4 DAYS FROM $799
4 DAYS FROM $699
What better way to experience Europe's seasonal magic than aboard a gala holiday cruise? Unpack just once as your Deluxe river cruise ship visits four countries — including Hungary, Austria, and Slovakia — while enjoying some of the continent's best Christmas Markets. Explore Budapest, one of Europe's most impressive capitals … Hear wonderful classical concerts at the Kursalon Music Hall in Vienna ... Delve into the storied heritage of Salzburg, one of four treasured UNESCO World Heritage Sites you'll discover ... And that’s only the beginning! In addition to seven guided tours, you’ll enjoy plenty of entertainment during your time onboard as well. Savor tantalizing aromas during apple strudel and gingerbread-making demonstrations, enjoy festive performances, and gaze in wonder as peaceful winter landscapes glide past along the Danube River.
Interested in solo travel? Vantage is the only company in the travel industry whose river ships include cabins built specifically for solo vacations, so you can experience these treasured European destinations without paying a Single Supplement. Keep in mind — because it's a seasonal voyage, departures are limited! Join us on a dazzling holiday cruise through Central Europe that simply can't be matched by any other travel company.
Next stop: Budapest, Hungary!
Today, fly overnight to Budapest, Hungary. You can also begin your journey earlier and spend more time in Budapest with an optional pre-trip extension.
Enjoy a Welcome Drink in Budapest and board your deluxe ship
Prepare to experience the joys of a festive river cruise, steeped in Old World splendor. On arrival, a Vantage representative will assist you with your transfer to your ship. You’ll enjoy dinner onboard this evening.
Biking Opportunity: Enjoy the most magnificent sites of Budapest, including Freedom Bridge, Chain Bridge, and the Hungarian Parliament Building during an easy 5-mile route. Click here for details.
Apple strudel, organ recital, and treasure hunting in Bratislava; plus, deck the halls of the ship!
After a delightful demonstration on making apple strudel, you’ll get to know Bratislava today. On your walking tour, glimpse the city's diverse historical sites — including Bishop’s Palace, Main Square, and the National Theater — before taking in a classical organ recital at a local church. This afternoon, you'll have free time to visit the Christmas Market, where you can find fine crystal, handmade leather slippers, honey wine in uniquely-shaped bottles, and other treasures. Later, enjoy a Christmas tree-decorating workshop and onboard evening entertainment with your fellow travelers.
Austrian Christmas traditions, exploring Liechtenstein Palace, and traditional heurigen dinner
Today, venture to Vienna, where you’ll begin your day with a fascinating lecture on the Christmas traditions of Austria. Then set off on a panoramic city drive, which will give you a comprehensive view of this storied city in the heart of central Europe. Unforgettable Moment: Later, you'll admire the aristocratic elegance of Palais Liechtenstein while enjoying a special tour of this elaborate palace complex. Your afternoon is free to explore Vienna, including the dazzling Christmas Market. Or, you can choose to join an optional tour full of food, music, and winetasting during a Viennese heurigen dinner.
The congenial atmosphere of cozy, family-style wine taverns, known as heurigens, is perfectly complemented by hearty food, lively music — and locally produced vintages, of course. Heurigens traditionally have rustic decor, open courtyards with outdoor seating, and an accordion player playing traditional Viennese songs. You’ll visit an authentic heurigen for dinner, music, and wine! You can look forward to a fun and festive evening!
The best of Vienna: Lipizzaner horses, Christmas markets, a private Kursalon Music Hall concert
Start your day by taking in a rehearsal of the famed Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School. Return to the ship for lunch, then catch the Vantage shuttle back to the center of Vienna where you can visit the fabulous Christmas Market. Cultural Connection and Unforgettable Moment: This evening you'll attend an exclusive private classical music concert at the Kursalon Music Hall, where Johann Strauss often performed.
Biking Opportunity: Enjoy the architecture of Vienna, including panoramic sights of the city’s skyscrapers, during a medium 8-mile route. Click here for details.
Your choice of tours: The cultural capital of Linz or follow The Sound of Music in Salzburg
Today, you’ll have a choice of tours. Enjoy an exploration of lovely Linz, a former Roman settlement with a rich history as a trade hub along the Danube. Or set off for Salzburg, the baroque jewel of a city nestled in the Austrian Alps, where you’ll see many fine examples of notable architecture and some of the locales featured in The Sound of Music. No matter which tour you choose, you’ll have time to soak up the charm – and peruse the wares – of the local Christmas market. Cultural Connection: After dinner, enjoy some local entertainment in the lounge.
Enjoy a walking tour of baroque Passau, gingerbread making, and more Christmas markets before the Captain’s Farewell Party
More baroque splendor awaits you in Passau, favorably located at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz, and Danube rivers. Admire the Old Town's beguiling combination of Italian baroque and medieval architecture on your walking tour. Cultural Connection: Learn the secrets of making one of Germany's most famous sweets — "Lebkuchen," also known as gingerbread — at a demonstration at a local bakery. You can then spend some time visiting Passau's Christmas Market located just outside St. Stephan's Cathedral.
Biking Opportunity: Follow the beautiful Ilz River along an extremely scenic medium 10-mile route. Click here for details.
Wandering Regensburg’s historic streets by foot or bike
Unforgettable Moment: Arrive in Regensburg, which was largely spared from World War II bombing and thus is remarkably well-preserved. This city has a history stretching back to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and you’ll get to know its heritage during a walking tour. Wander the city, getting a chance to admire its historic buildings and the ancient Roman stones at Porta-Praetoria Arch. During the tour, stop for a culinary treat. Later, you'll have leisure time to explore on your own or visit the Christmas market.
Biking Opportunity: Explore Regensburg’s monuments and history, including Walhalla Memorial Hall, during a medium 14-mile route. Click here for details.
Fly home from Munich or stay on for an extension in Prague
Disembark your river cruise ship in Regensburg and transfer to the Munich airport to return home.
Important Notice:The above day-by-day itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert. In addition, should there be an extreme change in water levels, Vantage will do everything possible to provide either the included excursion or an alternate excursion at Vantage’s discretion.
Please Note: Port Times & Itineraries are subject to change. Fluctuating water levels and winter weather may affect itinerary. All Christmas markets are subject to local traditions and opening dates and times are dependent on the local authorities.