As the demand for more and different Christmas Market cruises has grown over the past few years, Scenic has risen to the challenge and now offers a range of possibilities ranging from 8 to 22 days. 2018 is expected to see interest in these holidays sailings expand further, so the company is introducing two new possibilities to its 2018 Christmas Market cruise itineraries. The 12-day Rhine Christmas Markets with Switzerland adds a four-day, multi-city tour of Switzerland before or after an eight-day Rhine cruise; while the 11-day Danube Christmas Markets with Prague combines three days exploring the treasures of Prague with an eight-day sailing on the Danube River.
Traditional European Christmas markets, which take place each year during Advent, provide Scenic guests with a celebratory atmosphere and seasonal delicacies to enjoy while shopping for holiday gifts. Whether it is Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt, held on the square in front of the beautiful City Hall; Nuremberg’s world-renowned market dating back to 1628; or Cologne’s dazzling array of puppet theatres, toy stalls and fairytales – and the largest Christmas tree in Rhineland, excited guests are allowed ample time to enjoy the holiday festivities at each stop along the way. Stalls selling fine, handcrafted wooden nutcrackers and toys alongside one-of-a-kind glass Christmas ornaments and homemade gingerbread beckon shoppers with unique holiday gifts. Delicacies like stollen (a bread-like fruitcake covered in icing), gluhwein, (mulled wine served hot), and candied almonds supply a taste of traditional European holiday goodies while choral performances and dancing add to the festive air.
The Rhine Christmas Markets with Switzerland allows guests to wander among the 100 cottage-style stands in Koblenz, explore the 120 stands along Drosselgasse Lane in the old town of Rüdesheim, and visit one of Europe’s largest Christmas markets in Strasbourg. Two Scenic Enrich events, exclusive to the company, are a private concert in the stunning Baroque Mannheim Palace, and a cheese-making experience at the Restaurant Le Chalet in Switzerland’s French city of Chateau d’Œx – which comes on the heels of a beautiful panoramic train journey. While exploring Switzerland, there is the opportunity to shop at the markets in Lucerne, whose craft market is a true highlight, and any of the numerous markets that turn Zurich into a winter wonderland. Starting fares are US$5,295 and CAN$6,450 per person, double.
Danube Christmas Markets with Prague opens the doors to a variety of festive markets in several cities and towns, adding to the enchantment of the grand Danube River. The three days in Prague offers sightseeing galore. There is the Astronomical Clock, the world-famous 14th-century Charles Bridge, the 9th-century Prague Castle, as well as dozens of museums, and centuries of history. For shoppers, the city is a feast, from the main markets at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square to the many smaller ones dotted throughout the city. The eight-day cruise showcases beautiful Budapest, with a city guided tour or Jewish Heritage tour; and Vienna, the “City of Music,” where guests are treated to a Scenic Enrich exclusive event – a private evening concert at Palais Liechtenstein, a 300-year-old residence of the Princely family of Vienna, featuring the music of Strauss and Mozart. Dürnstein, Melk and Aschach in Austria and Passau and Regensburg in Germany expand the choices with guided tours, a visit to a Benedictine Abbey, or venture to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. All in addition to the dozens of Christmas markets along the way. Fares start at US$3,595 and CAN$4,980.
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