Europe’s Christmas Markets

With a full lineup of world-class river cruises already set for 2017, AmaWaterways is currently offering travelers a savings of up to $2,000 per stateroom as part of its special WAVE promotion ending March 30. While the 2017 holiday season is still several months away, now is the time to enjoy substantial savings off any of the 15 scheduled trips of AmaWaterways’ Christmas Markets on the Danube river cruise.
 
One of just three Christmas-themed trips through Europe, the Christmas Markets on the Danube transports passengers along Europe’s second longest river to visit some of the world’s most beautiful cities and its legendary Christmas markets. Prices start at just $1,799 per person, based upon double occupancy, with a pre or post cruise option to stay in Prague, the capital and most populous city of the Czech Republic.
Trip Synopsis – Nuremberg to Budapest
With available trips in either direction, cruises of Europe’s Christmas Markets on the Danube can either depart from Nuremberg or Budapest. For departures beginning from Nuremberg, the river cruise ship will travel in a southeasterly direction along the Danube River as it winds its way through Germany, Austria and Hungary. But, before leaving Nuremberg, the second largest city in Bavaria, passengers will be able to join a guided morning tour of the medieval city, including a chance to see the Imperial Castle (Nuremberg Castle) and the city’s three most prominent churches: The gothic Frauenkirche Nuremberg with its mechanical clock; St. Sebaldus; and the towering St. Lorenz, with its twin spires, the most visible in the city.
 
Following the day tour of Nuremberg, guests are allowed free time to explore the city’s Christkindlesmarkt, the most famous Christmas Market in Germany and quite possibly the world’s most famous. By Day 3, the ship arrives in Regensburg, Bavaria’s fourth largest city, with a visit to its own festive Christmas Market before departing to Passau, a peaceful city best known for its distinctive St. Stephen’s Cathedral, home to the largest pipe organ in Europe and yet another delightful Christmas Market. Also on Day 3 is an optional full-day excursion to Salzburg, Austria, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the setting for the Academy Award-winning film “The Sound of Music”.
 
Day 5 begins with a walking tour of the Austrian town of Melk, best known for its stunning 11th century abbey with an optional bike tour along the Danube. The day concludes in the magnificent city of Vienna, with a chance to visit its two most prominent Christmas Markets – on the Maria-Theresien-Platz and the Rathaus, the impressive city hall building with its breathtaking array of holiday lights. The following day, passengers are afforded another full day to enjoy Vienna, with options to enjoy a panoramic tour of the city or to tour the city’s hidden treasures, before visiting the Christmas markets and departing for Hungary.
 
Day 7 allows passengers a morning tour of the cities of Buda and Pest, both bounded by the Danube River, then followed by a chance to explore the famous Christmas Market in heart of the city. For trips departing from Budapest to Nuremberg, the tour is for all intents and purposes, merely reversed.
 

  • Day 1 – Nuremberg, Germany – Embarkation
  • Day 2 – Nuremberg and the Continental Divide Germany
  • Day 3 – Regensburg, Germany
  • Day 4 – Passau, Germany
  • Day 5 – Melk and Vienna, Austria
  • Day 6 – Vienna, Austria
  • Day 7 – Budapest, Hungary
  • Day 8 – Budapest, Hungary – Disembarkation
The Ships
AmaWaterways will be utilizing four passenger vessels for its scheduled trips in 2017, the AmaCerto, AmaSerena AmaStella and the AmaViola. Each of the four vessels holds spacious staterooms, a choice of dining venues, a heated pool with a swim up bar, a fitness center and a beauty salon. The deck plan for all of the passenger vessels has an identical layout, with a sun deck on the top level, followed by a Violin Deck, Cello Deck and Piano Deck. The sun deck holds a large sun deck, walking track and heated pool with swim up bar, with a bike storage area, navigation bridge and smaller small deck perched on the bow side. The Violin Deck and Cello Deck holds the majority of accommodations, as well as the main restaurant, main lounge and guest services.
Dining
As the only river cruise line inducted into the prestigious La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, AmaWaterways takes tremendous pride in presenting a truly phenomenal dining experience. Dining onboard the Christmas Market ships are no exception, as guests will be able to enjoy delicious continental cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all of which are included in the cruise price. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style, with plenty of options for regionally inspired cuisine and standard favorites like soups and salads. For breakfast, guests may enjoy unlimited sparkling wine and fresh juices while for lunch and dinner, guests may also enjoy unlimited fine wines, beer and soft drinks. Tapas, sandwiches, snacks and refreshments will also be available daily in the Main Lounge, as well as the chance to dine at the ship’s signature Chef’s Table specialty restaurant. While country club casual clothing is recommended for dinner in the main dining room, more formal wear is suggested for dining at the Chef’s Table.
By Randy Yagi
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