Riviera River Cruises has expanded the availability of its popular Christmas markets cruises for December 2019, with 25 departures planned on Europe’s Rhine and Danube rivers, according to a press release.
“Our Yuletide Markets cruises on the Rhine and Danube were so well received last year – the first year we offered them – that we’ve increased the number of departures available this year,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera River Cruises’ Vice President Sales and Marketing North America. “There’s no better way to visit Europe’s multitude of Christmas markets than on a river cruise, and at Riviera we provide beautiful accommodations aboard our ships, fascinating excursions along the way, and time on your own to shop or relax with a warm drink, all at an outstanding value.”
This year, Riviera is offering 16 departures of its Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise and nine departures of The Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets River Cruise.
Highlights of each cruise include:
• Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise: Begin and end in Cologne, Germany, and cruise through the frosty air of the beautiful Rhine Gorge, past steep, vineyard-covered hillsides with castle ruins atop rocky crags to Rüdesheim, Koblenz and Bonn. In Rüdesheim, market stalls glow with hundreds of fairy lights and the Christmas shop is open year-round, a trove of all things seasonal. Tours take in the ancient squares, historic house frontages and quaint hidden passageways of Koblenz, and the main sights of Bonn’s old town, centered around its two spacious squares and the soaring spire of the huge Romanesque minster. Cologne has seven markets and the largest tree in the Rhineland with 50,000 lights. Five-day cruise on select dates in December 2019 starts at $749 per person based on double occupancy.
• The Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets River Cruise: Begin and end in Budapest, Hungary, and cruise through the narrow valley of the Danube Bend, flanked by snow-covered hillsides and spectacular mountains, on the way to Bratislava, Slovakia, and Vienna, Austria. Tours take in Budapest’s iconic parliament building and ancient castle district, Bratislava’s restored baroque old town and grand white castle, Vienna’s towering St. Stephen’s Cathedral and impressive Hofburg palace complex. Markets are filled with classical music and delicious smells of spiced gingerbread and peppery goulash in Budapest, and artisan decorations, wooden figurines and pottery in Bratislava. And few places are as festive as Vienna, where more than 20 markets sell a wide variety of gifts and city hall provides a spectacular backdrop with its windows transformed into a giant advent calendar. Six-day cruise on select dates in December 2019 starts at $829 per person based on double occupancy.