Uniworld Boutique River Cruises – 2023 Danube Holiday Markets
8 Day Itinerary aboard S.S. Maria Theresa from 16th to 23rd December 2023*
Celebrate the festive season in the birthplace of many beloved holiday traditions.
Your trip will begin with a flight to Budapest, Hungary, where you will board S.S. Maria Theresa. This stunning ship features ultra-luxurious accommodations and an array of thoughtful personal touches, ensuring a truly indulgent and unforgettable voyage along the Danube.
Your cruise itinerary includes visits to four countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia with festivities in full swing (see below for detailed itinerary).
Glorious baroque architecture, delightful concerts and ravishing scenery will make this Christmas season unforgettable as you sail through the holidays on the Danube.
*Other departure dates available – please ask for details
*Private airport transfers available – please ask for details
- Return economy flights from London (regional available)
- Group airport transfers*
- 7-Night cruise in a Classic Bavarian Deck stateroom on S.S. Maria Theresa
- 6 days of excursions
- Gratuities Included
Guide Price from £3,199pp
2023 Danube Holiday Markets
2023 Danube Holiday Markets Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 – EMBARK – Budapest – 16th December 2023Arrive at the Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, where you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
Day 2 – Budapest – 17th December 2023Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each have their own distinctive character and allure. You’ll get a taste of this dynamic capital city with your choice of tours, and visit Budapest’s celebrated Christmas Market—one of the largest in Europe. Christmas has been celebrated in Budapest for a thousand years, since the time of St. Stephen, the king who founded the nation of Hungary and encouraged the spread of Christianity throughout his realm, but the city began as a Roman encampment almost a millennium before that. Over the centuries it was controlled by Germans, Austrians, Ottomans, and Communists, all of whom have left traces. A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Day 3 – Cruising the Danube River, Bratislava – 18th December 2023Once hidden from the world behind the “Iron Curtain,” Slovakia retains an air of mystery and intrigue, and its small capital city has an unexpectedly colorful history. You’ll learn more about Bratislava’s past from a local expert and also visit the local Christmas Market—a relatively new (and thoroughly delightful) tradition for Slovakians. How do you say “Merry Christmas” in Slovak? “Veselé Vianoce!” The heart and soul of Slovakia, Bratislava is full of surprises. The city straddles the mighty Danube and has played a leading role in the politics and culture of the region for many centuries. Unlike cities with venerable Christmas Markets, Bratislava just established its first holiday market in 1993. But the Slovakians have quickly embraced the seasonal traditions of their Austrian and Hungarian neighbors—and you’ll get to embrace them as well.
Day 4 – Vienna – 19th December 2023Renowned for its art and architecture, its classical music, its decadent pastries, and its lengthy list of famous former residents, the refined city of Vienna is a cultural treasure trove. Experience the city with your choice of tours, as well as something extra special—VIP access to an extraordinary collection of art.
Day 5 – Krems, Melk – 20th December 2023Enjoy a handful of delightful excursions that inspire the holiday spirit in this beautiful millennium-old town and surrounding valley—both of which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You’ll want to find a comfortable seat in the lounge or on the Sun Deck today as your ship cruises through the Wachau Valley. Over the eons, the Danube cut a gorge through the foothills of the Bohemian Mountains, resulting in a 19-mile (30-kilometer) stretch of riverine scenery so beautiful; UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Landscape. Castle ruins dominate hilltops; baroque church towers appear on the riverbanks, marking historic villages and splendid abbeys; and vineyards and apricot orchards cling to the rocky slopes. Some of Austria’s finest white wines are produced from grapes grown on the dry-stone terraces above the river, where grapes were first planted 2,000 years ago.
Day 6 – Linz (Salzburg) – 21st December 2023Your ship docks at Linz, a modern yet historic city that extends across the shimmering waters of the Danube. From there, you’ll head to Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg, which is nestled in a glorious alpine setting that sparkles like a winter wonderland this time of year. Fans of “The Sound of Music” may recognize locations from the Oscar-winning film in the city’s Old Town, the site of the grand cathedral and absolutely enchanting Christmas Market.
Day 7 – Passau – 22nd December 2023Passau is a crossroads in more ways than one—three rivers meet here and three nations nearly do, making for a fascinating cultural mosaic. Get to know the town with a guided stroll, then visit the local Christmas Market on the square in front of the cathedral. You’ll find a lot to enjoy here—from miniature houses and blown-glass ornaments to spun-sugar confections—in more than 70 stalls. A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Day 8 – DISEMBARK – Passau – 23rd December 2023Disembark the ship in Passau, you will be transferred to Munich Airport for your flight home.
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.
Please note that most Christmas Markets in Europe end their season on the 23rd of December and will not be available after that date.
S.S. Maria Theresa Key Facts
- Rivers: Danube
- Guests: 150
- Staff: 57
- Accommodation: 1 Grand Suite (38 sq m), 10 Suite (28.3 sq m), 18 Deluxe Balcony (18 sq m), 36 French Balcony (18 sq m), 10 Classic (15 sq m)
- Length: 135m
- Width: 11.5m
Danube Holiday Markets – What’s Included
- All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
- 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
- Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
- Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water Excursions
- 6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
- Guided “Taste of Christmas” program
- State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
- Use of Nordic walking sticks Accommodations
- 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the stately S.S. Maria Theresa
- Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
- Free Internet and Wi-Fi access Experiences
- 4 countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia
- 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites
- Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
- Group Transfers are included on arrival and departure days (please see terms and conditions for transfer guidelines)
- Gratuities for onboard personnel (ship staff, crew, Cruise/Tour Manager) are included during the cruise/tour
- Captivating onboard local entertainment