Sailing on the Danube

Sailing on the Danube, the iconic river in Europe, this 8 day/7 night cruise on Scenic takes you to the best of the Christmas markets, from Budapest to Nuremburg, with an optional 3 day land extension in Prague.


Dec 13 - 20



Group Size

1 - 30

Local Guide

Day 1 to Day 8

Sailing on the Danube, the iconic river in Europe, this 8 day/7 night cruise on Scenic takes you to the best of the Christmas markets, from Budapest to Nuremburg, with an optional 3 day land extension in Prague.

What Wine Lovers Travel loves about Scenic is that it is 100% all-inclusive, with touches of luxury you won’t find on any other river cruise line.  Their aptly-named Space Ships are modern and elegant, yet comfortable and unfussy.  Scenic will add holiday decor and on-board festivities to make this cruise even more special.

What’s the Wine Lovers connection?

A personal invitation from Wine Lovers Travel’s Founder/CEO Gail Sherman:

“Ever since I began working in leisure travel in 2017, I have been captivated by Christmas market cruises.  They looked so festive and fun, and something that I had to do.  This coming from a Jewish woman who personally doesn’t celebrate Christmas at all!

This past December of 2022, I had the opportunity to take a Christmas market cruise from Passau, Cermany to Budapest.  The experience was just as magical as I’d expected.  The colorful lights, the delicious smells of local foods, the happy people–it was enchanting..If the vendors weren’t selling something delectabile to eat, like baked-before-your-eyes cinnamon Chimney Cakes, they were tempting you with Glühwein, a warm and spicy mulled wine.  Hardly a Grand Cru Bordeaux, but absolutely perfect for sipping and strolling the markets.

The crafts being sold were all locally made (or at the minimum made within the country where the market was located.  Primarily Christmas ornaments and decorations, there was still plenty of hand-made hats and gloves, leather goods, artwork and more, all to please people like me who don’t purchase items for Christmas.

I have sailed on Scenic, and it is one of my top river cruise experiences.  From the quality of the food, the top level wines and spirits to the friendliness of the crew and the wonderfully creative shore excursions, I am excited to invite you to join me for the Christmas markets of 2023!”

Scenic Amber ship description

Click on this link to learn all about the Scenic Amber, including photos, deckplans and decriptions of each category of suites.—opal—amber

Day 1 : Budapest
Wecome aboard your the Scenic Amber!

Your journey into wonder begins in the beautiful city of Budapest. Relax and raise your glass to the days ahead at this evening’s welcome reception.

Meals Included: Welcome buffet, Dinner

Day 2: Budapest
Walking or hiking-your choice

Make the most of a guided tour including a piano concert. Alternatively, if you are feeling more active, hike to Buda Hill or choose to travel to nearby Szentendre. Known for its museums, galleries and artists, you’ll have the opportunity to discover this charming town on a guided city tour.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Vienna
First of your 2 days here in the capital of music

This morning, you will cruise the mighty Danube while relaxing in one of the lounges and viewing areas, and enjoy the scenery as your Scenic Space-Ship sails towards the majestic city of Vienna.

Once you arrive, breathe in the opulence and luxury of Palais Liechtenstein while enjoying a glass of fine Austrian Sekt. Then be enthralled by an enchanting private Viennese evening concert featuring the timeless music of Strauss and Mozart. Even in elegant Vienna, Palais Liechtenstein is one of the grandest of all venues.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Vienna
Museums, Markets…or Biking

Take a guided tour of Schönbrunn Palace. Witness the sheer opulence of the Habsburg Empire and delight in the festive ambience at the market stalls that grace the palace courtyard. Alternatively, visit the Belvedere Museum, one of Europe’s most stunning Baroque landmarks, or discover a different side of Vienna on a guided bicycle tour to Danube Island.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Dürnstein > Melk
Bike to Melk Abbey or taste Schapps or regional wine

Embark on an enjoyable bike ride along the river from Dürnstein to Melk.

Alternatively, enjoy a guided tour of Melk’s 18th- century Benedictine abbey, one of the world’s most magnificent baroque buildings. More choice–you can also visit a Schnapps producer and sample some of the many flavors available, or taste your way through the Wachau Valley delighting in many of the regional delicacies.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Salzburg
Salzburg or Czech town of Ceský Krumlov

This is a day of tough choices!. If you’re a fan of “The Sound of Music,” it’s going to be hard to pass up Salzburg, where the movie was filmed. But if you’ve been there, or want to try something more exatic, you can go to Ceský Krumlov, in the Czech Republic. Both are designated World Heritage sites

If you decide on Salzburg, you’ll stroll the storybook streets of Old Town, host to one of the continent’s oldest Christmas markets. Set in a picturesque square, the market is in front of the Salzburg Cathedral and beneath the city’s iconic medieval castle.

You cannot go wrong with choosing Ceský Krumlov. Its historic center, a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets, is lined with medieval, baroque, and Renaissance houses.

Alternatively, stay on board your Scenic Space-Ship for a cooking demonstration of local recipes as you cruise between Passau and Linz.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Regensburg
Medieval delights

Enjoy a walking tour of Regensburg. Located on the confluence of three rivers, Regensburg is known as the best-preserved medieval city in Germany.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Nuremburg
Farewell or continue onto Prague

For those of you who are taking the cruise only, today is the day to say goodbye and wish all your new friends happy holidays!

If you are continuing onto Prague, you’ll travel by coach to Prague, one of the truly magical cities of Europe. Complete your journey with a three night stay at one of our luxurious city central hotels.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 1: Land Extension
Explore Prague, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities

Join your local guide on a fascinating city walk and view the famous Astronomical Clock. Later, venture across the world-famous Charles Bridge, commissioned in 1357 by Charles IV.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 2: Land Extension
Free day to explore Prague!

Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore this magnificent city on your own. Prague is home to some of the world’s most striking architectural wonders and today they’re yours to discover.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3: Return home

Time to travel back home for the holidays
Depart after breakfast, taking many wonderful memories with you.

Meals Included: Breakfast