Christmas Markets Along the Danube

Highlights & InclusionsItineraryPricing Information Terms & Conditions
Departure Date: December 8, 2017
November 25, 2018
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights
Price from: $1,895
Single Room Supplement: $395
Request Booking

In order to bring you the greatest selection of destinations and itineraries, Gutsy Women Travel has worked with our partner GCCL to reserve space on this 2017 guided vacation. This trip is open to men and women, and will operate with a larger group size than our traditional Gutsy Women departures.


Highlights & Inclusions

  • Be sure to mention booking code G7-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!
  • Airport transfers are included when you purchase our operator's International air to coincide with trip's day by day agenda.
  • Available Pre-trip: Munich, Germany
  • Available Post-trip: Vienna, Austria
  • Accommodations for 7 nights aboard a private river ship with wireless Internet access now in all common areas and cabins
  • 21 meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners—plus all onboard house beer & wine, as well as soft drinks
  • 4 included tours with personal headsets and 6 exclusive Discovery Series events—Engineering Innovations & River Travel lecture • German language lesson • Regensburg choral concert • Stollen cooking demonstration • German Christmas Traditions discussion • Wachau Valley cruise
  • Local Program Directors, a Grand Circle Cruise Line exclusive: These dedicated experts are with you (and no more than 47 travelers) every step of the way to provide insider's knowledge and the perspective that will enrich your experience
  • Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • All port charges: a value of $125 per person
  • Baggage handling for 1 piece of luggage per person, including tips
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward your next Grand Circle trip—an average of $166


Itinerary

Christmas trees aglow with white candles ... the wafting harmonies of Handel, Bach, and the strains of “Silent Night” ... sumptuous gingerbread cakes ... handmade wood carvings ... and the warm, happy spirit of the season all around you. Experience this popular holiday getaway, and cruise along the Danube River through the most beloved ports of Austria and Germany. You’ll explore the region’s craft-filled Christmas markets in the company of like-minded American travelers, and behold storybook medieval towns in all their holiday finery. Along with spending convivial moments with others who share the holiday spirit. Plus, enjoy NEW onboard enhancements such as complimentary house beer, wine, and soft drinks, as well as improved wireless Internet in all cabins and common areas—all at no additional cost. Only Grand Circle brings you this unique and comprehensive holiday River Cruise package at such an unbeatable value!

DAY 1 Depart U.S. Depart the U.S. today on your flight to Vienna.

DAY 2 Vienna, Austria • Embark ship Arrive at the airport this morning, where a Grand Circle representative meets you and helps you transfer to the pier to embark your river ship. Upon arrival, enjoy some free time to relax and settle in. A light lunch will be served onboard.

Gather this evening for a ship briefing, and meet your Program Director and fellow travelers during dinner. Afterward, settle in for your first night onboard.

DAY 3 Melk • Wachau Valley


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

After setting sail this morning, enjoy hot chocolate and relax onboard as your ship cruises along one of the most beautiful parts of the Danube—the Wachau Valley. Your Program Director will provide enlightening commentary about this UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of sculpted hills and medieval towns built along the river.

Then, after lunch, disembark in Melk for an excursion to the dramatic 900-year-old Baroque Melk Abbey.

This magnificently ornate structure has a long and storied history. Strategically situated on a steep, cliffside perch, Melk Abbey's earliest incarnation was as a Roman border post. Later, it served as a tenth-century Babenberg fortress. It became a Benedictine monastery in 1089 and earned a distinguished reputation for medieval scholarship. Its library includes more than 70,000 books and 2,000 manuscripts, chiefly from the ninth through the 15th centuries. The Abbey also houses a remarkable cherub-filled library of thousands of books and manuscripts, and 365 windows—one for every day of the year. The interior of the Abbey's church is a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and gold—with a magnificent carved pulpit and shimmering ceiling frescoes. You'll also enjoy free time to explore Melk at leisure before returning to your ship.

Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a Captain's Welcome Drink and Dinner onboard.

DAY 4 Linz • Optional Salzburg tour OPTIONAL TOUR


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

This morning the ship calls at the port of Linz. You have the day free to explore this Old-World city.

Linz, one of the largest ports on the Danube and the second-most populous city in Austria, was first settled by Romans in the first century AD, and today is one of the country's cultural centers. It offers a wealth of discoveries—from its Hauptplatz, one of the loveliest squares in Europe, to the 17th-century Abbey of St. Florian, where Linz's native son, Anton Bruckner, was the organist and composed many of his famed masterpieces of church music. His burial site is at the abbey.

You could also consider a visit to Linz's historic Landhaus, a complex of structures currently used as government headquarters. These buildings served as the city's university in the 17th century, and it was here that the well-known mathematician and astronomer Johann Kepler formulated his theory of planetary motion. A short walk takes you to the Linzer Schloss (Linz Castle), where you can browse its Provincial Museum of Upper Austria, containing artwork from medieval to modern times. Linz is also a center for trade in antiques, so you might wish to stop in at a few of its shops to see what treasures you can find.

Return to the ship for lunch where you can spend the rest of your day relaxing or continue exploring Linz's charming Christmas market and abundance of museums on your own.

Or, journey into the heart of the Alps with an optional full-day Salzburg excursion. This beautiful city—birthplace of Mozart—will seem familiar those individuals who are forever enchanted by The Sound of Music, and you'll visit the grounds where much of the film was shot.

Your tour includes a visit to the Getreidegasse, the renowned center for Austrian shopping. Note the intricate architectural details of this lane of shops and galleries, nestled under their skillfully crafted wrought-iron signs and offering jewelry, antiques, leather goods, and regional foods. The vaulted passageways offer delightful pathways to artisans' workshops and arcaded courtyards.

You'll get another taste of Alpine Christmas traditions as you visit the fabulous Salzburg Christmas market. Handmade seasonal crafts of all sorts are available, and the aromas of traditional holiday foods add magic to the colorful setting.

Have lunch in this beautiful city and free time to explore on your own before boarding your ship again in the late afternoon in Linz.

DAY 5 Passau, Germany • German language lesson • German Christmas Traditions discussion


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

This morning, we set out on the river again. Along the way, you'll be invited to join an exclusive Discovery Series German language lesson, where you can learn some German phrases—such as, Schöne Feiertage (Happy Holidays)—commonly used during the Christmas season. In mid-morning, you disembark for a tour of the lovely medieval town of Passau, our first stop in Germany.

Situated at the confluence of the Danube, Ilz, and Inn rivers, Passau has been called the Dreiflussestadt (City on Three Rivers) because of its location. The city was significantly developed by the prince bishops of Passau, who made it their royal residence and capital of the largest Danube diocese.

You'll enjoy a short walking tour of this elegant town that has served as a German cultural and intellectual hub for centuries. See the impressive Bishop's Residenz, the 13th-century Town Hall, and the town's magnificent St. Stephen's Cathedral, which boasts the world's largest church organ, with 17,774 pipes and 231 resounding stops. The Cathedral's original Gothic plan is still evident through the 17th-century reconstruction it received in the grand Baroque style. One of its most striking features is the gorgeous octagonal dome that hovers over the intersection of the nave, where the congregation sits, and the transept, which runs perpendicular to it.

Passau's colorful Christmas market is located in front of the Cathedral. You have some free time to do some shopping or simply browse the wide assortment of handcrafts and Christmas creations.

Return to your ship for lunch onboard before free time to discover more of the town on your own.

The ship sets sail again this evening, en route to Regensburg, with dinner aboard.

DAY 6 Regensburg • Choral concert


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

You arrive and dock around mid-morning in Regensburg, Germany's largest medieval city. Then, enjoy a walking tour of this hidden treasure. Since the city suffered no damage during World War II, it remains beautifully preserved.

Your tour features the Old Town Hall and the famous Stone Bridge, Germany's oldest, which was constructed during the twelfth century. You also visit the Regensberg Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) in Neupfarrplatz, which lights up in December with seasonal cheer. You have time here to explore on your own, strolling among the stalls and shopping for unique handmade Christmas gifts.

You'll have lunch onboard ship and an afternoon at leisure.

After an early dinner on the ship, join us for an exclusive Discovery Series event as we walk to a local church to hear a choral concert featuring festive holiday music. You return to the ship, which remains in Regensburg overnight, later in the evening.

DAY 7 Regensburg • Engineering Innovations & River Travel lecture • Stollen baking demonstration • Captain's Farewell Dinner


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

Enjoy a leisurely morning onboard today, as the ship prepares to set off for its next destination. Your cruise toward Nuremberg begins shortly before lunch.

If the weather obliges, you might go on deck and take in the scenes of life along the banks of this noble river, or spend some time with fellow travelers over coffee or cards.

This afternoon, you'll enjoy two exclusive Discovery Events: a lecture outlining how the Main-Danube Canal's innovative system of locks has made Europe's rivers navigable, and a Stollen baking demonstration, where you'll learn how to prepare this traditional German bread made with fruit and nuts, and topped with powdered sugar.

Later in the evening, as you cruise the river, celebrate your discoveries and new Christmas memories at the Captain's Farewell Dinner onboard. We cruise through the night on our way to Nuremberg.

DAY 8 Nuremberg


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

Your ship docks at Nuremberg quite early this morning. After breakfast, you disembark for a tour of Nuremberg, one of the most important cities of the Franconia region.

This medieval city surrounded by 13th-century walls is the second-largest city in Bavaria. Today the city's name evokes the notorious post-World War II war trials. But throughout its history, Nuremberg has been known for its wonderful creativity and handcrafts—its toys and fancy metalwork are particularly famous.

Return to the ship for lunch before an afternoon visit to Nuremberg's famous Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market), where you have free time to browse on your own. This is Germany's most famous traditional Christmas market, and it is open throughout the holiday season, with a myriad of colorful stalls offering handmade Christmas decorations, toys, ceramics, glasswork, and candles. Food stalls tempt you with Bratwurst, mulled wines, sweets, and pastries—including the famous Nuremberg gingerbread. Various programs regale visitors with chorale offerings, concerts, and a live Nativity scene.

Tonight, linger over your final dinner aboard, and spend your evening as you wish. The ship remains in Nuremberg tonight.

DAY 9 Disembark ship • Return to U.S. After breakfast, disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight home.






Pre-trip: Vienna, Austria

Explore Vienna, a magnificent Old World city of museums and music, art and architecture, and famous people from its storied past, that has lost nothing of the grace and charm that has for centuries helped it stand out even in the dazzling company of other great European cultural capitals. Once an imperial city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, there are many historical wonders to discover, such as the Ringstrasse—a circular boulevard that traces the path of a medieval wall that surrounded Vienna until 1860, when it was torn down by Emperor Franz Joseph and replaced with the impressive road to modernize city.

From the slow pace of its coffee houses to the bustle and bounce of its public trams and trolleys, Vienna will leave you enchanted.

It's Included:

  • Accommodations for 3 nights
  • Daily Breakfasts
  • Included tour: Vienna
  • Dedicated services of a local Program Director
  • Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • All transfers

DAY 1 Depart U.S.

Depart the U.S. today on your flight to Vienna. Please refer to your personal air itinerary for exact departure and arrival times.

DAY 2 Arrive Vienna, Austria


OVERNIGHT: ARCOTEL Kaiserwasser or similar

Arrive in Vienna today. A Grand Circle representative meets you at the airport and helps you transfer to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time and hotel check-in policy, you may not be able to check into your hotel room immediately upon arrival at your hotel. Your Program Director will advise you of our check-in status and activity schedule for the day when you arrive.

You are invited to enjoy a brief walk with your Program Director to get acquainted with the area around your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax after your overseas flight, or venture out on your own explorations.

Join your Program Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Drink before enjoying dinner on your own this evening. Your Program Director will have many dining suggestions.

DAY 3 Explore Vienna • Optional Christmas Across Borders excursion OPTIONAL TOUR


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: ARCOTEL Kaiserwasser or similar

After breakfast, enjoy a tour of elegant Vienna. Your tour showcases the Ringstrasse, probably the greatest achievement of the Emperor Franz Joseph. In 1857, the Emperor ordered the demolition of the ancient city walls, which were no longer needed as fortifications and which were impeding the growth of the city. In their place was constructed an elegant 2.5-mile-long boulevard, encircling the Innere Stadt. The neoclassic buildings along the Ringstrasse bring together all the greatest architectural styles in an exuberant celebration of all that seemed possible during the Industrial Revolution. Our stroll continues along the city sidewalks, passing by the well-known Hofburg Spanish Riding School.

The balance of the day is free to relax or do some more exploring on your own. You'll certainly want to visit Vienna's Christkindlmarkt, the largest and most famous in Austria. Get your first taste of the Christmas Market tradition as you browse through stall after stall offering unique handicrafts and traditional holiday foods.

You may also consider a stroll through the old Jewish Quarter to see the only Viennese synagogue to have survived the 1938 Kristallnacht.

Your evening is free to do as you please. Ask your Program Director for interesting suggestions.

Or, join us for an optional Christmas Across Borders excursion to Bratislava, Slovakia, where you’ll meet with a local family to find out what the holidays were like for people under Communist rule. Afterwards, stroll through the city’s Old Town on a guided tour. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to peruse an extra Christmas market or two, and to experience Slovakia’s take on this regional holiday tradition during some free time before returning to Vienna.

DAY 4 Explore on Your Own • Optional The Best of Vienna Tour • Optional Musical Vienna Tour


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: ARCOTEL Kaiserwasser or similar

You have the day at leisure to relax, do some shopping, or explore this unique city on your own.

Vienna has served as home and inspiration to some of the world's greatest artists, thinkers, and musicians. You'll notice statues of Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven, and Mahler throughout the city, and see how music is such an integral part of Viennese life. The strains of waltz music emanate from the many cafes, and these harmonious melodies move outdoors to the sidewalks in good weather.

Or, consider joining an optional Best of Vienna tour to discover two of Vienna's most beloved and beautiful sites: the Vienna Opera House and Hofburg Palace.

The first performance at the opening of the Vienna Opera House in May 1869 was Mozart's Don Giovanni, and since then the company and its orchestra have been at the forefront of international musicianship, vocal expertise, and production values, with long associations with some of the greatest names in music, including Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. Designed in a neoromantic style that was not well received at the time, the stage and the company's set and costume collections were severely damaged by Allied bombing in World War II. It reopened in 1955 and has been a prime destination of opera lovers ever since. It now presents 50 operas and 20 ballets annually. You'll tour the house and learn about its illustrious history.

Please note: When the Vienna State Opera is not open, a visit to Haus der Musik (House of Music) is included instead.

Then continue on to Hofburg Palace. The Imperial Apartments and the Sisi Museum at the Vienna Hofburg are among the most frequently visited historic sites in Austria. Formerly the residence of the Habsburg rulers, the Hofburg contains the 19-room state and residential apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth, which are open to the public. In an impressively staged exhibition, the Sisi Museum seeks to give the visitor an understanding of the myths and reality surrounding the figure of Empress Elisabeth.

Your evening is at leisure to spend as you wish.

Or, since Vienna without music wouldn't be Vienna, subject to availability of tickets, you may want to join us this evening on an optional Musical Vienna outing and enjoy an unforgettable performance in one of Vienna's famed concert halls. You'll hear classical Viennese music in a setting where Johann Strauss himself performed and be enchanted by the beautiful melodies.

DAY 5 At Leisure • Embark Ship


MEALS: B You have the morning at leisure to further sample the delights of Vienna. You may want to browse through one of the city's many museums, or visit the famous Spanish Riding School, known as much for its architecture as for the renowned Lipizzaner horses. You might also consider strolling the gardens of Maria Theresa's Schoenbrunn Palace. Before lunch, transfer to the pier to embark your river ship. You now join the travelers on the main trip, following Day 2 of the main itinerary.






Post-trip: Vienna, Austria

Explore Vienna, a magnificent Old World city of museums and music, art and architecture, and famous people from its storied past, that has lost nothing of the grace and charm that has for centuries helped it stand out even in the dazzling company of other great European cultural capitals. Once an imperial city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, there are many historical wonders to discover, such as the Ringstrasse—a circular boulevard that traces the path of a medieval wall that surrounded Vienna until 1860, when it was torn down by Emperor Franz Joseph and replaced with the impressive road to modernize city.

From the slow pace of its coffee houses to the bustle and bounce of its public trams and trolleys, Vienna will leave you enchanted.

It's Included:

  • Accommodations for 3 nights
  • Daily Breakfasts
  • Included tour: Vienna
  • Dedicated services of a local Program Director
  • Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • All transfers

DAY 1 Vienna, Austria • Optional Christmas Across Borders excursion OPTIONAL TOUR


OVERNIGHT: ARCOTEL Kaiserwasser or similar

After breakfast, disembark and enjoy a tour of Vienna en route to your hotel. Your tour showcases the Ringstrasse, probably the greatest achievement of the Emperor Franz Joseph. In 1857, the Emperor ordered the demolition of the ancient city walls, which were no longer needed as fortifications and which were actually impeding the growth of the city. In their place was constructed an elegant 2.5-mile-long boulevard, encircling the Innere Stadt. The neoclassical buildings along the Ringstrasse bring together all the greatest architectural styles in an exuberant celebration of all that seemed possible during the Industrial Revolution. Our stroll continues along the city sidewalks, passing by the well-known Hofburg Spanish Riding School.

The balance of the day is free to relax or do some more exploring on your own. You'll certainly want to visit Vienna's Christkindlmarkt, the largest and most famous in Austria. Get a final taste of the Christmas market tradition you've explored throughout your cruise as you browse through stall after stall offering unique handcrafts and traditional holiday foods. You may also consider a stroll through the old Jewish Quarter to see the only Viennese synagogue to have survived the 1938 Kristallnacht.

Your evening is free to do as you please. Ask your Program Director for interesting suggestions.

Or, join us for an optional Christmas Across Borders excursion to Bratislava, Slovakia, where you’ll meet with a local family to find out what the holidays were like for people under Communist rule. Afterwards, stroll through the city’s Old Town on a guided tour. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to peruse an extra Christmas market or two, and to experience Slovakia’s take on this regional holiday tradition during some free time before returning to Vienna.

DAY 2 Vienna • Optional Best of Vienna tour OPTIONAL TOUR


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: ARCOTEL Kaiserwasser or similar

You have the day at leisure to relax, do some shopping, or explore this unique city on your own.

Vienna has served as home and inspiration to some of the world's greatest artists, thinkers, and musicians. You'll notice statues of Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven, and Mahler throughout the city, and see how music is such an integral part of Viennese life. The strains of waltz music emanate from the many cafes, and these harmonious melodies move outdoors to the sidewalks in good weather.

Perhaps you'll join an optional Best of Vienna tour to discover two of Vienna's most beloved and beautiful sites: the Vienna Opera House and Hofburg Palace.

The first performance at the opening of the Vienna Opera House in May 1869 was Mozart's Don Giovanni, and since then the company and its orchestra have been at the forefront of international musicianship, vocal expertise, and production values, with long associations with some of the greatest names in music, including Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. Designed in a neoromantic style that was not well received at the time, the stage and the company's set and costume collections were severely damaged by Allied bombing in World War II. The Opera House reopened in 1955 and has been a prime destination for opera lovers ever since, presenting 50 operas and 20 ballets annually. You'll tour the house and learn about its illustrious history.

Please note: When the Vienna State Opera is not open, a visit to Haus der Musik (House of Music) is included instead.

Then you'll continue on to Hofburg Palace. The Imperial Apartments and the Sisi Museum at the Vienna Hofburg are among the most frequently visited historic sites in Austria. Formerly the residence of the Habsburg rulers, the Hofburg contains the 19-room state and residential apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth, which are open to the public. In an impressively staged exhibition, the Sisi Museum seeks to give the visitor an understanding of the myths and reality surrounding the figure of Empress Elisabeth.

Your afternoon is free to pursue your own interests in the city. You can spend your evening as you wish.

DAY 3 Vienna


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: ARCOTEL Kaiserwasser or similar

You have a day at leisure to further sample the delights of Vienna. On your day of discovery, you may want to browse through one of the city's many museums, or visit the famous Hofburg Spanish Riding School, which we passed during our walking tour at the beginning of your stay, known as much for its architecture as for the renowned Lipizzaner horses. You might also consider strolling the gardens of Maria Theresa's Schoenbrunn Palace.

Gather this evening with your fellow travelers to toast your memories over a Farewell Drink at your hotel, then enjoy dinner on your own.

DAY 4 Return to U.S.


MEALS: B After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodations

Pricing Information

View Specials & Promotions
Arrival DateSingleSharedDouble
Dec 8, 2017 $2,290 n/a $1,895
Air from JFK $1,100
Pre-trip: Vienna $545
Post-trip: Munich $545
For further information call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
24/7 booking capability is available via this via the "Request to Book" button listed above.

Be sure to mention booking code G7-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!

Savings have been reflected in pricing noted online & subject to availabilty, so book soon!

Pricing is based on lowest priced cabin category, is subject to change as this price is a lead in price that is subject to availability. Upgrade opportunities are available and will be added to inquiry cabin selection request shortly. Please call (866) 464 8879 to discuss single supplement discounts available to GWT customers.

For pricing on cabin upgrades please speak to our river cruise specialist at time of booking.

In order to qualify for the GWT Past Traveler Discount of 5% on the land portion of the trip, you must advise the reservation specialist at time of depositing on your 2017 trip which GWT trip you traveled on (date/name of departure and year) over the past 5 years.

Please note this departure is not exclusive to women but will be comprised of Gutsy Women Travel participants co-sharing the overall trip capacity with members of GCCL resulting in a larger group size compared to the traditional Gutsy Women Travel trips designed exclusively for women.

Single Room - one person, traveling solo in single accommodation
Double Room - two people, traveling together in same accommodation

Air travel arrangements for Gutsy Women's trip participants are made independently as most women are traveling from various gateway cities within or outside North America. Our river cruise specialist can assist you in securing the best airfare routing available as well as travel protection.

For further information and reservations call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
For online 24/7 booking capability is available via this website.

Please note: Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.