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    Christmas Day in Melk
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    Frankfurt
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    The Christmas lights of Vienna

Christmas and New Year on Spirit of the Danube

The Danube

  • A car with a tick VIP on selected river cruises
  • A plate with a knife and fork Full board

Enjoy the celebrations aboard Spirit of the Danube

Celebrate Christmas 2022 and the New Year amid the beautiful wintery riverscapes of Hungary, Austria and Germany. Enjoy the festive atmosphere, mulled wine and traditional Christmas dinner on board Spirit of the Danube, ringing in the New Year with on-board celebrations.

Visit the key cities of the Danube when the streets will be decorated with twinkling lights and fir trees and the historic squares will play host to traditional Christmas markets. See UNESCO-listed Buda Castle and Fisherman's Bastion during an included tour of Budapest, head to the top of Bratislava’s UFO observation tower on an optional beer tasting excursion and take in the festive decorations and famous sights of Vienna including the Imperial Hofburg complex and State Opera House on an included tour. On Christmas Eve you can attend an optional performance of music by Mozart and the Strauss family in a Viennese palace. You’ll also enjoy an optional tour of Melk Abbey and included walking tour of Passau before stopping to explore Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Cologne during included sightseeing tours.

Including...

View Full Itinerary

20/12/2022 UK to Budapest

The illuminated building of the Hungarian Parliament, Budapest

Fly to Budapest and embark Spirit of the Danube.

Enjoy dinner on board as you remain moored here overnight.

Budapest Hungary Europe

21/12/2022 Budapest 🎧

Central Market Hall of Budapest

Budapest is a city made up of two parts: Buda and Pest, built on opposite banks of the Danube. East meets west in this fascinating city, as can be seen in the variety of shops and restaurants. An included city sightseeing tour will reveal the capital's highlights, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Buda Castle, Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion.

Alternatively, perhaps opt for an included culinary-themed walking tour of the city with strudel making and a visit to the Central Market Hall. Depart during lunch and cruise overnight to Bratislava.

Budapest Hungary Europe

22/12/2022 Bratislava 🎧

Bratislava Castle

Enjoy the morning exploring Slovakia's capital on an optional tour or independently.

Originally part of Czechoslovakia until 1993, Bratislava’s old town, ‘Staré Mesto’ ,with its historic buildings, provides a stark contrast to the 20th-century buildings, some of which serve as a reminder of its communist past. This afternoon you can head off on an optional beer tasting session at the UFO observation tower, which offers panoramic views across the city.

Your ship remains moored overnight in Bratislava.

Bratislava Slovakia Europe

23/12/2022 Bratislava to Vienna

Christmas market on the Main square in Bratislava

Spend the morning at leisure in Bratislava.

You may like to browse the stalls of the city’s Christmas market, which usually occupies the Main Square and Hviezdoslav Square. Treat yourself to a mug of mead or steaming mulled wine while enjoying the festive atmosphere before sailing at lunchtime to Vienna, arriving this evening and mooring here overnight.

Vienna Austria Europe

24/12/2022 Vienna 🎧

The Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna, Austria

This morning you’ll enjoy an included sightseeing tour of Vienna, for 600 years the centre of the Habsburg Empire.

Your tour includes a drive around the Ringstrasse, a wide avenue encircling the old city, taking in famous sights such as the Imperial Hofburg complex built by Emperor Franz Josef, and the world-famous State Opera House. Alternatively, to experience the culture and taste the local specialities opt for an included culinary walking tour instead. This afternoon you have the opportunity to visit UNESCO-listed Schönbrunn Palace on an optional excursion.

This evening, following dinner on board, you can celebrate Christmas Eve with an optional excursion to a Viennese palace for a musical performance of work by Mozart and the Strauss family.

Vienna Austria Europe

25/12/2022 Melk 🎧

Melk, Austria

Depart Vienna in the early hours and spend a relaxing Christmas Day morning cruising to Melk, where you arrive during lunch.

This afternoon you may like to join an optional tour of the Benedictine Abbey before departing this evening.

Melk Austria Europe

26/12/2022 Passau 🎧

Wintertime in Passau

Passau, the most easterly city in Bavaria, is known as the ‘Venice of Bavaria’, being set at the confluence of three rivers.

It is home to a baroque cathedral containing the largest church organ in the world. A short included walking tour will reveal the highlights this afternoon, most of which are close to the Danube, before you depart before dinner.

Passau Bavaria Germany Europe

27/12/2022 Regensburg

Regensburg at winter

This morning you arrive in Regensburg where you may like to spend time exploring the old town on an optional walking tour.

Your ship will continue sailing early this evening and overnight.

Regensburg Bavaria Germany Europe

28/12/2022 Nuremberg 🎧

Nuremberg, Germany

This afternoon you arrive in the historic Bavarian city of Nuremberg where you can admire the elegant architecture and major sights during an included tour, from its medieval beginnings to the present. Once famous for the manufacture of toys, it achieved infamy in the 20th century as the setting for the notorious Nazi rallies, and later for the war crimes trials of 1945-46.

You sail from Nuremberg early this evening and continue towards Bamberg.

Nuremberg Bavaria Germany Europe

29/12/2022 Bamberg 🎧

The old town hall in Bamberg

Arrive in Bamberg early this morning.

This UNESCO World Heritage city is characterised by quaint streets lined with historic buildings. Take in the town's well-preserved medieval treasures on an optional morning tour, including the cathedral and the quirky historic town hall, set in the centre of a bridge.

Set sail towards Frankfurt at lunch time.

Bamberg Bavaria Germany Europe

30/12/2022 River cruising

Spend the day relaxing on board as Spirit of the Danube sails along the River Main towards Frankfurt.

31/12/2022 Frankfurt

Romer Town Square, Frankfurt

You arrive in Frankfurt this afternoon and will set off on an included tour of the city where the glass skyscrapers of the modern centre contrast with the timber-framed buildings that line the main square of the Old Town.

Highlights include St Paul's Church, the seat of the first freely elected German parliament and the Gothic-style Catholic Emperor's Cathedral, where the German kings and the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned between 1356 and 1792.

Welcome in the New Year with a fireworks display in Frankfurt before rejoining your ship and sailing through the night.

Frankfurt Hesse Germany Europe

01/01/2023 Koblenz 🎧

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz

Arrive during lunch in Koblenz where an optional excursion visits 19th-century Ehrenbreitstein Fortress this afternoon.

Spirit of the Danube sets sail for Cologne late this evening.

Koblenz Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

02/01/2023 Cologne 🎧

Cologne, Germany

Awaken in Cologne, Germany's cultural capital where you can see some of the city’s attractions during an included sightseeing coach tour.

The Gothic cathedral, started in 1248 to house the relics of the three Magi, wasn’t completed until 1880! It houses the shrine to Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – now among the patron saints of Cologne – behind its high altar. See the Altstadt, or old town, which has been sensitively restored to it's pre-World War Two glory, the towers of Gross St Martin, the elaborate town hall and Gothic cathedral. Then set off on foot to get a closer look as you stroll along the cobbled lanes and squares, such as the Alter Markt.

Depart this evening and cruise to Düsseldorf, arriving later tonight.

Cologne North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

03/01/2023 Düsseldorf to UK

Düsseldorf, Germany

Disembark Spirit of the Danube and travel to Düsseldorf Airport (a journey of around 30 minutes) for your return flight to the UK.

Dusseldorf North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

Bratislava city tour

Step aboard the miniature Bratislava City Train to explore the many highlights of this historic city. You’ll pass the 18th-century Slovak Philharmonic Hall and impressive National Theatre before your train slowly makes its way around the Old Town, arriving at Bratislava Castle, with its commanding hill-top setting, to admire magnificent views across the city. The train will then continue through Leopold Gate, back to the Old Town where you’ll disembark for a walking tour. A stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets will reveal sights such as the Archbishop’s Palace, St Martin’s Cathedral, the charming Main Square with its fountain and Old Town Hall, and a number of 18th-century palaces.

Walking Grade 2

Two hours
Bratislava
Bratislava Slovakia Europe
  • Optional on 14 nights itinerary

Beer tasting at the UFO

Beer was first brewed in Bratislava by the Celts 2,000 years ago and has long competed with wine for the most popular drink in the region. This excursion ventures up to the UFO observation tower where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city and the opportunity to sample a selection of locally brewed beer.

Walking Grade 2

Two hours
The UFO Bridge, Bratislava
Bratislava Slovakia Europe
  • Optional on 14 nights itinerary

Schonbrunn Palace

Visit the sumptuous Imperial Summer Palace of the Hapsburgs, the centre of royal life in the 18th century, inspired by Versailles. The UNESCO-listed palace is filled with priceless treasures, while the vast grounds feature well-manicured lawns and colourful flower beds.

Walking Grade 3

Four hours
The gardens at Schonbrunn Palace
Schonbrunn Palace Vienna Austria Europe
  • Optional on 14 nights itinerary

Vienna evening concert

After dinner on board your ship, travel to the baroque Palais Auersperg or one of Vienna’s other impressive palaces near the Ringstrasse, for a concert of music by Mozart and the Strauss family. Performance details will be provided on board ship.

Walking Grade 1

Two-and-a-half hours
A classical concert in Vienna
Vienna Austria Europe
  • Optional on 14 nights itinerary

Melk Abbey

Set on a promontory overlooking the Danube, the wonderfully ornate Melk Abbey is a masterpiece of high baroque architecture. Work on the present monastery began in 1702. The imposing exterior features an octagonal dome and symmetrical towers, while the interior is lavishly decorated and contains many artistic treasures. After touring the abbey enjoy some free time in the lovely garden.

Walking Grade 3

Two and a-half hours
Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey Melk Austria Europe
  • Optional on 14 nights itinerary

Regensburg city walk

Explore Regensburg’s old town, a charming labyrinth of medieval streets and alleys that was once the centre of the Holy Roman Empire and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights include the Gothic St Peter’s cathedral, the eight-storey Old Town Hall and 12th-century Stone Bridge.

Walking Grade 3

Two hours
Regensburg
Regensburg Bavaria Germany Europe
  • Optional on 14 nights itinerary

Bamberg

Founded in 973, this enchanting Bavarian cathedral city sits on seven hills overlooking the Regnitz River Valley. Its rich architectural legacy earned Bamberg UNESCO World Heritage status in 1993. Your tour visits the cathedral, a fine representation of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic architecture. This stunning building, with twin apses, four towers and an impressive ‘Prince’s Portal’, is home to the medieval equestrian statue of the Bamberg Rider, the tomb of Emperor Henry II and other fine examples of German Gothic sculpture (entry to the cathedral may not always be possible). Walk through the historic streets to discover the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) located on an island in the middle of the river, the magnificent Renaissance building of Alte Hofhaltung and the quaint fisherman’s houses of ‘Little Venice’. Walking Grade 4

Two hours
Bamberg
Bamberg Bavaria Germany Europe
  • Optional on 14 nights itinerary

Koblenz and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress

Immortalised by Byron and Herman Melville, lofty fortifications have glowered over Koblenz since 1,000AD and changed faces over the centuries. The Prussians constructed Festung Ehrenbreitstein in the early 19th century, when Rhineland became a Prussian province. Despite being Europe’s second largest fortress, after Gibraltar, it played no part in either WWI or WWII. Enjoy a panoramic cable car ride from Koblenz up to the fortress, the views are astounding and you’ll learn about the history of the site. There will be a guided walk around the historic city of Koblenz, and you can admire the elegant architecture.

Walking Grade 4

Three hours
Fortress Ehrenbreitstein
  • Optional on 14 nights itinerary
Christmas and New Year on Spirit of the Danube

The Danube