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Christmas Markets on the Danube

Experience a lavish and traditional European Christmas in some of the world’s most famous capital cities – Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest – all decked in seasonal and festive splendour. Cruise the renowned Blue Danube in style and embark on an enchanted adventure with glittering Christmas trees and angelic choirs set against historic architecture and famous landmarks. Visit some of Europe’s finest Christmas Markets, with the fragrance of mulled wine and hot chestnuts accompanying your stroll around the stalls to shop for handcrafted gifts and toys for the festive season.

4.5
Star Image
from 411 reviews
  • Cruise Line: AmaWaterways
  • Ship: AmaBella
  • Duration: 7 Nights
  • Departure: 4th December, 11th December
£2,393pp
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Christmas Markets on the Danube Cruise Itinerary

This 7-night festive cruise combines the style and excitement of Christmas with some of Europe’s most famous cities. Enjoy festive cuisine, tours to famous landmarks, and some of the world’s most iconic Christmas Markets with luxury river accommodation, memorable views, and fine dining.

Day 1

Budapest

Embark in Budapest.

Day 2

Budapest

Known as the ‘Queen of the Danube’, Budapest is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites. A guided tour takes you to the highlights of this fascinating city, including the Buda Castle quarter and Heroes’ Square, plus Vorosmarty Square, home to Budapest’s most spectacular and traditional Christmas Market. Guests also have the choice of a hike to Castle Hill, a walk which takes in the Fisherman’s Bastion and many iconic Budapest landmarks.

Day 3

Bratislava & Vienna

Explore Bratislava’s history on the Coronation City walking tour, a chance to learn about the 11 Hungarian monarchs crowned here between 1536 and 1830. There’s also an opportunity to visit one of Bratislava’s charming Christmas markets. For spectacular views, hike up to Bratislava Castle; this symbol of old Bratislava has stunning river views. Guests who want to learn more about local Hungarian cuisine can join the Tastes of Bratislava tour with a chance to sample the world-famous goulash and potato dumplings with sheep’s cheese. The Rathaus Christmas Markets are the destination for another excursion with classic street food and handmade gifts.

Day 4

Vienna

Tour historic imperial Vienna and explore the most important landmarks, including the Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs, the Opera House and the UNESCO-designated city centre. This excursion also includes a visit to the Maria Theresa Platz Christmas Market. Explore more of the city on a guided bike ride. For those who just can’t resist all things festive, the excursion to the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace and gardens with their illuminated Christmas Markets won’t disappoint. Enjoy Vienna after dark as the light fades and visit the legendary Rathaus Christmas Markets. One of the largest Christmas Markets in the world with legendary illuminations, this is a fantastic destination to buy glass decorations, handicrafts and traditional ceramics.

Day 5

Weissenkirchen/Melk

Explore the pretty Austrian riverside town of Dürnstein on a walking tour with a wine tasting for some tasty refreshments. This area is well-known for wine-making, with the flavour of the grapes reflecting the beautiful vineyard locations in which they are grown. Dürnstein is also famous for apricot treats, jams and chocolates, and a Sweet Treats excursion allows guests to sample these delicious confections. However, if you want to get out and about, take the bike tour from Weissenkirchen to Melk. If the river is just too tempting, relax and cruise through the beautiful and UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley and visit the famous Benedictine Abbey in Melk at the end of your journey.

Day 6

Linz

There are three excursions in Linz. Take the walking tour and meander through the old city centre with a visit to the Linz Christmas Markets or bike along the city’s famous ‘Culture Mile’, which runs parallel to the Danube with some fascinating art galleries and installations reflecting the last three centuries. In the afternoon, visit Cesky Krumlov, a pretty Czech mountain town. There is also a full-day trip to Salzburg, where guests can visit Mozart’s House, the majestic cathedral and the stunning Hellbrunn Palace, home to one of Austria’s most beautiful Christmas Markets.

Day 7

Passau & Vilshofen

Enjoy a leisurely stroll around Passau on the ‘City of Three Rivers’ walking tour, with plenty of opportunities to visit Passau’s Christmas Markets along the way, including St. Stephen’s Square, where there is also a magnificent cathedral. Guests can shop for unique crafts and Bavarian-style glass ornaments. An alternative excursion is a hike to Paulinerkloister Mariahilf or enjoy the River Inn bike tour. In Vilshofen, experience an exclusive Oktoberfest celebration, for perfect memories of this remarkable cruise.

Day 8

Vilshofen

Disembarkation.

Day 1

Vilshofen

Embark in Vilshofen.

Day 2

Passau & Vilshofen

Enjoy a leisurely stroll around Passau on the ‘City of Three Rivers’ walking tour, with plenty of opportunities to visit Passau’s Christmas Markets along the way, including St. Stephen’s Square, where there is also a magnificent cathedral. Guests can shop for unique crafts and Bavarian-style glass ornaments. An alternative excursion is a hike to Paulinerkloister Mariahilf or enjoy the River Inn bike tour. In Vilshofen, experience an exclusive Oktoberfest celebration, for perfect memories of this remarkable cruise.

Day 3

Linz

There are three excursions in Linz. Take the walking tour and meander through the old city centre with a visit to the Linz Christmas Markets or bike along the city’s famous ‘Culture Mile’, which runs parallel to the Danube with some fascinating art galleries and installations reflecting the last three centuries. In the afternoon, visit Cesky Krumlov, a pretty Czech mountain town. There is also a full-day trip to Salzburg, where guests can visit Mozart’s House, the majestic cathedral and the stunning Hellbrunn Palace, home to one of Austria’s most beautiful Christmas Markets.

Day 4

Weissenkirchen/Melk

Explore the pretty Austrian riverside town of Dürnstein on a walking tour with a wine tasting for some tasty refreshments. This area is well-known for wine-making, with the flavour of the grapes reflecting the beautiful vineyard locations in which they are grown. Dürnstein is also famous for apricot treats, jams and chocolates, and a Sweet Treats excursion allows guests to sample these delicious confections. However, if you want to get out and about, take the bike tour from Weissenkirchen to Melk. If the river is just too tempting, relax and cruise through the beautiful and UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley and visit the famous Benedictine Abbey in Melk at the end of your journey.

Day 5

Vienna

Tour historic imperial Vienna and explore the most important landmarks, including the Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs, the Opera House and the UNESCO-designated city centre. This excursion also includes a visit to the Maria Theresa Platz Christmas Market. Explore more of the city on a guided bike ride. For those who just can’t resist all things festive, the excursion to the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace and gardens with their illuminated Christmas Markets won’t disappoint. Enjoy Vienna after dark as the light fades and visit the legendary Rathaus Christmas Markets. One of the largest Christmas Markets in the world with legendary illuminations, this is a fantastic destination to buy glass decorations, handicrafts and traditional ceramics.

Day 6

Bratislava & Vienna

Explore Bratislava’s history on the Coronation City walking tour, a chance to learn about the 11 Hungarian monarchs crowned here between 1536 and 1830. There’s also an opportunity to visit one of Bratislava’s charming Christmas markets. For spectacular views, hike up to Bratislava Castle; this symbol of old Bratislava has stunning river views. Guests who want to learn more about local Hungarian cuisine can join the Tastes of Bratislava tour with a chance to sample the world-famous goulash and potato dumplings with sheep’s cheese. The Rathaus Christmas Markets are the destination for another excursion with classic street food and handmade gifts.

Day 7

Budapest

Known as the ‘Queen of the Danube’, Budapest is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites. A guided tour takes you to the highlights of this fascinating city, including the Buda Castle quarter and Heroes’ Square, plus Vorosmarty Square, home to Budapest’s most spectacular and traditional Christmas Market. Guests also have the choice of a hike to Castle Hill, a walk which takes in the Fisherman’s Bastion and many iconic Budapest landmarks.

Day 8

Budapest

Disembark in Budapest.

About The AmaBella

Bella means beautiful in any country, and in the language of cruising, the AmaBella takes river luxury to a new height, the perfect accompaniment to the stunning Danube scenery on the world’s most famous waterway. Stylish rooms feature signature twin balconies and a separate outside balcony for glorious river views.

Brand Shape
  • Dining
  • Accommodation
  • Health & Fitness
  • Deck Plan

Dining

Enjoy international, regional and local cuisine with a choice of restaurant options offering everything from tapas, light meals to full multi-course dining. Savour traditional favourites with vegan and vegetarian menus a speciality. Experience stylish five-star dining in the main restaurant or watch skilled chefs at work in the open kitchen of the Chef’s Table.

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Accommodation

Generous staterooms offer plenty of space to relax and enjoy the river views with twin balconies. Opulent marble bathrooms are fully equipped with robes and luxury products and feature a separate bath and shower. Enjoy entertainment on demand with individually controlled air conditioning for a relaxing and peaceful haven.

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Health & Fitness

A fully equipped fitness suite means you can stay healthy even when you are on vacation. Enjoy a plunge in the Sun Deck whirlpool or stroll around the walking track after a workout. Pampering is also on the menu, with a hair salon and massage room for the ultimate spa experience on the water.

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Deck Plan

This four-deck vessel offers different categories of staterooms on the three lower decks, Cello, Violin and Piano. The Violin deck features a luxury bow seating area with a lounge, bar, massage & hair salon, and fitness suite. The crowning glory, the Sun Deck, has a walking track, observation deck and whirlpool.

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Christmas Markets on the Danube Deals

Experience the Christmas Markets on the Danube with Crui.se

Brand Shape
  • 4

    Countries visited

  • 6

    Christmas markets

  • 2

    Pre and post-cruise options

Christmas Markets on the Danube

Discover Christmas European style with the Christmas Markets on the Danube cruise from Amawaterways. Enjoy seasonal excursions, traditional festive cuisine and see some of Europe’s finest capital cities in their winter finery.

  • December
  • 7 Nights
£2,393pp

Christmas Markets on the Danube Cruise Review

“We have toured Christmas markets during winter visits to Europe but have never done a dedicated Christmas markets holiday and certainly never tried a cruise package before. Winner winner! Winter is such a great time to visit Europe but factor in the river, and you have something special. It’s an unbelievable experience to arrive in these cities by water, and the lights and festive decorations are just magical. The excursions were excellent, and there were options for people who wanted to see something other than the markets, but they made sure that guests saw all the key Christmas Markets too. The vessel was very luxurious, and the food was excellent, with plenty of traditional festive choices reflecting the port destinations. Thoroughly recommended.”

Ben and Milly, Lincoln

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Christmas Markets on the Danube FAQ

Find answers to some of the most common questions about river cruising here.

I have a nut allergy, and nuts are common in most cuisines, particularly at Christmas. Can the chefs adjust the menus to accommodate this?

Our gourmet chefs produce fresh menus daily and can accommodate any changes or variations to suit the requirements of different guests. Just let us know when you book. We offer international and regional cuisine using local produce at each sitting, and there are vegetarian and vegan options every day. Taste and flavour are always top priorities, and every dish is made with the skill and expertise we are renowned for.

As this is a long-awaited extended family trip, can we celebrate Christmas aboard this cruise?

We are delighted to cater for special events and occasions on our cruises. Just tell us what would make your cruise memorable when you book. We can adjust menus and dining options for a festive meal to remember and help you plan port excursions that guarantee an unforgettable Christmas.

Do I need visas to travel on this cruise?

The Christmas Markets on the Danube cruise passes through four countries, and passengers are responsible for sourcing their visas before travelling. Our booking team can chat through some general points with you so you understand what’s involved. Just ensure you apply early enough, as there can be longer waiting times during busy periods.

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