European Luxury River Cruises

Continental Christmas Cruises!


Oh, to dream of  a continental Christmas!

Surely there can be no better way to spend your time during the Christmas period than soaking up the amazing atmosphere on a continental Christmas market.





What could be even better is to experience all theses wonderful places while sailing from port to port on a festive river cruise ship!



Winter is a wonderful and magical time of year in Europe, with fairytale, snow-topped castles and mountains, and a wonderful festive spirit everywhere. Their Christmas markets are filled with the scents of gingerbread and warm spicy gluwein, their stalls and shops are aplenty with gifts and traditional Christmas ware, and the tunes of traditional carols can be heard from afar. So enjoy a relaxing festive season with no rush, no stress, just the anticipation of Europe’s most enchanting destinations on a river cruise!




Sail the Danube, Main or Rhine Rivers, stopping along the way to explore magnificent Christmas Markets. Admire the festive hand-crafted wooden toys, sparkling baubles, gifts, arts and crafts. Enjoy the heady aroma of hot mulled wine, savour the taste of honey-roasted almonds and cinnamon cookies and indulge in delicious festive treats such as soft gingerbread, tasty spiced biscuits and perhaps try delicious local specialities such as glühwein, sweet svarene vino or savoury Bratwurst – yum!







You can’t get any better for picture postcard perfection than a continental Christmas market, and you certainty can’t do it in a more relaxing way than on a continental river cruise!

Cruise to Festive Fun!

Goodness, it’s that time of year coming up again!

Can Christmas really be upon us so soon?

Do you join the crowds of bustling shoppers – or do you do something different?

There’s no more evocative way to experience the festive season than by a cruise that takes you to the heart of Europe’s Christmastime markets.

A river cruise is a great way to experience and enjoy the wonderful European festivities over the Christmas and new year period. Their amazing Christmas markets are something to behold!

Delight in the amazing sights and sounds of  Christmas past, wander around the beautiful Christmas stalls and soak up the traditional festive atmosphere.

Savour the delicious Christmas treats, behold the beautiful decorations and wonder in the magical twinkling lights on a crisp winter’s day!

A river cruise can take you to all these delights and allow you to observe the local traditions and customs typical of places like Germany, Austria and Alsace. All the while enjoying the fun atmosphere on board a ship decked out splendidly for the season.




Enjoy Christmas and the festive season in the heart of Germany aboard a deluxe 5-night Main River cruise tour. Explore enchanting winter wonderlands and traditional Christmas Markets in Miltenberg and Rothenburg. Visit the Bishop’s Residenz in Würzbur ; take an included excursion to the famed Romantic Road; and enjoy a baking demonstration in Miltenberg. In Prague, see the city’s best known treasures and stroll through the wonderful Christmas market in the Old Town.

Alsace and Germany – another wonderful combination to visit during the festive season! Savour Gemütlichkeit, Glühwein and Lebkuchen and see the amazing highlights of the towns along the Rhine with a local expert, visit the picturesque Black Forest, beautiful Strasbourg and the glorious market town of Heidelberg.


 There’s no better way to experience Christmas traditions – but don’t take my word for it, take a look at the video below and let it blow your festive mind away!!



Discover more on a themed river cruise tour!


Have you ever thought what it would be like to enjoy a luxury river cruise while also experiencing something you really enjoy. Wine tasting perhaps or having the opportunity to hear some of the worlds most renowned music? Well don’t delay, grab a chance now to indulge in something special and find out what river cruise is out there to suit just you.

Avalon Waterways’ exclusive and diverse selection of themed river cruises allow you to indulge your passions at no additional cost compared to any other river cruise. You can enjoy a luxury river cruise holiday to some of Europe’s best destinations while also celebrating that something special to you. If that special something involves wine, beer, food, jazz or classical music, fine art, Jewish heritage, wellness, golf, history and politics, or WWI, their specially packaged, limited-edition themed cruises are the perfect way of capturing the true essence and culture of a European destination. You also get the chance to enhance your personal knowledge with expert on board presentations and enjoy unique travel opportunities to share your interests with like-minded people.



Wine Theme River Cruises

Have a great love of wine? Well look no further than a wine themed river cruise. Expand your wine appreciation skills and gain expert knowledge as a wine expert explains how the various and distinct grape varieties are cultivated. Learn how to determine the best wines from the regions you cruise through, taste samples on board, enjoy a gala wine and food pairing dinner, and join an included visit to a local vineyard for wine tasting to test your new-found knowledge.

Beer Tasting Theme River Cruises

Beer tasting more your thing? A visit to Austria and Germany on the ‘Austrian Highlights & Bavaria’ tour is even better when it includes a discovery of their famous beers, and this special departure delivers just that with on board tastings, visits to a number of historic breweries and dedicated on board lectures about European beer-brewing techniques.

Music Theme River Cruises

If a love of music is your thing, let Avalon Waterways waltz you to a symphony of destinations. Classical music lovers will enjoy their Music Theme River Cruise ‘Magnificent Europe – Amsterdam to Budapest‘, on which local experts provide insights into European music. Shore excursions on the way take in a Strauss concert in beautiful Vienna, an organ recital in Melk, and explore Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg, where ‘the hills are alive with the sound of music!’.

Jewish Heritage Theme River Cruises


If you have an interest in Jewish culture, look no further than this ‘Legendary Danube’ river cruise tour. Gain an understanding of how the Jewish culture was formed on this dedicated Jewish Heritage theme river cruise, and explore landmarks, monuments and museums significant to Jewish history. Visit the Jewish Museum in Budapest, Jewish Vienna, the Jewish quarter in Regensburg, Prague’s Jewish Museum, Jewish Cemetery, and synagogues, and the haunting former WWII Jewish ghetto of Terezin.

Golf Theme River Cruises

If your great love is golf, and leaving the golf course at home is too much to bear, then the new golf cruise is just the tonic to get you all teed up again. A local golf enthusiast will arrange tee times on select nearby courses, so you can maintain your swing whilst sampling fairways and greens that you may not otherwise have experienced.  No need to worry if your travelling companions don’t share you love as there will be alternative programmes for the non-golfers.

History & Politics Theme River Cruises

For those who have a real interest in Europe’s fascinating history and politics, this  ‘Magnificent Europe’ cruise will be accompanied by a diplomacy expert who has worked at the UN, on the NATO/Warsaw Pact and on EU security and economic issues, with special lectures to give unique insight into all things European.

Christmas Market & Festive Cruises

There’s no more wonderful and evocative way to experience the festive season than by a cruise that takes you to the heart of Europe’s Christmastime markets. Delight in the sights, scents and sounds of delicious Christmas treats, observe the local traditions and customs typical of Germany, Austria and Alsace. All the while enjoying the fun atmosphere on board your Avalon ship, decked out splendidly for the season.




So, there you have it – a wonderful choice of river cruises that’s bound to make someone, somewhere very happy indeed. The choice is yours, but don’t delay as I have it on good authority that these cruises don’t hang around for long!

Christmas Wishes on a Rivercruise

I’m so excited – just been told I’m going on a Christmas Markets River Cruise by my wonderful husband . Apparently it’s going through Alsace and Germany which I can’t think of any better place to be during the festive season to savour Gemütlichkeit, Glühwein and Lebkuchen? I can’t wait to be enthralled by the beautiful decorations adorning the magnificent buildings and the twinkling lights on the market stalls.The festive atmosphere which these Christmas Markets conjure would be one to beat on a beautiful crisp winter’s day.

We fly to Frankfurt on the 10th December (which will soon come round) and go on to board the cruise ship Avalon Vista. Apparently we are all to meet the crew at a welcoming reception so we can get to now them and vice versa.


Avalon Vista on the Rhine River


Royal Suite Avalon Vista

On the second day we arrive in a place called Speyer to admire the Christmas markets or enjoy an included excursion to the university city of Heidelberg where a Local Guide will show you the imposing castle ruins and the Great Vat – the world’s largest wine barrel!

The following day we should be visiting Strasbourg which has the oldest and most finest Christmas markets in Europe which date back to 1570! The City’s famous Christkindelsmärik‘ is also found around Place de la CathÈdrale and Place Broglie and  a giant Christmas tree is traditionally seen as its centrepiece.

I’m particularly looking forward to the fourth day as I believe there is an excursion to the famous Black forest which is best known for its cute cuckoo clocks, fabulous woodcarvings, Black Forest ham and the delicious Black Forest Gateaux!

Basically, I can’t wait to spend my whole time exploring the wonderful Christmas Markets whilst savouring the aromas of mulled wine and cinnamon cookies and listening to the sounds of festive Christmas songs – roll on December  10th!

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