Dashing through the Danube It’s Christmas and we’re too excited to sleep.
During the most festive time of year, your U cruise down the Danube will take you to some of the best and brightest Christmas Markets in Europe (just wait until you see the light displays) and a special New Year’s Eve celebration**. Get in the holiday spirit by taking a dip into Budapest’s historic Lukács Thermal Bath and then a night out ice skating at the Castle. ‘Tis the season!
Regensburg to Budapest
- 14 meals onboard
- Welcome party
- 2 dedicated U Hosts
- 11 included excursions
- 14 U Time optional excursions
- Local celebrity DJ Party
- Included Spirit of Christmas mixology class
2018 Cruise Dates
- Regensburg to Budapest
- 09, 27
- Budapest to Regensburg
- 02, 20
Dashing through the Danube
DAY 1 - Regensburg
Included Night Out - A Regensburg Welcome
Arrive in the heart of Regensburg and celebrate the season with your hosts and fellow crew members. Come with an appetite, because there will be a German street food buffet. After you’ve refueled and gotten your jolly bearings, step off the ship and into Regensburg’s city-wide holiday celebration. Colorful Christmas markets in Old Town are buzzing in the evening, and locals are out and about enjoying hot Glühweins (mulled wines) in the streets.
DAY 2 - Regensburg
Included - Medieval Holiday Stroll
Revel in 2,000 years of medieval history on an hour-long, host-escorted stroll through Regensburg’s well-preserved Old Town. Expect a heavy dose of holiday cheer when you run into the Magic of Christmas Market in Old Town's palace courtyard. ‘Tis the season.
U Time - Regensburg Through the Ages
Regensburg has a fascinating history. Learn about the animal fights, reckless tightrope artists and public executions that lured people into the city streets during the Middle Ages. Watch re-enactments and hear captivating stories about the lives of executioners, street artists and other outcasts. The city, once divided by glittering wealth and bitter poverty, has come a long way.
U Time - Bavarian Brews
Sometimes beer is a family affair. Take a brewer’s class at a family brewery in Regensburg. Learn about the traditional Bavarian method of brewing wheat beers. Follow the brewmaster on a facilities tour. Then finish off the tour with a taste of the house specialties, including an exclusive holiday beer. It’s educational, fun and delicious.
U Time - Revved Engines
For many gear heads, the epicenter of German engineering is Regensburg’s high-tech BMW factory, where you can observe how the Ultimate Driving Machine is made on a fascinating tour. Follow your host on a guided tour of BMW’s impressive facilities where you’ll walk into the middle of the action that’s setting the blueprint for the future of the automotive industry. Watch giant conveyors lift card bodies into place for automated welding by computer-controlled robots. Bear witness to the “wedding” of engines and car bodies. Observe engine installation and final assembly—remarkable displays of logistical efficiency. Whether you’re a car person or not, your mind will be blown.
DAY 3 - Passau
Included - Festive Passau
Get a breath of fresh winter air on a scenic winter hike to the confluence of the Inn and Danube rivers. From there, your U host will usher you through Passau's Old Town and right to the Christmas market. The baroque cathedral in the background is legendary. So is the local gingerbread.
U Time - Christmas at the Quarry
The Bavarian Forest looks like it could be straight out of a fairy tale, but this is real life, and life sure is incredible when you’re en route to a quarry turned Christmas market. Stop in the local museum paying homage to the granite and stone cutting tradition of the region. Or head straight for the reason you’re here—the market filled with crafts, including hand-woven linen and wood and stone sculptures. After all of that shopping, you’ll work up an appetite, but with regional Christmas specialties at every turn, there is a simple solution for that: Eat, eat, and eat.
U Time - Curl Like a Local
Enjoy the natural wintertime beauty of Passau like the locals do—on a frozen river (there are three in Passau), engaging in some good ol' Eisstockschiessen. What’s that? It’s Bavarian Curling, a celebrated Austrian pastime that you’ve probably seen on the Winter Olympics. But you won’t just watch: You'll step out on the ice to participate for yourself. Competitors slide ice stocks over an ice surface, aiming for a target, or attempting to cover the longest distance. Bring a jacket (it’s cold out there) and some competitiveness. The locals don’t mess around.
DAY 4 - Melk & Vienna
U Time - Dear Abbey
The baroque-style Melk Abbey has a fascinating 900-year history and an extraordinarily beautiful library filled with priceless medieval manuscripts, optional illusions, cleverly concealed doors and other intriguing secrets.The abbey’s Marble Hall is a work of art, as is the impressive library, Emperors’ Gallery and the sights crown jewel—the incredible Abbey Church. Get ready to light up your social feed. It’s photo city here.
U Time - Step Back in Time
The Mauthausen Concentration Camp was the main site of political, social and racist persecution by the National Socialist regime on Austrian territory from 1938 to 1945. A visit here offers a solemn and moving look back in time.
Included Night Out - All Aboard the Vienna Express
Vienna, we have arrived, and just in time for the best time of day in this nightlife hotspot. Come aboard a Vienna tram for a host-escorted tour of the city. Take notes. You’ll want to come back.
DAY 5 - Vienna
Included - The Vienna Three
Vienna comes alive during the holidays. Take a host-escorted, leisurely tour of the Freyung Christmas Market. It’s elegant and charming, located in the heart of the city. Then stop by the City Hall Market right in front of the illuminated neo-gothic building. For nativity scenes and artisan goods, check out the market at Karlsplatz, arguably the grandest baroque church in the world.
U Time - Rock Me, Amadeus
If there’s one “must-do” in Vienna, the mecca of classical music, it’s attending a Mozart and Strauss concert. This isn’t your average concert. Head to Klosterneuburg Abbey, a 900-year-old Augustinian monastery, for a classical music performance by a professional chamber orchestra. After, mix and mingle with the wildly talented musicians at an exclusive reception.
U Time - Cooking with NENI
When you take a NENI cooking class, you know you’re learning from some of the best chefs in the world. Head to the flagship store in the heart of Vienna’s Naschmarkt. Take in the festive sounds and smells of the market stalls. Then work alongside the NENI experts to prepare some all-time classic holiday recipes. Spoiler Alert: you eat what you make.
U Time - Cooking to Opera
Holiday music and holiday food go together like wiener and schnitzel. Enjoy a private opera show while you learn how to make delicious Viennese eats from one of the city’s esteemed chefs. Because if you want to cook like a Viennese chef, you should listen to Viennese music, too.
Included Night Out - Viennese Ice Party
There’s no such thing as too many holiday parties. Follow your host to an outdoor extravaganza featuring ice pavilions, spectacular light shows, video projections onto building sides, DJs and live music. Sip on specialty punch to keep yourself warm and merry. Then hit the ice rink to try your hand at curling. It’s as fun as it looks.
DAY 6 - Vienna, Bratislava & Budapest
Included - The Festive Streets of Old Town
Walk the festive streets of Bratislava’s Old Town with your host and stop at the city’s annual Christmas market. Taste Slovak delicacies and pick up some Bohemian Christmas decorations and toys—all handcrafted for the holiday season.
DAY 7 - Budapest
Included - Budapest Christmas Fair
If you’re not yet in the holiday spirit, you will be. Follow your host into Budapest’s Christmas Fair at Vörösmarty Square. Gifts, trinkets and holiday treats—this place has it all.
U Time - House of Terror Museum
Pay holiday homage to those who were held captive, tortured and killed in two of the bloodiest periods of Hungarian history. This fascinating museum offers an unforgettable look at fascism and communism in the 20th century.
U Time - Budapest's Jewish Legacy
Pay tribute to Budapest’s rich Jewish culture with a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Center and Dohány Street Synagogue. With seating for 3,000 people, Dohány is the largest synagogue in all of Europe and second largest in the world.
U Time - Read, Sip, Repeat
Join your fellow bookworms and coffee addicts on a tour of Budapest’s most beautiful libraries and coffeehouses. Flip through antique pages and revel in Hungary’s unique literary culture. Caffeinate to your heart’s content with the pick-me-ups that fuel the city’s coffee scene.
U Time - Thermal Bliss
Take a break from the cold and warm yourself into a state of holiday bliss at Budapest’s historic Lukács Thermal Bath. The pools leverage the underground healing waters of Hungary’s oldest hot spring, dating all the way back to Roman and medieval Turkish times. Locals love Lukács for three things: relaxing in thermal baths, enjoying medical spa treatments and partying. That’s right—every Saturday night, it turns into a lively party venue with beer, cocktails, a DJ and a laser show. Be there for it all.
Included Night Out - Ice Skating at the Castle
Put the night on ice and glide around the skating rink next to City Park and Vajdahunyad Castle for a Christmas activity that’s both romantic and nostalgic.
Included Night Out - Ruin Pub Rendezvous
After you’ve refueled and gotten your jolly bearings, follow your host on a pub crawl through the city’s world-renowned ruin bars. Budapest has a reputation for being an epic party city, but we can’t be certain. If you could, please, follow your host through the city’s extensive scene of abandoned-buildings-turned-raves and report back to us. Once upon a time, there was an abandoned factory that had an appointment set with a wrecking ball. Its owners had another idea. They threw together old furniture and DIY decorations to create Szimpla Kert, the mother of all clubs. This laid the blueprint for every bar ruin after and now Budapest is crawling with them. Party your way through Budapest’s underground club scene, enjoying cheap drinks, techno beats and street art at every stop.
DAY 8 - Budapest (Disembark)