Choosing A Christmas Markets River Cruise

European Christmas Markets

There’s no time like Christmas…the magical, festive atmosphere, the wintry sun & not forgetting the snow!

What better way to get into the festive spirit than a Christmas Markets River Cruise. Sailing effortlessly along Europe’s waterways, visiting the snow topped Cities of Europe, beautifully decorated and lit for Christmas. The difference between Europe’s rivers & cities in the summer and winter is truly spectacular – the cities transform into somewhat of a Winter Wonderland!

When is the best time to go?

Although river cruises are sailing right through the winter months, be careful which dates you choose if you are looking to explore the magical Christmas markets! The Christmas markets generally open from 25th November and close around the 23rd/24th December.


How long should you go for?

There are various itineraries available and the length of the cruises vary from 4 nights right up to as many as 19 nights – the length of your cruise will most likely depend on your budget and of course personal preference of how long you wish to get away for! Many choose to extend their holiday with a couple of night’s pre or post stay of the river cruise.


Why should you choose AmaWaterways?

Voted the ‘best river cruise fleet’ by Berlitz, any river cruise on board an AmaWaterways ship is a spectacular experience – their attention to detail is second to none! & at Christmas their ships are beautifully decorated & full of festive cheer!


What to expect

Unfortunately there is no guarantee of snow, but if there is and it is thick, be wary that ‘sun deck’ may be off limits for safety reasons! On board expect high festive spirits & Christmas themed entertainment! On an average 7 night ‘Christmas Market’ river cruise, you will visit multiple destinations with Christmas Markets – so pace yourself, don’t rush to purchase everything at the very first destination! & Expect lots of mulled wine, local hand crafted delicacies and Christmas shopping!



Christmas Markets on the Rhine with AmaWaterways

Begin your journey in Basel and embark upon an enchanting 7-night Rhine River cruise that takes you to the majestic cathedrals and magical Christmas Markets of Cologne and Heidelberg. Discover the fabled Black Forest region and historic Alsace region and finish your journey in Amsterdam with a guided canal boat tour past the city’s beautiful iconic bridges.

Example Itinerary


Day 1: Fly UK » Basel
Embark your cruise in Basel. Tonight, gather on board for a Welcome Dinner.

Day 2: Breisach, Germany
You have two exciting excursions to choose from today. The first is a visit to Riquewihr, a picturesque town that looks much as it did back in the Middle Ages. A second option is a walking tour of Breisach and Freiburg. Breisach is a beautiful town to explore; Freiburg has an interesting historical city center and you will also see Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone. Rejoin the ship in Breisach, where we moor overnight.

Day 3: Strasbourg, France
After arriving this morning in the Alsace region of northeastern France, you will have a guided tour of its capital city, Strasbourg. See the European Parliament and the “La Petite France” district, with its sandstone Gothic cathedral and famous astronomical clock, and visit Strasbourg’s popular Christmas Market, said to be the oldest and best market in the country. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. The ship moors in Strasbourg overnight

Day 4: Spyer - Heidelberg, Germany
Early this afternoon, arrive in Speyer, one of Germany’s oldest cities, known for its Cathedral, churches, and the Altpörtel – a 13th-century gate tower. Choose either a tour of Medieval Speyer or a half day excursion to Heidelberg, where you will visit the red-walled Castle and its Great Vat, a 49,000-gallon 18th-century wine cask, and see beautiful views of the Neckar Valley and Heidelberg below. You will have free time to wander what is said to be the longest pedestrian shopping street in Germany, the “Haupstrasse,” or simply relax in a café. The ship moors overnight in Speyer.

Day 5: Rudesheim - Rhine Gorge - Koblenz
This morning, arrive in Rüdesheim and visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and its collection of robotic and self-playing musical instruments, made during the 18th- 20th centuries.. Explore the Drosselgasse, a narrow alley lined with wine taverns and restaurants, before heading to a wine tasting with a local vintner. You will also visit the town’s massive Christmas Market, with more than 120 stands of German delicacies and unique gifts guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. This afternoon your ship departs for Koblenz, passing through the Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of the river with numerous vineyards, castles, and picturesque hamlets. After arriving in Koblenz this evening, your Cruise Manager will lead you on a walking tour through this charming town. We overnight in Koblenz.

Day 6: Koblenz - Cologne
This morning, the ship cruises to Cologne, where we will spend the entire day. You will have a walking tour through the old part of the city and visit Cologne’s fabled Gothic cathedral. During your free time, you may return to the cathedral square to browse through Cologne’s impressive Christmas Market or explore other areas of the city on your own. The ship departs tonight for Amsterdam. 

Day 7: Amsterdam, Holland
Arrive mid-day and take a guided canal boat tour past the city’s beautiful bridges, churches and centuries-old merchant houses. Later, enjoy a panoramic motor coach tour of Amsterdam. You will also have some free time to explore on your own. The ship moors in Amsterdam overnight.

Day 8: Amsterdam » Fly UK
Say farewell to Amsterdam as you prepare for your homeward flight. 

Why should you choose a river cruise for your next holiday? Find out why river cruising is becoming increasingly popular by clicking here.

Looking for a great deal? Visit to find the right River Cruise for you! Alternatively, call one of our friendly river cruise experts on 0800 810 8229.

Think I’ve missed something or want to know more? leave a comment, let me know!

Come back soon. Jess Nuttall -