- Vienna’s illuminations
- Bratislava Castle
- Viennese Christmas markets
Christmas Markets of the Danube 2023
- Return UK travel service
Cinnamon, mulled wine and lebkuchen…
Embrace the festive spirit and visit some of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe. Enjoy time to relax on board Spirit of the Danube before stepping ashore in Linz, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest where you can experience the festive atmosphere and browse stalls laden with unique handicrafts and tempting culinary delights, from Linzer torte and lebkuchen to mulled wine and Weihnachtspunsch.
Travel to Vienna and transfer to Linz to embark your ship, Spirit of the Danube.
Every year the city of Linz hosts a major Christmas market on its main square, surrounded by elegant Baroque-style buildings.
Look forward to browsing stalls brimming with all sorts of handicrafts and culinary delights, such as spicy gingerbread and the traditional Austrian pastry, Linzer torte. Glühwein, a warming mix of red wine, cinnamon, oranges and cloves is another speciality sold here.
Arrive 1300. Depart 2300
This afternoon your ship arrives on the outskirts of Vienna and you can transfer by coach to the city centre to visit the Krippenmarkt, December market.
The stalls at the Spittelberg quarter in the Neubau district, home to Biedermeier-style buildings occupied by bars and restaurants, sell various objets d’art, silver jewellery, enamel and ceramics.
Arrive 0800. Depart 2000.
Arrive this morning in Slovakia's capital where the streets will be adorned with twinkling lights and Christmas trees.
The city’s Christmas market, usually held at the Main Square and Hviezdoslav Square, has numerous stalls laden with tempting goodies. Treat yourself to a mug of mead or steaming mulled wine while enjoying the festive atmosphere.
Budapest is a city made up of two parts: Buda and Pest, built on opposite banks of the Danube. The cities have been officially united since 1873, but they are still very different in character.
Buda is the older and more graceful, with its cobbled streets, medieval architecture and UNESCO-listed Buda Castle, while Pest is the administrative and commercial centre, with wide avenues and 19th-century public buildings.
Vörösmarty Square hosts the city’s oldest and largest Christmas market where countless food merchants and craft vendors sell their wares. This venue is popular with Hungarian musicians who can often be heard entertaining the shoppers.
Disembark and travel to the airport for your return flight.
- Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
- Entertainment and activities on board
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
- All gratuities on board
- Return flights and transfers
- Linz Christmas market
- Vienna Christmas market
- Bratislava Christmas market
- Budapest Christmas market
Interactive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration available in selected ports.
†The included drinks are available on board from 9am to midnight and include non-branded alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Excludes branded spirits.
Bratislava City Tour
After disembarking the ship, board the Bratislava Land Train with a local guide, taking you on a sightseeing adventure around the Slovakian capital. The journey will take you past the Slovak Philharmonic Hall, through to one of the oldest local theatres (Slovak National Theatre) and around the historic Old Town to Bratislava Castle.
Today, this four-tower symbol of Bratislava is a significant archaeological site to the Slovak National Museum and proudly represents the history of the city. When you arrive, you can enjoy a short, guided walk around the castle grounds, visiting the terrace with its panoramic views and the Baroque gardens. Then, re-board the train and journey to the Old Town where a walking tour starts at Michael’s Gate or at the Opera House.
With a leisurely walk to the historic centre, you will discover sites such as the Archbishop’s Place and St Martin’s Cathedral – the previous coronation church of the Hungarian kings. Enjoy views of the 15th century Academia Istropolitana – the oldest University established in Slovakia, along with many palaces from the 18th century and the Main Square with its Old Town Hall.
Afterwards, you’ll head into a local pastry shop named after the famous sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. Here, you can admire some of the statue character heads of this artist whilst you sit down with a coffee or tea and a traditional cake, perhaps a strudel.
Walking Grade 3
Please note: You should expect to walk approximately one mile over level terrain which will be cobbled at times. There is a total walking/standing time of approximately 60 minutes.
- Included on 5 nights itinerary
Vienna Classical Evening Concert
Vienna is renowned for its opera houses and concert halls where regular musical performances take place. Therefore, a trip to Vienna would not be complete without an after-dinner concert of Viennese music.
Travel to Palace Auersperg, or one of Vienna’s other impressive palaces near the famous Ringstrasse and parliament. Relax and enjoy the music of the Strauss family. Together, the composers in the family were largely responsible for the popularisation of the waltz, so you will be transported back through music to 18th-century Vienna.
The Chamber Orchestra are also accompanied in parts by an opera singer performing pieces such as “A Little Night Music”, “Papageno – Papagena” from “The Magic Flute” or “Ball Sirens” from “The Merry Widow”.
Walking Grade 2
Please note: Dependent on the concert venue, there may be a walk of up to approximately 500 yards from the coach drop-off point. There are some steps inside most venues but lifts are available if required. There is a total walking/standing time of approximately 25 minutes.
- Optional on 5 nights itinerary