Relish the spirit of the season on a holiday cruise down the Danube River. Begin with a tour of the ancient wine town of Würzburg, reputed to be one of Germany's loveliest places. See the magnificent Residential Palace and the ornate Alte Mainbrucke. Proceed to the medieval city of Rothenburg, where you'll board the brand new MS Amadeus Princess and settle in for a relaxing 6-night cruise. Your elegant accommodations include spacious cabins, a panoramic deck, a terrace café, and an onboard orchestra to serenade you with holiday favorites. In your first port-of-call, the toy-making village of Nuremberg, peruse a Christmas market that dates back to 1628! This is the perfect place to pick up traditional gifts such as handcrafted nutcrackers and sample a local gingerbread treat, Lebkuchen. During some leisure time in Regensburg, marvel at the city's festive decorations and twinkling lights and look for unique ornaments. Continue on to the fairytale city of Passau, situated where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers meet and characterized by ornate baroque architecture and quaint cobblestone streets. Finally, visit Austria's beautiful capital, Vienna where a guided tour will showcase the city's impressive landmarks including the Vienna Opera House, Hofburg Palace, the Ringstrasse, and St. Stephen's Cathedral. Memories of this European cruise will keep you in the holiday spirit all winter long!
Day #1 Overnight Flight - Welcome the winter season with a timeless trip on the Danube River. Your holiday tour begins with an overnight flight to Europe.
Day #2 Vienna, Austria - Tour Begins - Board Cruise Ship - Your tour begins in Vienna, Austria’s beautiful capital city. Unpack once for a relaxing 6-night Danube River cruise aboard the MS Amadeus Diamond. This beautiful ship offers the newest technology, panoramic deck, panorama salon and bar, excellent cuisine and outstanding service. After your welcome dinner you are invited to visit Vienna’s most famous Christmas Market, located near the town hall.
Day #3 Vienna - Join a local expert exploring Vienna's Imperial architecture including the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Vienna's baroque elegance, stroll along the Kartnerstrasse, or sample some of Vienna's famous pastries. If you wish, you may join an optional excursion to the opulent Schoenbrunn Palace, the summer retreat of the Habsburg dynasty. Celebrate with a wonderful dinner followed by an enchanting musical performance.
Day #4 Vienna - Emmersdorf - Wachau Valley - This morning cruise through the romantic Wachau Valley, dotted with magnificent castles and small riverside towns. View the picturesque landscapes as you cruise to the charming town of Emmersdorf. Relax and enjoy the surrounding scenery or if you wish, join an optional excursion to the nearby town of Durnstein and the 900-year-old Benedictine Melk Abbey, one of Europe’s largest baroque monasteries. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon of cruising. LANGUAGE DISCOVERY: Today, your Tour Manager will help you discover the origin and history of the language(s) you will experience on your tour along with key words and phrases that will help you communicate with the locals.
Day #5 Passau - Early morning you will arrive in the town of Passau, situated at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers. Enjoy a leisurely paced walking tour of this 2,000-year-old fairytale city, exploring the ornate baroque architecture, the quaint cobblestone streets, cathedral and charming Christmas Market. After dinner, enjoy on-board entertainment in the ship's panorama lounge.
Day #6 Regensburg - A guided walking tour of magnificent Regensburg reveals one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities with nearly 1,400 historic buildings. Some of the architectural highlights you may view include the old Town Hall and the Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. From the 12th century 1,400-foot long medieval bridge, you will have spectacular views of the city and surrounding countryside. This afternoon, enjoy free time to take a stroll through the old town to Regensburg's charming Christmas Market and marvel at the festive lights and decorations. Browse and shop at the brightly lit wooden huts that sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys and local handicrafts. Late evening your ship departs for Nuremberg.
Day #7 Nuremberg - Your cruise continues across the continental divide to Roth, where a short transfer will bring you into picturesque Nuremberg. A local expert provides an interesting city tour of historic Nuremberg featuring the old town, the 900-year-old ramparts that surround the city, the Imperial Castle, and the Justice Palace, where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946. Then, visit the world-famous Christmas Market. Celebrate the last evening of your magical cruise with wonderful food at the Captain’s Gala Dinner followed by music and entertainment.
Day #8 Nuremberg - Disembark Ship - Rothenburg - Würzburg - Disembark the ship in Nuremberg. Proceed to lovely Rothenburg, one of the most well-preserved medieval walled towns in all of Germany. Enjoy free time to explore the town's hidden treasures and its charming Christmas Market. Late afternoon, you arrive in Würzburg. Join a local guide on a leisurely-paced walking tour of Würzburg. This ancient Franconian wine town is rich in historic sights, including the magnificent 18th century residence of the prince-bishops which boasts the largest ceiling fresco in the world, and the ornate Alte Mainbrucke, the oldest bridge on the River Main.
Day #9 Würzburg - Tour Ends - Your tour ends in Würzburg this morning.