nuremberg (embark)
Arrive at Nuremberg Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship.
Day 2 – Nuremberg
FEATURED EXCURSION: Nuremberg city tour with Christmas Market
Your tour of the medieval walled city of Nuremberg—famous for its gingerbread and its long toymaking tradition—shows you the highlights and takes you inside Castle Kaiserburg, which looms over the city. Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts and sample wonderful regional delicacies and seasonal treats at Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, the largest and oldest in Germany. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Day 3 – Bamberg
FEATURED EXCURSION: Bamberg Nativity Walk with Christmas Market
As you explore the quirky, narrow lanes of Bamberg’s Old Town, look for signs of the city’s famous Nativity Walk, which links 40 churches, museums and public spaces displaying Nativity and New Testament scenes. Some of the figures in the scenes were carved centuries ago. Browse through delightful shops decorated for the holidays and search for treasures at the city’s four Christmas markets—a traditional market, another featuring medieval cultural programs and two focused on local arts and crafts.
Day 4 – Kitzingen (Rothenburg), Würzburg
FEATURED EXCURSION: Full day Rothenburg with walking tour and Christmas Market
Travel along the “Romantic Road” to Germany’s best-preserved walled city, Rothenburg. Get a sense of life as it might have been during the Middle Ages as you walk past half-timbered houses en route to one of Germany’s oldest and most celebrated Christmas markets. If you wish, you may stop in at a delightful museum that displays toys dating back to the 17th century. Take a break from shopping to sample a schneeball—a “snowball” of sweet, deep-fried dough covered in powdered sugar or chocolate.
Day 5 – Würzburg
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Würzburg Residenz with Christmas Market and exclusive Franconian “Village Day”
The town of Wurzburg owes many of its most notable monuments to the ambitious building programs of the wealthy prince-bishops of the Schönborn family, who controlled the town in the 17th and 18th centuries. Their spectacular episcopal residence is just one of your destinations today. The opulent Wurzburg Residenz is an extraordinary baroque palace and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 300-room palace took nearly 60 years to complete and contains the world’s largest ceiling fresco (created by Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo), as well as what is often described as the world's most beautiful staircase. You’ll also visit the town’s 200-year-old Christmas Market for one-of-a-kind presents and souvenirs. Later in the day, share some homemade seasonal treats with a family in an idyllic German village.
Day 6 – Wertheim, cruising the Main River
FEATURED EXCURSION: Wertheim walking tour with mulled wine and Christmas stollen demonstration
Join your local guide for a walk through the town of Wertheim, where you can look across the Main River to Bavaria before continuing to the Pointed Tower. Stop in at the historic Wertheim Market Square, lined with half-timbered buildings and shops selling artisanal glass and Franconian wines in round bottles. Later, enjoy a cup of mulled wine and a stollen (traditional German fruitcake) baking demonstration by a master baker in a private village wine estate.
Day 7 – Frankfurt
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Frankfurt walking tour with Christmas Market or exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking tour
On the last full day of your journey, dive into the energy of sophisticated Frankfurt, roaming from its historic heart to its landmark skyscraper, Main Tower. Take an elevator to the top of the tower for a view of the 50 skyscrapers that reveal the importance of this European hub, which people from 200 nations call home. An enormous lighted Christmas tree marks Römer Square, where you’ll find pretty timber-framed houses surrounding a famous Christmas Market. Explore the area on foot with your guide, then amble on your own through the market. Or, opt instead to explore the spectacular 10-story Zeil shopping mall and the Kleinmarkthalle with a local guide who will introduce you to the delectable tastes of the season. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
Day 8 – Frankfurt (disembark)
Disembark the ship and transfer to Frankfurt International Airport for your flight home.
Immerse yourself in holiday magic on a cruise through Germany’s fairytale scenery.
Europe’s wonderful Christmas Markets have been a much-loved tradition for many centuries, and their festive bonhomie and magical charm continue to endure. Observe traditional artisans as they carve old-fashioned toys and wooden ornaments, and bakers as they roll out giant gingerbread hearts and decadent once-a-year confections. Inhale the scent of cinnamon and roasted sausages and nuts as you stroll amongst colorfully decorated market stalls, searching for unique treasures while sipping a steaming mug of glühwein (warm spiced wine). There’s no better place to embrace the holiday spirit than in Germany, the land where many Christmas traditions began.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided “Taste of Christmas,” “Village Day” and “Gentle Walking” programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all shore excursions
Use of Nordic walking sticks
7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the regal River Duchess
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
1 country: Germany
2 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
All transfers on arrival and departure days
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “Christmas Traditions in Germany”
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.