Europe’s Christmas markets are a holiday tradition that draw travelers from around the globe. Held during the four weeks of Advent, these open air markets offer a charming, communal atmosphere in which visitors can shop for such gifts as nutcrackers and hand-crafted toys while sampling winter favorites like mulled wine and Austrian lebkuchen, a kind of iced honey cake. Emerald Waterways invites guests to celebrate the magic of the holiday season with one of several winter sailings that focus on Europe’s most beloved Christmas markets.
The 15-day Christmas Markets of Europe cruise, which visits many of Europe’s famed Christmas markets, departs from Amsterdam on December 4, 2018 and concludes on December 18 in Budapest. Prices start at USD$3,595/CAD$4,995 per person, double. Emerald Waterways also offers travelers a chance to experience the Christmas Markets on shorter sailings with eight-day itineraries: Danube Delights Christmas Market from Budapest to Nuremberg, departs December 8, 2018 and the Danube Explorer Christmas Market from Munich to Budapest departs on December 1, 2018. Prices for the eight-day sailings start at USD$2,295/CAD$2,495 per person, double. Guests booking a 15-day Christmas Market cruise by September 1, 2017 will enjoy free round trip airfare, and guests booking an eight-day cruise will fly for just $495 per person. Paying in full by October 31, 2017 reduces the cost of the sailing by up to $400 per couple for eight-day trips and $800 for 15-day trips.
Favorite stops on the Christmas market sailings include Vienna, where the market is held just in front of the city’s “rathaus” (town hall), and Nuremburg’s Christmas market, which dates to 1628 and reminds visitors that this town has a rich history of creating some of the finest toys in the world. There’s nothing quite like being immersed in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of these festive atmospheres; shopping works up an appetite, and this is the perfect excuse to sample such local delicacies as apple strudel, stollen and roasted nuts.
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