Christkindlmärkte along the Danube River

Program Overview

Celebrate the enduring magic of the Yuletide season on an enchanting 7-night river cruise to enjoy Europe’s most beloved Christmas markets. Discover magnificent settings where cobblestoned streets strung with colorful lights meet festive market stalls of handcrafted ornaments, fine wooden toys, and irresistible holiday treats. This unique itinerary brings the old-world charm of the holidays to life in a vivid celebration of history and culture. Be inspired by some of Europe’s most noteworthy landmarks—Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg, the 900-year-old Abbey of Melk in the legendary Wachau Valley, and the glamorous imperial monuments of Hapsburg Vienna. Enhance your journey with the Munich Pre-Program and Vienna Post-Program Options.

*This departure operates in the reverse order.

Christmas Market in Nuremberg

Program Details

November 29 to December 7, 2024 (Amadeus Queen) December 6 to 14, 2024* (Amadeus Queen)
From approximately $3,145 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Nine-day, 7-night river cruise along the Danube River to enjoy holiday markets in Germany and Austria, where Christmas folklore and traditions come to life.
  • Celebrate the timeless magic of an Old-World Yuletide season and the ancient customs of Advent in Central Europe.
  • Browse the intricately crafted ornaments hanging in wooden kiosks festooned with colorful lights, sip Glühwein; and savor irresistible holiday treats like roasted chestnuts and freshly baked gingerbread.
  • Explore the authentic Old-World ambiance of Germany’s most famous Christkindlmärkt in historic Nuremberg.
  • Delight in the holiday pageantry of Salzburg, Passau, and Regensburg.
  • Immerse yourself in the nostalgia and romance of Vienna’s classic open-air Christmas markets.

Day 1 - Depart home city

Day 2 - Nuremberg, Germany/Embark Amadeus Queen

Day 3 - Nuremberg

Day 4 - Regensburg

Day 5 - Passau

Day 6 - Linz for Salzburg, Austria

Day 7 - Melk/Dürnstein

Day 8 - Vienna

Day 9 - Vienna/Disembark ship/Return to home city

This program also operates in reverse order.

View detailed program itinerary >

Amadeus Queen

Exclusively Chartered River Boat

• 81 spacious river-view suites and staterooms.
• Deluxe amenities of a luxury hotel.
• Complimentary house wine and beer served with lunch and dinner.

Munich Pre-Program Option

From Nuremburg, enjoy a leisurely drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber—known for its classical half-timbered medieval houses—and Reiterlesmarkt, the picturesque Rothenburg Christmas Market. Savor lunch in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, then continue to Munich on the banks of the River Isar. Enjoy excursions to the baroque Nymphenburg Palace and the magical town of Neuschwanstein. Accommodations are for 3 nights in the Bayerischer Hof Hotel.

Vienna Post-Program Option

Discover layers of history and Christmas traditions in Vienna, renowned for its architecture and walkable city center. Visit the Hofburg Palace in Old Town, the former winter residence of the Hapsburgs, and Belvedere Palace—built by Prince Eugene of Savoy as a summer home. Tour the Austrian Gallery, with collections from the Middle Ages to the present day. Explore the traditional Christmas Market in front of Vienna’s City Hall, the Spittelberg Christmas Market in the revitalized heritage district, and the Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace. Accommodations are for 2 nights at the InterContinental Wein.

The Pre/Post-Program Options are available at an additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

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Program Itinerary

Days 1 and 2 Depart home city / Nuremberg / Embark Amadeus Queen

Depart your home city and arrive the next day in Nuremberg, Germany to embark the Amadeus Queen. This evening attend the Captain's Welcome Reception.

Day 3 Nuremberg

Visit storied Nuremberg, Bavaria's second largest city. Divided by the River Pegnitz, its medieval city walls and imperial castle complex are straight out of a fairytale. Admire the medieval, Gothic-style St. Lawrence Church, damaged during the Second World War and later masterfully restored. In the Hauptmarkt, see the Frauenkirche, or Gothic church, and the Schöner Brunnen. Spend the afternoon at leisure and visit Germany’s most famous Christmas Market, known for preserving Nuremberg’s famous Rostbratwurst and Nürnberger Lubkuchen, a 17th-century gingerbread recipe.

Day 4 Regensburg

This morning, enjoy a walking tour of medieval Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural testament to the city's history as an important trading center. Festooned with pine boughs and sparkling lights, the city features four enchanting Christmas Markets—each purveying distinctive handmade pottery, carved figures, and Bavarian delicacies.

Day 5 Passau

Admire graceful arcades, cobblestone streets, and the breathtaking Baroque cathedral of St. Stephan. Visit the Christmas Market that takes place in front of that cathedral to see the arts and crafts exhibits, and taste the aromatic Lebkuchen, or gingerbread.

Day 6 Linz for Salzburg, Austria

Discover hidden treasures in the historic Salzburg city center and old town, including St. Peter’s cemetery, the Residenz, the Festival Houses, the majestic Dom Cathedral, and Mozart’s birthplace at Getreidegasse No. 9. Visit Salzburg’s Christmas Market in Cathedral Square, filled with traditional handicrafts, fine baked goods, and delicious mulled wine. 

Continue on to visit Schloss Hellbrunn, one of Austria’s most famous Christmas Markets, known for its life-size Nativity scene.

Day 7 Dürnstein / Melk

Enjoy a performance by an Alpine carolers quartet on board before visiting the lovely village of Dürnstein, situated in the heartland of the Wachau winelands. During a walking tour, visit the uniquely situated Dürnstein Abbey, which began in 1372 as a small chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. High above the town, also see the now ruined Künringer Castle, where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned on his way back from the Third Crusade. Enjoy a short organ recital at the cathedral in Dürnstein.

Visit Melk's famous Benedictine Abbey, one of the most significant Baroque-style building complexes in Europe. Providing a sweeping panorama of the Lower Alps and Danube below, the huge cloister has been ruined and then rebuilt several times and numerous artisans have enriched it with special touches.

Day 8 Vienna

Explore the historic city center of Vienna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Stephansdom, Vienna’s spectacular St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the heart of the city. Discover the UNESCO-inscribed Schönbrunn Palace, the Hapsburg’s extravagant summer residence.

Enjoy time to explore Vienna’s Christmas Market. Held in front of Vienna’s City Hall, the market transforms the Ratausplatz into a magical land of wonder.

Day 9 Nuremberg / Disembark ship / Return to home city

Disembark ship and transfer to Nuremberg Airport for your return flight home, or continue to the Munich Post-Program Option.