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Nurenburg to Budapest at Christmas time

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I would love to hear from River cruisers about their experience cruising Nuremberg to Budapest at Christmas time. Seriously thinking about this cruise..How cold is it..will we still enjoy it?

Interested in all your thoughts..

Thanks Dave

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Usually it is cold and gray. The chill adds to the Christmas enjoyment for me. There are a few sunny days. Sometimes it snows, which I really enjoy. If you hate cold weather don't go.

 

You might check accuweather.com for temps in your ports for the month of December. (Select month option for the city and then use the prompt to move to next month and so forth. There you will find the daily average temps.)

 

Pack warm clothes and prepare for a very fine experience.

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Dave

 

We sailed AMA this past holiday - Christmas Day to New Years Day - Passau to Budapest.

Layers my friend - wills serve you well.

We were fortunate to have cool, grey BUT DRY days - temps to low 50's during the day.

Seriously one of our best vacations - EVER - has hooked me on river cruising - would go again over the holidays in a heartbeat...but would love to go a few days prior to Christmas to experience more of the markets (and not disembark new years day...that was a tough one :')

 

any questions - ask away!

 

Bob

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Thank you robertmartha and xmaser I appreciate your input...Growing up in New England i always appreciated the Holiday season. I lived in California and Nevada for many years and now reside in florida past 18 yrs so i have concerns about adjusting to the cold...I'm a romantic at heart and think this would be an awesome cruise...

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Dave

 

If you dress in layers you should do fine.

One can never predict the weather but I found a layer of thin insulate garments (I use the 32 degrees brand) top and bottom, a pair of jeans, sweater and I choose to wear a short rain jacket (water repellant) - hat and gloves (handy) and I was fine. Good sturdy walking boots and thick wool socks (my feet were NEVER cold)

One trick we did pick up from these boards - hand warmers!

My wife's friend gave us a box of 30 (it was my wife and 2 college age daughters on the trip) and we had a dozen and while it took up valuable carry on space (airport screeners pulled us aside going thru security!:D) they made all the difference while walking around at night when the temps dipped down

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...Growing up in New England i always appreciated the Holiday season. I lived in California and Nevada for many years and now reside in florida past 18 yrs so i have concerns about adjusting to the cold...I'm a romantic at heart and think this would be an awesome cruise...

 

We are in FL as well and had some of the same concerns prior to doing a Christmas Markets cruise on the Danube in 2016. We enjoyed it so much, though, that we came home and booked another one for this year with a slightly different itinerary. We found the temps varied from the mid-20s to the mid-50s, with some periods of rain and snow flurries. As others have said, the key is to dress in layers. Two of my best purchases were long silk underwear and SmartWool socks and sock liners. It's a wonderful way of getting into the spirit of the holidays!

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Again thank you all so much for the info..very, very helpful and appreciated

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I shopped at the end of last winter season for warm boots and a few layers for our upcoming Christmas cruise on the Danube. Nothing like planning ahead!

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Four of us are booked on SS Beatrice for this cruise (Uniworld) 12/22) this year...less than 200 days, now as we booked last December! We are incredibly excited, and will arrive in Munich December 13 to do Munich, Prague and Frankfurt pre-cruise. We shopped the late winter sales and, as another cruiser has said, got great deals on 32Degrees layers, as well as packable down jackets rated to 4F. We can't think of a more romantic, seasonable, joyful time of year to do the Christmas Markets and enjoy the ambience! (I grew up in Southern California and am not a great fan of the cold, LOL, but simply can't wait for this trip). Hope to see ya soon!!!

I would love to hear from River cruisers about their experience cruising Nuremberg to Budapest at Christmas time. Seriously thinking about this cruise..How cold is it..will we still enjoy it?

Interested in all your thoughts..

Thanks Dave

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We are booked on a Viking cruise from Nuremberg to Budepest for December 2019 for our first river cruise after many ocean cruises.

I would also appreciate any information or tips that previous cruisers have had on this itinerary. Thanks!

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Our very first river cruise was this itinerary - though we did earlier in December to see the Christmas markets. Weather was generally in the 40’s but with my long down coat, I had no problem. But then, I live in Wisconsin!

 

We loved this itinerary- docking close to the old town in many cases, was great. Of course the markets had mulled wine and other hot drinks to warm up with. We’ve taken a number of river cruises since then. I have to say that this one was a favorite!

 

 

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Our reason for doing this cruise is to see the Christmas markets. A long held wish of mine.

Are they all similar? Once you see a few, does it get repetitive? Should we plan other excursions for some of the ports? How large are they?

Thanks for any advice!

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Our reason for doing this cruise is to see the Christmas markets. A long held wish of mine.

Are they all similar? Once you see a few, does it get repetitive? Should we plan other excursions for some of the ports? How large are they?

Thanks for any advice!

Although we're on Uniworld and not Viking, we've done extensive research into the Christmas Markets. This is truly a bucket list trip for us! We leave the U.S. on 12/12 and will visit Munich, Prague and Frankfurt before going on to Nuremberg the day before our ship leaves. Each of the cities' markets have their own flavors. There are specialties in food, beverage and collectibles in each one. We're doing a list of the food/bev highlights for each city, hoping to graze our way through! By the time we return to the States on 1/3, I'm sure we will have tried dozens of sausages, beers, wines, pretzels and the like, and will have lots of collectibles as well as fantastic memories of the whole trip!! Really exciting stuff!!:halo::halo:

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Dave,

Is the cruise you are contemplating a Christmas markets cruise or a Christmas New Year's cruise?

If you want to go to the markets, be aware most shut down on the 24th, so no markets the week between Christmas and New year's.

As others have said, dress for the weather. It can be damp and cold...make sure your feet stay dry.

We have travelled this route twice with Uniworld 's Grand Christmas and New year's and every day was wonderful, even the grey misty damp ones.

RB

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Dave

 

Agree with RB - if you are sailing for the markets sail prior to the 23rd/24th when most close up. We were lucky to spend the 23rd thru the 25th in Munich pre cruise and markets in full swing on the 23rd and until 1pm on Christmas Eve. While we loved our holiday sailing Christmas thru New Yrs Day - it was a bit sad seeing the shuttered markets in all the ports - we would have loved to experience them all. And the smaller towns were all but deserted for the holidays. If we did this "holiday" sailing again - would definitely want to experience more of the ports prior to Christmas Eve. Major cities were bustling though - Vienna and Budapest.

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Any of the Christmas market cruises are great. We did the Viking Rhine Getaway, Basel to Amsterdam, in Dec 2013 and the Viking Romantic Danube, Budapest to Nuremberg, in Dec 2015. Both were great. I really enjoyed the smaller markets in some of the smaller towns. The market in Budapest may be the best of all, but the one at the palace in Vienna was pretty spectacular also. All of them have great food and drinks. They do get pretty crowded, especially on the weekends. The weather will be cool to cold, just the luck of the draw and mother nature, but you can dress appropriately for it. Do be aware that on Sundays in Germany most everything, museums, etc, is closed so if you are there on a Sunday, you need to find other options. The markets are open but if you've already been through the Nuremberg market, you may want to try something different. We took the train to Bamberg, suggested by our Viking tour guide, and spent the day there. Great little town with spectacular churches (is there anywhere in Europe without spectacular churches?) and a nice Christmas market. You will enjoy it.

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If I recall correctly, in Germany shops tend to be closed on Sunday but MUSEUMS are regularly closed on Monday. The Christmas markets in large cities are open daily - in smaller places on weekends or just selected weekends.

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We are doing opposite itinerary - Budapest to Nuremberg, because we wanted the trip extension to be in Prague. Can't wait!!!

 

Logistics questions for you experienced 'market goers':

 

All countries we're going to use the euro, so will get some beforehand from the bank. While I know better than to ask, "How much money should I bring?", I am wondering if the Market vendors accept credit cards for pricier items (I wouldn't whip out my credit card for a pretzel or wine), or should I plan on having enough cash for all purchases? I'm contemplating buying holiday ornaments/decor and other 'only available here' delights.

 

How about packaging delicate items for the trip home? Do the Market vendors wrap stuff up pretty well, knowing that most buyers are far from home, or should I bring some bubble wrap/tape?

 

Thanks so much.

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We are doing opposite itinerary - Budapest to Nuremberg, because we wanted the trip extension to be in Prague. Can't wait!!!

 

Logistics questions for you experienced 'market goers':

 

All countries we're going to use the euro, so will get some beforehand from the bank. While I know better than to ask, "How much money should I bring?", I am wondering if the Market vendors accept credit cards for pricier items (I wouldn't whip out my credit card for a pretzel or wine), or should I plan on having enough cash for all purchases? I'm contemplating buying holiday ornaments/decor and other 'only available here' delights.

 

How about packaging delicate items for the trip home? Do the Market vendors wrap stuff up pretty well, knowing that most buyers are far from home, or should I bring some bubble wrap/tape?

 

Thanks so much.

I'm not sure where else you are going, but Hungary definitely does NOT use the Euro, they use Hungarian Forint, nor does the Czech Republic (koruna).

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I'm not sure where else you are going, but Hungary definitely does NOT use the Euro, they use Hungarian Forint, nor does the Czech Republic (koruna).

 

Oh my gosh, you are so right! I mistakenly thought that if a country was in the EU, they used the euro. THANK YOU for setting me straight!!

 

So, that begs the question, for Christmas Markets, do I need to have some Forint and Koruna on hand, for smaller purchases, or do the vendors take USD? How about credit cards for pricier purchases?

 

Thank you again, this shows the value these boards bring to travelers like me.

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Trevino,

Please do not insult European vendors by trying to pay with USD. ATMs are an easy way to get local currency. In some EU countries that have their own currency, vendors will accept euros, but you will get their currency back in change and the exchange rate will be calculated very much in their favour.

RB

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I do take local currency with me whenever I am abroad, but does anyone else remember the days when USDs were eagerly welcomed and not an insult?!

Just sayin....shows my age!

Anyway, thanks everyone for all of the great hints and suggestions. Keep them coming!

I, also, would like to know if the market vendors take credit cards.

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Ritabob, I'm trying to NOT insult anybody, or be the 'ugly american', that's why I asked the question. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive to your reply; it seemed unnecessarily harsh to me.

I, too, remember, when the USD was very much welcomed by everyone.

If using USD would offend anyone, in any way, then I'm more than happy to comply by coming armed with local currency.

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Trevoli,

Do not take my statement personally, but look at it from the viewpoint of an artisan with a stall at a Christmas market in say, Prague, or Budapest. Why should they be expected to know the price of their craft items in various world currencies? How much are they going to lose in exchange rates at the bank If they accept a lot of different foreign currencies? If you were the artist in the US, how would you react if a tourist from Hungary tried to pay you with forints? Insulted, maybe?

RB

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Thank you, Ritabob. The reason I thought that maybe they would accept USD, is because a good many Americans visit these Advent Markets, and they would want to accommodate travelers.

 

That said, I totally get where you're coming from. Certainly, I don't want to insult anyone, or put the craftspeople in an awkward position, and that's why I asked.

 

Many years ago, I did some travelling in Europe, and USD seemed to be accepted by everyone, stores and individual sellers alike. In fact, some of the sellers had signs showing the exchange rate of their local currency against USD, so we felt assured we weren't being taken advantage of, and yes, I know that change is returned in local currency, so having small bills is ideal.

 

In any case, thank you again for your reply, and we will be sure to have local currency at the ready!

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Many years ago, I did some travelling in Europe, and USD seemed to be accepted by everyone, stores and individual sellers alike. In fact, some of the sellers had signs showing the exchange rate of their local currency against USD, so we felt assured we weren't being taken advantage of, and yes, I know that change is returned in local currency, so having small bills is ideal.

Just because they had a sign with exchange rates doesn't mean you weren't being taken advantage of. You probably were.

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Trevoli,

Do not take my statement personally, but look at it from the viewpoint of an artisan with a stall at a Christmas market in say, Prague, or Budapest. Why should they be expected to know the price of their craft items in various world currencies? How much are they going to lose in exchange rates at the bank If they accept a lot of different foreign currencies? If you were the artist in the US, how would you react if a tourist from Hungary tried to pay you with forints? Insulted, maybe?

RB

I do not think anyone would be insulted in Europe by being offered US $ (Turkish Lira Yes) they would either accept it or politely say they do not accept it.

 

 

You would be surprised at how many stall holders (especially in the large cities) know the current exchange rates. So easy with mobile phones and exchange rate apps. The flip side is you would get a very bad exchange rate and any change would be in local currency.

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Europeans are very used to American tourists and many of their countries rely on a tourism economy.

I am thinking that the stalls at the markets are happy to see all of the river cruisers, actually depend on outside travelers, and so are prepared for various currencies.

Our dollar may not be as revered as it once was, but I don’t think it is yet an insult.

G.M.T. is correct that the worst that can happen is that they would probably politely say that they cannot accommodate $.

As previously said, I usually take local currency when traveling, but the easiest thing to do is carry a credit card, and let the bank figure out the exchange rate!

That is why I still wonder if many of the stalls do take credit cards. I’m guessing that they do. It is safer and easier for both parties.

(Think about the craft shows in our country, the vendors all take CCs)

Has anyone previously done the German markets and used credit cards, there?

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I have used an Aussie credit card at Christmas Markets - Frankfurt to Nurenberg and on to Prague at some stalls. If you look you will see the Mastercard /Visa accepted signs.

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You can safely assume that the vendors with more expensive items will accept credit cards. Not US Discovercard. You should have a small amount of local currency for less expensive items - under 10 Euros is a good standard.

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I am glad to hear that some of the craftspeople/vendors accept credit cards. I use ccs for nearly everything when travelling, as the exchange rate is optimal, and, has already been noted, it's safer for everyone, both at the time of the purchase, and afterwards.

 

That said, I will be prepared with local currency in small bills, as well. Local tour operators, hotel housekeeping, and other hospitality workers prefer tips in their currency, so I like to accommodate that too.

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Its been a few months since this thread was very active but with the holidays right around the corner - interest in Holiday sailings occurring this year and in the future will be on people's minds I am sure (they are for me!). Hoping folks who sail this year over the holidays will post (Seahags ;)). Would love to sail the Rhine over the holidays but with the majority of ports in Germany - curious what peoples experiences will be in those ports esp after Christmas Day when I know most if not all the Christmas markets shut down. I know there is more then the markets to do and see but always interesting to hear first hand experiences.

Thanks everyone!

Bob

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Well, we're all four REALLY excited about this trip! We'll be away for nearly four weeks, spending time in Munich, Prague, Frankfurt and Nuremberg before boarding the S.S. Beatrice. We've been busy researching what we'll do in the cities before we board, Christmas Markets in each are definitely on tap! We're doing "The Nutcracker" in Prague, as well as a Czech Christmas Concert...tix already in hand! Munich will be a full day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. Still working on more...stay tuned!

eileen

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Eileen

 

Sounds wonderful already! Four weeks away...can't imagine that for me - yet! Please keep us posted during planning and your trip.

 

Bob

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Well, a bit more than four weeks away, although since we've broken the 100 day mark they seem to be speeding by! Next Sunday is our in person interview at the airport to finalize our Global Entry hoping to make re-entry to the U.S. quicker! It'll be my pleasure to share what comes next in planning! This is really a Bucket List trip for Carol and I! Will post again soon, Bob! Eileen:cool::cool:

 

Eileen

 

Sounds wonderful already! Four weeks away...can't imagine that for me - yet! Please keep us posted during planning and your trip.

 

Bob

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I meant 4 weeks away on vacation (LOL! :D)

I have a great "local" restaurant recommendation I can pass on while in Munich (if interested) - food was absolutely phenomenal and was a true local place.

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Oops, LOL!! YAY, four weeks away! Would love to have your restaurant recommendation. We are staying at the Hotel Muller, which seems to be central and very well reputed! We're all about the 'local'!

:cool::cool:

I meant 4 weeks away on vacation (LOL! :D)

I have a great "local" restaurant recommendation I can pass on while in Munich (if interested) - food was absolutely phenomenal and was a true local place.

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I sailed the Rhine last November from Basel to Amsterdam, and the temps ranged from cool and sunny to downright cold and rainy. Between sweaters / light dress jackets and a waterproof rain coat, I managed and had a fantastic time. Yes, layers are key! And be prepared for wet pavement with shoes that have good tread on them.

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Thank you for the temps/dress help! It's so difficult to pack 'light' and pack warm at the same time. We will be prepared to layer, and definitely have water-proof boots and shoes! Carol and I will be fine traipsing through the Christmas Markets with plenty of gluhwein, but the guys will be on their own, LOL! It's been SO overly warm and humid here the past couple of weeks that thinking about winter clothing has been a real challenge! I KNOW we'll have a great time!

 

I sailed the Rhine last November from Basel to Amsterdam' date=' and the temps ranged from cool and sunny to downright cold and rainy. Between sweaters / light dress jackets and a waterproof rain coat, I managed and had a fantastic time. Yes, layers are key! And be prepared for wet pavement with shoes that have good tread on them.[/quote']

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I am book on a Viking long ship for next year with my mom. This is my mom's bucket list trip. She has wanted to do the Christmas Market trip ever since I could remember.

We are actually leaving the last week of November 2019. We are doing the 3 day pre departure in Prague (we leave from Nuremberg). We wanted to leave the beginning of December but found out if we left on November 29th or the 30th we saved over $1,000 per person and had an upgraded room than if we left on December 1st. We confirmed that all the Christmas Markets opened up around mid November except maybe 1 of the small towns and Krems doesn't have one.

We are looking forward to traveling in the winter and getting to possibly see snow as we live in Southern California. We have a few days in Budapest with the ship and all in total we will be gone 11 days. I am not sure if we should add on the post cruise in Budapest. That would just make it into a really long time. Any thoughts?

 

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