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  • 03
  • Jul
  • 2014

Our Top 5 Picks for Christmastime European River Cruises

If taking a European river cruise during Christmastime isn’t on your bucket list—it should be! What better way to spend the holidays than walking through the quaint European Christmas markets sipping on hot cocoa? It’s the ultimate festive atmosphere. The streets, market stalls and town squares are brilliantly filled with lights, and the town folk are full of cheer and happy to meet you. And with all the cathedrals, you’re spirit of Christmas will be brimming.

Here are’s top picks for Christmastime river cruises:

Happy Traveler Comment
Traveling overseas to a foreign country for the first time can be an overwhelming task. Dean Barreca was a tremendous help to me in planning a trip with my daughter to Italy and Greece. He was a great listener and quickly grasped exactly what I wanted to accomplish while keeping things within my budget. He offered suggestions that I would have never known about if I had not spoken to him and he saved us money in ways that didn't benefit him at all. He truly looks out for the client's best interest which is a rare thing to find these days. My daughter and I had a trip that we will never forget and we owe Dean a big thank you for all of his help and suggestions that were absolutely perfect. I highly recommend him to anyone planning a cruise. — Natalie D.

1. Avalon WaterwaysChristmastime on the Danube

In nine days, travel from Vienna to Prague along the Danube River. This cruise made the Top 5 because it stops at the original traditional Christmas markets in Regensburg, Salzburg and Vienna. In Salzburg you’ll enjoy listening to a children’s choir while sipping on warm mulled wine, Vienna brings the spirit of Christmas alive with their lights, aromas and sounds, and stroll through the most romantic Christmas market in Regensburg while sipping their famous hot beer. Prices start at $2,049/pp.

Christmas market in Vienna

Vienna Christmas Market

2. Viking River CruisesParis & the Heart of Normandy

In eight days, make a roundtrip from Paris stopping in all the Christmas markets on your way to Normandy Landing Beaches. Paris is simply magical during Christmas, which is why this holiday cruise is one of the most popular cruises. And 2014 is already sold out, so reserve your spot for 2015 today! Prices start at $1,356/pp.

Girl with caramel apple in Paris

Winter in Paris is magical

Read more What’s the difference between Avalon’s and Viking’s ultimate European river cruise?

3. Tauck’s Christmas Market Tour

In eight days, travel from Cologne to Basel along the Rhine River. Tauck is the only cruise line that stops at the Christmas markets in Aachen and Colmar. Aachen is famous for delivering Christmas cakes and marzipan bread all over the world, but on this Christmas cruise you can eat them oven fresh. And Colmar, this fairytale town becomes completely illuminated at night with a festive computer-driven light show around the village. Prices start at $2,550/pp.

Basel Minster over the Rhine by night - Switzerland

Basel at night is straight out of a fairytale

Read more What’s it like to take a European river cruise on the Rhine and Moselle Rivers?

4. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise’s Classic Christmas Markets

In eight days, along the Main River you’ll hit the most popular and the biggest Christmas markets in Germany—which is why this cruise is a must. From Nuremberg to Frankfurt, you’ll enjoy the full Christmastime in Germany experience. Prices start at $2,799/pp.

Christmas market in Frankfurt

Frankfurt Christmas Market

5. AmaWaterways’ Christmas Time Cruise

This enchanting eight-day Christmas cruise takes you along the Danube River from Nuremberg to Budapest. This cruise made the Top 5 because not only will you see the original traditional Christmas markets, but you’ll also see how four countries; Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary celebrate the holidays. Prices start at $3,199/pp.

Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg Christmas Market

Don’t wait to book your European Christmastime river cruise. These Christmas cruises are extremely popular and sell out, so call today to get started on making your holiday vacation plans a reality. Call today at 1-888-804-CRUISE(2784) or visit our website

Further reading: The TOP 10 river cruise vacations

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