The popular 15-day Christmas Markets River Cruise departs Nov. 24 from Budapest to Amsterdam with fares of $6,555 to $10,045 per person, double, while the16-day Christmas River Cruise sails the reverse route on Dec. 15 and is priced from $7,235 to $10,760. Shorter sailings are also offered: the eight-day Christmas Market Danube Discovery Cruise on Nov. 24 travels from Budapest to Nuremburg at $3,530 to $5,350; and the eight-day Treasures of the Rhine Christmas Markets Cruise on Dec. 1 sails from Nuremburg to Amsterdam at fares of $2,975 to $4,440.
Traditional European Christmas markets, which take place each year during the four weeks of Advent, provide visitors with a celebratory atmosphere and seasonal delicacies to enjoy while shopping for holiday gifts. From Vienna's Christkindlmarkt, held on the square in front of the beautiful City Hall, to Nuremberg's world-renowned market dating back to 1628, to Cologne's dazzling array of puppet theatres, toy stalls and fairytales, excited guests are allowed ample time to enjoy the holiday festivities at each stop along the way. Stalls selling fine, handcrafted wooden nutcrackers and toys alongside one-of-a-kind glass Christmas ornaments and homemade gingerbread beckon shoppers with unique holiday gifts. Delicacies like stollen (a bread-like fruitcake covered in icing), gluhwein, (mulled wine served hot), and candied almonds supply a taste of traditional European holiday goodies while choral performances and dancing add to the festive air.
Beyond all the Christmas festivities, these itineraries also uncover the treasures of the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, whose banks are graced by some of Europe's most picturesque cities. Guests can explore beautiful Budapest, one of Eastern Europe's most ancient cities, with a walking tour or visit the famed geothermal spas. In Vienna, the “City of Music,” they're treated to a private evening concert at Palais Liechtenstein featuring the music of Strauss and Mozart, followed by a day of sightseeing in this important historic city. The scenic towns of Dürnstein, Melk and Aschach in Austria and Passau and Regensburg in Germany offer visitors the opportunity to take in sights via a guided walking tour, visit a Benedictine Abbey, or venture to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.
In addition to featuring one of Germany's most famous Christmas markets, Nuremberg offers guests the chance to visit historic World War II sites and sample some of this city's unique culinary treasures. In Germany's Bamberg, Würzburg, Wertheim and Rudesheim, guests get to experience life in these quaint European villages first hand, as well as visit museums and other cultural sites of interest. These are just a few examples of included activities; each day of a journey aboard Scenic Cruises is filled with opportunities to become immersed in the culture of these quintessential European cities.
Scenic Cruises boasts the newest fleet of scenic “Space Ships” to sail the European rivers, and the company's signature all-inclusive luxury means that absolutely everything is included: personalized service with a 3:1 guest-to-staff ratio, unlimited beverages including premium wines and spirits, all meals, personal butler service, excursions, events and entertainment, the Scenic Riverview personal GPS commentary device, which acts like a personal tour guide for guests while on board the ship, Wi-Fi, airport transfers, and all tipping and gratuities. On -shore experiences are made exceptional by the included Scenic Tailormade handheld GPS guided tour system provided to every guest. This GPS system works in conjunctions with guides on tours as well as acting as a navigation system allowing guests to explore destinations on their own without worry of getting lost or missing important points of interest.
Scenic Tours, parent of Scenic Cruises, offers award-winning, all-inclusive escorted tours in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas and elsewhere. Additional information on these and other cruises, brochures, and reservations can be obtained via travel agents; the company's visitor-friendly website, www.sceniccruises.com; phone (844) 788-7985; or e-mail: email@example.com.