Many cities in Europe have a long tradition of beautiful Christmas markets. The markets, usually held in a central square or district, feature booths with a range of delicious food, beautiful gifts and other souvenirs. With so many markets throughout Europe, a river cruise is the best way to see multiple markets in a single vacation. A Danube river cruise through Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany may offer the most Christmas markets in a single itinerary.
Nine-day Danube river cruises from Gate 1 Travel offer travelers a chance to see five of Europe’s best markets in the cities of Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Nuremburg and Regensburg. The cruises, which go from Budapest to Munich (or vice-versa), include complete itineraries that provide a wonderful, local insight into each destination.
The Christmas markets usually run for the month of December, with some starting as early as Thanksgiving and some running past New Year’s. A cruise in the second or third week in December is ideal. Here are five reasons why a Danube river cruise is the best way to see Europe’s Christmas markets:
River cruising brings the world right to your balcony. Instead of going through the hassle of traveling from city to city to visit different Christmas Markets, a river cruise down the Danube can take you to five of Europe’s best markets and you only have to unpack once.
Other than gratuities, many river cruises are all-inclusive. Danube river cruises from Gate 1 include accommodations, almost all meals (including beer and wine with meals) and almost all shore excursions.
When you spend seven or more days with the same crew, they get to know you. Instead of staying in anonymous hotels and constantly meeting new people, you deal with the same restaurant staff, the same housekeepers, the same tour manager for the entire cruise. They get to know you by name and quickly begin to anticipate your needs.
In addition to Christmas markets in Nuremburg, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and Regensburg, a Danube cruise provides a wonderful vacation experience. With the ship docking in a different port each night, a wide variety of destinations can be visited and experienced. Local guides in each port enhance the adventure.
From the street food on the shore excursions, to the Christmas specialties in the markets, a Christmas market Danube river cruise can be a foodie’s dream. Aside from the options ashore, the food onboard Gate 1 river cruises is delicious, with local ingredients sourced at each port stop. Some cruise lines even bring in guest chefs and offer cooking classes focusing on local delicacies.