The pre-festive season around Christmas is one of our favourite times of the year. For us, there is nothing better or more joyful than visiting some of Europe’s best Christmas markets which are all aglow with winter-warming Christmas lights. And we never say no to some delicious Glühwein.
One of our favourite Christmas market river cruises for 2019 is the ‘Christmas Markets on the Rhine’ river cruise by AmaWaterways. It’s a 7-night Rhine river cruise that takes you through the fabled Black Forest and the Alsace region. On board of the luxurious ship you can look forward to a personalised service provided by your cruise manager, free wifi and internet, award-winning cuisine which is inspired by the region you’re travelling through, unlimited beverages and much much more. It will be the most relaxing and comfortable Christmas you’ll ever have!
The stars of the cruise are of course some of the most impressive and beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. During the 8 days of cruising, you’ll visit Amsterdam, Cologne, Rüdesheim, Ludwigshafen, Strasbourg, Breisach and Basel.
While visiting Cologne, we highly recommend going to the Cathedral Christmas market. It’s by far the most impressive one having Cologne’s main landmark as a backdrop. There are more than 150 stalls to visit which sell local Christmas cuisine and high-quality wood carving products.
The Christmas market in Rüdesheim is much cosier as it’s slightly smaller than the Cathedral Christmas market in Cologne. Having said that its main attraction is Europe’s largest nativity scene. Stall holders from over 12 different countries sell items such as elk fur, jam made from cloudberries, glass products to only name a few. This Christmas market encourages you to wander around and discover some hidden gems among the stalls.
During your stop at Ludwigshafen, you can visit the Christmas market in Heidelberg which we really encourage you to do. It’s one of the most romantic ones as the castle serves as the backdrop. Now imagine you walk along the winding alleyways of the old town while the scent of roasted almonds, cinnamon and hot chestnuts are tickling your taste buds to then be greeted by the castle and a magical Christmas market! And if that wasn’t enough, there is an ice-rink open for the public. Quite simply wonderful!
On day six you’ll leave Germany and visit Strasbourg in France. During the day, you’ll take part in a panoramic bus tour that takes you past the Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la Republique. Afterwards, you’ll walk through the historic town centre on the Grande Île, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and through the lovely “La Petite France” district, where you will see the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock and then visit the town’s famous Christmas market.
The Christmas market in Strasbourg is one of the oldest in Europe first recorded in 1570. It still is one of the more traditional markets that you’ll visit during the cruise.
On your last day, before you head to Basel and then depart to go home, you have the chance to visit the Christmas market in Freiburg. The market is right in the heart of the historical old city. This Christmas market is unique as it’s encourages visitors to take part in activities and product making such as glass blowing, baking and wood carvery. It’s a real makers market where you’ll find countless ideas for Christmas gifts such as jewellery, puppets, ceramics, candles and Christmas tree decorations to only name a few.
If you’re travelling from further afield such as the United States and Australia, the 8-day river cruise is the perfect way to visit amazing Christmas markets. You only need to unpack once while visiting four different countries.
For more details, please give us a call (0800 471 4754) or send us an email.