Christmas Markets Cruise

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#1
Stanwood, WA
56 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Another piece of literature from Viking today. We get so many. Anyway, I am wondering what the attraction is about these Market cruises. If one is not particularly enthused about Christmas why take one of these cruises? We have done Amsterdam to Budapest in October-November and it was very enjoyable although chilly at times.

Just wondering why you took a Christmas Markets cruise? if you would care to share I would be grateful.
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#2
Albuquerque, NM
974 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Why? Opportunity to do Christmas Shopping and bring gifts back to the US late, opportunity to drink gluwein at each city and get the commemorative cups, to see the beautiful decorations everywhere, sales booths made up like log cabins, the lights, many towns set up a portable ice skating rink nearby and do skate rentals, we had school kids come down one day and sing Christmas carols on the street for tips, Living Nativity scenes with animals, buying kindereggs, eating brats off the grill, all the other food--nuts, candy, fish sandwiches, etc; and so much more.
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I came over on the boat, and boy, are my arms tired from rowing!

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#3
Queens, NY
2,161 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
We have our first Christmas Market cruise booked on Viking for December 2013 - so I can only tell you why we're taking it - and hope that it'll live up to our expectations!

germanyboy mentioned most of the reasons - I'd add the photos I've seen of the fabulous lights decorating the markets - and with the early sunset the towns/cities should look magical - at least that's my hope!

I admit, it probably makes no sense - we could stay at home and see houses/stores decorated, eat a brat and have a glass of wine and not have to worry about packing for the cold. But I really feel that experiencing the CMs will be a true adventure plus we'll also see the Rhine from the river - we saw part of the area in 2008 on a land trip. Since our cruise is early December, I'm hoping it'll set a fabulous Christmas mood!!
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Peg
Viking Forseti 10-4-2014 Bordeaux
Viking Rinda 12-7-2013 Christmas Markets
Viking Neptune 10-21-12 Rhone River
Celebrity Constellation 9-7-2011 Amsterdam-Istanbul
Celebrity Constellation 7-3-2010 Baltic
RCCL Voyager of the Seas 2-14-2010 Caribbean
Celebrity Summit 6-16-2008 Mediterranean
SS Rembrant 7-20-2000 St. Lawrence
M/V Atlantic 8-28-1988 Bermuda
#4
SoCal
11 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by mysusie45
Anyway, I am wondering what the attraction is about these Market cruises. If one is not particularly enthused about Christmas why take one of these cruises?
Why would someone who is not particularly enthused about science fiction go to a Star Trek convention? To answer your question, one wouldn't.

Maybe your user name should be myscrooge45.
#6
2,454 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
The season for Christmas markets is a time of preparation for Christmas--family time and enjoying friends and family. We have been on 2 and the towns small and large enjoy this time. We have a collection of glugwein mugs and Christmas decorations to help us remember our trips. The atmosphere on the boats is very upbeat--decorating contests, a visit from St. Nick on 6Dec. The boats are decorated for Christmas. If you don't celebrate the holiday, you might not want to sail at that time of year. There were also menorrahs on both trips. Pat
#7
Santa Paula CA
3,415 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
We took a Xmas cruise from Budapest to Passau, and loved it. We celebrated Xmas midnight mass in St. Stephens cathedral that was fantastic. As we came out, it started snowing, and my wife, who is a California girl, had never see snow fall!
We were in Linz for New Year's Eve, and the Germans and Austrians shoot off fireworks. The show went on for about an hour and a half!!!
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It serves no purpose to list all the cruises I have been on chronologically. Many of the lines or ships do not exist any more, or have been renamed. I have sailed on NCL,Bermuda Star, Regency, Royal, Silverseas, Mississippi Queen, Vantage, Marco Polo, Scottish Highlander, Princess, Victoria, Hebridean Princess, Paul Gauguin, Regent, Oceania, Cunard, Rembrandt, and Lev Tolstoy.
#8
Bowling Green, KY
1,488 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Our DD wanted to go to Paris during Christmas and taking a cruise seemed the best idea. We are really looking forward to the "magic" of a being away for Christmas this year and doing something new.
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ICOOK4U
#9
481 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
If you're taking a Christmas cruise, be sure that your itinerary allows you to visit some of the markets at night. Tourists go during the day; the locals come out at night. The evening is much more festive and fun -- although the day allows you to get in some serious shopping because there are fewer crowds!

If you aren't into Christmas . . . the markets cruise may not be for you. The Germans (and Austrians) are heavily Catholic and wear Christmas on their sleeves. It's not "in your face," but it is more religious than what you'd find at your local US shopping mall. Remember, they don't have Santa (St. Nicholas is not the same thing) so Christmas for them is mostly about the religious meaning.

If you enjoy the Christmas spirit, even if you're not particularly religious, you'll have a blast. If the pageantry of Christmas annoys you . . . take the cruise at another time of year.
#10
Queens, NY
2,161 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
firstplacechef ~ we're on Viking's Rinda sailing from Basel on Dec. 7th ~ we're hoping to bring the Christmas Spirit home for the Holiday!!

Spending the Christmas away from home with family would be great - but not possible for us this year! But your Christmas trip with your DD sounds fabulous! Hope you enjoy and come back with a ton of memories!!!!
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Peg
Viking Forseti 10-4-2014 Bordeaux
Viking Rinda 12-7-2013 Christmas Markets
Viking Neptune 10-21-12 Rhone River
Celebrity Constellation 9-7-2011 Amsterdam-Istanbul
Celebrity Constellation 7-3-2010 Baltic
RCCL Voyager of the Seas 2-14-2010 Caribbean
Celebrity Summit 6-16-2008 Mediterranean
SS Rembrant 7-20-2000 St. Lawrence
M/V Atlantic 8-28-1988 Bermuda
#11
Sunny South FL
631 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
We have been on 2 Christmarket cruises - and the reason we go? It is magical! Not only do all the towns have their own markets - all decorated in thousands of twinkle lights - glugvine (sp?), eating brats, singing, dancing, etc - it is the spirit of Christmas that happens in Europe which is no longer allowed in the US. In Europe, Christmas is Christmas - none of this politically correct crap - it is Christmas and that is all there is to it! On our first one, we came out of midnight mass and it was softly snowing and carolers were caroling and lights were twinkling and......it was like being in a movie!

If you don't like Christmas, I would suggest you not go. If, on the other hand, you are like us and LOVE Christmas (without all the PC crap!) then by all means, do go and enjoy! We cannot wait for our next one!
#12
Moraga CA
45 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Have been on one Christmas river cruise and plan another for this year. I go the actual week of Christmas to enjoy the European pagentry of the holiday - as noted Christmas there is more about the event and the spirit than about crazy gift giving. It is wonderful to experience the joy of the holiday without any of the work - the crew does the cooking and the cleaning for you.