While the evenings of December 24, 25 and 26 are mostly quiet in the city of Budapest, as many Hungarian families are celebrating the Christmas holiday with their loved ones, we invite you to spend a splendid night on the Budapest Christmas Buffet Dinner Danube river cruise with live music and a beautiful, 3 hour programme.
The Budapest Christmas river cruises will run throughout the Christmas holidays in Hungary, on Dec 24, Dec 25 and Dec 26 too, while the daily cruises run throughout December from Monday to Sunday, as seen in our Budapest Winter Cruise Calendar.
Christmas Cruise in Budapest 2021
Here are the details of the Budapest river cruise on the Christmas Festive Season:
- 3 Hour Festive Programme: You can enjoy the 3-hour programme with 2 Hours of Cruising plus 1 extra hour at the dock (anchored heated boat) in the vicinity of the Chain Bridge, city centre
- Christmas Dinner on the boat: Buffet style Dinner with multiple options for Soups, Starters, Main Courses, Sides, Desserts, catering for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. All-inclusive meals on the Christmas boat. Please see the menu below.
- Unlimited Drink Package (wines, beers, soft drinks, hot drinks including Hot Chocolate and Mulled Wine)
- Live music performed by award winning Hungarian Gypsy musicians
- UNESCO World Heritage sites, and many more beautiful historical attractions illuminated at night await you during the city cruise on the Danube
- E-Ticket via email (no printing needed)
- Note: guide is not included (there will be no live or audio guide on this cruise)
Prices of the Christmas Dinner Cruises
Prices are indicated in Euro. See the Christmas cruise inclusions above what the costs include. Booking is in advance via our online system with PayPal account or Bank Card or Credit Card. Larger groups (15+) may opt for bank transfer payment if preferred.
- Adults: €95
- Children (2 – 6 years) €47.5 Euro
- Children (under 2 years) Free
- Window upgrade: kindly note that on this cruise there is no option to book a window seat for a surcharge.
- Group discount – the cruise will be sold out at the normal price, so we cannot offer a reduced price for groups
Please note that the order cannot be cancelled. In case of Covid related cancelation at least 1 week before the actual date, we will consider to provide an open date voucher in the value of your booking, which is valid for 1 year (or can be extended further, subject to approval). The voucher can be transferred to someone else (again, subject to approval via email). In case of no show, no compensation is offered.
Booking 2021 Budapest Xmas Cruise
Booking is via our online system with PayPal account or Bank Card or Credit Card.
Note: booking in advance is the only way to make sure you will get a seat on the Budapest Christmas boat, which is one of the most popular river cruises in a year (along with the Fireworks Cruise). There are few things to do on Xmas days in Budapest (see Budapest Christmas for more info), and we usually fill the places on the festive Xmas river cruise by December 20 (especially Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day cruises). After Dec 20, please email us to check available seats and cruises: info [at] budapestrivercruise.com. Merry Christmas!
Schedule for the Christmas Cruise
Days of the Festive Christmas Holiday Cruise: Dec 17 – Dec 30, 2021 (every day during this period, including Dec 24, 25 and Dec 26)
- 6.30 pm – Boarding the ship is from 6.30 pm (please arrive on time at the meeting point specified in your cruise ticket / confirmation email. In 2021 Port 3 near the Hungarian Academy building by the Chain Bridge)
- 7 pm – Departure of the ship is at 7 p from the city centre.
- 7 pm – 9 pm – Cruising time on the river Danube: 2 hours of cruising, from north to south in Budapest, then back to the pier,
- 9 pm – 10 pm – After the cruise the boat will stand at the dock for 1 extra hour.
- 10 pm – The Christmas cruise programme finishes (at the same dock where it set off)
Sights & Lights from the Xmas River Boat
You can enjoy the Budapest river attractions from inside the heated boat or go to the open deck and take in the views, take photos / selfies with a most fascinating backdrop. While the dinner hall is heated, the open air deck is not, so do bring your winter coat and hat to withstand the chilly winter nights in Budapest, Hungary.
Although the river Danube flows through many countries and even four capital cities (like Vienna, Bratislava), only in Budapest can you enjoy such spectacular attractions glowing in the night with festive lights. Are we biased? No, we are not. Our proof: the UNESCO World Heritage site appreciation, and the hundreds of thousands of visitors in the last years (since 1989, when the Iron curtain fell, Budapest has opened its gates to foreigners).
Budapest is the only city along the river Danube that has been awarded the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage title for its Danube panorama. A perfect Christmas gift on a Budapest winter holiday.
While the Danube actually flows outside Vienna (but you can cruise the canal), and past by Bratislava, in Budapest the river is the focal point of the city, dividing the Hungarian capital into he Buda side with the Castle and hills, and the Pest side with the Hungarian Parliament, the St Stephen Cathedral, the Gresham Palace, the Great Market Hall, etc.
The boat is of course heated, but if you want to admire the Budapest winter panorama from the open upper deck of the ship, you can. However, for standing on the upper deck in the open air we recommend bringing a warm winter coat and hat, as winters in Budapest are quite cold, often going below the freezing point (0 degrees Celsius / 32 degrees Fahrenheit). Staying inside the warm ship, in a Christmas ship is special. And we will do everything we can to give you the best possible Xmas cruise in Budapest.
As you can expect, during the Christmas holidays this is one of the most popular special Danube cruises in Budapest.
Christmas cruise in Budapest during the festive season
The Christmas boat tours are unique and will make your Christmas Holiday festive dinner program unforgettable with one of the most beautiful panoramas in the world in the heart of Budapest, Hungary.
New Year Cruises in Budapest
New Year’s Eve cruise in Budapest on December 31: this VIP party tour is a special all night river cruise and night party, and can only be booked in advance. No river cruise bookings on the spot in Budapest, sorry.
The salon music on the river cruise is performed by 3 members of the Zoltán Kodály Awarded Rajkó Folk Orchestra.
Christmas Buffet Dinner Menu -River Cruise Budapest
The Christmas Dinner Menu is made by Hungary’s well known chef, Attila Tanacs, so your Dinner will be romantic, hearty, and full of the local flavours. The dinner menu will reflect some of the culinary traditions of Hungarians at Christmas time, and also include some of the typical Hungarian meals.
- Cold Poultry Terrine
- Fresh Mixed Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing and Crumbled Goat Cheese (V) (GF)
- Caesar Salad with Chicken Breast
- Hungarian Fish Soup “Baja” Style (Carp) (GF)
- Tarragon Vegetable Soup with Noodles
Many Hungarian families eat traditional Hungarian fish soup at Christmas, therefore we have included it in the festive menu, and a lovely vegetable soup suitable for vegetarians.
- Hungarian Cabbage Stew “Székely” Style (GF)
- Carpathian Style Filet of Pikeperch with Hash Browns
- Chestnut filled Turkey Rolls, Grilled Vegetables
- Mushroom Risotto (V)(GF)
The Hungarian Christmas Cruise menu offers the beloved Carp fish and the famous Cabbage Stew which is a true Hungarian festive meal. The smoky meaty stew makes a perfect combo with the Sauerkraut. Turkey dishes have been on the Xmas dinner table for many decades in Hungarian families, especially where pork has been gradually replaced by more healthy turkey dishes. This is a decisive trend in Hungarian cuisine in the last 20-30 years that pork based meals are often replaced with poultry.
- Rum Mousse With Prunes (V) (GF)
- Beigli Selection (Traditional Hungarian Christmas Cake Roll – Walnut/poppy/chestnut Filling) (V)
There is no Christmas without Beigli, the tasty rolls are basic parts of the Hungarian Christmas dinners, the fillings are traditionally Walnuts or Poppy seeds but nowadays Chestnuts are also popular.
Baked Goods/ Breads
- Mini Buns (V)
- Mini Croissant (V)
- Sliced Bread Mix (V)
Unlimited Drink Package
The unlimited drink package is part of the cruise ticket in 2021 (under 18 guests will be served non-alcoholic drinks only. Kindly bring an ID if there could be any doubt about proving your adult age). The drink package includes a selection of house wines, beer, soft drinks etc. and Festive Winter Drinks as part of the Open Bar
- Draught Beer
- Soft Drinks
- Hot Chocolate
- Mulled Wine
- Alcoholic Punch
- Non-alcoholic Punch