Christmastime Frankfurt to Budapest

Christmastime Frankfurt to Budapest 2016

13 Day River Cruise from Frankfurt to Budapest

2016 Information

Experience the holiday season on this festive river cruise vacation from Frankfurt to Budapest. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Munich, Vienna and Budapest. Other highlights: a tasting of some of Germany’s famous beers, and a visit to the magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Melk. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the many Christmas markets, where you can sample some tasty holiday treats, smell the festive aromas, shop for locally crafted Christmas ornaments, and delight in the holiday cheer. This year, celebrate the holiday season in style on this memorable and joyous cruise.


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 12 night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1: Frankfurt: (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2: Miltenberg: guided walk; Christmas market

Day 3: Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz; Christmas market

Day 4: Bamberg: guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall; Christmas market

Day 5: Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; Christmas market

Day 6: Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich: guided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz; Christmas market

Day 7: Nuremberg: day at leisure

Day 8: Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting; Christmas market

Day 9: Passau: guided walk

Day 10: Melk – Vienna: guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk.

Day 11: Vienna: guided sightseeing

Day 12: Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermens Bastion and Heroes’ Square

Day 13: Budapest (Disembarkation): your vacation ends today

Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.

Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Farewell dinner
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel

NOTES:

  • Christmas markets operate from late November until the third week of December, depending on the location.
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Frankfurt, Germany. (Embarkation)

Welcome to Germany! This afternoon, board your ship and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception before sailing out of Frankfurt. (Dinner)

NOTE:
Flights into Frankfurt must arrive by 3.30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2Miltenberg

Tucked away behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates, the picturesque Bavarian village of Miltenberg is a cultural gem on the banks of the Main River. This afternoon’s GUIDED WALK will acquaint you with the town’s delightful Marktplatz (market square), which centers around a Renaissance-era fountain and features striking half-timbered buildings, cobblestone lanes, and one of the oldest inns in Germany, Haus zum Riesen (the giant’s house) and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall. Later continue your cruise on the Main river to Würzburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Würzburg

Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The city makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore the beautifully decorated streets on your own, visit the Christmas markets, or perhaps join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. Here, try a Schneeball (snowball), a local specialty not at all suitable for a diet! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Bamberg

Medieval Bamberg is the former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, the town is decked out for Christmas and especially interesting are the many nativity scenes built by local citizens and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you’ll find many regional delicacies such as gingerbread and nut bread. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Nuremberg

Although 90% of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Choose either a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized “NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS” tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations, and the Christmas market is one of the most famous in the world. You’ll find 200 stalls offering traditional wares, including Nuremberg Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), baked goods and sweets, Christmas decorations, ornaments, and more. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Nuremberg–Excursion to Munich

After breakfast, drive to Munich, where a local expert will proudly show you the sights of the Bavarian capital. An inspiring mix of historic buildings and impressive architecture, you’ll see the Olympic Stadium, 1,000-foot-high Television Tower, Nymphenburg Palace, MARIENPLATZ in the historic heart of the city with the Old and New Town Halls, and the gothic Frauenkirche. Later, there’s free time to explore on your own. The traditional Christmas market is located on the Marienplatz, with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread filling the air and the strains of alpine Christmas music coming from the town hall. At the nearby Rindermarkt, you’ll find the Kripperlmarkt, one of the largest markets in Germany to specialize in mangers and other nativity accessories. And don’t leave Munich without paying a visit to the famous Hofbräuhaus for a stein of beer! Return to your ship in the late afternoon. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 7Nuremberg

Today you have a full day to explore Nuremberg at your leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Regensburg

Arrive in Regensburg today. Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Stroll through the Christmas market and take in the tempting aromas of mulled wine, sausage, and roasted almonds everything to create a memorable and vibrant pre-Christmas atmosphere. Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9Passau

This morning, dock in Passau. Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK. Alternatively, you might like to join an optional full day excursion to Salzburg to see some of the famous Sound of Music sites, find out how mice caused the composition of the famous Silent Night carol, and learn how Austrians celebrate Christmas. Rejoin your vessel in the late afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Melk, Austria–Vienna

This morning, enjoy an included GUIDED VISIT of Melk’s magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You’ll be captivated by the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace of the abbey over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! Then, cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, the landmark of Dürnstein, before arriving in Vienna this evening. Known as the “City of Music,” it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11Vienna

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, this is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see on your GUIDED TOUR. Visit the delightful Christmas market and savor the sounds and smells of holiday cheer. Be sure to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! Depart for Budapest in the late afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12Budapest, Hungary

Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, see Heroes’ Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. Of course you mustn’t miss out on the Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square where you are sure to find some unique and original last-minute gifts. Just follow the rich fragrant smell of fir, mulled wine and cinnamon – the atmosphere is enchanting once all the lights are turned on at dusk! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13Budapest (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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Hotels

Frankfurt
Budapest

Frankfurt

Moevenpick Frankfurt City

Moevenpick Frankfurt City Den Haager Strasse 5, Frankfurt,  Germany Den Haager Strasse 5
Frankfurt, Germany

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

A 288 room modern property with a good location close to one of the city's newest shopping centers. Facilities include a restaurant serving Swiss specialities with an open show kitchen, an all-day bar for cocktail and snacks and a top floor fitness area.

Hotel Amenities

Bar/Lounge
Restaurant On-Site
Spa Services
Parking/Valet
Elevator
Dry Cleaning
Currency Exchange
Business Center
Luggage Storage
Free WiFi
Fitness Room
Room Amenities

Climate Control
Smoking Rooms
Disabled Access / Rooms
Air Conditioning
Desk
Pay Movies
Wake-Up Calls
Complimentary Toiletries
In-Room Safe
Television
Cable/Satellite
Internet Access
Phone
Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
Room Service
Coffee Maker
Hair Dryer
Non-smoking Rooms
Mini-bar
Iron/Ironing Board

Budapest

InterContinental Budapest

InterContinental Budapest Apaczai Csere Janos utca 12-14, Budapest,  Hungary Apaczai Csere Janos utca 12-14
Budapest, Hungary

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Deluxe

Few would argue the InterContinental Budapest is in the city's best location: right on the Danube across from Castle Hill and the Royal Palace. With the Chain Bridge and the Parliament just steps away, there's no shortage of superb sightseeing opportunities. The Váci Utca shopping street, Central Market Hall and the Gellért Baths are also nearby.

Hotel Amenities

Spa Services
Free WiFi
Currency Exchange
Fitness Room
Restaurant On-Site
Business Center
Gift Shop
Beauty Salon
Concierge desk
Pool
Dry Cleaning
ATM
Luggage Storage
Elevator
Parking/Valet
Room Amenities

Iron/Ironing Board
Hair Dryer
Internet Access
Air Conditioning
Climate Control
Television
Room Service
In-Room Safe
Alarm Clock
Phone
Non-smoking Rooms
Coffee Maker
Cable/Satellite
Mini-bar
Smoking Rooms

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

We know that many times travelers celebrate special occasions on vacation and you can now pre-purchase celebration packages before your cruise departure. We offer special birthday, anniversary and wedding vow packages. These packages include all the elements you need to celebrate with family & friends.

Availability of optional excursions is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

Once you have booked your vacation, Avalon Waterways provides the ability to pre-purchase excursions and packages, register for your cruise and provide emergency contact information online.

Wurzburg
Passau
Vienna
Budapest
Celebration

Wurzburg

Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road
Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road

Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road

If you had to pick only one place to visit in the whole of Germany, it should be Rothenburg. The best preserved medieval town in Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber fits the word "romantic" perfectly. The entire walled town of Rothenburg is a living museum. The town wall connects five medieval gates complete with guard towers that date from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries. Just walk along Rothenburg's narrow cobblestone streets and admire the gothic, renaissance, and baroque houses and fountains. You may wish that you had lived in these prettier, quieter, slow times. Climb to the top of the Rothenburg Town Hall Tower (circa 1250-1400) for a wide-angle view of Rothenburg and take pictures of the surrounding, mostly pastoral countryside. Walking in Rothenberg is like a step back into medieval times where one can feel the old roots of the continent. Not to be missed!

Approximate value: €47 EUR per person

Passau

Salzburg in Christmas Mood
Salzburg in Christmas Mood

Salzburg in Christmas Mood

True, Salzburg is the birth-place of Mozart and you will find the face of the city's most famous son everywhere. Salzburg is also the setting for the Sound of Music movie, which has shaped the city's perception in the minds of generations. But Salzburg is much more. It is a city with history based on the salt trade from the nearby Alpine Mountains-a city of beautiful baroque buildings, nestled between the mountains and green waters of the Salzach River. Salzburg has a long cultural heritage and in the small busy lanes like the "Getreidegasse" with its wrought iron signs you might get a feeling of how busy this city always was. Today we would like to show you Salzburg and its past; as well as teach you some Austrian customs. We will stop in Oberndorf to see the chapel where the world`s best- known Christmas carol was performed for the first time. Finally let our local experts take you on a little tasting of Austrian pre-Christmas specialties. Find out what it takes to be Austrian and to live in this country today, and how we celebrate Christmas.

Approximate value: €74 EUR per person

Vienna

Royal Waltz Concert
Royal Waltz Concert

Royal Waltz Concert

Don't miss a truly magical evening in Vienna, featuring the most famous opera Arias by Mozart, Strauss Waltzes, polkas and operetta excerpts from "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss, "The Merry Widow" by Franz Lehar, the Blue Danube waltz, the Radetzky March and many others, performed by a brilliant cast of top European singers, beautifully costumed dancers and the Original Wiener Salon Orchestra. A true celebration of joy and optimism featuring familiar music, combined with dance and storytelling that recalls happy memories of a time when music helped to shape the city of Vienna: a city of world-class artistry and a true flair for celebration.

Approximate value: €62 EUR per person

Schonbrunn Imperial Palace in Winter
Schonbrunn Imperial Palace in Winter

Schonbrunn Imperial Palace in Winter

Schonbrunn, the former summer residence of the Imperial family, is considered one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Europe. The Habsburgs resided here for the better part of the year in numerous rooms to house the large Imperial family. Emperor Franz Joseph, who later married the enchanting Sissi and reigned from 1848 to 1916, was born here in 1830. The monarch spent his last years entirely in the palace, which became the property of the new Republic of Austria only two years after his death. Today, the palace is part of UNESCO's cultural heritage due to its historic importance, unique grounds and splendid furnishings. Follow our local expert and visit Empress Sissi's former summer residence, and admire the Imperial Christmas Market in front of the Palace.

Approximate value: €54 EUR per person

Budapest

Budapest's Night Lights
Budapest's Night Lights

Budapest's Night Lights

The Hungarian capital is known for its splendid views accentuated by the romance of illumination. Let the unique atmosphere of this magnificent city enchant you, while our expert guide tells you the hidden secrets and stories behind the façades. Do not miss out on a visit to the must see viewpoint from the highest hill in Budapest, a view overlooking this splendid city with an illumination rivaling that of Paris, a view which decorates numerous travel brochures and books. Unforgettable sights, wonderful memories and the magic of lights guaranteed during this panoramic tour with photo opportunities. Discover why Europeans call it, deservedly, the Paris of the East! This excursion is by comfortable coach and includes three must-see photo stops.

Approximate value: €23 EUR per person

Celebration

Anniversary Celebration Cake
Anniversary Celebration Cake

Anniversary Celebration Cake

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary cake presented during dinner. Make this a cruise like no other.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic
Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €161.50 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe
Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic
Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner.

Approximate value: €142 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe
Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening.

Approximate value: €344 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special cake and present it to you during dinner. Make this a cruise that you will never forget.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and a wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €207 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with house wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

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