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Enjoy a cozy Christmas market in Cologne

Christmas & New Year

Amsterdam - Budapest - Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Scenic Opal
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Embark on a 15-day cruise aboard the Scenic Opal. Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and gift-giving have been cherished traditions in Europe for centuries. Explore these customs afresh in various towns. Experience a special Christmas celebration between Rüdesheim and Würzburg. Then, feel the excitement as you head to Vienna to welcome the New Year in one of Europe’s most enchanting cities.
Stroll through the romantic streets of AmsterdamExplore CologneExplore beautiful RudesheimExplore historic BambergVisit beautiful RegensburgEnjoy a cozy Christmas market in Cologne
Highlights
  • Explore the picturesque city of Amsterdam, with its narrow laneways, canals, and historic squares adorned with Christmas trees
  • Experience sailing through the World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge, a fairytale-like stretch of the river dotted with hilltop castles and fortresses
  • Visit the Baroque city of Würzburg, surrounded by vineyards and home to a UNESCO World Heritage palace and hilltop fortress
  • Discover Cologne, Germany, known for its unique beer culture and cathedral
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Amsterdam | Embark

Your journey begins in the picturesque city of Amsterdam. A labyrinth of narrow laneways adorned with twinkling lights, canals lined with beautifully preserved 17th-century buildings, and Christmas trees decorating historic squares, Amsterdam is not only pretty to wander but also steeped in history, art, and an undeniable festive atmosphere.

This afternoon, board your all-inclusive luxury Scenic Ship and settle into your suite, many of which have a window that converts into a Scenic Sun Lounge, allowing you uninterrupted views of ever-changing landscapes and life along the riverbanks. Relax and raise your glass to the days ahead at this evening’s welcome reception.

Day 2: Amsterdam

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Amsterdam is a treasure trove of architectural beauty, masterpiece-filled galleries, tranquil scenes of boats putting along 16th-century canals, narrow cobbled laneways filled with boutiques and cafes, and streets busy with cyclists crisscrossing their way about town. Often referred to as the Venice of the North, much of the UNESCO-listed canal system exists today as it did hundreds of years ago, lined with well-preserved canal houses and intersected by charming bridges.

This afternoon, sail towards the cosmopolitan metropolis of Cologne, Germany.

Day 3: Cologne

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a leisurely morning starting with coffee in your suite, delivered by your butler, followed by breakfast in Crystal Dining. Arrive in Cologne, Germany, after lunch. 

Cologne is a city known for its liberal and laidback lifestyle, unique beer culture, auto industry, and jaw-dropping cathedral dominating its skyline. Settled by the Romans, this major cultural center for the Rhineland was built during the Middle Ages but was largely destroyed during WWII. The magnificent Gothic cathedral, an enormous World Heritage site that dates to 1248, was severely damaged but stood tall above the city's ruins.  

Take the time to discover Cologne on a walking tour. Wander the laneways of the historic Old Town, home to breweries serving up draft Kolsch beer, and enjoy free time to visit the city's centerpiece and icon, Cologne Cathedral. The Kolner Dom, as it is known locally, is also the location for magnificent Christmas Markets. After your guided tour, there is plenty of time to wander the wooden stalls where local vendors sell delicious treats and decorations. Remember to look out for the giant Christmas tree in the Rhineland.

Your Scenic Space-Ship will depart during dinner, allowing you plenty of time to be immersed in the tastes and scents of Christmas, hot chestnuts, freshly baked gingerbread, and mulled wine in this lovely town.

Day 4: Rhine Gorge | Rüdesheim

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise along the spectacular World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a 65-kilometre stretch of the river dotted with some 40 hilltop castles and fortresses spanning 1,000 years. Sailing down this section of the river is like being transported through the pages of a fairy tale book.

The Rhine is abounded in myths, legends, and folklore that has been passed on for generations, including the story of Lorelei. This enchanting female was betrayed by her sweetheart and spent her days bewitching men. As her punishment, she was sent to a nunnery; however, on her way, she jumped to her death in the river. Legend has her spirit casting spells on sailors who passed the rock, where a bronze statue sits today.

After lunch, disembark in Rüdesheim, a pretty town surrounded by steep vineyards, where wine has been cultivated for a staggering two millennia.

Take a mini train from the pier to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, where some 350 musical instruments from the 18th and 19th centuries play themselves for your enjoyment. You can have time to wander through this beautiful town before returning to your Scenic Space-Ship.

Tonight, your on-board culinary team has prepared a delicious festive dinner to celebrate Christmas Eve.

Day 5: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Merry Christmas - celebrate with newfound friends on your Scenic Space-Ship as you cruise towards Würzburg.

You can spend time in the exclusive Salt Therapy Lounge, which provides natural anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties, or enjoy the fresh air on board the Sun Deck as you sail past charming villages and spectacular scenery.

Day 6: Würzburg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, cruise into Würzburg. This Baroque city straddles the Main River in the heart of Franconian wine country. Surrounded by undulating vineyards, Würzburg has a UNESCO World Heritage palace, a dominating hilltop fortress, the 15th century Old Main Bridge, and three universities, including Bavaria’s oldest.

Day 7: Bamberg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The ship will dock in Bamberg after lunch. Choose to spend your morning in your Space-Ship’s wellness center enjoying a soothing massage, or perhaps join an informative lecture to learn more about the culture and history found along the fascinating Main River.

Built on seven hills, this UNESCO-listed town has surprises at every turn. Intersected by rivers and canals, enchanting Bamberg has an Old Town resplendent with cobblestoned streets and well-preserved medieval buildings. A charming Old Town Hall, which occupies an island on its own, a Gothic and Romanesque-style cathedral, and the Old and New Residences – an episcopal palace, a pretty ‘Little Venice’ and a 12th-century castle that teeters on the highest of the seven hills – are some of the incredible places you can see during your guided city tour.

Day 8: Nuremberg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second-largest city, this morning. Boasting an Old Town protected by an ancient city wall, this city is dominated by one of the most significant imperial forts of the Holy Roman Empire, the 12th-century Imperial Castle, which was the preferred residence of German kings.

Behind its charming façade, Nuremberg also has a turbulent history. During WWII, the city was favored by the Nazis for party rallies. The boycotts of Jewish businesses began here, as did the laws that denied Jewish people German citizenship – known as the ‘Nuremberg Laws’. By 1945, the city was reduced to rubble, including large sections of the Imperial Castle and Old Town. Allied powers – the US, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union – held the Nuremberg Trials here between 1945 and 1946, where Nazi German leaders were tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Day 9: Regensburg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Regensburg after lunch today. Boasting a staggering 2,000-year history, Regensburg has one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval town centers, with more than 900 Romanesque and Gothic buildings listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Within its narrow laneways, the city claims to have the highest concentration of bars in the country. Regensburg is also fringed by the Bavarian Forest, home to hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails and deer, wild boar, fox, and otter.  

Set on the confluence of three rivers in Bavaria, Regensburg is a delight to explore on a walking tour. Your expert local guide will show you the old stone bridge, the Church of St James, and the Porta Praetoria, all while sharing the customs and traditions of the region during the festive period.

Day 10: Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, choose from two completely different yet equally fascinating full-day Scenic Freechoice excursions:

Full-day excursion to Salzburg: This morning, disembark your Scenic Space-Ship in Passau, journey via coach to Salzburg, Austria. Surrounded by alpine peaks and on the banks of the Salzach River, Salzburg is best known as the home of Mozart and The Sound of Music. This storybook city has a thriving art scene, music and concert halls filled with classical music, a Baroque old town where you can find Mozart’s birthplace, and Hohensalzburg, Central Europe’s largest intact fortress, which sits high above the rooftops with panoramic views of the city. During a guided tour, explore this incredible city before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. After some free time, return to your Scenic Space-Ship in the German city of Passau.

Full-day excursion to Cesky Krumlov: From Passau, journey via coach to the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov. This delightful UNESCO World Heritage town is brimming with charm. Sitting on the banks of the Vltava River, Cesky Krumlov is considered one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe with its vast array of well-preserved Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Wander this fairy-tale location with your local guide and explore the historical center before delighting in a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. Your local guide will be on hand to offer expertise on the best way to spend your free time.

Day 11: Melk

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your Scenic Space-Ship will dock early this morning in the small, picturesque town of Melk in Austria’s scenic Wachau Valley. The breathtaking UNESCO-listed Benedictine Abbey, built high over the city, is the most spectacular building in the region.

Spend the afternoon at leisure on board while sailing through the beautiful Wachau Valley as you cruise towards Vienna.

This evening, ring in the New Year in style in the magical city of Vienna. Celebrate off the board at one of the many lively bars and restaurants, or stay on board, where your Cruise Director and Enrichment manager have planned a fun party and would be delighted to cheer the New Year with you.

Day 12: Vienna

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a leisurely start this morning, you can explore the fabulous city of Vienna. A town full of grandeur, Austria’s imperial capital is famous for having the world’s most beautiful boulevard, The Ringstrasse, and for the legacy of the Habsburg monarchy. Also known as the City of Music, Vienna fostered musical geniuses such as Mozart and Beethoven. Sigmund Freud also lived and worked here in the late 19th century.

Day 13: Budapest

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a leisurely day of sailing, arrive in Budapest this afternoon, one of Europe’s most diverse and vibrant cities. Divided by the Danube, with Buda on one side and Pest on the other, this city was united in 1873 when a newly built bridge connected the two. The city is an architectural treasure trove comprising styles from Gothic to Art Nouveau and everything in between. It is also well known for its hot springs and thermal baths and has a vibrant nightlife scene.

Day 14: Budapest

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps set out to explore the Central Market Hall – the largest market in the city, built in neo-gothic style for a combination of shopping and sightseeing.

Day 15: Budapest | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Depart after a delicious breakfast with you and a lifetime of beautiful memories.

Ship/Hotel

Scenic Opal

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$16,990
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Select a Date
Standard Suite E
160ft2. Jewel Deck Suites provide a lovely introduction to river cruising. Comfortable and luxurious with the finest amenities.
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Standard Suite D
160ft2. Jewel Deck Suites provide a lovely introduction to river cruising. Comfortable and luxurious with the finest in amenities.
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Single Balcony Suite BS
153-170ft2. Located on the Sapphire deck this suite is perfect for the solo traveler. Enjoy fantastic views from your full-size balcony complete with Scenic Sun Lounge. This cabin also includes an elegant bathroom with a luxurious vanity basin and shower.
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Balcony Suite C
205ft2. Located on the Sapphire and Diamond Decks these stylishly decorated suites feature a full-length outdoor balcony with the exclusive Scenic Sun Lounge and offer private bathrooms with a luxurious vanity basin and shower.
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Balcony Suite BA
205ft2. Located on the Sapphire and Diamond Decks these stylishly decorated suites feature a full-length outdoor balcony with the exclusive Scenic Sun Lounge and offer private bathrooms with a luxurious vanity basin and shower.
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Balcony Suite BB
205ft2. Located on the Sapphire and Diamond Decks these stylishly decorated suites feature a full-length outdoor balcony with the exclusive Scenic Sun Lounge and offer private bathrooms with a luxurious vanity basin and shower.
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Deluxe Balcony Suite BD
225ft2. Located in prime locations at the front of the ship on both the Sapphire and Diamond Decks, they offer all the features of the private Balcony Suites with the ingenious Scenic Sun Lounge, but with even more space to relax.
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Junior Balcony Suite BJ
250ft2. These spacious Suites, located on the Sapphire and Diamond Decks, have a private full-length balcony complete with a Scenic Sun Lounge and elegant en-suite bathrooms featuring a large vanity basin and shower.
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Junior Balcony Suite B1J
250ft2. These spacious Suites, located on the Sapphire and Diamond Decks, have a private full-length balcony complete with a Scenic Sun Lounge and elegant en-suite bathrooms featuring a large vanity basin and shower.
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Balcony Suite A
205ft2. Located on the Sapphire and Diamond Decks these stylishly decorated suites feature a full-length outdoor balcony with the exclusive Scenic Sun Lounge and offer private bathrooms with a luxurious vanity basin and shower.
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Balcony Suite PA
205ft2. Located on the Sapphire and Diamond Decks these stylishly decorated suites feature a full-length outdoor balcony with the exclusive Scenic Sun Lounge and offer private bathrooms with a luxurious vanity basin and shower.
Select a Date
Balcony Suite PP
205ft2. Located on the Sapphire and Diamond Decks these stylishly decorated suites feature a full-length outdoor balcony with the exclusive Scenic Sun Lounge and offer private bathrooms with a luxurious vanity basin and shower.
Select a Date
Deluxe Balcony Suite PD
225ft2. Located in prime locations at the front of the ship on both the Sapphire and Diamond Decks, they offer all the features of the private Balcony Suites with the ingenious Scenic Sun Lounge, but with even more space to relax.
Select a Date
Junior Balcony Suite RJ
250ft2. These spacious Suites, located on the Sapphire and Diamond Decks, have a private full-length balcony complete with a Scenic Sun Lounge and elegant en-suite bathrooms featuring a large vanity basin and shower.
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Royal Balcony Suite RR
360ft2. These Suites located on the Diamond Deck are the ultimate in luxury with more space, impeccable service, thoughtful touches, an outdoor balcony, lounge area, and an oversized bathroom.
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Royal Panorama Suite RP
475ft2. These Suites located on the Diamond Deck are the ultimate in luxury with more space, impeccable service, thoughtful touches, an outdoor balcony, lounge area, and an oversized bathroom.
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Royal Owner's Suite RO
520ft2. including outdoor balcony. These Suites on the Diamond Deck are the ultimate in luxury with more space (315ft²), impeccable service, thoughtful touches, an outdoor balcony, lounge area, and an oversized bathroom.

Notes

All rates are quoted in USD and represent cost per person, based on double occupancy. Please contact us for the Single Supplement Rate.
Included
  • 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Wifi
  • Porterage
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All tipping and gratuities
  • Complimentary beverages
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Select drinks including a very small number of rare, fine and vintage wines, champagnes and spirits are not included in the package and may be available at an additional charge
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • All travel invoice risks. We strongly recommend you to take out comprehensive travel insurance with a reputable insurance company to cover you against risks associated with your tour. Including cover for loss of luggage, medical expense, and cost and expenses incurred due to cancellations, delays, or other disruptions

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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