There’s a charm during the holiday season in Europe unlike any other I’ve experienced. A magical ambience fills the region with people smiling and laughing, enjoying gluehwein (warm mulled wine) and each other’s company in historic squares and small streets in old villages. I was lucky enough to cruise with Julie of The Little Kitchen last December, aboard a Viking Cruise that sailed along the Danube River, in Europe. The route, called the Romantic Danube, included:
- Budapest, Hungary
- Vienna, Austria
- Krems, Austria
- Passau, Germany
- Regensburg, Germany
- Nuremberg, Germany
Here is the route map from the Viking River Cruises website:
Cruising in Europe in the winter may sound like an oxymoron. But Viking proves cruising isn’t just for laying out on the top deck with tropical destinations on the radar. There’s one thing you get in December in Europe that you can’t get any other time in any other place: the European holiday markets. And they are EPIC!
“Maroni” everywhere (chestnuts, for us westerners), warm alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages flowing, and the sounds of holiday choirs and music fill the air. There are food vendors selling bratwurst (a personal favorite), craftsmen selling wooden nativity scenes and Christmas ornaments, and tables casually scattered about the streets between kiosks to converse with friends or simply relax and people watch.
And that’s just the tip of the appeal of cruising with Viking during November and December. You know how you lay off some more comforting foods if it’s summer, in favor of that bikini you packed that you want to show off to your partner? That won’t happen here! Guilt free enjoyment of awesome food and drinks on a winter cruise abounds. Click To Tweet
Head over to Viking River Cruises to see their options and don’t hesitate to post in the comments if you are intrigued and want to add to the conversation or have any questions.
What would be your first buy in a European Christmas market?