For about a month before Christmas, many of Europe’s town squares are transformed with twinkly lights and pink-cheeked vendors selling everything from handmade wooden toys to steaming, spiced mulled wine, and many lovely gift-worthy things in between. Every town has a slightly different take on the market, and it’s worth visiting several places if you can.
By far the best way to get from city to city at this time of year is on a river cruise: there’s no traffic to contend with and disembarkation is usually in easy walking distance of everything. These small-ship trips are notorious for selling out early though – there just aren’t very many of them. So, to meet the demand, one of our favourites, Avalon Waterways, has doubled its Christmas-themed departures for 2016 on their innovative “Suite Ships”. Not only do they have some of the biggest suites (with floor to ceiling windows) and staterooms in the business, but Avalon also offer special included touches like regional wines and beer at every dinner, and free Wi-Fi throughout. Their food is exceptional, and they offer excellent included shore excursions.
Avalon’s Christmas-market cruises take travellers to picturesque cities such as Prague, Czech Republic; Nuremburg, Germany; and Strasbourg in France. On every cruise there’s the chance to visit several markets and soak up the ambience of this delightful tradition which dates back to the Middle Ages.
Here’s the 2016 Avalon line-up. Don’t forget how important it is to book early – we have several other great companies, but these guys are offering 10% off if you book by June 23 of this year. That’s a pretty sweet deal!
Christmastime in Alsace & Germany
5 days from $1,498. Departs Dec 3, 2016
Christmas in the Heart of Germany
8 days from $2,187. Departs Dec 7, 2016
Christmastime Zürich to Prague
12 days from $3,574. Departs Dec 3, 2016
Christmastime Frankfurt to Budapest
13 days from $4,162. Departs Dec 7, 2016
Christmastime Zürich to Budapest
17 days from $5,659. Departs Dec 3, 2016
Christmastime on the Danube- Westbound
9 days from $2,631. Departs Dec 5 & Dec 17, 2016
Christmastime on the Danube-Eastbound
9 days from $2,631. Departs Nov 27 & Dec 9, 2016
All prices are per person, in CAD for a double stateroom and do not include airfare. Please call Jill 1.877.926.2500 to book – and ask about free transfers!