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Christmas Markets Along the Danube - Eastbound 2021

From Nurnberg, Germany to Vienna, Austria
Length: 8 Days - Departs: Mon, Dec 13, 2021
Operator
Ship
Departure
Dec 13, 2021
Arrival
Dec 20, 2021

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River Cruise Itinerary

This Danube river cruise from Nürnberg to Vienna aboard ms Savor  or ms Joy offers a new approach to discovering the magic of the Christmas Markets in Germany and Austria… a 700-year holiday tradition!Enjoy Tauck's signature sightseeing and exclusive events... gain insights from the personal experiences of your local guides as they recall the Christmas Markets of their childhoods... and celebrate the holidays with special yuletide events on the ship and off! Aboard your riverboat, decorated in holiday style, you can sample glühwein and other seasonal goodies. Attend a festive European Christmas dinner with all the fixings… and a performance by alumni of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir! Explore the Baroque architecture of 900-year-old Melk Abbey... have lunch at the Palais Pallavicini in Vienna, and take a tour of the Thurn und Taxis family's Palace of St. Emmeram in Regensburg, with a visit to its private Christmas Market – and more!

  1. Day 1
    Nürnberg, Germany
    Mon, Dec 13, 2021
    Tour begins: 5:30 PM, Nürnberg, Germany. A transfer is included from Nürnberg Airport to ms Savor or ms Joy. Guests enjoying a pre-cruise stay in Nürnberg will receive a transfer from the Tauck hotel to the riverboat. You'll find Nürnberg all done up for the holidays; like its neighboring countries, Germany during the season of the Christmas Markets is at its most festive. Join the captain for his welcome reception followed by dinner aboard the riverboat this evening.
    Meals: Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Nürnberg, Germany
    Tue, Dec 14, 2021

    Nürnberg - On Nürnberg's main marketsquare opposite the Church of Our Lady sits perhaps the most famous of Germany's ChristmasMarkets, with its iconic, golden-haired ChristmasAngel and charming Zwetchgenmannle (“Plum People”) – unique to Bavariaand made from dried plums and other fruits. By the time Christmas Everolls around, this “Little Town from Wood and Cloth” will have welcomedtwo million folks from around the globe – including you – delighting them with itsauthentic ornaments, Bavarian crafts, Christmas candles, lebkuchen and other kinds of cookies, tasty fruit loaves,tangy gingerbread, handmade toys and glühwein! 

     

    Sightseeing in historic Nürnberg this morning includes a visit to old Nürnberg with a walking tour along its centuries-old ramparts and defensive walls, past the opera house and St. John's Cemetery to the old city and marketplace, and visit a visit to the Dürer House. Following your visit to Nürnberg's famous Weihnachtsmarkt, you'll have lunch and some time to spend as you please before rejoining the riverboat and continue cruising to Regensburg. After dinner tonight, you might want to join in as we trim the riverboat's Christmas tree for the holidays and enjoy some special treats.


    Meals: Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Regensburg, Germany
    Wed, Dec 15, 2021

    Regensburg - Sausages and song are big in Regensburg, as your visit to its centuries-old Weihnachtsmarkt on the Neupfarrplatz will attest. Market goers feast on the city’s famed sausages, along with steamed dampfnudel dumplings, gingerbread, roast chestnuts and, naturally, glühwein from Bavarian claret, as they admire the work of glassblowers, chandlers and potters, and listen to the joyous strains of the acclaimed Regensburger Domspatzen choir – some of whose alumni will perform on your riverboat tonight! The Thurn und Taxis family’s Palace of St. Emmeram is the setting for your tour and visit to its private Christmas Market. During the seasonal Christmas Markets Germany glows with holiday cheer as each town celebrates the season – and Regensburg is one of the most special.

     

    You'll understand why Regensburg calls itself "Europe's best-preserved medieval city" as you explore its Christmas Market set against a backdrop of centuries-old buildings during a walking tour and some free time to enjoy the town on your own. After lunch aboard the riverboat, it's off for a private visit to an opulent palace that the founders of Europe's first large-scale postal system converted from a monastery for themselves. The Thurn und Taxis family's impressive Palace of St. Emmeram is said to have more rooms than Buckingham Palace, and hosts its very own Christmas Market in the intimate setting of the beautiful inner courtyard every year. On your visit, tour the palace and browse the fine private market, where you might interact with artisans displaying their wares. Rumor has it that Her Highness Princess Gloria of Thurn und Taxis and her family often wander through, enjoying the market themselves. After returning to the ship, joins us this evening for a performance by the Regensburg Spitzweg Quartet aboard the riverboat this evening.


    Meals: Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Passau, Germany
    Thu, Dec 16, 2021
    PassauNavigating the narrow lanes and archways of this Bavarian town on the Danube, Ilz and Inn rivers is a pleasure any time of year – but never more so than now, when one of the Christmas Markets Germany is most famous for transforms Passau’s historic Baroque center into a wonderland brimming with bratwurst, lebkuchen, glühwein and good cheer. At the center of it all is St. Stephan’s Cathedral, whose massive pipe organ – the largest in Europe – stars in concerts throughout the season.  

     

    Enjoy a walking tour of the city and its Weihnachtsmarkt, the afternoon is yours to explore as you wish. Please join us back aboard the riverboat for a discovery briefing with your Tauck Director before a special Chef's Signature Dinner this evening.


    Meals: Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Salzburg, Austria
    Fri, Dec 17, 2021
    Salzburg / Linz - The angelic voices of choirs singing carols in Salzburg's Cathedral Square... the pealing bells of old Salzburger Dom, overlooking neat rows of lit-up booths fragrant with the aroma of roasted almonds and hot mulled wine... ornate Baroque domes, towers and rooftops tipped with snow in the heart of Old Town... the clatter of horse-drawn carriages over cobblestoned streets... sweet candy apples and marzipan... the warm laughter of families having the time of their lives... and music everywhere, in the city that gave us Mozart. The Christmas Markets of Salzburg, a true feast for the senses... and Linz’s Christkindlmarkt, the curving roofs of its stalls symbolizing the waves of the Danube.  

    The riverboat arrives in Linz, Austria, for a full-day excursion to Mozart’s magical hometown of Salzburg, with its Baroque town center dressed in its holiday best. After a walking tour and wander through the Christkindlmarkt in this charming city, enjoy a special festive lunch with your fellow travelers. Following some free time, return to Linz for a different Christmas Market experience… and, as you’ve learned, each town’s market has something all its own to offer. Or, if you prefer, spend the entire day in Linz, enjoying its Christmas Market, exploring on your own, or just relaxing aboard the riverboat. Enjoy a live musical performance by Donau Klang aboard ship tonight.


    Meals: Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Melk, Austria
    Sat, Dec 18, 2021

    Melk - Perched high on a rocky bluff overlooking the Danube and the town of Melk, Stift Melk (Melk Abbey) has shone as a beacon of culture and learning since its founding nearly a millennium ago. The 18th-century Baroque complex is home to a magnificent church and its own Christmas legend – about a miraculous visit from the Virgin Mary and the Christ child, and a young novice whose juggling so entertained the infant that he clapped for joy. 

    A visit to one of the world's most famous monasteries, beautiful Melk Abbey, inspires with Baroque architecture and facades, soaring ceilings, magnificent frescoes, gold and marble statues and artistic treasures. Black-robed Benedictine monks go about their simple daily lives here today, just as they have done for hundreds of years. Situated high above the town overlooking the river, the Abbey is home to a stunning library housing a massive collection of medieval tomes, including a famous group of musical manuscripts. Be sure to take time to admire the views of the Danube from its terraces. From Melk, you'll cruise through the Wachau Valley this afternoon, arriving in grand old Vienna after dinner tonight.


    Meals: Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Vienna, Austria
    Sun, Dec 19, 2021

    Vienna - Images of St. Nicholas – with his devilish nemesis, Krampus – Advent wreaths, twinkling lights, roasting chestnuts, sausages and kartoffelpuffer (potato cakes), hot glühwein and fruity punsch... all signs of Christmastime in Vienna! Many Christkindlmarkts big and small grace Austria’s capital at yuletide, and you’ll explore two of the major ones. Magic’s in the air at the Wiener Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz in front of the city hall, Vienna’s oldest and largest Christmas market... live music, tastefully lit trees, holiday arts and crafts, tempting treats and smiling faces are everywhere. And at opulent Schönbrunn Palace, you’ll tour rooms that the Habsburgs once lived in, and browse through lovely hand-blown glass ornaments, red Viennese hearts, Victorian-style sweets and other treasures in the palace’s own, equally impressive Christmas Market... guaranteed to warm your heart. 

    “Imperial” Vienna, which you’ll explore on a sightseeing tour this morning, seems even grander with Christmas decorations everywhere you look. Get a glimpse of what “happy Habsburg family holidays” might have been like on a tour of Schönbrunn Palace, and take in the palace’s own Christmas Market. After a holiday lunch at the historic Palais Pallavicini, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to sample more of Vienna’s holiday cheer and its many Christmas Markets; complimentary shuttles run back and forth between the city and the riverboat. Share your memories of this wonderful week with your new friends at the captain's farewell reception, followed by dinner this evening... as your Christmas Market cruise draws to a close.


    Meals: Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Vienna, Austria
    Mon, Dec 20, 2021

    Tour ends: Vienna. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the riverboat to Vienna International Airport. Guests enjoying a post-cruise stay in Vienna will receive a transfer from the hotel to the airport. Please allow at least 3 hours for airport check-in.


    Meals: Breakfast

Countries Visited

Austria, Germany

Rivers Visited

Danube

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-342-0019

Inclusions

This Danube river cruise from Nürnberg to Vienna aboard ms Savor or ms Joy offers a new approach to discovering the magic of the Christmas Markets in Germany and Austria… a 700-year holiday tradition!Enjoy Tauck's signature sightseeing and exclusive events... gain insights from the personal experiences of your local guides as they recall the Christmas Markets of their childhoods... and celebrate the holidays with special yuletide events on the ship and off! Aboard your riverboat, decorated in holiday style, you can sample glühwein and other seasonal goodies. Attend a festive European Christmas dinner with all the fixings… and a performance by alumni of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir! Explore the Baroque architecture of 900-year-old Melk Abbey... have lunch at the Palais Pallavicini in Vienna, and take a tour of the Thurn und Taxis family's Palace of St. Emmeram in Regensburg, with a visit to its private Christmas Market – and more!

  •  Visits to Christmas Markets in Vienna, Salzburg, Linz, Passau, Regensburg & Nürnberg
  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors & Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions - $1,274 Value
  • Locally guided walking tours of market cities and towns
  • Visit to Baroque Melk Abbey in Austria
  • Tour of Thurn und Taxis Palace and visit to its private Christmas Market

Health and Safety Protocols for Tauck

Traveling with Peace of Mind
Our commitment never wavers – to earn your trust by always doing the right thing. As we explore the world together again, this will be more important than ever as we adapt to living and traveling in the presence of COVID-19.

Tauck is 95-years young this year, and our ability to weather many storms over the decades is a result of our values and beliefs – as a family and as a family-owned and led company. In addition to the guiding light of these values, our extensive experience, local knowledge and global support network help to ensure your safety on every Tauck journey. Building upon our bedrock of award-winning guest care, we have worked tirelessly to prepare for your return following the COVID-19 hiatus in travel. With guidance from leading experts, including the CDC and WHO, together with our internal Global Response Team and, most importantly, with feedback from thousands of our guests, we have redefined how we will conduct our experiences as we resume travel.

Tauck is Prepared for the Unexpected
For decades, Tauck has operated in over 70 countries in all 7 continents. Over this time, our staff and network of supplier partners have always been there to support our guests and team on the road. Our guests travel with a comprehensive, built-in support system that starts with the care and local knowledge of our Tauck Directors and extends to our network of partners around the world, including hoteliers and transportation companies.

At the core of our ability to quickly and effectively respond to the unexpected is our Global Response Team - a group of over 50 employees across all departments who stand ready to spring into action around the world. This team has plenty of experience, from weather events, high and low water on rivers, earthquakes, volcanic ash, civil unrest and work stoppages. They have also dealt with past virus outbreaks including the SARS and Zika viruses.

The Tauck Travel Well Pledge
Before we operate tours and cruises, all Tauck employees, our supplier partners and our guests will take Tauck’s Travel Well Pledge.

As a company, we will follow our enhanced protocols with diligence and rigor; review them frequently as the landscape changes and always make common-sense decisions grounded in purpose and pride. We embrace these new and necessary measures to combat COVID-19 and will do our very best to provide the Tauck care we have been honored to deliver for 95 years.

OUR NEW HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Consistent with our commitment to the well-being of our guests, we are implementing enhanced health and safety protocols. These protocols may vary by geographic regions and will certainly evolve over time, as science and society respond to new realities:

Tauck Staff
Prior to interacting with guests, each member of Tauck’s field staff is trained in enhanced protocols and participates in a personal health screening.

Once on tour, our Tauck Directors and supporting staff are responsible for maintaining these protocols with a special focus on cleanliness and physical distancing. They will relay critical information regarding requirements, advise when protocols are mandatory – such as wearing a face covering in group settings – and help facilitate guest care through communication with appropriate parties should a guest become ill on tour. All Tauck staff will adhere to the same requirements.

Guest Responsibility
When joining a Tauck journey, every guest is responsible for their own health and, in turn, the protection of their fellow travelers, the Tauck staff, our suppliers and the places we visit. Guests will pledge to follow the direction of the Tauck staff and adhere to health and safety protocols.

Guests are expected to wear face coverings in all group settings, to wash their hands frequently and to adhere to supplier and government regulations. While supplies of face coverings, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be available, guests are asked to bring such personal items for their own comfort.

Small is BIG
For many years, Tauck has emphasized and invested in more choices of activities, resulting in smaller groups for activities like sightseeing and events. This is consistent with our mantra that “Small is Big” – small groups and smaller ships with fewer guests.

We initially focused on these elements to improve the guest experience. Yet today they take on an additional dimension; small group experiences and more personal space are critical in providing the peace of mind our guests expect. Accordingly, we are offering even more small group experiences and limiting guest numbers across all of our journeys.

We have been working diligently with our partners to be prepared to welcome you back when the time is right.
Tauck has worked meticulously with our global supplier partners to plan for every itinerary following the hiatus in travel. All partners, whether they be a hotel, museum, small ship/riverboat, restaurant or other partner, have been thoughtful about how to provide a Tauck experience in this environment.

And while it's impossible to list all of the enhanced health and safety protocols for the hundreds of Tauck partners across the globe, we would like to share a representative sample of what you can expect:

Hotels
Our hotel partners all have world-class health and safety protocols. However, these guidelines may vary depending on local situations and regulations. Here are some typical examples:

  • Upon-arrival, health questionnaires and temperature checks may be required. Some hotels may even require daily temperature scans.
  • Social distancing may be required in public areas, bars and restaurants.
  • High-touch areas such as railings, door handles and elevators will undergo enhanced cleaning.
  • In-room measures may include removal of tent cards and magazines. Common use items, such as coffee makers and minibar amenities may be on demand.
  • High-touch areas, such as light switches, thermostats, remote controls and door handles will be subject to enhanced and frequent cleaning.
  • Guests will have the option to determine housekeeping frequency.
  • All hotel staff will undergo daily health screenings.

Ships and Riverboats
We have worked closely with our cruise partners to ensure the best possible health and safety protocols and to ensure the care and service you expect from Tauck:

  • Guests on cruises and river journeys will be required to complete a health questionnaire and will undergo a temperature check prior to boarding. In some instances, our ship partners will conduct daily temperature checks.
  • Face coverings and physical distancing will be required in most public spaces for guests and crew alike.
  • Meals may be offered at staggered times and self-serve buffets will be eliminated.
  • In-cabin measures include removing common use items. Coffee makers, minibar amenities and housekeeping will be on demand at guest discretion.
  • Ship staff will undergo daily health screenings.
  • All vessels will have medical staff onboard.

Sightseeing and Local Activities
Many of our experiences are exclusive and/or private and that’s important in taking care of you. Whether it be a guided tour, a visit to an iconic museum or private home, a musical performance, or any other special Tauck activities, we are applying the same rigor to health and safety protocols:

  • Tauck listening devices will be sanitized thoroughly and frequently.
  • Sightseeing is being adjusted to ensure proper physical distancing.
  • Admission times at venues may be altered to ensure no crowding.
  • Paper tickets, handouts and the like may be eliminated.

Dining
Tauck has always been known for a la carte dining; having more freedom to decide when and with whom to dine now has more value than ever. Additionally, our partners whether they be hotels, ships, special venues or restaurants, are raising their already rigorous hygienic standards. Here are some examples:

  • Waitstaff will likely be wearing face coverings and gloves.
  • Seating will be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing.
  • Self-serve buffets will be eliminated. Common use menus will no longer be used unless sanitized.

On-Tour Transportation
Keeping on-tour transportation safe is a major focus of our team who has worked with hundreds of partners to ensure continuity in health and safety protocols:

  • On motorcoaches and other on-tour ground transportation, such as airport transfers, guest should expect physical distancing and will be required to wear face coverings.
  • Prior to each trip, our motorcoaches, vans, airport transfer vehicles and on-tour aircraft will undergo a deep sanitizing process.
  • Luggage may also be sanitized at each movement.
  • Drivers will wear gloves and face coverings during all guest-facing interactions.
  • Drivers will frequently clean handrails, door handles, arm rests, tables, seats, air conditioning/HVAC units, restrooms and overhead storage areas.

Our Supplier Partners are ready for you
Tauck is proud to have worked closely with our partners around the world, many of them for decades, to deliver the quality, comfort and safety you expect. Whether it be hotels and resorts, riverboats and small ships, restaurants, event venues or transportation companies, their meticulous health and safety protocols reflect their leadership and well-earned respect in the travel industry. The following are some select health and safety protocols. We will update these on a regular basis.

In addition to our supplier partners, we have also been actively engaged with global travel organizations to standardize health and safety protocols throughout the travel industry. TourCare is one example:

TourCare are health and sanitation guidelines developed by the tour industry's major global associations: the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), The Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO) and the European Tourism Association (ETOA). Tauck, and our supplier partners, meet and exceed these guidelines that require members to adhere to the highest standards in the industry.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-342-0019

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
4.7
Accommodations
4.6
Itinerary
4.8
Professional Staff
4.8
Repeat with Operator
4.8
Value for Money
4.6

Ratings based off 11 reviews - currently showing 5 reviews with comments only

Once you take a Tauck tour, you'll never go with another Operator. The Tauck experience was incredible and totally worth the money. Can't think of one thing to complain about or would change.

Enjoyed all aspects of the Tauck Cruise.

It is wonderful to have every detail taken care of with a smile on the face of the staff.

Tauck is always an outstanding experience.

While watching a video on the history of Tauck during a coach ride portion of this tour, I was surprised to find out that this company pioneered land tours in North America, and was the first to offer European river cruises. Tauck takes care of even the smallest details, from tipping local guides to providing us with coins to use restrooms during walking tours of the various cities we visited. WiFi onboard is complimentary -- something even NatGeo doesn\'t offer on their cruises. And, an open bar to boot, where I ordered the most exotic cocktails and kept the bartenders grinning and guessing as to their ingredients. Our arrivals at hotels in separate coaches on land portions of the tour were coordinated beforehand with our rooms and luggage, so that we did not have to spend any time standing in large gatherings in the hotel lobby waiting for rooms to be assigned and room keys slowly doled out as in other tours. As we off boarded our coaches, we were handed our room keys and were able to proceed immediately to our rooms, with our luggage delivered soon thereafter. Each hotel stay was fabulous and impressive -- four stars all the way. Live orchestral music gave our dining experiences a truly special touch.

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AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Tauck. 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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