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Great Danube Christmas markets river cruise itinerary on Uniworld river cruise

Uniworld is an upscale and luxury river cruise line. Uniworld cabins are all decorated for the period and the monarch, with period furniture for the corresponding monarch, century style, etc. This is a sample Christmas Markets river cruise itinerary from one of several Uniworld Christmas markets cruises.

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. Best time to go on a Christmas Markets river cruise is November 15 through December 20th.

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.”

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Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise. 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. Two hundred stalls filled with holiday wares—ornaments, nutcrackers, seasonal treats and hand-carved toys—await you, and the irresistible aromas of roasting nuts, cinnamon and grilled sausages waft through the air. A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening. Featured Excursion One of the best European Christmas Markets river cruise is in Nuremberg. Beautiful at any time, Nuremberg’s Old Town is especially magical when dressed in all of its holiday splendor. Stroll through the castle gardens and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, then walk through a maze of cobblestone lanes down to the central Market Square. There, spread out before the Church of Our Lady, is the largest Christmas market in Germany. Two hundred stalls filled with holiday wares—ornaments, nutcrackers, seasonal treats and hand-carved toys—await you, and the irresistible aromas of roasting nuts, cinnamon and grilled sausages waft through the air.

Adding to the fun is an area set aside especially for children, complete with a two-tiered carousel featuring carved reindeer and Santa’s sleigh. As you wander through the market, you will certainly want to indulge in some of the city’s famous gingerbread; after all, Nuremberg is known as the “Gingerbread Capital of the World.”

Masterpiece Collection* Nuremberg WWII Historical Tour 4.25 hours Activity Level: Intermediate $77. Hitler considered Nuremberg the perfect expression of German culture and chose it as the location for his massive rallies and most grandiose building schemes. Visit the Party Rally Grounds and the Documentation Center's exhibit on the rise and fall of the Nazis, and see the Nuremberg Memoriam, which gives you a view of Courtroom 600, where 21 Nazi war criminals were tried in 1945-it remains an active courtroom and cannot be viewed during court proceedings, though the displays, including pieces of the original dock, can be seen. Note: lunch will be on your own today. DAY 3 REGENSBURG Old-town Regensburg sparkles with holiday lights and decorations at this time of year, adding to its enormous charm. As you walk through the cobbled lanes of the UNESCO-designated city center, Regensburg’s 2,000-year history is revealed: The ancient Roman gate still stands, as do the Stone Bridge, the Gothic town hall where the Imperial Diet met for three centuries, the 13th-century fortified patrician houses, and the spectacular Cathedral of St. Peter, whose magnificent 14th-century stained-glass windows alone are worth your walk. At the end of your tour, you’ll find yourself at what may be the most romantic Christmas market in all of Germany: the one laid out in the courtyard of the Thurn and Taxis Castle. A glorious baroque palace enfolds the square, where branch-thatched

huts sell handcrafted local wares and Bavarian delicacies. There’s always a nearby bonfire where you can warm up while you sip your mulled wine or nibble a hot pastry. The princely Thurn and Taxis family has owned the palace for centuries, and Princess Gloria (once known as the punk princess for her youthful escapades) may come out to read a Christmas story to an audience of children.

The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. Christmas markets are set up in the area around the 500-year-old Neupfarrkirche (a market that has been voted the loveliest in Germany), in front of the classical columns of the former city guardhouse and in the Kohlenmarkt, where artisans and craftspeople sell handmade dolls, marionettes, pottery and other fine-quality wares. Shop for children’s toys or traditional Nativity scenes with hand-carved figures. As you take in the delights of the markets, enjoy regional specialties, such as mulled blueberry wine from the Bavarian Forest, Regensburg sausages on crisp rolls, steamed dampfnudel (dumplings with vanilla sauce) and mulled cider. Featured Excursion Regensburg walk with Thurn & Taxis Castle visit and Christmas market Old-town Regensburg sparkles with holiday lights and decorations at this time of year, adding to its enormous charm. As you walk through the cobbled lanes of the UNESCO-designated city center, Regensburg’s 2,000-year history is revealed: The ancient Roman gate still stands, as do the Stone... DAY 4 DEGGENDORF (THERESIENTHAL), PASSAU Take some time today to explore the beautifully expansive and heavily wooded Bavarian Forest. As the largest continuous forested region in Europe, there’s plenty to uncover—like unspoiled landscapes, abundant wildlife and idyllic atmosphere. Featured Excursions Enter the Bavarian Forest, Germany’s first and largest national park, to discover an abundant wilderness covered in diverse flora and fauna. This area is home to several unique craft traditions, and you’ll have your choice of which ones you’d like to discover today.

Enjoy a tasting of local schnapps. In Germany, schnapps refers to any hard liquor, and each is distinguished by the ingredients it is distilled from. The word means “snap,” since schnapps is generally “snapped” back in the style of a shot.

From there, you’ll choose to either move on to a glass workshop and see how the local style of glassware is crafted, or for a more active outing, join us on a visit to a former Silver Mine. Ride up to the mine by cable car, get your helmet and dive deep into the mountain. Passau walking tour with Christmas market Join your guide for a stroll through picturesque lanes in the heart of Passau, stopping at the Town Hall to see its magnificent atrium, which boasts several massive works by the famous German painter Ferdinand Wagner, and pausing to admire the beautiful rococo stairway of the bishop’s New Residence. After much of the town burned to the ground in 1662 and again in 1680, the reconstruction involved many Italian artists, who gave Passau the baroque and rococo touches you see everywhere.

Monumental St. Stephan’s Cathedral, built in glorious baroque style, forms the backdrop for the Passau Christmas Market. You’ll find a lot to enjoy here—from miniature Bavarian houses and blown-glass ornaments to spun-sugar confections—in more than 70 stalls. At times, the Passau Christmas Market also features demonstrations by local craftspeople, such as glassblowers, candle makers, wood carvers and confectioners, so you can buy your gifts from the people who made them. 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. 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 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.

Choose between... Linz walking tour with Christmas market The seductive scents of seasonal treats—gingerbread and Linzer torte, cakes and cookies—waft through the air, and the stalls are full of local craft items at Linz’s two delightful Christmas markets, which are connected by the main shopping thoroughfare and a spectacular light show. Begin at the Main Square, where the stalls are decorated with motifs of Linz landmarks, and follow the illuminations to the Volksgarten, where you’ll find, literally, a fairytale Christmas—large, animated displays of fairytale scenes will entrance the child in you. Also, you'll stop for something sweet at Café Jindrak, home of the famous Linzer Torte. or Linz town stroll and cider farm visit

Enjoy a stroll through the city’s Old Town and marvel at the sights, including Old Market Square, the Plague Column and the historic Landhaus—a lightly-colored, Renaissance-style government building. The former monastery was transformed into a meeting place for Austrian politicians, but still holds on to its 16th century roots.

Embark on a short ride to the Austrian countryside to an authentic family-owned-and-operated “Mostheuriger” farm. Upon arrival, you’ll be welcomed by the owner and the farm’s many critters. They’ll tell you the story of their family, farm and products, and you’ll indulge in a tasting of the region’s most popular drink, cider, and “Brettljause,” a spread of local delicacies. Then, you’ll enjoy a scenic ride through the countryside en route back to the ship.

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 mulled wine and attend an organ concert at an Augustine church. Featured Excursion Dürnstein village stroll with spiced wine tasting and organ concert in a monastery Considering its diminutive size, the village of Dürnstein offers much to explore. The famous blue baroque tower of the abbey church is doubtless its best-known landmark, but the ruined castle above the town provides its most romantic tale.

The town has a rich history dating back to ancient times. One of its most notable historical events involves the capture of Richard the Lionheart, the King of England, who was imprisoned in Dürnstein Castle by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, in the late 12th century during the Third Crusade. The castle ruins still stand today and serve as a popular tourist attraction.

Masterpiece Collection Private Mozart and Strauss Concert 3.5 hours Activity Level:Easy $121 Vienna is linked inextricably with music. The list of great composers who lived and worked here is as long as it is glorious. Enjoy an evening of compositions by some of the most famous names on this list, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss. In one of Vienna’s historic...

DAY 7 VIENNA 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 with over 140 wooden stalls enticing you with every sort of delicacy. Be sure to try the rum balls and nutmeg-spiced macarons, which are local favorites, and amble through the adjacent park to admire the elaborately decorated trees. A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening. Choose between... Vienna City tour with Christmas Market

Today's panoramic tour includes a visit to Ring Street, the great horseshoe-shaped boulevard lined with many of the city’s major landmarks—Parliament, City Hall, the Vienna State Opera, and numerous glorious palaces and museums. Ring Street (Ringstrasse) is a mere 150 years old, practically an infant for a city of Vienna’s age. It replaced the walls that had protected the city for centuries.

Next, set off on foot for a guided walking tour with a local expert, passing more top sites—such as Hofburg Palace, the Spanish Riding School and St. Stephan’s Cathedral. You’ll also have time to explore on your own and to visit Vienna’s most famous Christmas market, situated in front of City Hall, where more than 140 wooden stalls entice you with every sort of delicacy. Be sure to try the rum balls and nutmeg-spiced macarons, which are local favorites, and roam through the adjacent park to admire the elaborately decorated trees. On the way to the Christmas market, you will be treated to some gingerbread and Glühwein. or "Taste of Christmas" Vienna walking tour A drive along Vienna’s Prater Street and Ring Street provides you with a glimpse of the magnificent buildings that showcased the Habsburgs’ grandeur, ending at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Stroll with your guide along the Graben, the elegant artery of downtown Vienna, and Kohlmarkt, which is lined with chic shops (don’t miss the dazzling display of holiday confectionary art in the windows of Café Demel, which once supplied Empress Sissi with candied violets), on your way to several delightful Christmas markets. The Am Hof Advent Market features contemporary crafts, ranging from jewelry to knitwear; just a few steps further along, on Freyung Square, is the oldest and most traditional of the city’s markets. Handsome palaces border the triangular square, which is filled with delightful stalls selling Nativity scenes, glass ornaments and handicrafts. Breathe in the aromas of such seasonal treats as roasted chestnuts, hot spiced wine and vanilla crescents, Austria’s most famous Christmas cookie. How can you resist? Luckily, this is the moment and the place to sample these and other holiday specialties!

The afternoon is yours. Spend as long as you like at any of the city’s Christmas markets. Of course, there are many other sights to see. Over 100 museums beckon you to delve into their depths. You might wish to visit the Albertina Museum: It houses an incredible collection of graphic arts, including one million old-master prints and an impressive group of works by 19th- and 20th-century painters, ranging from Renoir to Rothko. You could tour the Belvedere, where Klimt’s famous The Kiss is on display. Alternatively, you can encounter Viennese coffeehouse culture at one of the dozens of traditional cafés in Vienna’s Old City. Masterpiece Collection Schönbrunn Palace with Christmas Market 3.5 hours Activity Level:Intermediate $77 Perhaps the apex of baroque design in Vienna, Schönbrunn was Empress Maria Theresa's favorite palace, and, beginning in 1740, she made it the social and political center of her empire. Your visit will concentrate on the rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his empress, Elisabeth (known as... 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.



  • 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 EXCURSIONS

  • 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 river view stateroom on the majestic S.S. Beatrice or the stunning River Princess

  • 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 EXPERIENCES

  • 2 countries: Austria, Germany

  • 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites

  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager

  • Group Transfers are included on arrival and departure days (please see terms and conditions for transfer guidelines)

  • Gratuities for onboard personnel (ship staff, crew, Cruise/Tour Manager) are included during the cruise/tour

  • Captivating onboard local entertainment

  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture

*Masterpiece Collection are optional experiences that go above and beyond our daily selection of included excursions and can be booked for an additional fee. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences can be pre-booked. Please note that requests to pre-book must be made by calling our Reservations Team no later than 6 days prior to departure and are subject to availability. Some venues are limited in the number of guests they can accommodate. Guests can book onboard (space permitting) and pay in Euros. Pre-booked Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiencesare refundable up to 48 hours prior to the cruise/tour start date; if inside of 48 hours they are non-refundable. Select Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation (with full refund) if minimum is not met. Masterpiece Collection Optional Experiences are non-commissionable. Prices are subject to change. Masterpiece Collection excursions may not operate if they occur on a holiday or if they require a minimum number of participants and that minimum is not met.


ABOUT NUREMBERG Nuremberg, also spelled Nürnberg in German, is a historic city located in the state of Bavaria in southern Germany. It is known for its rich history, cultural significance, and contributions to art, architecture, and industry. Here's an overview of Nuremberg:

  1. Historical Significance: Nuremberg has a long and storied history that dates back to the Middle Ages. It was an important center of commerce and culture in the Holy Roman Empire and played a significant role in the development of the German Renaissance.

  2. Medieval Architecture: The city's architecture reflects its medieval heritage. Notable landmarks include the Nuremberg Castle, a towering fortress complex overlooking the city, and the Albrecht Dürer House, the former residence of the renowned Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer.

  3. Nuremberg Trials: The city gained international attention after World War II when it became the site of the Nuremberg Trials. These were a series of military tribunals held to prosecute major Nazi war criminals for their roles in the Holocaust and other war crimes. The Nuremberg Trials laid the foundation for the development of modern international law and human rights.

  4. Cultural Heritage: Nuremberg has a strong cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, theaters, and music venues. The Germanisches Nationalmuseum is one of the largest cultural history museums in the country, showcasing a wide range of historical artifacts.

  5. Christmas Market: Nuremberg is famous for its Christkindlesmarkt, one of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Europe. The market is held annually during the Advent season and features traditional crafts, holiday treats, and a festive atmosphere.

  6. Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds: This museum provides insights into the history of the Nazi Party and its massive rallies that took place in Nuremberg during the 1930s. The museum is located at the site of the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds and offers exhibits on the propaganda and ideologies of the Nazi regime.

  7. Economic and Industrial Hub: Nuremberg has a strong economic presence, with a focus on technology, manufacturing, and trade fairs. It hosts the Nuremberg International Toy Fair, one of the largest trade fairs for toys, games, and hobby products.

  8. Transportation Hub: Due to its central location in Germany, Nuremberg is an important transportation hub. It has a well-connected railway system and is easily accessible by road and air.

  9. Local Cuisine: Nuremberg is known for its culinary specialties, including Nürnberger Bratwurst, small grilled sausages traditionally served with sauerkraut and horseradish, and Lebkuchen, a type of gingerbread.

Nuremberg's blend of historical significance, cultural vibrancy, and contributions to modern society make it a fascinating city to explore. Its historical sites, museums, and events allow visitors to delve into both its medieval past and its role in shaping contemporary Europe.



Vienna, the capital city of Austria, is a vibrant and culturally rich metropolis located in the heart of Europe. With a history dating back centuries, Vienna has played a pivotal role in shaping the arts, music, philosophy, and politics of the Western world. Here's an overview of Vienna:

  1. Historical and Cultural Significance: Vienna has a long and illustrious history as a center of imperial power and cultural influence. It was the capital of the Habsburg Empire, which once ruled over a vast part of Europe. The city's architecture, museums, and institutions reflect its historical importance.

  2. Architectural Marvels: Vienna boasts a wide range of architectural styles, from medieval to baroque, neoclassical to modern. Notable landmarks include the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral, and the State Opera House.

  3. Viennese Coffee House Culture: Vienna is famous for its coffee house culture, which has deep historical roots. The city's coffee houses have served as gathering places for intellectuals, artists, and writers for centuries. They are known for their elegant ambiance and as venues to enjoy coffee, pastries, and conversation.

  4. Music and Arts: Vienna has been a hub for classical music and the arts for centuries. It was home to legendary composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera are world-renowned cultural institutions.

  5. Vienna's Museums: The city is home to an array of museums that cover a wide range of topics, from art and history to science and technology. The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History), the Albertina, and the Leopold Museum are just a few of the many cultural institutions worth exploring.

  6. Vienna Woods (Wienerwald): Just outside the city, the Vienna Woods offer a picturesque natural escape, with hiking trails, vineyards, and charming villages. The woods have been a popular retreat for Viennese residents for centuries.

  7. Vienna's Christmas Markets: During the holiday season, Vienna transforms into a winter wonderland with its enchanting Christmas markets. These markets offer festive decorations, local crafts, seasonal treats, and a warm, inviting atmosphere.

  8. Culinary Delights: Vienna's culinary scene features traditional Austrian dishes such as Wiener Schnitzel (breaded and fried veal or pork cutlet) and Sachertorte (a famous chocolate cake). The Naschmarkt, a large outdoor market, offers a variety of fresh produce, international foods, and local specialties.

  9. Education and Innovation: Vienna is home to several universities and research institutions, contributing to its reputation as an intellectual center. The city has a tradition of fostering innovation in various fields.

  10. International Organizations: Vienna hosts a number of important international organizations, including the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Vienna's blend of historical grandeur, cultural diversity, and artistic legacy makes it a captivating destination for travelers interested in exploring Europe's rich heritage and contemporary vibrancy.






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