5 Days Christmas Markets Cruise

Enjoy an elegant introduction to Christmas on a choice of two fabulous cruise itineraries along the Rhine and Main rivers this December. These 5 day cruises are on a full board basis and start and finish in Frankfurt. The impeccably organised itineraries are the perfect way to begin your festive activities! Choose to explore a cruise to the famous Christmas Markets of Cologne, Dusseldorf, Koblenz and Rudesheim or the alternative cruise to the wonderful cities of Speyer, Strasbourg and Rastatt.

All cabins are outside facing so you can admire the twinkling lights along the riverbanks of these historical venues.

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Nuremberg Christmas Market

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The enticing smells of mulled wine and rum punch, roasted almonds, Nuremberg bratwurst and gingerbread fill the air. And it’s not only tiny tots who will have their eyes all a-glow as the Nuremberg Christkind appears on the balcony of the Church of Our Lady to open the holiday season. Friday before the first Sunday in Advent is the day it all begins as she opens the world-famous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt.

From then until Christmas Eve, the “little town of wood and cloth” will shine in the heart of Nuremberg’s Old Town and turn it into “Christmas City”. More than 180 market stands – all decorated for Christmas with fresh greens and lights – invite you to enjoy traditional Christmas ornaments of all shapes and sizes, the local gold-foil angel, “Zwetschgenmännle” made of prunes, toys and games and delicious holiday treats to eat and drink. Come and experience this one-of-a-kind atmosphere and enjoy the magic of the Nuremberg Christmas Market!

Frankfurt Christmas Market

In terms of the visitor numbers and size, the Frankfurt christmas Market is one of the most important Christmas markets in Germany. The elaborate and creative stand decorations, the scenis surroundings of the Römerberg and Paulsplatz and the huge christmas tree also make it one of its most beautiful.

“Brenten”, “Bethmaennchen” and “Quetschemaennchen” – miniature candy figures – are three typical Frankfurt biscuits that look back upon a long culinary tradition. In former times, large quantities were produced in the bourgeois homes of the city centre. The 19th-century suitor customarily sent a packet of this popular confectionery to the object of his desires. If she kept this present, the admirer could hope to continue his advances. If she did not, it served as a notice for the suitor to abandon his efforts. Ahh, how the times have changed!

One of the greatest fans of Frankfurt Christmas confectionery was the renowned Frankfurt-born author and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. During his tenure as privy councillor in the faraway city of Weimar, he would regularly receive Christmas parcels from his mother containing his favourite Frankfurt treats. No one truly knows how the marzipan-filled “Bethmaennchen” got their name. One version finds Napoleon Bonaparte in Frankfurt, residing at the house of the famous banker Bethmann, where he supposedly uttered the words: “Kindly give me another of those delicious little Bethmaennchen.” Whether he had any during his exiles on Elba and St Helena is still unclear.

Cologne Christmas Market

In front of the impressive backdrop of Cologne’s landmark, the Cathedral christmas market awaits visitors with its 150 attractively designed wooden pavilions.

Beneath the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland, you can choose from numerous sweet delicacies, watch artisans at work and enjoy the “Original Christmas mulled wine” out of the festively decorated Christmas mugs

Regional specialities and organically certified food are an important component of the market concept, all of a high level of quality. Quality is a priority even with the numerous craftsmen. The large variety of gift ideas such as woodcarvings, glass balls, ceramics, accessories, children’s toys, soaps, etc. come mainly from Germany and Europe.

The varied stage programme with 100 Christmas performances of music and entertainment is unique for a Christmas market.

There is plenty to do even for the younger visitors: for example the traditional carrousel or the children’s wheel of fortune. The Nordmann fir towering about 25m high is the shining heart of the market, lit up with 50,000 LED lights, a bright landmark in Cologne during the advent season.