Christmastime on the Danube – Prague to Vienna

Resort:Christmastime on the Danube - Prague to Vienna
Operator: Avalon Waterways
Destination: Austria, Czech Republic, Europe, Germany
Price From: £2248.00

Itinerary Details

Day 1 Prague.

Fly to Prague where you will be met and transferred to the Prague Intercontinental Hotel for two nights.

Day 2 Prague.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Arguably Europe’s most beautiful city, 1000-year-old Prague straddles the Vltava River and is an architectural treasure box filled with towers, spires and pinnacles hardly touched by time. Today, marvel at the famous Astronomical Clock, once the envy of all Europe, stroll the magnificent, statue-lined Charles Bridge, and gaze in awe at St Vitus Cathedral and the Hradcany Castle grounds. There’s also time to delve into the narrow streets of the atmospheric Old Town, browsing its shops for hand-cut crystal and art books before exploring the magnificent Christmas Market. Spread out in the huge Old Town square and crowned by a magnificent Christmas tree, this brightly lit circus of wooden huts is fantastic for souvenir shopping. Shop for traditional Czech handicrafts, hand-painted Christmas ornaments and cheerful wooden toys, and perhaps stopping for a cup of ‘svarene vino’, the local hot and sweet mulled wine, and a plate of traditional roast pork. (B)

Day 3 Prague – Nuremberg.

Drive to Nuremberg, where your cruise ship is docked, for embarkation and a Welcome Reception. (B, D)

Day 4 Nuremberg.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Although 90% of Nurembergs 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 citys medieval fortifications, extraordinary 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 biggest in Germany, and one of the most famous in the world. The market has 200 stall holders who offer traditional wares, including Nuremberg spicy gingerbread, (Lebkuchen) fruit loaves, bakery goods and sweets, typical Christmas decorations, and Christmas tree ornaments. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Regensburg.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Regensburg is a UNESCO World Heritage city and one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval towns. It is also home to Germany’s oldest restaurant, the 12th century Historische Wurstkche (Old Sausage Kitchen). Architectural highlights on your guided tour include the Old Town Hall and Porta Pretoria – gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179AD. During the festive season, the town centre comes alive with sparkling Christmas lights and a bustling Christmas market, overlooked by the fairytale architecture of towering church spires, medieval guardhouses and stately mansions. Colourful wooden stalls pack the market square and line the winding cobbled streets, offering up fine handicrafts and festive gifts such as nativity scenes, dolls, toys, puppets, pottery and paintings. Stroll through the markets to see artisans crafting their wares and enjoy the mouth-watering scent of freshly baked gingerbread, Christmas cookies and tempting Bavarian deliciacies. (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. St. Stephens Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the worlds largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK through this charming town, and find out much more about the City of Three Rivers. 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 popular Sound of Music sites, 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.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
This morning, enjoy a GUIDED VISIT of Melks magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europes largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendour of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view you have from the terrace of the abbey over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breath-taking! During lunchtime, cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue faade, the landmark of Drnstein, before arriving in Vienna this evening. Known as the City of Music, it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available tonight. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Vienna.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s romantic capital has much to offer: the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ring Boulevard, and awe-inspiring St Stephen’s Cathedral. See these and more on an included city tour. Later, absorb the wonderful festive atmosphere of the Adventszeit (Advent season) in the city’s idyllic ‘Christkindlmarkte’ Christmas markets. Browse colourful wooden stalls crammed with authentic Austrian handicrafts, savour the delcious scent of spiced mulled wine, and marvel at the magnificent Christmas trees laden with exquisite glass baubles and traditional decorations – a distinctive feature of the Viennese Christmas markets. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Vienna.

Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. (B)