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Christmastime in the Graben during the holiday market in Vienna, Austria.

Volker Preusser / Courtesy of Austrian National Tourist Office

Christmastime in the Graben during the holiday market in Vienna, Austria.

Enjoy Christmas markets with AmaWaterways

Celebrate the magic of the season on a European river cruise

There's nothing like a river cruise to the Christmas markets of Europe. Ask anyone who's taken one. The setting is about as sentimental and old-timey as it gets when you explore these quaint locales brimming with the spirit of the season.

Now's the ideal time to book a Christmas market cruise on AmaWaterways, with fares starting at $2,049 per person. Enjoy a gondola ride, visit centuries-old cathedrals, explore villages on a bike ride or do some wine tasting. See below for the two best ways to experience the holidays on AmaWaterways.

The Christmas market, or Weihnachtsmarkt, in Cologne, Germany. Jason Mrachina:
Jason Mrachina / Special to CruiseableThe Christmas market, or Weihnachtsmarkt, in Cologne, Germany. Jason Mrachina: "Almost every town has a Christmas market, and they are always well attended. You can go shopping, listen to music, and of course drink Gluhwein. The lights are beautiful, and everyone is always in a great mood."

Christmas markets on the Danube

Nuremberg, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary (7 nights)

Summary: Celebrate the magic of the holiday season with a festive journey along the Danube River. After boarding your ship in Nuremberg, you will cruise through the charming region where so many of today’s most beloved Christmas traditions originated. Experience a number of enchanting Christmas markets in places such as Regensburg, Salzburg, and Vienna, each with its own local flavor and traditions. Conclude your holiday cruise in Budapest. The reverse itinerary is also available. 

Countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary

Departure dates: Nov. 23 to Dec. 23, 2017 

Fares: Start at $2,049

Danube itinerary

day
date
port
 
 
1
Embarkation
 
 
 
 
Welcome dinner
 
 
2
Canal cruise & city tour
 
 
3
Cologne
City tour & cathedral visit
 
 
 
 
Visit Christmas Market
 
 
4
Rüdesheim
Wine tasting OR Gondola ride
 
 
 
 
OR Rheingau bike tour
 
 
 
 
Visit Christmas Markets
 
 
 
 
Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum
 
 
 
 
OR Rüdesheimer Coffee
 
 
5
Mannheim
Heidelberg excursion
 
 
 
 
OR City tour OR Bike tour
 
 
 
 
Visit Christmas Markets
 
 
6
Strasbourg
City tour & Christmas markets
 
 
 
 
OR Strasbourg hike
 
 
 
 
OR Old Town bike tour
 
 
7
Breisach
Walking tour & Christmas markets
 
 
 
 
Breisach& Freiburg Christmas markets
 
 
 
 
OR Breisach bike tour
 
 
8
Basel
Disembarkation
 
 

 

Nuremberg is well known for its Christmas Market, with Christmas decorations and local delicacies.
Courtesy of Viking CruisesNuremberg is well known for its Christmas Market, with Christmas decorations and local delicacies.

Christmas markets on the Rhine

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Basel, Switzerland (7 nights)

Summary: Take an enchanting 7-night Rhine River cruise that takes you through the fabled Black Forest region and the Alsace region. You will also visit Heidelberg and Cologne, famous for its majestic Cathedral and bustling Christmas markets. Begin your winter adventure in Amsterdam amid the city’s legendary canals and colorful holiday surroundings and end in beautiful Basel, Switzerland. The reverse itinerary is also available. 

Countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland

Departure dates: Nov. 20 to Dec. 20, 2017 

 

Fares: Start at $2,549 per person based on double occupancy

Rhine itinerary

day
date
port
 
 
1
Embarkation
 
 
 
 
Welcome dinner
 
 
2
City tour
 
 
 
 
Visit Christmas Market
 
 
 
 
Cruise Main-Danube Canal
 
 
3
Regensburg
Walking tour
 
 
 
 
Visit Christmas Market
 
 
 
 
Taxis Palace Christmas Market
 
 
4
Passau
Walking tour & Christmas Market
 
 
 
 
Passau bike tour or Salzburg excursion
 
 
5
Melk
Benedictine Abbey tour
 
 
 
 
OR Danube bike tour
 
 
 
 
Wachau Valley cruise
 
 
 
Vienna
Visit Christmas Markets
 
 
6
Vienna
City tour and Christmas Market visit
 
 
 
 
Visit Christmas market
 
 
 
 
OR Klosterneuburg Monastery bike tour
 
 
7
Budapest
City tours
 
 
 
 
Visit Christmas market
 
 
 
 
Illuminations cruise
 
 
8
Budapest
Disembarkation
 
 

 

Contact a Cruiseable travel expert

Do any of these itineraries look good to you? There are still openings for 2017 and 2018 but hurry! They book up fast. Contact a Cruiseable travel professional for the best pricing and additional information at 1-877-322-3773 or email our experts.

Cruiseable team
The Cruiseable editorial team consists of award-winning travel writers, cruise bloggers and journalists.

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