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Christmastime on the Danube (Westbound) 2021

From Vienna, Austria to Nuremberg, Germany
Length: 7 Days - Departs: Tue, Nov 30, 2021

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River Cruise Itinerary

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This Christmastime river cruise begins in Austria’s magical capital of Vienna, home to the sounds of Mozart, Strauss, and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. See the famous sights with a Local Guide, or opt to go on a culinary tour through the Christmas markets to get a taste of all the best flavors Austria offers during this time of year. Cruise through the wintery landscape of the picturesque Wachau Valley to Melk. Here, you’ll tour the magnificent 11th century Benedictine Abbey—one of Europe’s largest monasteries—where monks still stroll amidst the sacred walls. Arrive in Passau, Germany, and visit the city’s charming Christmas market set against the breathtaking backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. In Regensburg, after a guided tour of the city, savor traditional sausages at Historiche Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants and enjoy a tasting of German beers. Learn about Christmas traditions as you cruise to Nuremberg, the thousand-year-old city with its medieval fortifications and gothic churches. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations, and the Christmas market has dozens of stalls offering traditional wares, such as Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), Glühwein (mulled wine), and unique decorations and ornaments. A unique holiday river cruise vacation which offers the chance to savor the views, smells, and tastes of centuries-old Christmas markets and explore historical medieval sites…a fantastic way to celebrate the holiday season!

  1. Day 1
    VIENNA, AUSTRIA (EMBARKATION)
    Tue, Nov 30, 2021
    Welcome to Austria. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.Flights into Vienna must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.Indulge in traditional holiday fare and hot libations to warm your heart and soul before boarding.(D)
  2. Day 2
    VIENNA
    Wed, Dec 01, 2021
    Royal Collections, and Culinary Confections CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of Vienna to see the Imperial Palace complex—the winter residence of the Imperial family, OR: DISCOVERY Join a Guided Culinary Tour of Vienna’s magical Christmas Advent Markets to sample Sachertorte and ApfelstrudelYou may join a Guided Optional Tour of Schönbrunn Palace—summer home of the Habsburg dynasty for 300 years.Spend free time on your own to enjoy the Christkindlesmarkt, or relax by the fire’s glow in a Viennese café this evening. Alternatively, this evening, you may choose to attend an Optional Excursion to a Royal Waltz Concert for an unforgettable evening of music in an elegant hall.OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK(B,L,D)
  3. Day 3
    MELK
    Thu, Dec 02, 2021
    Striking Frescoes and the Breathtaking Wachau ValleyCLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilingsDISCOVERY Enjoy an Austrian cookie Tasting on board while sailing to GreinCLASSIC Take a Guided Walk of Grein, including its historic theater, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performancesEnjoy live entertainment on board.OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU(B,L,D)
  4. Day 4
    PASSAU
    Fri, Dec 03, 2021
    Saint Stephens, Salzburg, and the Story of Silent NightCLASSIC Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful “City of Three Rivers.”You may like to join a Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg, Austria. See the setting of The Sound of Music, and learn the story behind the beloved Christmas hymn, Silent Night. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG(B,L,D)
  5. Day 5
    REGENSBURG
    Sat, Dec 04, 2021
    Christmas Magic in Bavaria’s Medieval Miracle CLASSIC Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria—entrance to the Castra Regina fortress built in 179 ADTake time to browse Regensburg’s sparkling Christmas markets. Enjoy hot-mulled wine, candied almonds, gingerbread, or bratwurst.DISCOVERY Later, indulge in an onboard Beer Tasting to sample regional German brewsEnjoy live entertainment on board. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NUREMBERG(B,L,D)
  6. Day 6
    NUREMBERG
    Sun, Dec 05, 2021
    Living Heritage and History Lessons DISCOVERY Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this morningCLASSIC Choose a Guided Tour of Nuremberg’s medieval architecture, gilded fountain, Gothic cathedral, and Kaiserburg Castle, OR:CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally Grounds—used by the Third ReichSpend free time on your own to browse the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample favorite Bavarian fare—from dozens of bratwurst varieties, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other culinary delights of the Christkindlmarkt. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG(B,L,D)
  7. Day 7
    NUREMBERG (DISEMBARKATION)
    Mon, Dec 06, 2021
    Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.(B)

Countries Visited

Austria, Germany

Rivers Visited

Danube

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Inclusions

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Christmas markets generally operate from late November until the third week of December, depending on the location.


Accommodation Information

Port charges:
$168

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability).

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Additional accommodations before or after your tour may be available.

All prices per person based on double occupancy. Cruise price based on Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck. See below for upgrade pricing

Health and Safety Protocols for Avalon Waterways

Today's world has changed, but what remains certain is Avalon Waterways' commitment to guest safety, comfort and peace-of-mind while traveling with us. To that end, Avalon Waterways has established a worldwide Assurance program, with enhanced on-trip protocols and procedures, to ensure the health – and happiness – of guests throughout their travels with us.

It all starts with Avalon Waterways' Global Health & Safety Team, dedicated to ensuring that cleanliness of all operations exceeds today’s travel standards—from start to finish. The following areas address Avalon Waterways' commitment to providing a safe and clean environment for guests.

WELCOME ABOARD

New embarkation procedures to offer guests a safe start to their journey, including:

  • Social distancing throughout embarkation
  • Mandatory health screening, including touch-free temperature-check, for all guests and crew
  • Luggage disinfection prior to onboarding (with crew wearing gloves and masks)

FRESH AIR, INSIDE AND OUT:

In addition to Avalon Waterways' Open-Air staterooms, the air in the ships is not circulated between staterooms; only within an individual stateroom and mixed with fresh, outside air.

BLENDING CULTURAL PROXIMITY WITH SOCIAL DISTANCE:

New social distancing guidelines for guests throughout their Avalon cruise include:

  • Reducing ship capacity as required for more space on board per guest
  • Introducing more dining venues for more dining space per person
  • Crew wearing masks for the duration of the cruise during any guest interaction
  • Providing masks for guests to wear during any event where social proximity could become an issue, including disembarkation for excursions and safety drills
  • Adjusting ratio of guides and coaches for excursions, as required

NEW TECHNOLOGY TO ENSURE CLEANLINESS:

  • Electrostatic disinfecting systems
  • UV disinfecting systems

TOUCHING HEARTS, NOT HANDS:

Reducing risk with hands-free service, including:

  • More hand-sanitizing stations throughout the ship
  • Required use of hand-sanitizing stations when leaving the ship, returning to the ship and entering dining venues as well as entering each public/common space
  • Self-serve stations, including buffets, drinks, specialty coffees and snacks have been replaced with crew service
  • All buffets (breakfast and lunch) replaced by a full range of á la carte menu choices
  • Hourly (or more frequent) disinfection of all public areas

COMMITMENT TO THE CLEANEST SHIPS:

Enhanced cleaning procedures throughout each ship, including these additional steps that go above-and-beyond Avalon’s already strict procedures:

  • Deep disinfection of each stateroom between cruises, including:
    • Use of disinfectants and cleaning materials that meet the highest standards
    • Soft goods in each stateroom (mattress, sofa, window coverings, chairs, etc.) disinfected between cruises
  • Disinfection of all dining areas between meals
  • Disinfection of all shared items like umbrellas, bicycles and other Adventure Center items
  • Disinfection of all goods prior to loading on the ship
  • Ongoing crew training in protective equipment use and hygiene

FOCUS ON CREW HEALTH:

Ensuring a healthy crew, including:

  • Medical certificate required prior to start of contract
  • Daily temperature checks
  • Social distancing in crew living quarters
  • Regular health screenings

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Ship Information

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Cabins

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Life on Board

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Questions & Answers

Question: Will the day-by-day itinerary change?

Yes, the river cruise itineraries may change due to reasons such as inclement weather or unforeseen events. Your safety is the number one concern aboard and all precautions necessary will be taken in order to ensure passenger safety, including changing itineraries. Please note that when itineraries do change, the ship staff will do their best to substitute any missed port with an alternative destination.

Question: In what language is the river cruise conducted?

The river cruise will be conducted in English only.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
4.2
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.5
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
4

Ratings based off 66 reviews - currently showing 19 reviews with comments only

We enjoyed the Avalon Magnificent Europe River Cruise very much. It was everything we expected and more. The crew and staff on the ship were outstanding.

Avalon was wonderful to us. The staff was extremely friendly and willing to help in anyway. Very positive experience. The food also was delicious.

Nico, Cruise director, made this trip extra special. He is very organized and knows the history of the areas we traveled.

Great Food, Great Room, Great Tour Guide and Crew! Outstanding to all that worked so hard and always presented a smile!

This was our first river cruise and our first experience with Avalon. The entire trip was very enjoyable and we look forward to traveling on another river cruise with Avalon. Our tour included the Christmas Markets along the Danube and it would be fun to return to the same places during the spring and summer months. It was very nice to unpack only once.

The changes to my itinerary, due to the low water level of the Danube, were well beyond acceptable and made my trip that much more enjoyable. Mother Nature has a mind of her own and Avalon kept me informed prior to and on the trip. I highly recommend Avalon.

This trip covers a longer stretch of the Danube and many of the tours off the ship are an hour or more by bus. Average age on this trip was older than many other European river cruises. It was a fascinating trip.

Affordable Tours and Avalon did a great job. Everything perfect.

Aga was extremely helpful in booking our trip and in providing valuable information about the excursions and Amsterdam. We would like to work with her again in the future.

Everything was wonderful! The Avalon Illumination river boat was beautiful and our cabin was nice with a panoramic view. The tour director and staff were super. The places we visited for the Christmas markets were beyond description -- absolutely fabulous! Very relaxing trip aboard the river boat.

My 1st river cruise. It was handled professional and smoothly. My consultant and her team did a great job. I will definitively book again.

The cruise was just as advertised - even better.

A truly wonderful vacation. Everything was first class - the hotel in Prague, the Avalon Illumination, and all the excursions. Our cruise director was outstanding.

Once we were booked, everything was seemless.

My only comment of concern was that when on ship we were asked to leave dining room rather abruptly when it was closing and the bar would be closed during all performances. And bar drinks were super expensive other than happy hours...I felt like we had to conform more than was necessary...could have been more customer sensitive...it was the cruise director who at times treated us this way. Otherwise excellent and I would encourage others to use Avalon.

I couldn't have asked for more with Avalon. The whole staff and crew were so friendly and helpful. The trip was a trip of a lifetime thanks to Avalon!

Every aspect of this trip was top notch!

The trip was fine, but we wished we would have had more 'side trip' choices, or actually, transportation choices. We wanted to take the tour bus places, but once there we would have rather gone in a different direction, I mean, it seems every tour brought us to a church/cathedral, and once you have seen 3 or 4, it got real old. The tour to the winery in Serbia (I think - maybe Bulgaria) was terrible, the wine was awful, I did not see a single person buy any of it. This is one tour where we wanted to go elsewhere but could not. Same with the tour to Tera Nova in Bulgaria - we wanted to wander the town, instead we had to follow the tour to yet another church. But this was OUR thoughts, for many others I am sure it was fine.

The agent was a delight to work with because of her top of the line service. Had a wonderful trip on Avalon Waterways up the Danube and Rhine Rivers from Vienna, and Salzburg was great! Thanks again for a wonderful trip.

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AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Avalon Waterways. Brochure Price is based on the itinerary's highest brochure price. Our price reflects our base price for the same departure as Brochure Price. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time. All prices are USD per person and based on double occupancy. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. All prices change frequently and our website prices are not guaranteed until a deposit has been received by us. The prices on our website are intended to serve as a guide only and may not accurately reflect current prices. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in these prices until a booking has been confirmed by one of our agents. Please call us toll free at 1-800-342-0019 to confirm current prices and availability. Prices listed are per person, cruise only, and based on double occupancy.

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