//European Holiday Markets

European Holiday Markets


Those looking to experience Europe at its most magical will enjoy discovering the old-world traditions and treats of Germany and Austria on this delightful holiday cruise.


European Holiday Market

Christmas Market River Cruises 2020-21

“Welcome, young and old, to my little community of wood and cloth.” These words spoken by the Christkind open the Nuremberg Christmas Market. Though the iconic representative of the market is named for the infant Jesus, she—yes, she—is a girl dressed as a crowned angel. All over Germany, the Christkind is a symbol of the holiday’s magic.

This cruise takes you to some of the most famous and delightful holiday markets in Central Europe. At each market, you’ll find wooden stalls displaying traditional crafts that range from quirky little characters made of fruit and dressed in Bavarian costume to beautifully carved and painted Nativity figures.

You’ll also find exquisite ornaments and fine contemporary crafts, along with fairytale villages decked in holiday finery.

Sparkling lights illuminate ancient cathedral squares and the sound of children’s laughter mingles with carols. Enjoy Uniworld’s exclusive “Taste of Christmas” program in Vienna, where you’ll see astonishing confectionary decorations in Café Demel’s windows. Celebrate the season in a new way as you meander through old lands, and remember, as the Christkind says, “While this market’s splendor is fleeting, the joy it brings is eternal.”

Who will enjoy this cruise?

Those looking to experience Europe at its most magical will enjoy the chance to discover the delightful holiday traditions and treats of Germany and Austria, and to find special gifts for loved ones back home.

Nuremberg (Embark)

Arrive at Nuremberg Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer, or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Nuremberg, Roth

For a truly over-the-top holiday extravaganza, look no further than Nuremberg, which boasts the largest and grandest Christmas Market in all of Germany—and that’s really saying something.

The “Gingerbread Capital of the World” pulls out all the stops during the holidays, as you’ll see for yourself on a panoramic tour guaranteed to put you in a festive mood.

You could not ask for a more perfect place to begin an exploration of Christmas traditions than Nuremberg. The people of Nuremberg hold their Christkindlesmarkt very close to their hearts. The iconic Christkind, with her white-and-gold dress, long blond curls and golden crown, has been the symbol for the Christmas Market for many decades.

During Advent, she is the most important representative of the city; every year she opens the Christmas Market by declaring: “Welcome, young and old, to my little community of wood and cloth. While this market’s splendor is fleeting, the joy it brings is eternal.”

And with that declaration, the market festivities begin in a town that is famous for its gingerbread and its long toy-making tradition.


The Old Town of Regensburg sparkles with holiday lights and decorations this time of year, adding to its already considerable charms. Check out the best and brightest cultural sights, then head to what may very well be the most romantic Christmas market in all of Germany, nestled within the courtyard of a beautiful baroque castle.

Regensburg is so beautifully situated; this region had to attract a town,” Goethe wrote in his Diary of an Italian Voyage. And attract a town it did. In fact, it first attracted the armies of ancient Rome, who founded the town in about the year 100.

The town thrived, not just because of its beautiful location, but also because ambitious and farseeing locals built a bridge over the Danube in the 12th-century. The Stone Bridge helped Regensburg become an international trading hub and, at one time, the capital of Bavaria.

So many of the handsome buildings from that period remain that UNESCO declared the old city center a World Heritage Site.

Deggendorf (Theresienthal), Passau

Is that the sound of…jingle bells?

Yes indeed, but that’s not Santa’s sleigh you’re hearing, it’s a horse-drawn wagon whisking you through the densely wooded Bavarian Forest. This area is known for glass-making, which you’ll observe close-up at a famous workshop.

Onward to Passau, a lovely place to take a stroll and visit the local Christmas market, followed by a traditional holiday celebration in a festively decorated barn. Begin the day in the beautiful Bavarian Forest, known as the green roof of Europe, and then explore historic Passau, the three-river city on the Austrian border.

Cruising the Danube River, Linz

There’s more to Linz than its famous Linzer torte, although that alone makes it well worth a visit. The city has a thriving contemporary art scene, and its two Christmas markets are over-the-top enchanting. See the sights on foot with a local expert, or take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Linz opera house and taste cider at an Austrian apple and pear orchard.

Your ship sails into Austria, cruising along an especially scenic stretch of the Danube called the Schlögener Schlinge, a great loop where the river almost doubles back on itself, before arriving in Linz. In keeping with the Austrian traditions of good food and good music, Linz gave rise to both the Linzer torte and the Linz Symphony.

The torte is a delectable confection, and the symphony is one of Mozart’s most celebrated works. The story goes that the composer was so inspired by the beauty of the city that he finished his Symphony No. 36 in less than a week here in 1783.

This vibrant city, the second largest in Austria, has been a center of trade and industry for centuries—and it still inspires artists today.

Cruising the Wachau Valley, Dürnstein, Vienna

After a scenic cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley, we’ll reach the tiny village of Dürnstein. Walk along its cobbled streets, browse the shops selling apricot schnapps, and perhaps take a quick jaunt up to the ruins of a castle.

Later, you can taste various mulled wines and attend an organ concert at an Augustine church. \n \nMake your way to the lounge this morning to marvel at the scenery of the Wachau Valley, the 19-mile (30-kilometer) stretch of the Danube that cuts through a rocky gorge amid the foothills of the Bohemian Forest between Melk and Dürnstein.

This beautiful region, with steep, densely wooded slopes on the south side of the river and a mixture of crags and vineyards on the north, was declared a World Heritage Landscape by UNESCO.

Dotted along the banks are small historic towns and winemaking communities. Some of Austria’s finest white wines are produced from grapes ripened on the terraces that cling to these rocky slopes.


The “City of Waltzes” is famous for many things, including world-class art museums, music and architecture (not to mention sinfully rich pastries).

See the top sites on a city tour or savor the flavors of the season with our exclusive “Taste of Christmas” guided walking. Whichever option you choose, you’ll also have ample time to explore one of Europe’s greatest Christmas markets.

Vienna is a city steeped in history, music and elegant architecture. Mozart, Austria’s most famous citizen, was at the height of his creative powers when he lived here, writing perhaps his best-known works, including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

He found Vienna a very inspiring place, and so will you. You’ll have a full day to savor the Christmas spirit in Vienna.

Vienna (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer, or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Vienna International Airport for your flight home.


Additional information




Christams Market Cruises

Days / Departure / Arrival

8 Days / Nuremberg to Vienna


S.S. Beatrice


Deluxe French Balcony (Categorie 1), French Balcony (Category 2-3), Grand (Owner´s) Suite, Royal Suite, Suite



Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is located in Los Angeles, California and the company operates a fleet of 21 river cruising cruise ships along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Egypt, and China. Uniworld also has operational offices located in the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, and China. The company is part of The Travel Corporation group, which also includes businesses such as Trafalgar Tours and Contiki Tours. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, established in 1976, is a luxury river cruise company based in Los Angeles, California. Uniworld currently operates more than 500 river cruises annually with itineraries in more than 20 countries.