Motivation Monday: Celebrate the Holiday Season in Europe with a River Cruise!

River Cruises are returning to celebrating the holiday season on the Rhine and Danube rivers this year with its Christmas and New Year’s itineraries, as well as its popular Yuletide Markets itineraries.

Christmas Markets, Photo courtesy Emerald River Cruises

Navigate these scenic rivers in all their wintry splendor, visiting castles, squares, churches and old towns on guided tours and spending free time shopping festive markets for traditional gifts and treats.

A New Orleans porch decorated with Christmas decorations
New Orleans, LA at Christmas on the Viking River Cruises Holiday Season on the Mississippi

On some itineraries, enjoy a Christmas Day gala dinner or a New Year’s Eve gala dinner, midnight drinks and canapés, and/or a New Year’s Day brunch.

Classical music concerts and folklore shows will also entertain you onboard!

Amsterdam to Strasbourg photo courtesy of Crystal River Cruises

“Winter is a wonderful time of year to visit Europe and a holiday river cruise is ideal for those wanting something different than the average vacation,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera River Cruises’ Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing North America. “Take in the beautifully decorated cities and towns along the Rhine and Danube rivers, shop their festive markets and try all the delicious treats on offer. This year, we’ll even be celebrating Christmas and New Year’s on board, with garlands adorning staircases and magnificent trees taking center stage.”

Cologne, Germany Christmas Markets courtesy Emerald Cruises

On holiday river cruises, pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge in Germany, where the current sweeps between narrowing valley sides that tower above overhead.

Christmastime from Vienna to Basel
CHRISTMASTIME FROM VIENNA TO BASEL photo courtesy of Avalon Waterways

Rüdesheim’s market stalls glow with hundreds of fairy lights, Koblenz’s Christmas bakery makes the famous stollen and Cologne has the largest tree in the Rhineland with 50,000 lights.

Heidelberg, Germany courtesy Emerald Cruises

Another lovely way to river cruise during the holidays is to navigate the Danube Bend, with high mountains, in Hungary and continue on to Slovakia and Austria.

Hungary, Budapest courtesy Emerald Cruises

Markets are filled with the smells of spiced gingerbread and peppery goulash in Budapest, artisan decorations are available in Bratislava and the windows of Vienna’s city hall are transformed into a giant advent calendar.

Vienna Austria courtesy Emerald River Cruises

Tip: Many 2022 sailings are already sold out. If you’re interested in doing a sailing, book as soon as you can!

A few of my top recommended River Cruise lines’ Holiday itineraries include:

Christmastime from Basel to Nuremberg with 2 Nights in Prague
Christmastime Basel to Nuremburg with 2 nights in Prague Courtesy Avalon Waterways

Avalon Waterways Holiday Cruises
Christmastime in Alsace & Germany
Christmastime on the Danube
Festive Season in the Heart of Germany with 2 Nights in Prague
Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine
Christmastime from Nuremberg to Basel or reverse
Christmastime from Vienna to Frankfurt or reverse

Christmas Markets to Vilshofen, Germany courtesy Crystal Cruises

Crystal River Cruises
Basel to Amsterdam or reverse
Budapest to Vilshofen or reverse
Vienna Roundtrip
Amsterdam to Strasbourg

Nuremberg, Germany courtesy Emerald River Cruises

Emerald River Cruises
Christmas Time on the Rhine: Frankfurt to Basel
Christmas time on the Danube: Budapest to Vienna
Christmas Markets on the Danube: Munich to Budapest
Christmas Markets of Europe: Budapest to Amsterdam
Christmas Markets on the Rhine: Basel to Amsterdam

Gingerbread love hearts
Gingerbread love hearts courtesy Riviera River Cruises

Riviera River Cruises
Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise
The Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets River Cruise
Christmas on the Rhine
Christmas on the Blue Danube
New Year on the Rhine
New Year on the Blue Danube

Courtesy Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours
Rhine Christmas Markets: Zurich to Amsterdam
Danube Christmas Markets with Prague: Budapest to Prague
Christmas Markets: Budapest to Amsterdam
Christmas Markets with Prague: Prague to Amsterdam
Christmas in the Rockies: Victoria to Banff
Christmas Wonderland with Paris: Paris to Budapest

Christmas Markets River Cruise
Holiday Magic Danube Family River Cruise photo courtesy Tauck

Christmas Markets Along the Danube
Christmas Markets Along the Rhine
Holiday Magic: Danube Family River Cruise
Yuletide Spirit: Amsterdam to Brussels

Enchanting Christmas & New Year's
Enchanting Christmas & New Year’s Cruise courtesy Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
European Holiday Markets: 8 days from Nuremberg to Vienna
Rhine Holiday Markets: 8 days from Basel to Cologne
Classic Christmas Markets: 8 days from Nuremberg to Frankfurt
Danube Holiday Markets: 8 days from Budapest to Passau
Grand Christmas & New Year’s: 13 days from Nuremberg to Budapest
Enchanting Christmas & New Year’s: 11 days from Passau to Budapest

Gingerbread cookies
Meissen, Germany courtesy of Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises
Danube Waltz: Passau to Budapest
Rhine Getaway: Amsterdam to Basel
Romantic Danube: Budapest to Regensburg
Grand European Tour: Amsterdam to Budapest
Paris to the Swiss Alps: Paris to Zürich
Christmas Along the Elbe: Berlin to Prague
Mississippi Holiday Season: Memphis to New Orleans

Ready to plan your Holiday River Cruise for next Christmas or even the one after? They do fill up early – so reach out as soon as you know you want to plan one – Easy Breezy Journeys is here to help make it easy for you! Just click HERE to answer a few quick questions, and we’ll get started with a no-obligation consultation!

Christmas Markets River Cruise
Amsterdam courtesy Tauck

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