Riviera River Cruises has expanded the availability of its Christmas markets cruises for December 2019, with 25 departures planned on Europe’s Rhine and Danube rivers. Guests will have the opportunity to visit castles, squares, churches and old towns on guided tours and spend free time shopping festive markets for traditional gifts and treats.
This year, Riviera is offering 16 departures of its Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise and nine departures of The Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets River Cruise.
The Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise begins and ends in Cologne, Germany, and cruises through the Rhine Gorge, past steep, vineyard-covered hillsides with castle ruins atop rocky crags to Rudesheim, Koblenz and Bonn. In Rudesheim, market stalls glow with hundreds of fairy lights and the Christmas shop is open year-round, a trove of all things seasonal. Tours take in the ancient squares, historic house frontages and quaint hidden passageways of Koblenz, and the main sights of Bonn’s old town, centered around its two spacious squares and the soaring spire of the huge Romanesque minster. Cologne has seven markets and the largest tree in the Rhineland with 50,000 lights. Five-day cruise on select dates in December 2019 starts at $749 per person based on double occupancy.
The Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets River Cruise begins and ends in Budapest, Hungary, and cruises through the narrow valley of the Danube Bend, flanked by snow-covered hillsides and spectacular mountains, on the way to Bratislava, Slovakia, and Vienna, Austria. Tours take in Budapest’s iconic parliament building and ancient castle district, Bratislava’s restored baroque old town and grand white castle, Vienna’s towering St. Stephen’s Cathedral and impressive Hofburg palace complex. Markets are filled with classical music and delicious smells of spiced gingerbread and peppery goulash in Budapest, and artisan decorations, wooden figurines and pottery in Bratislava. In Vienna, more than 20 markets sell a wide variety of gifts and city hall provides a spectacular backdrop with its windows transformed into a giant advent calendar. Six-day cruise on select dates in December 2019 starts at $829 per person based on double occupancy.
For more information, visit rivierarivercruises.com.