Christmas River Cruise – Rebecca

Rebecca Duff Coffs Harbour

Unwrap the cherished traditions of Europe’s Christmas Markets in the winter wonderlands of Germany on a magical river cruise.

Our fabulous small group trip started with two nights in Zurich before heading to Basel to board the fabulous Avalon river cruise for the next nine nights.  We disembarked in Nuremberg and finished with three nights in stunning Prague.

Avalon Waterways operate European River Cruises from March to October, with some itineraries continuing on into December.  Most people think that river cruising is only for the warmer months, but at Christmastime travellers can experience the less-seen Europe as the festive season breathes new life into this old continent.

Guests enjoy the jolly atmosphere on the festively decorated ship as they delight in the sights, smells and tastes of local traditions.  The locals and visitors flock to the charming market stalls which are adorned with beautiful festive decorations and lights. Everything is for sale from gluhwein (warm mulled wine), sweets and hearty regional delicacies to an array of crafts, gifts and holiday décor.

After a day of exploring, snuggling up in your on-board oasis with all the laidback luxury of Avalon Waterways and a dash of added Christmas merriment is truly special.

Our ship was the Avalon Artistry II which takes 130 guests.  The spacious and luxurious cabins have wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows. The Panorama suites feature beds which are turned to face the window so you can relax and watch the world go by with a view that is a dream come true.  The ship has an atmosphere of relaxed luxury with a casual and comfortable dress code.  It is easy to see why Avalon have been awarded the best cabins in river cruising.

All the delicious meals are included on board daily with complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast and regional wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. Fresh local ingredients are sourced to create mouth-watering dishes of the region you are travelling through.

A selection of small-group guided tour are included, knowledgeable local hosts escorted us through the history and heritage of their township.  Extra optional excursions are offered in some ports, one afternoon I took a drive through the German countryside to visit a local winery and village.

We spent our free time enjoying the quaint Christmas markets, soaking up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats and seasonal handiworks and warming ourselves up with traditional German sausages and gluhwein.

To find out more about river cruising contact the team at Travel Centre Coffs Harbour on 02 6652 1833.