2024 Christmastime on the Danube River Cruise

2024 Christmastime on the Danube River Cruise

Dates: December 6 - December 14, 2024

Escorted by:

Avalon Waterways
 

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!

Dates & Prices

Depart: Friday, December 6, 2024. Flight from Chicago, IL to Vienna, Austria

Pre-Night in Vienna: Saturday, December 7, 2024

River Cruise: Sunday, December 8 - Saturday, December 14, 2024.

Return: Saturday, December 14, 2024. Flight home from Nuremberg, Germany to Chicago


Estimated Price Per Person for Double Occupancy. These estimated prices INCLUDE your airfare. Final Prices will be determined once flights are released for our travel dates:

  • Cabin D price change to $5455
  • Cabin A price change to $6692
  • Cabin P price change to $6735

If you would like to review the features of each cabin, please click here to see your ship, the Avalon Illumination.

◆ Deposit of $1000 per person is due at booking.

◆ Final payments will be due August 31, 2024.

◆ There is an additional $75 processing fee per person if a credit card is used for payment. No fee if payment is made with a personal or cashier's check. Cash is not accepted.

 

**Price includes: Economy airfare from Chicago to Vienna, economy airfare from Nuremberg to Chicago, one pre-night in Vienna before your river cruise, river cruise, airport transfers, prepaid gratuities, porterage for one piece of luggage no more than 50 pounds, and travel protection. Also includes complimentary wi-fi on your ship, complimentary coffees and tea on your ship, complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast on your ship; wine, beer, or soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on your ship, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 6 dinners per person.

**Not included in the tour price: Optional excursions and tours not included in your itinerary, airline baggage fees, passport fees, meals and beverages not included in the itinerary, all items of a personal nature such as laundry, cleaning, telephone, internet, or fax expenses.

Airfare Details Coming Soon!

Tour Map

Click map to enlarge

Tour Sights

Day to Day

PRE-NIGHT - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 - ARRIVE IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Airport transfer from Vienna Airport to your hotel. Explore Vienna this evening at your leisure.

DinnerLodging provided at Hilton Vienna Am Stadtpark

 

DAY 1 - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8 - VIENNA, AUSTRIA (EMBARKATION)

Free time this morning in Vienna. Indulge in traditional holiday fare and hot libations to warm your heart and soul before boarding your ship. You will be notified the time of your transfer to the ship. Guests must be on board the ship by 5pm.

Dinner Dinner

DAY 2 - MONDAY, DECEMBER 9 - VIENNA

Royal Collections and Amusing Attractions

  • Explore the Habsburg Empire this morning on a Guided City Tour of Vienna’s gilded landmarks. See the Imperial Palace complex—the winter residence of the Imperial Family, the iconic Vienna Opera House and stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
  • Spend free time on your own to enjoy the Christkindlesmarkt, or relax by the fire’s glow in a Viennese café.
  • You may join a Guided Optional Tour of Schönbrunn Palace—summer home of the Habsburg dynasty for 300 years.
  • 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

Breakfast Breakfast Dinner Lunch Dinner Dinner

DAY 3 - TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10 - MELK–GREIN

Frescoes above the Wachau Valley

Choose between three excursions:

  • Take a Guided Tour of Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings.
  • Enjoy an Austrian Cookie Tasting onboard while sailing to Grein.
  • Take a Guided Walk of Grein, including its historic theater, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances.
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU
Breakfast Breakfast Dinner Lunch Dinner Dinner

DAY 4 - WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11 - PASSAU

Saint Stephens, Salzburg, and the Story of Silent Night

  • Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful “City of Three Rivers.”
  • Later spend some free time in Passau’s charming Christkindlmarkt near the magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
  • 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
Breakfast Breakfast Dinner Lunch Dinner Dinner

DAY 5 - THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12 - REGENSBURG

Christmas Magic in Bavaria

  • Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria—entrance to the Castra Regina fortress built in 179 AD.
  • Take time to browse Regensburg’s sparkling Christmas markets. Enjoy hot-mulled wine, candied almonds, gingerbread, or bratwurst.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROTH
Breakfast Breakfast Dinner Lunch Dinner Dinner

DAY 6 - FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 - NUREMBERG

Legends and History Lessons

  • Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this morning.
  • Choose a Guided Tour of Nuremberg’s medieval architecture, gilded fountain, Gothic cathedral, and Kaiserburg Castle, OR: Join a Guided Tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally Grounds—used by the Third Reich.
  • Spend 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

Breakfast Breakfast Dinner Lunch Dinner Dinner

DAY 7 - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14 - NUREMBERG (DISEMBARKATION)

  • Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.
  • Transfer to the Nuremberg Airport for your flight home.
Breakfast Breakfast

Included Amenities

Throughout the Ship

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Panoramic windows
  • Elegant, contemporary design & décor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Sky Deck with whirlpool, shade awnings, game area and premium lounges
  • Covered Observation Lounge
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour self-serve beverage station with complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, as well as treats throughout the day

Dining

  • Avalon FlexDining® for more venue and seating options, including flexible seating times in our Panorama Dining Room
  • Avalon Fresh® healthy cuisine options at every meal
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with every lunch and dinner
  • Daily a la carte breakfast with full range of classic breakfast items, healthy Avalon Fresh® options and daily specials
  • Daily lunch buffet featuring regional specialties, classic dishes, healthy Avalon Fresh® options and rotating chef’s features including carving & pasta stations. Alternatively, you may dine al fresco at our Sky Grill on the Sky Deck (weather and itinerary permitting) or enjoy a light lunch in the Panorama Lounge.
  • Daily Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, sweet treats & sandwiches
  • Daily four-course a la carte dinner in the Panorama Dining Room with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. Includes selections of regional recipes, Western dishes and vegetarian options.
  • Enjoy a tasting menu with a view in the Panorama Bistro - a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere while lingering over several satisfying selections
  • Welcome & farewell cocktails with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Panorama Lounge featuring premium spirits and Avalon specialty cocktails, along with local entertainment special guests
  • Cocktails available on the Sky Deck
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day

Health and Fitness

  • Bikes
  • Canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
  • Maps for hiking, biking and jogging routes
  • Fitness and wellness activities
  • Fitbits®
  • All through your Avalon Adventure Host

Suites & Staterooms

  • Comfort Collection BedsSM with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with free movie channels
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • USB Ports
  • And, much more

Ship Details

Avalon Illumination

illumination-header

AVALON ILLUMINATION

Shining bright in Avalon's award-winning fleet of Suite Ships, the Avalon Illumination features two full decks of Panorama Suites with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows that transform your living space into river cruising's only Open-Air Balcony. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording you the incomparable opportunity to wake each morning to splendid passing scenery from your window-facing bed. Stretch out on your Comfort Collection bed and cruise with the world at your feet. Onboard amenities include an alternative light dining option in the Panorama Bistro, a Fitness Center, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, and light al fresco lunches at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck. The Avalon Illumination truly shines on Europe's rivers.

Included Amenities

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship
  • Panoramic windows throughout the ship
  • Elegant, contemporary design & decor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Sky Deck with whirlpool, shade awnings, game area and premium lounges
  • Covered Observation Lounge
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour self-serve beverage station with complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, as well as treats throughout the day
  • Elevator
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms

Fitness & Wellness

  • Bikes
  • Maps for hiking, biking and jogging routes
  • Canoe and kayak excursions
  • Fitbits®
  • Walking Sticks
  • Binoculars
  • Daypacks
  • Yoga Mats
  • Fitness bands
    *Personal-use bikes and watercraft not available on Avalon AlegriaSM

Avalon Suites & Deluxe Staterooms

  • Open–Air Balconies® and Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows in all Panorama SuitesSM
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane® bath products & hairdryer
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Wide selection of free movie channels and English-speaking TV
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • Full-size closet and mirror
  • Additional under-bed storage
  • Well-stocked mini-bar

Dining

  • Chef-prepared onboard meals with regional cuisine and familiar favorites
  • Seasonal cuisine featuring the freshest local ingredients
  • Avalon Fresh® healthy cuisine options at every meal
  • Spacious, open-seating Panorama Dining Room
  • Daily breakfast buffet with full range of classic breakfast items, healthy Avalon Fresh® options and daily a la carte specials
  • Complimentary room service for Continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Daily lunch buffet featuring regional specialties, classic dishes, healthy Avalon Fresh® options and rotating chef’s features including carving & pasta stations. Alternatively, you may dine al fresco at our Sky Grill on the Sky Deck (weather and itinerary permitting) or enjoy a light lunch in the Panorama Lounge.
  • Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, and sweet treats
  • Four-course dinners with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrées and desserts or cheese
  • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
  • Complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Avalon FlexDining® flexible dining times with menu & venue options
  • Vegetarian options at every meal, as well as vegan, low calorie, low fat, high fiber, low cholesterol, high energy and allergy-free selections
  • Panorama Lounge & Bar with premium spirits, cozy seating, panoramic windows & dance floor
  • Welcome & farewell cocktails with sparkling wine & canapés
  • New in 2023 - included Happy Hour every evening featuring house beer, wine, cocktails and a drink of the day
  • Cocktails with a view on the Sky Deck
  • Specialty coffees, espresso drinks and beWell Essence flavored and infused water available throughout each day

Pre-night: Hotel Details

Hilton Vienna Park

Click Photos to Enlarge
Hotel as shown or similar


Am Stadtpark 1,

1030 Wien, Austria

Hilton Vienna Park

Hilton Vienna Am Stadtpark

Free Wifi

A modern 579 room property offering comfortable luxury. Free Wi-Fi access is available in the lobby and access in guestrooms is subject to a fee (payable locally). Leisure facilities include a well-equipped gym with sauna and steam bath, a contemporary style restaurant with a terrace for al fresco dining during the summer months and a lobby bar & lounge.

Hotel Amenities

  • Spa Services
  • Fitness Room
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Gift Shop
  • Laundry Available
  • Elevator
  • Business Center
  • Currency Exchange
  • Free WiFi
  • Restaurant On-Site
  • Concierge Desk
  • Luggage Storage

Room Amenities

  • Coffee Maker
  • Wake-Up Calls
  • Hair Dryer
  • Window Opens
  • Complimentary Toiletries
  • Phone
  • Climate Control
  • Mini-Bar
  • Pay Movies
  • Iron/Ironing Board
  • Air Conditioning
  • Smoking Rooms
  • Desk
  • Television
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Internet Access
  • Voicemail
  • Alarm Clock
  • Room Service
  • In-Room Safe

Sunset Family Travel Group Tour Leader

Sunset Family Travel is so excited to announce we have a new Group Tour Leader, Kristine Schuetze! She will be accompanying you on your tour from the beginning of your flight until your return home but will be getting you excited for your trip long before you depart! Read more about Kristine and her love of travel!

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Kristine Schuetze

"I fell in love with travel at a young age, making the journey from Door Country to Arizona every winter to visit relatives. In high school, I enrolled in French class knowing it was the year the class would take a trip to France, and I fell in love with Paris immediately! Once I was in charge of my own travel itinerary, planning every piece of a trip to a new destination became a passion. Upon meeting my husband, I added the words, "…and I promise to take a minimum of two vacations a year" to our wedding vows!

I have visited most of the U.S. and a few favorite destinations of mine are Alaska & Northern California. My most memorable destinations I have traveled to are Iceland, Switzerland, and Mallorca, Spain. While my "bucket list" keeps growing, it is currently topped by Amsterdam, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and the Galapagos Islands.

I have spent the past 25+ years working at non-profit organizations and am currently the Development Manager for the NEW Zoological Society in Green Bay. I am excited to join Sunset Family Travel and escort group tours all over the world!"

Are you ready to pack your bags?

Contact Sunset Family Travel Now!

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