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Christmas Market River Cruise 2021

Ama Waterways: Amaverde River Cruise Ship

This was the Busiest Christmas Market yet! Christmas Markets River Cruise – Emerald River Cruises

We will sail on AmaVerde, one of AmaWaterways remarkable twin-balcony river ships. Enjoy panoramic views and plenty of fresh air in the lavish twin-balcony staterooms that feature both a French balcony and an outside balcony.

Rates for river cruises are a little more up front than you would pay for an ocean cruise but then include virtually everything, providing a worry-free vacation knowing everything is taken care of. We want to give everyone plenty of notice for this adventure with time to budget and plan.


There are taxes and port charges of $196 per person. Deposits are $400 per person and due at the time of booking. Final payments are due no later than August 30th, 2021. Cancellations prior to 121 days before sailing will incur a $200 per person penalty.

DISCOUNTS: If you are a past guest of AMAWaterways you will receive additional discounts off the listed rates. Please ask Rick for details. Also, those with future cruise certificates will receive an addtional 5% discount off above rate.

We will have a pre-cruise stay in Budapest, Hungary and a post-cruise adventure in Munich, Germany for those interested and wishing to join us.

Christmas Markets River Cruises

Always a popular choice, a Christmas river cruise is the perfect way to see a host of Europes world famous Christmas markets. Whether you wish to sample local specialities at some of Europes most stunning markets, with city backdrops of Cologne, Strasbourg and Budapest or if you are just looking for a Christmas getaway with a difference, we are sure you will be tempted by some of the fantastic offers detailed below.

Discover The Christmas Markets Of Europe

bratwurstLebkuchenView Gallery

The Schönbrunn Christmas and New Year’s Market in Vienna runs from the end of November until Boxing Day and attracts thousands of visitors every year to its stunning location in front of the famed Schönbrunn Palace. The Christmas Market is often followed by the New Years Market Daily choral performances, gospel groups and brass bands will act as the musical backdrop to your Christmas shopping while jazz sounds will fill the air throughout the New Years Market.

Another fantastic market based in Vienna is the Christmas Market at Spittelberg. Also attracting thousands of visitors every year it is no wonder that when the Vienna Chamber of Commerce asked Viennese Christmas market visitors which market was their favourite in 2012, The Christmas Market at Spittelberg came out as number one.


Offering seven German Christmas markets in total from its location beside the River Rhine, Cologne is an ideal city to visit for those who are looking for a festive river cruise in Europe. One of the biggest markets has Cologne Cathedral as a backdrop and is a must for those seeking a festive atmosphere. Visitors can purchase a decorative Christmas mug of original ‘Christmas Mulled Wine’, and are sure to be tempted by the masses of stalls selling Lebkuchen , Stollen , Wurst and other tasty treats.


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Best For Families: Christmas In The Caribbean And Mexico

If your goal for Christmas is skipping both the cold and the kitchen, a relaxing cruise in the Caribbean might be to your liking. The warm weather can be a welcoming change from winter at home . Many cruise lines move ships into the Caribbean prior to the holiday season, so there is an abundance of choices, ranging from small to mega-ships, with cruises in almost every price range.

Lines like Disney lean into the holidays heavily, with the Very Merrytime Cruises that run from the beginning of November through Christmas itself. But almost all cruise lines have holiday decor throughout the ship, plus traditional meals and treats served onboard. You will also find the holiday spirit in abundance in the ports of call. There’s nothing cheerier than “Jingle Bells” played by a steel drum band or with a Latin flair.

Day Five: Strasbourg France

Netherlands Christmas Markets River Cruise 2021 / 2022

Finally, the day many of us were most excited to see Strasbourg, France. River ships dock in Kehl, Germany, just across the river from Strasbourg. The two countries are connected by the Bridge of Europe or Pont de lEurope. Its only a 15 minute bus ride depending upon traffic crossing the bridge and into Strasbourg.

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Life On Board Borealis

There’s far more to Borealis than we could possibly fit on this page. Click below to find out more about her cabins, restaurants and other excellent facilities.

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

Days marked above with an anchor include ports where you will be transferred to shore by landing boat. These ports may be inaccessible for customers with mobility difficulties as a result. Any days not listed will be spent at sea.

Christmas Markets River Cruises 2022 2023

The best way to enjoy and experience the Christmas Markets River Cruises of Germany & Austria is by any one of the Christmas Markets River Cruises we offer below. 2022 and 2023 Christmas Markets River Cruises have already been selling out space since this past summer, but we can still find you some space on any of the reputable river cruise vessels offered by AMA, Avalon, Tauck, Uniworld or Viking.

Cruising aboard any of the vessels included in the Christmas Markets River Cruises we represent, you enjoy special holiday meals and seasonal drinks. Meals and sightseeing are included in the price, making 2022 and 2023 Europe Christmas Market River Cruises a great value.

Rivers were once the highways of Europe, and as such the Christmas Market Villages are right there near the shoreline. This eliminates the need for busses and trains! Take a Christmas Market River Cruise for 2022 and 2023 and Explore the Europe Christmas market traditions through the Danube and Rhine Rivers. Enjoy an immersive experience celebrating the varied cultures of five Central European countries.

Join both locals and visitors as they prepare for the holidays during this late-season cruise along the Danube. Sail aboard a ship designed for viewing the enchanting riverside vistas, through panoramic windows, from the sun deck, or from the comfort of your private, river-view cabin. Onboard meals, prepared by European chefs, include a choice of regional specialties and traditional favorites.

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Best For A Party: Mainstream Cruise Lines Or Virgin Voyages

While ships remain family friendly past Christmas into New Year’s, the atmosphere does start to pick up the closer you get to the New Year’s celebration. Ushering in the New Year on a cruise ship can be a real party, depending on the cruise line. You can find everything from special dinners to balloon drops to rocking dance parties. Champagne toasts are a given and this is one night where you’re highly likely to make the most of that drink package.

Again for the adults in the room, Virgin Voyages is a good choice if you’re looking for a venue for all your friends the ships are kid-free. And the line’s detox-retox mentality, combined with all the onboard fitness options, makes it easy for you to start your New Year’s resolution right away.

Christmas Market River Cruises

OUTbound Travel | 2023 Danube River Christmas Markets Cruise (SHIP TOUR)

A festive vacation is a great way to celebrate the winter season. Walking around the beautifully decorated markets with family, friends, or as a solo traveler, and trying all the delicious treats on offer is perfect for those wanting something different to your average vacation. We currently offer two Christmas Market cruises, which give the chance to see exciting cities and towns along the Rhine or the Danube, while you explore and shop for that perfect yuletide souvenir.

Walking amongst the unique market stalls with a chimney cake and a hot chocolate really make an evening special, and bringing home unique gifts can make Christmas morning more magical. During your festive celebrations at home, you’ll also be able to relive the marvelous memories by telling friends and family about your travels, and the amazing things you saw in the many towns and cities you visited.

Brand new for 2020 are four river cruises covering the Christmas and New Year periods. Try the Rhine or Danube rivers at Christmas and enjoy each location on-board your five-star ship. Or perhaps New Years on the Rhine or Danube rivers are more your style.

5 days 8 days 6 days 6 days 8 days

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Grand Danube Cruise 14

Countries visited: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey

Stops in: Vilshofen, Passau, Linz, Wiessenkirchen, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Mohacs, Vukovar, Ilok, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Golubac, Vidin, Rousse, Bucharest, Giurgiu

Overnights in: Vilshofen and Budapest

Christmas Market Cruise Itineraries

Apart from the one-off U.S.-based itineraries from American Queen , you can expect most Christmas market itineraries to depart and return from a major central European city, typically Budapest to Passau . Other popular Christmas market departure ports include Nuremburg, Frankfurt, Prague, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam. Expect to stop in ports like Vienna, Bratislava, Salzburg, Regensburg, Strasbourg and Copenhagen, among others known for their dazzling Christmas markets.


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A Christmas Cruise Or Festive Holiday Is A Great Way To Celebrate The Winter Season Walking Around The Beautifully Decorated Markets And Trying All The Delicious Treats On Offer Is Perfect For Those Wanting Something Different To Your Average Holiday

Festive breaks in Europe are magical, as towns and cities are transformed into winter wonderlands. Wander around world-famous Christmas markets, sipping mulled wine and buying presents, while Christmas carols fill the air.

Choose between six cruises on the Rhine and Danube, ranging from Christmas cruise markets at the start of the month, to Christmas Day and New Year river cruises, which include a special dinner celebration to mark the occasion. Each give the chance to see exciting cities and towns along thewhile you explore and shop for that perfect yuletide souvenir. Theyre the perfect mix of our classic river cruises were known for, with that added festive sparkle or New Year cheer to experience the most wonderful time of the year.

Best For Budgets: Short Caribbean Cruises

2021 Christmas Market and New Years Eve Rhine Boats from Düsseldorf

Holiday cruises can be among the most expensive, with prices particuarly high on week-long cruises that span Christmas and New Year’s. If you’re looking to save — and read our tips on the best way to score a holiday cruise deal — think about a shorter three, four or five-night cruise that goes to the Caribbean or Mexico. Royal Caribbean, Disney, Norwegian and MSC all offer short trips that visit their private islands. Carnival Cruise LIne also has a full range of shorter cruises meant to give you that burst of sunshine at a reasonable price.

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Uniworld Germany And Austria

Nuremberg, known as the gingerbread capital of the world, has one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe with 200 stalls filled with hand-carved toys, crafts and gifts and the irresistible scent of roasted chestnuts, spices and grilled sausages in the air. Its visited on sailings with boutique line Uniworld, where every day brings a different Christmas market. Youll also visit the fairytale market at the Volksgarten gardens in Linz, which is home to Austrias largest wooden crib with life-size, hand-painted figures, and where short nativity plays are performed throughout the day.

Best suited to 21+

Christmas Market Cruise Tips

Book Early: Because the timeframe is limited, Christmas market cruises are in high demand. Considering the capacity of riverboats, which is significantly less than that of oceangoing cruise ships, cabins quickly fill for prime sailings. Booking a year in advance for a Christmas market cruise isn’t crazy it’s common .


Bring Cash: While modern-day Christmas markets might accept credit cards at some stalls, others stick strictly to the local tender. Don’t miss out on Jesus in a walnut shell-manger just because you didn’t get enough euros.

Dress Warmly, and Wear Walking Shoes: It’s December in Europe, and Christmas markets continue after sundown. Make sure to bring all your winter outerwear essentials like a hat, gloves and scarf don’t forget comfortable shoes or boots. The good part: If you forget a warm hat, there’s probably a solid selection at the market .

If You See Something, Buy Something: Don’t hold out until the very last day to buy your gifts and keepsakes. While many elements of the markets are the same — rows of stands with small gifts such as ornaments, statuettes, hats and tablecloths — each market has its own local specialties.


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Christmas Market Port Highlights

Nuremberg: Arguably one of the most famous Christmas markets in Europe, Nuremburg is the first or last stop on several Christmas market itineraries along the Danube you might have to plan an extra day here to take full advantage. This holiday marketplace runs through Christmas Eve and is known for its authentic feel . Vendors sell plenty of the city’s famous gingerbread and gluhwein as you browse the striped stalls for “plum people” and shuffle past the Frauenkirche . For good luck to begin or end your cruise, rub the brass rings embedded in the fence surrounding the stunning Schoner Brunnen, a gilded 14th-century fountain resembling a Gothic spire.


Strasbourg: A popular stop on Rhine Christmas market cruises, Strasbourg is right on the border of France and Germany. The market at Strasbourg has everything you would expect from a European holiday market, and it’s been going since 1570. Held each year from late November through December 31, the Strasbourg market offers classic Christmas charm with ice skating, caroling and a sparkling, Christmas tree that’s nearly 100 feet tall. Popular souvenirs include Alsatian beer steins or plush white storks — a local symbol of good luck.


Best For People With Extra Time Off: Exotic Beaches

Touring the Heidelberg Castle, Drinking Wine, and More Christmas Markets! Emerald River Cruise

A total escape might involve beaches a little farther from home. Think Tahiti and Bora Bora or maybe South America. The travel season in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia is in full swing in December, so it’s easy to find yourself on a beach in Bali, far from the last-minute holiday frenzy. Some far-flung destinations will have Christmas celebrations like those at home, while others may have little or no sign of the Christmas holiday. Either way, you’ll find celebrations onboard and lots of relaxation, away from the cold.

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A Christmas Markets River Cruise With Your Riverboat Done Up For The Holidays

So many of our river cruise guests tell us that it’s often the little extras they enjoy aboard their Tauck riverboat that make every day of their cruise that much more memorable… and that’s before they even step ashore for their first excursion! Your Christmas Markets cruise will be no exception. Along with unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship, and snack baskets available from 10:00 AM to midnight… you’ll enjoy special onboard holiday touches like a tree-trimming party, caroling and other festive gatherings… a traditional European Christmas dinner with all the fixings… special evenings of holiday-themed entertainment, and much more!

Why You Should Book With Our Travel Advisors

Our travel advisors will ensure that you receive every AmaWaterways river cruise offer that you qualify for, including complimentary shore excursions and beverages. They offer up to $300 credit to spend onboard. Our travel advisors can also help you book hotel stays at ports on either side of your voyage.

Not only will you get exclusive bonus offers when you book through our travel advisors instead of directly with the cruise line, but you also rack up AmaWaterways Privilege Rewards benefits. Our travel advisors arent just concerned with offering the best deals theyre also committed to offering the best experience.

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Avalon Waterways Danube And Rhine

Keep the holiday spirit going on Avalons 15-night Danube and Rhine journey through five countries from Vienna to Basel Switzerland. Unique attractions along the way include Austrias oldest municipal theatre, which dates back to 1791 and is still in use, in the medieval town of Grein. Theres also a trip to the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas museum in Rothenberg with the worlds largest collection of traditional German Christmas decorations. When the ship is sailing enjoy activities such as an Austrian cookie tasting and talk on European festive traditions.

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What To Expect At Markets In Different Countries

Rhine Christmas Market Cruise: Germany, France &  Switzerland


Austrias markets are often described as the most romantic. They’re often located outside some of the countrys most historic buildings and stately palaces, such as Viennas imperial Schönbrunn Palace. The Salzburg market, located on Festungsberg mountain at the foot of the Hohensalzburg fortress, overlooks the city and the Krems market takes place right in the center of town. Advent concerts featuring choirs and brass bands add to the markets ambience.

What to buy: Blown glass and snow globes are especially prevalent. Youll also find candles, pottery, wood carvings and other items made by local artisans.

Foods to try: Krapfen, a yeast dough pastry filled with jam or sauerkraut.


What to buy: Hand-carved wooden nativity scenes and nussknackers , and Zwetschgenmännles .

Foods to try: The bratwurst, of course, but also Lebkuchen gingerbread cakes, potato cakes and candied almonds. Do sample the Eierpunsch, an egg-based drink similar to eggnog made with wine and brandy or rum and served warm.


Many people consider Budapest, the only Hungarian city where the holiday cruises stop, home to Europes most beautiful Christmas markets. The biggest, in Vörösmarty Square in the heart of the city, runs longer than many, starting in early November and ending on Jan. 1, rather than on Christmas Eve or a day or two before. Its free daily concerts featuring a wide range of music, including Hungarian folk music, are an added plus.



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