What's Included

Our Holiday Cruises encompass our specially curated Christmas Markets sailings at the height of the Advent season, as well as our early and late season “Taste of Christmas Markets” cruises, and New Year’s cruises. No matter which of these journeys you reserve, we include extra special touches to ensure your holiday is one to remember.

What’s Included

  • Exquisite holiday feast with all the trimmings or on every Christmas Markets departure
  • Visits to Christmas or Winter Markets in multiple ports (subject to seasonality)
  • Festive traditions on board, such as our popular tree-trimming party
  • Lovely seasonal décor on the most elegantly decorated ships on the river
  • New Year’s Eve gala with dinner, champagne, dancing, and countdown on every New Year’s departure


Onboard Festivities

In addition to the wonderful experiences and amenities available during your river cruise, both on board and ashore, our holiday cruise traditions help make memories you will savor forever.

Shoes for St. Nick

On one night during each cruise, guests are encouraged to leave slippers we provide outside their stateroom door. Upon waking up the next morning, they’ll find their shoes filled with treats by our AmaWaterways elves!

Tree-Trimming Party

Tinsel and garland and baubles, oh my! Guests are invited to help adorn onboard trees with festive décor. The first to find the glass pickle ornament within the tree wins a prize!

Christmas Cookies

A festive assortment of seasonal cookies awaits guests in their staterooms on Christmas Eve.

New Year’s Eve Countdown

Between our luxurious onboard gala and local celebrations, there’s nothing quite like a New Year’s cruise with AmaWaterways.

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.

Our very own Jasmina shares unique Orthodox traditions and highlights of Serbia’s Winter Markets.Read more
A first-time river cruiser shares her Christmas Markets on the Rhine experience.Read more
Deck the halls for a festive winter wonderland this year as you sip hot chocolate, double down on gingerbread of all yummy shapes and sizes, sing delightful new and classic yuletide holiday staplesRead more