There is something so uniquely special about arriving in Europe’s finest cities and towns under the cover of darkness. Twinkling lights on the riverbank welcome you as you wander historic streets and traditional Christmas markets, all decorated in their festive finery to celebrate this magical and atmospheric season.
The European festive markets represent all that is best about a traditional Christmas celebration, showcasing centuries-old traditions in the decorations, gifts, and delicious treats like soft gingerbread, Christmas biscuits, and candied, toasted almonds. Discover the original, authentic seasonal experience in some of Europe’s finest cities and most picturesque towns.
Whether your plan is Christmas shopping, sightseeing, or just soaking up that unique festive atmosphere with a glass or two of mulled wine, create special memories that will stay with you forever.
Embark on a magical festive cruise on some of the world’s most famous rivers. Visit picturesque towns and capital cities and celebrate the rich heritage and culture of Christmas in Europe with our Christmas River Cruise deals.
Experience the wonder of Europe’s famous Christmas markets with a selection of cruises on the Rhine and Danube throughout December and the New Year.
Visit picturesque towns and beautiful European cities transformed into winter wonderlands with glittering festive markets crammed with stalls offering handmade gifts and crafts, perfect for an original yuletide present.
Savour the magical atmosphere of winter in Europe as well as the piping hot mulled wine and chestnuts, a perfect complement to the award-winning Christmas cuisine on board your festive river cruiser.
Relax and enjoy, safe in the knowledge that our trusted partner cruise lines will look after every detail, leaving you free to focus on the delights of your magical Christmas cruise. Hand-selected for their commitment to an outstanding customer experience and with a proven record of five-star service, make festive memories that will last a lifetime.
Explore the traditional flavours of a European Christmas with delicious cuisine both on board ship and in the legendary festive markets of Germany and Austria. Enjoy award-winning multi-course dining prepared by gourmet chefs and complemented by a stunning selection of regional and international wines.
Discover just how special it is to sail into Europe’s most famous cities in the most magical of seasons. Experience the true spirit of Christmas and the different cultural traditions that define the festive season and imbibe the warm and welcoming atmosphere of legendary Christmas markets, stunning architecture, and iconic landmarks, all dressed in their winter finery.
Take a brief journey through just one of our many Christmas River cruises. We have a wide choice of routes, cruise lines, and ships. Speak to our crui.se advisor today to find your ultimate Christmas river cruise.
Embark in Budapest.
Known as the ‘Queen of the Danube’, Budapest is a city in two parts, Buda and Pest, built on opposite sides of the Danube. United as one whole, the two halves are still very distinct, with Buda the older and more historic part featuring cobbled streets and medieval architecture. Pest is more commercial and is graced with elegant 19th-century buildings. Your cruise includes a transfer to Budapest’s oldest Christmas market, held in Vörösmarty Square, a location also popular with Hungarian musicians. Enjoy browsing around the different stalls with traditional music and warm Hungarian hospitality.
Stroll through Slovakia’s capital, with streets adorned with twinkling lights and Christmas trees. Explore the Main Square and Hviezdoslav Square, the location of Bratislava’s Christmas market with rows of tempting stalls selling all types of gifts. Treat yourself to some hot mulled wine or a mug of mead and enjoy the festivities.
This historic Austrian town is famous for its Abbey, which is located above the town and has been widely regarded as Austria’s cultural and spiritual centre for over one thousand years. Enjoy a tour of this iconic baroque building and then visit Melk’s traditional Christmas market.
Sip Viennese coffee as you browse one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe in one of the most famous capitals in the world. The day starts with a guided tour around some of Vienna’s most famous landmarks, including the Opera House and the Ringstrasse, following which guests are free to visit the Krippenmarkt, December market. Choose festive gifts from stalls selling silver jewellery, ceramics, handmade gifts and objets d’art.
Book Your Dream Christmas Cruise
Joining a Christmas cruise is an unforgettable voyage into a festive fairytale with the opportunity to experience and explore famous European cities during this special season. Discover historic architecture, cultural traditions, exceptional cuisine, and, of course, the legendary Christmas markets.
Experience the Christmas River Cruises with Crui.se
Helen, Crui.se Expert
“I always thought the Christmas markets cruises wouldn’t be for me. After all, I’ve visited all those cities on other cruises during the spring and summer – how wrong was I?! If you think you know a place, try visiting it in the darkness of winter with hundreds of magical lights and decorations, illuminated markets, sparkling night skies, and all the warmth and bonhomie that only comes at Christmas. It’s an exceptional time of year to be on the water.”
“We are new to cruising and thought this would be a nice introduction, and we were not wrong. Forget all those television advertisements of long sunny days cruising; this is definitely the best time of year to go, and you’ll get the chance for some serious Christmas shopping. The food on board the ship was remarkable, and the vessel was beautifully decorated for the festive season. Highly recommended”
“A pre-Christmas warm-up for us, experienced cruisers, this is the first time we have travelled outside the summer months. The Christmas markets are every bit as good as people say they are, and it’s impossible not to get caught up in that fairytale festive magic. The food and accommodation were exceptional, as always, and there were lots of lovely Christmas touches on the ship, like a tree and seasonal food. It’s a great way to start Christmas.”
“An early surprise Christmas present to my better half, what a lovely way to start the festive season. My wife is usually stuck in the kitchen, so this was a special treat to be waited on hand and foot, and the shopping in the markets was spectacular. It’s lovely to see these cities all decorated for Christmas, and the impact from the waterside is magical.”
“Our third Christmas cruise, we are Mr and Mrs Christmas, and what a treat these few days are and a great chance to buy some original and unusual presents. Great food, great company, and stunning port stops, as always. If you’ve never done a Christmas cruise, then you are seriously missing out.”
You can check our frequently ask questions here anytime
At our Crui.se, guests can enjoy the tastes of the festive season with a rich Christmas menu that showcases the best of traditional European cuisine. There are always vegetarian and vegan options available, and we can also cater to passengers on restricted diets – just let us know when you book.
Expect cold temperatures and even snow for those perfect photographs, depending on where you go! When you make your reservation, our booking team can advise what you should expect. Whatever the temperatures, you can be assured of a warm and cosy welcome on board the ship.
Yes, you will need a visa, and when you book, we’ll send you all the information on how to apply for one in your travel documents. Even though this isn’t the height of the holiday season, lots of people travel around Christmas time, so always allow plenty of time for your application.
All our Crui.se staff are fully vaccinated, and we advise passengers to be up-to-date before they travel. We follow guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and regional guidance in the countries we visit and keep passengers fully informed of any changes before and during travel.
At Crui.se, we pride ourselves on our inclusivity and strive to accommodate all passenger needs. Talk to our friendly reservation team, and we can discuss the layout of the vessel, your specific cabin requirements, and the shore excursions to tailor your experience so you have the best Christmas cruise.
Our mission at crui.se is to help you and your loved one’s book and experience the best cruise holiday imaginable. We’re different in that, our customers come first, not our suppliers or profit margins. Get in touch and let us help you set sail.
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