The European Christmas Markets Cruises are among the most memorable holiday experiences possible.
Viking River Visits the Christmas Market in Nuremburg
I have not said much about because I have not yet experienced it, but I am about to embark upon one of my most anticipated trips ever - a Christmas Markets river cruise in Europe.
These markets are unique to Europe, although the concept is familiar. The idea is a "farmer's market" like you might see in New York City's Union Square every weekend - where the Amish and other local purveyors of great produce, cheeses, breads, pies, pickles, sausage and more bring their hand-made goods to the city and sell them directly to us end users.
In Europe they hold these farmer's markets every year, but they do it specifically for the Christmas season, and the markets stay in place for any length of time from several days to months. Now, we already know that local markets are the best shopping in Europe, especially for food. They are the primary reason the French created nouvelle cuisine - the freshness and authenticity of the ingredients sold there.
We absolutely love the Christmas(*) markets, they are great to walk around during the daytime, but it is at nighttime when they literally come to life with an atmosphere all of their own.
The combination of the smell of Glühwein (warm fruity red wine), the sizzling meats & sausages, the decorative ornaments you can only buy at these markets, the Christmas tunes being played both by live bands & loud speakers is a special/happy feeling that will stay with you for life.
There are also many cruises that call at ports all over North Germany, Belgium, Norway to name but a few just for these markets. Each one having it's own unique style, but equally happy experience - and yes, Katrina & I love them
Well Paul, that's got me feeling good for the day, so thanks for the thread.
If you call at Cologne/Köln I can thoroughly reccomend climbing the Cathedral spire after the sun has set for the view down onto the Christmas Market, it looks truly magical.
(*) apologies to anyone who doesn't like the word Christmas. That is what they are, but of course the Winter celebrations are open & enjoyed by all
Last Cruise: Queen Victoria November 2014