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Cruise fares listed are for cruise and cruisetour only in US dollars, per person and fares/discount offers are based on double occupancy and are valid for US residents only. Prices are based upon lowest price point and category at time of print and are subject to change without notice. If you are traveling within 21 days, echeck payments cannot be accepted and cannot be made by third parties (someone not traveling). Other restrictions may apply.
Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. Riverside beauty and a vibrant cultural scene blend together in Budapest to form one of Europe's most rewarding cities. Hungary's enchanting capital straddles the banks of the Danube, with traditional hillside Buda on one side and modern Pest on the other. By day, astounding art nouveau buildings, stalwart castles and glittering palaces set the stage for awe-inspiring strolls and long soaks in thermal spas. By night, a nostalgic glow settles in as the city's lights dance on Danube waters, the Chain Bridge uniting it all as a dramatic centerpiece.
The Christmas season adds another layer of beauty to the already romantic charms of Budapest. Nestled in the heart of Pest lies Vörösmarty Square, home to the city's largest yuletide market. The enticing aroma of national specialties permeates the air as vendors display traditional and contemporary handicrafts. At the cozy St. Stephen's Basilica market, mulled wine keeps revelers warm as nightly light shows illuminate the church's facade. Across the Danube in Buda, Old-World allure mingles with festivities in Fő Square, where seasonal events and an outdoor ice rink entertain.
The aroma of mulled wine and Slovakian delicacies mixes with the sound of Christmas carols to turn Bratislava's historic Old Town into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. The medieval Bratislava Castle overlooks light-festooned streets that give the city a fairytale glow. Vendors in Hlavné Námestíe Square display authentic artisanal handicrafts, and a specially decorated Christmas tram adds to the holiday atmosphere as it transports visitors to the different fairs spread out around the city.
The yuletide season transforms Vienna's beautiful squares into delightful Christmas markets. Festive lights illuminate the Old Town. The Schönbrunn market, set in front of the baroque Hapsburg summer palace, and Freyung market, nestled in the city center, are the perfect destinations for unique handmade decorations. Seasonal music and choral singing provide a merry ambience to holiday festivities in Am Hof Square, while the market at Belvedere Square mixes excellent shopping opportunities with views of the stately palace and adjacent lake to create a fairytale atmosphere.
A small university town at the eastern end of the Danube's Wachau Valley, Krems is surrounded by terraced vineyards. In its heyday, during the 12th century, Krems held even more importance than Vienna for its iron, grain, salt and wine trade. As to the latter, the city has played a long and celebrated part in the popularity of the Wachau's wine culture; the valley's south slopes in Krems are bathed in sunlight all day and create some of the best Riesling and Veltliner wines in the world. The city's cobblestone streets, taverns, wine bars and cafés have a timeless appeal.
Sail through a serene tapestry of terraced vineyards, forested slopes, charming towns and castle ruins in Austria's Wachau Valley, celebrated as perhaps the most scenic stretch of the Danube. Journey 18 miles through this vast UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the river courses through picturesque hillsides. Gaze upon the prolific grapevines and quaint wine-producing villages hugging the shores-the legacy of vintners that stretch as far back as Celtic and Roman times and an echo of the more than 30 monasteries that served as vineyards in Renaissance days.
Linz is today's provincial capital of Upper Austria. The city's famous Linzer Torte, the jam-filled cake topped with almonds, hails from here and can be found in any number of cafés and the stalls of the city's Christmas markets. In the Old Town, the baroque architecture of the main square provides a stunning backdrop for its Christmas market as the scent of gingerbread fills the air. At the Volksgarten, a nativity scene provides an atmospheric feature with the sounds of classical music and moving figurines that tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Centered around the beautiful St. Stephen's Cathedral, home to Europe's largest pipe organ, the romantic market stalls of the Christkindlmarkt are a delight to explore. An array of handmade goods, from tasty treats to ornaments, offer a wealth of opportunity to take home a unique artisan gifts created by local craftsmen. Periodically throughout the festive season, the cathedral hosts yuletide concerts; the sound of choirs singing can be heard as their voices echo through the courtyard and the town's narrow streets.
Founded by the Celts, Passau is one of Bavaria's oldest cities. Known as the "City of Three Rivers,” it rests at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. The city has long enjoyed its strategic position and grew to great economic and political power because of it. The legacy of its past prosperity lives on in graceful arcades, colorful houses with rococo facades and the glorious baroque St. Stephen's Cathedral, home to one of Europe's largest pipe organs. Passau is also where two nations meet; it is here that the German-Austrian border begins. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.
8 Days 6 Guided Tours / 4 Countries
Daily Shore Excursions: 6 included guided tours
Port Charges: Included on all itineraires
We had a wonderful time. Everyone from the Captain, Cruise Director, Manager and Chef were great. The crew was the best of the three cruised we took with Viking. Sorin the Mate De was very friendly and met all our need. The wait staff in the dinning room were very happy to make our experience great.
This river cruise was our third Viking River Cruise. We have enjoyed all three river cruises, and we are always impressed with Viking's focus on customer service!
Everything about the trip was at least as good as advertised. The staff on the boat were over-the-top courteous and attentive. The food was excellent and the chef was happy to honor special requests. The overall feeling was comfortable luxury. The only criticism I have would be about the pastries. Since the tour is through France, the pastry chef could use more French techniques--the pastries were better in the shops onshore.
We enjoyed the organization of all of the tours and the extra special touches on the Normandy Beaches tours. One suggestion was that the dinning room in the evenings got very loud. Maybe the acoustics could be better to absorb some of the noise. It was a fantastic trip.
We are ready to book again. Excellent experience!
The Paris, Normandy Cruise was so much better than I expected. From being greeted at the airport through all the various excursions the staff at Viking were awesome. The accommodation was so very comfortable, the food was out of this world and being taken to the airport to fly home, where the staff made sure we were at the right boarding gate, was way beyond my expectation. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who has had no experience with river cruises. My Travel consultant was the person who convinced me to go so I applaud him and say Thank You, you are the best ever Travel Consultant. If I could rate him and this cruise it would be ten gold stars.
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