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Christmas Market Cruising

Christmas Market Cruising

Christmas markets bring to life the joy, spectacle and tradition of the festive season.

Floating down Europe’s original highways aboard your comfortable travelling hotel, unpack once but be sure to leave lots of room for your Christmas gifts.

From small markets full of handcrafted treasures that pop up for one day a year to illuminated extravaganzas that last from November to February there is a market atmosphere to please even the most dedicated scrooge.

Let’s reach for a glass of mulled wine (or kinderpunsch- see my recipe below!) and explore the most relaxing way to experience the Christmas markets….

Historic Destinations

European river cruises travel the rivers stopping at picturesque towns throughout the year. During Christmas these stops have the added flair of a festive overlay as Christmas descends on the continent. From short three day jaunts, seven day festive flings to extravagant twenty three night Christmas extravaganzas these destinations will delight and surprise you.

Fabulous Food

Bratwurst and Bockwurst and Weisswurst oh my! Satisfying succulent sausages cooked over hot coals. Yum!

Gluhwein is a drink to warm the cockles of your heart. Full of spice and winter vitality often served in souvenir mugs.

There are a range of gingerbread flavours to tempt the palate from chocolate, jelly, nuts and fruit to crunchy or soft. 

Charming Traditions

In Bavaria children are visited by St Nicholas and Krampus together. Naughty children are spirited away by this malevolent spirit while the good are rewarded by St Nicholas.

Nativity scenes of all shapes and sizes are a pleasure to seek out. From small hand made dioramas, pageants that wind through the markets to stables with live animals erected outside the churches.

Christmas in the old times used to be the time of a lamplighter, whom you can meet on the Charles Bridge during Advent. He will be dressed in period clothing, lighting gas lamps with a long pole.

Treasured Objects

German Strohsterne or straw stars are said to be a gift from a poor young shepherdess who made a star of Bethlehem from materials she could afford.

Hand painted glass ornaments will become beloved heirlooms for decades to come. From animals to winter scenes there is something to delight the young and young at heart.

Dating back to the middle ages these Christmas pyramids or Weihnachtspyramide are thought to be the precursor to the Christmas Tree.

Watch a fabulous video from our friends at Viking River Cruises

Enjoy the taste of Christmas at home....

Kinderpunsch Recipe

Mulled wine is a comforting drink you’ll find at every market- each stall will have their own blend. Kinderpunsch is a non alcoholic version of this fabulous winter drink - enjoy my blend while dreaming of a White Christmas.

500 mL of Ribena 1 cinnamon stick  1 orange sliced into rounds  ½ tsp of nutmeg  ½ tsp of ginger

Simmer all of these ingredients together in a saucepan on the stove until warm. Decant into your favourite mug. 

Serves two.

Sometimes I have been known to scale this up and keep it warm in a crock pot all day. The perfect companion for a cold winter's day or when decorating the house with all of the special pieces I have brought back from my market experiences.

Contact us for more festive Christmas Cruise ideas

Images | © AmaWaterways, Charlotte Taylor, APT, Daderot, Alisa Anton (Unsplash), Charlotte Taylor, christkindlmarkt.co.at, Andreas Praefcke, Prague Morning, U.S. Air Force photo/Iris Reiff, Charlotte Taylor, s-ms_1985, Hannah Pemberton (Unsplash)

Posted: Sunday 26 May 2019