Uniworld is offering savings on its 2011 Christmas holiday river cruises in Europe. // © 2011 iStock Images
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is posting some striking offers to encourage guests to make their 2011 holiday season plans now. Passengers can save up to $2,000 per couple — $1,000 per person off the cruise-tour rate — for the 13-day Grand Christmas and New Year’s cruise departing Dec. 22 from Nuremberg, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary, onboard the River Empress, if they are paid in full at the time of booking, with a deadline of March 31.
For Christmas, the River Empress will be in medieval Regensburg, Germany, and guests will have time to attend Christmas Mass in one of the town’s magnificent churches, followed by a grand celebration onboard. During the cruise, passengers will learn how the tradition of glassblowing at Thereisenthal has remained basically unchanged since the glassblower’s pipe was invented some 2,000 years ago, and they can take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Bavarian Forest from the village of Baermzell, also in Germany.
On this cruise, Uniworld is also arranging a private cocktail reception for guests at the fairytale Artstetten Castle located above the Danube River with princess Anita von Hohenberg, a descendant of the royal Habsburgs. The castle is the resting place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination sparked a series of events that led to World War I.
To ring in the New Year, passengers will be treated to a gala dinner with traditional waltzing in a palace in Vienna, Austria.
Uniworld is also offering a selection of shorter holiday season cruises for which guests can receive savings of up to $900 per couple, including the eight-day Rhine Holiday Markets itinerary, along with the Danube Holiday Markets, Classic Christmas Markets and European Holiday Markets itineraries in November and December.
The eight-day Parisian Winter Holiday that sails roundtrip from Paris into northern France is also being promoted. During this cruise, guests have the opportunity to sample traditional Normandy pancakes and cider in Les Andelys and shop among the half timbered houses of medieval Rouen and the color of the city’s traditional Christmas market with its lovely porcelain figures before hearing an ethereal church choir recital at Rouen Cathedral, which still looks just as it did in Monet’s famous paintings. Passengers spend several days in the City of Light with day and night tours and free time to just wander among residents, without the crowds of tourists normally found during the summer.