Once offered by only a handful of lines, Christmas Market river cruises are gaining popularity.
Beginning around November 25th and spilling over to December 25th, long after the last market has shuttered but in full-swing for the busy Holiday season, Christmas Market river cruises are great for those looking to make family memories.
While more ships than ever are plying the Danube, the Rhine and the like during the Holidays, capacity is nowhere near what the busy summer season is. Most river cruise lines offer up a handful of ships while the rest are laid up for the season, which creates demand.
They tend to fill up fast – particularly if you’re in the market for one of the top-of-the-line suites or the more affordable river view accommodations. It’s not unheard of for these types of staterooms and suites to be completely booked up before the summer is out, so you may want to start planning this year for next year’s Christmas Markets.
Unlike oceangoing ships that can carry thousands of guests apiece, river cursing’s sheer intimacy allows these vessels to book up much faster than your average cruise ship.
The Holiday season lends itself well to time spent with family and loved ones, and Christmas Market river cruising is an extension of that. In fact, it’s quickly becoming a popular time for multi-generational families to cruise together; a fact highlighted by the fact that AmaWaterways and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection all include Christmas Market voyages as part of their family-friendly river cruise programs.
These voyages are a great value. Airfare is typically cheaper than it is during the busy (and expensive) summer months, and that holds true for pre-and-post hotel stays, too. The crowds are gone, and Europe’s cobblestone streets take on an entirely different feel during the chill of December.
Above all else, these voyages are just plain fun. You’d have to be a real Grinch to not get completely suckered in by the holiday cheer and atmosphere that’s filled with plenty of German Gemütlichkeit, or coziness. The markets are filled with hand-crafted ornaments and toys and plenty of delicious food and Gluhwein, or spiced mulled wine.
Have you taken a Christmas Market river cruise? Would you do so again? Let us know using the comment below.