The chill in the air, the scent of spiced mulled wine, and the twinkling lights that adorn the cobbled streets – it’s the unmistakable charm of Christmas markets in Europe. And what better way to experience this enchanting tradition than aboard an AMAwaterways river cruise?
AMAwaterways carved a niche for itself in the world of river cruising, known for its impeccable service and attention to detail. The Christmas Markets Cruise is no exception. As the ship glides through serene river waters, passengers enter a world of festive wonder. We’re an AMAwaterways independent agent, offering an additional level of support at no additional cost.
let you celebrate the season while spending valuable time with friends and family.
Here’s the map of the cruise I took:
Visit historical cities and historic villages brimming with festive cheer, the smells of spicy sweets, hot mulled wine, the music of Europe’s legendary choirs, and stalls full of handmade local crafts.
The vessel, adorned with tasteful decorations and festive lights, creates an ambiance that instantly transports passengers into a winter wonderland. The on-board atmosphere exudes warmth and merriment, offering a perfect contrast to the crisp winter air outside.
The itinerary for an AMAwaterways Christmas Markets Cruise is carefully curated to take travelers through some of the most picturesque towns and cities in Europe. From the medieval charm of Nuremberg to the storybook setting of Strasbourg, each stop offers a unique glimpse into the heart of European Christmas traditions.
The Rhine tours include sailing through the castle-lasden Rhine gorge. The Danube cruises sail through the narrow Iron Gates.
Enhance your Christmas experience:
I took all images below on an AMAwaterways Christmas markets cruise
Some ports you might visit include
Nuremberg, Germany is often hailed as the epitome of Christmas tradition. Its Christkindlesmarkt, dating back to the 16th century, is one of the oldest and most iconic Christmas markets in the world. The market square is an explosion of lights, color, and the rich aroma of local delicacies. Strolling through its stalls, one is transported back in time, surrounded by the craftsmanship and artistry of local artisans. (My cruise didn’t stop at Nuremberg – these are from another cruise that stopped in Montenegro)
Strasbourg, France is fondly known as the “Capital of Christmas”. Here, the streets are adorned with millions of lights, creating a spectacle that is nothing short of magical. The Strasbourg Cathedral, with its stunning façade, provides an awe-inspiring backdrop to the market. Visitors can browse through an array of handcrafted ornaments and sample Alsace’s culinary delights.
Cologne, Germany is a beautiful city on the Rhine River known for its stunning cathedral, Köln Dom. During the Christmas season, the city is adorned with festive decorations, lights, and markets. You can explore the city’s historic Old Town, visit the Christmas markets, and enjoy local cuisine.
I highly recommend visiting the Romano-Germanic Museum. Archaeological finds, relics of daily life in Roman Cologne, put the visitor right in the heart of COLONIA CLAUDIA ARA AGRIPPINENSIUM. Architectural elements, inscriptions, portraits, pottery, etc., illustrate the development of the ancient city.
Rüdesheim, Germany is a charming town along the Rhine known for its vineyards and wine production. The town comes alive during the holiday season with Christmas markets, carolers, and decorations. You might also have the opportunity to visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet, a unique museum featuring antique self-playing musical instruments.
Taking a tradition to an unexpected, yet beautiful, extreme, The Gegenbach Advent Calendar House (Gengenbacher Adventskalenderhaus) is a unique and charming holiday tradition in the town of Gengenbach, located in the Black Forest region of Germany. (We visited it as an excursion from Strasbourg.)
Every year, from late November until December 23rd, the town hall in Gengenbach transforms into an enormous Advent calendar. Each evening at 6 PM, one of the 24 windows of the town hall is opened to reveal a festive scene. These scenes are often hand-painted and depict various holiday-themed images, ranging from traditional nativity scenes to winter landscapes. Our year it even included images by Andy Warhol)
Heidelberg, Germany is a picturesque town located along the Neckar River. Its stunning castle, charming old town, and beautiful river views make it a popular destination. During Christmas, the town sparkles with lights and features Christmas markets where you can shop for traditional crafts and treats.
Apart from the markets, AMAwaterways offers a range of immersive experiences. Guests partake in guided tours that provide insights into the local culture and history. Wine tasting sessions and culinary demonstrations offer a taste of regional specialties.
The AMAwaterways Difference
What sets AMAwaterways apart is their commitment to excellence. The crew, trained to the highest standards of hospitality, ensure that every guest feels like a VIP. Elegantly appointed cabins provide a comfortable retreat after a day of exploration. The dining experience is a culinary journey in itself, with carefully curated menus that showcase the best of regional cuisine.
Conclusion: A Journey to Remember
An AMAwaterways River Cruise through Christmas Markets is not just a vacation; it’s an immersion into the heart of European Christmas traditions. From the moment you step on board to the final farewell, every detail is meticulously planned to create an unforgettable experience. Your cruise celebrates the season, a journey of discovery, and a memory to cherish for a lifetime. So, step aboard and let the magic of Christmas unfold along the riverbanks of Europe.