2015 in Europe starts here

As the festive period gets underway, we’re already looking towards the excitement of the New Year and everything 2015 has to bring. Europe already has a great array of events and exhibitions planned for those who have booked 2015 holidays to enjoy.

From music and art to feats of endurance and air displays, Europe really is the place to travel to next year, particularly for those who are looking to book 2015 river cruise holidays where they can experience each city’s unique offering.


19, 21, 23 May – Eurovision, Vienna

After Conchita Wurst’s famed win of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, a story which became one of the main stories of the year worldwide, the contest heads to Vienna in 2015. The event is sure to see a surge in visitors to Vienna during 2015 holidays as people from around the world come to the year’s host country. Wurst is set to become a Green Room host, accompanied by hosts Mirjam Weichselbraun, Alice Tumler and Arabella Kiesbauer for the 60th edition of the world-renowned prestigious song contest.

22 May – 1 November – Vienna becomes a world city. The Ringstrasse and its era, The Austrian National Library

In a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Vienna’s Ringstrasse, which was officially opened by Emperor Franz Joseph on the 1st May, the Austrian National Library is putting on a special exhibition in the State Hall that focuses on Vienna’s transformation into an internationally-respected metropolis. The exhibition expertly details the entire transformation in which artists, as well as talented dilettantes, genre painters, photographers, and local authors’ eyewitness accounts stand as incredible insight into the time of the Ringstrasse’s construction.

31 May – 23 June - Holland Festival, the Netherlands

The 68th edition of the Holland Festival is sure to be one of the best yet, with the full programme set to be announced on the 27th January. So far, productions for the trend-setting performing arts festival include Krapp’s Last Tape, Keiichiro Shibuya + Hatsune Mikut’s performance of The End and Cape Traditional Singers and Igugu Le Kapa.

‘Holland Festival is the Netherlands’ oldest and biggest performing arts festival of the Netherlands bringing exceptional, trend-setting (music) theatre, concerts and multi-media projects from all over the world to the Netherlands. The Festival has an illustrious history, with every artistic director taking it in new directions that have again and again made the Festival a renowned event for over sixty years.'

      -  Holland Festival


11 June- 4 October – The "Ring". A Boulevard in the Making, Wien Museum

Vienna’s famed Wien Museum is also celebrating the Ringstrasse anniversary with its own special exhibition. In this ‘making of’ exhibition, visitors of Vienna on Danube river cruises can see how this great city came to be. The exhibition will play host to all manner of design drawings, sketches, models and photographs to really tell the story of Vienna whilst showing guests the juxtaposition between “old” and “new” Vienna.  What sets this particular exhibition apart is its look into what we can learn from the Ringstrasse and its development, answering questions on this interesting work of construction.


3 July – 11 October -Klimt and the Ringstrasse, Belvedere

Vienna’s impressive palaces at the Belvedere, the Upper and Lower Belvedere are known as much for the art that they hold as they are their exquisite architecture. In 2015, Lower Belvedere also pays homage to the Ringstrasse anniversary.

‘During the boom years in the second half of the nineteenth century, a multitude of mansions and splendid public buildings sprang up around Vienna’s magnificent boulevard, the Ringstrasse. In summer 2015, the Belvedere will be dedicating the exhibition Klimt and the Ringstrasse to those charismatic painters who adorned the Ring’s buildings and shaped the style of their era…The exhibition will not only feature sensuous, narrative artworks, but also examples of the young Klimt’s art, which have never been shown to the public before.’

     -  Belvedere

4-5 July – Red Bull Air Race World Championship, Budapest

The Red Bull Air Race last took place in Budapest in 2009 and was a time when 650,000 spectators lined the banks of the Danube to catch sight of the action. 2015 is set to draw an even larger crowd as the iconic backdrop of the neo-Gothic parliament building makes for a unique setting for this world-famous race.

“We’re always making efforts to bring the sport to our fans and we’re delighted that we can now officially announce that Red Bull Air Race will visit 2015 two new countries. We will race in Japan and Russia, countries full of enthusiastic motorsport and aviation fans and once again Hungary, where the Red Bull Air Race has a great fanbase.”

     - Erich Wolf, General Manager of Red Bull Air Race GmbH

10, 11, 12 July - North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam

The North Sea Jazz Festival has been taking place in the Netherlands since 1976 where the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz played to an adoring crowd. This first festival took place in the Nederlands Congresgebouw in The Hague and has since moved to Ahoy, Rotterdam, where it can cater for a much larger crowd as visitor numbers range from 65,000 and 70,000.

So far, Lady Gaga performing with Tony Bennett is the only act to be announced, but with Stevie Wonder, John Legend and Sting all as past performers you will be wanting to get hold of your tickets soon to avoid disappointment.


22 August – Ironman 70.3, Budapest

Budapest, Hungary is playing host to the impressive Half Ironman event along the Danube. Few cities offer such an impressive setting for the event that sees competitors swim 1.2 miles, cycle 56 miles and run 13.1 miles. Offering a sightseeing tour like no other, the Budapest Ironman 70.3 sees competitors cross the famed Chain Bridge before their well-deserved recovery in the city’s beloved thermal baths.


22 October – 30 November – Max Fabiani, The Az W

Also celebrating the Ringstrasse anniversary is Vienna’s The Architekturzentrum Wien (Az W) museum. As Austria’s national museum of architecture, the museum is well equipped to pay homage to this special anniversary that marks one of the most impressive feats of architecture and construction in the country.

“On 1 May 1865 Emperor Franz Joseph officially opened the Ringstraße in Vienna. In 2015 Vienna is celebrating this boulevard’s 150th birthday. 1865 is also the year in which Max Fabiani was born and in this anniversary year the Az W is delighted to present an exhibition about one of the fathers of modern architecture in Vienna.”

     - The Az W

These are just a few of the great events happening across Europe in 2015; for more fantastic experiences to look forward to next year be sure to speak with Emerald Cruises for a choice of 2015 holidays you will never forget. 

Image Credit: James Niland (flickr.com) 

This content was written by Angela Sloan. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.