Christmas Markets River Cruise 2017

Celebrate the Christmas season in the birthplace of many beloved holiday traditions as we visit Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia aboard the amazing Uniworld S.S. Maria Theresa

December 2 – 9, 2017

If you’re tired of commercialism taking over the holidays, you will be very pleased with the traditions and romance of real Christmas markets where the gifts are not mass-produced but craftwork of real quality.  It’s not all about shopping though, you’ll also smell the aromas of grilled meats, hot chestnuts, gingerbread and many other amazing tasty snacks which you will enjoy with a glass of traditional Christmas mulled wine.

Budapest has celebrated Christmas for a thousand years, since the reign of St. Stephen, the king who founded Hungary and encouraged the spread of Christianity throughout his realm. As you ramble through the Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square, admiring the handmade porcelain, stop to watch askürtos kalács (a pastry) baked on rods over an open fire and then coated with sugar before it’s handed to you.

010- Christmas Market Cruise-027In Bratislava, where a lively young art scene is revitalizing the compact city core, stalls abound with traditional Slovakian Christmas items such as medovníky(spiced ginger cookies) and šúpolie (figurines made from corn husks). Experience Uniworld’s exclusive “Taste of Christmas” program in the heart of Vienna during the day, then celebrate the music of Mozart and Strauss at a Viennese palace in the evening. Follow the lights down the Landstrasse in Linz to the Volksgarten, where you’ll find a fairytale Christmas display—large animated renditions of scenes from fairytales that will entrance the child in you. Or mail a letter from Christkindl, where children from all over the world send their Christmas wish lists.

Glorious baroque architecture, delightful concerts and ravishing scenery will make this Christmas season unforgettable as you sail through the holidays on the Danube.

As a bonus, our luxury river cruise ship company, Uniworld, is the only one to offer a truly all-inclusive experience taking its already impeccable award-winning product to even higher standards.  Here is an overview of what is included on this cruise

  • Impeccable Service – larger onboard staff than any other river cruise line
  • Intimate and beautifully designed ship
  • All Gratuities – onboard and onshore
  • All scheduled airport transfers
  • Elegant staterooms and suites with handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • In-suite butler service
  • All dining onboard and unlimited beverages (includes many premium spirits such as Grey Goose, Crown Royal and Glenfiddich)
  • A wide choice of personalized excursions led by English-speaking local experts
  • Exclusive Excursions offered only by Uniworld
  • Onboard fitness center
  • Onboard exercise and wellness classes
  • Bicycles and Nordic walking sticks for onshore use
  • Ship-Wide Internet and Wi-Fi access
  • Onboard entertainment and signature lectures.

Our Itinerary

Danube Holiday MarketDay 1: Budapest (embark)

Arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship.

Day 2: Budapest

FEATURED EXCURSION: Budapest city tour with Christmas Market

budapestDiscover the wonders of the “Queen of the Danube” as you savor the beauty of both Buda and Pest, which lie on opposite sides of the Danube on a panoramic tour showcasing key highlights, including St. Stephen’s Basilica and the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district, before exploring the Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square. Only the finest Hungarian craftsmen are invited to display their wares here, so you’re sure to find many well-made, one-of-a-kind gifts. Another extra-special feature of the market is a hand-carved manger with a Nativity scene that includes live animals. Savor mulled wine, cinnamon-spiced gingerbread and traditional honey cakes as you stroll and shop. Celebrate the spirit of the holidays at the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 3: Cruising the Danube River, Bratislava

FEATURED EXCURSION: Bratislava walking discovery tour with Christmas Market

bratislavaSlovakia’s capital city is full of surprises, as you will discover on your walking tour of the historic downtown area, which concludes at Bratislava’s Christmas Market. While a relatively new tradition here—the city’s first Christmas Market was held in 1993—the local residents have fully embraced this delightful wintertime event, and today you’ll find a generous array of stalls brimming with unique handicrafts, folk art and decadent holiday treats.

Day 4: Vienna

FEATURED EXCURSION: Choice of Vienna city tour with Winter Palace of Prince Eugene visit and Christmas markets OR exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour, and exclusive Mozart and Strauss concert at a Viennese palace

viennaVienna is at its most dazzling during the holiday season, and you’ll have two choices for how you wish to experience it—both options include the Christmas Market in front of City Hall, Austria’s largest and most famous Christmas market, as well as the small but charming market at Freyung Square. Choose to visit Prince Eugene’s magnificent Winter Palace or experience a taste of Christmas as you are guided through famous shopping streets with windows bedecked with their holiday finery, including stops to sample some of the local seasonal treats with a Viennese coffee. And no visit to the “City of Waltzes” is complete without music, so you’ll be treated to an exclusive private concert of Mozart and Strauss at a Viennese palace in the evening.

Day 5: Krems, cruising the Wachau Valley

FEATURED EXCURSION: Göttweig Abbey with private organ recital

gottweigThe baroque-style Benedictine Göttweig Abbey, often referred to as Austria’s Monte Cassino because of its fantastic location, is where you’ll be treated to a private organ concert inside the abbey’s beautiful church. You’ll then set sail on a scenic cruise through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley, a 19-mile stretch of the Danube with spectacular landscapes and quaint towns and wine villages clustered along the river. Note: The organ concert may take place in a different location if the Göttweig Abbey visit falls on a Catholic holiday.

Day 6: Linz (Salzburg or Linz and Steyr)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of full day Salzburg with walking discovery tour and Christmas Market OR Linz and Steyr with Christmas markets

salzburg2Journey through the region known to many as the “smile on the face of Austria,” Salzburg. On your guided tour through the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, view historical gems, from the 17th-century cathedral to Mozart’s birth house to the famous gardens where scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed and then enjoy the city’s marvelous Christmas Market. Alternatively, visit the lovely Austrian towns of Steyr and Linz, each with their own Christmas markets, holiday traditions and unique character and charm.

Day 7:  Passau

FEATURED EXCURSION: Passau walking discovery tour with Christmas Market and gingerbread-making and floral-decorating demonstrations

passauSituated at the convergence of three rivers, the medieval town of Passau is a delightful place to explore on foot, especially during the holidays. Your walking discovery tour takes you past all the top sights—including St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to Europe’s largest pipe organ—and visits the city’s festive Christmas Market. As an extra-special treat, learn how to make delicious lebkuchen and beautiful holiday floral centerpieces. Celebrate your last night onboard with a festive evening at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 8: Passau (disembark), transfer to Munich Airport

Disembark the ship in Passau and transfer to Munich Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Prague.

Note: Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary.  Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.

About our ship – the SS Maria Theresa

What began as an inspiration, a dream without limitations, is about to become the ship, you’ll never forget. When you step aboard the S.S. Maria Theresa, you’ll immediately understand why the “S.S.” precedes “Maria Theresa,” as this appropriately means “Super Ship.”

Each Uniworld ship is as unique as your voyage.  The Maria Theresa is quite regal in its opulent 18th-century décor which is a floating homage to one of the Habsburg Empires most beloved ruler.  Come experience indulgent dining and an elegant atmosphere on the prettiest ship in Europe.

Public areas include: the Habsburg Salon with full-service bar and dance floor, sun deck with the Bar du Leopard, the Bohemian Terrace, the Baroque Restaurant, a mosaic-tiled and heated swimming pool with underwater music  for your enjoyment, a fitness center, Serenity River Spa, a boutique, guest laundry, and an elevator.

The Lippizan is a 20-seat state-of-the-art 3D movie theater with Dolby surround sound and plush seats for comfortable movie viewing. Movie lovers can enjoy a varied selection of great films including classics, comedy, adventure, and drama, along with a selection of snacks including popcorn, candy, and even hors d’oeuvres, making going to the movies an even more enjoyable experience. 

The SS Maria Theresa has several stateroom categories for you to choose from:  Royal Suite, Suites and Stateroom Categories 1-5.  All staterooms have closets, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, bottled water, flat screen TV with infotainment center, and marble bathrooms with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, cozy bathrobes and slippers

uw_mariatheresa_pres_suite401_22431512x1000There is only 1 Royal Suite – a 410 sq. ft unique accommodation with a French Balcony.  The Royal Suite has many extra benefits including a spacious living room, bathroom with separate rain shower and tub and secluded toilet and bidet area.

uw_mariatheresa_suite404_20131512x1000Suites are 305 sq. ft with open-air balconies.  There are only 10 suites which are all located on the Hofburg deck (salon level)

uw_mt_suite412_0731_01512x1000Category 1 Staterooms are on the same deck as the suites and also have open air balconies.  They are 194 sq. ft

uw_mt_cat3_stateroom303_0475_2_1200x800Category 2-3 Staterooms are all located on the Schonbrunn Deck (restaurant level).  These staterooms all have French balconies and are 194 sq. ft.

uw_mt_cat4_stateroom201_2451_0_1200x800Category 4-5 Staterooms are located on the Bavarian Deck and are 162 sq. ft. in size.


Come join us on this all-inclusive luxury holiday market cruise.  You will be renewed, refreshed and home in plenty of time to decorate, bake and be ready for the holidays with your family.

Call us at (262) 538-2140 or email to reserve your spot now.

Still not convinced?  Check out our last Christmas Market Cruise

Our Holiday Market Cruise on the Rhine in 2014

We plan on travelling with, but need to have a minimum of 4 other cabins along to confirm this group.

SS Maria Theresa Deck Plan