Acendas Vacations

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — for a Cruise

Beginning in late November, Christmas markets transform the main squares of cities across Europe into a winter wonderland. Wooden huts adorned with twinkling lights and boughs of holly line the streets. A blend of mulled wine and fresh pretzels fills the air. It’s a whole experience filled with sounds, smells, visuals, and the kind of Christmas spirit born from centuries of history and tradition

Since 1628 when Christmas markets first arose, they have become an essential element of the holiday season across Europe. In Germany alone – where the tradition began – there are nearly 3,000 Christmas markets a year. The markets are as unique as their countries, each offering its take on Christmas magic, local flavors, and festivities.

If you are interested in such an experience, we invite you to consider a river cruise for your next holiday adventure. Enjoy the season as you sail along the Danube, Main, or Rhine River, visiting various cities and Christmas markets without the hassle of packing and unpacking at each destination.


Like an inviting boutique hotel, river cruising focuses on quality, not quantity – hosting an average of 170 guests with each sailing. As a result, you’ll have an intimate onboard experience during the most wonderful time of the year and more cabin space to relax.

One of Acendas Vacation’s elite river cruise partners, Avalon Waterways, offers the Avalon Panorama Suites, averaging thirty percent larger than the industry standard suite. Equipped with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows, the Panorama Suites are the only river cruise fleet that transforms your suite into an amazing Open-Air Balcony® – with nothing between you and the view!

Explore small, inland towns aglow with the warmth of a simpler time. Browse hand-carved ornaments and Nativity scene figurines with a piping hot mug of mulled wine as Christmas carols fill the air. Stroll the candlelit cathedrals with a local history guide or mingle with new friends in a local café; the opportunities are endless.

Back on board, warm up in the whirlpool on the Avalon Sky Deck, or enjoy the library, game room, or spa. You’ll find diverse entertainment, including cooking classes, wine tastings, musicians, and evening shows to name a few.

The Panorama Dining Room offers an exquisite view from every seat, where guests enjoy regional flavors and specialties with ingredients purchased locally, often on the same day. And with an all-inclusive food and beverage package, you can treat yourself without hesitation.

One of the few drawbacks of cruising on a smaller vessel is that it books up quickly, especially the special interest cruises, such as the Avalon Waterway Christmas Market cruises. For this reason, we recommend you plan and book your river cruise in advance.

If you would like to learn more about European Christmas market river cruises, contact your Acendas Travel Advisor using the following form: