We booked a Danube cruise on Uniworld River Cruises (River Beatrice) to tour the Christmas Markets in December of 2012. It was a wonderful experience from start to finish. Uniworld is definitely a cut above Viking, everything was included and taken care of seamlessly, from shore excursions and walking tours, to wine and beer at lunch and dinner. More about our experience can be found on Cruise Critic as well as on the Uniworld web site.
The cruise starts in Passau, Germany and ends in Budapest. Cruising the Danube was a wonderful way to visit the Christmas markets in four countries in only 7 days. When we docked, we were always in the historic part of each city as the river flows right through the center of town. In Budapest, the Danube separates Buda, the hilly portion, where the Castle District is located, from Pest, where the terrain is flatter.
Although the Danube River was not beautifully blue in the middle of winter reflecting the cloudy gray skies overhead, it was very scenic with great views passing through quaint villages especially in Bavaria and Austria. We saw the famous Chain Bridge of course. In both Budapest and Vienna, the gorgeous panoramic views of the city with cathedrals and buldings floodlit at night, was a sight to behold.
And each Christmas Market was unique to the area featuring many hand-crafted specialties not to be found elsewhere.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.