Christkindlmärkte along the Danube River

Program Overview

Celebrate the enduring magic of the Yuletide season on an enchanting journey to 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 such as sausages, hot chocolate, and delectable cookies. Joining us will be honored and respected front-line travel news journalist, Peter Greenberg. Extend your journey with the Vienna Pre-Program and/or Munich Post-Program Options.

Christmas Market in Nuremberg

Program Details

December 9 to 17, 2023 (Amadeus Star)
From approximately $2,995 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Celebrate the timeless magic of an Old-World Yuletide season and the ancient customs of Advent in Central Europe, where Christmas folklore and traditions come alive.
  • 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.
  • Immerse yourself in the nostalgia and romance of Vienna’s classic open-air Christmas markets.
  • Delight in the holiday pageantry of Salzburg, Passau, and Regensburg. 
  • Explore the authentic Old-World ambiance of Germany’s most famous Christkindlmärkt in historic Nuremberg.

Day 1 - Depart home city

Day 2 - Vienna, Austria / Embark Amadeus Star

Day 3 - Vienna

Day 4 - Dürnstein / Melk

Day 5 - Linz for Salzburg 

Day 6 - Passau, Germany

Day 7 - Regensburg

Day 8 - Nuremberg

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

Peter Greenberg

A multiple Emmy-winning investigative reporter and producer, University of Wisconsin alumnus Peter Greenberg is America’s most recognized, honored and respected front-line travel news journalist. Known in the travel industry as “The Travel Detective,” Greenberg broadcasts breaking news and investigative reports from around the world each week as Travel Editor for CBS News. The consummate insider on reporting the travel business as news, Greenberg hosts the public television show The Travel Detective with Peter Greenberg. Greenberg is also host of The Royal Tour, a groundbreaking series of global television specials, showcasing nations in a way no visitor has ever seen them before. Guided by some of the most dynamic and powerful Heads of State, Greenberg journeys deep inside each country to offer viewers access to extraordinary locations, historic landmarks, and cultural experiences.

Amadeus Star

Deluxe Small River Boat

The elegant and meticulously crafted Amadeus Star features all the comforts of a refined and traditional hotel. The 84 stylish staterooms and suites are among the most spacious of any European river boat (172 to 284 square feet). Suites include a private balcony, and select staterooms feature a unique floor-to-ceiling window that lowers to French-balcony height at the touch of a button. Accommodations have two twin beds or one queen bed, individual climate control, sitting area, and private bathroom with shower. Most have a minibar.

Learn more about the Amadeus Star >

Vienna Pre-Program Option

Renowned for its architecture and walkable city center, discover layers of history and Christmas traditions in Austria's capital city of Vienna. 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, filled 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 two nights at the InterContinental Wein.

Munich Post-Program Option

Our post-cruise extension begins in Nuremberg with a leisurely drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber—known for its classical half-timbered medieval houses and a picturesque Reiterlesmarkt Christmas market. Enjoy lunch in this charming town before continuing to Bavaria's capital city of Munich, straddling the banks of the River Isar. Enjoy excursions to the baroque Nymphenburg Palace and the picturesque Linderhof Palace near Ettal. Accommodations are for three nights in the Bayerischer Hof Hotel.

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

Christmas Markets 2023 Rates

Gohagan & Company reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees, promotions and surcharges at any time.

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Program Itinerary

Days 1 and 2 Depart Home city / Arrive Vienna, Austria

Depart your home city and arrive the next day in Vienna, Austria’s imperial capital. Embark the Amadeus Star for a light lunch on board before a trip to Vienna’s Christmas Market. Held in front of Vienna’s City Hall, the market transforms the Ratausplatz into a magical land of wonder. This evening attend the Captain's Welcome Reception.

Day 3 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.

Day 4 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 5 Linz for Salzburg

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 6 Passau, Germany

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 7 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 8 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. Enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner this evening.

Day 9 Nuremberg / Return to home city

Disembark ship and transfer to Nuremberg Airport for your return flight home.