Christmas market cruiseCombine a trip to German and Austrian Christmas markets and a cruise on the Danube River from Vienna to Nuremberg in a trip with Gate1 Travel.

The package includes a city tour of Vienna and its Christmas markets, plus stops in Melk, with its Benedictine abbey, and in Passau, Regensburg and Nuremberg (with city tour).

Prices start at $799 per person, double occupancy, for the Vienna-Nuremberg cruise beginning Dec. 14. Prices for trips beginning in Nuremberg on Dec. 8 and Dec. 20 start at $899 per person. The price includes six overnights on the MS Bolero, all transfers, 17 meals with unlimited beer and wine, sightseeing, entrance fees, a Bavarian folklore evening, Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna, “Sound of Music” evening and the services of a cruise director.

Ten- and 12-day trips with different itineraries also are available. Prices for those begin at $999 and $1,299, respectively. Find details at

General Tours World Traveler offers a similar trip. It covers eight days, and runs either from Vienna to Nuremberg (Nov. 25, Dec. 9, Dec. 23) or Nuremberg to Vienna. (Nov. 2, Dec. 2, 16, 30). It includes a city tour of Vienna, a visit to the Melk abbey, and stops with walking tours in Linz, Passau, Regensburg and Nuremberg.

The price for these trips begins at $1,999 per person, double occupancy. It includes seven nights on the Viking Europe or Viking Spirit, 20 meals, cocktail reception and dinner, daily shore excursions, Bavarian and German cooking and folklore shows and demonstrations and visits to Christmas markets. Find more details at

Head northIt seems everyone heads south in winter for the warm weather. Why not change direction this winter and head some 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle to the cold of Lapland?

Myers Travel is offering a trip to Finnish Lapland from Frankfurt Jan. 19-23. On the program is a snowmobile and reindeer safari, including a typical Lapp lunch and entertainment, as well as a visit with Santa’s reindeers Rudolph and Blitzen; a visit to a husky dog farm and husky safari; and a visit to Rovaniemi for a trip to an Arctic museum and Santa Village. There also will be free time for skiing, enjoying spas or swimming.

The land-only cost is $899 per person, double occupancy. The flight is about 350 euros; you can make your own reservations (the earlier, the better) or arrange it through Myers Travel. The price includes four nights’ accommodations, some meals, all excursions and entrance fees, bus transportation and services of the tour director.

Get details on the Myers Travel Web site,, by e-mail at or by telephone in the States at (916) 786-3708. Information also can be received through Kirsti Maki at

Archery weekendGet four people together and learn to shoot a bow and arrow through a special arrangement by Germany’s Osnabrück Tourist Board. The city is north of Münster and west of Hanover.

The Groneick Holiday apartments package for four costs 86 euros per person and includes two overnights, breakfast, two shooting lessons in the archery court and a rental bike or visit to the sauna.

The area also offers other activities, such as hiking, golfing and Nordic walking.

The tourist board’s phone number is (+49) (0) 541-951- 1195; its e-mail address is The region’s Web site is (in German).

Indoor ski specialThe Premium Hotel chain has a special weekend arrangement for those who would like to ski in Düsseldorf's Neuss Ski Hall and take a tour of the city’s old town.

The package, which costs 169 euros per person, includes two nights in a modern studio room, breakfasts, welcome drink, use of the wellness facilities, three- course meal in the Brauerei zum Schiffchen in the old town and a day ski pass for the center.

The Web site is; it has an English version, but it might be easier to navigate through the information by searching in Google and clicking on the translated version. Choose “Düsseldorf See-star” and “Special/arrangement” to find the package. For more information, call (+49) (0) 211-522 990.

Best BetsFRANCE: Enjoy the art of Parisian sculptors, painters and other artists in the Ménilmontant district in the 20th arrondissement Friday through Monday during the autumn Open Days. Under the theme “Poetry in the Studio,” about 150 studios will open to the public between 2 and 8 p.m. Visitors can see the art works not only in the place they were created but also in public places. You can get maps and a list of participating artists at reception points at CAT de Ménilmontant and at MJC Les Hauts-de- Belleville. More details at and (in French).

— Jayne Traendly

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