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Danube Holiday Markets
(Budapest to Passau)

8 days with Uniworld  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!

  • Past passengers of African Travel, Brendan, Contiki, Insight, Trafalgar and Uniworld save an additional 5% on this vacation. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Receive free unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as free prepaid gratuities for onboard and onshore services, on any Europe river cruise. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 – Budapest (embark)
Arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship.

Day 2 – Budapest
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Budapest city tour with Christmas Market

Discover the wonders of the “Queen of the Danube” as you savor the beauty of both Buda and Pest, which lie on opposite sides of the Danube on a panoramic tour showcasing key highlights, including St. Stephen’s Basilica and the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district, before exploring the Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square. Only the finest Hungarian craftsmen are invited to display their wares here, so you’re sure to find many well-made, one-of-a-kind gifts. Another extra-special feature of the market is a hand-carved manger with a Nativity scene that includes live animals. Savor mulled wine, cinnamon-spiced gingerbread and traditional honey cakes as you stroll and shop. Celebrate the spirit of the holidays at the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 3 – Cruising the Danube River, Bratislava
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Bratislava walking discovery tour with Christmas Market

Slovakia’s capital city is full of surprises, as you will discover on your walking tour of the historic downtown area, which concludes at Bratislava’s Christmas Market. While a relatively new tradition here—the city’s first Christmas Market was held in 1993—the local residents have fully embraced this delightful wintertime event, and today you’ll find a generous array of stalls brimming with unique handicrafts, folk art and decadent holiday treats.

Day 4 – Vienna
FEATURED EXCURSION: Choice of Vienna city tour with Winter Palace of Prince Eugene visit and Christmas markets

Vienna is at its most dazzling during the holiday season, and you’ll have two choices for how you wish to experience it—both options include the Christmas Market in front of City Hall, Austria’s largest and most famous Christmas market, as well as the small but charming market at Freyung Square. Choose to visit Prince Eugene’s magnificent Winter Palace or experience a taste of Christmas as you are guided through famous shopping streets with windows bedecked with their holiday finery, including stops to sample some of the local seasonal treats with a Viennese coffee.

Day 5 – Krems, cruising the Wachau Valley
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Göttweig Abbey with private organ recital

The baroque-style Benedictine Göttweig Abbey, often referred to as Austria’s Monte Cassino because of its fantastic location, is where you’ll be treated to a private organ concert inside the abbey’s beautiful church. You’ll then set sail on a scenic cruise through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley, a 19-mile stretch of the Danube with spectacular landscapes and quaint towns and wine villages clustered along the river. Note: The organ concert may take place in a different location if the Göttweig Abbey visit falls on a Catholic holiday.

Day 6 – Linz (Salzburg or Linz and Steyr)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of full day Salzburg with walking discovery tour and Christmas Market OR Linz and Steyr with Christmas markets

Journey through the region known to many as the “smile on the face of Austria,” Salzburg. On your guided tour through the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, view historical gems, from the 17th-century cathedral to Mozart’s birth house to the famous gardens where scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed and then enjoy the city’s marvelous Christmas Market. Alternatively, visit the lovely Austrian towns of Steyr and Linz, each with their own Christmas markets, holiday traditions and unique character and charm.

Day 7 – Passau
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Passau walking discovery tour with Christmas Market and gingerbread-making and floral-decorating demonstrations

Situated at the convergence of three rivers, the medieval town of Passau is a delightful place to explore on foot, especially during the holidays. Your walking discovery tour takes you past all the top sights—including St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to Europe’s largest pipe organ—and visits the city’s festive Christmas Market. As an extra-special treat, learn how to make delicious lebkuchen and beautiful holiday floral centerpieces. Celebrate your last night onboard with a festive evening at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 8 – Passau (disembark), transfer to Munich Airport
Disembark the ship in Passau and transfer to Munich Airport for your flight home.

Tour Map
All This Included

Celebrate the season in the birthplace of many beloved holiday traditions

Budapest has celebrated Christmas for a thousand years, since the reign of St. Stephen, the king who founded Hungary and encouraged the spread of Christianity throughout his realm. As you ramble through the Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square, admiring the handmade porcelain, stop to watch as kürtos kalács (a pastry) is baked on rods over an open fire and then coated with sugar before it’s handed to you.

In Bratislava, where a lively young art scene is revitalizing the compact city core, stalls abound with traditional Slovakian Christmas items such as medovníky (spiced ginger cookies) and šúpolie (figurines made from corn husks). Experience Uniworld’s exclusive “Taste of Christmas” program in the heart of Vienna during the day. Follow the lights down the Landstrasse in Linz to the Volksgarten, where you’ll find a fairytale Christmas display—large animated renditions of scenes from fairytales that will entrance the child in you. Or mail a letter from Christkindl, where children from all over the world send their Christmas wish lists.

Glorious baroque architecture, delightful concerts and ravishing scenery will make this Christmas season unforgettable as you sail through the holidays on the Danube.

Who will enjoy this cruise

Music lovers will find many special holiday treats on this cruise, from onboard caroling and a classical concert in Vienna to an exclusive organ recital. Shoppers will delight in the chance to pick out a variety of unique gifts at enchanting Christmas markets.

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
  • 6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Taste of Christmas” and “Gentle Walking” programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks
  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the majestic S.S. Maria Theresa
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
  • 4 countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia
  • 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: "The Sound of Christmas Music, from 'Silent Night' to Christmas Oratorio"
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard  S.S. Maria Theresa
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Christmas Markets are generally open from the beginning of Advent until December 23. 
  • Prices exclude additional port charges of $160. 
  • Single supplement applies for single accomodation. 
  • Itineraries and vessels may change, and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water level fluctuations and other uncontrollable factors. 
  • The order of sightseeing and docking ports are subject to change according to port authority assignments. 
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.

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