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11 Days | Enchanting Christmas & New Years


Day 1 | Munich, Germany. Embark.
Transfer to Passau and board ship. Arrive at Munich Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship docked in Passau. (D)

Day 2 | Passau. Situated at the confluence of three rivers, Passau was an important center of trade during the Middle Ages. On your walking tour, you will see the treasures of Old Town, including the ornate cathedral built in the Italian Baroque style after a 17th-century fire that nearly destroyed the city. In the evening, after a festive Christmas Eve dinner onboard, walk through the quiet city to the cathedral for mass and hear the thunder of the largest organ in Europe. (BB, L, Captain’s Welcome Gala)

Day 3 | Linz, Austria (Salzburg and Oberndorf). Spend Christmas Day in two Austrian towns famous for music. Salzburg is not only the birthplace of Mozart, Austria’s most famous composer, it is also where favorite scenes from the beloved movie The Sound of Music were filmed. See the Mirabellgarten, where Maria and the children sang “Do-Re-Mi,” and have a festive holiday lunch at Stiftskeller Saint Peter, a beautiful restaurant within the ancient walls of St. Peter’s Abbey. Then head to Oberndorf, where the most beloved of all Christmas carols was performed for the first time. Joseph Morh, the village priest, and Franz Xaver Gruber, the choir master in nearby Arnsdorf, composed “Silent Night” for a Christmas Eve service in 1818. Visit the chapel and see the little museum dedicated to the history of the carol. (BB, L, D)

Day 4 | Grein. Explore charming Grein, with its 15th-century castle— now the home of the Austrian Shipping Museum—and delightful little jewel box theater built in 1791 that retains all of its original features, including a box for Napoleon. Later in the day, you are invited to an exclusive cocktail reception at Artstetten Castle with Princess Anita von Hohenberg, a descendant of the royal Habsburgs. (BB, L, D)

Day 5 | Melk. Cruise the Wachau Valley. Dürnstein. Melk Abbey has been a center of learning for a millennium. In the Middle Ages, monks there created numerous manuscripts, and the library was renowned throughout Europe. Today the library, with 80,000 books printed before 1800 and innumerable Medieval manuscripts, is housed in a gorgeous Baroque structure along with the abbey church and school. After you tour these handsome buildings, you’ll be treated to an organ recital in the spectacular church. Then you’ll cruise through the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage cultural landscape, to Dürnstein, a tiny village nestled against towering cliffs, where you’ll have a chance to taste some of the valley’s legendary white wines. (BB, L, D)

Day 6 | Vienna. Vienna is a treasure trove of gems, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral—the most beloved architectural wonder in all of Vienna—and the stately Ringstrasse, the broad thoroughfare surrounded by many imperial buildings. After your panoramic tour, a walk through downtown will show you the Vienna Viennese love, including Kohlmarkt and Graben streets, with their fashionable shops, luxury grocers, sausage stands, and cafés. The afternoon is yours to discover Vienna on your own. Shuttles will take you to and from the ship. In the evening, hear the music of Mozart and Strauss in one of Vienna’s famous concert halls. (BB, L, D)

Day 7 | Vienna. Vienna’s art treasures are astonishing. Today, you can choose between two extraordinary museums: See the largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings in the world at the Belvedere Palace, or visit the private collection of the princely Liechtenstein family at their lavish summer palace, which includes 30 masterpieces by Rubens. The family only made the collection available for public viewing six years ago. In the evening, experience traditional Viennese hospitality with dinner at a cozy traditional restaurant, complete with wine and song. (BB, L, D)

Day 8 | Bratislava, Slovakia. The capital of Slovakia, Bratislava was founded in the 9th-century, when it was known as Pressburg; it became the capital of Hungary following the battle of Mohács in 1526, when the Ottoman Empire succeeded in occupying Budapest. Eleven kings and eight queens were crowned in Bratislava, as the Habsburgs took over the Hungarian monarchy and turned Slovakia into a buffer zone between Austria and the Ottoman Turks. Today the city is a thriving commercial center with a village-like atmosphere. See such gems of history as the rebuilt castle where the Habsburgs ruled; Mirbach Palace, a Rococo jewel built for a wealthy brewer that is now a museum; and the Primatial Palace, the 18th-century archbishop’s residence, before you explore the downtown area on your own. You’ll find that it’s simultaneously accessible, easy-going, picturesque, and fun to visit. (BB, L, D)

Day 9 | Budapest, Hungary. Your panoramic city tour features the famous 19th-century Chain Bridge, the Great Synagogue, the Hungarian National Museum, the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district, and St. Stephen’s Basilica. Then choose to get a closer look at either the remarkable Hungarian State Opera House or the fascinating—and chilling—Cold War hospital and bunker complex built under Castle Hill. In the evening, ring in the New Year with a gala dinner and dance in a gorgeous ballroom, followed by a cruise along the Danube to take in the festive lights of the city. (BB, L, D)

Day 10 | Budapest. Start the day with an enchanting operetta brunch onboard, and then spend the afternoon in the village of Szentendre, a haven for artists and artisans (including one who makes microscopic works of art), who will open their shops on New Year’s Day for Uniworld guests. (BB, L, Captain’s Farewell Dinner)

Day 11 | Budapest. Disembark. Say good bye to your riverboat companions and transfer to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home. (CB/BB)

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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