Magazine article The Spectator

Blue Danube Cruising F or C Hristmas

Magazine article The Spectator

Blue Danube Cruising F or C Hristmas

Article excerpt

How was it for you?

Christmas, I mean. Was it a week of joy and revelry?

Or was it, like mine, a rather miserable few days of pretending not to be bored stiff? The solution may be to take a year off - take a cruise: somewhere that matches the character of the season. There is no place on earth more beautiful than the banks of the Danube in December. Fire scorches the mantelpieces of ancient schlosses, snow covers the forests, the lights glimmer in the waters below Budapest, and songs resonate around the drinking halls of Salzburg.

What more magical way of spending Christmas?

There are a number of options (like Viking's excellent cruise, Christmas on the Danube), which tend to share features;

eight stops over ten days, sailing downstream from Nuremberg or Regensburg to Istanbul. The river, descending through Austria and Germany towards Hungary and the Middle Danube, passes along areas steeped in dramatic history.

Most cruise organisers opt to spend the day itself in Vienna. …

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