Cruise Search

Christmas Markets on the River Danube

Discover the wonderful Christmas Markets of Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Passau and Regensburg on this classic River Danube cruise with a festive twist. Includes shore excursions and complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner

Cruise Only
7 nights from £2388pp

River Cruise Holiday
Budapest in the Snow
Christmas Markets, Vienna
Christmas tree in front of St. Stephen's Basilica, Budapest
Passau, Germany at Christmas
Christmas Markets souvenirs

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!


Explore vibrant capital cities and charming riverside towns come alive with festivities as you cruise along the romantic Danube from Budapest to Munich. Discover the sights of cosmopolitan Budapest and enjoy a traditional Hungarian folk dancing and music performance before strolling through the Christmas markets.

Wander through Bratislava's Old Town with its magnificent Mirbach Palace, shop for souvenirs at the city's Christmas Markets and enjoy tea with a local Slovakian family. In the musical city of Vienna, witness the world-famous attractions including the Opera House and visit the Christmas Market stalls which are dotted amongst beautiful squares decorated with thousands of twinkling lights.

Cruise through the glorious Wachau wine region and visit the enchanting village of Durnstein before heading to the 900–year old Benedictine Abbey of Melk to marvel at the incredible Baroque architecture. Tour the quaint cobblestone streets of Passau and enjoy a visit to the Christkindlmarkt, which takes place in front of the magnificent St. Stephen's Cathedral.

The exceptionally-preserved medieval city of Regensburg makes for the perfect final port on this wonderful cruise. Admire the stunning architecture before savouring a mug of delicious Glühwein at one of the loveliest’ Christmas market of the German-speaking countries.

EM150 Operated by Emerald Waterways


Christmas Markets on the Danube Itinerary

Day 1 - Budapest

Welcome to Budapest. You will be greeted by an Emerald Cruises representative at the airport and transferred to your Emerald Cruises contemporary Star-Ship. After boarding, you’ll have time to enjoy Budapest at your leisure. This evening, enjoy a Hungarian folk music and dance performance on board.EmeraldPLUSTraditional Hungarian folklore show on boardPlease book your flight to arrive into Budapest prior to 05:00 PM.

Day 2 - Budapest

Join a local guide for a tour of the Hungarian capital today, covering some of the highlights of Budapest and learn more about its stunning landscape and architecture. The history of the Hungarian capital shows a unique blend of cultures, cuisine and vibrant lifestyle. There is so much to take in while you pass through the bustling city, which is an attractive destination for visitors from all over the world. Following your guided tour, enjoy free time to explore the stalls of Budapest’s main Christmas market, where handcrafted ornaments are plentiful and colorful strings of lights line the streets.Included ExcursionGuided coach tour of Budapest

Day 3 - Bratislava

Across Europe, different cultures intertwine at Christmastime, sharing their traditions, treats and unique customs. The Slovakian capital is a truly charming city, whose roots can be traced across the continent. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city today, including its enchanting historic district and some of its many bustling Christmas markets. Included ExcursionWalking tour of BratislavaEmeraldPLUSHome-hosted coffee and cake with a Slovakian familyDiscoverMORESkoda tour of post-communist Bratislava (extra expense)DiscoverMORECarpathian wine route (extra expense)

Day 4 - Vienna

Sweeping boulevards and world-famous art exhibitions welcome you to Vienna, a city which perfectly encapsulates the opulence of the Habsburg Monarchy and their ornate Baroque palaces. For art lovers, there is no other place like the Austrian capital, not just because the city is packed with museums and artwork, but because of its variety. Your tour will include a visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the largest art museum in the country and one of the most important museums worldwide. Included ExcursionVienna art tour with a visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum (please note: Kunsthistorisches Museum is closed on Monday's and will be replaced with Tour of Belvedere)DiscoverMOREViennese evening concert (extra expense)

Day 5 - Krems - Dürnstein

Enjoy a guided tour of Göttweig Abbey, a true treasure overlooking the Wachau Valley from a hill covered by vineyards and forests. Built in 1083, it is one of Austria's most important Benedictine abbeys, attracting visitors from all over the world. Run by a community of about 45 monks, it is visible from a great distance and provides epic panoramas from its grounds.  Afterwards, relax on board as we sail through one of the most charming wine regions in Europe and on to Dürnstein. This is the site where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned following his return from the Third Crusade in the 12th century.Enjoy the afternoon at leisure or stroll around the picturesque village of Dürnstein, before the ship sets sail for Passau.Included ExcursionGuided tour of Göttweig Abbey

Day 6 - Passau

A blanket of powdered snow graces the European countryside at Christmastime, creating a magical setting as we cruise into Passau. On this afternoon’s included walking tour of the town, enjoy visiting its annual Christkindlmarkt, set in front of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Almost a hundred gingerbread-like stalls selling festive souvenirs and handmade gifts can be found here, each connected to the next by strings of twinkling fairy lights.Included ExcursionGuided tour of Passau

Day 7 - Regensburg

Today, you will have the opportunity to visit one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Germany, Regensburg. Our guided walking tour will explain the history behind this UNESCO World Heritage-listed city, as you stroll across one of the oldest bridges on the Danube and witness its ancient fortifications. Stop to visit one of the loveliest Christmas markets in the region at Thurn und Taxis Palace, with its many quaint wooden stalls, twinkling lights and festive goods adorning hidden passageways and narrow cobblestone streets.EmeraldPLUSVisit to the Christmas Market at Thurn und Taxis Palace GroundsEmeraldPLUSTraditional Bavarian band on boardIncluded ExcursionGuided tour of RegensburgDiscoverMOREExcursion to Nuremberg (extra expense)

Day 8 - Regensburg - Munich

After breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to your fellow passengers and disembark the Star-Ship for your transfer to the airport, taking festive memories of handcrafted ornaments and traditional gingerbread stalls with you. Your flight home is included in the price of your holiday.Please book your flight to depart out of Munich after 12:30 PM.This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.

Price Includes

  • 7-night full board cruise on Emerald Waterways star ship
  • Overseas transfers
  • Guided excursions with English-speaking guide
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board
  • Complimentary tea and coffee available at all times and complimentary bottled water in your cabin, restocked daily
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Highlight dinners including a Welcome dinner
  • Evening entertainment on board
  • English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides
  • All tipping and gratuities
  • Port charges and airport taxes

Price Does Not Include

  • Additional optional shore excursions
  • Travel insurance

2024 Departures £ price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • December
    • Dec 1st - Budapest to Munich - Sailing on: Emerald Star From: £2388
      Cat E Emerald Stateroom Cat D Emerald Stateroom Cat B Panorama Balcony Suite Cat A Panorama Balcony Suite Cat S Grand Balcony Suite Cat SA Owner's Suite
      Brochure price from: £2495 Brochure price from: £2725 Brochure price from: £3530 Brochure price from: £3640 Brochure price from: £4235 Brochure price from: £5005
      Blue Water price from: £2388 Blue Water price from: £2607 Blue Water price from: £3371 Blue Water price from: £3476 Blue Water price from: £4041 Blue Water price from: £4773
    • Dec 8th - Munich to Budapest - Sailing on: Emerald Star From: £2607
      Cat D Emerald Stateroom Cat S Grand Balcony Suite Cat SA Owner's Suite
      Brochure price from: £2725 Brochure price from: £4235 Brochure price from: £5005
      Blue Water price from: £2607 Blue Water price from: £4041 Blue Water price from: £4773

Price Information

  • Please note prices are updated regularly from a third party price feed and may fluctuate from those shown. Please contact us for latest prices
  • Prices shown usually include all available discounts