Ah, the slow boat – The unhurried pace of cruising is ideal for a spot of rejuvenation, besides a Christmas time river journey in Europe is all about how to do less and take in more during a holiday. River cruising is a nice idea: a small boat and a regular supply of picturesque towns, villages, castles and beautiful scenery on the banks.
Experience the magic of European Christmas markets over the course of a week as you sail aboard a river cruise. There will be stops everyday for gingerbread and mugs of hot wine. The Christmas markets in Nuremberg, Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Cologne and Vienna are specially recommended.
Christmas markets are not all the same, so a river cruise is one way to see as many as possible, and only unpack once. Despite the chill, your are warm inside the ship because its temperature controlled. Apart from that there is a good supply of wine and good cheer. Make sure you pack a bottle of brandy for the after dinner shots before you venture out for the carol singing!
Christmas markets in the evenings are truly magical. We’ve checked out the markets both during the day and at night, and there’s just something about seeing the Christmas markets all lit up with a merry Christmas tree in the middle. Christmas Markets are a huge draw in Europe, from the middle of November to the middle December, closing just before Christmas Eve.
When you go to the Christmas markets, you’ll no doubt see the same ornaments, artifacts and decorations pop up at market after market. As you hunt for something special you would like to take home, make sure you pick up goods made by the local artisans. Incidentally Nuremberg is famous for its gingerbread – but something better than gingerbread, is lebkuchen. The soft cake is made from a 500-year-old recipe seasoned with an aromatic mix of cloves, ginger, mace, cinnamon and nutmeg. Take cash along with you, because that is what the stalls will prefer, credit cards are not accepted.