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Rhine River Cruising During Christmas Season
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Unlike most world cruises sailing in the first quarter of the year only, European cruises sail almost year round and it is no secret that famous Rhine River cruise ships ply on the scenic tributaries, Rhone and Danube, from spring to fall. A few Rhine river cruise ships operated by famous cruise lines ranging Avalon to Viking River, also offer Christmas special cruise trips. These expeditions, which trail between the small pictorial villages, mid-sized picturesque towns and urban megalopolises of Germany and Austria, during the pre-Christmas weeks, starting late November and lasting in December, are termed as Christmas Market cruises. Reason being, Rhine river cruise itineraries during the winters include visits to riverside cities that celebrate the festive season with ubiquitous Christmas marketplaces. Many of the holiday traditions that we enjoy, for instance Christmas carols, nutcrackers, ginger bread and decoration of trees are a gift of the wonderful rituals of the Christmas marketplaces that cruisers would get visit on a Christmas Rhine river cruise.
Among all luxury Rhine river cruise ships, Viking Spirit with a capacity of accommodate 150 passengers aboard offers the most fabulous Christmas market cruising experience. This luxury Rhine River cruise combines the age-old holiday traditions and sightseeing tours with shopping tours. While touring the cobbled streets adorning the shores of river Rhine during the festive season, travellers would encounter candle market, ample of wurst and gluhwein and chocolate Santas. It is indeed the best time to sail on Rhine as cruisers get to shop traditional things at the seasonal markets and enjoy eating and drinking on their way through Cologne, Koblenz, Heidelberg and Strasbourg.
Best of Christmas Special Rhine River Cruise Destinations:
Nuremberg: Dating back to 17th century, Nuremberg’s Christmas market is the most famous as well as the largest of all. Shopaholics would be overwhelmed to see around two hundred stalls in the market place located near the old church. During the Christmas season air here gets filled with the sweet smells of mulled wine, gingerbread spices and bratwurst. When on a Christmas market tour at the gingerbread capital of the world, Nuremburg bag not just the bread but also unique angels for Christmas tree decoration, prune men and souvenir wine mugs.
Regensburg: The quaint city boasts colourful stucco facades and ancient architectures dating back to 13th century. Christmas markets and fabulous boutiques of Regensburg offer a great shopping experience. There are three main Christmas markets here, namely, Lucrezia Craft Market, Old Corn Market, and Romantic Christmas market in the courtyard of Thurn & Taxis Palace. Highlights of Christmas shopping include high-grade handmade local goods such as pottery, artistic metal sculptures, leather goods, soaps, candles and unusual ornaments for Christmas tree decoration.
Passau: City of Three Rivers, Passau has a small Christmas market near the Cathedral. However, exquisitely hand-crafted nativity scenes and ceramic houses with windows illuminated by traditional candles are more attractive than the market itself.
Saizburg: It is the most interesting destination of any Christmas special Rhine river cruise. The city turns into fairyland during Christmas time. Each square of the city is adorned with ice sculptures and Christmas tree while many have horse-drawn carriages too. Travellers can witness Santa coming down the street on a horse-drawn chariot.
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