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New Years on the Danube Mastermind and Fam

At midnight itself, the giant Pummerin bell of Vienna’s St Stephen’s cathedral rings in the New Year with the chimes broadcast across television and radio.

Once the last echoes of the Pummerin cease, all hell breaks loose, as various fireworks displays across the city burst into action. Broadcasters switch to the Blue Danube waltz and everyone dances in the New Year as lights explode across the night sky.

The city puts up temporary stages, so live performers, bands, orchestras, and DJs can entertain the masses until midnight and beyond.

The Viennese ballroom dancing schools offer free waltz courses on the Graben (the pedestrianised zone that leads away from St Stephen’s). And the State Opera House puts up a big screen outside with opera highlights. Dozens of food stands ensure you won’t go hungry or thirsty.

Then, at midnight, people gather in one of two places:

  • The Stephansplatz square in front of the cathedral to hear the midnight chimes live
  • The Rathausplatz square in front of the Rathaus town hall for a communal waltz and firework display - It’s a grand city-wide party.

NEW YEAR MARKETS

Vienna is, of course, famous for its Christmas markets, but why stop there? Why indeed.

A couple of these markets morph into New Year alternatives from December 27th. At the best ones, you get all the sights, sounds, smells, and (most importantly) tastes that make the Christmas versions so popular, but without the nagging sense of guilt that you ought to buy a few presents while there.

Selling river cruises will be one of the most profitable booking you do.

Selling groups or charters on them then your commissions will all come with a comma or even two.

Join me on this wonderful trip to not only to celebrate New Years with a really fun group of fellow Travel Professionals but to learn the secrets to getting groups to travel on River Cruises.

This specialty mastermind will feature food and wine groups, wellness groups and more.

The Focus is of course fun but the education piece will be the best investment in your business you ever made.

Start in the fabulous city of Budapest. We enjoy a private foodie tour that you can also offer your clients as well as an evening at the Ruin Pubs.

Sailing along the Danube with AMA Waterways.

The cozy staterooms. We had a Junior Suite featuring AmaWaterways’ dual-balcony concept. Monica’s daughters shared a smaller stateroom with a French balcony.

Dinners together. We enjoyed dinners in the restaurant and also in the reservations-only aft restaurant, The Chef’s Table.

Included tours. The daily tours were great way to see and experience the destinations along the Rhine river.

The gym and walking track on the top deck. We walked after our dinners. The girls worked out in the gym on several mornings.

Free movies and internet. After the evening walks, we either went to the lounge for entertainment and dancing (we did lots on New Year’s Eve) or returned to our staterooms to enjoy movies on the large flat-panel televisions. The girls were impressed that WiFi was provided free of charge.

The crew. Friendly and professional and lots of fun. The captain even danced with one of Monica’s daughters on New Year’s Eve. No wonder we were invited to the Captain’s Table for dinner the next night.

River cruises are often thought of as a spring, summer and fall activity primarily for solo travelers and couples. But winter cruises make for a great way to spend time together with loved ones, old friends and new friends over the holidays. “Best New Year’s Eve ever,” are just some of the comments we have heard.

Champagne toasts, celebrating the night away and waiting for that magical moment when the clock strikes twelve. This is what New Year’s is all about.

Imagine how much spectacular all of those things would be aboard a luxurious river cruise that lets you ring in 2020 as you make your way through stunning European cities and experience captivating views of glimmering landscapes and local festivities.

New Year’s Gala

On the night of the 31st, you will be treated to a special New Year’s Gala on board.

A lavish dinner, festive decorations and champagne toasts are all part of the experience on these unforgettable cruises.

After dining, celebrate the night away with music and dancing in the lounge.

And of course, there usually will be a spectacular fireworks display that you will either see by going into town or from the ship’s sun deck.

Don’t miss out on the party!

Journey along the Danube and see firsthand why this storied river has inspired generations of artists, poets and musicians. Indulge your passion for timeless architecture and art in four magnificent capitals: Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague. Let the hills come alive with the sounds of music in Salzburg and the Austrian Lake District. Cruise through the enchanting Strudengau Valley and let the melodies of the Danube carry you from one gem to another on a regal journey through time.

COUNTRIES: AUSTRIA, GERMANY, HUNGARY, SLOVAKIA

RIVERS: DANUBE

DINING

AmaWaterways’ expert chefs craft menus that feature exquisite, locally-inspired cuisine as well as traditional, Western offerings. At breakfast, sip sparkling wine as you partake of the buffet and fresh pastries, or opt for something made-to-order from the menu. Stop by the Main Lounge for a light lunch, or head to the restaurant for full menu service and high-quality regional wine or beer. Dinner is a delectable, multi-course affair with wine recommendations that accompany visually stunning, delicious dishes. Try local favorites — like goulash while cruising through Hungary, bratwurst and sauerkraut after returning to the ship from Vienna, or Camembert cheese while on the Seine — or something more familiar, like a sandwich. No matter what your preference, your taste buds are sure to be impressed.

Day 1, BUDAPEST. Arrive in Budapest and board your luxurious river cruise ship. During the evening, be treated to a special Illuminations cruise past the capital’s glittering riverfront. (D)

Day 2, BUDAPEST. Home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Buda Castle quarter in Castle Hill and Heroes’ Square, Budapest offers an unmatched combination of culture, tradition and even a secret labyrinth of caves and caverns under the city. Your city tour begins with a visit to the vibrant Great Market Hall brimming with vendors selling everything from food to souvenirs. The remainder of this tour takes you to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river (B).

Day 3, BRATISLAVA. Host to the crowning ceremonies of 11 Hungarian kings and queens between 1536 and 1830, Bratislava certainly has earned the title “Coronation City of Kings” as you’ll discover during your walking tour. Or join a culinary host to sample traditional Slovakian specialties, as well as learn how to prepare stuffed potato ravioli with an opportunity to taste your own creation. For a more active adventure, hike up to Bratislava Castle, offering magnificent views of the city. (B,L,D)

Day 4, VIENNA. The “City of Waltzes” offers a treasure trove of gems and you have two ways to discover them. Join a city tour showcasing its regal splendors, including the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs before concluding in Vienna’s historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and then visiting St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Or, for a more active exploration of the area, take a guided bike ride along the Danube. During the afternoon, you can enjoy leisure time or pedal your way to Klosterneuburg Monastery on a guided cycling tour. (B,L,D)

Day 5, WEISSENKIRCHEN ­ YBBS ­ GREIN. After reaching Weissenkirchen in the heart of the Wachau Valley, you’ll be treated to several choices of excursions. Discover the best of both Dürnstein and Melk with a walking tour in Dürnstein before visiting the UNESCO­designated Melk Abbey. You can also opt for a walking tour of Weissenkirchen followed by a visit to the abbey. For those who would like a more culinary­focused experience, join a walking tour in Dürnstein and then be treated to a wine tasting hosted by a local vintner as well as visit a local boutique where you'll enjoy a tasting of special apricot treats. Prefer more active adventures? Join a guided bike tour to Melk. Later in the day, set sail through the scenic Strudengau Valley to the medieval riverside town of Grein. Be treated to an exclusive visit to the more than 500­year­old Greinburg Castle, looming regally above the village. While here, enjoy a folklore show along with a wine reception. (B,L,D)

Day 6, LINZ. The ship arrives in Linz where you’ll have several choices of excursions. Opt for a full­day excursion to Salzburg where you’ll tour the historic center, Mirabell Gardens, Residenz Square and the Old Market. En route to Salzburg, stop at Mondsee, home of the famed Basilica St. Michael and site of the wedding scene in “The Sound of Music.” Alternatively, you can join a morning walking tour through the old city center of Linz and by the Mozart House; or go on a guided bike tour along the city’s famed “Culture Mile” and the Danube. During the afternoon, you have three more options of excursions. Choose a half­day excursion to Salzburg or take a scenic drive through the beautiful Austrian Lake District with a stop in St. Wolfgang. You can also choose to visit the charming mountain town, Český Krumlov, located just over the Czech­Austrian border. (B,L,D)

Day 7, PASSAU ­ VILSHOFEN. Discover the 2,000­year­old city of Passau in one of three ways. Enjoy a walking tour and marvel at Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Guests looking for a more active morning can choose between a guided bike tour along the Danube River, or a guided hike up to the Veste Oberhaus Fortress. Later, the ship cruises to Vilshofen, where you will be treated to a festive Oktoberfest celebration with local beer, Bavarian folk music and dancing—an AmaWaterways exclusive. (B,L,D)

Day 8, VILSHOFEN. This morning, disembark your ship in Vilshofen. (B)

Booking Terms and payments

Departure Budapest December 27th 2019

Cost per person based on double including training manual and tools to success $1795 US$

The price does not include flight. Fly into Budapest and return from Munich.

To apply contact Events@Mastermindsoftravel.com

Credits:

Created with images by Bergadder - "budapest danube river" • Photographing Travis - "Christmas Market" • Dan Freeman - "untitled image" • Nina Tabatadze - "untitled image" • blickpixel - "castle sigmaringen sigma wrestle castle" • falco - "danube river serbia" • MeineMaennerwelt - "johann strauss vienna city park" • domeckopol - "vienna church st stephan's cathedral" • domeckopol - "vienna hofburg imperial palace fiaker"

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