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CHRISTMAS IN THE HEART OF GERMANY - CATEGORY E - 2018

This Christmastime river cruise begins in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, and one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Set on the banks of the Vltava River, you will be immersed in holiday spirit as you explore the famous Christmas markets with rows of brightly decorated wooden huts that sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Stand in front of the medieval Astronomical Clock, which amazes as an intricate art piece and visualization of time unlike anything else in the world—and don’t miss the beautifully decorated tree in Old Town.

Board your ship in Nuremberg, the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Guided sightseeing shows you its historical treasures, as well as Old Town, illuminated with holiday lights and decorations. There’s plenty of time to visit the Christmas market, one of the most famous in Germany. And be sure to savor some traditional lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), a specialty of Nuremberg. Next stop is delightful Bamberg, where nativity scenes built by local citizens are exhibited throughout town. Learn about Christmas traditions as you cruise to charming Würzburg, known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” and surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. Walk through the halls of the ornate Bishop’s Residenz—home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Learn how to bake a traditional cookie before arriving at one of the charming small towns with half-timbered houses and narrow streets that are dotted along the Main River. Take a guided walk of one of these picturesque Bavarian villages—sure to be even more appealing lit up with festive lights and decorations.

As this unforgettable Europe river cruise ends in Wiesbaden, you will never forget the historical treasures of Germany and magnificent Prague perfectly paired with the sights, sounds, and tastes of the joyous holiday season.

Inclusions

7 breakfasts
7 lunches
7 dinners
Tour Provider Avalon Waterways
Number of Days
8
Price From
AUD $2,996
Start Location
Prague, Germany
End Location
Frankfurt, Germany
Age Range
Min :45
Group Size
20 to 44
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
05 Dec 201812 Dec 2018On RequestAUD $2,996
Itinerary
Day 1: ARRIVE IN PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC.
Welcome to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. This fascinating city straddles the Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires, and pinnacles highlighting its skyline.
Day 2: PRAGUE.
Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time. See its best-known treasures, such as the Old Town's Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; HRADEANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. Browse the Christmas markets, where rows of brightly decorated wooden huts sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Get a little inner warmth with a cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine) and a traditional hot sausage. The beautifully decorated tree in the Old Town is an impressive sight. (B)
Day 3: PRAGUE-NUREMBERG, GERMANY (EMBARKATION).
After lunch, drive to Nuremberg to embark your cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew for a welcome reception. (B,D)
Day 4: NUREMBERG.
Although 90% of Nuremberg's Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Choose either a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city's medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations, and the Christmas market is one of the most famous in the world. You'll find 200 stalls offering traditional wares, including Nuremberg Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), baked goods and sweets, Christmas decorations, ornaments, and more. After your free time at the Christmas Market, a shuttle bus service will be at your disposal to take you back to the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 5: BAMBERG.
In the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany's most powerful imperial dynasties. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic centre, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)-built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, especially interesting are the nativity scenes built by local residents and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you'll find many regional delicacies, like gingerbread and nut bread. Rejoin your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Wurzburg, and attend a fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about European Christmas traditions. (B,L,D)
Day 6: WURZBURG.
Known as the "Pearl of the Romantic Road," Wurzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The city makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP'S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore on your own-maybe visit the Christmas markets or join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg where you will have the opportunity to visit the Christmas Museum. Be sure to try a Schneeball (snowball), a local specialty not at all suitable for a diet! (B,L,D)
Day 7: MILTENBERG.
A CULINARY DEMONSTRATION will be delivered before lunch and before your arrival in Miltenberg. Tucked away behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates, the picturesque Bavarian village of Miltenberg is a cultural gem on the banks of the Main River. This afternoon's GUIDED WALK will acquaint you with the town's delightful Marktplatz (market square), which centres around a Renaissance-era fountain and features striking half-timbered buildings, cobblestone lanes, and one of the oldest inns in Germany, Haus zum Riesen (the giant's house) and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall. There's free time to explore before you depart for Wiesbaden before dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 8: WIESBADEN (DISEMBARKATION).
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B) NOTE: Flights out of Frankfurt should not leave before 10 am

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