I very much like being able to sell river cruises where you know what you will get weather-wise. Christmas in central Europe will not be hot, the days will be short, the weather crisp and maybe a little snowy. It is a landscape that will twinkle and inspire. Guaranteed!
Luftner, Uniworld and AMA waterways offer cruises that cover Christmas or New Year or both. Looking through their Christmas itineraries on behalf of customers has been a delight for me. We once did Christmas at a restaurant with the kids and my mum and dad. And it was really good. The food was superb and the atmosphere very jolly. We got to enjoy the day, no stress and no washing up!
I thought it might help if I imagined a Christmas river cruise for you. So I decided I’d pick Uniworld’s 10 night cruise and a few other bits of other cruises. So, for the second year, Uniworld’s River Beatrice will again be quietly sailing past towns and villages full of twinkling lights. Tall castles that could have stepped out of a fairy tale will look down from cliffs and peep through forests. Everywhere will be that special snowy white glow lit by the full moon high overhead. – really like the description here, inspiring!
It will be cold – yet you will be warm and comfortable inside. Christmas trees will glitter everywhere. The atmosphere will be so festive with stunning food and relaxing company relaxing. There will be lots of people in a similar situation with whom to talk to and make new friends, and enjoy the festive evening entertainment. With Uniworld there will be guaranteed warm hot chocolate to drink on the deck whenever you venture outside, oh and gluwein.
I love the idea of combining Christmas Day in Salzburg with New Year’s Day in Budapest. Two countries, two different experiences yet without having to worry about passports, currency or accommodation. This was the land of Silent Night and the Sound of Music; of music and elegance. Vienna, Linz, Bratislava – places which evoked such wonderful images of elegant carriages, of ladies in evening dress attending glittering balls, the opera, of Mozart and Viennese waltz’s (and the special Viennese cakes and gateaux). Oberndorf was even where Silent Night was composed all those years ago – 1818 to be precise.
Christmas Day will be spent happily exploring Salzburg and Oberndorf as well enjoying a wonderful festive lunch at Stiftskeller Saint Peter – one of the oldest restaurants in the world, if not the oldest. In the evening, there will be more entertainment on board making it a really memorable day.
Then there will be the delightful Strauss concert in Vienna and the gorgeous mouth watering confectionary decorations in Café Demel. Culture too will not be forgotten as we are able to see 30 stunning paintings by Rubens at the Liechtenstein Palace. A very special treat as it is a private collection.
Yet the highlight of the cruise is still to come. Expect to be truly delighted by the sheer beauty and spectacle of Budapest. Walk across the Chain Bridge, see St Stephen’s Basilica and ring in the New Year with an exclusive dinner dance in a gorgeous ballroom and the dramatic fireworks across the city. New Year’s Day features an onboard brunch and a visit to an artist’s village and, the icing on the cake (please forgive the pun) a visit to the Marzipan Museum. Where do I sign? Oh, and I’ve just remembered that as Uniworld are now completely all-inclusive, I can wash it all down with quite a lot of festive cheer!
Sound good? So, if you fancy a Christmas away from the washing up, then let us know.