THE MAGIC OF
CHRISTMAS

7 NIGHTS OF
UNPARALLELED LUXURY

ADVANCE BY TRANSCEND
(FORMERLY CRYSTAL MAHLER)

THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS CRUISE PART DEUX IS SOLD OUT!

 

Our 2023 Christmas Markets Cruise Part Deux is completely SOLD OUT!  If you’d like to put your name on our waitlist for this cruise, please follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. If you don’t yet have a profile in our booking system, set one up HERE.
  2. Once your profile has been completed, email info@myvacaya.com and provide us with the following information: full name, phone number, email address, type of room(s) you’re looking for

Once on the list, we’ll reach out to you in the order your name appears on our waitlist if a room that fits your request becomes available.

To avoid disappointment in the future, we encourage you to book soon after the trip becomes available. Doing so is the only way to truly avoid missing out. ❤️

 

 

INTRODUCING VACAYA’S 2023 EUROPE CHRISTMAS MARKETS CRUISE… PART DEUX!

Our new river cruise partner, Transcend, has just purchased one of former Crystal Cruise’s STUNNING riverships and they’ve offered it to VACAYA at rock-bottom charter pricing for this level of luxury. The catch? The cruise is only 6 months from now, but we knew you’d love the opportunity, and we just couldn’t pass it up.

And the best part? For those already traveling with us from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands Dec 2-9, we’ve set it up so you can extend your Christmas vacation by joining us on Advance by Transcend (formerly Crystal Mahler) Dec 9-16 from Amsterdam to Nuremberg, Germany. Nearly all new ports of call, layered with all the holiday magic!!

‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOYFULLY YOU!

Nothing… and we mean NOTHING… beats Europe at Christmastime. Now, add in all the luxury of a Crystal… er, we mean a Transcend Cruise, and sail the rivers of Europe with an all-new level of comfort and sophistication. Crystal’s former Rhine Class ships have been called “the most luxurious riverships ever built.”

Anyone who follows cruising knows that a typical 7-night river sailing on Crystal Mahler started around $7,000 per person, but now you can bathe in luxury with this unicorn deal from VACAYA starting from just $2,897 per person.

VACAYA’s Europe Christmas Cruise Part Deux features an ALL-NEW itinerary that is guaranteed to grow your heart three sizes as we sail from picture-perfect Amsterdam, Netherlands to Nuremberg, Germany with stops in some of Deutschland’s most charming cities: Cologne, Rüdesheim, Miltenberg, Würzburg, Volkach, and Bamberg.

Value

UNPARALLELED LUXURY ON ADVANCE BY TRANSCEND

We call finds like Advance by Transcend at this price point a travel unicorn – a rare opportunity to share in a true 5-star luxury experience at what amounts to a steal.

A river cruise is one of the most elegant and worry-free ways to travel. And with only 110 guests on the ship, not only is your VACAYA Luxe river cruise a great value, but it offers a truly intimate cruising experience, as well. Onboard, you’ll enjoy a continuous view of the incredible landscapes along the famous waterways, and you’ll also see a different side of Europe – one that can only be experienced on the rivers that have helped shape the history and cultures of the places they weave through.

This cruise offers luxury at a great price. We’ve layered in quite a few inclusions that will hopefully make it irresistible to global adventurers.

It’s amazing all that’s included:

  • 7 Nights of Luxury Accommodations
  • Full-Width French Balcony
  • All Meals, including Room Service
  • Unlimited Beverages
  • Welcome Bottle of Sparking Wine
  • Premium Bath Amenities
  • In-Room Espresso Coffee Machine
  • In-Room Minibar Setup Upon Embarkation
  • In-Room Portable Steamer
  • 40-Inch Interactive HD Flat-Screen Television
  • Walk-In Closet
  • Complimentary Unlimited WiFi

The following services are available for an additional charge:

  • Shore Excursions
  • Spa Treatments
  • Salon Services
  • Laundry
  • Satellite Telephone Services
Ship

YOUR 5-STAR HOLIDAY HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME

Advance by Transcend was once known as Crystal Mahler, one of the most innovative and luxurious riverships ever built. Now, she belongs to Transcend Cruises and they’ve made her even better!

Advance by Transcend is a masterpiece of sophistication. From the moment you step onboard, you’re greeted by an atmosphere of elegance and refinement. Indulge in unrivaled opulence with spacious suites and staterooms adorned in exquisite décor and equipped with lavish amenities. Savor delectable culinary delights prepared by world-class chefs, accompanied by fine wines and impeccable service. Not only will you discover the rich cultural heritage of all the cities we’ll visit, but you’ll also enjoy the ship’s state-of-the-art facilities, including a spa, fitness center, indoor pool, and panoramic sun deck while taking in breathtaking views of the river. Prepare for an unforgettable journey of luxury and discovery with Advance by Transcend.

At 135 meters long and with 55 staterooms welcoming 110 guests, Advance by Transcend will change the way you look at river cruising. Add the fact that you’ll be cruising at this most wonderful time of the year, and this experience simply can’t be beat.

Itinerary

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

7 Perfect Holiday Nights

Great Way To Extend Your Visit To Europe with VACAYA

Germany’s Very Best Christmas Markets

Cherished Lifelong Memories with New Friends

Timeline

Day 1 – Sat, Dec 9
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Day 2 – Sun, Dec 10
Cologne, Germany

Day 3 – Mon, Dec 11
The Rhine Gorge & Rüdesheim, Germany

Day 4 – Tue, Dec 12
Miltenberg, Germany

Day 5 – Wed, Dec 13
Würzburg, Germany

Day 6 – Thu, Dec 14
Volkach, Germany

Day 7 – Fri, Dec 15
Bamberg, Germany

Day 8 – Sat, Dec 16
Nuremberg, Germany

Itinerary

DAY 1
DAY 1

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS 52°N 5°E

SATURDAY, DEC 9, 2023
BOARDING 1PM | DEPART 6PM

A city of charming canals, elegant gabled houses, splendid museums, and more bicycles than you’ve ever seen, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam is a delight to explore. Its patchwork of waterways forms about 90 islands connected by 1,500 bridges. The legacy of the Dutch Golden Age lives on in gilded mansions and in the lush paintings of Rembrandt and other Dutch masters that adorn the Rijksmuseum, The Netherlands’ grand repository of art and cultural history. Discovering Amsterdam is a pleasure best pursued on foot and the Christmas Markets here feature our favorite holiday treat: fresh stroopwafel to go!

DAY 2
DAY 2

COLOGNE, GERMANY

SUNDAY, DEC 10, 2023

During Christmas, Cologne transforms into a magical wonderland that captivates the senses. The city’s famous Christmas markets are a festive paradise, filled with the aroma of spiced mulled wine and freshly baked gingerbread. Adorned with dazzling lights and decorations, the market stalls offer a delightful array of handmade crafts, ornaments, and local delicacies. The towering Cologne Cathedral provides a stunning backdrop, adding to the enchantment. The joyful atmosphere, joyful carolers, and the warm spirit of the locals make Christmas in Cologne an unforgettable experience.

DAY 3
DAY 3

THE RHINE GORGE & RÜDESHEIM, GERMANY

MONDAY, DEC 11, 2023

Our morning begins with the Rhine Gorge. As our ship glides along the majestic Rhine River, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of steep vine-covered hills, medieval castles, and charming villages. The dramatic landscape unfolds before your eyes, showcasing the beauty of the Rhine Valley. Listen to fascinating commentary about the region’s history and legends as you pass iconic landmarks like Lorelei Rock. The tranquil waters and picturesque scenery make sailing through the Rhine Gorge an unforgettable and enchanting experience.

The afternoon will be spent in Rüdesheim, Germany, a picturesque town that truly comes to life during the Christmas season. Its charming streets are adorned with festive decorations, creating a fairytale ambiance. The famous Drosselgasse, a lively narrow lane, is lined with cozy taverns and shops offering regional wines and treats. The Rüdesheim Christmas Market is a highlight, featuring traditional crafts, ornaments, and delectable seasonal delights. Don’t miss the impressive Niederwald Monument and take a scenic cable car ride for breathtaking views of the Rhine Valley. Rüdesheim is a delightful destination to immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas.

DAY 4
DAY 4

MILTENBERG, GERMANY

TUESDAY, DEC 12, 2023

German towns don’t come any more charming than Miltenberg, which enchants visitors during the Christmas season. Its medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and half-timbered houses create a storybook setting. Stroll through the town’s Christmas Market, filled with beautifully decorated stalls offering handmade crafts and delicious treats. Don’t miss the impressive Castle of Miltenberg, perched atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, as the town comes alive with twinkling lights, cheerful carolers, and the warm hospitality of the locals. Miltenberg is a hidden gem for experiencing the magic of Christmas.

DAY 5
DAY 5

WÜRZBURG, GERMANY

WEDNESDAY, DEC 13, 2023

Würzburg, Germany, is a captivating destination with a rich history and enchanting Christmas markets. Explore the magnificent Würzburg Residence, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its stunning baroque architecture and beautiful gardens. Stroll through the Old Town, admiring charming streets and historic buildings like the Marienberg Fortress. Würzburger Weihnachtsmarkt is the perfect place to indulge in local delicacies, shop for handcrafted gifts, and enjoy the merry atmosphere. Würzburg offers a delightful blend of culture, history, and Christmas magic.

DAY 6
DAY 6

VOLKACH, GERMANY

THURSDAY, DEC 14, 2023

Volkach, Germany, is a hidden gem that sparkles during the Christmas season. This idyllic town is known as the heart of Franconian wine country. Explore the charming streets adorned with festive decorations and discover the Volkach Christmas Market, offering a delightful array of crafts, regional wines, and culinary delights. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the impressive Vogelsburg Castle, offering panoramic views of the vineyards and Main River.

DAY 7
DAY 7

BAMBERG, GERMANY

FRIDAY, DEC 15, 2023

Bamberg, Germany, is a captivating destination that becomes even more enchanting during Christmas time. The UNESCO World Heritage city is adorned with festive decorations, creating a fairytale-like atmosphere. Explore the beautifully preserved Old Town, with its medieval architecture and cobblestone streets. Visit the Bamberg Christmas Market, where you can immerse yourself in the joyful ambiance, shop for unique gifts, and savor delicious seasonal treats. Don’t miss the iconic Bamberg Cathedral and the stunning Altes Rathaus, adding to the charm of this picturesque city.

DAY 8
DAY 8

NUREMBERG, GERMANY

SATURDAY, DEC 16, 2023
DISEMBARK 9:00AM

Although we’ll say goodbye today, we’ve actually saved the very best for last… Nuremberg, Germany is a city steeped in history and home to one of the most renowned Christmas markets in all of Europe. The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is a magical spectacle, featuring over 180 stalls adorned with twinkling lights and offering a wide array of crafts, ornaments, and delectable treats like gingerbread and mulled wine. Explore the picturesque Old Town with its medieval architecture, visit the imposing Nuremberg Castle, and immerse yourself in the festive spirit that radiates throughout the city during the Christmas season. We recommend staying a couple extra nights here to ensure you can experience all this second-largest city in Bavaria has to offer.

While we work tirelessly to craft the perfect itinerary for each trip, it’s always subject to change based on weather, river, and myriad other conditions. Our ship’s Captain will ultimately make all calls regarding scheduled stops/itinerary changes.

ROOMS & PRICING

When you book online directly with VACAYA, you’ll enjoy 24×7 access to your booking information, Pay-In-Full bonus offers, no-interest monthly payments, AIRLINE DISCOUNTS, and our BEST RATE GUARANTEE!

SOLO TRAVELERS NOTE
If you’re a Solo Traveler, we offer some great recommendations for finding a roommate HERE.

THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAVEL INSURANCE
As we’ve all learned these past few years, having Travel Insurance is EXTREMELY important. So with each travel purchase, we strongly encourage you to purchase “Cancel For Any Reason” (or CFAR) travel insurance. If you decline to secure coverage, know that you’re responsible for any cancellation penalties and out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of your inability to travel/choice not to travel. LEARN MORE

Veranda Staterooms

    Suites

      Important Information

      PORT & ADMIN FEES

      Port taxes and admin fees are 327 USD per person.

      PRE-PAID GRATUITIES

      Pre-Paid Gratuities are 147 USD per person. 100% of these gratuities go to onboard staffers, including your stateroom attendant, the culinary services staff, the behind-the-scenes hotel services staff, and the myriad department heads who work with their teams around the clock to create a flawless VACAYA experience for you.

      SOLO TRAVELERS

      Solo guests in their own stateroom pay double gratuities and single port taxes/admin fees.

      ROOM DESCRIPTIONS

      Room descriptions, sizing, and view specifics have been provided to us by Transcend Cruises and VACAYA is not responsible for incorrect information. Room layouts and views (including obstructions) can vary within the same category.

      Be “In The Know” about Obstructions: The standard cruise industry definition of an obstruction or partial obstruction is if the view of the horizon is interrupted when an average height person (170cm or 5’7”) is standing at the balcony’s handrail. If the horizon line is blocked in its entirety, the view is considered fully “obstructed.” If any part of the view of the horizon line is blocked by a lifeboat, overhang, support beam, or any other fixed apparatus (not including moveable cleaning equipment), the view is considered “partially obstructed.” If the horizon line can be viewed in its entirety when standing at the handrail, the view is not considered to be obstructed in any way.

      INITIAL DEPOSIT SCHEDULE

      • Upon booking outside of 300 Days – 10%.
      • At 300 Days (February 12, 2023) – 25%.
      • At 240 Days (April 13, 2023) – 50%.
      • At 180 Days (June 12, 2023) – 75%.
      • At 120 Days (August 11, 2023) – 100%.

      CANCELLATION PENALTIES

      • Upon booking through 300 Days (February 12, 2023) – 10% of total.
      • From 299 (February 13, 2023) to 240 Days (April 13, 2023) – 20% of total.
      • From 239 (April 14, 2023) to 180 Days (June 12, 2023) – 40% of total.
      • From 179 (June 13, 2023) to 120 Days (August 11, 2023) – 60% of total.
      • From 119 (August 12, 2023) to 90 Days (September 10, 2023) – 80% of total.
      • From 89 (September 11, 2023) to 0 Days (December 9, 2023) – 100% of total.

      ITEMS NOT INCLUDED

      • Flights from your home city to Amsterdam/from Nuremberg
      • Airport Transfers to/from Advance by Transcend
      • Shore Excursions
      • Onboard Spa/Salon Services
      • Onboard Laundry
      • Gift Shop Purchases

      TERMS & CONDITIONS

      Be sure to read VACAYA’s Terms & Conditions, which include the Payment/Cancellation/Refund Policies for all reservations. Please note that cancellation fees apply from the time of booking.

      JOIN WAITLIST

      For real-time availability, proceed by clicking BOOK NOW. With ever-shifting inventory, a category that shows availability on this page may no longer be available when you attempt to book. If you need help finding the perfect room in another category or to add your name to our wait list for a sold-out category, feel free to email The Vacayans at info@myvacaya.com and we’ll be happy to assist you.

      UPGRADES

      Don’t see your first choice in room category? Upgrades that become available will be prioritized to guests who’ve already booked their second choice. To jump on our upgrade waitlist, book your second choice and then email your desired category to info@myvacaya.com. Be sure to include your reservation number and full name. We’ll reach out to you if your name reaches the top of the upgrade availability list. Subject to upgrade charges.

      PAY IN FULL OPTION

      You may pay in full at the time of booking. Unless you later modify your reservation, no further payments will be necessary.

      MONTHLY PAYMENT PLAN

      Your initial deposit is due at time of booking. Then, your remaining monthly payments will be calculated using the number of months between your booking and the final payment due date. Payments will be charged on the 15th or the last day of each month (determined automatically depending on the day of the month you book). Payments will be charged to your credit card on file. If your credit card details change at any time, simply update the info in our system prior to your next month’s payment date. Please note declined payments are subject to a convenience fee. For more information, explore our Automatic Billing FAQs and our Terms & Conditions.

      TRIP INSURANCE: GET IT!

      There is one question every traveler across the globe universally faces: should I purchase Travel Insurance? It’s natural to ask yourself, should I spend the extra dollars to protect my vacation investment? Or do I leave it in the hands of Lady Luck and hope for the best. At VACAYA, we’ve always believed Trip Insurance was critical to the vacation planning process. That’s why we took special care to integrate the purchase opportunity into our online booking process. Pre-pandemic, the main reason to buy insurance was to assure your safe return home if something were to happen to your health while on vacation. That’s because quality insurance covers medical evacuation so people don’t have to pay medical emergency transportation expenses out of their own pocket.

      With Covid-19 in our lives for the foreseeable future, we now have an even stronger rationale for recommending Trip Insurance. “Cancel For Any Reason” insurance has quickly risen in popularity, and for good reason. If you decide you don’t want to travel after the cancellation penalty period has begun, this type of insurance covers most if not all of your cancellation fee. It’s also a great way to help honor your Social Contract with VACAYA.

      So go ahead and buy that bucket list trip, but protect your health and your investment by purchasing Trip Insurance. ❤️

      LEARN MORE

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