This 5-star luxury river celebrates the festive season along Europe’s most beautiful waterways, exploring the wonder of regional Christmas markets and the magical seasonal transformation of Amsterdam, Cologne, Vienna and Budapest. From charming villages to great cultural centres, you can look forward to the seasonal hum and buzz as treats and toys, charms and trinkets of every description come out in a joyful, traditional display.
Inhale the ambience of Christmas as it has been celebrated in Europe for centuries, with the fragrant aroma of glühwein, roasted chestnuts, and sparkling markets and town squares bursting with festive excitement. Enjoy other cultural sights and experiences—including the canals of Amsterdam and the windmills of Zaanse Schans; a walking tour of medieval Cologne; historic museums in Nuremberg; Vienna’s elegant music and architecture; and the beauty of Budapest.
Day 1 | Highlights:
Your journey into wonder begins here. Relax and raise your glass to the days ahead at this evening’s welcome reception.
Day 2 | Amsterdam Highlights:
Cruise the canals of Amsterdam, or enjoy a slice of quintessential Holland at Zaanse Schans.
Day 3 | Cologne Highlights:
Explore the unique Neanderthal Museum or discover Cologne. Alternatively enjoy an on board cooking demonstration.
Day 4 | Rhine Gorge > Rüdesheim Highlights:
Immerse yourself in historic Rüdesheim, then board the Winzerexpress mini train for a guided visit of Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum.
Day 5 | Freudenberg > Tastes of ‘Oktoberfest’ Highlights:
In Freudenberg you’ll get the chance to celebrate the Scenic version of ‘Oktoberfest’, Germany’s famously fun festival.
Day 6 | Würzburg Highlights:
Visit the Bishop’s Residenz Palace or follow the Romantic Road to Rothenburg.
Day 7 | Bamberg Highlights:
Walk in the footsteps of the town’s medieval traders as an expert local guide gives you an insider tour of Bamberg. There is also time to wander through the Christmas markets and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Day 8 | Nuremberg Highlights:
Visit moving WWII sites or choose something lighter – the Tastes of Nuremberg food tour, with its delicious local fare. Or perhaps take a cooking class. Later, relax and explore the city’s wonderful Christmas market.
Day 9 | Regensburg Highlights:
Enjoy a walking tour of Regensburg or visit the charming Christmas markets.
Day 10 | Passau > Salzburg Highlights:
Let the ‘Best of The Sound of Music and Salzburg Show’ transport you to another time and place. Based on the timeless movie of the same name, this exclusive production is performed in the rolling hills of Salzburg.
Day 11 | Melk > Dürnstein Highlights:
Be guided through Melk’s Benedictine Abbey or cycle from Melk to Dürnstein.
Day 12 | Dürnstein > Vienna Highlights:
Merry Christmas. Celebrate with newfound friends as you cruise towards Vienna.
Day 13 | Vienna Highlights:
Discover this elegant city on an enjoyable guided tour.
Day 14 | Vienna Highlights:
Tour Schönbrunn Palace or discover beautiful Bratislava. Alternatively, visit the world-renowned Spanish Riding School and either tour the stables or see Lipizzaner Stallions perfecting their skills during their morning exercise program. Or join our Shop with a Chef activity.
Day 15 | Budapest Highlights:
Let an expert guide you through this city of contradictory delights, or unwind at the Thermal Baths and Spa instead. Alternatively, brave the labyrinths of the Hospital in the Rock.
Day 16 | Budapest Highlights:
Depart after breakfast, Budapest is the end of your cruise, but it will be the start of a lifetime of wonderful memories.