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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$3499The 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$8790Measuring 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$3599This 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$2999Travel 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$3299With 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$3299The 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
Danube Christmas Markets$87908Dec 13, 2023Feel the enchantment of the Christmas markets that have graced the Danube for centuries. Scenic Amber river ship takes you from Budapest to Nuremberg …
Rhine Holiday Markets$32998Dec 9, 2023Switzerland, France and Germany provide the perfect backdrop for this true connoisseur’s Christmas market cruise. Embark the S.S. Antoinette from …
Grand Christmas & New Year's$699913Dec 22, 2023Embark on the S.S. Beatrice in Nuremberg for 13 amazing days over the Christmas and new years season sailing through Germany, Austria and Hungary …
Danube Christmas Markets$87908 Enjoy an 8-day luxury Danube Christmas Markets River cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest aboard the 5-star luxury Scenic Amber. Along the way, visit …
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 …
Danube Christmas Markets with Munich$87908Dec 13, 2023Embark on this 8-day cruise with Scenic Amber while you enjoy the breathtaking sight of the Danube's Christmas markets. The hand-blown Christmas …
Christmas Markets on the Rhine - Cruise Only$34998Dec 12, 2023Enjoy 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 15, 2023Enjoy this magical time of year with a Christmastime river cruise vacation starting in the Nuremberg, on through the heart of Germany, and ending in …
Danube Christmas Markets with Prague$902011Dec 13, 2023The Christmas markets along the Danube are an incredible sight. Festive market stalls twinkle with fairy lights and are piled high with gingerbread …
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 …

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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