Ker & Downey’s Christmas Markets Cruise immerses you in Europe’s magical holiday wonder. Featuring four countries and some of Europe’s finest Christmas markets, this luxury Danube River cruise is full of good cheer. A pre-cruise land extension into Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna ensures an unforgettable holiday experience.

Christmas Markets Cruise with Ker & Downey

Suggested journey at a glance: 14 days/13 nights including eight nights on a luxury Danube River cruise and a pre-cruise extension in Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna

Austria Travel - Luxury - Ker Downey

This suggestion is just one of many ways to see the European Christmas markets on your own customized Ker & Downey journey. Our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; so contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible on a Christmas Markets Cruise.


Before boarding your luxury Christmas Markets Cruise, take some time to tour a few other essential holiday destinations at your own pace. Your journey first begins in Munich, the city of “laptops and lederhosen,” located in the southernmost state of Germany. Your private city tours will take you to some of the major sites here, such as Cuvilliés Theater and Nymohenburg Palace, the current residence of the Duke of Bavaria. Indeed, an exclusive visit to a famous porcelain manufacturer (usually closed to the public) lets you witness perfected German craftsmanship. Finally, walk to the medieval Christmas Market stalls to see Bavarian crafts and traditional gifts in the shadow of city hall’s famous Glockenspiel.

Munich - Luxury Germany Travel - Ker Downey

Nearby, the beautiful city of Regensburg is just a quick train ride from Munich. Enjoy a day trip to the town’s romantic Christmas market in the courtyard of St. Emmeram, the castle of the family of H.H. Prince of Thurn and Taxis. Spend some time walking the the narrow alleyways of the old part of town—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then take a break at the oldest sausage kitchen in the world, Historische Wurstküche.


The final stop ahead of your Christmas Markets Cruise rests in Austria. You will first travel to Salzburg, a center of musical creativity, most widely known as the birthplace of Mozart and the setting of The Sound of Music. A horse-drawn carriage through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Town Salzburg sets the perfect tone. Then it is off to the enchanting Christkindlemarkt located at the Residenz Square. Explore the beautiful Getreidegasse, Mozart’s birthplace, and Nonnberg Abbey, the oldest nunnery north of the Alps. You might recognize it, as it is also one of the settings for The Sound of Music.

Eurpean Chrismas Markets Cruise - Luxury Danube river -Ker Downey

Then travel by train to the dynamic city of Vienna, the cultural, political, and economic center of Austria. There’s much to see and do in the city. While here, perhaps explore the history of the Hapsburg family with a visit to the Kapuziner Gruft (the family tomb). You may even be treated to a private escort through the Hofburg, the former residential palace of the Habsburg dynasty. Of particular fame are the beautiful white Lipizzan stallions at the Spanish Riding School on site. Of course, you will also have the opportunity to wander through Vienna’s many museums. For instance, the historical Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Belvedere Museum house some of the most coveted paintings of the Vienna Secession and Art Nouveau styles.

During your time in Vienna, you will have ample opportunities to explore the romantic Christkindlmarkt in front of Vienna’s town hall. This site is especially magical in the early evening hours when the entire market is illuminated.

Luxury Danube River Cruise from Austria to Hungary

Finally, board the luxurious all-suite vessel in Vienna for your luxury Danube River Christmas markets cruise. Relax as you make your way from Vienna to Budapest. Shore excursions offer a chance to explore the history of the storybook cities, walking through cobblestone streets to some of Europe’s great medieval squares, cathedrals, and monasteries. You can also sample wines in the robust wine-growing regions along the Danube. A highlight of your cruise is a live performance in a restored 17th-century Capuchin monastery in Krems, one of the Danube’s prettiest towns. Along the way, embrace the magic of the season by visiting some of Europe’s most festive Christmas markets.

Budapest Travel - Luxury Danube River Cruise - Ker Downey

Experience a Christmas Markets Cruise with Ker & Downey

Ker & Downey can make all of your Christmas Market dreams come true. Whether you wish to experience them by river cruise or with a private driver and guide, we can create a trip that is wholly your own. Contact a Ker & Downey designer to customize your own holiday. Read more about the seasonality and pricing on the Ker & Downey Difference.