What could be more spectacular during the holiday season than to treat yourself to the beauty and luxury of a Christmas Market River Cruise? Just say, “Yes,” and Patty’s Tours will whisk you away on a splendid, once-in-a-lifetime trip along the Danube River that is sure to take your breath away.
We’ll travel from Munich to Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Linz and Vienna aboard the MV Emerald Dawn, which offers a new approach to discovering the captivating magic of German and Austrian Christmas Markets -- a 700-year holiday tradition!
Enjoy Patty’s Tours signature sightseeing and exclusive events ... gain insights from the personal experiences of our local guides as they recall the Christmas Markets of their childhoods ... and celebrate the holidays with special yuletide events on and off the ship. Even the stately riverboat will be festively decorated to keep you in the holiday spirit!
While onboard, enjoy delicious meals, attend a holiday baking and culinary demonstration or take in the panoramic views. You’ll find much to like as we explore each of our destinations, whether it’s sampling local fare and other seasonal goodies, enjoying a guided tour of Vienna’s magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, visiting a private Christmas Market (one of the Christmas Markets for which Germany is famous), or stocking up on beautiful holiday ornaments.
If you’ve ever wanted to experience a magical Christmas tour, put this trip at the top of your list!
DAY ONE – Depart the USA
Today we depart the USA on our overnight flight to Munich, Germany.
DAY TWO – Munich / Nuremberg /Embark our river vessel
Upon arrival in Munich, transfer to our exclusively chartered river ship, the MV Emerald Dawn, in Nuremberg. The afternoon is at leisure to begin exploring our new surroundings. We’ll be immersed in the Christmas spirit as we stroll through Nuremberg’s famous Christkindle Market on the Haupt Market Square in the center of this charming medieval city. With the majestic Alps to the south and the medieval Imperial Castle perched atop the Old Town hill, Nuremberg is a spectacular back drop for one of Germany's oldest Christmas markets. Aromas of gingerbread, sausages, roasting chestnuts and spiced mulled wine fill the air as we shop for Christmas gifts and souvenirs. (Dinner and evening snack onboard)
DAY THREE – Nuremberg
Our day begins with a guided tour of Nuremberg. During the panoramic tour by coach we’ll venture outside of the inner city to see the Palace Of Justice, site of the famous war trials, and one of the few buildings in Nuremberg that survived the extensive bombings of Germany. We’ll also see St. John’s Cemetery and the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Returning to the city center, we begin the walking potion of the tour. Our guide takes us through the Old Town and provides insights about the castle, fountains, churches and art as well as the city’s past and present. After the tour, we’ll have free time for visiting the Christkindle Market. This afternoon, the ship departs for Regensburg, Germany. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard)
DAY FOUR – Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities
After a leisurely morning sailing along the Danube River, we arrive in Regensburg. Following lunch onboard, we explore Regensburg on a guided walking tour. As we stroll through the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we’ll experience its beauty and history firsthand. At the end of the excursion we remain in town to spend time at the magnificent Christmas Markets. Wander through the narrow streets, hidden courtyards and quaint passageways, all a twinkle with sparkling Christmas lights. This evening, the ship departs for Passau, Germany. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard)
DAY FIVE – Passau, one of Germany’s oldest cities
This morning we arrive in Passau. The day begins with an included walking tour where we admire graceful arcades, beautiful architecture, quaint alleyways and a picturesque river promenade as we wander through the cobblestone streets with our guide. We’ll also see the breathtaking Baroque cathedral of St. Stephan. After the tour there is free time to visit the stalls of the local Christmas Market. Handmade ornaments and Christmas tree decorations, intricately carved nativity sets of all sizes, toys, marionettes, scented candles and other traditional handicraft items are awaiting our selection to take home and put under the Christmas tree! After a fun-filled morning of shopping and immersion into the festive atmosphere of the Markets, we return to the ship for lunch. After lunch, the ship departs for Linz, Austria. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon onboard and watch the scenery pass by from the comfort of your stateroom or the panoramic windows of the lounge. The ship arrives in Linz this evening. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard)
DAY SIX – Linz, the European Capital of Culture
Today is all about discovering the most popular market, Christkindlmarkt am Hauptplatz, of Linz. Join our Tour Managers for the short walk into the city center where we will have ample time for this market in the main pedestrian square of the city center. Set amongst the Baroque scenery of the city, it’s a perfect place to get caught up in the festivities of the Christmas season. This afternoon, the ship departs for the final port of call, Vienna. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard)
DAY SEVEN – Vienna, the beautiful, historic capital of Austria
With an early morning arrival in Vienna, we have a full day ahead of us in this capital city. An included panoramic excursion shows us the highlights of Vienna before we enjoy a guided visit of Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the imperial family. Due to its historic importance, unique grounds and splendid furnishings, today the palace is part of UNESCO’s cultural heritage. Among the rooms we see on our guided visit are the living quarters, offices and conference rooms, all richly decorated and well-preserved. This afternoon is left free of planned activities so we can explore the local Christmas Markets on the last day of our cruise. This evening, we gather one last time with our new-found friends at the farewell dinner onboard. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard)
DAY EIGHT – Vienna / USA
It’s time to bid a fond ‘auf widersehen’ to Europe with wonderful memories of the German and Austrian Christmas Markets as we transfer to the Vienna Airport for our flight home. (Breakfast onboard)
All tours use CPCN registered vehicles.
There is a $5 service fee for Carson City departures.