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3 Bucket List-Worthy Christmas Market Cruises

Maddie Loverich

by , Public Relations Intern, Disney Signature Experiences

Holiday bucket list alert! There’s plenty of great ways to celebrate “the most wonderful time of the year”– but I’m going to let you in on one of the most epic ways to spend the holiday season you may not know about…

Strasbourg holiday decorations

Let’s Go Holiday River Cruising

Christmas, cruising AND castles? Sign me up! A river cruise through picturesque European cities to visit world-renown Christmas markets with Adventures by Disney or National Geographic Expeditions is the perfect way for you and your family to spend the season.

Not only will you get a chance to see iconic cities glowing with decorations and holiday cheer, but both Adventures by Disney and National Geographic Expeditions offer incredible Christmas Market itineraries with excitement for travelers of all ages and interests, including cultural experiences, opportunities to enjoy local cuisines and other activities that bring each vibrant location to life.

Let’s take a peek at a few highlights from each of these special trips.

Adventures by Disney families on a costumed guide through the historic Heidelberg Castle

Adventures by Disney, Rhine River Cruise: Christmas Markets

On this festive eight-day itinerary with Adventures by Disney, guests will visit four countries along the gorgeous Rhine River: Switzerland, France, Germany and The Netherlands.

There are some seriously magical stops on this trip. In the quaint city of Colmar in France, guests can explore Christmas Markets and make a visit to the Cheese Museum – which includes a demonstration and delicious tasting, of course. Other activities include a tour with a costumed guide through the historic Heidelberg Castle – an important Renaissance structure that once served as home to royalty – and a visit to the beautiful city of Strasbourg, a city nicknamed as the “Capital of Christmas.” Here, onboard the Petit Train, guests can take in the breathtaking decorations as they ride through narrow city streets.

And these are just a few amazing activities on this jolly itinerary. From the second you step onto the ship, Disney-trained Adventure Guides elevate the entire experience – handling all of the logistics and planning for a completely hassle-free journey.

A Christmas Market

National Geographic Expeditions, Danube River Cruise: Christmas Markets

This incredible itinerary is steeped in history and culture. Some of Europe’s oldest Christmas traditions originated along the Danube River, and this trip was curated to fully immerse travelers into these beloved holiday practices. Plus, each departure is accompanied by a National Geographic Expert and National Geographic Photography Expert – perfect for the curious traveler excited to learn more through onboard lectures and hands-on demonstrations.

Travelers will embark on a voyage through Hungary, Austria and Germany aboard a luxury river cruising vessel, stopping along the way to explore stunning cobblestone streets, charming villages and Christmas Markets bursting with character.

Other highlights of this active trip include an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Vienna’s Museum of Natural History led by the curator of the museum’s meteorite exhibit, a visit to the UNESCO-designated old town and Christmas markets of Salzburg, and a private walking tour amongst idyllic baroque architecture in Passau, Germany.

A Christmas meal on a Danube River Cruise with Adventures by Disney

Adventures by Disney, Danube River Cruise: Christmas Markets

This amazing trip brings guests to seven incredible destinations across three countries in eight days. Traveling along the Danube River with Adventures by Disney during Christmas time is a truly magical experience – bringing families to explore iconic landmarks, celebratory demonstrations and cheerful decorations in cities known for their merry celebrations.

Besides, what better way to get in the spirit than learning to make an apple strudel on the beautifully decorated grounds of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna? What about a carriage ride in Budapest or a Bavarian-style Oktoberfest celebration for the entire family in Germany? There’s so much merry fun to be had along this route, and the talented Adventure Guides have a knack for bringing guests right into the heart of it all.

The Gift of a Lifetime

If a Christmas market river cruise sounds like your ultimate holiday #goals, I’ve got some great news: all of these departures are on sale now for winter 2024!

If you prefer to stay home for the holidays, you can also check out our other Adventures by Disney specialty river cruise itineraries, such as the Magical Holidays River Cruise (which sails right after Christmas Day), a fall Danube River Cruise Oktoberfest or a Rhine River Food and Wine itinerary.

Reach out to your most festive travel buddy and book your adventure today!