Arrive in Frankfurt, also known as Frankfurt am Main, Germany’s fifth-largest city. Transfer from the airport to embark your ship.* After boarding, relax and get settled in, or spend some time exploring the city, a stunning blend of traditional charm and modern elegance, on your own. After dinner, relax and enjoy musical entertainment in the Lounge. (D)
Today, take a full-day excursion to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, founded in 1386. Tour the imposing red sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle, originally built in the 12th century. Your guided walk ends at Heidelberg’s Old Town and marketplace, where you will encounter the first of our Christmas markets. Shop for gifts, sample scrumptious local treats, or treat yourself to lunch at a local café. Return aboard for dinner as we continue cruising. (B, D)
We arrive in Wertheim, located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers, as you finish breakfast. During your morning walking tour, experience life in a typical small German town. Take some free time to visit Wertheim’s Christmas market or explore the town before returning aboard for lunch. We sail into the evening, docking at Würzburg in the early morning hours. (B, L, D)
Würzburg & Rothenburg, Germany
After breakfast, disembark for a full day in two of northern Bavaria’s most charming destinations. Tour the Bishops’ Residenz, an exquisite baroque palace with many paintings and frescoes. Then, ride in a deluxe motorcoach along the "Romantic Road" to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Stop for a hearty lunch in a local restaurant, then explore this medieval town with its joyful Christmas market. Rothenburg is also home to Germany’s Christmas Museum, open all year, and you’re invited to try the local pastry, the Schneeball (snowball). Rejoin your ship in Gerlachshausen and dine aboard as we cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
Sail through the morning; after lunch, we visit Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the picturesque city hall built on an island in the middle of a river. We remain docked well into the evening, so feel free to walk around Bamberg or visit its traditional Christmas markets, especially beautiful when lit up after dark. You can also follow Bamberg’s popular “Route of Nativity Scenes” to view diverse crèche displays at a few dozen churches, museums and other public spaces. (B, L, D)
Arrive in Nuremberg during a leisurely breakfast. Take a tour of the city’s most prominent landmarks, and delight in the iconic Christmas market in Old Town's Main Market Square. Browse booths with colorful ornaments, handmade gifts and sweet-smelling treats; there is no better place to shop for wooden toys and nutcrackers, and you may even spot the golden curls of the Christkind, an angel who brings children toys. Taste the traditional lebkuchen (gingerbread), savory bratwurst and glühwein (hot spiced wine); chances are you’ll hear carolers harmonizing a favorite holiday song. Lunch and dinner are served aboard; you can come and go as you please. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic, including a tour of Old Town and Prague Castle. (B)
Viking - Heart of Germany
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*Some dates may feature reverse itinerary.
Gain an intimate view of Germany
Sail along the picturesque Main River—Germany’s heart and soul—into the land of Franconian wine and Bavarian beer. Follow the famed “Romantic Road” to charming Old Towns that evoke a fairy-tale Europe. Explore the cobblestone streets of Rothenburg and Bamberg and marvel at the splendid palace of Würzburg. See the dramatic sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle and browse the Market Square of historic Nuremberg.
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