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AVALON WATERWAYS
12 Days | Christmas Time in Germany and Austria
Westbound (WVF)


VIENNA TO FRANKFURT

Day 1 | Arrive In Vienna, Austria. Embarkation. Welcome to Vienna, Austria’s romantic capital! This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Dinner)

Day 2 |
Vienna. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s capital has much to offer: the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, majestic Ring Boulevard, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to name just a few of the sights you will enjoy on your city tour. You do not rush through Vienna—you waltz, taking your time to savor each classic sight and sound. Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. Soak up the atmosphere of the Adventszeit (Advent season) and spend some time at the beautiful Christmas markets located throughout the city. (B,L,D)

Day 3 |
Dürnstein. Melk. This morning, enjoy a guided walk around Dürnstein, known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade. After lunch, visit the magnificent BENEDICTINE ABBEY, which dominates the town of Melk from its commanding hill site and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! This evening you’ll sample some of the FAMOUS WINES of the region. (B,L,D)

Day 4 |
Linz. Passau, Germany. Linz, Austria’s third-largest town, lies on both banks of the Danube and is an important industrial town and busy river port. An optional full-day excursion to Salzburg takes in the popular Sound of Music sights as well as more Christmas cheer—the traditional carols, the sparkling lights, and the smell of candles and gingerbread. Passau, ideally located at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers, is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets. St. Stephen’s Cathedral houses the world’s largest church organ with more than 17,000 pipes. (B,L,D)

Day 5 |
Regensburg. Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights on your guided tour include the Old Town Hall and the Porta Pretoria–gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. The city is the capital of Upper Palatinate, a bustling university town, and one of Bavaria’s cultural centers. The Christmas market is located on the historic market square. Germany is famous for its sausages, and Regensburg is home to the country’s oldest restaurant—Historische Wurstküche (the Old Sausage Kitchen), dating back to the 12th century. (B,L,D)

Day 6 |
Nuremberg. Although Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it was restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its fabulous gothic churches and elegant patrician houses, all explained by a local expert. Nuremberg hosts Germany’s most famous Christmas market, which dates back to 1628; the Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations. The city’s traditions include famous Lebkuchen, toy making, and metal working. (B,L,D)

Day 7 |
Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich. After breakfast, drive to Munich, where a local expert will proudly show you the sights of the Bavarian capital. An inspiring mix of historic buildings and impressive architecture, you’ll see the Olympic Stadium, 1,000-foot-high Television Tower, Nymphenburg Palace, MARIENPLATZ in the historic heart of the city with the Old and New Town Halls, and the gothic Frauenkirche. Later, there’s free time to explore on your own. The traditional Christmas market is located on the Marienplatz, with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread filling the air and the strains of alpine Christmas music coming from the town hall. At the nearby Rindermarkt, you’ll find the Kripperlmarkt, one of the largest markets in Germany to specialize in mangers and other nativity accessories. And don’t leave Munich without paying a visit to the famous Hofbräuhaus for a stein of beer! Return to your ship in the late afternoon. (B,D)

Day 8 |
Nuremberg. A day to relax and enjoy Nuremberg at your own pace. Stroll through the festively lit streets, write those last-minute postcards, or ask your Cruise Director for suggestions of things to do. (B,L,D)

Day 9 |
Bamberg. Medieval Bamberg is a beautiful UNESCO World heritage site. Your walking tour takes in its breathtaking cathedral, the Old Town Hall straddling the Regnitz River, and serpentine streets with charming houses and 18th-century mansions. At this time of year the town is decked out for Christmas. Especially interesting are the many nativity scenes that are built by local citizens and exhibited throughout the town. Today we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (B,L,D)

Day 10 |
Würzburg. Excursion to Rothenburg. Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The magnificent BISHOP’S RESIDENZ is another UNESCO World heritage site. After lunch, set off on the most scenic section of the Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This ancient walled city—with its ramparts, fountains, and cobblestone lanes—is steeped in history. Although known for its year-round Christmas market, the real one at this time of the year is an experience you won’t want to miss! Try a Schneeball (snowball), a local specialty not at all suitable for a diet! (B,L,D)

Day 11 |
Wertheim. Miltenberg. This morning, stop in Wertheim, whose overlapping half-timbered houses are grouped along winding streets. Glassblowers have a long tradition in this town and, especially in winter, they produce ornaments that hang on Christmas trees all over the world. Marvel at the tasteful Christmas decorations in the shop windows and stroll through the charming Christmas market. In Miltenberg, you’ll discover a picturesque Bavarian village that thrived on income from river traffic. Its cultural wealth and affluence are reflected in the beautiful medieval and renaissance houses and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall shown to you during your guided walk. The town center is within walking distance of the ship, as is the Christmas market. Before lunch, learn how to bake a local SOFT COOKIE specialty. (B,L,D)

Day 12 |
Frankfurt. Disembark. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. Departure flight should not leave before 8:30 am. (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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NORTHBOUND ITINERARY (WVF)
12 DAYS | VIENNA TO FRANKFURT
Click HERE to view 12-day SOUTHBOUND (WFV) itinerary.
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