Best Christmas Cruises in Europe

Exploring Europe during the Christmas season is especially enjoyable onboard of a ship with gourmet food, drinks and excursions. There are many different water vessels offering unique holiday opportunities for anyone seeking to make their Christmas really special.

We decided to share some of our favourite European river cruises this Christmas that can help enrich your holidays on the other side of the globe like no other experience can.

Christmas Cruise on the Danube

Danube River, German Donau, Slovak Dunaj, Hungarian Duna, Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian Dunav, Romanian Dunărea, Ukrainian Dunay, river, the second longest in Europe after the Volga. It rises in the Black Forest mountains of western Germany and flows for some 2,850 km to its mouth on the Black Sea. Along its course it passes through ten countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine.

This fascinating river cruise with large, outside river-view staterooms, most with drop down panoramic windows, walk-out balconies in suites on Amadeus Silver III and AMADEUS Queen takes you through Passau, Linz, Melk-Emmersdorf, Durnstein, Vienna and Bratislava, with special onboard entertainment including lectures, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and nightly music by the Amadeus Duo in the Panorama Bar.

This wintery Danube experience is a dream-like holiday that starts off in Passau with a celebrative welcome dinner. Spend the day here or take a full-day excursion to the imposing Mozart-town of Salzburg, where you will visit the atmospheric Advent market in the old town, with its countless festive lights and wind down with a walk through the festive Christmas market in Linz.

On your journey with us you can take a detour to the 900-year-old Melk Abbey and the famous wine-growers village of Dürnstein, followed by glühwein (mulled wine) and lunch. You can relax and celebrate Christmas on board with us in a festive ambience, take part in the decorating of the Christmas tree to the sound of contemplative carols, followed by the magical Christmas dinner on board.

On Christmas day we’ll enjoy the Austrian capital, Vienna, which will amaze you with its countless sights and imposing architecture. After visiting Schönbrunn Palace and enjoying local Christmas markets you’ll be excited to visit Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, followed by the Gala Dinner on board to continue Christmas celebration together. What a great opportunity to take some time off and spend the morning on board, enjoying the view of the passing winter landscapes from the comfort of your five-star premium ship before visiting Linz – Austria’s third-largest city. On the way back to Passau stretch your legs and slow down taking in the fairytale like views as you travel down the river through unforgettable scenery.

Christmas Cruise on the Rhine

The Rhine river is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe. It runs for over 1,232 km from its source in the in the Swiss Alps (in Switzerland), beginning from the Rheinwaldhorn Glacier 3,353m above sea level. The Rhine flows through six countries – Switzerland, Principality of Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands before flowing into the North Sea at Rotterdam. It offers some of the most picturesque experiences in Europe!

This fascinating river cruise with large, outside river-view staterooms, most with drop down panoramic windows, walk-out balconies in suites on Amadeus Silver III and AMADEUS Queen takes you through Cologne, Koblenz, Speyer, Strasbourg /Kehl and Mainz over 7 exciting days.

The voyage starts in the old Hanseatic town of Cologne with a welcome dinner on board to kick off the festivities. As we depart the next day we embark on an adventure and a guided sightseeing walk in Koblenz and the fairytale like passing of the wintery landscape of the Wachau, the best of which is the view of the myth- enshrouded Lorelei Rock.

As you enjoy your night’s rest, our ship arrives to the former imperial town of Speyer where the local Christmas markets create a celebratory mood. As we continue on our journey we visit Strasbourg, in the Alsace region where, despite the wintery weather, the French joie de vivre is palpable everywhere.

As your Christmas celebration continues, we arrive in Mainz, the largest city in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany – what a great opportunity to explore the city and come back to the ship for a delicious Gala Dinner on board before heading back to Cologne. An eventful 2,000-year history has left its mark on Cologne, this city of churches boasts countless highlights, in particular the Cologne Cathedral. Take your time to explore, shop and relax here.

Seine Christmas Shopping Cruise

Seine River, originates 30 km northwest of Dijon and flows in a northwesterly direction through Paris before emptying into the English Channel at Le Havre. The river 780 km long and with its tributaries drains an area of about 78,700 square km. It is one of Europe’s great historic rivers, and its drainage network carries most of the French inland waterway traffic.

This exciting cruise takes you to Paris, Rouen and Vernon in your cabin of choice with breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets and live cooking.

Christmas in Paris is simply magical. Paris at Christmas time is as refined as the city itself. Every corner has its own special enchantment from lively outdoor ice skating rinks to the many charming Christmas markets that line the streets and squares. Paris is absolutely magical especially during festive celebrations.

As soon as France’s second largest fair (Foire Saint-Romain) closes its doors, another popular event is about to start in the old Ducal town of Rouen, Normandy, as part of the Christmas festivities: the Rouen Christmas Market. The Christmas market is the most important event to take place during Advent in Rouen and Vernon.

And of course shopping in Paris is one of the best shopping experiences with some of the oldest department stores in Europe.

And this isn’t the limit! If you want help planning your holiday cruise reach out to our team on 1800 242 353.