Christmas Markets Along the Danube - 2022

8-night river cruise with Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Linz, Passau, Regensburg
  • Danube Holiday River Cruise from Budapest to Regensburg including Germany, Hungary, Austria, and Slovakia
  • Passau, Germany
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • All FREE Single Supplements Are Sold Out
  • All Reduced Single Supplements Are Sold Out
FREE Solo Space
Solo Friendly Supplements
Save up to $1,799 per couple with 2-for-1 international airfare on select departures.
Further immerse yourself by adding a extension to your journey

Celebrate the holidays with Vantage on a leisurely and festive cruise. Discover the joys of traveling in Europe during the low season, including fewer crowds, all while taking in the pleasures of European wintertime. Setting sail from charming Budapest, you’ll visit festive Bavarian towns such as Passau, explore UNESCO-listed Vienna over two days, and hear an organ concert at a Franciscan church in Bratislava that will put you in the holiday mood.

You’ll sail the Danube on the 5-star m/s River Splendor, which we’ve reoutfitted with even more supplement-free single cabins with French balconies and adjoining cabin options that are perfect for traveling with the family or a group of friends! Learn how to make gingerbread . . . Hear about Austrian Christmas traditions . . . Follow The Sound of Music to Salzburg . . . Discover Regensburg, the gem of Bavaria, and its famous sausages . . . And enjoy special dinners and deck the halls of your ship for a spirited journey.

Add pre- and post-trip extensions to Prague and Budapest for more holiday magic in two of Europe's grandest cities. Don’t miss this delightful holiday journey that’s perfect for friends, family, and solo travelers!

Budapest to Regensburg

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DAY 1:

Next stop: Budapest!

Your cruise begins with an overnight flight to Budapest, Hungary. You can also begin your festive journey earlier — and spend more time in Budapest — with an optional pre-trip extension.

DAY 2:

Enjoy a Welcome Drink in Budapest and board your deluxe ship

Prepare to experience the joys of a deluxe river cruise when you arrive to grand Budapest at the peak of seasonal splendor. Upon your arrival, a Vantage representative will transfer you to the m/s River Splendor. This evening, you’ll gather with the Captain and your fellow travelers for a Welcome Drink & Briefing before your first dinner on board.

Vantage Onboard Enrichment:

  • Morning yoga and stretching, offered throughout the duration of your cruise
  • Optional early risers’ breakfast in the Captain’s Club, offered throughout the duration of your cruise
  • Chess, shuffleboard, track, spa, and other amenities

Included meals:


DAY 3:

Explore Budapest on a city tour

Wake up in Budapest, which you’ll see this morning on a city tour.

Almost the entirety of Budapest’s historic center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you’ll see the best of it as you visit City Park; Heroes' Square with its statues of Magyar chieftains; elegant Andrassy Avenue; the iconic Parliament building; and Castle Hill, where you’ll have free time and entrance to Fisherman's Bastion.

Your afternoon is free for you to explore. Perhaps you’ll head to Hauer Confectionery and Café for a delicious treat. Perhaps you’ll explore the more than 100 stalls comprising the Budapest Christmas Market, or ask your Concierge to help arrange a visit to one of Budapest’s famous thermal baths, such as Széchenyi or Gellért.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day city tour of the UNESCO World Heritage historic center of Budapest

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 4:

Apple strudel and treasure hunting in Bratislava; plus, the Captain’s Gala Dinner and evening entertainment

Warm apple strudel . . . it’s a holiday staple in Europe, and you’ll learn how to make it today during a cooking demonstration.

Afterwards, get to know Bratislava on a walking tour of the city’s historical sites including the Main Square, National Theater, and an inside visit to the Bishop’s Palace before attending a classical organ recital at a local Franciscan church.

This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the streets of Bratislava. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Gala Dinner, followed by evening entertainment.

Included Feature:

  • Bratislava walking tour of historic sites

Cultural Connections:

  • Apple strudel cooking demo
  • Organ recital at a Franciscan church in Bratislava
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 5:

Explore the Liechtenstein Palace in Vienna

Venture to Vienna today and enjoy a panoramic city drive along the UNESCO-listed Ringstrasse that will give you a better view of this imperial and artsy capital.

Later, feel the grandeur of Palais Liechtenstein on a special tour of this dazzling estate. Then, spend some time exploring Vienna on your own via a convenient shuttle to and from the ship. Tonight, enjoy live musical entertainment on board.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Panoramic city tour of Vienna with a special tour of the Palais Liechtenstein*

Cultural Connections:

  • Onboard entertainment: A Musical Story
  • Onboard lecture

Please note: Liechtenstein Palace may not be available on certain departures. On those occasions we will visit Imperial Treasury Vienna instead.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 6:

The best of Vienna: Lipizzaner horses and a private Kursalon concert

A lecture on the Habsburg monarchy kicks off your second day of discoveries in Vienna. Afterward, attend a rehearsal of the famed Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School. After lunch on the ship, catch the Vantage shuttle back to the heart of Vienna, where you’ll have time to revel in the beauty of the city’s decorated Christmas markets and peruse the wares there.√

This evening, get even more into the holiday spirit when you attend an exclusive private classical music concert at the Kursalon music hall — a frequent haunt of Vienna’s own Johann Strauss.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Attend an exclusive private classical music concert at the Kursalon music hall

Included Feature:

  • Morning rehearsal of the Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School

Cultural Connection:

  • Join a lecture on the Habsburg monarchy

Biking Opportunity:

  • Ride a moderate 8-mile route past Vienna’s stunning architecture during a medium 8-mile route. Click here for details.

Please note: On dates when the Morning Rehearsal is not available in the Spanish Riding School, a guided tour will be provided to the Winter Riding School and to the Stables.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 7:

Follow The Sound of Music to Salzburg, or explore the cultural capital of Linz

You'll have a choice of tours in Austria today. Set off today for storybook Salzburg, nestled in the Austrian Alps. This city — Mozart’s hometown, in fact — also boasts a few locales featured in the beloved classic, The Sound of Music. Or, choose to explore lovely Linz, a cutting-edge city at the forefront of the arts and technology that UNESCO dubbed a City of Media Arts. No matter what tour you choose, you’ll have time to soak up the charm — and continue your exploration of the local Christmas Markets.

Included Feature:

  • Your choice of tours: Full-day Salzburg excursion with lunch in a local restaurant, or Linz walking tour with lunch onboard and afternoon at leisure

Biking Opportunity:

  • Discover the landmarks along the Danube, including Bruckner Concert Hall and the Lentos Art Museum, on this easy route to Linz. Click here for details.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 8:

Christmas-themed Passau tour, painting and gingerbread making, plus the Captain’s Gala Dinner

More baroque splendor awaits you in picturesque Passau, located at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz, and Danube rivers. On a Christmas-themed walking tour, we’ll admire the UNESCO-listed Old Town and spend some time at the Christmas market, located just outside St. Stephan's Cathedral. (A more active walk and cycling are also available.) Don’t forget to try the gingerbread here in Passau — it’s spiced, warm, delectable, and you’ll even learn how to make it later this afternoon.

Later, a local painter comes on board for a colorful painting lesson. Then, learn the secrets of making Germany’s treasured lebkuchen — also known as gingerbread — in the ship’s lounge. Afterward, deck the halls of your ship in a fun Christmas tree decorating workshop. This fun, family activity culminates with a competition, and the winner will be announced afterward at the festive Captain’s Farewell Reception.

Included Feature:

  • Christmas-themed Passau walking tour

Cultural Connections:

  • Onboard painting lesson by a local
  • Gingerbread demonstration
  • Onboard Christmas tree decorating workshop

Biking Opportunity:

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 9:

Wander Regensburg’s historic streets by foot or bike

Delve into Bavarian custom and culture with a day in medieval Regensburg. Largely spared from World War II bombing, Regensburg is remarkably well-preserved, with an Old Town doubling as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander the city on a walking tour of its medieval highlights.

You’ll also meet Martin, Regensburg’s city guard, who will regale you with a special presentation before visiting an antique clock and handmade gift shop. If you’re more active, you’ll have the opportunity to join the same walking tour but at a faster clip. Alternatively, feel free to explore on one of the complimentary bicycles aboard your ship.

Later, you'll have leisure time to explore on your own, including a chance to dine at the Regensburg Sausage Kitchen, a historic restaurant on the Danube that’s also the oldest continuously open restaurant in the world. Don’t miss the finger-sized sausage, sauerkraut, and sweet mustard — a delicacy! You can also join the Cruise Director for a warm, mulled cup of Glühwein at the local Christmas Market. Tonight, enjoy a festive dinner with on board entertainment.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Regensburg’s UNESCO-listed Old Town
  • Antique shop visit

Cultural Connections:

  • Meet Martin the city guard of Regensburg
  • Glühwein and Christmas Market visit with your Cruise Director
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Biking Opportunity:

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 10:

Fly home from Munich, or head to Prague on an extension

Disembark your river cruise ship in Regensburg and transfer to the Munich airport to return home, or head to Prague for a post-trip extension.

Included meals:


Important Notice:The above day-by-day itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert. In addition, should there be an extreme change in water levels, Vantage will do everything possible to provide either the included excursion or an alternate excursion at Vantage’s discretion.

Please Note: Port times & itineraries are subject to change. Fluctuating water levels and winter weather may affect itinerary. All Christmas markets are subject to local traditions and opening dates and times are dependent on the local authorities. 

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-800-322-6677

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