What to expect on a Christmas Markets River Cruise?
What could be more magical than visiting Europe during the most festive time of year?
The charms of former Roman and medieval cities along some of the most iconic rivers of Europe. The enjoyment of cultures and traditions in the countries of France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, or Hungary. Now layer in the timeless traditions of the wonderful Christmas markets and you have an unforgettable holiday experience.
So what can you expect during a Christmas Markets Cruise?
Similar to the regularly scheduled river cruises you will visit the cities that have played roles in history, architecture, art, and culture. The difference is annually during the Advent period, from the last weekend in November up to Christmas and sometimes beyond, you will celebrate the season of giving in a very local way.
As you travel through the heart of Europe you will browse the many holiday markets strewn with decorations of beautiful lights. Below the festivities happen in colorful stalls that are filled with handcrafted treasures, wonderful holiday foods, and local entertainment of joyous holiday merriment.
Every market has its own personality and each offers a different experience that immerses you into the local culture.
Budapest’s Christmas Markets is a handcraft-only market that occurs annually in Vorosmarty Square. The largest in Hungary will not disappoint with one-of-a-kind crafted gifts and Hungarian holiday treats. Enjoy Budapest’s Christmas Fair this year from November 19 – to December 31st. Additional holiday celebrations happen throughout old Buda and surrounding St. Stephens Cathedral in modern day Pest.
Germany’s most luxurious holiday market can be found in the city of Cologne from November 21st – to December 23rd. In the heart of the old town, located in the shadow of the Dom cathedral and surrounding the largest tree in Germany is the Christmas Market at the Cathedral. Featuring hand-picked artisans and organic regional specialties will feature the Cathedral’s choir and other local musicians.
Strasbourg is the “Capitale de Noël”. The oldest market in Europe dates back to 1570. Christmas here in France, takes over the entire city which is transformed into a city of lights. From November 26 – to December 26, enjoy over 300 stalls of crafted items, concerts, and an Advent Village. But don’t miss strolling the city and viewing the endless windows of the half-timbered houses and homes decorated for the season.
The stunning gilded city of Vienna becomes even more breathtaking during Christmas time. From November 11 to December 26 with over 20 markets to choose from, you will find many options for holiday markets. Some of the Villages celebrate into the new year, with all of them offering local treats and seasonal gifts. Not to be missed is the Viennese Dream Christmas Market, the largest, in front of the City Hall, the richly decorated Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace, or the most traditional Village at Maria Theresien Platz. You also won’t want to miss visiting the most famous shopping street in Vienna, Kaerntner Strasse, or catching a ride on the holiday tram around the famed Ringstrasse.
Christmas Market cruising is truly a special experience. As you will still enjoy your elegantly appointed stateroom. All meals will be included on board as are complimentary soft drinks, wines, and beers with lunch and dinner. And you will have many options for excursions available to you with plenty of downtime for exploring the holiday events happening around you.
From late November through December, travel along the Rhine and Danube waterways of central Europe visiting these and many other local holiday celebrations. Also available are cruise’s along the rivers of France or Portugal for a country immersive holiday.
With so many choices, Sandee at BucketList Travel Advisors will assist you with the details of planning a journey and exploring the holiday festivities with a river cruise experience. Contact Sandee for more information!