Cruise the mighty Danube, visiting classic capitals like Budapest and Vienna. Spend Christmas Eve in Passau, then ring in the New Year in elegant style with a gala dinner and ballroom dance in Budapest. Festive celebrations are plentiful during this cruise. Those who wish to celebrate a European Christmas and New Year in festive elegance will definitely enjoy this voyage. Ring out the old year and ring in the new with art, wine and song as you cruise through four nations during this enchanting season.
Old-town Passau is built on a spit of land that looks almost like a ship with its narrow prow jutting into the water, a fitting shape for a city that has been an important center of river trade since it was founded by the ancient Romans. Today a local expert shows you the highlights of this delightful and accessible town located at the confluence of three rivers— the Danube, Inn and Ilz.
A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Your ship docks in Linz today. From there, you’ll travel to the alpine cities of Salzburg and Oberndorf for a delightful full-day excursion. Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg, is nestled in a glorious alpine setting that sparkles like a winter wonderland. Fans of “The Sound of Music” may recognize locations from the Oscar-winning film in the city’s Old Town, the site of a grand cathedral and a wonderful Christmas Market. You’ll also visit the nearby town of Oberndorf, where the world’s most beloved Christmas carol was composed and performed for the first time.
Your diary entry for today will say “Cocktails with the princess at the castle.” Raise a glass with a bona fide member of Austrian royalty at her 13th-century home, Artstetten Castle, and hear some intriguing tales about her Habsburg ancestors. Also on the agenda—a walk through charming Grein and a peek inside Austria’s oldest theater.
Melk Abbey has an unexpectedly opulent library filled not only with rare and precious books but also secret doors and optical illusions. After your visit, cruise the Wachau Valley to the tiny village of Dürnstein, where you can browse the shops selling apricot schnapps, hike up to the ruins of a castle, taste mulled wine and attend an organ concert at a local church. Your river adventure today takes you through one of the most beautiful regions in Austria, bookended by two picturesque and historic towns, Melk and Dürnstein.
Renowned for its art and architecture, its classical music, its decadent pastries and its lengthy list of famous former residents, the refined city of Vienna is a cultural treasure trove. Experience the city with your choice of tours, followed by an evening concert of Mozart and Strauss, performed at a 12th-century monastery.
A day of free time to explore Vienna at your leisure awaits. Maybe the Viennese love for music, food, drink and stunning architecture will compel you to visit one of the many pubs, coffeehouses, wine taverns, art museums and sprawling palaces.
Once hidden from the world behind the “Iron Curtain,” Slovakia retains an air of mystery and intrigue, and its small capital city has an unexpectedly colorful history. You’ll learn more about Bratislava’s past from a local expert, then have free time to check out the whimsical street art and sample delicious delicacies found only in Slovakia.
Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each have their own distinctive character and allure. Get a taste of this dynamic capital city with your choice of tours. The highlight of the day comes after darkness falls, with a glorious exclusive New Year’s Eve gala dinner and dancing.
Start off the New Year on a high note with an excursion to a village of talented artisans and craftspeople who live and create beautiful things together. The village is also home to two museums you’re welcome to visit—one devoted to lovely ceramics and the other to the art of marzipan.
A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Day 11: Budapest | Disembark
After disembarking the ship, you will be transferred to the Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published. Below per person rate based on previous season. Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
Prices for are estimated based on inflation. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure date.
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Magnificent appointed riverview stateroom (162 sq ft - 15 sq m) located on the Bavarian Deck. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, cozy bathrobes and slippers.
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Sumptuous appointed riverview stateroom (194 sq ft - 18 sq m) located on the Schönbrunn Deck with a French balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, cozy bathrobes and slippers.
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Luxuriant appointed riverview stateroom(194 sq ft - 18 sq m) located on the Hofburg Deck with an open-air balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, cozy bathrobes and slippers.
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Lavishly appointed riverview suite (305 sq ft - 28.3 sq m) located on the Hofburg Deck with an open-air balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water.
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Luxurious appointed riverview grand suite (410 sq ft - 38 sq m) with a French balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water.The Grand Suite offers extra benefits, including a separate spacious living room, bathroom with a separate rain shower and tub, and secluded toilet and bidet area.
Please Note: Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice.
- All fares are per guest in US Dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted.
- Single Supplement applies for single accommodation. Solo occupancy pricing is dependent on cabin type, contact us for details.
Included in Cruise Fare:
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water
8 days of excursions, including "Choice Is Yours" options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided “Taste of Christmas” program
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
Use of Nordic walking sticks
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
4 countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia
4 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Excluded from Cruise Fare:
Prices exclude additional port charges of $280 per person
Airfare, international or local
Passport or Visa fees
Travel protection plan
Extensions or land tours
Losses or costs incurred as a result of medical services obtained while on tour
Any additional personal expenses
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided on board on the first day of your cruise.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!