FeatureImage.TheBestChristmasMarketRiverCruises

Christmas market river cruises in Europe

Make that white Christmas an exceptional one with a Christmas market river cruise.

Imagine sailing down the Danube. There are riverside castles and silent townships around every bend and then, you spy a bridge. Soon you see bright lights and a city overflowing with Christmas cheer. You’ve arrived at your destination and within it, some of the most traditional Christmas markets on the continent.

It’s all part of the Christmas market river cruise experience and if it’s an enchanting Christmas you’re after, these are the Christmas market river cruises for you.

Top companies with Christmas market river cruises

Top Christmas market river cruise itineraries 2019

1. Enchanting Christmas on the Danube via CruiseAway
Get ready to spend a short but luxurious trip down the Danube with sweeping views of the countryside… from the ship’s Finnish sauna.

We’re not joking. With the weather set to winter temperatures, feel free to relax and stay warm in its onboard sauna as the captain navigates you along the river toward your next Christmas market rest stop. (Image: A-Rosa)

  • Cruise line: A-Rosa
  • Cruise length: 4 nights
  • Cities visited: Passau, Durnstein, Vienna, Melk

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2. Christmas on the Danube via CruiseAway
You'll be having a merry Christmas when you sail across Austria and Slovakia for 6 days.

Brace yourself with the variety of exotic cuisine onboard and a special treat to have that merry Christmas.

  • Cruise line: A-ROSA Cruises
  • Cruise length: 5 nights
  • Cities visited: Engelhartszell, Vienna, Bratislava

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3. Christmas on the Seine Paris via CruiseAway
Have a wonderful Christmas with the festivities of the holidays in Paris and neighboring towns.

Don’t blink or you might miss what’s around the bend on this exciting river cruise.

  • Cruise line: A-ROSA Cruises
  • Cruise length: 4 nights
  • Cities visited: Paris, Rouen, Vernon

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4. Festive Christmas Cheer via CruiseAway
Give way to Germany as a country that’s no stranger to Christmas markets.

Offers a multi-generational, family-friendly program on select sailings that let you explore, celebrate and wander around the Christmas markets of Germany.

  • Cruise line: A-ROSA Cruises
  • Cruise length: 4 nights
  • Cities visited: Rüdesheim, Mainz, Frankfurt

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5. Christmas Markets on the Danube via CruiseAway
Board the ship as it sails Austria for an enchanting experience of Christmas.

Witness the beauty, spirit of holiday and discover the historic Christmas Markets in Austria plus a special treat for you onboard.

  • Cruise line: A-ROSA Cruises
  • Cruise length: 4 nights
  • Cities visited: Vienna, Linz

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6. A Merry Little Christmas cruise via U River Cruises
Get a taste of the brightest Christmas markets in Europe in a 5-day cruise package.

  • Cruise line: The A
  • Cruise length: 5 days
  • Cities visited: Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava

Go to A Merry Little Christmas cruise via U River Cruises website View coupon codes for A Merry Little Christmas cruise via U River Cruises


7. Dashing Through Danube via U River Cruises
Feel the spirit of Christmas as you cruise down Danube's Christmas market.

  • Cruise line: The A
  • Cruise length: 8 days
  • Cities visited: Budapest, Vienna

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8. Danube Waltz - Budapest to Passau via Flight Centre
Explore the imperial and Art Nouveau delights of Budapest, the baroque and Gothic streets of Bratislava, musical Vienna, quaint Dürnstein and ancient, Italianate Passau.

You’ll also enjoy a full-day excursion to Salzburg. All this with the comfort and convenience of a luxury cruise ship.

  • Cruise length: Eight days
  • Countries visited: Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia
  • Cities visited: Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Krems, Linz, Passau, Salzburg

Go to Danube Waltz - Budapest to Passau via Flight Centre website View coupon codes for Danube Waltz - Budapest to Passau via Flight Centre


9. Festive Danube Discovery via Cruiseaway
Relax and enjoy the ride as you float along the Danube from Vienna to Nuremberg before disembarking for Prague, where you will spend two nights exploring this ancient, romantic city.

Get a taste for the land as it passes you by with regional wines and bee

  • Cruise length: Nine days
  • Countries visited: Austria, Germany, Czech Republic
  • Cities visited: Vienna, Melk, Grein, Passau, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Prague

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Top cities to visit during Christmas market river cruises

Budapest. The two main Christmas markets in Budapest are in Vorosmarty Square and beside the Basilica, and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Hungarian delicacies and unique handicrafts are must-sees.

Vienna. Christmas markets fill almost every square in central Vienna. Each has its specialty, from the huge Rathausplatz market with its ice rink, park paths and Children’s World to the traditional handicrafts and choirs of the Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz.

Nuremberg. Germany's most famous Christmas market, the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, dates back at least as far as 1628. The market fills the main market square with 180 stalls selling delicious food, hot mulled wine, traditional, regional crafts and unique gifts.

Mainz. The market in Mainz’s historic town square is a spectacle of lights, food, merriment and music, not to mention the eleven-metre high Christmas Pyramid and the life-sized, hand-carved crib figurines standing in front of the thousand-year-old St. Martin’s Cathedral.

Popular Christmas market river cruises routes

The Rhine. The Rhine stretches all the way from the Swiss Alps to the Netherlands, where it flows into the North Sea. You’ll pass cities including Strasbourg, Basel and Cologne, as well as countless villages and castles, Rhine Gorge and endless stunning views.

The Danube: Austria and Germany. From the Danube’s beginnings in Germany's Black Forest all the way to Vienna in Austria, history flows as deep as the river. Travel through Bavaria and pass the remnants of the Habsburg Empire while sampling regional cuisine and beers.

The Danube: Hungary, Slovakia and Austria. This section of the Danube flows from Eastern Europe to Western Europe, and the transition is a fascinating one. From beautiful Budapest to artistic Vienna, you will see a huge variety of landscapes, cultures, architecture and historical sites.

Explore Danube and Rhine river cruises here.


Top deals on Christmas market cruises and other seasonal sailings

U River Cruises U River Cruises

Europe river cruises from $1,999

Cruise through Germany, Netherlands, Hungary and see Europe's Christmas markets on select dates until December 2019.

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Uniworld Uniworld

Up to $900 off 2020 river cruises

Valid for travel on select 2020 river cruises. Destinations include Europe, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Asia, Egypt, India and more. Discount applies to River Heritage club members. T&Cs apply.

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AnyBoat AnyBoat

Christmas cruises from $110

Valid for travel on select dates including Christmas season. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Whitsundays, Melbourne, Port Stephens and more. T&Cs apply.

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Flight Centre - Cruises Flight Centre - Cruises

Free flights, upgrades and 2-for-1 deposits on Viking Cruises

Book a Viking ocean or river cruise in destinations like Italy, France, Norway, the UK, Germany, the USA, Japan and more between August 2019 and March 2021.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Up to 50% off Middle East cruises

Valid for sailings on select dates in 2019 - 2020 including Christmas season. Destinations include Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Doha, Manama, Eilat. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Up to 35% off USA cruises

Valid for sailings on select dates in 2019 - 2020 including Christmas season. Destinations include Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, San Diego, Vancouver, Seattle and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Up to 50% off New Zealand cruises

Valid for sailings on select dates in 2019 - 2020 including Christmas season. Destinations include Auckland, Napier, Wellington, Tauranga, Bay of Islands, Akaroa. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Christmas season: 7% off 10-day Sydney cruises

Valid for travel on 20 December 2019 for Christmas season across Sydney with Royal Caribbean. Destinations include New Caledonia, Mystery Island, Lifou, Maré and more. Additional bookable flights included. T&Cs apply.

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AnyBoat AnyBoat

Sydney Harbour cruises from $110

Valid for travel on select dates in 2019 with Christmas cruises on Super Cat. Inclusive of dance floors, dining and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Christmas sale: 38% off Australia and New Zealand cruises

Valid for travel until December 2020 across Australia and New Zealand. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland and more. T&Cs apply.

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Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
7 May 2019 Up to 62% off Vivid Sydney cruises ********
14 Jun 2019 $1 deposit and up to $900 OBC with P&O ********
13 Jun 2019 Free economy airfare with 2020 Europe cruises ********
2 May 2019 Europe river cruises from $1,999 ********
14 Jun 2019 15-day Sydney, Singapore and Bali cruises from $945 ********

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Feature image: Avalon Waterways

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