AARP Member Benefits
AARP Members Save on select departures

Danube Holiday Markets

8 Day Cruise from Budapest to Passau

AARP Member Benefits
AARP Members Save on select departures
SAVE UP TO $730
From $3,599
WAS $4,329
Find this price
8 Days
4 Countries

Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia

6 Cities

Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Krems, Linz, Passau

21 Meals

5 Dinners, 7 Breakfast Buffets, 6 Lunchs, 1 Welcome Dinner, 1 Farewell Dinner, 1 Continental Breakfast

Comfortable

Mainly 2 and 3 night stays in each location. Comfortable travel days with numerous stops. Requires walking to participate in top sites.

Average group size 120 passengers

Uniworld River Cruises

If all-inclusive, luxury travel is your standard go-to, or are traveling to celebrate a milestone or special occasion, a boutique, luxury river cruise is the perfect choice. The world’s best and most awarded luxury river cruise line, for more than four decades, Uniworld has specialized in providing intimate and in-depth one-of-a-kind journeys for travelers seeking to explore the rivers of the world in exceptional style. On every all-inclusive Uniworld river cruise, you’ll be whisked away to a variety of destinations in one trip onboard a beautiful river ship. Along the way, you’ll enjoy five-star cuisine, unique local experiences, and exceptional service from the longest tenured crew in river cruising.

View all Uniworld River Cruises

S.S. Maria Theresa

One of Europe's most beloved and longest reigning monarchs, the great Habsburg ruler Maria Theresa, was so extraordinary that we expanded our Super Ship fleet in her honor. Named "Best New River Ship" by Cruise Critic editors her maiden season, the S.S. Maria Theresa features ultra-luxurious accommodations and an array of thoughtful personal touches, ensuring a truly indulgent and unforgettable voyage along the Danube and Main Rivers.

View Ship

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 as kürtos kalács (a pastry) is baked on rods over an open fire and then coated with sugar before it’s handed to you.

Reviews
2
Average group size
120 passengers
Tour brand
Uniworld River Cruises
Travel style
S.S. Maria Theresa
Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1

Budapest (Embark)

Arrive at the Budapest Ferenc Liszt International 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.

Budapest (Embark)
Included Meals Dinner

Day 2

Budapest

Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each have their own distinctive character and allure. You’ll get a taste of this dynamic capital city with your choice of tours, and visit Budapest’s celebrated Christmas Market—one of the largest in Europe. Christmas has been celebrated in Budapest for a thousand years, since the time of St. Stephen, the king who founded the nation of Hungary and encouraged the spread of Christianity throughout his realm, but the city began as a Roman encampment almost a millennium before that. Over the centuries it was controlled by Germans, Austrians, Ottomans, and Communists, all of whom have left traces.

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening. Please note that most Christmas Markets in Europe end their season on the 23rd of December and will not be available after that date.

Budapest
Included Meals Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Welcome Dinner
Featured Excursions
Budapest City Tour with Christmas Market

A panoramic tour will carry you from Heroes’ Square, created in 1896 to honor the thousand-year anniversary of Hungary’s founding and i...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Budapest Walk with Local Treats and Christmas Market

Meet your local guide outside the ship for a short walk to the metro station, where you'll hop on a train towards the Parliament Building, Bud...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 3

Cruising the Danube River, Bratislava

Once hidden from the world behind the “Iron Curtain,” Slovakia retains an air of mystery and intrigue, and its small capital city has an unexpectedly colorful history. You’ll learn more about Bratislava’s past from a local expert and also visit the local Christmas Market—a relatively new (and thoroughly delightful) tradition for Slovakians. How do you say “Merry Christmas” in Slovak? “Veselé Vianoce!” The heart and soul of Slovakia, Bratislava is full of surprises. The city straddles the mighty Danube and has played a leading role in the politics and culture of the region for many centuries. Unlike cities with venerable Christmas Markets, Bratislava just established its first holiday market in 1993. But the Slovakians have quickly embraced the seasonal traditions of their Austrian and Hungarian neighbors—and you’ll get to embrace them as well.

Please note that most Christmas Markets in Europe end their season on the 23rd of December and will not be available after that date.

Cruising the Danube River, Bratislava
Included Meals Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Dinner
Featured Excursions
Bratislava Walking Tour with Christmas Market

St. Martin’s Cathedral gives you a hint of the surprising history of this surprising city. The Gothic church was built into the medieval city...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 4

Vienna

Renowned for its art and architecture, its classical music, its decadent pastries, and its lengthy list of famous former residents, the refined city of Vienna is a cultural treasure trove. Experience the city with your choice of tours, as well as something extra special—VIP access to an extraordinary collection of art.

Please note that most Christmas Markets in Europe end their season on the 23rd of December and will not be available after that date.

Vienna
Included Meals Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Dinner
Featured Excursions
“Morning with the Masters” at the Vienna Art History Museum & Christmas Markets

The Vienna Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) is home to an astonishing collection of artistic treasures. Its doors open early especial...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
“Taste of Christmas” Vienna Walking Tour

Vienna is a delicious experience for visitors (and for locals too, of course) at any time of the year, but it’s especially inviting during th...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 5

Krems, Melk

Enjoy a handful of delightful excursions that inspire the holiday spirit in this beautiful millennium-old town and surrounding valley—both of which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

You’ll want to find a comfortable seat in the lounge or on the Sun Deck today as your ship cruises through the Wachau Valley. Over the eons, the Danube cut a gorge through the foothills of the Bohemian Mountains, resulting in a 19-mile (30-kilometer) stretch of riverine scenery so beautiful; UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Landscape. Castle ruins dominate hilltops; baroque church towers appear on the riverbanks, marking historic villages and splendid abbeys; and vineyards and apricot orchards cling to the rocky slopes. Some of Austria’s finest white wines are produced from grapes grown on the dry-stone terraces above the river, where grapes were first planted 2,000 years ago.

Krems, Melk
Included Meals Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Dinner
Featured Excursions
Melk Village Stroll
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Dürnstein Village Stroll with Spiced Wine Tasting and Organ Concert in a Monastery

Considering its diminutive size, the village of Dürnstein offers much to explore. The famous blue baroque tower of the abbey church is do...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Krems Town Visit

Stroll around charming Krems as it takes on the most festive of forms. A local expert will take you on a tour of the town, including a visit to the...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 6

Linz (Salzburg)

Your ship docks at Linz, a modern yet historic city that extends across the shimmering waters of the Danube. From there, you’ll head to Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg, which is nestled in a glorious alpine setting that sparkles like a winter wonderland this time of year. Fans of “The Sound of Music” may recognize locations from the Oscar-winning film in the city’s Old Town, the site of the grand cathedral and absolutely enchanting Christmas Market.

Please note that most Christmas Markets in Europe end their season on the 23rd of December and will not be available after that date.

Linz (Salzburg)
Included Meals Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Dinner
Featured Excursions
Full-Day Salzburg Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Salzburg’s musical heritage is apparent everywhere in its UNESCO-designated Old Town. The birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg cel...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Featured Excursions
Linz Town & Country: Cider Farm Visit and Christmas Markets

Enjoy a stroll through the city’s Old Town and marvel at the sights, including Old Market Square, the Plague Column, and the historic Landhau...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 7

Passau

Passau is a crossroads in more ways than one—three rivers meet here and three nations nearly do, making for a fascinating cultural mosaic. Get to know the town with a guided stroll, then visit the local Christmas Market on the square in front of the cathedral. You’ll find a lot to enjoy here—from miniature houses and blown-glass ornaments to spun-sugar confections—in more than 70 stalls.

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening. Please note that most Christmas Markets in Europe end their season on the 23rd of December and will not be available after that date.

Passau
Included Meals Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Farewell Dinner
Featured Excursions
Passau Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Join your local expert for a walk through picturesque lanes in the heart of Passau, stopping at the Town Hall to see its magnificent atrium, which ...

See More
Included in Trip

Featured Excursions

Day 8

Passau (Disembark)

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

Passau (Disembark)
Included Meals Continental Breakfast, Breakfast Buffet

Select your date

AARP Members Save $100
{{getFormattedDateShort(departure.departureDate)}} {{getDayOfWeek(departure.departureDate)}}
{{getFormattedDateShort(departure.returnDate)}} {{getDayOfWeek(departure.returnDate)}}
Current Deals
  • {{offer.title}}
Click here for more info

Current Deals

{{roomOption.name}}
{{(roomOption.salePrice && roomOption.salePrice < roomOption.basePrice ? roomOption.basePrice : '') | currency }} {{roomOption.salePrice | currency}}
Cruise Itinerary: {{departure.additionalInfo}} Ship(s): {{departure.shipsCsv}} Fares listed are inclusive of all taxes and port charges.
Today's Price Based on twin share Request Quote

Included Highlights

Top Highlights

Featured Excursions
Budapest City Tour with Christmas Market

A panoramic tour will carry you from Heroes’ Square, created in 1896 to honor the thousand-year anniversary of Hungary’s founding and i...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Budapest Walk with Local Treats and Christmas Market

Meet your local guide outside the ship for a short walk to the metro station, where you'll hop on a train towards the Parliament Building, Bud...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Bratislava Walking Tour with Christmas Market

St. Martin’s Cathedral gives you a hint of the surprising history of this surprising city. The Gothic church was built into the medieval city...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
“Morning with the Masters” at the Vienna Art History Museum & Christmas Markets

The Vienna Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) is home to an astonishing collection of artistic treasures. Its doors open early especial...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
“Taste of Christmas” Vienna Walking Tour

Vienna is a delicious experience for visitors (and for locals too, of course) at any time of the year, but it’s especially inviting during th...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Melk Village Stroll
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Dürnstein Village Stroll with Spiced Wine Tasting and Organ Concert in a Monastery

Considering its diminutive size, the village of Dürnstein offers much to explore. The famous blue baroque tower of the abbey church is do...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Krems Town Visit

Stroll around charming Krems as it takes on the most festive of forms. A local expert will take you on a tour of the town, including a visit to the...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Full-Day Salzburg Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Salzburg’s musical heritage is apparent everywhere in its UNESCO-designated Old Town. The birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg cel...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Linz Town & Country: Cider Farm Visit and Christmas Markets

Enjoy a stroll through the city’s Old Town and marvel at the sights, including Old Market Square, the Plague Column, and the historic Landhau...

See More
Included in Trip
Featured Excursions
Passau Walking Tour with Christmas Market

Join your local expert for a walk through picturesque lanes in the heart of Passau, stopping at the Town Hall to see its magnificent atrium, which ...

See More
Included in Trip

Authentic Dining

All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions

Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners

Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks, and mineral water

Excursions

6 days of excursions, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts

Guided “Taste of Christmas” program

State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions

Use of Nordic walking sticks

Accommodations

7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the stately S.S. Maria Theresa or the elegant River Princess

Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options

Free Wi-Fi

Experiences

6 days of excursions, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts

Guided “Taste of Christmas” program

State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions

Use of Nordic walking sticks

Cruise: Western & Central Europe

Dining  

When dining onboard, you’ll be treated to world-class cuisine made from fresh ingredients, locally sourced from the destinations you visit. 

Complimentary Beverages  

All beverages are included during your cruise. Complimentary beverages onboard include wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks, and mineral water.  

Gratuities 

Gratuities for all onboard personnel including the ship staff, crew, and Cruise Manager, are included. 

Curated Excursions 

Complementary and comprehensive shore excursions led by local English-speaking experts designed to provide the best possible experiences ashore. 

Scheduled Airport Transfers 

Complementary airport arrival and departure group transfers provided for flights that meet guidelines.

Uniworld sails rivers in several Western & Central European Countries, including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland 

  • Official Languages: Croatian (Croatia), Dutch (Belgium, Netherlands), French (Belgium, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland), Italian (Italy, Switzerland), Luxembourgish (Luxembourg), Portuguese (Portugal), Spanish (Spain), Romansh (Switzerland) 

  • Capital Cities: Vienna (Austria), Brussels (Belgium), Zagreb (Croatia), Paris (France), Berlin (Germany), Rome (Italy), Vaduz (Liechtenstein), Luxembourg City (Luxembourg), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Lisbon (Portugal), Madrid (Spain), Bern (Switzerland).  

  • Time Zones: Western European Time (EET), UTC+0, and Western European Summer Time (EEST), UTC+1, Central European Time (CET) UTC+1, Central European Summer Time (CEST) UTC+2 during daylight saving time. 

  • Currencies: 
    Austria: Euro (EUR) € 
    Belgium: Euro (EUR) € 
    Croatia: Croatian Kuna (HRK) kn 
    France: Euro (EUR) € 
    Germany: Euro (EUR) € 
    Italy: Euro (EUR) € 
    Liechtenstein: Swiss Franc (CHF) CHF 
    Luxembourg: Euro (EUR) € 
    Netherlands: Euro (EUR) € 
    Portugal: Euro (EUR) € 
    Spain: Euro (EUR) € 
    Switzerland: Swiss Franc (CHF) CHF 

All Uniworld river cruises require a passport with at least two blank pages for entry stamps. Must be valid for at least six months beyond the conclusion of your trip.  

Visa Requirements: Access the latest entry requirements for all your destinations with our user-friendly Destination Entry Guide. Powered by CIBT, the leading authority in travel visas and US passports; check back as often as you like before your trip to ensure you have everything you need before you depart.  

  • Austria: Austria features a temperate continental climate with cold winters and mild summers. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with more rain in the summer months. 

  • Belgium: Belgium has a temperate maritime climate characterized by mild winters and cool summers. Rainfall is distributed evenly throughout the year. 

  • Croatia: Croatia has a varied climate, with continental influences inland and a Mediterranean climate along the coast. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild along the coast but colder inland with snowfall. 

  • France: France experiences a variety of climates, ranging from oceanic and Mediterranean to alpine. Generally, it has mild winters and warm summers, but specific regions may have different weather patterns. 

  • Germany: Germany has a temperate seasonal climate with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Winters are usually cold, while summers are mild to warm. 

  • Italy: Italy has a diverse climate, with Mediterranean conditions prevailing along the coast and continental climates in the interior. Summers are typically hot and dry, while winters are mild in the south and colder in the north. 

  • Liechtenstein: Liechtenstein has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. Precipitation is moderate throughout the year, with slightly more rain in the summer months. 

  • Luxembourg: Luxembourg has a temperate maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. 

  • The Netherlands: The Netherlands has a maritime climate influenced by the North Sea, with mild winters and cool summers. Rainfall is frequent throughout the year. 

  • Portugal: Portugal has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The southern region experiences hotter temperatures compared to the north. 

  • Spain: Spain has a diverse climate, ranging from Mediterranean in the south to maritime and continental in the north. Summers are typically hot and dry, while winters vary from mild to cold depending on the region. 

  • Switzerland: Switzerland has a temperate climate with distinct regional variations. The Alpine region experiences cold winters and cool summers, while the lowlands have milder temperatures with more precipitation throughout the year. 

Baggage Allowance 

Baggage storage space onboard is limited. For their own comfort and convenience, Uniworld requests guests bring one (1) suitcase per person and one (1) carry-on bag per person (excluding purses). Airline baggage restrictions change frequently. Guests should check on the specific air carrier’s website for limitations concerning baggage weight, baggage size, carry-on regulations, and excess or overweight baggage charges.  

Packing Tips for a River Cruise 

Packing for a river cruise will vary depending on the duration of the trip, the time of year, and the activities planned. Here is a general packing list to help you get started: 

  • A valid and current passport. 

  • A copy of your travel insurance and any necessary travel documents. 

  • Your Cruise Travel Companion, easily accessible should you need to reference it. 

  • Prepare for a variety of weather conditions, depending on your travel season and the regions through which you will be cruising. Layering clothing items is always your best bet, as this allows you to adjust to most temperatures, by removing or adding items throughout the day.  

  • Comfortable, sporty, smart-casual daywear is fine both onshore and onboard. Everyday slacks, khakis, walking shorts and everyday skirts/dresses are recommended. For warmer months, bring lightweight clothing that can be layered. For early spring and late fall departures, heavier cotton or wool tops and long-sleeved shirts, and pants are perfectly suitable. 

  • Comfortable walking shoes with good ankle support. You will participate in a significant amount of walking over uneven terrain during your time ashore.  

  • A lightweight waterproof jacket (preferably a hooded one) for all seasons, and a heavier weight jacket for colder temperatures and destinations.  

  • Evening wear: Resort-type wear is perfectly suitable. Men may want to bring a sport jacket for dressier venues and for special events onboard such as the Captain’s Welcome and Farewell festivities. Women may wish to bring a cocktail dress or two for finer dining or entertainment experiences.  

Laundry Services Onboard 

A launderette containing a self-service washing machine, dryer, and iron is available for your use while aboard the ship. The ship also provides washing, drying, and ironing services for a fee. There are no dry-cleaning facilities. 

Electrical Currency on European Ships 

Electrical current is 220V, the European standard. To accommodate guests’ needs, each stateroom or suite has one 110V outlet.  

Using a Hair Dryer Onboard 

Every stateroom or suite bathroom is stocked with a hair dryer, bath and body products, and a luxurious bathrobe for each guest. 

Air Conditioning  

Every stateroom and suite has an individual thermostat for air-conditioning and/or heat.  

Connecting to the Internet & Wi-Fi 

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available.  

From visiting a museum without the crowds to an after-hours tour of a famous landmark, these included, once-in-a-lifetime experiences are arranged privately for Uniworld guests. All shore excursions are carefully coordinated to the ship’s daily schedule. Each motorcoach or walking group has its own English-speaking local expert.  

Masterpiece Collection (Additional, Optional Experiences) 

Uniworld’s curated Masterpiece Collection of optional excursions go above and beyond the included experiences and are available for an additional charge. 

We highly recommend having travel insurance that covers medical expenses while abroad. 

Spa Treatments & Massages While Cruising* 

Spa treatments and massage services are available onboard the ship. 

Special Dietary Needs 

Please notify GET or Uniworld if you have special dietary concerns or considerations that need to be considered while traveling. Uniworld staff will do their best to ensure that your request is accommodated, but GET cannot guarantee that requests can be met in all cases.  

Mobility Concerns 

Passengers must advise GET at time of booking of any physical, medical, or other special needs that require accommodation.  

Uniworld does not employ staff nurses or doctors onboard its ships, nor can they provide personal medical or mobility devices (such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or prescription eyeglasses) or services of a personal nature (such as pushing a wheelchair or assistance in eating, toileting, or dressing). A companion capable of providing such assistance must accompany any passenger who requires services of a personal nature. Please note, embarkation/disembarkation facilities may not be navigable using wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, or the like. As well, excursions often include rough terrain, extensive walking over cobblestone streets, uneven pavement, or stairs. 

Traveling with Medications 

In accordance with international laws, no over-the-counter medications are available on Uniworld ships. Pack a plentiful supply of any medication you may need while on vacation. Click the link to learn more about traveling with medications 

*Available on select ships. Additional fee for spa services.  

Gratuities for all onboard personnel including the ship staff, crew, and Cruise Manager, are included during your cruise. 

Local Specialists & Coach Drivers 

It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity of €1-2 (Euro) per person per half day.

Your GET Wishlist

{{ tour.title }}
{{ tour.duration }} Days from {{ tour.displayPrice }}

Find Your Perfect Destination

Italy
45 tours from $1,125
Britain & Ireland
44 tours from $1,452
Spain & Portugal
30 tours from $1,283
France
25 tours from $2,284
Greece
10 tours from $2,125
United States
51 tours from $1,575
Australia
9 tours from $4,225
Africa
12 tours from $3,095
Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Dorothy Thomas
Review date: Monday, December 16, 2019
Service
The travel experts are always available and helpful
Vacation
We had excellent guides and the markets were wonderful
Trusted Customer
Review date: Saturday, December 16, 2017
Service
Beautiful ship, maintained to a pristine standard. Cabin and public spaces are lovely and very functional. Travel Itinerary was punctual for every departure and arrival. Captain, management team and crew down to maids, front desk and most junior dining room staff are highly professional, well trained, pleasant, caring and truly try their hardest to provide a personalized, superb experience. Food preparation and presentation truly outstanding. The locally sourced provisions & excellent wines and changing menus linked to areas we visit make a huge difference vs. key competitor. The service levels and attention to detail regarding customer names, preferences and food allergies were unsurpassed! All inclusive beverages in lounge are a big plus from prior cruise. Itinerary packs in terrific visits to memorable locations, with ample choices. Enjoy the significant free time to explore on own or take a nap before dinner after a long, tiring day afoot. Excellent local guides compared to other trips we've taken. Built in tips remove end of voyage stress, and are much appreciated.
Vacation
Great value for cost. Well conceived itinerary, highly professional staff at all levels, beautiful & functional ship layout and 5-star cuisine & wines make for a truly memorable travel experience.
See More Reviews
Dates & Prices Back to Top