During the holiday season, the Danube and Rhine rivers take on their own special glow – and each has its own unique personality. A festive atmosphere takes over the Danube’s majestic capitals, illuminating cities like Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. The Rhine inspires with snow-dusted storybook towns and more than 40 castles lining its riverbanks. No matter which river you decide to cruise, AmaWaterways goes above and beyond to offer you an an unparalleled holiday river cruise experience.
Delights and Delicacies on the Danube
Oceans take you to destinations, but rivers take you through them – and AmaWaterways’ Christmas Markets cruises sail through some of Europe’s most glorious capitals along the banks of the Danube. Vienna, Austria is known for its Christkindlmarkt, which boasts awe-inspiring decorations that illuminate the city, as well as festive choir music and more than 150 vendor stalls. In Hungary, the Budapest Christmas market, with its “handcrafted-only” policy, overtakes the cobblestone of Vörösmarty Square, brimming with one-of-a-kind gifts. And at Thurn and Taxis Palace in Regensburg, Germany, Bavaria’s most romantic Christmas market awaits, the smell of its dumplings in vanilla sauce filling the crisp air.
Regal Displays and Intimate Revelry on the Rhine
After stepping off award-winning ships like the AmaLea and AmaKristina along the Rhine, you will discover some of Europe’s longest-running Christmas markets, including Strasbourg, France, the “Capital of Noel,” with its iconic stuffed storks. You’ll taste mouthwatering pan-fried reibekuchen (potato pancakes served with applesauce) in Cologne, Germany, in front of its Gothic masterpiece, the Cologne Cathedral. And throughout Germany, you will wrap their hands around distinctive souvenir mugs of hot spiced wine known as glühwein, a cherished European holiday tradition.
Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean your overall wellness has to take a break too. All of AmaWaterways’ ships sailing the Danube and Rhine have a professionally trained Wellness Host who offers up to five different fitness classes every day – at no extra charge. You can warm up in winter with activities like core strengthening, pilates and cardio workouts, and even Latin dance classes depending on each host’s individual expertise. The expansive Zen Wellness Studio aboard AmaMagna, sailing on the Danube River, accommodates the largest size classes and greatest variety, offering floor-to-ceiling views of the neighboring scenery.
Christmas Markets on the Rhine
Itinerary: Amsterdam, The Netherlands (overnight); Cologne, Germany; Rhine Gorge, Germany; Rüdesheim, Germany; Ludwigshafen, Germany; Strasbourg, France; Gengenbach, Germany; Breisach, Germany; Basel, Switzerland
Experience the deep-rooted holiday traditions of Europe at its most festive time of year. From the iconic canals of Amsterdam to Switzerland’s glittery cities, Lucerne and Zurich, get caught up in the magic of the holidays with visits to some of the world’s most timeless Christmas Markets. Warm up with a mug of steamy glühwein while at the Cologne Christmas Market located in front of its UNESCO-designated Gothic cathedral. Let the "Capital of Noël," Strasbourg, the oldest and largest Christmas Market in France, captivate you the way it has for so many others for centuries. Meander through Heidelberg’s majestic Christmas Market nestled idyllically amongst the historic squares of the Old Town. And while in Gengenbach, marvel at the world’s largest Advent calendar, where every evening at 6:00 PM, the brightly lit windows of the neo-classical town hall open and behind each one is a picture by a famous artist, such as Andy Warhol. Cherish all the glory of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Rhine.
Magical Christmas Markets
Itinerary: Nuremberg, Germany (overnight); Regensburg, Germany; Passau, Germany; Linz, Austria; Melk, Wachau Valley, Dürnstein, and Krems, Austria; Vienna, Austria (overnight)
Throughout this dreamlike journey, an overflowing of good tidings and magical Christmas markets come alive. A winter wonderland awaits at Prague’s Christmas markets brightly decorated with wooden huts stocked with handicrafts and delicious scents flavoring the air. Be spellbound by the medieval atmosphere of Nuremberg’s main Christmas market, and sample its renowned gingerbread. Stroll through Regensburg’s romantic Christmas market at the Thurn and Taxis Castle, savoring fresh dumplings with vanilla sauce. Get caught up in the magic of Salzburg’s Christmas markets at both Hellbrunn Palace and at Christkindlmarkt, located at the foot of the Hohensalzburg Fortress and around the venerable cathedral, which is a feast for the senses, from the warm aroma of mulled wine and Austrian pastry delights, to the sights and sounds of holiday performances, to the colors and textures of traditional handcrafts. And while in Vienna, visit enchanting Christmas markets from the regal Schönbrunn Palace to Vienna’s charming Maria Theresa markets.
Get in touch with your Vacation Consultant today to take advantage of these exceptional sailings and unique holiday-time experience!
*Terms and Conditions: Rates are per person in USD for cruise only, based on double occupancy in a Category BB stateroom. Promotional rate is valid on select departures for new FIT bookings made from May 23 – June 30, 2019. Savings are per stateroom, based on double occupancy; Ask about Solo Traveler promotions. Onboard credit amounts to $300 per stateroom (solo travelers receive half) on select 2019 departures. Offer is not combinable with any other promotions/discounts, limited to availability, capacity controlled and subject to change/termination without notice. Port charges, stateroom upgrades, land programs, roundtrip airfare, and gratuities are additional. Other restrictions apply. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. CST#2065452-40.