Christmas Markets on the Main & Moselle with Skiiing in Austria

27 Days – 10th December 2024 – 07th January 2025

from $14,995.00 per person based on 2 sharing

Trip Style: River Cruise, Touring, Independent, Luxury, Rail, Ski

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We wanted a trip that takes in all the wonder of the Christmas spirit whilst leisurely cruising along the Main and Moselle with Viking River Cruises. This trip allows you to see France, Germany and the Czech Republic at a time when the lights are up, the coats are on, and the food and mulled wine are free flowing. 

Once you have finished the river cruise, taking an independent journey by train through the surrounding cities seems like a great plan, each with something new and different to offer.

Finally, for the ski enthusiasts, we included a week St Anton. Primarily better for intermediate to experienced skiers rather than beginners, this town is known for it’s role in inventing the sport itself.

For beginner skiers who still want to do the trip, don’t worry, there are plenty of options for us to choose from. Just have a chat to your consultant about your wishes and we will make it happen!

Day 1

Flight

Today we fly from Australia into Paris! Let us know if you wish to include a stopover and we can tailor the flights to suit your needs.

Day 2-4

Paris, France

Welcome to Paris! Arrive and check into your hotel. Paris’s landmarks come alive during the Christmas season as twinkling lights adorn the city’s streets. Shop windows are a grand affair, depicting scenes from fairy tales, Santa Claus and his workshop, or a snowy winter wonderland. While it rarely snows in Paris, there is always the chance of a dusting, adding to the magical atmosphere. From November on, leading department stores, including Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, present their seasonal displays, often featuring clever animation; their grand openings are hotly anticipated each year.

Day 5

Reims, France

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and begin your journey to your embarkation city. Reims, nestled in the heart of the renowned Champagne region, is home to one of France’s largest Christmas markets. More than 140 stalls grace the square in front of the famous Reims Cathedral, itself decorated in a colourful light display that showcases the magnificent architectural details of this 13th-century Gothic masterpiece and UNESCO Site. Craftsmen display their wares at the market in the courtyard of the Palace of Tau. Sweeping views of the city can be enjoyed while sipping a glass of champagne from atop the 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel at Erlon Square.

Day 6-7

Trier, Germany

Set in the historic heart of Trier, the bustling Hauptmarkt is the city’s main gathering place and the centre of holiday festivities. Its rich repository of Romanesque, Gothic and baroque-style architecture provide a romantic backdrop to its cosy Christmas market. There, vendors display handcrafted decorations and serve regional specialties, such as vintner hot mulled wine from the Moselle. The nearby Domfreihof adds to the yuletide atmosphere that abounds throughout the Old City, its market set in the shadow of the impressive 13th-century Trier Cathedral.

Day 7

Bernkastel, Germany

Next on our journey, let’s discover Bernkastel, a picturesque town nestled along the Moselle River in Germany, boasts a storybook charm and a rich historical tapestry. Its medieval Old Town, adorned with half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets, invites visitors to step back in time.

During the festive season, Bernkastel transforms into a winter wonderland. Illuminated cobblestones lead the way amid the scent of mulled wine, gingerbread, and almonds. The town’s heart, the market square, hosts around 40 stalls offering traditional crafts and stunning jewellery, accompanied by the region’s largest Advent calendar beautifully showcased in a local pharmacy window.

The yuletide spirit peaks with the arrival of Santa Claus by boat, escorted by torch-bearing swimmers. This charming town, steeped in history and adorned in holiday cheer, promises an enchanting experience for visitors exploring its timeless allure along the Moselle.

Day 8

Cochem, Germany

Our journey continues with an exhilarating visit to Cochem, a captivating town nestled along the Moselle River in Germany, boasts a panorama of rolling vineyards, fairytale-like landscapes, and a rich historical legacy. Its crowning jewel, the Reichsburg Cochem, stands majestically atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the town and the scenic river.

Wander through the town’s charming streets lined with half-timbered houses, creating a postcard-perfect atmosphere. During the festive season, Cochem adorns itself in a winter cloak, with streets aglow and the air filled with the inviting scents of mulled wine and gingerbread.

The town’s Christmas market, a festive gathering with about 40 stalls, showcases local crafts, delightful treats, and regional specialties. Visitors can revel in the joyous ambiance and witness the grandeur of the season.

Cochem’s timeless allure, steeped in history and adorned with holiday cheer, welcomes visitors to embrace the spirit of the season against the backdrop of scenic beauty along the Moselle.

Day 8

Winningen, Germany

On the same day, we visit Winningen, a charming village situated along the serene banks of the Moselle River in Germany, embodies tranquility and picturesque beauty. Surrounded by lush vineyards and rolling hills, this idyllic spot is a haven for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

The village exudes a quaint charm, with its historic timber-framed houses and narrow cobblestone streets. Winningen’s riverside location offers stunning vistas and a serene atmosphere ideal for leisurely strolls.

During the festive season, Winningen adorns itself with the magic of Christmas. The town comes alive with the warmth of twinkling lights, and the air is filled with the delightful aromas of mulled wine and seasonal treats.

You can explore the local Christmas market, where artisans showcase their crafts and regional delicacies. Amidst the festive cheer, Winningen welcomes all to revel in its tranquil ambiance and experience the joy of the season in this charming riverside setting.

Day 9

Mainz, Germany

Welcome to Mainz! situated in the Rheinhessen wine region, stands as a vital part of Germany’s largest wine-producing area celebrated for its exceptional white wines, notably Riesling. For centuries, wine has been integral to the city’s economy and culture, marked by various annual wine festivals like the Mainzer Weinmarkt and the Mainzer Weinwoche.

Additionally, the city proudly hosts the prestigious Geisenheim University, renowned for its programs specializing in viticulture and oenology. Today, Mainz’s rich wine culture perseveres, embracing sustainability and pioneering innovation in the art of winemaking, thereby ensuring a flourishing legacy steeped in history and contemporary excellence.

Day 10

Heidelberg, Germany

Prepare to explore our exciting new stop! Heidelberg, nestled along the banks of the Neckar River in Germany, exudes a captivating blend of history, charm, and scenic beauty. Renowned for its picturesque Old Town, romantic castle ruins, and prestigious university, Heidelberg offers a tapestry of experiences.

The city’s iconic landmark, Heidelberg Castle, perched atop the hillside, provides views of the town and the Neckar Valley. Stroll through the charming streets of the Old Town, adorned with cobblestones, historic buildings, and vibrant market squares.

Heidelberg invites you to enjoy its delightful cuisine, explore its enchanting gardens, and experience the captivating allure of this historic city, where history, culture, and natural beauty harmoniously converge.

Day 11

Würzburg, Germany

Welcome to Würzburg! Amidst the charming setting of Würzburg’s Old Town, with a backdrop of the iconic Falkenhaus and Gothic Marienkapelle, unfolds the Advent Market, a delightful showcase of cherished Bavarian festive delicacies. Aromas of spices permeate the air, emanating from stalls adorned with an array of delectable Christmas cookies and roasted almonds. Skilled local artisans exhibit their craft, fashioning holiday decorations from glass, straw, pewter, pottery, and wooden toys, adding to the market’s vibrant ambiance.

Day 12

Bamberg, Germany

Nestled in the heart of Bavaria, Bamberg stands as a captivating UNESCO World Heritage city, graced with medieval charm, architectural beauty, and a rich cultural heritage. This picturesque town, situated along the banks of the Regnitz River, invites visitors to explore its enchanting streets and historic treasures.

Bamberg’s iconic Old Town, with its preserved medieval structures, showcases an exquisite blend of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture. The crowning jewel, Bamberg Cathedral, and the enchanting Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) are among the city’s architectural marvels.

The town’s centuries-old tradition of brewing exceptional beer is celebrated in its quaint breweries and beer gardens, offering a taste of Bamberg’s renowned Rauchbier, a smoked beer unique to the region.

With its charming cobblestone lanes, historic landmarks, and vibrant cultural scene, Bamberg beckons travellers to immerse themselves in its rich history and captivating ambiance, ensuring an unforgettable Bavarian experience.

Day 13

Nuremburg, Germany

After your morning meal, leave your ship and travel to your next stop. Nuremberg, a medieval town, hosts one of the globe’s oldest Christmas markets. Its lanes boast wooden stalls brimming with homemade delights, like lebkuchen or gingerbread. Expert vendors display a range of Christkindlesmarkt treasures, from cookie cutters to fancy mugs. The air carries the aroma of sizzling Bratwurst; the Nuremberg Bratwurst has been a city culinary mainstay for over 700 years. Make your way to your hotel and get comfy in your room.

Day 13-15

Prague, Czech Republic

Greetings from our last port of call before you spend 2 nights at your leisure! Prague, often referred to as the ‘City of a Hundred Spires,’ captivates visitors with its enchanting blend of history, architecture, and culture. From the towering spires of Týn Church to the splendid baroque elegance of St. Nicholas Church, Prague boasts a skyline adorned with iconic landmarks that whisper tales of its past.

Best explored on foot, Prague’s Old Town beckons with a maze of ancient cobblestone streets, leading to the beating heart of the city, the Old Town Square. Here, the ancient Astronomical Clock, a testament to medieval engineering, continues to enthral onlookers with its hourly ‘Walk of the Apostles,’ providing a unique glimpse into the city’s history.

As you arrive, prepare to immerse yourself in Prague’s allure, from its historic sites and vibrant culture to its thriving culinary scene and welcoming atmosphere. Explore the city’s rich heritage, admire its architectural wonders, and embrace the charm that has earned Prague its revered status among Europe’s most captivating destinations.

Day 15-17

Vienna, Austria

Next we take a short rail journey to Vienna, Austria. This Gorgeous European City Is Known for Its Fairy-tale
Palace, Wiener Schnitzel, and Christmas Markets. 
Vienna (Wien in German), Austria’s capital city, is rich in history, architecture, art, music, food, and wine. Located on the River Danube, Vienna dates back to a Roman era settlement. Most of the city’s many Baroque buildings were created under Empress Maria Theresa (18th century) and Emperor Franz Joseph (19th century), and today they stand in contrast to modern glass and steel structures.

Beautiful buildings, walkable streets, delicious food, and lots to do both indoors and outdoors make Vienna a wonderful vacation destination. Voted one of the most liveable cities in the world, Vienna’s city limits include vineyards, parks, and the forested Vienna Woods (Wienerwald in German), a protected natural landscape

 

Day 17-19

Salzburg, Austria

After another short rail journey we arrive into stunning Salzburg. North-Central Austria, Salzburg is situated in a level basin on both sides of the Salzach River near the northern foothills of the Alps and the Bavarian (German) border. The historic centre of the city, with its rich mix of art and architecture, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1996.
Thanks to its charmingly preserved old town, splendid gardens, Baroque churches, and one of Europe’s largest intact medieval fortresses, Salzburg feels made for tourism. It’s also a musical mecca, and the city puts on a huge annual festival as well as constant concerts. Salzburgers are forever smiling to the tunes of Mozart and The Sound of Music. Salzburg is both a must and a joy to visit.

Day 19-26

St Anton, Austria

Next we arrive into St Anton for a 7 night stay and 5 days of skiing! Found in the Tyrolean Alps, St. Anton is often referred to as the “cradle of alpine skiing” due to its role as a trailblazer for modern winter sports. Whilst tourism in the Arlberg dates back to the 19th century, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that ski tourism took off. These days, the resort is renowned for being one of Europe’s snowiest ski areas with an incredible 305 km of prepared pistes to explore.

The town itself is charming with a Tyrolean-style car-free centre featuring a 17th-century domed church and many shops, bars and restaurants. The slopes are easily accessed from the town centre as well as the Nasserein area (around 10-15 minutes walk from the centre).

 

 

Day 26-28

Zurich, Switzerland

Last on our journey we visit Zurich! The biggest of the Swiss cities, Zürich has a hopping nightlife and is filled with endless bars and restaurants. It’s a cosmopolitan city that’s bustling with activity. It’s also set on a beautiful lake near the mountains so you can also do a lot of nature-based activities when you visit.

W
hile Zürich is known as a financial hub and business centre, it’s also one of the most cosmopolitan and dynamic Swiss cities. The city is very arty and full of street art and exhibitions. Zürich’s cultural scene includes theatres and opera, several well-known orchestras, and the Cabaret Voltaire.

Day 28-29

Flights home

Departing from Zurich we begin our journey home. If you your not ready for the journey to end and would like a stopover just let us know!

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