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Christmastime on the Danube
with optional 2 nights in Prague

December 3-9, 2024

Add Prague: December 9-11, 2024

9 Day River Cruise Vienna to Prague on the Avalon Impression

Presented by Avalon Waterways with special group pricing from Blue Skies Travel 


December 3-9, 2024

Add Prague: December 9-11, 2024

Escorted by Margo McDonough with special guest artisan Kathie Giaquinta presenting demonstrations and talks in the Club Lounge throughout the week.  

Everyone's Bucket List Trip: A Christmas Market Cruise!

Christmastime Map.jpg

Sailing with Avalon Waterways, this Christmastime river cruise begins in Austria’s magical capital of Vienna, home to the sounds of Mozart, Strauss, and the Vienna Boys’ Choir.  Then cruise through the wintery landscape of the  Wachau Valley to Melk. Here, you’ll tour the magnificent 11th century Benedictine Abbey. Arrive in Passau, Germany, with its St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of baroque architecture.  In Regensburg, after a guided tour of the city, savor traditional sausages at one of Germany’s oldest restaurants and enjoy local beers. Learn about Christmas traditions as you cruise to Nuremberg, a thousand-year-old city with medieval fortifications and Gothic churches. Then, make your way to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic—one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. 

Throughout the week you will visit Christmas markets that offer an array of Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and  handicrafts. Explore to your heart’s content with a warm cup of svařené vino (hot mulled wine) among the rows of brightly decorated wooden huts. 

Call 302-893-4571
or email: 



Day 1: Vienna, Austria (Embarkation)


Your Suite Ship is ready for boarding. All guests must be on board by 5 p.m. (You have the option to fly in with Margo McDonough, arriving Dec. 2 and staying at a hotel 1 night before boarding the ship together.) Meet your Avalon Cruise Director at a welcome reception.

Special guest event: Join Kathie Giaquinta in the Club Lounge and enjoy her talk about the origins of the Christmas card. 

Cocktail Hour, Dinner  & Snacks included today.


Day 2: Vienna


Explore the Habsburg empire this morning on a guided city tour of Vienna's gilded landmarks. See the Imperial Palace Complex, the iconic Vienna Opera House and the the stunning St. Stephen's Cathedral. Spend free time on your own enjoying the Christkindlesmarkt, then relax by a fireplace in a classic Viennese cafe. In the afternoon, join an optional tour of  Schönbrunn Palace, the summer home of the Habsburg dynasty for 300 years. This evening, perhaps join an optional excursion to a Royal Waltz Concert for an unforgettable evening of music in an elegant hall.


Breakfast, Lunch, Cocktail Hour, Dinner & Snacks included this day.


Day 3: Melk-Grein


Take a guided tour of Melk's magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings. Enjoy an Austrian Cookie Tasting onboard while sailing to Grein. Once we have arrived, take a guided walk of Grein, including its historic theater, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances.

Special Guest Event: Before dinner, gather in the Club Lounge for Kathie's paper art demonstration. After dinner, enjoy live entertainment onboard.


Breakfast, Lunch, Cocktail Hour, Dinner & Snacks included today.


Day 4: Passau

Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful “City of Three Rivers.”

Later spend some free time in Passau’s charming Christkindlmarkt near magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

You may like to join a Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg, Austria. See the setting of The Sound of Music, and learn the story behind the beloved Christmas hymn, Silent Night.


Breakfast, Lunch, Cocktail Hour, Dinner & Snacks included today.


Day 5: Regensburg


Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria—entrance to the Castra Regina fortress built in 179 AD.

Take time to browse Regensburg’s sparkling Christmas markets. Enjoy hot-mulled wine, candied almonds, gingerbread, or bratwurst.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

Special Guest Event: Kathie gives a talk comparing European and U.S. Christmas cards and other paper art.   


Breakfast, Lunch, Cocktail Hour, Dinner & Snacks included today.

Christmas Market

Day 6: Nuremberg 


Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this morning.

Choose a guided tour of Nuremberg's medieval architecture, gilded fountain, Gothic cathedral, & Kaiserburg Castle, OR

Join a guided tour of the Nuremberg Rally Grounds used by the Third Reich.

Spend free time on your own to browse the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample favorite Bavarian fare from dozens of bratwurst varieties, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other culinary delights of the Christkindlmarkt.


Breakfast, Lunch, Cocktail Hour, Dinner & Snacks included today.

Christmas Ornaments

Day 7: Nuremberg (Disembarkation) Prague


Bid your crew farewell.


Those staying on for the optional 2 night land extension will continue on to Prague. Stroll through the streets of this exquisite city and spend a free evening in one of Prague's  cafés for dinner and Czech beer.

Breakfast included today.


Day 8: Prague


Take a Guided City Walk to visit Hradčany Castle Grounds; see St. Vitus Cathedral, and Old Town’s Astronomical Clock. Spend the afternoon on your own to browse the exquisite Christmas Markets of Prague. Stroll through the brightly colored wooden stalls for ornaments and handmade toys and handicrafts.

Special Guest Event: Join Kathie for dinner (extra cost) at one of Prague's oldest restaurants.

Breakfast included today.


Day 9: Prague


Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Breakfast included this day.



Cruise only pricing (includes taxes and port charges)
Double Occupancy
Category D stateroom D $3,300 per person
Category A Panorama Suite $ $4,457 person
Category P Panorama Suite $4,500 per person
Category S Royal Suite $5,443 per person

Single Occupancy
Category A Panorama Suite $6,947 single
Category P Panorama Suite, $7,014 single
Please ask about D and S pricing.

Prices with Prague extension (includes taxes and port charges):

Double Occupancy
Category D stateroom D $3,889 per person
Category A Panorama Suite $5,046 per person
Category P Panorama Suite $5,089 per person
Category S Royal Suite $6,032 per person


Single Occupancy
Category A Panorama Suite $7,885 single
Category P Panorama Suite $7,952 single
Please ask about D and S pricing

Travel Protection: $359 per person, required with deposit.​

A deposit of $250 per person is due upon reservation. Space is limited and reservations are made on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Final payment is September 4, 2024

Ask me about airfare and traveling together on the same flights.
​Rates, availability and all terms and conditions subject to change until booking is confirmed.

Don't miss out; contact Margo McDonough​ at Blue Skies Travel Center today.

302-893-4571 or

Your Host

About Your Group Trip Coordinator 

Margo McDonough started Blue Skies Travel Center in 2016, after earlier stints in the travel industry for such companies as J.P. Morgan Chase.  She has planned and escorted many trips for area travelers, including a Paris to Normandy river cruise, facilitated by special guest expert Professor Ray Callahan, a winter getaway to the Tournament of Roses Parade, a weeklong trip to the Islands of New England and a river cruise during Tulip Time in the Netherlands.  

McDonough is a member of the American Society of Travel Advisors, is fully insured, and is supported by host agency Uniglobe Travel Center and Virtuoso, a luxury travel consortium.  

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