Christmastime in Germany and Austria - Vienna to Frankfurt

Price per person
from £3,910

Price based on
London Heathrow
1st Dec 2018 departure

The departure on
1st Dec 2018
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0800 223 0179

Key inclusions

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • 12 days

  • Austria

  • River cruise

Celebrate the holiday season on this evocative cruise from Vienna to Frankfurt. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Vienna, Nuremberg, Munich, Bamberg, and Würzburg as well as guided walks in the small town of Dürnstein, medieval Regensburg, and charming Miltenberg. Other highlights: visit the Bishop's Residence in Würzburg and the spectacular Benedictine Abbey in Melk, enjoy a beer tasting in Bamberg, and a wine tasting in Austria's Wachau Valley. Marvel at the traditional Christmas decorations and delight in the festive atmosphere of this special time of year. Wander through the many Christmas markets while you listen to local Christmas music, sample tasty Christmas treats, smell the aromas of the season, and shop for local Christmas ornaments and crafts.

At a glance


Vienna Included city tour to see Hofburg Palace, the opera house and cathedral. Browse the ‘Christkindlmarkte’ for souvenirs
Bamberg Guided sightseeing of UNESCO-listed medieval town, with beer tasting in the evening
Miltenberg Expert-led walking tour, shop for glass Christmas ornaments and attend a baking demonstration

What's included

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a cruise director
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • Wine & beer with lunch and dinner
  • Excursions
  • Gratuities on cruise
  • All airport and port taxes

Overview

Note: Christmas markets usually operate from late November until the third week in December, depending on location.

Total meals included:

  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners

Vienna (Embarkation)

Day
1

Travel to Vienna where you will be met and transferred to your ship. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Vienna

Day
2

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria's romantic capital shimmers with Baroque elegance and is renowned as the 'City of Music' for its association with many of the great composers including Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss. Explore Vienna on an included city tour and marvel at the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ring Boulevard, and awe-inspiring St Stephen's Cathedral. Later, absorb the wonderful festive atmosphere of the Adventszeit (Advent season) in the city's idyllic 'Christkindlmarkte' Christmas markets. Browse colourful wooden stalls crammed with authentic Austrian handicrafts, savour the delcious scent of spiced mulled wine, and marvel at the magnificent Christmas trees laden with exquisite glass baubles and traditional decorations - a distinctive feature of the Viennese Christmas markets.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Dürnstein - Melk

Day
3

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Cruise through the stunning Wachau Valley, where so many excellent Austrian wines are grown and produced, and admire the lush, vineyard-cloaked river banks, picturesque castles and rustic villages en route to Dürnstein, known for its distinctive baroque Stiftskirche with its blue and white façade. Above the town are the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. This afternoon enjoy an included visit to Melk and admire magnificent views over the Danube valley and picturesque Melk town from the glorious Benedictine Abbey. One of Europe's largest monasteries, the Abbey is over 900 years old and dominates the town from its towering hilltop perch overlooking the river. Later sample some of the region's best-known wines at an included wine tasting.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Linz - Passau

Day
4

Linz, Austria’s third-largest city, straddles the Danube and is an important industrial town and busy river port. Perhaps join the optional full day excursion to Salzburg. This storybook city is a great place to soak up the wonderful Christmas atmosphere and a feast for the eyes with its charming cobbled streets, palaces and churches set beneath the imposing 11th century Hohensalzburg Castle. The excursion takes in the city's fascinating historic centre, the famed 'Sound of Music' sights and the cheerful Christmas markets of Domplatz Cathedral and Residenzplatz. Dominated by a spectacular Christmas tree, the Christmas markets brim with festive treats such as hand-painted tree ornaments, wooden toys, nativity figures, and festive arts and crafts. Indulge in the tasty aroma of traditional gingerbread, toasted almonds, hot roasted chestnuts and warming mulled wine, and revel in the merry sounds of carols, choirs and festive songs. Later rejoin your ship in Passau. Ideally located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube, Passau 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.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Regensburg

Day
5

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Regensburg is a UNESCO World Heritage city and one of Germany's best-preserved medieval towns. It is also home to Germany's oldest restaurant, the 12th century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen). Architectural highlights on your guided tour include the Old Town Hall and Porta Pretoria - gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179AD. During the festive season, the town centre comes alive with sparkling Christmas lights and a bustling Christmas market, overlooked by the fairytale architecture of towering church spires, medieval guardhouses and stately mansions. Colourful wooden stalls pack the market square and line the winding cobbled streets, offering up fine handicrafts and festive gifts such as nativity scenes, dolls, toys, puppets, pottery and paintings. Stroll through the markets to see artisans crafting their wares and enjoy the mouth-watering scent of freshly baked gingerbread, Christmas cookies and tempting Bavarian deliciacies.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Nuremberg

Day
6

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Nestled near Germany's border with the Czech Republic, medieval walled Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during WWII but this beautiful town has gradually been restored to its former glory. Wonder at its mighty walls, fine gothic churches and elegant, timber-framed patrician houses, all festooned in festive lights and decorations, before heading to the stunning central marketplace. Every December, this charming square hosts Germany's best-known Christmas Market - the 'Christkindle', whose origins date back to 1628. With over 200 pretty wooden stalls brimming with sparkling gifts, hand-crafted wooden 'nutcracker' toys and speciality foods, this wonderfully atmospheric market is steeped in festive spirit. Enjoy a tasty hot 'glühwein' - the local mulled wine, sample some tempting 'Lebkuchen' sweet treats, and savour the enticing aromas of cinnamon cookies, spiced biscuits and the region's delicious soft gingerbread.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Nuremberg.

Day
7

Included today: Guided sightseeing in Munich. After breakfast, drive to Munich, where a Local Expert will show you highlights including the Olympic Stadium, Nymphenburg Palace, Marienplatz, the Old and New Town Halls and the Frauenkirche. The Christmas market is set on Marienplatz, with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread filling the air.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Nuremberg

Day
8

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.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Bamberg

Day
9

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Look forward to exploring another stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site today as you disembark at Bamberg. Founded in 902 AD, this wonderfully preserved medieval town boasts over 2000 protected buildings and monuments set on the banks of the Regnitz River. This morning, admire the imperious 'Kaiserdom' cathedral and frescoed Town Hall straddling the river before viewing the winding streets lined with handsome houses and 18th-century mansions. At this time of year the whole town twinkles with Christmas lights and is decorated with delightful nativity scenes hand-crafted by local people. There's more to enjoy after dinner this evening when you're invited to sample some of Germany's best-known beers.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Würzburg.

Day
10

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Framed by vineyard-cloaked hills, Würzburg is known as the 'Pearl of the Romantic Road' and a regional hub for trade and wine. Its showpiece is the magnificent Bishops' Residenz - a majestic 18th century baroque palace designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its breathtaking frescoes, vaulted chambers and spectacular Mirror Cabinet, a room encased in mirrored walls. This afternoon, travel to Rothenburg via the most scenic section of the famous 'Romantic Road', the spectacular route curling through Bavaria to the Alps. Regarded as one of Germany's most beautiful medieval towns, Rothenburg still has well-preserved walls enclosing a storybook old quarter of gabled houses, fountains, cobbled passageways and gothic churches. Step back in time as you walk the enchanting streets and perhaps try a 'schneeball', the town's famous snowball-shaped sweet, at its fantastic Christmas market. Although Rothenburg's market runs throughout the year, it is especially impressive during the festive season.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Wertheim - Miltenberg

Day
11

Included today: Guided sightseeing. This morning, enjoy free time to explore Wertheim. Threaded with winding streets and half-timbered houses, this charming town is renowned for its glassblowing, which in wintertime, specialises in producing exquisite glass Christmas tree baubles. Admire these marvellous decorations in Wertheim's shop windows before strolling through its fairytale Christmas Market. Later, continue to Miltenberg - a medieval Bavarian village on the banks of the Main River that once thrived on income from its river traffic. Enjoy a guided walking tour of this picturesque town to admire its gabled medieval houses, slender cobbled streets and splendid Gothic Merchant Hall before learning how to bake the delicious soft cookies sold in local markets during and included baking demonstration. The town's fabulous Christmas Market is within strolling distance of your ship.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Frankfurt (Disembarkation)

Day
12

Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Things to note

Note: Christmas markets usually operate from late November until the third week in December, depending on location.

Avalon Expression

Avalon Expression is an innovatively designed Suite Ship which accommodates 166 passengers and offers two full decks of suites, each with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that open to create unique open-air balconies. Designed with superior comfort in mind, Avalon Expression offers upgrades and enhancements throughout, impeccable personal service and attention to detail, as well as elegant dining and sleek, contemporary décor. Every suite provides the very best in size, views and design. Even the placement of the bed allows you to wake up and retire to bed each day facing the magnificent river views.

Ship facts

  • Style: Luxury
  • Class: Suite ship
  • Size: Boutique
  • Number of crew: 47
  • Number of cabins: 83
  • Number of wheelchair cabins: 0
  • Number of large cabins: 0
  • Capacity: 166 passengers
  • Main language on board: en
  • Currency on board: EUR
  • Number of decks: 4
  • Length (m): 135
  • Width (m): 11.45
  • Speed in knots: 13
  • Launch year: 2013

Amenities

  • Smoking
  • Adults only
  • Childrens facilities
  • Nursery

Cabins on this ship

These suites feature a 6-person sitting area, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, double sinks, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, marble countertops in bathroom, nightly turn-down service, soft and firm pillows, vanity, well-stocked minibar, alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, coffee table, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, easy under-bed luggage storage, elegant, contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, make-up mirror, memory foam mattress toppers, a sofa, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, wall-to-wall panoramic window with Open-Air Balcony®, and a writing desk.

Details

  • 300 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

These suites feature a 6-person sitting area, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, easy under-bed luggage storage, elegant, a contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, make-up mirror, memory foam mattress toppers, sofa, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, wall-to-wall panoramic window with Open-Air Balcony®, writing desk, alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, coffee table, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, marble countertops in bathroom, nightly turn-down service, soft and firm pillows, vanity and a well-stocked minibar.

Details

  • 200 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

These staterooms feature an alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, easy under-bed luggage storage, an elegant, contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, memory foam mattress toppers, soft and firm pillows, two windows, well-stocked minibar, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, nightly turn-down service, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, vanity and a writing desk.

Details

  • 172 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

Life on board

Age Restriction

Avalon Waterways do not accept bookings for children under 8. There are no special arrangements or activities on board for children and they cannot accept bookings from unaccompanied children under 18 years of age and any travellers under this age must share the adult’s accommodation.

Dietary Requirements

Avalon Waterways will try their best to accommodate dietary requirements if they are mentioned at the time of booking.

Disabled Facilities

Passengers must report any disability to Avalon before any reservation is made so that Avalon may advise whether they and/or their suppliers for any particular holiday are able to accommodate the passengers. Avalon may rely on the information provided to them by the passengers regarding the details of any disability in order to make a decision as to whether the passengers can be accommodated. Avalon will make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of disabled passengers, in accordance with the applicable laws.Not all sightseeing stops/sites accommodate wheelchairs and some locations and sightseeing activities require extensive standing, sitting or walking. Avalon is not responsible for any missed activities due to a participant’s inability to participate within a group.All of the ships have lifts, however they do not service the SkyDeck. Additionally most stateroom doors and bathrooms are not wide enough to allow access by standard wheelchairs, and bathrooms and other doorways may be fitted with coamings.For safety reasons passengers cannot be carried on ramps in ports when the ship is docked. In certain circumstances, they may ask that a disabled person or person with reduced mobility be accompanied by another person capable of providing any assistance required.

Dress Code

The dress code for dinner is casual and comfortable. The Welcome and Farewell Dinners give you a chance to dress up but are not formal.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is only allowed on the ships outside decks where ash trays are provided.

Deck Games Area

Relax after a long day and play a game with your fellow guests at the game area towards the rear of the deck.

Fitness Centre

The ship is fitted with a fully equipped Fitness Centre for you to release some tension.

Hairdressing Salon

Situated on the Royal Deck you might like to take advantage of the onboard hairdresser to indulge in a manicure or hair styling.

Sky Deck Whirlpool

The Sky Deck has a shade system, with premium loungers for luxurious relation. The warm Whirlpool is situated along side for when guests fancy a quick dip.

Club Lounge

Enjoy a quiet moment in the Club Lounge whilst enjoying a cappuccino.

Library

Guests will find a small Library onboard and guests may check out books from the ship's library free of charge. 

Observation Lounge

The Observation Lounge on the Royal Deck, gives guests a prime view to enjoy the premium spirits.

Sky Lounge

On the Sun deck you will find the Sky Lounge, where you can relax and catch the sun's rays whilst enjoying a drink or snack from the nearby Sky Bistro. 

Internet Centre

Complimentary Wi-Fi access and free use of computers or laptops is available to help you stay in touch with friends and family while you enjoy a coffee at the Internet Cafe. 

Shore Excursions

On shore, Avalon includes a great range of comprehensive sightseeing excursions led by knowledgable Certified Local Guides. They also provide individual personal audio headsets to ensure you still have the freedom to roam through some of Europe's most famous attractions without missing a moment of fascinating commentary.

If you'd like to experience something slightly off the beaten track, they offer unique alternative excursions in select destinations. In many cities they also give you a choice of sightseeing pace: 'Traditional' to see all the major sights, 'Leisurely' available on walking tours when you want to take it slower, and 'Independent' allowing you to explore on your own. Have a chat with your Cruise Director to learn about the available options.

They even provide Nordic walking sticks to put that extra spring in your step!

Dining Room

A spacious, open-seating dining room with elegant dining service and large panoramic windows is situated on the Sapphire deck. With an elegantly simple design, you can enjoy a full buffet breakfast or lunch with special options for those who wish to eat lightly, and delicious four-course dinners in the evening. 

Panorama Bistro & Lounge

The Panorama Lounge & Bistro, with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows for a stunning view, offers a casual atmosphere for guests to enjoy a variety of regional and tapas-style dishes, hand-paired with local wines.

Room Service

Room service is available for Continental breakfast & beverages.

Sky Bistro

On a sunny day, enjoy hand carved meats and expansive buffets including fresh salads and amazing homemade soups, all a view courtesy of the Sky Bistro.

Deck Plans

Deck 1

  • Fitness Centre
  • Deluxe Staterooms

Deck 2

  • Observation Lounge
  • Panorama Bistro & Lounge
  • Bar
  • Internet Corner
  • Reception
  • Hair Salon
  • Club Lounge
  • Panorama Suites 
  • Royal Suites

Deck 3

  • Galley
  • Dining Room
  • Panorama Suites

Deck 4

  • Sky Lounge
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Sky Bistro
  • Whirlpool
  • Premium Lounge Chairs and Shade Awnings
  • Deck Game Area

Why book with Archers Holidays?