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    The Christmas lights of Vienna
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    Christmas markets of Budapest
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    The riverfront at Passau

Christmas on the Danube

The Danube

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

Enjoy the festive atmosphere of Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna…

Enjoy the festive atmosphere on board your ship and explore 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 as they count down to the big day. See UNESCO-listed Buda Castle and Fisherman's Bastion during an included sightseeing tour of Budapest, venture 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 historic Passau.


A car with a tickVIP door-to-door travel service from anywhere on the UK mainland

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Dinner plate20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners

CocktailWine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner

PersonCruise Host


  • Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • All gratuities on board
  • Return flights and transfers

MapIncluded excursions

  • Budapest city tour OR culinary walking tour of Budapest
  • Vienna city tour OR culinary walking tour of Vienna
  • Walking tour of Passau

HeadphonesInteractive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Budapest

Budapest and the River Danube, Hungary

Fly to Budapest and embark Spirit of the Danube.

Enjoy a welcome drink and dinner on board as you remain moored here overnight.

Budapest Hungary Europe

Day 2 Budapest 🎧

Buda Castle in Budapest, Hungary

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

Day 3 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

Day 4 Bratislava to Vienna

Vienna at night with the Danube River

Spend the morning at leisure in Bratislava before sailing at lunchtime to Vienna, arriving this evening and mooring here overnight.

Vienna Austria Europe

Day 5 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

Day 6 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

Day 7 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

Day 8 Regensburg to UK

Regensburg at winter

Disembark Spirit of the Danube in Regensburg after breakfast and travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

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 7 nights itinerary

Bratislava Beer Tour

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. Enjoy a guided walking tour of Bratislava’s quaint historic centre and explore its narrow, cobbled streets, enjoy panoramic views of the Old Town and learn about the city’s fascinating history over a glass of beer in a local brewery.

Walking Grade 3

Two hours
Enjoy a beer in Bratislava
Bratislava Slovakia Europe
  • Optional on 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 nights itinerary
Christmas on the Danube

The Danube