Holiday River Cruises

Cruise through the heart of Europe during the most festive time of year and you’ll experience the timeless tradition of its magical Christmas Markets. Browse colorful market stalls filled to the brim with whimsical handicrafts and take in the aromas of cinnamon dusted almonds and Lebkuchen gingerbread as you sip a mug of hot mulled wine beneath endless strands of twinkling lights. From the legendary Danube River to the fairytale Rhine and even along the Rhône River in Provence, we offer unparalleled experiences for guests of all ages on board the most elegantly decorated ships on the rivers.

Our Christmas Markets river cruises are extremely popular for groups and families, with most European Christmas Markets open from the last week of November through December 22nd. Contact your travel advisor today to reserve early and secure your top-choice stateroom!

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A TASTE OF CHRISTMAS MARKETS Special Savings on November and Late Season December 2023 Departures

Select cities, including Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria, open their markets as early as mid-November, allowing you to experience a taste of the festivities in Europe before the Advent season begins. Preview the holiday magic that unfolds along the Danube River on special November sailings while enjoying typically less expensive airfare and far less crowds. Plus, celebrate Thanksgiving on board as well with a delicious feast on select departures! Later December dates also often see reduced crowds at select markets in the days just before and after Christmas.
Best of all, you can save up to $2,000 per stateroom on these departures. Contact your travel advisor to take advantage of these savings today!

Blue Danube Discovery:
A Taste of Christmas Markets
Nov 18*
Dec 25
Gems of Southeast Europe:
A Taste of Christmas Markets
Legendary Danube:
A Taste of Christmas Markets
Majestic Capitals of the Danube:
A Taste of Christmas Markets
Dec 22
Dec 24
Dec 23, 28
Melodies of the Danube:
A Taste of Christmas Markets
Romantic Danube:
A Taste of Christmas Markets

*Thanksgiving Departure

Terms & Conditions: Up to $2,000 Savings is per stateroom, based on double occupancy; applies to select Europe sailings in 2023 and is only valid on new reservations for a limited time. Offer is not combinable with any other promotions/discounts, limited to availability, capacity controlled and subject to change or termination without notice. Port charges, optional land packages, visas, airfares and gratuities are additional. AmaWaterways reserves the right to correct any errors or omissions at any time. Other restrictions apply. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California CST#2065452-20

OUR FAVORITE Holiday Markets

While many Christmas Markets throughout Europe feature illuminated trees, hot mulled wine in collectible mugs, and vendors selling ornaments and other trinkets, each city boasts its own unique traditions and charms. Below are just a handful of some of our favorite holiday markets.


The Budapest Christmas Market is Hungary’s largest, overtaking the cobblestone of Vorosmarty Square. Its strict “handcrafted-only” policy makes it an ideal shopping spot for one-of-a-kind gifts.

Christmas Market itineraries that include Budapest:


Situated in front of Vienna’s impressive 19th-century town hall, Christkindlmarkt boasts awe-inspiring decorations that illuminate the city, as well as festive choir music and more than 150 vendor stalls.

Christmas Market itineraries that include Vienna:


Strasbourg—the self-proclaimed “Capital of Christmas”—has the oldest, largest and most famous Christmas market in France, the Marchés de Noël, chock-full of stuffed storks, a cherished icon of the city.

Christmas Market itineraries that include Strasbourg:


One of the largest and most popular in all of Europe, Nuremberg’s 400-year-old Christmas market offers live music, distinctive hand-crafted souvenirs, a nostalgic carousel and a children’s steam train.

Christmas Market itineraries that include Nuremberg:


With its fairytale-like turret, the 18th-century Thurn und Taxis palace is the backdrop of Bavaria’s most romantic Christmas market. Fresh dumplings in vanilla sauce are a not-to-be-missed seasonal specialty.

Christmas Market itineraries that include Regensburg:


Mouthwatering pan-fried Reibekuchen—potato pancakes served with applesauce—is a specialty at Cologne’s Christmas market, twinkling in the shadow of the city’s elaborate landmark cathedral.

Christmas Market itineraries that include Cologne:

Holiday Connections

Get inspired for your Holiday River Cruise itinerary by reading the stories below.

As the clock rolls over, what are different countries doing to celebrate?Read more
Unique in its radiance, an ancient oil lamp sparked a celebration that’s lasted for centuries: a true miracle.Read more
A first-time river cruiser shares her Christmas Markets on the Rhine experience.Read more