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    Save up to 10% - Pay in Full at time of Booking
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    AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

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    Past Guests Save an additional 5%

Enchanting Christmas & New Year's Cruise

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Leisurely
Salzburg in Winter
Tour Style: Boutique River Cruises
11 Days from $4,999 per person

Celebrate the holiday season in truly extraordinary fashion with a special itinerary that gives you the best of four different countries at their most magical time of year. Cruise the mighty Danube, visiting classical capitals like Budapest and Vienna. 

Commemorate a splendid musical heritage as you lift your voice and sing “Silent Night” in Oberndorf, where the beloved Christmas carol was composed, and delight in the music of Strauss and Mozart in Vienna, where the composers once lived. Sip a cocktail with a princess in the seven-towered Artstetten Castle, and visit Prince Eugene of Savoy's jewel-box Winter Palace in Vienna. Spend Christmas Day in Salzburg and enjoy a holiday lunch within the walls of St. Peter’s Abbey. Discover the seasonal delicacies of Slovakia in Bratislava’s picturesque downtown, and enjoy the merriment of traditional hospitality in an Austrian wine village. Ring out the old year and ring in the new with art, wine and song, as you cruise through four nations during this enchanting season.

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  1. Arrive at Munich 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 docked in Passau.

    meal(s):Dinner
  2. Old-town Passau is built on a spit of land that looks almost like a ship with its narrow prow jutting into the water, a fitting shape for a city that has been an important center of river trade since it was founded by the ancient Romans. Today a local expert shows you the highlights of this delightful and accessible town located at the confluence of three rivers—the Danube, Inn and Ilz.

    Featured Excursion:
    Passau walking discovery tour

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Captain's Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner
  3. Spend Christmas Day in two Austrian towns famous for music. Salzburg—the birthplace of Mozart—was also the location for several scenes in the classic film The Sound of Music. See the famous gardens where Maria and the children sang “Do-Re-Mi,” and enjoy a festive holiday lunch inside St. Peter’s Abbey. Then head to Oberndorf, where the beloved Christmas carol “Silent Night” was performed for the first time.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  4. Grein, a picturesque little town dominated by a vast white Renaissance castle, is just one of your destinations today. You’ll also join a princess for cocktails in her historic castle.

    Featured Excursions:
    Grein walking tour and oldest Austrian theater
    Exclusive cocktail reception at Artstetten Castle with Princess Anita von Hohenberg

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  5. Your river adventure today takes you through one of the most beautiful regions in Austria, bookended by two picturesque and historic towns, Melk and Dürnstein.

    Featured Excursions:
    Melk Abbey with library visit
    Dürnstein village stroll with exclusive spiced wine tasting and organ concert in a monastery church

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  6. 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, followed by an evening concert of Mozart and Strauss, performed at a 12th-century monastery.

    Featured Excursions:
    Exclusive Mozart and Strauss concert at Klosterneuburg
    Choice of Exclusive “Vienna, City of Arts” tour or Exclusive “Taste of Christmas” Vienna walking tour

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. Vienna’s art treasures are astonishing, and today you have a rare, pre-opening hours highlights tour of the Vienna Art History Museum’s collection of acclaimed masterworks.

    Featured Excursion:
    Exclusive “Morning with the Masters” at the Vienna Art History Museum with Vienna city tour

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  8. Your walking discovery tour of the capital of Slovakia will reveal a fascinating mosaic of different cultures and architectural styles, such as the castle where the Habsburgs once ruled, the rococo-style Mirbach Palace and the 18th-century Primatial Palace. You’ll also have ample time to explore Bratislava’s picturesque downtown area on your own.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  9. Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each has a distinctive character and allure all its own. Get a taste of this dynamic capital city with your choice of tours, then visit Budapest’s celebrated Christmas market—one of the largest in Europe. The highlight of the day comes after darkness falls, with a glorious New Year’s Eve gala dinner with dancing at a historic ballroom.

    Featured Excursions:
    Exclusive New Year’s gala dinner and dance
    Choice of Budapest city tour or Budapest Opera House tour

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  10. Start off the New Year on a high note with an excursion to a village of talented artisans and craftspeople who live and create beautiful things together. The village is also home to two museums you’re welcome to visit—one devoted to lovely ceramics and the other to the art of marzipan. (Yes, really!)


    Featured Excursion:
    Szentendre Artists’ village

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Captain's Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner
  11. 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 the Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home.

    meal(s):Breakfast
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  • All Meals All Meals
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Professional Cruise Management Professional Cruise Management
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • All Gratuities All Gratuities
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Six-Star Ships Six-Star Ships

Taste

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 10 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

Travel

  • 10-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the stately S.S. Maria Theresa
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days

Explore

  • 4 countries
  • 9 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Taste of Christmas” and “Gentle Walking” programs
  • 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks

Experience

  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “The Sound of Christmas Music, from ‘Silent Night’ to Christmas Oratorio”
Cruise Start Date CATEGORY 5 CATEGORY 4 CATEGORY 3 CATEGORY 2 CATEGORY 1 SUITE Availability Price
23 Dec 17 $4,999pp $5,449pp $6,049pp $6,649pp $7,349pp $9,049pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Maria Theresa
Passau to Budapest
23 Dec 18 $5,099pp $5,299pp $6,099pp $6,599pp $7,499pp $9,499pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Maria Theresa
Passau to Budapest

Note: Christmas markets are generally open from the beginning of Advent until December 23rd.

NOTE: Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.

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.

Price shown is per person based on two people sharing a twin bedded Stateroom. Single rooms are available at a supplement.  Port Charges included for 2017 only. Port charges for 2018 are an additional $200. 

Must Pay in Full at time of booking to receive Early Payment Discount where available. 

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the cruise.

Special Discounts and Promotions: At times we offer discounted departures. These discounts are valid for new bookings only and are not combinable with any other discounts other than our Frequent Traveler Discount and $100 AARP Member Discount. Other restrictions may apply, please call for details.

View River Cruise Terms & Conditions.

Length: 443 ft / Width: 37.5 ft / Voltage: 110/220 volts / Guests: 150 / Staff: 57

Suite: 11 (305-410 sq ft) / Staterooms: 64 (162-194 sq ft) / Rivers: Rhine River, Danube River

Deemed “Best New River Ship” by Cruise Critic editors in 2015, the S.S. Maria Theresa features luxurious accommodations and numerous personal touches, ensuring a truly indulgent and unforgettable voyage. In Cruise Critic's words, this resplendent ship “is regal in its opulent 18th-century decor, a floating homage to the former Austrian empress....Besides indulgent dining and an elegant atmosphere, this is one of the prettiest ships out there.” Named in honor of one of the Habsburg Empire’s most beloved rulers, the magnificent S.S. Maria Theresa cruises the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers in grand Uniworld fashion.

Click HERE to view a PDF of ship facts.

Staterooms

Royal Suite

Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (410 sq ft - 38 sq m) with a French balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

The Royal Suite offers extra benefits, including a separate spacious living room, bathroom with a separate rain shower and tub, and secluded toilet and bidet area

Suites

Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (305 sq ft - 28.3 sq m) with an open-air balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Category 1

Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (194 sq ft - 18 sq m) with an open-air balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, cozy bathrobes and slippers

Features & Amenities

Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds draped in high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, along with a menu of pillow options.

Our meticulously designed ships feature enticing public areas and luxurious amenities, including a lounge with full-service bar, well-equipped fitness center, restaurant, Serenity River Spa, and a Sun Deck where you can relax and take in the ever-changing views. 

Reception

Entrance Stairs

Pool

Lipizzan Cinema

Lounge

Viennese Cafe

  • U.S. citizens traveling to Germany, Austria and Hungary must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering these countries.

  • The currency in  Germany and Austria is the Euro, and in Hungary is the Forint. While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive on your trip, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • We suggest packing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. It’s important to bring comfortable walking shoes and a waterproof jacket. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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