Christmas Markets

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368 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
I am looking to surprise my wife with a Christmas Market river cruise next year. Can you give me some ideas on which line and which cruise?

Thank you
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44 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by Mkripke
I am looking to surprise my wife with a Christmas Market river cruise next year. Can you give me some ideas on which line and which cruise?

Thank you
You will get all kinds of answers, and everyone will tell you that their favorite line is the best. In fact they are all good and it is mostly personal preference. We love AMA and are booked on their "Christmas on the Rhine" cruise this year. When you say next year I assume you mean 2014. Plan on booking early as there are a limited number of these cruises and they tend to fill up fast. There are Christmas Markets threads on the River Cruise Roll Call board you might want to check out.
Queens, NY
2,161 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
dwkucera is correct - everyone will have their favorites - I think its only natural! And also the cruise DO sell out early!

But if you're talking about 2013, I know Viking has added some extra ships to their Rhine River Getaway cruise that includes Christmas Markets from the end of November until Christmas. (No, I don't work for them but just booked a December 7, 2013 cruise and had my choice of cabins because of the new schedule!)

We're sailing from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands. We're planning on 2 days pre-cruise in Basel to "recover" from flying and visit the Markets there.

Just something to keep in mind if you're talking 2013.

And what a great surprise!!! Have fun planning!!!
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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
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Mkripke
I am looking to surprise my wife with a Christmas Market river cruise next year. Can you give me some ideas on which line and which cruise?

Thank you
Book fast!!! They are sold out over a year out. Ignore the "Two for One" advertising it is not really a deal, those prices are actually the "Per Person" price and not the cost for two. Also Viking wants payment up front at booking, most others expect full payment 90 to 120 days before sailing.

Research this board for all kinds of advice!
Seneca, SC
113 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Several friends and I took a Christmas Market tour on Avalon several years ago. We flew to Prague, spent several days there, then were bussed to Nuremburg to begin the cruise.

Had a wonderful time. Ship was nice, food was good, tours were great and gave us plenty of time in the Christmas Markets.
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3 Star Mariner - Holland America

Upcoming Cruises - Celebrity Infinity - Panama Canal 10/24/17, Viking Ocean Sky - Caribbean 12/17/17, HAL Rotterdam - Rotterdam to Boston 6/16/18

Previous cruises - 2009 Eastern Caribbean HAL Eurodam, 2010 Mediterranean HAL Noordam, 2010 Avalon River Cruise Christmas Markets, 2011 South America/Antarctica HAL Veendam, 2012 Western Caribbean HAL Nieuw Amsterdam, 2013 Alaska Cruisetour HAL Statendam, 2014 Canada/N England HAL Veendam, 2014 Avalon Heart of Rhine, 2015 Transatlantic HAL Zuiderdam, 2016 Celebrity Constellation Italy and Croatia, 2016 Alaska Cruisetour HAL Noordam,, 2016 Regal Princess Caribbean, 2017 South Pacific HAL Noordam,
14,436 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
We first did the markets on independent land trips and still do, as that is our preference.

We have done 4 Christmas market cruises so far and would like to take the Rhine cruise one of these years for the different ports.

Our first river cruises were with Avalon and then we discovered AMA and haven't looked elsewhere since.

While there are many apparent similarities among the lines, and while some base the decision on price, IMO and IME there are just as many difference that separate the lines. I would read as much as you can of reviews and threads to get an idea of what appeals to you most.

We choose AMA for overall quality and attention to detail. It is simply a great fit for our tastes and preferences.

There was a recent post from someone who had done an AMA and Avalon Christmas market cruise a year apart and found the same significant differences we experienced in terms of staff, entertainment, service and overall personality and attention to detail. You might fight it with a search.
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143 cruises since 1964, 15 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
120 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
My daughter and I did the Danube with Uniworld last month and loved it. I am not fond of Viking and its look but as others have said, it is personal preference. We did the Danube from Budapest to Passau..stops were amazing. If you have not done the Rhine yet that would work as well....or I understand the one out of Frankfurt to Nuremberg, I think, looks terrific as it appears many of the towns are smaller stops plus their ship River Queen this past year on this route was classified tops. Flying into Frankfurt could be simpler and more direct than getting to Budapest at that time of year. One thing to remember if you are going before sure to check dates for the markets at your stops to be sure they will already be open when you pass through.
1.Danube-terrific stops were Vienna, Budapest, Salzburg and Passau
2.Rhine-my terrific stops would be Strasbourg, Alsace, Rudesheim