This timeless European holiday begins with two nights in vibrant Budapest, Hungary, before your Danube River winter cruise with exciting stops and panoramic views in Austria and Germany. At this time of year, the towns and cities are festively lit and decorated, each in its own particular style and taste. Christmas markets abound, and the strains of carols and aroma of gingerbread fill the air. In Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital, marvel at the eight bridges spanning the river and enjoy an introduction to the city by a local expert who shows you the must-see sights. Embark on your Avalon Suite Ship for an amazing view of the landscapes of Bratislava while sailing. Vienna, Austria, offers stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Habsburg Palace, and the Vienna Opera House and in this time of the year, Christmas markets are scattered around the city, with the largest located in front of the city hall. Join a traditional city sightseeing tour ending with a walk through the Christmas market to taste some of the local traditional specialities. Glide through the winter wonderland of the Wachau Valley, and visit Austria’a majestic Benedictine Abbey in Melk. Take a guided walk through Passau, with its narrow streets and beautiful Patrician houses. Further up the Danube River, you’ll arrive at the medieval walls of Regensburg—the only German city not bombed during WWII. Your last stop is the 1000-year-old city of Nuremberg, where you’ll marvel at the medieval fortifications, extraordinary Gothic churches, and the Imperial Castle, famous for one of the oldest Christmas market in Germany. After guided city sightseeing, be sure to explore the many stalls and try some spicy gingerbread and Glühwein! The perfect ending to a memorable river cruise holiday!