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Rathaus in Vienna

Christmas on the Danube

Regensburg to Budapest - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Viking Cruises
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Set sail on this 8-day Christmas on the Danube cruise along the Blue Danube, exploring the beauty of Hungary, Austria, and Germany. On this trip, get to experience the rich culture and history of these three countries and witness the festive spirit of grand cities, medieval towns, and quaint villages. Stroll among the stalls at Budapest’s Christmas market and immerse in the cheerful atmosphere of Vienna while shopping for handmade decorations. Visit the fairy-tale village of Regensburg, one of Europe’s best-preserved cities, and take part in the city’s joyful festivities.
Stop in historic Regensburg on your Danube river cruiseEvening lights in beautiful RegensburgPassau at sunset, GermanyExplore the quaint streets of PassauCruise down the charming Wachau valleyEvening in Vienna, AustriaVisit charming PassauRathaus in Vienna
Highlights
  • Visit Regensburg's medieval town, one of Europe's best-preserved cities
  • Explore the romantic market stalls at the Christkindlmarkt
  • Discover Europe's largest pipe organ at St. Stephen's Cathedral
  • Explore Vienna's Christmas markets, including Schönbrunn & Freyung markets
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: Regensburg, Germany | Embark

Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. Having escaped major damage during World War II, the picturesque town of Regensburg is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities, the oldest city along the Danube and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Stone Bridge, constructed in the 12th century, is a masterpiece of medieval engineering with its 16 arches. St. Peter’s Cathedral is widely considered Bavaria’s best Gothic architectural work. The Old Town’s Neupfarrplatz square is a cross section of history—it was once a thriving Jewish quarter, a bustling marketplace and the site of Nazi book burnings.

Day 2: Regensburg, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The UNESCO World Heritage city of Regensburg is transformed during the holiday season as its medieval streets are donned with festive cheer. Narrow passageways open to hidden courtyards with stalls laden with handcrafted wares, including dolls, pottery, and silk paintings. The scent of home-baked spiced gingerbread, cinnamon, and glühwein fills the air. The world-famous boys’ choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen, was formed at the city’s cathedral in 975 and travels the globe, performing to admiring audiences internationally.

Day 3: Passau, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Centered around the beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral, home to Europe’s largest pipe organ, the romantic market stalls of the Christkindlmarkt are a delight to explore. An array of handmade goods, from tasty treats to ornaments, offer a wealth of opportunity to take home a unique artisan gifts created by local craftsmen. Periodically throughout the festive season, the cathedral hosts yuletide concerts; the sound of choirs singing can be heard as their voices echo through the courtyard and the town’s narrow streets.

Day 4: Scenic Sailing: Wachau Valley & Krems | Vienna, Austria

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail through a serene tapestry of terraced vineyards, forested slopes, charming towns and castle ruins in Austria’s Wachau Valley, celebrated as perhaps the most scenic stretch of the Danube. Journey 18 miles through this vast UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the river courses through picturesque hillsides. Gaze upon the prolific grapevines and quaint wine-producing villages hugging the shores—the legacy of vintners that stretch as far back as Celtic and Roman times and an echo of the more than 30 monasteries that served as vineyards in Renaissance days.

A small university town at the eastern end of the Danube’s Wachau Valley, Krems is surrounded by terraced vineyards. In its heyday, during the 12th century, Krems held even more importance than Vienna for its iron, grain, salt and wine trade. As to the latter, the city has played a long and celebrated part in the popularity of the Wachau’s wine culture; the valley’s south slopes in Krems are bathed in sunlight all day and create some of the best Riesling and Veltliner wines in the world. The city’s cobblestone streets, taverns, wine bars and cafés have a timeless appeal.

Renowned as the “City of Waltzes,” Austria’s capital city of Vienna is Europe’s center of classical music. Strauss and Mozart composed many of their finest pieces here. Vienna’s musical history is matched by the elegant, graceful architecture that lines the Ringstrasse. Baroque, neo-Renaissance, Gothic-Romanesque and other splendidly styled structures take the breath away with their grand facades. Vienna has a more intimate side too: inviting footpaths lead through green parks and its famed Viennese cafés sweeten any stay with coffee and the city’s delectable Sachertorte.

Day 5-6: Vienna, Austria

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The yuletide season transforms Vienna’s beautiful squares into delightful Christmas markets. Festive lights illuminate the Old Town. The Schönbrunn market, set in front of the baroque Hapsburg summer palace, and Freyung market, nestled in the city center, are the perfect destinations for unique handmade decorations. Seasonal music and choral singing provide a merry ambience to holiday festivities in Am Hof Square, while the market at Belvedere Square mixes excellent shopping opportunities with views of the stately palace and adjacent lake to create a fairytale atmosphere.

In Vienna, coffee is at once an art and a long-embraced tradition that has changed the face of one of Europe’s most beloved cities. UNESCO includes the Viennese coffeehouse culture on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritages, describing the establishments as places “where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill.” It is considered one of life’s simple pleasures to while away an afternoon over an Einspänner coffee and a delectable pastry.

Day 7: Scenic Sailing: Danube Bend | Budapest, Hungary

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take in the natural beauty of the fabled “Blue Danube” as you pass through the Danube Bend, considered one of the most beautiful sections of the river. Cruising this 40-mile stretch through northern Hungary, you see peaceful farmland and an ancient castle that once served as hunting grounds for royals and visiting dignitaries. As you sail the passage between the Börzsöny and Pilis Ranges, you marvel at the steep hills draped with bucolic forests. And delight in the majestic church domes peering at the waterway from inviting villages and historic cities.

The Christmas season adds another layer of beauty to the already romantic charms of Budapest. Nestled in the heart of Pest lies Vörösmarty Square, home to the city’s largest yuletide market. The enticing aroma of national specialties permeates the air as vendors display traditional and contemporary handicrafts. At the cozy St. Stephen’s Basilica market, mulled wine keeps revelers warm as nightly light shows illuminate the church’s facade. Across the Danube in Buda, Old-World allure mingles with festivities in Fő Square, where seasonal events and an outdoor ice rink entertain.​

Day 8: Budapest, Hungary | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Riverside beauty and a vibrant cultural scene blend together in Budapest to form one of Europe’s most rewarding cities. Hungary’s enchanting capital straddles the banks of the Danube, with traditional hillside Buda on one side and modern Pest on the other. By day, astounding art nouveau buildings, stalwart castles and glittering palaces set the stage for awe-inspiring strolls and long soaks in thermal spas. By night, a nostalgic glow settles in as the city’s lights dance on Danube waters, the Chain Bridge uniting it all as a dramatic centerpiece. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.

Ship/Hotel

Viking Cruises

Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,799
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Viking Ship
Select a Date
Standard Stateroom (F)
150 sq ft, river-view with half-height picture window. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Select a Date
Standard Stateroom (E)
150 sq ft, river-view with half-height picture window. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
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French Balcony Stateroom (D)
135 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door & French balcony. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Select a Date
French Balcony Stateroom (C)
135 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door with French balcony. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
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Veranda Stateroom (B)
205 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door & full-size veranda. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
Select a Date
Veranda Stateroom (A)
205 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door & full-size veranda. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
Select a Date
Veranda Suite (AA)
275 sq ft, river-view with full-size veranda off separate sitting room & French balcony off sleeping quarters. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
Select a Date
Explorer Suite (ES)
445 sq ft, river-view with private wraparound balcony off separate sitting room & French balcony off sleeping quarters. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.

Notes

*This itinerary runs departures aboard multiple sister-ships. Contact us for more details.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Visits to UNESCO Sites
  • Enrichment lectures & Destination Performances
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Drinks, beverages and meals not included in the package
  • Optional shore excursions/tours/concerts

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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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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