Top 10 Reasons to Take a River Cruise
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What better way to enjoy the holiday season than aboard a luxurious river ship.
Being catered to, and almost sinfully pampered on a Christmas or New Years river cruise in Europe aboard a deluxe river cruise ship might seem to be an unusual way to get-away for the holidays, but it might also be one of the most exciting, hassle-free and rewarding winter vacations you’ll ever experience. If you haven’t been to Europe during this splendiferous and festive period, you’re in for an unexpected treat. While most North Americans choose to travel in summer, we chose to be a bit different last year and enjoyed an incredible river cruise during the holidays! There was something so wonderful and different about exploring the enchanting medieval villages and towns along the Danube, Rhine or Seine such as the storybook towns of Salzburg and Heidelberg. All the cities, towns and villages we visited were decked out in their holiday best; some were even lightly dusted in snow.

Before continuing to read this article, why don't you CLICK the "present" graphic to the right, and take a quick read of EJ's Holiday Markets story to get her thoughts on our remarkable trip!

Holiday season river cruises are also ideal for 'Solo' travelers.
A Christmas or New Years river cruise in Europe is an ideal trip for Solo travelers seeking a blend of history, culture, some fun, excitement and meeting new friends for the holidays. It’s also the perfect winter escape for couples looking for something new and different for the holiday period. Of course, a festive cruise of this kind is made even better if you bring your own party along by planning it with two or more friends. How many times have you been home on New Years and watched the ball drop at Times Square or marveled at the awe-inspiring fireworks display over the Sydney Opera House and said… it would be really cool to be there. Well, maybe that “someday” is now! View all Europe Christmas Time river cruises in the cruisGENIE™ Cruise Locator below.

Paris, France — the "City of Lights" — is glorious at holiday time!
Imagine how cool it would be to take in the fireworks show in Paris along the Champs-Elysees (The Times Square of Paris). Or, enjoy New Years as many Parisians do, by pulling up a chair or laying a blanket on the grounds surrounding the Eiffel Tower where a dazzling laser light-show spectacular begins around 9:00 pm. And, why not bring your own bottle of “bubbly” to truly launch the New Year?

If you’re looking for something a bit calmer then wander across town to the Montmartre district to bid adieu to the current year. Because it’s on a hill, you’ll have a great vantage point to see all the fireworks being launched, mingle with the crowds of Parisiennes and, enjoy a spectacular view of the Paris skyline. (Factoid: The French call the New Year “St. Sylvestre” and it begins January 1 for 30 days. That’s a lot of partying!)

As my wife said, spending the holidays in Europe is so different than staying home because each town village or large city is so festively decorated; it’s like seeing one beautiful picture postcard after another. Sure, some of the outdoor Holiday Markets are now over, but the holiday shopping both in and out of doors continues…and it is not crowded.

Depending on the river cruise you select, there are so many options to consider. For example, one can enjoy as much time as desired in some of the most vibrant cities in the world. On a Paris & Normandy cruise, begin or end the trip with a stay in enchanting Paris, “The City of Lights.” It’s all there waiting for you to enjoy... the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, the infamous Moulin Rouge or Folies Bergere, history, and the wonderful, mouth watering cuisine that can only be found in France. Remember, with your river cruise, your Paris hotel stay is usually included as are transfers. River cruises are so “hassle-free” and affordable!



Rhine and Danube cruises bring back the true meaning of our traditional holiday spirit.
If Paris is not on this year’s bucket list, the holiday celebrations are equally exciting and equally lively along the Rhine or Danube Rivers in storybook medieval cities like Budapest, Prague, Vienna or Salzburg and Heidelberg. Any of these remarkable cities can be used as your starting point for a very exciting and different European river cruise for the holidays.

Enjoy a traditional Christmas mass in one of the stunning cathedrals of Regensburg or Cologne. Walk through and explore 2000 year old towns and villages with some of the best shopping in the entire world and best of all, most of the tourists have long gone home. But don’t worry! Just because it’s the Holiday season doesn’t mean the sites, stores, and events are closed. Absolutely not... Everything is open and available, but with out the summer crowds and waiting in lines.

This season (along with the month preceding it (Holiday Markets cruises)) is without a doubt the most affordable time to enjoy a river cruise and visit Europe. Cruise rates are at their lowest point; you can actually use your air miles; restaurants and shops offer visitors with incredible values and as we mentioned above — no crowds.

As we point out in our informative Holiday Markets section, the winter weather while cool in late fall is a very manageable cold in winter, much like what you would experience in Washington. If you’re dressed for it (our exclusive Compass Points Guide will ensure you’re totally versed on what to pack), you’ll be “warm as a bug in a rug.”

Why not make this Christmas something truly special and welcome in the New Year in grand style by enjoying a very affordable European river cruise for the holidays.

To find the perfect holiday season river cruise for you, check out all of the available itineraries in the easy to use CruisGenie Cruise Chart below. If you’d like more information, just give one of our expert personal Travel Planners a call at 855.255.1200.


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