Christmas and New Year is the most magical time of the year, with beautiful lights, decorated trees, mulled wine and carols, it’s a time for family, friends and loved ones to come together. And what better way than embracing the festive season with a winter getaway? You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cultural, festive breaks in Europe that will get you into the spirit of Christmas and New Year but we think it’s hard to beat a festive river cruise.
Why visit one city when you can explore and discover a new destination each day? A festive cruise on the Rhine and Danube gives you the chance to call into a number of cities on route, getting a glimpse into their individual characters and charm – and most importantly, stroll through the magical Christmas markets.
One of our favourite stops is Vienna; its quaint square transforms on the lead up to Christmas with stalls selling hot punch and beautiful tree decorations, and not to mention the gorgeous aroma of baked goodies – so make sure you try some! The City Hall square is a spectacle worth seeing too – warming drinks, carousels and craft workshops for the kids are all waiting, plus the trees surrounding the City Hall park are beautifully decorated in a sea of lights, that you definitely won’t want to miss!
Another hotspot in Vienna is the cultural market at Schönbrunn Palace. As well as selling the usual arts and crafts, festive decorations and yummy goodies on sale, you’ll find Christmas concerts here, making it that extra bit special. It’s also well known for its romantic setting, so be sure to take your loved one.
But there’s plenty of other worthy cities that you’ll visit that need a mention on a cruise through the Rhine and Danube: Budapest, Melk, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Amsterdam…and more! Each with something different that’ll add to your experience.
And even better, when you’re on board the fun continues. Most river cruises include all of your meals – and sometimes the drinks too. Not only that, the ships are small and intimate, meaning an expert staff member will never be far away. River cruises also offer excursions, giving you the choice to join a tour each day or set off on your own exploration.