Enjoy the splendour of the Danube at Christmas time with this mini itinerary. Experience the majesty of Budapest, uncover the eastern charm of Bratislava and wander the twinkling festive markets of Vienna.
1 Depart the USA
Depart the USA on your overnight flight to Budapest, Hungary.
Welcome to Budapest! You will be met and transferred from the airport to your Emerald Cruises contemporary Star-Ship. After boarding, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore Budapest. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Hungarian dinner, then a Hungarian folk dancing and music performance on board. Meal: D
Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan city. Enjoy a guided tour of the city sights 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. During your free time, stroll the Christmas market on Budapest’s main square near Váci Utca Street, which showcases Hungarian craft products such as glass blowing, knitting, wood carving, candle making, pottery, leather trade, traditional Hungarian embroidery and lace work, etc. This afternoon you will depart for your next capital on the Danube, Bratislava. Meals: B, L, D
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is situated in a wonderful location between the Carpathians and the Alps, just a few kilometres from Vienna. Pre-Christmas time in Bratislava is intrinsically connected with glowing streets, warm holiday spirit, traditional dishes and drinks. Enjoy a sightseeing tour including the enchanting Old City with its Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and the Gothic Cathedral of St Martin. Alternatively, join an active guided hike to Bratislava Castle. Bratislava also charming Christmas markets throughout the city, which you can enjoy. The main Christmas Market is located at the Main Square and Hviezdoslav Square but there are smaller ones in the city center as well, such as the square in front of the Eurovea shopping center. Whatever market you decide to venture into, irresistible smell and a unique atmosphere will get you for sure. Meals: B, L, D
During the holiday season, Vienna's most charming squares transform into magical Christmas markets. The smells of Christmas baking, hot punch and toasted chestnuts allure many visitors in this time of the year. The Old City and shopping streets are decorated with festive lights that create a Christmas atmosphere in Vienna.
Today, explore Austria’s capital beginning with a drive along the Ringstrasse, where we will see some of Vienna’s world–famous sights such as the Opera House, Burgtheater, Town Hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Then, you will have free time to sample the wonderful tastes of the Christmas markets of Vienna, such Käsekrainer sausage, donuts, pretzels or Kartoffelpuffer.
As we stay overnight in Vienna, you will have plenty of time to discover Viennese markets during the late afternoon hours while the magic Christmas illumination settles in. This evening, join us on our optional tour to an exclusive Viennese concert. Meals: B, L, D
After breakfast, it is time to say farewell to your fellow guests and disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport for your onward or homebound flight, taking memories of the delightful Danube with you. Meal: B