Experience Europe’s old-world charms during the most magical time of the year.
“Welcome, young and old, to my little community of wood and cloth.” These words spoken by the Christkind open the Nuremberg Christmas Market. Though the iconic representative of the market is named for the infant Jesus, she—yes, she—is a girl dressed as a crowned angel. All over Germany, the Christkind is a symbol of the holiday’s magic.
This cruise takes you to some of the most famous and delightful holiday markets in Central Europe. At each market, you’ll find wooden stalls displaying traditional crafts that range from quirky little characters made of fruit and dressed in Bavarian costume to beautifully carved and painted Nativity figures. You’ll also find exquisite ornaments and fine contemporary crafts, along with fairytale villages decked in holiday finery.
Sparkling lights illuminate ancient cathedral squares and the sound of children’s laughter mingles with carols. Enjoy Uniworld’s exclusive “Taste of Christmas” program in Vienna, where you’ll see astonishing confectionary decorations in Café Demel’s windows. Celebrate the season in a new way as you meander through old lands, and remember, as the Christkind says, “While this market’s splendor is fleeting, the joy it brings is eternal.”
Who will enjoy this cruise
Those looking to experience Europe at its most magical will enjoy the chance to discover the delightful holiday traditions and treats of Germany and Austria, and to find special gifts for loved ones back home.
Arrive at Nuremberg Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer, or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
For a truly over-the-top holiday extravaganza, look no further than Nuremberg, which boasts the largest and grandest Christmas Market in all of Germany—and that’s really saying something. The “Gingerbread Capital of the World” pulls out all the stops during the holidays, as you’ll see for yourself on a panoramic tour guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. Two hundred stalls filled with holiday wares—ornaments, nutcrackers, seasonal treats and hand-carved toys—await you, and the irresistible aromas of roasting nuts, cinnamon and grilled sausages waft through the air.
The Old Town of Regensburg sparkles with holiday lights and decorations this time of year, adding to its already considerable charms. Check out the brightest cultural sights, then head to what may very well be the most romantic Christmas Market in all of Germany, nestled within the courtyard of a beautiful baroque castle—as you take in the delights of the markets.
Take some time today to explore the beautifully expansive and heavily wooded Bavarian Forest. As the largest continuous forested region in Europe, there’s plenty to uncover—like unspoiled landscapes, abundant wildlife and idyllic atmosphere.
There’s more to Linz than its famous Linzer torte, although that alone makes it well worth a visit. The city has a thriving contemporary art scene, and its two Christmas Markets are over-the-top enchanting. In keeping with the Austrian traditions of good food and good music, Linz gave rise to both the Linzer torte and the Linz Symphony. The symphony is one of Mozart’s most celebrated works. The story goes that the composer was so inspired by the beauty of the city that he finished his Symphony No. 36 in less than a week here in 1783.
After a scenic cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley, we’ll reach the tiny village of Dürnstein. Walk along its cobbled streets, browse the shops selling apricot schnapps, and perhaps take a quick jaunt up to the ruins of a castle (with an intriguing tale all its own). Later, you can taste mulled wine and attend an organ concert at an Augustine church.
Vienna is a city steeped in history, music and elegant architecture. Mozart, Austria’s most famous citizen, was at the height of his creative powers when he lived here, writing perhaps his best-known works, including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. He found Vienna a very inspiring place, and so will you. You’ll have a full day to savor the Christmas spirit in Vienna with over 140 wooden stalls enticing you with every sort of delicacy. Be sure to try the rum balls and nutmeg-spiced macarons, which are local favorites, and amble through the adjacent park to admire the elaborately decorated trees.
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer, or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Vienna International Airport for your flight home.