Day 1: Nuremberg (Embark)
Arrive at Nuremberg Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer, or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
Day 2: Nuremberg, Roth
For a truly over-the-top holiday extravaganza, look no further than Nuremberg, which boasts the largest and grandest Christmas Market in all of Germany—and that’s really saying something. The “Gingerbread Capital of the World” pulls out all the stops during the holidays, as you’ll see for yourself on a panoramic tour guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. You could not ask for a more perfect place to begin an exploration of Christmas traditions than Nuremberg. The people of Nuremberg hold their Christkindlesmarkt very close to their hearts. The iconic Christkind, with her white-and-gold dress, long blond curls and golden crown, has been the symbol for the Christmas Market for many decades. During Advent, she is the most important representative of the city; every year she opens the Christmas Market by declaring: “Welcome, young and old, to my little community of wood and cloth. While this market’s splendor is fleeting, the joy it brings is eternal.” And with that declaration, the market festivities begin in a town that is famous for its gingerbread and its long toy-making tradition.
A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening. (Welcome Dinner)
Day 3: Regensburg
The Old Town of Regensburg sparkles with holiday lights and decorations this time of year, adding to its already considerable charms. Check out the best and brightest cultural sights, then head to what may very well be the most romantic Christmas market in all of Germany, nestled within the courtyard of a beautiful baroque castle. “Regensburg is so beautifully situated; this region had to attract a town,” Goethe wrote in his Diary of an Italian Voyage. And attract a town it did. In fact, it first attracted the armies of ancient Rome, who founded the town in about the year 100. The town thrived, not just because of its beautiful location, but also because ambitious and farseeing locals built a bridge over the Danube in the 12th-century. The Stone Bridge helped Regensburg become an international trading hub and, at one time, the capital of Bavaria. So many of the handsome buildings from that period remain that UNESCO declared the old city center a World Heritage Site.
Day 4: Deggendorf (Theresienthal), Passau
Is that the sound of…jingle bells? Yes indeed, but that’s not Santa’s sleigh you’re hearing, it’s a horse-drawn wagon whisking you through the densely wooded Bavarian Forest. This area is known for glass-making, which you’ll observe close-up at a famous workshop. Onward to Passau, a lovely place to take a stroll and visit the local Christmas market, followed by a traditional holiday celebration in a festively decorated barn. Begin the day in the beautiful Bavarian Forest, known as the green roof of Europe, and then explore historic Passau, the three-river city on the Austrian border.
Day 5: Cruising the Danube River, Linz
There’s more to Linz than its famous Linzer torte, although that alone makes it well worth a visit. The city has a thriving contemporary art scene, and its two Christmas markets are over-the-top enchanting. See the sights on foot with a local expert, or take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Linz opera house and taste cider at an Austrian apple and pear orchard. Your ship sails into Austria, cruising along an especially scenic stretch of the Danube called the Schlögener Schlinge, a great loop where the river almost doubles back on itself, before arriving in Linz. In keeping with the Austrian traditions of good food and good music, Linz gave rise to both the Linzer torte and the Linz Symphony. The torte is a delectable confection, and the symphony is one of Mozart’s most celebrated works. The story goes that the composer was so inspired by the beauty of the city that he finished his Symphony No. 36 in less than a week here in 1783. This vibrant city, the second largest in Austria, has been a center of trade and industry for centuries—and it still inspires artists today.
Day 6: Cruising the Wachau Valley, Dürnstein, Vienna
After a scenic cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley, we’ll reach the tiny village of Dürnstein. Walk along its cobbled streets, browse the shops selling apricot schnapps, and perhaps take a quick jaunt up to the ruins of a castle (with an intriguing tale all its own). Later, you can taste various mulled wines and attend an organ concert at an Augustine church. Make your way to the lounge this morning to marvel at the scenery of the Wachau Valley, the 19-mile (30-kilometer) stretch of the Danube that cuts through a rocky gorge amid the foothills of the Bohemian Forest between Melk and Dürnstein. This beautiful region, with steep, densely wooded slopes on the south side of the river and a mixture of crags and vineyards on the north, was declared a World Heritage Landscape by UNESCO. Dotted along the banks are small historic towns and winemaking communities. Some of Austria’s finest white wines are produced from grapes ripened on the terraces that cling to these rocky slopes.
Day 7: Vienna
The “City of Waltzes” is famous for many things, including world-class art museums, music and architecture (not to mention sinfully rich pastries). See the top sites on a city tour or savor the flavors of the season with our exclusive “Taste of Christmas” guided walking. Whichever option you choose, you’ll also have ample time to explore one of Europe’s greatest Christmas markets. Vienna is a city steeped in history, music and elegant architecture. Mozart, Austria’s most famous citizen, was at the height of his creative powers when he lived here, writing perhaps his best-known works, including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. He found Vienna a very inspiring place, and so will you. You’ll have a full day to savor the Christmas spirit in Vienna.
A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Day 8: Vienna (Disembark)
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer, or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Vienna International Airport for your flight home.
Experience Europe’s old-world charms during the most magical time of the year.
“Welcome, young and old, to my little community of wood and cloth.” These words spoken by the Christkind open the Nuremberg Christmas Market. Though the iconic representative of the market is named for the infant Jesus, she—yes, she—is a girl dressed as a crowned angel. All over Germany, the Christkind is a symbol of the holiday’s magic.
This cruise takes you to some of the most famous and delightful holiday markets in Central Europe. At each market, you’ll find wooden stalls displaying traditional crafts that range from quirky little characters made of fruit and dressed in Bavarian costume to beautifully carved and painted Nativity figures. You’ll also find exquisite ornaments and fine contemporary crafts, along with fairytale villages decked in holiday finery.
Sparkling lights illuminate ancient cathedral squares and the sound of children’s laughter mingles with carols. Enjoy Uniworld’s exclusive “Taste of Christmas” program in Vienna, where you’ll see astonishing confectionary decorations in Café Demel’s windows. Celebrate the season in a new way as you meander through old lands, and remember, as the Christkind says, “While this market’s splendor is fleeting, the joy it brings is eternal.”
Who will enjoy this cruise? Those looking to experience Europe at its most magical will enjoy the chance to discover the delightful holiday traditions and treats of Germany and Austria, and to find special gifts for loved ones back home.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
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
6 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
7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the majestic S.S. Beatrice
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
2 countries: Austria, Germany
3 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
Cruising cabin onboard: S.S. Beatrice
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.