Credit: Shutterstock

Shop till you drop for Christmas on a Viking river cruise

Author: Nicole Carmichael

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Combine your festive shopping with a trip to Europe’s finest Christmas markets

Viking has Christmas shopping all wrapped up, with journeys to some of the world’s best markets for unique & inspiring gifts, hand-crafted with love.

So why tackle the high street or sit at home online shopping when you can browse in style?

A European river cruise is the perfect way to escape those Christmas to-do lists while discovering charming towns and cities along the banks of Europe’s most magical waterways.

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Christmas on the Rhine & Moselle

There’s nothing like the romance of Paris to get you in the mood for Christmas, and Paris is the starting point for this tour of the Rhineland.

On this wonderful 12-day journey you’ll travel through four countries – France, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland – with a chance to immerse yourself in traditional festive markets.

Artisanal local fare will delight you in Strasbourg, before you marvel at the fairytale castles of the UNESCO-listed Middle Rhine, while discovering some of Germany’s prettiest Christmas markets in Trier, Mainz and Koblenz.

Finally, you’ll visit the crystal-adorned Christmas tree in Basel’s Christkindlmarkt and indulge in a sweet treat from one of the city’s famous chocolatiers in Zurich.

This sparkling itinerary includes ten complimentary guided tours plus a free Silver Spirits beverage package on 2024 departures if you book by September 30 2023.

Crowds throng the festive market by Cologne’s great Gothic cathedral. Credit: Shutterstock

Christmas on the Elbe

One of the most beautiful rivers in Europe, the Elbe rises in the mountains of Czechia before flowing through Germany.

On this special 10-day cruise, you’ll get the chance to enjoy some of central Europe’s most famous festive traditions, such as the craftsmanship of Meissen porcelain and yuletide treats in Wittenberg.

In Potsdam and Wittenberg you can enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent palace of Sanssouci, and walk in Martin Luther’s footsteps to the church where he posted his 95 Theses.

You can also visit Dresden’s Zwinger Palace and see the towering rocks of the Bastei, one of Germany’s natural wonders.

The finale of this very special cruise comes in Prague, where you’ll find stunning hand-crafted gifts in the historic Christmas markets.

Wintertime vistas of Prague along the Elbe. Credit: Shutterstock

Danube delights

Cultural capitals and fairytale villages are among the highlights of Viking’s new Christmas voyage along the stunning river Danube.

You’ll get to savour Austro- Hungarian cuisine, admire the beautiful UNESCO-rated Wachau Valley and enjoy the region’s famous Christmas festivities.

Vienna’s markets are a highlight of the itinerary, along with a chance to visit the stunning Schönbrunn Palace, and why not treat yourself to a Mozart and Strauss concert?

You’ll visit four countries on this incredible journey, which takes in Germany, Austria and Slovakia before coming to an end in beautiful Budapest, home to famous thermal baths and the stunning St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas market.

The old imperial city of Vienna sports an impressive Christmas market. Credit: Shutterstock

The grand tour

For the ultimate cruise to some of Europe’s finest destinations and Christmas markets, this 15-day Grand European Tour traces the Rhine, Main and Danube between the picturesque windmill-dotted waterways of the Netherlands and the great city of Budapest, known as ‘the Paris of the East’.

A fantastic Christmas gift in itself, this cruise is packed with stunning locations to visit, including Cologne, with its awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral, and Austria’s elegant capital Vienna, plus historic cities such as medieval Koblenz and Nuremberg.

With 12 guided tours during this four-country itinerary, plus privileged access to galleries and VIP experiences, every day will feel like Christmas Day.

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