Christmas Markets Along The Danube – Eastbound (8 Days)

Cruise Line: Tauck River Cruising
Ship: Varies by Departure
Nürnberg, Germany to Vienna, Austria
Nürnberg, Germany

Cruise begins at 4:00 PM today in Nürnberg, Germany. A transfer is included from Nürnberg Airport to ms Swiss Jewel or ms Treasures. Guests enjoying a pre-cruise stay in Nürnberg will receive a transfer from the hotel to the riverboat. After boarding the riverboat and settling into your cabin, you may take the complimentary shuttles to town, all done up for the holidays. Like its neighboring countries, during the season of the Christmas Markets Germany is at its most festive. Join the Captain for his welcome dinner onboard the riverboat this evening.

Nürnberg, Germany

On Nürnberg's main market square opposite the Church of Our Lady sits perhaps the most famous of Germany's Christmas Markets, with its iconic, golden-haired Christmas Angel and charming Zwetschgenmännle ("Plum People"), unique to Bavaria and made from dried plums and other fruits. By the time Christmas Eve rolls around, this "Little Town from Wood and Cloth" will have welcomed two million folks from around the globe – including you – delighting them with its authentic ornaments, Bavarian crafts, Christmas candles, lebkuchen and other kinds of cookies, tasty fruit loaves, tangy gingerbread, handmade toys, and glühwein. You'll have a choice of sightseeing in historic Nürnberg this morning. You may choose to explore medieval Nürnberg, including a walking tour along its centuries-old ramparts and defensive walls, past the opera house and St. John's Cemetery to the Imperial Castle and the old city and marketplace, and visiting the Dürer House. Or, take a tour that includes the Courthouse (site of the famed 1946 trials), the Zeppelinfeld rally grounds, the Documentation Center, and other Nürnberg sites associated with World War II and its aftermath. Following your visit to Nürnberg's famous Weihnachtsmarkt, you'll have lunch and some time to spend as you please before rejoining the riverboat. Then, continue cruising to Regensburg. After dinner tonight, you might want to join in as we trim the riverboat's Christmas tree for the holidays and enjoy some special treats.

Regensburg, Germany

Sausages and song are big in Regensburg, as your visit to its centuries-old Christkindlmarkt on the Neupfarrplatz will attest. Market goers feast on the city's famed sausages, along with steamed dampfnudeln dumplings, gingerbread, roast chestnuts, and glühwein from Bavarian claret, as they admire the work of glassblowers, chandlers, and potters, and listen to the joyous strains of the acclaimed Regensburger Domspatzen choir – some of whose alumni will perform on your riverboat tonight! The Thurn und Taxis family's Palace of St. Emmeram is the setting for your exclusive tour and visit to its private Christmas market. During the seasonal Christmas markets Germany glows with holiday cheer as each town celebrates the season – and Regensburg is one of the most special. You'll understand why Regensburg calls itself "Europe's best-preserved medieval city" as you explore its Christmas market set against a backdrop of centuries-old buildings during a walking tour and have some free time to enjoy the town on your own. After lunch onboard the riverboat, it's off for a private visit to an opulent palace that the founders of Europe's first large-scale postal system converted from a monastery for themselves. The Thurn und Taxis family's impressive Palace of St. Emmeram is said to have more rooms than Buckingham Palace, and hosts its very own Christmas market in the intimate setting of the beautiful inner courtyard every year. On your visit, tour the palace and browse the fine private market, where you might interact with artisans displaying their wares. Rumor has it that Her Highness Princess Gloria of Thurn und Taxis and her family often wander through, enjoying the market themselves. After returning to the ship, alumni of the famed Regensburger Domspatzen choir perform onboard the riverboat this evening.

Passau, Germany

Navigating the narrow lanes and archways of this Bavarian town on the Danube and Inn rivers is a pleasure any time of year, but never more so than now, when one of the Christmas Markets Germany is most famous for transforms Passau's historic Baroque center into a wonderland brimming with bratwurst, lebkuchen, glühwein, and good cheer. At the center of it all is St. Stephan's Cathedral, whose massive pipe organ – the largest in Europe – stars in concerts throughout the season. More than four generations of the Simon family have perfected the art of making gingerbread and you'll see how it's done during a demonstration at Passau's famous Café Simon. After a walking tour of the city and its Weihnachtsmarkt, the afternoon is yours to explore as you please. Please join us back onboard the riverboat for a discovery briefing with your Tauck Director before dinner.

Linz, Austria
Salzburg, Austria
Linz, Austria

The angelic voices of choirs singing carols on Cathedral Square... the pealing bells of old Salzburger Dom, overlooking neat rows of lit-up booths fragrant with the aroma of roasted almonds and hot mulled wine... ornate Baroque domes, towers, and rooftops tipped with snow in the heart of Old Town... the clatter of horse-drawn carriages over cobblestoned streets... sweet candy apples and marzipan... the warm laughter of families having the time of their lives... and music everywhere, in the city that gave us Mozart. The Christmas markets of Salzburg, a true feast for the senses... and Linz's Christkindlmarkt, the curving roofs of its stalls symbolizing the waves of the Danube. The riverboat arrives in Linz, Austria, for a full-day excursion to Mozart's magical hometown of Salzburg, with its Baroque town center dressed in its holiday best. After exploring the Christkindlmarkt in this charming city, have lunch at Stiftskeller St. Peter, one of Europe's oldest restaurants, located on the premises of historic St. Peter's Abbey. Following some free time, return to Linz for a different Christmas market experience... and, as you've learned, each town's market has something all its own to offer. Or, if you prefer, spend the entire day in Linz, enjoying its Christmas market, taking a walking tour, or just relaxing onboard the riverboat. Enjoy a live musical performance by the trio Donau Klang onboard the ship tonight.

Melk, Austria
Vienna, Austria

Perched high on a rocky bluff overlooking the Danube and the town of Melk, Stift Melk (Melk Abbey) has shone as a beacon of culture and learning since its founding nearly a millennium ago. The 18th-century Baroque complex is home to a magnificent church and its own Christmas legend – about a miraculous visit from the Virgin Mary and the Christ child, and a young novice whose juggling so entertained the infant that he clapped for joy. Beautiful Melk Abbey inspires with Baroque architecture and façades, soaring ceilings, magnificent frescoes, gold and marble statues, and artistic treasures. Black-robed Benedictine monks go about their simple daily lives here today, just as they have done for hundreds of years. Situated high above the town overlooking the river, the Abbey is home to a stunning library housing a massive collection of medieval manuscripts, including a famous group of musical manuscripts. Be sure to take time to admire the views of the Danube from its terraces. From Melk, you'll cruise through the Wachau Valley this afternoon, arriving in grand old Vienna after dinner tonight.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna - Images of St. Nicholas – with his devilish nemesis, Krampus – Advent wreaths, twinkling lights, roasting chestnuts, sausages, and kartoffelpuffer (potato cakes), hot glühwein and fruity punsch... all signs of Christmastime in Vienna! Many Christmas markets big and small grace Austria's capital at yuletide, and you'll explore two of the major ones. Magic's in the air at the Wiener Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz in front of the city hall, Vienna's oldest and largest Christmas market... live music, tastefully lit trees, holiday arts and crafts, tempting treats, and smiling faces are everywhere. At opulent Schönbrunn Palace, you'll tour rooms that the Habsburgs once lived in, and browse through lovely hand-blown glass ornaments, red Viennese hearts, Victorian-style sweets, and other treasures in the palace's own, equally impressive Christmas market... guaranteed to warm your heart. "Imperial" Vienna, which you'll explore on a sightseeing tour this morning, seems even grander with Christmas decorations everywhere you look. Get a glimpse of what "happy Habsburg family holidays" might have been like on a tour of Schönbrunn Palace, and take in the palace's own Christmas market. After a holiday lunch at the historic Palais Pallavicini, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to sample more of Vienna's holiday cheer and its many Christmas markets. Complimentary shuttles run back and forth between the city and the riverboat. Share your memories of this wonderful week with your new friends at the Captain's farewell dinner this evening... and perhaps later with a final toast in the lounge... as your cruise draws to a close.

Vienna, Austria

Your riverboat cruise ends today in Vienna. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the riverboat to Vienna International Airport. Guests enjoying a post-cruise stay in Vienna will receive a transfer from the hotel to the airport. Please allow at least three hours for airport check-in.

Christmas Markets Along The Danube – Eastbound map

About Us

The art of personalized river cruising meets the heart of history aboard Tauck's signature river cruises. Tauck's uncommon access and exclusive cultural experiences ashore along European waterways – the Rhine, Danube, Main, Rhône and Moselle rivers – connects you with each place you visit... and ancient civilizations take on new meaning on our Egypt and China trips along the River Nile and the Yangtze River. River cruises – and river cruising – at their best...

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Click here to view terms and conditions.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Tauck River Cruising


of 2

Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by