Contact Us   Site Map

The magic of the Christmas Markets sparkle both day and night on this lovely pre-Christmas Danube river cruise.

To give you more of a feeling about this experience, and the sights you'll see, here's a photo journal taken from my 2007 cruise.

 
Travel Planning and Assistance
Road Warrior resources
How to Book and Buy Travel
Scary, Silly and Stupid Security Stories
Airline Reviews
Airline (Mis)!Management
User Forums
Miscellaneous Features
Reference Materials
About the Travel Insider
 
Free Newsletter

In addition to our feature articles, we offer you a free weekly newsletter with a mix of news and opinions on travel related topics.

 View Sample
Privacy Policy

 
Help this Site
Thank you for your interest in helping this site to continue to develop. Some of the information we give you here can save you thousands of dollars the next time you're arranging travel, or will substantially help the quality of your travel experiences in other, non-cash ways. Click for more information

 

 

Danube River Christmas Markets Cruise

Part 3 :  Beautiful Austria - Salzburg, Melk, Vienna

A Photo Journal of the 2007 Travel Insider Cruise

Click the map to have a larger and more detailed version open in a new window
(Note - the route wanted to use roads, not canals!  So I've tried to get the route on the roads closest to the waterways we traveled on.)

The Amadagio sailed overnight from Regensburg to Passau.  The next morning, we traveled by coach on a sidetrip to glorious Salzburg, then met up with our ship in Linz to continue along the Danube to Melk and Vienna, before leaving Austria and reaching Budapest, marking the end of our river cruise, but not the end of our tour.

Part 3 of a four part Photo Journal of the 2007 Travel Insider Christmas Markets Tour.  Click the links for other pages in this series.

Part 1 :  Munich, Bavaria and the Amadagio
Part 2 :  Along the Danube in Germany
Part 3 :  Beautiful Austria
Part 4 :  Hungary, Slovakia and The Czech Republic

Partially for my own pleasure and memories, and of course, partially to help you understand what to expect on a Christmas Markets cruise, here's a 'photo journal' of memories from my 2007 cruise along the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest, with pre-cruise touring in Bavaria and post-cruise touring in the Czech Republic.

I've tried to make this different to a typical travelogue by concentrating on sights and impressions that are either quirky or of particular interest to Christmas Market cruises.

I hope it may encourage you to come join me on one of these cruises.

Come see for yourself what is so special about these cruises.  Chances are you'll enjoy one of these enchanting cruises too.

Click here for details of the this year's Christmas cruise.

Photojournal Part 3 - Salzburg, Melk and Vienna in Austria

Note - the small images below can all be clicked on and this will open a larger image, sometimes showing more of the picture, too, in a new window.  Simply close the window after enjoying the image to return back to this page.
 

Salzburg


There's a hint of snow on the ground as we look across from the Mirabell Castle gardens and up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress on the other side of the river.
 
Salzburg's famous Getreidegasse was the medieval equivalent of a shopping mall and dates back to Roman times.  The emblems hung on the walls outside each shop were used to indicate the type of goods the shop sold.  Partway along Getreidegasse is the bright yellow exteriored building that denotes Mozart's birthplace.
 
More tasty food.  Anyone would think they weren't feeding us on board, but that absolutely was not the case.  We enjoyed three excellent meals every day, with snacks outside of meal hours available too.
 
A Christmas stall selling various handcrafts in a lovely setting - sure beats the generic mall environment back home!
 

I like all of Austria, and of course Vienna is a glorious big city with a grandeur befitting its former role as co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in its time the second largest country in Europe.

But my true favorite part of Austria is Salzburg.  It is smaller, more approachable, easier to become comfortable and familiar with, and of course, it is also where that marvelous movie, The Sound of Music, was filmed.

We always include the optional side trip to Salzburg for free on our Travel Insider tours (a $105 value if you purchased the tour yourself on the ship) and most people agree that the drive through some of Austria's beautiful lakes and alpine regions is marvelous, and the time in Salzburg a trip highlight.

Our sidetrip to Salzburg this year was interesting because we were simultaneously changing ships.  Flooding had raised the level of the Danube so high that ships could not pass underneath a particularly low bridge between Passau and Linz, and so Amawaterways arranged for us to simply swap ships with Amadagio's sister ship, Amalegro, rather than be stuck in Passau for who knows how many days (like many other ships and their passengers).

(Note - a new higher bridge that subsequently replaced the low bridge has reduced the likelihood of such experiences reoccuring.)

 

Melk


Glorious Melk Abbey, towering above the Danube and visible for miles in all directions.
 
The library at Melk Abbey.  Walls of antique books from floor to ceiling on all four sides, lovely wood floor and glorious paintings on the ceiling.  Beauty and history wherever you look.  This is the sort of place you expect to see real live 'Da Vinci Code' or Raiders of the Lost Ark researchers studying books and making stunning finds.
 
It is fair to say that Melk Abbey's library celebrates the works of man.  However its main church definitely celebrates the works of God.  Every square inch is beautifully decorated.

The ship stops at Melk primarily to visit the wonderful Abbey on the hill above the village.

There's a phenomenon that occurs on many tours which guides refer jokingly to as 'ABC' - it can stand for 'Another boring church' or 'Another boring castle' or such other 'b' word as you may choose to use!

But, no matter how many churches you have seen, Melk Abbey will standout as a 'must see' experience.

Melk Abbey, dating back 900 years, has one of the finest libraries of anywhere in Europe, a fascinating museum, and a lovely church.

The small town of Melk is pleasant enough, and - for a change - does not have a Christmas market.

 

Vienna


Vienna has lots of Christmas Markets to choose from.  Perhaps the largest one is in front of their town hall.  In addition to our time during the day in the city, our cruise director volunteered to take people who wished to come with him into Vienna for a walking tour of the city and markets by night.   This was a lovely extra experience and cruise director John gave us a more personal commentary of the city than is often the case with the professional guides.  Thank you, John.
 
It seems most of the pictures of the market stalls so far have featured food or drink!  Here are a couple of examples of the handcrafts and ornaments that are available in such a huge variety of styles and items.
 
You'll have no problems buying unique gifts for everyone on your Christmas list as you tour through the lovely markets on the Christmas Markets cruise.

What can one say about Vienna that hasn't been said many times before?

Truly one of Europe's great cities, Vienna is redolent in musical culture and the grandiose remains of what was one of Europe's great Empires between 1804 - 1918.

We had a generous amount of time in Vienna, arriving one afternoon, staying overnight, and then spending most of the next day too.  This allowed people the chance to go to an optional Viennese concert in one of the many palaces in the city, and gave us all a chance to have a great exposure to this glorious city.

All too soon, though, it was time to move on and to leave Austria behind us, traveling to our final port of call, Vienna's partner capital city of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Budapest (see the next part of the Photo Journal).

Part 3 of a four part Photo Journal of the 2007 Travel Insider Christmas Markets Tour.  Click the links for other pages in this series.

Part 1 :  Munich, Bavaria and the Amadagio
Part 2 :  Along the Danube in Germany
Part 3 :  Beautiful Austria
Part 4 :  Hungary, Slovakia and The Czech Republic

 

Have we persuaded you to join us for this year's Christmas Markets Cruise along the Danube yet?  :)

Click the link for details of this year's itinerary and special offer.

Click here for the full details of this cruise and the booking form to confirm your interest.

 

Originally published 26 Sep 2008, last update 20 Jul 2017

 
 
More Information
Our Groupless Tour Philosophy
Why You Should Choose a Travel Insider Tour
Scotland's Islands and Highlands July 2018
Scotland's Islands and Highlands Itinerary
Great Britain Grand Expedition Jun 18
Great Britain Grand Expedition Itinerary
Danube Christmas Markets Cruise Dec 2017
Danube Christmas Cruise Itinerary
Danube Christmas Market Photo Journal
Paris-Normandy Aug 2017
Balkans from Bucharest to Budapest Aug/Sep 16
Balkans Itin Aug/Sep 16
Standard Terms and Conditions
 

 

 
Back to Top