Rick's Christmas Markets on the Danube 2023

Rick's Cruise Adventures

Vienna Christmas Markets

Join us for a magical Christmas experience in 2023 as we sail the Danube river during the most festive time of the year. We'll visit the best and most Iconic Christmas markets in Europe in Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Munich and more. Don't miss out on the sparkling lights, festive sounds of choirs singing, enticing smells of hot-mulled wine, and sweet treats of every kind. All while traveling with our fun group of friends.

Our rates will be ALL-INCLUSIVE of the cruise, our daily tours and excursions in each port, use of bicycles that will be carried onboard, and chef prepared tasting dinners with perfectly paired wines. We will have a daily one-hour cocktail social hour each evening with our group to celebrate together each day. Premium wines and beers will be complimentary during lunches and dinners and sparkling wines complimentary during breakfast. Unlimited wi-fi and an Apple computer in each cabin with connected internet will also be included. We will have lots of additional fun surprises planned to make the journey unforgettable.

Dates and Ports

Christmas Markets Cruise Map

Embarkation from Budapest

Board the AmaViola on the river. Settle in with drink and dinner. Spend the evening on the ship, or exploring more of amazing Budapest and its Christmas Markets.

Budapest Parliament


“Queen of the Danube” tour and Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market,
OR do the Castle hike.

Home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Buda Castle quarter in Castle Hill and Heroes’ Square, Budapest offers an unmatched combination of culture and tradition. The remainder of this tour takes you to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river. Afterwards, you’ll visit Vorosmarty Square, the oldest, richest and the most spectacular of all the Christmas Markets in Budapest. As an alternative, you can hike to Castle Hill, walking along Fishermen’s Bastion and take in all the iconic sites of Budapest with an active exploration.

Budapest Christmas Market

Bratislava and Vienna

Bratislava: Coronation city walking tour with Christmas Market visit,
OR Tastes of Slovakia
OR Bratislava Castle hike
Vienna: Rathaus Christmas Markets

Host to the crowning ceremonies of 11 Hungarian kings and queens between 1536 and 1830, Bratislava certainly has earned the title “Coronation City of Kings,” as you’ll discover during your walking tour. You’ll also have an opportunity to visit Bratislava’s charming Christmas market. Or join a special “Tastes of Slovakia” tour. For a more active adventure, hike up to Bratislava Castle, offering magnificent views of the city.

Later in the day, enjoy a free evening to explore Vienna on your own.



“Imperial Vienna” tour with Maria Theresa Platz Christmas Market
OR Vienna bike tour
Schönbrunn illuminated Christmas Markets
Rathaus Christmas Markets

The “City of Waltzes” offers a treasure trove of gems just waiting to be discovered. Join a tour showcasing its regal splendors, such as the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs, before concluding in Vienna’s historic city center. If you prefer a more active adventure, then join a guided bike ride through Vienna. During the afternoon, visit the market at Schönbrunn Palace with a giant sparkling Christmas tree. Cap the day off with “Vienna by Night” Christmas Markets at the beautifully decorated Rathaus Christmas Market, Vienna’s largest Christmas Market.

Dürnstein, Weißenkirchen and Melk

Dürnstein: walking tour and wine tasting
OR Dürnstein excursion with apricot and sweets tastings
OR Weißenkirchen to Melk bike tour
Melk: Benedictine Abbey visit

After reaching Weißenkirchen, you’ll have a choice of excursions. Join a walking tour in Dürnstein and then taste some of the village’s distinctive wines. Or visit a local boutique to taste Durnstein’s special apricot treats, such as jams and chocolates. Prefer more active adventures? Join a guided bike tour from Weißenkirchen to Melk. For those not biking to Melk, you’ll sail through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley to Melk. Once in Melk, you’ll visit its magnificent Benedictine Abbey.


Linz, Salzburg, or Cesky Krumlov

“UNESCO City of Media Arts” walking tour and Christmas Market
OR “Cultural Mile” bike tour
OR Full-day Salzburg excursion with Hellbrunn Palace Christmas Markets
OR Cesky Krumlov excursion

Linz is known for being the city of Christmas crèches and its ever-popular Linzer torte. While here, you have a choice of three excursions. The first is a morning walking tour through Linz’s old city center and by the Mozart House, where he composed the Linz Symphony in only three days, as well as visit Linz’s Christmas Markets. Or you can go on a guided bike tour through Linz and along the city’s famed “Culture Mile” and the Danube River. Or go on a full-day visit to Salzburg where you’ll enjoy a walking tour of the UNESCO-designated Old Town, its magnificent cathedral and its Christmas Markets, including the Hellbrunn Palace, where its inner courtyard is turned into a romantic backdrop for one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Austria. During the afternoon, for those not going on the full-day Salzburg excursion, visit the charming Czech mountain town of Cesky Krumlov.


Passau and Vilshoven

“City of Three Rivers” walking tour and Christmas Markets
OR Passau hike
OR River Inn bike tour
Vilshofen: Exclusive Oktoberfest celebration

During the season of Advent, beautiful Passau dresses in her Bavarian holiday splendor, which you will discover on your walking tour through the city and at its Christmas Market at St. Stephen’s Square—also home to its magnificent cathedral. Go in search of unique crafts, including Bavarian-style houses and glass ornaments. If you prefer a more active adventure, hike to Paulinerkloister Mariahilf or join a guided bike ride along the Danube. Later, sail for Vilshofen, where you’ll be treated to an exclusive Oktoberfest celebration.



Disembark the ship and bid farewell to Vilshofen as you prepare for your flight home, or join us for a post-cruise stay for a few days in Munich.


AMA Waterways: AmaViola River Cruise Ship

AmaViola River Cruise Ship

We will sail on AmaViola, one of AmaWaterways’ remarkable twin-balcony river ships. Enjoy panoramic views and plenty of fresh air in the lavish twin-balcony staterooms that feature both a French balcony and an outside balcony.

Rates for river cruises are a little more up front than you would pay for an ocean cruise but then include virtually everything, providing a worry-free vacation knowing everything is taken care of. We want to give everyone plenty of notice for this adventure with time to budget and plan. 

AmaViola Deck Plan


Violin Deck. French Balcony & Outside Balcony, 350 sq. ft.

AmaViola Suite

AmaViola Suite Floor

Categories AA & AB

AA: Violin Deck, French Balcony & Outside Balcony, 235 sq. ft.

AB: Cello Deck, French Balcony & Outside Balcony, 235 sq. ft.

AmaViola Category A

AmaViola Category A Floor

Categories BA & BB

BA: Violin Deck, French Balcony & Outside Balcony, 210 sq. ft.

BB: Cello Deck, French Balcony & Outside Balcony, 210 sq. ft.

AmaViola Category B

AmaViola Category B Floor

Categories CA & CB

CA: Violin & Cello Deck, French Balcony, 170 sq. ft.

CB: Violin Deck, French Balcony, 155 sq. ft.

AmaViola Category C

AmaViola Category C Floorplans

Categories D and E

Piano Deck, Fixed Windows, 160 sq. ft.

AmaViola River Cabin

AmaViola River Cabin Floor



Book with Rick by March 31st 2022 and receive a discount of $1,250 per person.

Suite $6998 $5748
AA $5698 $4448
AB $5498 $4248
BA $5298 $4048
BB $5098 $3848
CA $4498 $3248
CB $4198 $2948 SOLD OUT
D $3698 $2448
E $3399 $2149 SOLD OUT

There are taxes and port charges of $210 per person. Deposits are $400 per person and due at the time of booking. Final payments are due no later than August 27th, 2023. Cancellations prior to 121 days before sailing will incur a $200 per person penalty.

DISCOUNTS: If you are a past guest of AMAWaterways you will receive additional discounts off the listed rates. Please ask Rick for details. Also, those with future cruise certificates will receive an addtional 5% discount off above rate.

We will have a pre-cruise stay in Budapest, Hungary and a post-cruise adventure in Munich, Germany for those interested and wishing to join us.

River cruise ships have limited cabins, so you'll want to book early. To make a reservation contact Rick Scadlock by text at 425-501-4206, or send a message on facebook messenger to Rick Scadlock. We can't wait to share the Christmas spirit with you along the Danube river in 2023.