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Take a ride on the ferris wheel or take a stroll through the Christmas Market

European Christmas Market River Cruises

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Celebrate the holidays on a magical river cruise to the best Christmas markets in Europe. The traditional Christmas markets of Germany and surrounding countries date back to the 13th century, when they marked the beginning of the Advent season. Now, these holiday markets have evolved into a colorful seasonal display of shops and festivities for all to enjoy. Bustling markets are the heart of Christmas celebrations in Europe, with vibrant stalls offering everything from tinkered toys to fir wreaths to gingerbread houses. Here, we highlight some of our featured Rhine River and Danube River cruises specially designed around iconic Christmas markets in Germany, NetherlandsFrance, Switzerland, Hungary, and Austria. Discover iconic Christmas cities like Strasbourg and Vienna. Of course, these holiday tours have limited availability, so contact us today to reserve your spot.

10 Best Christmas River Cruises in Europe for 2024-2025

Our Favorite River Ships with Christmas Market Itineraries

Ship NameMax PassengersFromSummary
MS Amakristina158$3699The Amakristina is the sister ship to the Amaviola and Amastella, and features the most advanced design of any river cruise vessel currently in …
Scenic Amber163$9490Measuring 443 feet in length and carrying just 163 passengers, the luxury vessel, Scenic Amber marries space and intimacy with a sense of exclusivity …
MS Amamora156$3499AmaMora offers a host of added comforts and conveniences, including a massage and hair salon, gift shop and specialty coffee station. You are sure to …
S.S. Beatrice152$3799This stunning 430 ft long and 152-passenger beauty, the S.S. Beatrice offers the ultimate experience of cruising along the Danube and Main Rivers. …
S.S. Antoinette152$3399Travel aboard the 152-passenger S.S. Antoinette, a rare pearl on the Rhine River, and capture the moment of seeing Germany on one side and France on …
MS Amastella158$3With occupancy for up to 158 passengers, the MS Amastella is one of Europe's newest and most innovative riverboats, featuring a variety of staterooms …
MS Amaviola158$3999The AmaViola ? set to debut in 2016 ? is a sister ship to the AmaSerena and features the most advanced design of any river cruise vessel currently in …

Top Luxury European Christmas Market Cruises

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Rhine Holiday Markets$33998Nov 25, 2024Switzerland, France and Germany provide the perfect backdrop for this true connoisseur’s Christmas market cruise. Embark the S.S. Antoinette from …
Rhine Christmas Markets$90908Dec 7, 2024Admire festive decorations and twinkling lights along streets and squares, and even the Scenic Crystal will be decked out in all its Christmas …
Grand Christmas & New Year's$719913Dec 22, 2024Embark on the S.S. Beatrice in Nuremberg for 13 amazing days over the Christmas and new years season sailing through Germany, Austria and Hungary …
Christmas Markets on the Rhine - Cruise Only$36998Dec 11, 2024Enjoy a 7-night cruise from Amsterdam to Basel aboard the MS Amaprima. As you sail the Rhine River, visit classic Christmas markets, bike along …
Christmastime on the Danube (Eastbound)$30997Dec 11, 2024Enjoy this magical time of year with a Christmastime river cruise vacation starting in the Nuremberg, on through the heart of Germany, and ending in …
Christmastime on the Danube (Westbound)$31997Dec 3, 2024Enjoy centuries-old Christmas markets and historical landmarks on a 7-day river cruise on the Avalon Impression from Vienna to Nuremberg. At the …
Jewels of Europe$1609015Aug 14, 2024On this 15-day European river cruise along the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers, meander past forested slopes, picturesque vineyards, and enchanting …

Travel Guide to Europe's Christmas Markets

Highlights of the Christmas Markets
These exclusive tours come but once a year, just before the Christmas holiday. Temperatures aren't quite freezing, but don't expect a warm summer holiday either. That's the price you pay to witness and explore one of Europe's most ancient traditions - the Christmas Markets.

Primarily situated along the Danube River and a scattered also along the Rhine, small towns and big cities alike bring their squares and plazas into vibrant colors as they recognize this age-old holiday event. 

Here's what to look for:
  • Hot food and drinks - prepared in traditional ways, this is one of the best times to get a taste of the true flavor of central Europe.
  • Handmade souvenirs, like ornaments, toys, and artisanal goods.
  • Singing, dancing, and cultural celebrations on every corner. 

Christmas Stories from the Rivers of Europe

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