Viking River cruise on Danube during Christmas

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#1
Florida
103 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
We just booked a December 8th,2012 Romantic Danube cruise with Viking. I have always wanted to go to Germany during Christmas. I have questions about:
- smoking on board ( we are nonsmokers )
-are cruise tours interesting, or can other tours be had
- how cold is it, really?
Looking forward to hearing comments.
Anyone else doing this cruise?
#2
176 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
We just booked the same cruise the week before you (Dec 1).
We did a Christmas cruise last year on the Rhine and found the weather just about perfect. Cool, crisp, occasional light rain, but no problem at all.
The real problem is that you never know what the winter weather will be (no different than here, I guess).
We heard that in 2010 Europe experienced one of it's worse winters in recent memory.
I believe someone posted that they had 20 inches of snow during a 2010 trip and in 2011 we were walking around on some days with an open jacket.
If I may be so bold, you will love the Christmas river cruise.
We did the first as a lark and liked it so much within a few months of getting back we booked another.
Have a wonderful trip!
#3
21 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
We are on the dec 9 cruise, day after you leave on the Freya, look forward to responses to your questions.
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Cruises sailed
12/1994 Premier - Bahamas - Family X-mas Cruise
03/2006 NCL POA- Hawaii
03/2009 RCL Navigator of the seas - Western Caribbean
9/2009 Island Princess - Alaska
2/2011 Caribbean Princess - Southern Caribbean
2/2012 RCL Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean
12/2012 Viking Freya - Danube Christmas Markets
10/19/2013 Paul Gauguin - Tahiti
4/16/2014 Uniworld River Ambassador - Holland
12/2015 - Tauck MS Inspire - Rhine Christmas Markets
#4
Virginia
1,437 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by drcpa
We just booked the same cruise the week before you (Dec 1).
We did a Christmas cruise last year on the Rhine and found the weather just about perfect. Cool, crisp, occasional light rain, but no problem at all.
The real problem is that you never know what the winter weather will be (no different than here, I guess).
We heard that in 2010 Europe experienced one of it's worse winters in recent memory.
I believe someone posted that they had 20 inches of snow during a 2010 trip and in 2011 we were walking around on some days with an open jacket.
If I may be so bold, you will love the Christmas river cruise.
We did the first as a lark and liked it so much within a few months of getting back we booked another.
Have a wonderful trip!
I assume you are on the Njord for Dec 1 cruise? We also are going then, and I started a roll call HERE. Come join us!

Cheers,
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#5
Florida
103 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Thanks for the info about the weather. You are right, I guess anything goes when it comes to the weather.
How about smoking areas? And Attire? ( I guess warm is the way to go!)
#7
Florida
165 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
We have done 2 Christmas market cruises with a 3rd one booked. On the first cruise it was damp and chilly but not overly so. We were on the Danube in 2010 and ended up spending an extra unscheduled week in Germany because of the snow. Since we are from Florida, it was something we had never really seen before. We did use our thermal underwear.Also scarfs, gloves, vests, etc. The bonus of a Christmas cruise, is that you still get to see the sights that all the other cruises see, but you have the beauty and enchantment of Europe during Christmas.
#9
USA
64 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
@ drcpa =- - we were on the Rhine last November (2011) and had to leave the ship and stay in hotels as the river was at extreme lows. Hopefully with the snow of this winter, river levels will be higher.

The weather mid-November on the Rhine (2011) was cold...and windy. The frost when we visited a castle in the mountain was so heavy it appeared to be snowing with blue sky above! The tours for the most part of good...the walking ones as you are docked in a town are good to get your bearings...then go off on your own!

We are off on a Romantic Danube in early November ...

Enjoy!
#10
West Barnstable,MA
299 Posts
Joined May 2004
Is one doing the concert in Vienna? Do you know how much it costs and what music is being played and where it's being held?
Thanks....
#11
Orlando, FL
600 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
The concerts are usually held in the Imperial Library Opera House in the Hofburg Palace building. I am a classical music lover and a bit of a snob, and I was very impressed with the quality of the orchestra and musicians dressed in period costumes. They played Viennese waltzes by Strauss as well as popular arias from Puccini, Donizetti, and Verdi operas. You can buy their CD to have as a memory after the concert. There is open seating and the seats are not that comfortable, and if you wear heavy coats you check them beforehand. A very worthwhile evening, even though you get the feeling that these concerts are catered to river cruise audiences.
#13
FL
14,147 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by drcpa
We heard that in 2010 Europe experienced one of it's worse winters in recent memory.
I believe someone posted that they had 20 inches of snow during a 2010 trip and in 2011 we were walking around on some days with an open jacket.
If I may be so bold, you will love the Christmas river cruise.
We did the first as a lark and liked it so much within a few months of getting back we booked another.
Have a wonderful trip!
That was me and yes, in 2010 we had over 20 inches of snow on an early December cruise. It was beautiful but sloppy. Last year we went the week between Christmas and New Years and had very mild weather from Prague to Vienna.

We have been to the markets 7 times, 2 by ship and the rest on our own using public transport. Weather is completely unpredictable and we have seen it all. Pack in layers, be ready for rain and make sure you take appropriate foot wear and jackets to keep you warm and dry.

The markets are simply magical and we are going again this year.

As for tours, it is a mixed bag. We generally prefer to explore on our own so we can move at our own pace and see what we want to see. Whether the tours are interesting is a matter of taste IMO and also what the tour is covering. They are most often walking tours of about 90 minutes duration. We have never booked optionals as we find we can do better on our own and prefer not to travel in groups.
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142 cruises since 1964, 14 on the river.
Looking forward to:
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
Amadeus Silver II - Magic of Advent, December 2017
Oceania Marina, South Pacific, March 2018AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018




Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016



#14
New York
64 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by Cheekysnana
We just booked a December 8th,2012 Romantic Danube cruise with Viking. I have always wanted to go to Germany during Christmas. I have questions about:
- smoking on board ( we are nonsmokers )
-are cruise tours interesting, or can other tours be had
- how cold is it, really?
Looking forward to hearing comments.
Anyone else doing this cruise?
We will be booking Dec 8, 2012 on the Odin, from Nurenberg to Budapest with pre in Prague and post in Budapest. Does anyone have any opinion about the post in Budapest, 4 nights (2 on the ship and 2 nights at hotel). Is there enough to see? This is our first river cruise with many large ship cruises. We look forward to hearing from anyone on this cruise. We will be flying from JFK, New York. Judy and Robert
#16
Texas
527 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Regarding smoking...we've been on river cruises using 4 different cruise lines and as far as I know smoking is not allowed except outside on the top deck. I don't know about smoking on balconies or terraces on some of the newer ships tho ;(.
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5.2011 Viking Emerald/China
2.2011 Carnival Triumph/Mexico
9.2009 Uniworld River Ambassador/Rhine
12.2008 Grand Circle Provence/Saone
12.2006 Grand Circle River Rhapsody/Danube
10.2005 Louis Hellenic Perla/Greece & Turkey
12.2003 M/S World/Egypt
#17
Ontario, Canada
2,728 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by Buddy222
We will be booking Dec 8, 2012 on the Odin, from Nurenberg to Budapest with pre in Prague and post in Budapest. Does anyone have any opinion about the post in Budapest, 4 nights (2 on the ship and 2 nights at hotel). Is there enough to see? This is our first river cruise with many large ship cruises. We look forward to hearing from anyone on this cruise. We will be flying from JFK, New York. Judy and Robert
Hi there -

IMHO, four days isn't long enough in Budapest at any time... and especially if you add in the excitement of the Christmas markets!!

We were in Budapest for the 1st time in 2009. We spent 2+ days there, and barely scratched the surface. We are going again next year - at the end of a cruise - and added on an extra day to get 3 full days. Still not sure that we have enough time - but it is all we can manage.

Budapest is a beautiful city.

Enjoy!!

Fran
#19
The Valley of the Sun, AZ
51 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by Cheekysnana
We just booked a December 8th,2012 Romantic Danube cruise with Viking. I have always wanted to go to Germany during Christmas. I have questions about:
- smoking on board ( we are nonsmokers )
-are cruise tours interesting, or can other tours be had
- how cold is it, really?
Looking forward to hearing comments.
Anyone else doing this cruise?
We're booked on Freya the same dates as you. We'll be flying from PHX and spending a few days in Prague before the cruise. This is our first river cruise, but we saw Christmas markets in France and Spain last year while on a Seabourn cruise. They were outstanding.
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#20
Brasstown, NC
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Hi! We are going on same cruise! Will be going in to Nuremberg a couple of days early. Called Viking last week about the optional concert in Vienna and they said no worry. There are plenty of tickets for everyone who wants to go @ 60euro pp.
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