Cruises > Christmas Cruise on the Danube – 2019
Christmas Cruise on the Danube – 2019
Relax, unwind and let us take care of Christmas this year on a whimsical Christmas cruise on the Danube. On our cruises guests can spend time with loved ones while exploring Europe’s winter wonderlands. We sail by picturesque landscapes, snow-capped hills, festive towns and diverse cities.
Our cruises allow people to enjoy the magnificent winter landscapes and famous Christmas markets in Europe, whilst sipping warm glühwein and enjoying the lovely sound of Christmas carols. Guests can enjoy historical backdrops, indulge their senses with edible delights, buy local handicrafts and marvel at beautiful ornaments!
During this 8-day Christmas cruise the four-star MS Select Belvedere will take passengers to visit Passau, Melk, Vienna, Budapest Bratislava and Dürnstein. The holiday atmosphere continues onboard with decorations, Christmas dinner and themed entertainment. There is truly no better way to get into the festive spirit than by experiencing our Christmas cruise on the MS Select Belvedere.
Day to day
Day 1 - Passau
Day 2 - Melk + Vienna
Day 3 - Vienna
Day 4 - Budapest
Day 5 - Budapest
Day 6 - Bratislava
Day 7 - Dürnstein
Day 8 - Passau
Day 2 – December 22 – Melk (Austria)
Located in the beautiful Unesco World Heritage ‘Wachau Valley’, the town of Melk has been a spiritual and cultural center of Austria for more than 1000 years. It is best known for its impressive baroque style, Benedictine monastery known as Melk Abbey which is also one of Austria’s great cultural highlights and Europe’s largest Abbeys. Since the 12th century, a school has been connected with the monastery, and valuable manuscripts have been collected here, which have ultimately helped to create an absolutely breathtaking library that you will see within the Abbey chambers. After the tour, enjoy time to stroll the Abbey gardens on your own.
Day 2 – December 22 – Vienna (Austria)
Classical Concert Kursalon
As the German name still suggests, the “Kursalon Palace” was originally intended as a spa resort, however over time, this magnificent building has quickly grown into a vibrant hotspot in the heart of Vienna, promoting the very essence of what Vienna is famous for, classical music.
In the very place where Johann Strauss himself used to direct his orchestra from the position of first violin, Vienna’s classical music scene can once again be experienced in modern times. Enjoy an evening full of Viennese charm with the swinging sound of waltzes, polkas, arias and duets, as well as operetta and piano concerto melodies. Accompanied by excellent opera vocalists and enchanting ballet soloists, this classical concert is an experience you don’t want to miss!
Day 3 – December 23 – Vienna (Austria)
City bus & walking tour
Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in Central Europe. Not only is it a place worth seeing for its architectural charm; it also boasts a collection of famous figures throughout history such as Sisi, Strauss, Mozart and the memorable images of Gustav Klimt. The city is bursting with history, distinguished monuments, museums, palaces, scenic parks, charming cafés and noteworthy pastry shops!
The tour begins by bus as we head in the direction of the famous Viennese Ring, where you’ll enjoy major attractions such as the Urania, State Opera House, Parliament, the seat of the Habsburgs Hofburg, City Hall, Burg Theater and Vienna University. We then delve deeper into the city on foot, starting at the famous Albertina Museum. From here, we take a one-hour leisurely walk along the former city moat called the “Graben” where you’ll discover the Hofburg; then we head towards St. Stephen’s church. Throughout the tour, uncover the secrets behind Vienna’s rich culture and stunning architecture. Afterwards, you will have some time to enjoy the city on your own.
Day 3 – December 23 – Vienna (Austria)
Schönbrunn Palace is the summer residence of the Habsburg family and notably Empress Elisabeth, who is better known as Sisi. Considered yet another World Cultural Heritage site of the area, Schönbrunn Palace is made up of 1441 rooms and is one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, displaying the changing tastes, interests and aspirations of the Habsburg monarchs. Today it is largely in its original condition and is quite a site to see!
Enjoy a guided tour through the authentically furnished residential and ceremonial rooms of the Imperial family palace. After the tour you will have some time to visit the Palace’s gardens and monuments on your own.
Day 4 – December 24 – Budapest (Hungary)
City bus & walking tour
Discover the magical city of Budapest with a guided bus & walking tour. As the capital of Hungary, Budapest is often called the “Paris of the East” and is a highlight for travelers from far and wide. The tour will not only give you a sense of Budapest’s colorful history, but also give insight into how the city’s division by the Danube river has played such an important role in society over the centuries – one side known as “Buda” and the other “Pest”.
The bus tour includes both parts of the city and will uncover famous monuments located on the street Andrássy Út, such as the Opera, Hero’s Square, the famous under-cover market, St. Stephen’s church and of course the Parliament, which interestingly resembles the British Parliament building and contains nearly 20 km of corridors!
Via the famous chain bridge, we then visit the historic Buda Castle and coronation of the Matthias church, which is where the famous Sisi and her husband were crowned as Hungarian rulers. An unforgettable view of the city will open up from the fabulous Fisherman’s Bastion, where you can enjoy the city at your fingertips.
Day 6 – December 26 – Bratislava (Slovakia)
City mini-train & walking tour
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and is considered the main economic, political and cultural capital of the country. The city encompasses a fine blend of past and present; on one hand many historical buildings display the city’s rich past routes, however on the other hand, universities and urban youth cultures ultimately create a bustling juxtaposition within one city.
The Bratislava city excursion is a guided tour that begins by mini-train and explores the wider city center, where you will witness historic and modern landmarks of the city such as the St. Martin’s Cathedral, the city walls, the Presidential Palace, plus spectacular views from the Slavin Monument and the castle area. We start the walking tour from St. Michael’s Gate and meander our way through the city’s main streets, discovering all the major sights, beautiful sculptures and fountains, whilst embracing the city’s history and famous legends. After the guided tour, enjoy your time and take a pleasant stroll through the old streets at your own pace, or take the time to soak in the atmosphere in one of the quaint cafés.
Day 7 – December 27 – Dürnstein (Austria)
Walking tour & wine tasting
Delight in a walking tour through the medieval castle town of Dürnstein, situated in the beautiful heart of the ‘Wachau Valley’. This guided walking tour takes you through the charming center from where you will have a wonderful view of the surrounding valley and castle ruins. From here, your guide will take you to a wine tasting where you can savor quality wines from the Wachau region. Following the tasting, you have the opportunity to return to the ship by mini-train or simply walk back at your own pace.
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• Experienced cruise director and crew members
• Daily music program in the lounge and bar
• Various local entertainment and performances
• Captain’s welcome and farewell reception (including 1 drink)
• Captain’s welcome and farewell ‘extended’ gala dinners
• Individual audio systems for excursions
• Refreshments and hand towels after excursions
• Welcome buffet
• Full board including: early-riser breakfast, buffet breakfast, lunch, afternoon high-tea, dinner, late-night snack, 24hr coffee and tea
• Table water during meal services
• Luggage service: pier – ship – pier
• City maps
• Satellite TV and info-channel
• Automated onboard tipping system
• Laundry services
• Transfers and other ground arrangements