Christmas River Cruises

For centuries, annual Christmas markets have been a tradition across Europe. They originated as winter markets offering supplies for residents to stock up on before the cold season. More recently, they offer seasonal treats such as holiday baking, ornaments, children’s toys, crafts, and local food and drink. These markets can be found across Europe, but the most elaborate and original markets are typically found in countries such as Austria, France, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland. A river cruise along the Rhine or Danube Rivers is a great way to experience these markets.

Featured Christmas River Cruises

There’s a whole world of possibilities out there, here are just a few we’ve hand-selected for you to discover.

Salzburg, Iconic Christmas Markets

Iconic Christmas Markets

Travel back through centuries as you walk along cobblestone streets bedecked with twinkling Christmas trees and handcrafted treasures. Iconic Christmas markets are plentiful: Nuremberg’s festive Christkindlesmarkt, the largest and oldest Christmas market in Germany; Regensburg’s Christmas market at Thurn and Taxis Castle, considered one of Bavaria’s most beautiful; Vienna with its impressive Christmas markets that seem to majestically appear around every corner; and Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square, where products sold in the market are traditionally handmade are yours to explore. 

Premium River Cruise

8 Days

from

CAD

$4,761*

Salzburg, Iconic Christmas Markets

Iconic Christmas Markets

Travel back through centuries as you walk along cobblestone streets bedecked with twinkling Christmas trees and handcrafted treasures. Iconic Christmas markets are plentiful: Nuremberg’s festive Christkindlesmarkt, the largest and oldest Christmas market in Germany; Regensburg’s Christmas market at Thurn and Taxis Castle, considered one of Bavaria’s most beautiful; Vienna with its impressive Christmas markets that seem to majestically appear around every corner; and Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square, where products sold in the market are traditionally handmade are yours to explore. 

Christmastime on the Danube, Avalon Waterways

Christmastime on the Danube

Enter a stunning world of cherished Christmas traditions along the Danube River. Board your ship in Nuremberg where its Christmas market is one of the most famous in the world; learn about local Christmas traditions; experience Passau’s charming Christmas market set against the breathtaking backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral; cruise through the wintery landscape of the picturesque Wachau Valley; and end in Austria’s magical capital of Vienna where you’ll enjoy a tour through the Christmas markets and taste of all the best flavors Austria offers during this sparkling time of year on the Danube River.

River Cruise

7 Days

from

CAD

$3,565*

Christmastime on the Danube, Avalon Waterways

Christmastime on the Danube

Enter a stunning world of cherished Christmas traditions along the Danube River. Board your ship in Nuremberg where its Christmas market is one of the most famous in the world; learn about local Christmas traditions; experience Passau’s charming Christmas market set against the breathtaking backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral; cruise through the wintery landscape of the picturesque Wachau Valley; and end in Austria’s magical capital of Vienna where you’ll enjoy a tour through the Christmas markets and taste of all the best flavors Austria offers during this sparkling time of year on the Danube River.

Ice rink in front of Vienna City Hall, Austria

Danube Christmas Delights

Pass through Europe’s most enchanting countries, stopping to explore cultural capitals and fairy-tale villages. Savor Austro-Hungarian cuisine, admire the Wachau Valley’s beauty and explore Central European cities. Take part in European holiday traditions and experience the region’s renowned Christmas markets. Breathe in the scents of traditional fare and admire the handiwork of local artisans—perfect for bringing home to your family and friends.

River Cruise

8 Days

from

CAD

$2,899*

Ice rink in front of Vienna City Hall, Austria

Danube Christmas Delights

Pass through Europe’s most enchanting countries, stopping to explore cultural capitals and fairy-tale villages. Savor Austro-Hungarian cuisine, admire the Wachau Valley’s beauty and explore Central European cities. Take part in European holiday traditions and experience the region’s renowned Christmas markets. Breathe in the scents of traditional fare and admire the handiwork of local artisans—perfect for bringing home to your family and friends.

Christmas market at Nuremberg, Germany

Christmas Markets Along the Danube

Enjoy signature sightseeing and exclusive events, gain insights from the personal experiences of your local guides as they recall the Christmas Markets of their childhoods, and celebrate the holidays with special yuletide events on the ship and off! Attend a holiday baking demonstration, a festive European Christmas dinner and a performance by alumni of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir! Explore the Baroque architecture of 900-year-old Melk Abbey, have lunch at the Palais Pallavicini in Vienna, and take a tour of the Palace of St. Emmeram in Regensburg, with a visit to its private Christmas Market.

Luxury River Cruise

8 Days

from

CAD

$3,880*

Christmas market at Nuremberg, Germany

Christmas Markets Along the Danube

Enjoy signature sightseeing and exclusive events, gain insights from the personal experiences of your local guides as they recall the Christmas Markets of their childhoods, and celebrate the holidays with special yuletide events on the ship and off! Attend a holiday baking demonstration, a festive European Christmas dinner and a performance by alumni of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir! Explore the Baroque architecture of 900-year-old Melk Abbey, have lunch at the Palais Pallavicini in Vienna, and take a tour of the Palace of St. Emmeram in Regensburg, with a visit to its private Christmas Market.

Houses of Strasbourg, France

Christmas Markets Along the Rhine

This Christmas market experience wows you with special holiday touches like an onboard tree-trimming party… glühwein and other treats aboard the riverboat, decorated in a festive seasonal theme… a traditional European Christmas dinner with all the fixings… special evenings of onboard holiday-themed entertainment… walking in the footsteps of celebrities at the Kurhaus casino in Baden-Baden… a lecture on Alsatian storytelling traditions in Strasbourg… a cookie-making demonstration in Rüdesheim… a traditional German lunch in Heidelberg and much more!

Luxury River Cruise

8 Days

from

CAD

$3,880*

Houses of Strasbourg, France

Christmas Markets Along the Rhine

This Christmas market experience wows you with special holiday touches like an onboard tree-trimming party… glühwein and other treats aboard the riverboat, decorated in a festive seasonal theme… a traditional European Christmas dinner with all the fixings… special evenings of onboard holiday-themed entertainment… walking in the footsteps of celebrities at the Kurhaus casino in Baden-Baden… a lecture on Alsatian storytelling traditions in Strasbourg… a cookie-making demonstration in Rüdesheim… a traditional German lunch in Heidelberg and much more!

Strasbourg, Christmas Markets on the Rhine

Christmas Markets on the Rhine

Experience the deep-rooted holiday traditions of Europe at its most festive time of year and get caught up in the magic of the holidays with visits to some of the world’s most timeless Christmas Markets. Warm up with a mug of steamy glühwein at the Cologne Christmas Market, let the oldest and largest Christmas Market in France captivate you in Strasbourg, meander through Heidelberg’s majestic market nestled idyllically amongst the historic squares of the Old Town, and marvel at the world’s largest Advent calendarin Gengenbach. Cherish all the glory of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Rhine.

Premium River Cruise

8 Days

from

CAD

$4,893*

Strasbourg, Christmas Markets on the Rhine

Christmas Markets on the Rhine

Experience the deep-rooted holiday traditions of Europe at its most festive time of year and get caught up in the magic of the holidays with visits to some of the world’s most timeless Christmas Markets. Warm up with a mug of steamy glühwein at the Cologne Christmas Market, let the oldest and largest Christmas Market in France captivate you in Strasbourg, meander through Heidelberg’s majestic market nestled idyllically amongst the historic squares of the Old Town, and marvel at the world’s largest Advent calendarin Gengenbach. Cherish all the glory of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Rhine.

Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine, Avalon Waterways

Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this delightful winter cruise on the Rhine River, which takes you across Germany—and touches in Holland, France, and Switzerland! In Amsterdam, take a canal cruise along the elegant grachten, visit Cologne, a 2,000 year-old city known for its Gothic architecture, and pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. I At every stop, you’ll experience the magical charm of this time of year, with the towns decked out in festive lights and décor, and the Christmas markets waiting to be explored.

River Cruise

8 Days

from

CAD

$4,159*

Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine, Avalon Waterways

Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this delightful winter cruise on the Rhine River, which takes you across Germany—and touches in Holland, France, and Switzerland! In Amsterdam, take a canal cruise along the elegant grachten, visit Cologne, a 2,000 year-old city known for its Gothic architecture, and pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. I At every stop, you’ll experience the magical charm of this time of year, with the towns decked out in festive lights and décor, and the Christmas markets waiting to be explored.

The Spalentor in Basel at Christmas

Christmas on the Rhine

Immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas as you journey through storybook villages. Sample tasty yuletide treats and regional delicacies as you browse colorful stalls for handcrafted ornaments and unique gifts. Admire the twinkling lights of Cologne and revel in the merry atmosphere of the Rhine Valley, as storefront displays, wine cellars and markets embrace the holiday season. This 8-day voyage is a joyful celebration of festive cheer.

River Cruise

8 Days

from

CAD

$2,999*

The Spalentor in Basel at Christmas

Christmas on the Rhine

Immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas as you journey through storybook villages. Sample tasty yuletide treats and regional delicacies as you browse colorful stalls for handcrafted ornaments and unique gifts. Admire the twinkling lights of Cologne and revel in the merry atmosphere of the Rhine Valley, as storefront displays, wine cellars and markets embrace the holiday season. This 8-day voyage is a joyful celebration of festive cheer.

*Prices are per person, based on double occupancy and subject to change and availability.

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