The first step to a magical holiday experience is embarking on a Christmas Markets river cruise in late November through December. Here are five unique and intriguing reasons why this type of cruise is a must-try for families and well-traveled mature adults alike.
1. Immerse in Festive Atmosphere: Picture yourself strolling through enchanting Christmas markets, adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations. Indulge in the fragrant aromas of gingerbread and roasted chestnuts while sipping on a warm cup of mulled wine known as glühwein. The delightful ambiance of the markets creates a true winter wonderland, filled with holiday cheer.
2. Explore Iconic Cities: A river cruise during late November through mid- December allows you to visit iconic cities along the Danube and Rhine Rivers, such as Vienna, Budapest, Cologne, and Strasbourg. These cities come alive during the holiday season, with their historic landmarks and charming streets beautifully adorned with Christmas decorations. Discover the rich history, architecture, and cultural traditions of each destination.
3. Savor Delightful Culinary Delights: One of the highlights of a Christmas Markets river cruise is the opportunity to indulge in mouthwatering festive treats. From traditional German sausages and Austrian schnitzels to authentic Belgian chocolates and freshly baked pastries, the culinary experiences on board and ashore are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
4. Avoid Crowds: By choosing to cruise at the end of the year, you can enjoy the Christmas markets and attractions with fewer crowds compared to the peak vacation season. This allows you to fully soak up the festive atmosphere, leisurely explore the markets, and make lasting memories without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
5. Relax and Unwind: River cruising offers a unique blend of discovery and relaxation. Unwind aboard a luxurious river cruise ship as you glide along the Danube or Rhine Rivers, enjoying panoramic views of the winter landscapes. Take advantage of onboard amenities such as spas, fitness centers, and cozy lounges, creating the perfect balance between exploration and rejuvenation.
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Scooter Tessari, MCC, owns The Cruise Center, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and operates the website Tasteful Journeys devoted to enrichment vacations with a culinary accent and featuring cruises, tours, and custom designed vacation packages.