Grand Christmas & New Year's Cruise

Nuremberg Christmas Market
14 Days from $5,499 per person

The mighty Danube takes you through three nations decked in all their holiday finery at this most delightful time of year. Visit stunning churches and sample delicious wines in enchanting baroque villages. Ring in the New Year dancing in a real Viennese palace, and see how a dusting of snow adds to the glamour of Hungary’s historic capital.

On Christmas Eve, walk through the quiet medieval streets of Regensburg to the Gothic cathedral for Midnight Mass. As you pass through the magnificent doors, look up: you’ll see chalk marks invoking age-old blessings for all who enter. Listen to the harness bells chime as you ride through the serene Bavarian Forest in a horse-drawn wagon. Wander through locations from The Sound of Music in beautiful Salzburg and then warm up with rumlaced coffee. Meet Habsburg royalty during a private reception in a castle overlooking the UNESCO designated Wachau Valley.

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Leisurely
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  1. Overnight flight to Nuremberg (not included).

  2. Arrive at Nuremberg Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship. 

  3. See the highlights of this quintessential medieval city on a panoramic tour, then visit Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, Germany’s oldest and best-known Christmas Market. Be sure to sample some lebkuchen (gingerbread) here in the “Gingerbread Capital of the World.” In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Captain's Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner
  4. Spend a leisurely day onboard as you cruise along the remarkable Main-Danube Canal to the Danube River. After arriving in Regensburg, you are welcome to attend Midnight Mass in the city’s spectacular Gothic cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  5. Regensburg is a delight to explore, with its quaint cobblestone streets, medieval alleys and ancient Roman ruins. If you wish, attend Christmas Day Mass in a local church before exploring the city with a local expert. Alternatively, you can see sites associated with one of the oldest Jewish communities in Germany. Return to the ship for a festive Christmas meal, complete with all the trimmings.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  6. Snuggle down in warm blankets on a horse-drawn wagon ride through a Bavarian Forest village. Later, visit the workshop of a world-renowned glass manufacturer that has created beautiful Bohemian glassware for European rulers for centuries.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. Enjoy scenic cruising en route to the beautiful city of Passau. Situated at the confluence of three rivers, Passau was an important center of trade during the Middle Ages, and you will see its charming Old Town on a guided walking discovery tour.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  8. Your guided tour of Salzburg’s Old Town—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—features the city’s 17th-century cathedral, the house where Mozart was born and the famous gardens where scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed. You’ll also have time to browse Salzburg’s lovely shops and boutiques.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
  9. Explore charming Dürnstein with your Cruise Manager, stopping to warm yourself with a mulled wine tasting and to attend a soul-stirring organ concert. Later, you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime treat—a private cocktail reception at the 13th-century Artstetten Castle, hosted by an Austrian princess descended from the royal Habsburgs.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  10. See the highlights of Vienna on a city tour that takes you inside Prince Eugene’s magnificent Winter Palace. Or, stroll through the Old Town on an exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour, venturing down famous shopping streets, marveling at shop window displays of decadent confections and browsing the stalls of the Am Hof and Freyung Christmas markets. This evening, enjoy the music of Mozart and Strauss at a private concert at a Viennese palace.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  11. Take a guided tour of Schönbrunn Palace, the former Habsburg summer residence that rivals Versailles with its ornate décor and elaborate gardens. Tonight, ring in the New Year in a glorious Viennese palace, with a festive dinner, private concert and dancing.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  12. After exploring Vienna on your own, relax onboard as the ship cruises to Budapest. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Captain's Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner
  13. Your panoramic tour of beautiful Buda and Pest—situated on opposite sides of the Danube—features the city’s famous 19th-century Chain Bridge, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  14. Disembark the ship and transfer to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home. 


  • 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


  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 12 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


  • 12-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the majestic River Beatrice
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days


  • 3 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
  • 5 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


  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “Heaven on Earth: The Worldly Pleasures of Baroque Art and Architecture”
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
20 Dec 17 2 Jan 18 $5799$5499pp Early BookingBook by Jan 16
$5,499 pp

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 and cruise in category 5 Cabin. Single rooms are available at a supplement.  Cabin upgrades available at a supplement. Port Charges included.

Early Booking and Pay in Full Discounts vary based on Stateroom category.

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 vacation.

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.

Cancellation Penalties: 90-60 days prior to departure: 35%; 59-30 days prior to departure: 50%; 29-1 days prior to departure: 80%; Day of departure: 100%.



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.


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


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. 


Entrance Stairs


Lipizzan Cinema


Viennese Cafe

  • U.S. citizens traveling to the  Austria, Hungary, and Germany must have a current passport 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 Hungary is the Forint, while Austria and Germany use the Euro. 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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