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TUI River Cruises announces Christmas Markets and New Year itineraries

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TUI Cruises began a 100-day countdown to the launch of its brand TUI River Cruises . The riverboats will set sail from November 26 with Christmas and New Year itineraries as well as a full program from April 2021.

Following the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) removal of the travel ban for river voyages, preparations are underway and the first images of the refurbished adult-only ships were revealed and new excursions for the winter announced.

Ahead of the first sailings, the river cruise line is implementing new health and safety measures to protect both passengers and crew. Transfer buses will be deep-cleaned between journeys, hand sanitizer will be available for passengers, the crew will wear protective equipment, social distancing will be encouraged. Passengers will be asked to fill in health questionnaires and will have their temperature checked prior to boarding. Extra cleaning measures will be in place around the cruise ships. Restaurants are already waiter-service. At breakfast, they have an a la carte menu and a small buffet. Excursion group sizes are smaller to help with social distancing. Passengers can cancel any trips 48 hours in advance. Customers will have to wear face masks on their flights, in airports and may be asked to wear them on transfers as well as onboard the ships.

TUI Isla cruise ship

TUI's 3 riverboats - TUI Maya , TUI Skyla  and TUI Isla - underwent multi-million-pound drydocks (12-18 weeks per ship) and are now transformed into floating boutique hotels.

Customers have the choice of 2 restaurants both with floor to ceiling river views - Verdastro, a stylish fine dining experience, and Bistro, which is more casual. Two brand new bars are also onboard, the Observatory and the Club Lounge. Guests can choose from a selection of local wines with lunch and dinner. In addition, cruisers can buy local wines on-shore which the waiters can serve to them during meals with no corkage charge.

A choice of 7 cabin types per ship is offered with 3 cabins for solo travellers. As part of the river cruise lines sustainability initiative, all cabin carpets have been made from recycled fishing nets giving them a unique finish. There are 36 suites across the 3 ships with walk-in wardrobes, spacious bathrooms, and double French balconies.

All passengers receive a GBP 120 credit (per 7-day itinerary) to use towards shore trips and the addition of 12 winter excursions expands the total to 150. The new additions feature visits to Christmas markets and Christmas walking tours.

The river cruise company offers 32 itineraries along the Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube, and Dutch and Belgian waterways with the flexibility of 3 to 14-night sailings for those wishing a short break or opting for a longer getaway. While TUI Maya and TUI Skyla will be preparing to set sail in April from Budapest and Frankfurt , TUI Isla will sail 3 festive Christmas itineraries including Rhine Gems, Mistletoe & Rhine, and Yuletide Wonders throughout November and December.

A Little Extras Package has been introduced for GBP 35 per cabin including extras like priority check-in, welcome prosecco and chocolates, a small group ship tour, one continental breakfast in bed, a personalized card from the captain, and a late cabin check-out.

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A sprinkle of Christmas cheer on the rivers of Europe with TUI River Cruises

Author: Daniel Edward

Published on: 26 November 2023

Save up to £350 on adults-only river cruises to Europe’s biggest Christmas markets this winter.* Be speedy though, the last spots are going fast

Festive cheer fills the air and the savviest of last-minute bargain baggers sweep up the final few cabins onboard dreamy TUI River Cruises' Christmas market cruises on the continent. A TUI River Cruises festive sailing to Europe’s famous Christmas markets is undoubtedly one of the most feel-good and cheery sailings of the entire year. Many people book for these seasonal sailings months in advance to guarantee their spot, but for those willing to take the risk of waiting, there are some enticing last minute deals to be grabbed. Right now. So, step away from your local shopping centre, avoid the crowds of Oxford Street in London, and whisk yourself off to the heart of the traditional Christmas spirit, where warmly lit wooden chalets huddle together in medieval squares and spread the magic of the moment to locals and visitors alike. Amble to the jingle of bells, sipping on mulled wine, and listening to carols being sung in a romantic European language. If you’re lucky, a light dusting of snow might have settled overnight and you’ll be rewarded with the most spectacularly twinkly pictures of the continent’s favourite seasonal hotspots. And then step back onboard your TUI River Cruises ship, where a delicious freshly-prepared dinner awaits you, and relax in the lounge with a hot toddy in hand… maybe eating some roasted chestnuts you bought from a street cart, and chatting with new friends you’ve made onboard. Why not just say that £300 off is TUI River Cruises’ Christmas present to you.

‘Tis the season to be sailing, fa lalalala la la la la Start December off in style with ‘ Christmastime on the Rhine’ . Indulge in a five-night cruise onboard TUI Skyla – an adults-only retreat, visiting a variety of charming, traditional-style Christmas market in Germany and France. With a different port every day, this will be a week of Christmas shopping like no other, and – we’re sure of this – your loved ones are going to love the artisan gifts you’ll find them in these magical markets. Your upfront fare includes all tips, flights and full board… plus take a last-minute discount. Germany is where the wonderful Christmas market tradition started, with pop-up villages of wooden huts and chalets selling all manner of locally produced wares, from beers and wines to soaps, crafts and jewellery.

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TUI Isla sets sail on a five-night ‘ Mistletoe & Rhine ’ cruise, departing December 7, 2023, to five of Germany’s favourite festive market hotspots – including Frankfurt, with its signature apple wine, and Koblenz where the city’s advent calendar is the size of a building. Did you forget to order a turkey in time? No worries – we’ve got the perfect solution for you. Take advantage of a last-minute deal for ‘ A Rhineland Christmas ’ onboard TUI Skyla. You won’t need to cook a single meal for the entire Christmas week, as you’ll set sail on December 22, 2023 and will return a week later, in time for New Year’s Eve at home. Trade up and enjoy Christmas Day in Bonn – where Beethoven was born. Also offering appealing spontaneous Christmas getaway vibes, TUI Isla will be enjoying Christmas Day in Dusseldorf as part of her seven-night ‘ Rhine Christmas Charms ’ cruise (also setting sail from Frankfurt on December 22, 2023). Following the big day, visit the heart of Germany’s wine-growing region and maybe pick up an artisan bottle of something special to toast the new year when you get back home.

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tui river cruise christmas markets

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TUI Christmas River Cruises

tui river cruise christmas markets

TUI Christmas River Cruises with SO MUCH included!

Enjoy flights from your local airport, bags, transfers, meals, drinks with lunch & dinner, tips & wi-fi you get it all for one, great value price..

Experience the magic of the festive season with TUI River Cruises as you embark on enchanting journeys to some of Europe's most renowned Christmas market destinations. From the iconic Cologne and Strasbourg to charming hidden gems like Speyer and Breisach, TUI's ships navigate the Rhine River, offering a yuletide adventure like no other. Strasbourg's Christmas market, steeped in over four centuries of tradition, lures over two million visitors annually, guaranteeing an authentic and festive experience . Across the border, Cologne's market, set against the backdrop of the historic cathedral and the Rhine, is another must-visit gem. Onboard you'll discover the true spirit of Christmas with a twinkling tree in the atrium, festive delights on the restaurant menus, and warming mulled wine at the bar. Plus, when you're not exploring the markets, indulge in delectable breakfast, lunch, and dinner options at the two onboard restaurants. Join TUI for a river cruise and make the holiday season truly special , blending the joys of travel with the magic of Christmas.

When? November & December 2023/24 What's included?

  • Flights with generous luggage allowance from up to 5 UK airports
  • Meals with drinks
  • Complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship

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Christmas market river cruises: What to expect on a holiday sailing

Megan duBois

Sailing down one of Europe's stunning rivers is a dream trip no matter the time of year, but at Christmas time it's even more special. Ships take travelers from port to port to experience the incredible Christmas markets where stalls are adorned with glittering lights, the smells of sausages and baked goods fill the air, and the sounds of carols can be heard.

Starting in late November through Christmas every year, the cities and towns along the Danube, Rhine, Seine and other rivers set up markets that display each region's holiday traditions. Many of the most popular river cruise lines with ships based in Europe schedule festive cruises to take travelers to shop and dine at these seasonal markets.

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If you're thinking about booking a Christmas market river cruise but don't know where to start, we've got you covered. Here, we've answered the most popular questions about Christmas market river cruises and shared our top tips and tricks to get the most out of the trip.

Is a Christmas market river cruise worth it?

tui river cruise christmas markets

The number-one question people asked me in person and online after I did a Christmas market river cruise down the Danube with Viking in December 2023 was: Is the trip worth it? I vote yes, but there are some things you should know before booking a Christmas market cruise.

If you've had visiting the Christmas markets of Europe on your bucket list, a river cruise is a great way to explore multiple markets in one trip. One of the biggest perks of a river cruise versus a land-based trip is that you unpack once, and your accommodations and dining options float with you down the river from town to town.

Additionally, the cruise director on board acted more like a personal concierge for guests who had questions, giving suggestions for things to do, places to eat and what each Christmas market was known for.

On my seven-night river cruise, I visited six ports and enjoyed a half day of scenic sailing through the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our ports of call were Budapest; Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna; Krems, Austria; Linz, Austria; and Passau, Germany. Each port had at least one Christmas market.

I was most impressed by Vienna, which had two, but the one near City Hall is the one that makes most of the viral TikTok videos and Instagram reels. The City Hall Christmas market is the larger of the two in the city center and is more photogenic. But be sure to go to both Christmas markets in the city. They are about a 10-minute walk from each other and have different foods to try and souvenirs to buy.

Related: The best Christmas market river cruises to book

Which rivers are the best for a Christmas markets cruise?

tui river cruise christmas markets

Picking a river for your cruise can be a challenge, especially if you're not familiar with the destinations on the itinerary. Cruises on the Danube and Rhine are the most popular at this time of year because their ports of call are where most of our Christmas traditions were first created.

On the Danube, you can visit destinations like Vienna, Austria and Passau and Regensburg, Germany. Alternatively, on the Rhine, destinations of interest include Amsterdam; Cologne, Germany; Mannheim, Germany; and Strasbourg, France.

After you find a few river cruises that fit your travel dates, dig into each destination and what it has to offer. Christmas markets are open from midmorning until between 8 and 10 p.m., but there's not enough to do at each market to fill that entire time. I usually spent about an hour at the smaller markets in places like Passau and Linz and about two to three hours at the larger markets in Vienna and Budapest. In each port, you'll want to be sure there are more activities and attractions to fill the rest of your time in port.

Related: Best river cruise lines around the world

Which river cruise line is best for a Christmas cruise?

tui river cruise christmas markets

Cruise lines that offer Christmas market cruises include Viking , Avalon Waterways, AmaWaterways , CroisiEurope, Uniworld and Tauck.

Uniworld cruises are the most expensive, with prices ranging from $3,399 to $7,199 for 8- to 11-day sailings throughout the season. Tauck is also pricier than its competitors, but it's one of the few options that has a family cruise option.

Avalon Waterways offers a more affordable way to see the Christmas markets, with cruises starting at $2,167 for six days of traveling from Budapest to Vienna. But be warned, some cruises do sell out almost a year in advance. CroisiEurope cruises are also more affordable and offer closed-loop cruises where you start and end in the same destination, which is not something that most other river cruise lines offer for Christmas market cruises.

If you're looking for a more active cruise, consider AmaWaterways, where bikes are always available to use in port. On the Danube Christmas Markets tour, you can bike from Weissenkirchen to Melk, passing picturesque villages and vineyards.

Viking is known to be slower-paced than its competitors, with a relaxed vibe. Guest won't have as many choices of activities off or on the ship. The included tours are mostly walking tours.

Related: AmaWaterways vs. Viking: Which of these popular river cruise lines is right for you?

How do I get a good deal on a Christmas market cruise?

Because of the short season for Christmas market river cruises, getting a deal can prove to be a challenge. The best way to get a deal is to book early.

It's common for people to book a Christmas market cruise a year or more in advance. Some companies will offer a discounted deposit for those who book early, and others will offer monetary savings for booking well in advance. Look for wave season (January through March) or Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday deals for river cruise discounts or other promotional offers.

Related: Booking your first river cruise? Here's what you need to know

Do Christmas cruises sell out?

Yes, Christmas cruises can and do sell out. Most riverboats only hold 100 to 200 passengers. The best way to ensure you get the type of cabin and sailing date that you want is to book early.

The more desirable balcony and suite rooms often sell out first, followed by rooms with only upper windows. Cruises that take place in the middle of the season, meaning the first two to three weeks of December, are often more popular than the last week of November or the week of Christmas since some markets might not be open at those times.

Related: These are the best Christmas cruises you can book

How cold is Europe in winter?

tui river cruise christmas markets

The weather is, of course, determined by when and where you're going. Middle and Eastern Europe is often colder than Western Europe, the latter of which has a milder winter season. The later in the Christmas market season you travel, the more likely you are to get rain or snow since winter is setting in across the continent.

On my Viking river cruise from Budapest to Passau in Eastern Europe, the winter weather varied from days with cold rain where I needed to bundle up with extra waterproof layers, to beautiful sunny days where I could strip off my winter jacket for a few hours while touring the Christmas markets.

I used the weather app on my phone to help me determine what to pack. Even 10 days out from my trip, the app was fairly accurate with what the temperatures would be, which ranged from the 20s to the high 40s, and what the day would look like.

What should I wear on my river cruise?

tui river cruise christmas markets

Packing for a river cruise in the middle of winter was the most challenging part of the trip for me. Not only did I have to buy winter clothes since I live in Florida, but I needed to make sure I brought enough layers to keep me warm.

For days exploring the ports, I wore jeans and waterproof boots with long cozy socks, plus a thermal long-sleeved shirt under a sweater. I also brought a midweight puffy winter jacket to wear off the ship. Accessories like a warm hat or ear warmers, gloves and a scarf were also helpful.

Depending on the river cruise line you book, the onboard attire may range from casual to a little more fancy. During the day on Viking, many people wore jeans or sweatpants and a casual shirt. Evenings brought out the more elevated fashion; women donned cute sweaters and dresses, while men dressed in jeans and nicer tops or sweaters.

If you can, I suggest bringing at least two pairs of outdoor shoes in case your waterproof shoes can't handle the snow or a few days of rain in a row. I brought a pair of fleece-lined Crocs to wear off the ship in a few ports where the weather was warmer with no precipitation.

Related: River cruise packing list: What to pack when traveling by riverboat

When should I arrive at the embarkation port?

Always try to arrive at least a day early for any river cruise, especially if you're flying overseas. For some river cruises, the embarkation port is just that, a place to get on the ship and leave. If you arrive the day your cruise begins, you could miss out on exploring the city.

Even if your Christmas market river cruise does have an overnight stay in the embarkation city with tours the next day, it's still best to arrive a day early. Travel days from the United States to Europe can be unpredictable, with delays and missed connections, so you should give yourself plenty of time to get to the ship so you don't miss it.

Some river cruise lines offer pre-cruise extensions that you can bundle with the cruise booking and allow you to arrive early at the embarkation port. These extensions include a hotel stay, and some include a few meals and a guided tour, plus transfers from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the ship.

Are the markets all the same?

tui river cruise christmas markets

Every Christmas market is different in the overall vibe and what it has to offer for visitors. Do some research before you leave home to see what the highlight of each Christmas market is. I did a lot of my research on TikTok and Instagram so I could see what the person was talking about.

In Budapest, the Christmas market in the square in front of St. Stephen's Basilica was a good mix of crafts, decorations and tasty food to try. On the other hand, the Christmas market in Bratislava was more of a food market with just a few stalls for buying goodies to bring home with you.

My favorite Christmas market was the one at City Hall in Vienna, which happens to be one of the most popular in Europe. It had everything from ice skating and photo-worthy backdrops to prepackaged sweets and plenty of Christmas decorations to try to fit into my already full suitcase.

What are the best things to buy at European Christmas markets?

Popular things to buy at Christmas markets throughout Europe include nativity scenes, handmade toys, nutcrackers, candles and glass or wood ornaments. If something catches your eye, buy it; there's no guarantee you'll find a similar item at the next market.

For example, in Vienna, I spotted a gold beaded ornament that I loved, and I bought it for about 10 euros (about $10.86). I never saw any other beaded ornaments at the Christmas markets before or after Vienna, so I was glad I purchased it when I saw it.

Do make sure that you're buying local products. On my Viking cruise, we were told that some markets are starting to sell mass-produced goods from China. If you want to support local artisans, ask the vendor or look for stickers that say where the products were made.

What should I eat or drink at each market?

tui river cruise christmas markets

Eating and drinking is a key component of the Christmas market experience. Each market sells an abundance of food, and the food options change from town to town.

Before you cruise, make a list of regional foods you wish to try in each market. Once at the market, look around to see which food stands are popular with locals. Follow their lead because they likely know who has the best treats.

Here are my favorite sweet and savory treats from each Christmas market I visited on my Viking cruise.

  • Budapest: chimney cake rolled in crushed hazelnuts
  • Bratislava: pork and garlic spiral sausage, potato pancakes similar to latkes but the size of a dinner plate
  • Vienna: Champagne cream-filled donut
  • Linz: raclette cheese on toasted bread
  • Passau: cheese, ham and onion sengzelten (a sort of flatbread with toppings), traditional German bratwurst

Drinking at Christmas markets around Europe normally means getting a hot glass of glühwein, which is mulled wine made with red wine, spices and fruit. The drink is normally served in cute mugs that you can keep as a fun and cheap souvenir. If you don't want to keep your mug, you can return it and get back a euro or two.

What else can I do in each market besides shop?

tui river cruise christmas markets

Each Christmas market is different, and the things to do besides shopping are also varied.

Most of the larger markets, like the ones in Bratislava and Budapest, have live music playing from a bandstand that you can enjoy. In Budapest, the market near St. Stephen's Basilica had a projection show on the exterior of the church, too.

While touring one of the Linz markets, I stumbled upon a small carnival where rides and games were set up for kids to enjoy. Then in Vienna, the City Hall Christmas market had an ice skating rink that was popular with families and couples.

Related: Are river cruises right for kids?

What times do the markets open and close?

Generally, the Christmas markets open in midmorning, anywhere from 9 to 10 a.m., and close between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Some markets will open earlier, and some will close later.

The best way to know the times of each market you're visiting is to do a quick internet search close to the time of your river cruise. Put the name of the city and the words "Christmas Market hours" into your preferred online search tool to get the operational hours for each market.

Do you need cash for the Christmas markets?

tui river cruise christmas markets

You should always carry some cash with you for the Christmas markets. While many of the vendors will take credit cards or Apple Pay, others only want cash.

It's also a good idea to know the currency of each destination you're going to. For example, in Hungary, euros are not accepted anywhere, so I exchanged dollars for Hungarian forints to use at the Christmas market.

What can I do in each city before or after the Christmas market?

Your river cruise will offer an included tour every day. On my Viking river cruise, each day's included tour was a walking tour of the city to point out historic landmarks and show people how to get to the Christmas markets.

After a few days, I found the walking tours somewhat repetitive. They all showed off the major church in the city center and described how the city navigated various wars. The guides make or break the tours, and you never know who you'll get. So I used the tours to help navigate to the city center, then ventured off on my own with my travel companion. We used walking directions on Google Maps as a way to get to destinations we were interested in and to get back to the ship once we were ready to warm up for a while.

River cruises include a lot of perks, including docking right at the edge of most of the towns you visit. This means that in many destinations, you can walk from the ship to the middle of town in mere minutes. Before or after visiting the Christmas market, you can spend your time exploring the city, dining in a local restaurant, sipping hot coffee in a cafe or popping into shops.

For larger destinations like Vienna, Paris or Amsterdam, you might want to do extra research on what there is to do in the city for free or at a discount. Many museums offer free or discounted entry on select days or to select ages.

Bottom line

If you've ever wanted to explore European Christmas markets, a river cruise is an easy way to do it. Many of the best river cruise brands and guided group tour companies offer Christmas markets river cruises throughout Europe.

You'll make the most of your vacation if you do a little bit of research to determine what there is to do in each city before or after your market visit, which local foods you should try and what to shop for at the markets themselves.

No matter which river you traverse, cruise line you pick, or Christmas markets you visit, you'll be able to immerse yourself in European holiday culture, learning about the food and drink specialties of the places you visit and how each destination celebrates the holidays. And since you're on a river cruise, you can experience multiple cities and countries while someone else does the navigation for you, and you only have to unpack once.

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Wear When What Why

What to Pack for Christmas Market River Cruise

What to Pack for Christmas Market River Cruise

Are you wondering what to pack for a Christmas Market River Cruise? In this guide we cover what to wear on a Christmas Market River Cruise for the weather, dress code and terrains as well as essential non clothing items for visiting Winter in Europe .

Important Note : This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Table of Contents

Considerations for what to pack for Christmas Market River Cruise

River in Hamburg with Christmas tree as seen from a Christmas Markets River Cruise

Before we get onto our Christmas Market river cruise packing list, we thought that it would be worth pointing out some of the things to consider before putting your packing list together.

River Cruises are Different to Ocean Going Cruises

The first thing we want to point out is that river cruises are very different to ocean going cruises in term of shore excursions, dress codes and also the size of cabins

Therefore even if you are seasoned ocean cruisers you will find that there are different requirements for packing.

All cruise cabins, river, sea going and even world cruises are small. Therefore it is really important to pack light and not overpack . Lots of clothes and large luggage will quickly fill up your river cruise cabin. Therefore a river cruise capsule wardrobe is an essential.

For tips on how to pack a capsule wardrobe generally without having to worry about laundry service check out the below posts:

  • 54321 packing method
  • Sudoku packing method

Best Luggage for a River Cruise at Christmas

We also recommend taking the smallest luggage you can possibly get away with. For instance if you can do carry on only that is great but if not we recommend taking  soft sided luggage like this  as it is easier to store under your bed or in the wardrobe.

Overall I would say the smaller the luggage the better for a river cruise.

River Cruise Dress Codes

Whenever we talk about cruises, the most frequent questions we get are around dress codes. And river cruises are no exception.

Now obviously for a Christmas Market River cruise the most important thing to pack for is the weather. However what about when you are on board?

The good news is that the river cruise dress codes tend to be a lot less formal than ocean going cruise ship dress codes. In fact I would say on some the dress code is actually quite casual which means you can leave the evening formal wear at home.

However there are differences depending on the line you are traveling with. For this reason we have summarised the main river cruise line dress codes in their own posts:

  • Viking River Cruise Dress Code
  • Saga River Cruise Dress Code
  • Emerald Waterways Cruise Dress Code
  • Avalon Waterways

What to wear on a river cruise formal night

This is a great question and actually the answer is that most river cruises don’t tend to have a formal night like ocean cruises.

Dress codes on river cruises even in the evening tend to be casual to smart casual and not everyone will change after a river cruise shore excursion.

Personally we always prefer to change for dinner but a sparkly top, or a blouse and smarter bottoms would be perfect – we will go into more detail in the next section.

What to wear on Christmas Market river cruise shore excursions?

Strasbourg Christmas MArket in France in December

River cruise excursions tend to be more city orientated and this is very true for a Christmas Market River Cruise. As obviously the primary purpose of the excursions is to visit the Christmas Markets, usually along the Rhine.

Generally speaking for these excursions I would recommend wearing what you would do if you were on a city break in that place normally. Some common places you visit on a Christmas Market River Cruise are

  • cities in France such as Strasbourg
  • cities in Germany such as Cologne, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. For a full German Christmas Market packing list click here.

But in essence I would say the key is comfort. There is lots of walking on river cruise excursions so having comfortable walking shoes is an absolute must. As well as having lots of light layers that you can take on and off easily as well as a thick winter jacket paired with winter accessories.

What to wear on Christmas Market River Cruise

So now you know the dress codes involved in a Christmas market river cruise it is time to turn our attention to what to wear on a Christmas market river cruise with our handy packing checklist.

couple at christmas market

A coat is absolutely an essential for a Christmas Market River cruise. For a Christmas Market cruise we would recommend packing a thick coat with some insulation that also has some waterproofing and wind resistance.

People at Christmas markets, both locals and tourists will be dressed for the weather and practically before anything else. Therefore pick the warmest coat you have instead of being led by a style. For more information on how to pack Winter Coats in suitcases check out this post

Some of our favorite brands of coats for Northern Europe include:

  • North Face  and

Click here to shop coats for Northern Europe. 

Winter Accessories

Winter accessories are a must for European Christmas Markets. They are a very practical item for being outdoors in Europe strolling around the Christmas markets but on top of that they can stylishly finish off your Winter Coat outfit. Ear muffs are also advisable.

And be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.

Click here to shop winter accessories

Layers are the most important thing to pack for a Christmas Market River Cruise. Now the key to a successful Winter outfit for Europe in my opinion is having multiple light layers with you rather than chunky sweaters and bulky jumpers for top layers.

Firstly these are bulky and are hard to pack, especially if you are trying to pack a  minimalist capsule wardrobe  and not  overpack .

Instead you want to have lots of lighter layers that can be combined as part of a  sudoku packing list , and that can be taken on and off as extra layers are required.

I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater. Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to wear in Winter for Christmas Markets. That is because it provides extra warmth as it is an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. This means it is easy to pack, and everyone knows Winter is hard to pack for.

Also merino wool doesn’t absorb smell as quickly as other fabrics.

We also would always pack a festive sweater / festive jumper for a CHristmas Markets River Cruise to help get you in a festive spirit.

And sparkly and glittery sweater wise as this is a nice top to wear for dinners on river cruise.

Click here to shop layers for Europe

Warmer trousers are definitely required for Christmas Markets. Jeans are a great choice as are other heavier weight pants such as cords and wool.

Note: I would personally avoid dresses for visiting Christmas Markets on a river cruise shore excursion due to the weather. However a dress such as a wrap dress or a sweater dress is perfect for on the ship.

T Shirts are a great base for Christmas Markets. We recommend packing more long-sleeve tops over short sleeve tees. And if you feel the cold you may want a thermal base layer too.

For those traveling to Europe in Winter we always recommend packing thicker, flannel pjs no matter the destination.

Underwear and Warm Socks

Goes without saying really. However I think socks are worth talking about in a bit more depth. There is nothing I hate more than having cold feet. Therefore picking the right socks is a really important part of my packing list for Christmas Markets.

I would either pack some thick hiking socks or merino wool socks to make sure your feet stay warm strolling around the stalls at the Christmas Markets.

Shop merino wool socks here.

T hermal Base Layers  / Thermal Underwear (optional)

A thermal base layer comprising of leggings and a long sleeve top don’t need to be on everyone’s packing list. It really depends on how much you feel the cold. My husband never packs them for Europe in December however I always have them.

Shop thermal base layers here.

Best Shoes for a Christmas Market River Cruise

Ankle boots.

Ankle boots are my number one pick for visiting European Christmas Market. They are easier to pack than knee high boots and if you select the right pair are waterproof and come with good soles.

To cope with the weather, we recommend picking something like a Chelsea boot or Dr Martens with a thick sole with good grip.

Click here to shop ankle boots.

For tips on how to pack boots in a suitcase check out this post.

After boots, sneakers are the next best shoe for Christmas markets. Comfortable shoes are important for Christmas Markets as you will be doing a lot walking. And I don’t think sneakers can be beaten on the comfort front.

My favorite sneaker brands for travel are   Hoka  and  AllBirds . Although I love the versatility of a white sneaker these can get discolored quickly on Christmas market river cruises.

I also love the  Ecco brand of sneakers for comping with rain.

What to pack for a Christmas Market River Cruise (non clothing)

Travel documents .

A Passport and/or identification is always required. On top of that remember also your travel insurance, vaccination certificates and visas as well as any other line or country specific documentation.

Pack any meds you need in your carry on and be sure to have prescriptions with you.

Most new ships will have USB charging ports next to the bed however this is by no means on all ships. Don’t get caught out and take a charger with you and a spare cable.

Travel Adaptor

Depending on where you are from, who you are sailing with and where you may need to take a travel adaptor with you to ensure that all your electronics will work.

I personally never travel anywhere without my trusty Universal travel adaptor that works in pretty much all locations.

Click here to shop universal travel adaptors.

Cross Body Anti Theft bag

Pickpockets are found anywhere that there are tourists. And unfortunately this includes Christmas Markets. Therefore you will want to protect yourself from pickpockets while on a river cruise and the sites you are visiting.

Out favourite pick pocket deterrent is to wear a cross body anti theft bag like this. I prefer these to a fanny pack as these can often mark you out as a tourist in Europe.

Click here to shop anti theft bags.

A backpack is also useful for Christmas Markets.

Compact Travel Umbrella

Rain can happen whenever you are traveling in Europe however Christmas Markets can be particularly rainy. So be sure to keep a compact travel umbrella with you at all times.

Click here to shop travel umbrellas.

The cold weather in Europe can dry out your lips very quickly so we recommend always having a lip balm with you when visiting Christmas Markets in Europe.

Click here to shop lip balm for cruise ships.

Although most ships provide toiletries I will always pack some on my own as I think they are better quality than those you get on board most cruise ships.

For more information on the  best toiletries to bring on a cruise  check out this post.

Moisturiser

As your lips can dry out in Winter, so can your skin when face with cold, wet and rainy weather. So on top of lip balm I always carry moisturizer with me. My favorite moisturizer for Winter is  this one.

Reusable Water bottle

You will be doing a lot of walking on river cruise excursions and it is good to stay hydrated. To stay healthy and save the environment we recommend always cruising with a travel water bottle.

And there are lots of great cruise themed water bottles out there too!  Click here to shop reusable water bottles for travel.

European Christmas Markets are beautiful and you will want to be taking lots of photos. Couple this with using your phone for transportation, maps and other travel essentials your battery will drain quickly. Therefore you will want to have a  battery pack  with you at all times

Many people find a lanyard is the best way to keep their cabin key safe and on them at all times on a cruise. You should keep your cruise card with you at all time as this acts as identification on board the ship and also as your payment method.

When looking for a cruise lanyard we think that the best ones are waterproof so can be used on shore excursions where you will be spending a lot of time in the water and can also be used to keep small amounts of cash and a government issued id. 

Click here to shop the best lanyards for cruise travel.

And there you have it our full European Christmas Market River Cruise packing list! We hope this has answered all of your questions but if there is something you still have a question about just pop us a comment below!

This five-night sailing packs in hot springs, luxurious palaces and cinnamon-scented Christmas markets – plus much more.

TUI RIVER CRUISES - CHRISTMASTIME ON THE RHINE

tui river cruise christmas markets

8 best river cruises in Europe, from the Douro to the Danube

E urope is a continent built on its rivers, with many having played a vital role in the formation and development of its most important cities . From the Thames to the Tiber , they are an ever-flowing reminder of the continent’s long and varied history.

The opportunity to sail along these rivers, among the world’s most beautiful and peaceful waterways, is a temptation that’s easily given in to. Of course, a river cruise is about more than just spending time floating on the water (although that option is available, should you wish). It’s about the towns, cities and landmarks along the way.

These trips will take you on a relaxing and slow-paced journey to vineyards and valleys, tours and excursions, returning each night to your own floating hotel. Each day offers quick stops to discover some of the continent’s most important cultures at your own pace.

The Independent has rounded up eight of the best Europe river cruise packages, from epic continental crossing and to the finest Christmas markets to explore.

Capitals of Eastern Europe, Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises’ Capitals of Eastern Europe itinerary is a 16-night trip covering the main cities on the Danube. It sets sail from Vienna, the elegant and sophisticated Austrian capital, and it finishes in Constanta, Romania, before a quick final journey overland to Bucharest to end your trip with a two-night stay.

Read more on Europe travel :

  • The underrated European holiday destination with fabulous forests and brilliant beer
  • Beat the heat: The ‘cool’ European destinations to visit in summer 2024
  • The lesser-known Croatia destinations you may not have considered

On the way you’ll visit a host of towns in Hungary, Serbia and even Bulgaria, but on this trip the bigger cities are the main attraction. Vienna is followed by Bratislava – where Baroque palaces meet a typically Eastern European Old Town – and then Budapest . The Hungarian capital is a highlight: from festooned “ruin bars” and thermal baths to a spectacular neo-Gothic parliament building, the city has a wide variety of architecture, activities and things to do.

How to book

The tour lasts for 17 days, starting from £5,445pp. This price includes return flights, one excursion in each port of call and all meals. vikingrivercruises.co.uk

North Rhine & The Netherlands, TUI

Alongside the Danube, the Rhine is one of Europe’s main cruise rivers. Many operators have several Rhine packages; TUI’s offering covers a stellar range of cities for a very affordable price. Its ships have two dining options (a bistro and a more formal restaurant) with al fresco seating, as well as a wellness and activity area on the top deck. No excursions are included, but this does give you free rein to choose whatever activities you like.

The first two days are spent in Amsterdam , where you’ll have ample time to wander its canals and green spaces, such as the Vondelpark, or visit attractions such as the Anne Frank Museum, Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.

Days three and four bring you to Rotterdam and Dusseldorf. You can enjoy the port area in the Netherlands ’ second city or simply marvel at its dramatically different modern architecture, while Dusseldorf provides a variety of museums and concerts alongside a lively Old Town. On days five to seven, you’ll visit four picturesque riverside cities and towns: Bonn, Koblenz, Boppard and Oberwesel. There are waterfront bars and restaurants galore, and each has its own slice of history (think of a Beethoven museum in Bonn and a memorial to the ruler who united Germany in Koblenz).

From £1,639pp for this seven-night trip, including three meals per day (you can add coffee, alcohol and other drinks on an all-inclusive basis for an extra £20 per night) and return flights. tui.co.uk

The Douro, Riviera Travel

A trip along the northern Douro River can offer views to rival even the most idyllic of Algarve beaches. This trip starts in Porto , where bars and restaurants line the banks in the Ribeira (Riverside) district, but it is worth climbing the various hills to see other areas and sites, such as the cathedral and Dom Luis I Bridge.

After setting off along the Douro, your first two stops are Pinhao – a picturesque wine town, famous for being at the heart of the Port-producing region of the country – and Castelo Rodrigo, a 12th-century walled village located in the highlands. Day four will see you visit Salamanca, the Spanish sandstone city famous for its cathedrals and university.

The next two days are spent in Peso da Régua and Lamego – two small hillside towns – before returning to Porto on day seven. The cruise ends here, but the holiday doesn’t; this package also contains a three-night stay in Lisbon . After travelling to the capital by coach, you’ll visit the nearby towns of Coimbra (day eight) and Sintra (day 10), while you’ll have a day in the capital sandwiched in between; while in Lisbon, take in the city’s unique Manueline and Pombaline architecture while wandering through its grand squares, and visit Sao Jorge castle or the city’s famous Time Out Market.

This 11-day cruise is priced from £1,599pp, including all meals on board, excursions, airport transfers and coach travel where necessary.  rivieratravel.co.uk

Idyllic Rhône, Scenic Cruises

Scenic Cruises’ luxury Rhone sailing takes you through some of the best sections of southern France , starting in Lyon . The regional capital has 2,000 years of history, so it’s blessed with a Roman amphitheatre right through to a Renaissance Old Town. Your first trip will take you north along the Saone River to Macon, a famous wine region in Burgundy.

The next two towns, Vienne and Viviers, offer spectacular views of the Rhone before you arrive in Avignon. You can enjoy a private concert at the Palais des Papes – once a Papal residence – as well as a cooking class onboard, but a visit to the city itself is worth it to wander its narrow streets and charming squares, starting with the Place de l’Horloge. Your final day takes you to Arles, at the mouth of the Rhone – from here, you can travel home, stay in the city or carry on towards Marseille .

Prices start at £2,999pp for the eight-day cruise. The package includes 20 meals, the premium concert experience, cooking lessons and 19 shore activities, ranging from walking tours to wine tastings. scenic.co.uk

Holland & Belgium, Avalon Waterways

Avalon’s eight-day cruise of the Low Countries is an excellent way to experience some of the region’s best cities in a relaxing way. It starts and ends in Amsterdam , where you’ll have a number of nights to wander its scenic network of canals lined with beautiful 17th-century buildings.

When you move on to Belgium, you’ll visit Ghent , Brussels and Antwerp on consecutive days. More tranquil canals await you in Ghent, and those who enjoy being by the water can continue this in Antwerp’s waterfront area. Brussels has more than its fair share of landmarks and museums (all centred around Grand Place, the main square and Unesco Heritage Site), but the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Antwerp) and St Bavo’s Cathedral (Ghent) are definitely places to visit during the other stops. Day six will take you to Rotterdam before you head back to the Dutch capital.

From £2,453pp. Meals and some activities are included; there are additional excursions in each destination that can be purchased. avalonwaterways.co.uk

Danube Delights, Emerald Cruises

This trip from Emerald Cruises takes you along the famous river to Regensburg. It starts with two nights in Budapest , with a traditional Hungarian folklore show and tour of Buda Hill on offer, along with any solo sightseeing you’d like to do. Days three and four take you to Bratislava and Vienna, where you can enjoy cycling tours and hikes.

Krems and Durnstein are the last two stops in Austria before you head to Passau, the German “City of Three Rivers”. At the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers, the city is home to an impressive cathedral and Old Town. After disembarking at Regensburg, you make your way to Munich , where a good plan is to spend time exploring the Bavarian capital before you fly home.

From £1,849pp for this eight-day cruise, which includes five guided tours, 20 meals and complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board. emeraldcruises.co.uk

Christmas Markets on the Rhine, Ama Waterways

There’s something quite special about experiencing Christmas celebrations on a river cruise through Europe. On this AmaWaterways voyage, you sail the Rhine, boarding in Amsterdam and with a first stop in Cologne. The Gothic cathedral provides the backdrop for one of the country’s best Christmas markets, where you’ll find dozens of stalls selling festive items, many of them handmade. Other markets include the more elaborate Heinzels Wintermärchen in the Old Town and the Markt der Engel (a more rustic affair in the city’s Neumarkt square). For those who want to mix in a bit of sightseeing, the Museum Ludwig and Roman-Germanic Museum can give you a taste of arts and history.

Next on the itinerary, you’ll visit the German towns of Heidelberg and Speyer, where more markets await, before arriving in Strasbourg, France. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of French and German culture, a warm festive spirit and plenty of opportunities to wander the markets that are spread throughout the town. Wander further afield and you’ll find Petite France, a pretty district known for cobblestone streets and canals. Holidaymakers return to Germany for the penultimate stop in Breisach, before disembarking in Basel (though you can always stay in Switzerland for a taste of Swiss Christmas markets).

From £3.149, including meals and some activities; flights and airport transfer not included. amawaterways.co.uk

European Sojourn, Viking River Cruises

This ultimate itinerary bisects Europe to take passengers from Amsterdam to Bucharest, via sections of the Rhine, Main and Danube among other European rivers. Along the way, passengers will visit some of Europe’s principal cities – think Budapest, Amsterdam and Vienna – smaller (but just as beautiful) riverside settlements such as Passau and Bamberg, and lesser-known towns including Vidin and Kolocsa.

Hidden gems range from Melk, an Austrian town in the underrated   Wachau Valley wine-making region, Osijek, the fourth-largest city in Croatia, and Kinderdijk, a Dutch village famous for its set of 19 windmills. With 23 days, eight countries, 20 towns and cities, and at least 10 Unesco World Heritage Sites, there’ll be plenty to see as you traverse the length of central Europe.

From £8,045pp, including flights, 19 guided tours, all meals, transfers and amenities. vikingrivercruises.co.uk

Read more: Best hotels in Europe 2024: Where to stay for a city, beach or retreat break

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Travel With Pedro

Red Square Christmas Market, Moscow

On a few occasions, I had the opportunity to spend winter in Moscow (check out here the top places to see in Moscow ). Winter in Moscow may sound daunting for some. It is cold, yes, -20C is not a walk in the park for most. But there are attractions to keep you warm, like having some mulled wine at the biggest Moscow Christmas market. On my winter trips to the Russian capital, I visited the Red Square Christmas Market on several occasions and will tell you more about it this interesting event that usually starts in mid-November and end early February.

Red Square Christmas Market, Moscow

I’m a fan of Christmas markets myself, and I’ve been known to travel to Germany, where you find some of the best Christmas markets in Europe , just to enjoy them, or even the ones in London . So finding this one at the end of January was a pleasant surprise.

Red Square Christmas Market Moscow

But why is this Christmas market still open so late in January, when in the rest of Europe they close before the New Year? The reason for that is that are Russian Orthodox Christians , and the Orthodox celebrate “Christmas” on 7th January. That’s when they have their holidays, and many businesses close for a whole week. And since the Russian winter is not only heavy, but long, it makes sense to keep the market open until later.

Red Square Christmas Market Moscow

The Red Square Christmas market is set around one of Moscow’s largest ice rinks and also has an amusement park for children. The market itself is not so big, considering the vastness of Red Square. Thank goodness size doesn’t always matter, especially when you are surrounded by the imposing walls of the Kremlin , the colourful St Basil’s Basilica and the G.U.M. shopping centre.

Red Square Christmas Market Moscow

All stalls are already open very early in the morning, so you could have a good cup of coffee and stroll in the snow. This Christmas market is perfect to buy typical Russian souvenirs, like the babushka – those dolls with many others inside.

Red Square Christmas Market Moscow

So, if you’re looking for a different Christmas market experience for this year, why not consider the beautiful and utterly Russian Red Square Christmas market? Just make sure you’re warm enough, as temperatures can plummet to -25!

This season, the Red Square Christmas Market will be shorter than usual, opening from December 18th to January 10th, 2022.

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Pedro has travelled to almost 120 countries and has made his nest in London. He has also lived in Spain, Australia, the US, Georgia and Turkey. A former hotel management professional, he loves exploring local cultures, is now learning his 8th language and has a soft spot for the Middle East and the CIS countries.

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Russian Tours and Cruises from Express to Russia

  • Guide to Russia
  • Experience Russia

The Best Christmas Markets in Moscow in 2021-2022

Christmas markets in Moscow

Photo by  @betagamma

What are the top Christmas markets in Moscow?

  • Journey to Christmas Festival : Moscow’s biggest festive celebration spans nearly 80 historic sites. Visit traditional markets, watch theatre performances, ballet and light shows, try food from throughout the world, play winter games, and so much more.
  • Christmas Market on Red Square : Russia’s most famous square is adorned with lights, decorations, and this festive market. Browse antiques, art and souvenirs with the backdrop of the Kremlin and St Basil’s, and warm up with traditional Russian snacks.
  • Handicraft Formula Fair : The dream fair for lovers of arts and crafts, you’ll find gifts of every kind like hand-blown glass, mosaics, woodwork, as well as craft kits for adults and children. You can even get involved yourself - workshops include jewellery, Christmas decorations and more.
  • The Franco-Belgian Christmas Fair : If you’ve had your fill of Russian markets, here you’ll find something a little different. Browse cosmetics, clothes and antiques, as well as food and drink which you can enjoy at the fair or take home!
  • Orthodox Christmas Gift Fair : Experience the rich traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church at this fair, where monasteries, churches and farms take part. Discover literature, icons and folk art, as well as delicious food made on the farms.
  • Artflection Handmade Fair : Russia’s biggest handmade fair is run by artists and experts, promising only the highest quality unique gifts. You can also take part in workshops to create handmade gifts.
  • Markets at the All Russian Exhibition Centre : Two festive markets will take place. At the Eastern Fairytale fair, vendors from Central Asia to the Far East sell ceramics, jewellery, teas, spices and more.

A Moscow tour  during the winter is a magical Russian Christmas experience.The festive atmosphere warms the snow-dusted city, thousands of lights are strung across the city’s wide boulevards, and Christmas attractions are set up on the historical squares. From traditional fairs with souvenirs and carousels, to unique festivals run by the Orthodox church, fairs of handmade goods, and markets selling products from France all the way to the Far East, anyone visiting Moscow during the festive season will be spoilt for choice.

The “Journey to Christmas” Festival

Christmas Market Journey to Christmas

Photo by  @miklevasilyev

Moscow’s largest festive celebration spans nearly 80 sites throughout the city - squares, parks and wide boulevards will be adorned and covered with decorations, installations and lights, complete with markets, performances, interactive excursions, light shows and more. As well as traditional fairs, there is an endless amount of fun to be had for all ages:

  • Watch ballet on ice at Revolution Square, with famous performances such as the Nutcracker and Swan Like
  • Ride down Russia’s largest ice slide, or ice skate, sledge, and play winter games
  • Learn about the traditions of 19th century Christmas in Russia
  • Discover festive delicacies from Russia and abroad, including a gingerbread village
  • Browse the Christmas book market and listen to Russian winter poems
  • Children can take part in craft workshops and cooking classes
  • Visit the website below to discover each step of the Journey to Christmas.

Where: Nearly 80 locations all over Moscow When: 10th December 2021 - 09th January 2022

The “Journey to Christmas” Festival at Sokolniki 

Handicraft Formula Fair at Sokolniki

Photo by  @eugene_tones

This unique fair is a dream for arts and crafts lovers coming to Moscow for this date. You will certainly find the perfect souvenir among all of the different crafts offered. There are also gifts to inspire creativity, such as embroidery, scrapbooking, soap-making kits, and kits suitable for children. The fair organises over some workshops for all ages. Small performances and parades are held, as well as craft competitions!

Where: Sokolniki Exhibition Centre, Fontannaya Square When: 31st December 2021, 13:00-19:00

Orthodox Christmas Gift Fair in Sokolniki

Orthodox Christmas Gift Fair in Sokolniki

Photo by  @evgeny

The Sokolniki gift fair is a traditional market which allows visitors to experience the rich traditions of Russian Orthodox culture. Monasteries, churches and church farms from all over the country will set up stalls offering religious literature and icons, jewellery, clothing and applied folk art souvenirs, as well as honey, jams and products from church farms. 

Where: Sokolniki Exhibition Centre, Pavilion 4, 4.1 When: 21 - 27th December 2019

Markets at VDNKh, the All Russian Exhibition Centre

Christmas Market at VNDKh, the All Russian Exhibition Centre

Photo by  @kkalerry

Those looking for original gifts should head to the Eastern Fairytale fair at VNDKh, Russia’s largest exhibition centre. Vendors from Russia, Central Asia, the Far East and South-East Asia offer a multitude of gifts. Browse ceramics, unique artwork, ethically-produced clothes, and jewellery with precious stones. You can also find eastern health products and medicines, natural cosmetics, and exotic teas and spices. 

For those searching for specifically Russian handicrafts, in the same building you will find the New Year’s Gift Fair. Vendors from throughout Russia sell traditional scarves and hats, hand-embroidered garments and linen, as well as jewellery and ornaments.

Where: Both exhibitions are held in Pavilion 57, VNDKh When: 27th - 30th December 2019

Read on to learn about  winter activities in Moscow  and  New Year celebrations in Moscow . 

Related Tours

Classic Moscow

Classic Moscow

This is our most popular Moscow tour that includes all the most prominent sights. You will become acquainted with ancient Russia in the Kremlin, admire Russian art in the Tretyakov Gallery, listen to street musicians as you stroll along the Old Arbat street, and learn about Soviet times on the Moscow Metro tour.

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Winter Fairy Tale

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One of the best times to visit Russia is winter. At this time of year, all of Russia becomes festive and full of activity, the streets and parks turn into wonderlands of snow and frost with families out and about strolling and taking in the beautiful nature.

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COMMENTS

  1. River Cruise Christmas Markets

    Christmas Day cruises. If you want to spend Christmas on a river cruise ship, book our A Festive Fairy Tale itinerary, A Rhineland Christmas itinerary or our Rhine Christmas Charms itinerary. You'll join the ship for a week-long cruise a few days before Christmas Day. In the spirit of the season, you can expect festive treats like mulled wine.

  2. Our best Christmas river cruises

    Tick off the rhine's best markets. Another of our other Christmas market river cruise itineraries, Mistletoe and Rhine, is also packed with German ports. The first stop is Frankfurt, which shows off snap-worthy sights like St Paul's Square and the Römerberg old town centre. On this stop, don't forget to try tasty Bethmannchen biscuits ...

  3. Christmas River Cruise Deals

    Christmas River Cruises. Get that festive feeling on a TUI River Cruises sailing. Our ships sail to some of the best cities on the continent for Christmas markets, including big hitters like Cologne and Strasbourg, and smaller spots such as Speyer and Breisach. And when you're not shopping for stocking fillers, you can tuck into breakfast ...

  4. The 8 best Christmas market river cruises for 2024

    Avalon Waterways offer its Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine cruise on Dec. 8, 2024. Prices start at $4,822 per person, based on double occupancy. Fares include meals, drinks during meals and happy hour, Wi-Fi, a library, excursions, bike rentals and a fitness center.

  5. TUI River Cruises announces Christmas Markets and New ...

    TUI Cruises began a 100-day countdown to the launch of its brand TUI River Cruises.The riverboats will set sail from November 26 with Christmas and New Year itineraries as well as a full program from April 2021.. Following the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) removal of the travel ban for river voyages, preparations are underway and the first images of the refurbished adult-only ...

  6. World of Cruising

    Europe's popular great-value river cruise line, TUI River Cruises, has three ships sailing between the continent's favourite Christmas markets this winter.. Offering a selection of 10 itineraries for winter, visiting Germany and France, and a full-board plus mantra (even tips are included), 2023 looks like the year to spend Christmas in the land that inspired so many of our most festive ...

  7. A sprinkle of Christmas cheer on the rivers of Europe with TUI River

    Published on: 26 November 2023. Save up to £350 on adults-only river cruises to Europe's biggest Christmas markets this winter.*. Be speedy though, the last spots are going fast. Festive cheer fills the air and the savviest of last-minute bargain baggers sweep up the final few cabins onboard dreamy TUI River Cruises' Christmas market cruises ...

  8. TUI Christmas River Cruises

    Experience the magic of the festive season with TUI River Cruises as you embark on enchanting journeys to some of Europe's most renowned Christmas market destinations. From the iconic Cologne and Strasbourg to charming hidden gems like Speyer and Breisach, TUI's ships navigate the Rhine River, offering a yuletide adventure like no other.

  9. Christmas market river cruises: What to expect on a holiday sailing

    A Viking river cruise on the Danube. CHARISSA FAY/VIKING. Cruise lines that offer Christmas market cruises include Viking, Avalon Waterways, AmaWaterways, CroisiEurope, Uniworld and Tauck. Uniworld cruises are the most expensive, with prices ranging from $3,399 to $7,199 for 8- to 11-day sailings throughout the season.

  10. Just Back From TUI Skyla

    Here are seven observations from our Christmas Markets cruise on TUI River Cruises' TUI Skyla. On This Page. TUI Skyla Looks and Feels Brand New ; TUI Skyla's Cabins Look and Feel Modern;

  11. What to Pack for Christmas Market River Cruise

    Coat. A coat is absolutely an essential for a Christmas Market River cruise. For a Christmas Market cruise we would recommend packing a thick coat with some insulation that also has some waterproofing and wind resistance. People at Christmas markets, both locals and tourists will be dressed for the weather and practically before anything else.

  12. TUI River Cruises Reviews

    Sail Date: April 2024. Helpful. Decent cruise for a good price. Review for a Europe - River Cruise Cruise on TUI Skyla. East Yorks. 2-5 Cruises • Age 60s. Read More. Sail Date: April 2024. Helpful.

  13. Are TUI Christmas river cruises good?

    1 post. 1 review. 1 helpful vote. Are TUI Christmas river cruises good? 27 Jul 2023, 11:34. My husband and I are considering going on one of the TUI Christmas river cruises, either Festive Flavours, Christmastime on the Rhine, Winter Wonderlands or the Mistletoe and Rhine one. If you've been on one of these cruises, what did you think of it?

  14. TUI river cruises Christmas market

    8 reviews. 5 helpful votes. TUI river cruises Christmas market. 1 year ago. We went on Christmas Market TUI river cruise and what a disappointment hardly anytime to go to the markets if we got 2 hours total on a 6 day cruise that would be stretching it. Another complaint was in our brochure it stated AI but it wasn't only drinks with meal's had ...

  15. River Cruises

    TUI- with TUI River Cruises you experience the wonders of some of Europe's greatest waterways, ... For Christmas market cruises the Rhine and Danube are a must. There's no greater place to get a dose of nostalgic Christmas spirit than in one of central Europe's idyllic medieval towns and cities, ideal for delicious cakes, warming drinks and ...

  16. TUI Christmastime on the Rhine 2024 River Cruise

    This five-night sailing packs in hot springs, luxurious palaces and cinnamon-scented Christmas markets - plus much more. River Cruising, 298 Highfield Road, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 3JU. ... TUI RIVER CRUISES - CHRISTMASTIME ON THE RHINE . Enquire By Email. Or speak to an agent now, call: 0800 810 8220. Lines open 7 days until 9pm. Filter ...

  17. 8 best river cruises in Europe, from the Douro to the Danube

    8 best river cruises in Europe, from the Douro to the Danube - Get to know the continent's waterways, as well as the towns and cities on their banks, with these relaxing cruise holidays

  18. Christmas 2024 River Cruises

    Christmas 2024 River Cruises. Europe's famous for its christmas markets, and on our tui river cruises. Explore itineraries that cruise the rivers of. Make christmas the most wonderful time of the year with a christmas river cruise in 2024. The enchanting christmas markets of switzerland. Journey Along Paths Forged By Conquerors, Crusaders And Kings Through

  19. Winter 2024 / 2025 River Cruise Deals

    River cruise deals for this winter. Get ready for Christmas with a TUI River Cruise this winter. Our November and December sailings come with plenty of festive cheer and pull into port in some of Germany's best Christmas-market towns. You can enjoy a glass of mulled wine, or go Christmas shopping and pick up handcrafted souvenirs to take home ...

  20. Christmas Markets in Europe

    Magical markets. Our European Christmas market breaks are sure to get you in the festive spirit. Wooden stalls, fairy lights, handmade decorations and local delicacies are all part and parcel, and there are loads of destinations to choose from. So, whether you want to visit Vienna or browse Budapest, you'll find a big choice of hotels to suit ...

  21. Red Square Christmas Market, Moscow

    A former hotel management professional, he loves exploring local cultures, is now learning his 8th language and has a soft spot for the Middle East and the CIS countries. Thinking of a different Christmas market experience? Then head to the land of snow and czars, and enjoy the Red Square Christmas Market, Moscow.

  22. The Best Christmas Markets in Moscow in 2021-2022

    Markets at the All Russian Exhibition Centre: Two festive markets will take place. At the Eastern Fairytale fair, vendors from Central Asia to the Far East sell ceramics, jewellery, teas, spices and more. A Moscow tour during the winter is a magical Russian Christmas experience.The festive atmosphere warms the snow-dusted city, thousands of ...

  23. Viking Christmas Market Rhine River Cruise

    Viking Christmas Market Rhine River Cruise - 2025. Details; Itinerary; Dates and Pricing; Member price from. $3,674. Nonmember price from $3,674. 8 days. Europe, Germany. 2. AAA Exclusives. New Trip. Immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas as you journey through storybook villages on a Viking River Cruise!

  24. Best Christmas markets

    Tick off one of Europe's best Christmas markets on board our TUI River Cruises itinerary, Yuletide Wonders. Dubbed the 'Capital of Christmas', Strasbourg's markets take over the entire city for six weeks at the end of November, and don't scrimp on the festive decoration. Make sure to visit Place Kléber, where a huge Christmas tree ...

  25. US bases in Europe increase security in face of fresh terror threat

    She warned in mid-June that Germany is "in the crosshairs of jihadist organisations, in particular Isis and Isis-K". Isis-K is the Afghanistan-based wing of the Islamic State terrorist group.

  26. TUI river cruises Christmas market

    8 reviews. 5 helpful votes. TUI river cruises Christmas market. 1 year ago. We went on Christmas Market TUI river cruise and what a disappointment hardly anytime to go to the markets if we got 2 hours total on a 6 day cruise that would be stretching it. Another complaint was in our brochure it stated AI but it wasn't only drinks with meal's had ...

  27. Imperial Waterways of Russia

    Day 1: Moscow (Embarkation Day) Arrive at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport where you'll be transferred to the ship. (D) Day 2: Moscow. If Russia is "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma" as Churchill famously said, then Moscow presents an intriguing starting point for cultural discovery.