Christmastime From Frankfurt to Vienna 2018

12 Day River Cruise from Frankfurt to Vienna

2018 Information. Switch to 2019 »

This holiday river cruise takes you to many beautiful and historical cities of Germany and Austria. And the views along the way can’t be outdone—quaint villages and castles festively decorated as you cruise down the Main and Danube Rivers.

Board your ship In Wiesbaden, and sail along the Main, dotted with charming small towns with half-timbered houses and narrow streets. Take a guided walk of one of these picturesque Bavarian villages—sure to be even more appealing lit up with festive lights and decorations. In Würzburg, visit the ornate Bishop’s Residenz, then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). Continue your Christmastime river cruise to Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the many nativity scenes exhibited throughout the town are sure to delight. On to Nuremberg where, after your guided tour, you are free to visit the Christmas market—one of the most famous in the world. Visit Munich, the Bavarian capital, where a local expert shows you the sights. The traditional Christmas market is located on the Marienplatz, with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread filling the air. After your guided tour in Regensburg, taste local sausages and beer at one of Germany’s oldest restaurants, Historiche Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen). Experience the splendor of Austria’s Benedictine Abbey in Melk, one of Europe’s most architecturally-breathtaking monasteries, and enjoy a tasting of traditional Austrian cookies.

Finally, in Vienna, the capital and treasure of Austria, go on a culinary walk through the Christmas markets to taste some of the traditional fare. A perfect ending to a festive river cruise showing you some of the best that Germany and Austria have to offer this time of year!


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Frankfurt, Transfer to Wiesbaden (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Miltenberg: guided walk; onboard cookie-baking demonstration

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

Day 4 Bamberg: onboard lecture; 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 (Disembarkation). Excursion to Munich (Embarkation): guided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz

Day 7 Nuremberg: day at leisure to visit Christmas market

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

Day 9 Passau: guided walk; Christmas market

Day 10 Melk: guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey; Austrian cookie tasting

Day 11 Vienna: choice of guided sightseeing or culinary tour at Christmas market

Day 12 Vienna: your vacation ends this morning

Meals

  • Welcome & farewell cocktails with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Farewell dinner
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck
  • Daily four-course à la carte dinner in the main dining room
  • Alternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1

(D)

Frankfurt, Germany–Wiesbaden. (Embarkation)

Welcome to Germany! This afternoon, transfer from Frankfurt to Wiesbaden to board your ship. Meet your crew at a welcome reception before dinner, as you set sail along the Main River.

NOTE:
Flights into Frankfurt must arrive by 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2

Miltenberg

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 morning’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 and enjoy a COOKIE-BAKING DEMONSTRATION on board. (B,L,D

Day 3

(B, L, D)

Würzburg

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 Marienberg Fortress perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrücke (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, where you will have the opportunity to visit the Christmas Museum. Here, try a Schneeball (snowball), a local specialty not at all suitable for a diet!

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Bamberg

Learn everything about Christmas traditions during an ONBOARD LECTURE this morning. In the afternoon, focus on medieval Bamberg, 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! This time of year, the town is decked out for Christmas. 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 regional delicacies such as gingerbread and nut bread.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Nuremberg

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 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 dozens of stalls offering traditional wares, including Nuremberg Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), baked goods and sweets, Christmas decorations, ornaments, and more. Shuttle service to the ship will be at your disposal.

Day 6

(B, D)

Nuremberg. (Disembarkation) Excursion to Munich. (Embarkation)

After breakfast, disembark the vessel which has brought you to Nuremberg and 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 Nuremberg in the late afternoon and embark on the ship which will take you to Vienna.

Day 7

(B, L, D)

Nuremberg

A day to relax and enjoy Nuremberg at your own pace. Stroll through the festively lit streets, buy those last-minute Christmas gifts, or ask your Cruise Director for suggestions of things to do.

Day 8

(B, L, D)

Regensburg

This morning, during a relaxing morning sailing, enjoy an ONBOARD LECTURE about Christmas traditions. After lunch, arrive in Regensburg, 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." Highlights included on your GUIDED WALK are the 13th-century Old Town Hall, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers, built by wealthy families in the Middle Ages to emphasize their status. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy a SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. During your free time, explore on your own or visit the Regensburg Christmas market, including the ones hosted by Thurn and Taxis Palace. The tempting aromas of mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, sausages, and gingerbread create an unforgettable atmosphere. Before dinner, we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS.

Day 9

(B, L, D)

Passau

Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. The Christkindlmarkt, Passau’s charming Christmas market, is set against the stunning backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Take in the highlights of the “City of Three Rivers” on an included GUIDED WALK. Afterward, set sail for Linz, where you arrive in the evening. Alternatively, you might like to join a full-day optional excursion to Salzburg to see some of the sites from “The Sound of Music", find out how mice caused the composition of the famous Silent Night Christmas carol, and learn how the Austrians celebrate Christmas.

Day 10

(B, L, D)

Melk, Austria–Vienna

This morning, enjoy a GUIDED VISIT of Melk’s 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. Words cannot describe the splendor of the frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. During lunchtime, 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, enjoy a special onboard Austrian COOKIE TASTING. Vienna, the “City of Music,” inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available tonight.

Day 11

(B, L, D)

Vienna

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital is a showcase of gilded architecture. 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; awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—and countless other sights you’ll see on your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Alternatively, we offer you a special CULINARY TOUR at the Viennese Christmas markets, where you can taste all the best flavors that Austria offers during this time of year. Visit the Christmas market in the town center, and be sure to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture!

Day 12

(B)

Vienna (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Notes

  • Christmas markets operate from the first weekend 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.
  • Special features and day of operation are subject to change.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Ship Details

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Hotels

Frankfurt
Vienna

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyAvalon site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)


Packages
Wurzburg
Passau
Vienna

Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebrating a birthday or anniversary while you're cruising? Add an Avalon Celebration Package to your vacation. You can make your special day even more memorable with special touches ranging from flowers to a private cocktail reception.

Price Range: $$

Wurzburg

Discover Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Discover Rothenburg ob der Tauber

The Jewel of the Middle Ages awaits your discovery on this half-day guided excursion to fairytale Rothenburg ob der Tauber on Germany's famed Romantic Road.

Price Range: $$

Passau

Discover Salzburg's Christmas Traditions

Discover Salzburg's Christmas Traditions

See Salzburg most famous sights and learn all about its Christmas traditions, including a tasting of Austrian holiday delicacies, on this enthralling full-day guided excursion.

Price Range: $$

Vienna

Classical Concert

Classical Concert

Enjoy a spellbinding evening of classical works by Mozart and Johann Strauss, performed brilliantly by professional Salon Orchestra Alt-Wien musicians in one of Europe's prettiest venues.

Price Range: $$

Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Jewel of Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Jewel of Vienna

Visit magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former summer residence of the Habsburg imperial family.

Price Range: $$

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