The Christmas Markets of the Danube

Our journey aboard Viking River Cruises’ Viking Baldur has taken us through Europe’s Christmas Markets from Budapest, Hungary to Passau, Germany. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

As I write this, I am sitting in Munich International Airport after having just finished a weeklong journey aboard Viking River Cruises’ Viking Baldur. Dubbed the Danube Waltz, my journey took me from Budapest, Hungary along the famous ‘Blue Danube’ to the quaint medieval town of Passau, Germany, where I disembarked earlier this morning.
The Danube Waltz is a great itinerary at any time of year, but personally I feel the Danube is at its best during the month of December, when Europe’s storybook-like Christmas Markets are stet up in towns and cities across countries throughout Europe. The tradition of the Christmas Market originated in Germany hundreds of years ago, but today you can find Christmas Markets throughout Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, France, and more – each with their own unique foods, beverages (mmm…mulled wine!) and gifts, from mass-produced wares to handcrafted souvenirs.
While we assemble our reports from the past week, here’s a look at our journey – in pictures:

Viking Baldur docked next to the Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur docked next to the Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

The Viking Lounge aboard Viking Baldur. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

The Viking Lounge aboard Viking Baldur. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur's atrium, decked out for the Holidays. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur’s atrium, decked out for the Holidays. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Hot mulled wine is served in collectable cups at markets throughout Europe. This year, cups for Vienna's main Christmas Market at the Rathausplatz were served in heart-shaped mugs. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Hot mulled wine is served in collectable cups at markets throughout Europe. This year, cups for Vienna’s main Christmas Market at the Rathausplatz were served in heart-shaped mugs. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Ice skating in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Ice skating in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

The classically-themed Freyung Passage in Vienna. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

The classically-themed Freyung Passage in Vienna. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

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The post Postcards from Viking River Cruises’ Danube Waltz appeared first on From The Deck Chair.

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