European Christmas Markets

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Christmas Markets

First Time Ever! Danube Cruise 14 day cruise/tour - November 30, 2019

World’s BEST Christmas Markets Cruise

Boy, do we have a treat for you. We have worked out a special cruise with AmaWaterways, along with a creative land itinerary that will bring you the best of the best Christmas Markets in Europe. All the towns and villages throughout Europe create stunning light displays along with wonderful Christmas Markets in the old town squares. The tradition of Christmas Markets in the town squares has been going on in Europe for hundreds of years. There are literally thousands upon thousands of Christmas Markets all over Europe. The idea of traditional Christmas Markets has even spread to other areas of the world. We have had many requests, over the years, to put together a Christmas Markets tour in Europe. We have done better than that, we have put together a fantastic Christmas Markets Cruise/Tour.

Experiencing the BEST Christmas Markets in the world is a great excuse for taking this special tour and cruise – but, it does not mean that all we are going to do is visit Christmas Markets. This special tour has so much more to offer: A 5-star Luxury Cruise on the Danube, sailing the most popular sections of the Danube, UNESCO World Heritage sites, medieval walled cities, fantastic castles, opulent palaces, cobblestone streets, villages that are hundreds of years old and staggeringly beautiful Christmas lights. The Christmas Markets are the icing on the cake and the wonderful tours, you will enjoy each day, is the cake. The combination is out of this world. This will be the perfect Christmas dessert to serve yourself and others in 2019.

This is the first time we have offered a Christmas Markets Cruise/Tour. We will be flying to Prague, Czech Republic two days after Thanksgiving. Our whole tour is only 14 days long. There are so many parties and things going on in December, that we really don’t want to take our passengers away from home for too long. You depart November 30th and return home December 13th. You can buy all your Christmas gifts from the Christmas Markets. Your family and friends will treasure their Christmas gifts when they find out you went all the way to Europe to do your Christmas shopping.

We really do include the BEST Christmas Markets

We looked at 3 lists that rated the top 10 Christmas Markets in the world: CNN’s list, Condé Nast’s list, and Lux Adventure Travel’s list. Out of literally thousands of Christmas Markets, only the very best can make it onto a top 10 list. Three of the places that you will visit made it on these top 10 lists as #1. Another market made it on all three lists in the top 5. We really are visiting the very BEST!

Here is what is included on our Land Portion of this trip

  • Strasbourg France: On CNN’s list, Strasbourg France, was voted the #1 Christmas Markets in the world. Strasbourg is considered by many to be the home of the first ever Christmas Markets held in the 1400s, they have continually held Christmas Markets since 1570. Strasbourg is possibly one of the most picturesque cities in France. The old section of Strasbourg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Prague: On Condé Nast’s top 10 list, Prague was voted the #1 city for Christmas Markets in the world. The old town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Between the old town and the castle, this will be one of your favorite cities in the world.
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber: It is Germany’s best-preserved ancient walled city dating from the 12th century. When we were last there our guide pointed out his home. His family had continually occupied the home since the 1300s. It didn’t make it into the top 10 but did make it into some top 20 lists. Not bad when you consider the number of Christmas Markets.
  • Dresden, Germany: a city with stunning architecture and one of the top Christmas Markets.  They have continuously held Christmas Markets since 1434. Dresden’s Christmas Market is rated in the top 10.

On our Cruise Portion of this trip:

  • Nuremberg, Germany. Voted #1 Christmas Markets in the world by Lux Adventure Travel. Considered the world’s largest and most famous Christmas Markets in the world. We board our 5-star luxury river cruise ship in Nuremberg. Nuremberg will impress you and be a town you will remember.
  • Regensburg, Germany: One of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities, as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy one of Bavaria’s most beautiful and romantic Christmas Markets at Thurn and Taxis Palace.
  • Picturesque Passau: A fairy-tale city-founded more than 2,000 years ago. At Christmas time the city dresses in her Bavarian holiday splendor.
  • Linz, Austria: Linz is known for being the city of Christmas Crèches (Nativities). Linz’s old town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Melk – Durnstein – Krems: We will visit the magnificent Benedictine Abby (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and sail through the most picturesque section of the Danube – the breathtaking Wachau Valley.
  • Vienna, Austria: On all three lists Vienna was rated #2, #3 or #4. It really is one of the best Christmas Market towns. Vienna is the home of music and palaces. This will be a highlight day.

We have combined a fantastic Exotic Danube River Cruise with a wonderful Christmas Markets Tour. There is not room enough to express how fantastic this tour will be. You will be sailing in luxury on an AmaWaterways’ ship. It just doesn’t get any better than this. You’re going to absolutely love the most popular section of the Danube River. the highlight will be the Christmas Markets in all the town squares all over Europe. This cruise was not easy to get. There are only a few prime weeks of Christmas Markets cruising. We had to work hard to land one of them. It is a miracle they are allowing our company to discount the cruise which saves our passengers $500 to $1000 per person. By booking 60% to full charters, we were able to save our passengers up to $1000 PER PERSON! On some sailings, AmaWaterways offers $250 per person discount, but NO ONE EVER offers a $500 to $1000 per person discount.  You are also getting the bonus, at no additional cost, a fantastic guest educator while on the cruise and tour managers that will stay with you from start to finish.

Look at OUR special savings over the cruise lines prices for 2019 cabins

  • Upgraded Cat D Two Large Port Hole Windows – 160 square feet:
    • 2019 Ship Price: $3,398 MINUS our $500 savings – you pay $2,898 pp.
  • Average of Cat BB&BA Double Balcony – 210 square feet:
    • 2019 Ship Price: $4,598 MINUS our $800 savings – you pay 3,798 pp.
  • Average of Cat AB&AA Double Balcony – 235 square feet best locations on the ship:
    • 2019 Ship Price: $5,098 MINUS our $1000 savings – you pay $4,098 pp.

Package Price Includes:

Our package price is a combination of two packages: The BEST part of the Danube River Cruise (with savings up to $1,000 per person) AND our special Christmas Markets Land Tour and Hotel Package.

Our AmaWaterways Danube River Cruise Package Includes:

  • 8 days 7-night sailing on a 5-star luxury river boat from Nuremberg, Germany to Vienna, Austria.
  • 160 square foot Category D cabin with two large porthole windows.
  • Shore Excursions throughout the cruise.
  • Special Guest Educator while on the cruise: Dr. S. Michael Wilcox
  • Three quality meals on board the ship every day.
  • Free internet.
  • Free movies.
  • Bottled water, fluffy bathrobes, and slippers to use in each cabin.
  • All bicycles and helmets on board are free to use.
    • Option to upgrade to 210 square foot Category BB/BA Double Balcony  Cabin for $900 more.
    • Option to upgrade to 235 square foot Category AB/AA Double Balcony Cabin for $1,200 more.

Danube River Cruise Package Price Cat D:     $2,898
PLUS, Ship Port and Taxes:                                      $188
Total Ship Price:                                                       $3,086

Our 4 Day 3 Night Christmas Markets Land Package: $1,485

  • Deluxe hotel in Strasbourg, France.
  • Deluxe hotel in Prague.
  • Deluxe hotel in Dresden.
  • All transfers, if you arranged your flight times on or before our Fun For Less group flights.
  • Tours in Strasbourg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dresden and Prague.
  • All guides, buses and entrance fees related to your Christmas Markets land tours.
  • Fun For Less Staff.
  • Whisper Perfect headset receivers.

Cruise Package: $3,086
Land Package: $1,485

Total of both Packages: $4,571*

Package Price: $4,571*

**Per person cash discount price, based on double occupancy.
Does not include airfare or tips.

Day 1:  November 30:  Fly from home to Dresden, Germany  

Day 2:  December 1:  Dresden
Early afternoon arrival into Dresden.  After checking into our hotel, we will head to the Famous Christmas Market in Dresden.  Dresden, like Strasburg France, claims to be the first to hold a Christmas Market.  It has been an annual event since 1434.  The architecture of Dresden, simply put, is stunning!  You’re going to love Dresden and its wonderful Christmas Market.  Overnight Dresden.

Day 3:  December 2:  Dresden – Prague
This morning we will do a tour of the beautiful city of Dresden.  After our tour of Dresden, we will drive the approximate 2 hours to Prague.  This afternoon we will enjoy a cruise on the Moldau River before checking into our Prague hotel. Our 5-star hotel is about 6 City blocks from Prague’s highly rated Christmas Market. We plan to visit the Christmas Market tomorrow night, but you could easily visit it twice with your hotel so close.

Day 4: December 3: Prague
Today is a full day touring Prague.  We will visit and tour Prague Castle, then head to Prague Old Town.  Prague is one of the great cities of Europe and has one of the top three Christmas Markets in the world.  You will be able to enjoy the market before and after it gets dark.  We will return to our hotel around 6 pm for our second night in Prague.

Day 5: December 4: Strasburg France
Our goal is to see as many of the top Christmas Markets as possible. #1 on many of the lists is Strasburg, France. Late morning, we are going to fly nonstop from Prague to Frankfurt, Germany.  Upon arrival, we will drive approx. 2-hours to Strasburg, France.  On our way, we plan to stop in Speyer, Germany to see the Speyer Cathedral.  A UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 11th century.  Over 300 years of kings are buried in this impressive Cathedral.  You will love this visit on our way to Strasburg.  We will even sneak in a little time to visit the Speyer Christmas Market.  Overnight Strasburg.

Day 6: December 5: Strasburg France
A little time to relax this morning before taking an afternoon tour of Strasburg and its old town.  Strasbourg is the most picturesque city in France. The old section is a World Heritage Site. Most of old Strasbourg is made up of picturesque walking streets filled with fun shops and beautiful old buildings.  At times it feels a little like Amsterdam with its many canals.  Strasburg claims to have held the first Christmas Markets, for sure it was the first one in France.  On many of the lists that rank the best Christmas Markets, Strasburg is listed at the best or near the top on almost everyone’s list.  Late this afternoon and into the early evening you will be able to experience it for yourself.

Day 7: December 6: Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Nuremberg
This morning we will drive approx. 3.5 hours to Rothenberg ob der Tauber, which is Germany’s best-preserved ancient walled city dating from the 12th century. We will explore the ancient walled city and visit its Christmas Markets in the town square.  After we will drive 2 hours to Nuremberg Germany where we will board our ship. This evening we will visit Nuremberg’s Christmas Market, one of the world’s largest and most famous Christmas Markets. Browse through over 100 red and white canvas-topped booths offering an assortment of unique treasures, toys and seasonal goodies.  We overnight on our ship.

Day 8: December 7: Nuremberg
Today we will do a tour of the WWII highlights and then walk through Nuremberg’s cobblestone streets to the Imperial Castle and its 900-year-old city ramparts. Later in the day, we will cruise through the man-made marvel, the Main-Danube Canal. Dr. S, Michael Wilcox will be joining the group today.

Day 9: December 8: Regensburg
Regensburg is one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join a guided walking tour showcasing the city’s architectural highlights, including the Old Town Hall and the Porta Praetoria, before visiting the Old Town Christmas Market. Later in the day, you’ll be treated to one of Bavaria’s most beautiful and romantic Christmas Markets at Thurn and Taxis Castle, where you can watch craftsmen make their unique arts and crafts

Day 10: December 9: Passau
Picturesque Passau, a fairytale city founded more than 2,000 years ago is noted for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture. During the season of Advent, the city dresses in her Bavarian holiday splendor, which you will discover on your walking tour through the city and at its Christmas Market at St. Stephen’s Square— also home to its magnificent cathedral.

Day 11: December 10: Linz, Austria
Linz is known for being the city of Christmas crèches and its ever-popular Linzer Torte. Today will be a full-day visit to magnificent Salzburg dressed in her holiday best. Enjoy a walking tour of UNESCO-designated Old Town, its magnificent cathedral, inspired by St. Peter’s Cathedral at the Vatican and its Christmas Market, which is a feast for the senses.

Day 12: December 11: Melk – Durnstein – Krems
The magnificent Benedictine Abbey (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is on full display for your enjoyment. On your tour, you will see jewel-encrusted crosses containing religious relics, frescoes and richly embroidered vestments, as well as the Abbey’s priceless collection of medieval manuscripts in its famous library. Later in the day, set sail through the breathtaking Wachau Valley.

Day 13: December 12: Vienna
The “City of Waltzes” offers a treasure trove of gems just waiting to be discovered. Join a tour showcasing its regal splendors, such as the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs before concluding in Vienna’s historic city center. Afterward, you’ll visit the Rathaus (Town Hall) Christmas Market. During the afternoon, visit the Karlsplatz (Artisans) Christmas Market, a local favorite, and the market at Schönbrunn Palace with a giant sparkling Christmas tree.

Day 14: December 13: Fly Home
This morning we will transfer to the airport to catch our flight back to the United States.