I get asked a lot, “Where would you go?” and that’s a hard question to answer. My list is long. I have the privilege of seeing so many amazing destinations and experiences all over the world. Every once in a while, something comes across my desk that makes me stop and daydream for a second.   

One such trip came over a few months ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. So, I decided to start a new blog series…’Bucket List Travel.’ Here I will share one trip that is on my bucket list. 

Many places are off-limits for now due to COVID and political unrest. Some options are on my list because they are places clients are asking about and I’ve never been. They are within reach, I just need to find the time to go. Others are my true bucket list trips. They are the once in a lifetime trips that I have my heart set on. 

While cruising wasn’t possible this last Christmas, I thought this month was the right time to share the Christmas Market River Cruises that Amawaterways offers. Their Iconic Christmas Markets River Cruise takes you down the Danube through Austria, Germany, and Hungry. I’ll be honest, I would go on any of them! 

Travel back through centuries as you walk along cobblestone streets through grand cities and historic towns bedecked with twinkling Christmas trees and lined with wooden huts gleaming with handcrafted treasures. Sparkling lights; the festive sounds of children dressed as angels singing carols; enticing smells of hot-mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, sausages and sweet treats of every kind; and timeless wonders are a feast for all your senses.

Christmas Markets on the Danube lets you experience timeless holiday traditions and elegant pageantry in five countries—Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. Let iconic capital cities—Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna—decked in holiday finery with glittering Christmas trees illuminated by thousands of lights, bells pealing from cathedral towers and children dressed as angels singing Christmas carols, dazzle you. Wander the stalls of Europe’s most traditional and enchanting Christmas Markets, including Regensburg and Salzburg, shopping for handcrafted toys and gifts, sipping hot mulled wine and inhaling the fragrance of gingerbread and roasted chestnuts. Cherish all the glory and magic of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Danube during this festive time of the year.

Experience the deep-rooted holiday traditions of Europe at its most festive time of year and get caught up in the magic of the holidays with visits to some of the world’s most timeless Christmas Markets on the Christmas Markets on the Rhine cruise. Warm-up with a mug of steamy glühwein while at the Cologne Christmas Market located in front of its UNESCO-designated Gothic cathedral. Let the “Capital of Noël,” Strasbourg, the oldest and largest Christmas Market in France, captivate you the way it has for so many others for centuries. Meander through Heidelberg’s majestic Christmas Market nestled idyllically amongst the historic squares of the Old Town. And while in Gengenbach, marvel at the world’s largest Advent calendar, where every evening at 6:00 PM, the brightly lit windows of the neo-classical town hall open and behind each one is a picture by a famous artist, such as Andy Warhol. Cherish all the glory of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Rhine.

Throughout this dreamlike journey, an overflowing of good tidings and magical Christmas markets come alive on the Magical Christmas Markets River Cruise. A winter wonderland awaits at Prague’s Christmas markets brightly decorated with wooden huts stocked with handicrafts and delicious scents flavoring the air. Be spellbound by the medieval atmosphere of Nuremberg’s main Christmas market, and sample its renowned gingerbread. Stroll through Regensburg’s romantic Christmas market at the Thurn and Taxis Castle, savoring fresh dumplings with vanilla sauce. Get caught up in the magic of Salzburg’s Christmas markets at both Hellbrunn Palace and at Christkindlmarkt, located at the foot of the Hohensalzburg Fortress and around the venerable cathedral, which is a feast for the senses, from the warm aroma of mulled wine and Austrian pastry delights, to the sights and sounds of holiday performances, to the colors and textures of traditional handcrafts. And while in Vienna, visit enchanting Christmas markets from the regal Schönbrunn Palace to Vienna’s charming Maria Theresa markets.

2021 and 2022 Christmas Market River Cruises are now available to book!

Ocean cruises have been a popular way to vacation for decades, and for good reason. They’re affordable, convenient and offer travelers peace of mind knowing that everything they need for a fantastic getaway is all in one place. What could be better than that? Enter River Cruises!

You might think that the words “inland” and “cruise” are incompatible. Well, they are not! Let me show you how on AmaWaterways, just how superbly well they go together. AmaWaterways river cruises combine all the comfort and convenience of an ocean cruise with the excitement of European excursions at each port of call.

To all cruise-lovers, perhaps it’s time to shake up the ocean liner experience for an entirely new way to explore the world’s waterways. Let us book you on an AmaWaterways river cruise that will take you inland for a unique and relaxing tour of Europe.

Here are the top 10 reasons we know why you’ll love river cruising, specifically on AmaWaterways!
1. Expand Your Options

While ocean cruises take you to countries, river cruises take you through them. There simply is no way to reach river cruise destinations on mega cruise ships.

2. Intimate Experience

River cruising offers a more intimate setting. Most ships range from 144 to 196 passengers. This means that you’ll never have to wait in line, which means you’ll have more time to enjoy all the amenities and have a more personal experience with other passengers and crew. From ordering a beverage to getting on and off the ship, you’ll enjoy the absence of long lines.

3. Dive into the Local Culture

Get away from the touristy ports and explore hidden gems. Large ocean liner ports can receive up to 20,000 visitors on the same day but with a river cruise, you’ll arrive into port with only a few hundred visitors. Not only will you avoid long lines at your destination, but you’ll also enjoy leisurely excursions at each incredible port of call.  You’ll be able to take in the local culture and history of every unique town that you visit.

4. No Need to Rush Back

With many departures from the destinations being later in the afternoon or evening, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the nightlife in select ports of call. Whether you choose an evening walk through cobblestone streets, a local show or performance, or one last glass of wine after dinner while listening to a local musician, immersing yourself in the evening culture together with the locals is a unique experience.

5. Castle Views

That’s right, castle views. From Amsterdam to Basel along the Rhine River, and in Budapest, Bratislava, Dürnstein and Passau on the Danube, you’ll see colorful architecture and castles that will blow you away. But don’t stop at just viewing the castles, why not hike or drive to them and then explore their fabulousness with a knowledgeable guide? You’ll literally be walking in the footsteps of world history.

6. 5-Star Reviews

5-star reviews are only earned through 5-star service. When you’re relaxing with a glass of wine on the Sun Deck, enjoying a night under the stars, or having an unexpected encounter with kind locals that your tour guide has arranged for you, you’ll know where their 5-star reviews come from. See what people are saying about AmaWaterways flawless service.

7.  Entertainment for the Whole Family

With a variety of activities and plenty of stops along the way, we’re sure everyone in the family will have an unforgettable experience. River cruising is perfect for multi-generational families. From grandparents to teenaged grandchildren, the entire family will bond over a range of topics and activities from food to history to countryside excursions. There really is something to do for everyone onboard at each destination. Some members of your group may choose to take advantage of spa services, or the sundeck pool, or cultural activities, while others may prefer to seek out a quiet space with a book. Mealtimes are the perfect opportunity for everyone to come together again as a family. It really is the perfect multi-generational vacation for your family or group of friends.

8.  Taste the Difference

Whether you’re into wine tasting or local street food, a river cruise provides an exceptional culinary experience both on the ship and at every destination. The onboard culinary team focuses on utilizing fresh local ingredients. Dishes are paired with local wines. There’s absolutely no mass-produced and basic buffet food when you cruise with AmaWaterways!

9. Variety of Experience

Let’s not forget just how special every European country is! The towns and cities may be close in proximity along the river, but don’t be surprised by the unique feeling and experiences that each destination gives you. Choose from visiting local breweries, hiking to castles, biking through trendy neighborhoods or visiting museums that highlight the local culture.

10.  World-Class Accommodations

One of the reasons we love river cruises so much (and we know you’ll agree) is the feeling of walking into a luxurious suite or twin-balcony stateroom that will be your home away from home for the next 7, 8, 10 days or more. Each of AmaWaterways staterooms is tastefully decorated and is river facing. Whether you choose to have a window view, a private balcony, or even a twin balcony (with both a French and outside balcony), you’ll always have a room with a view.

So, there you have it. 10 great reasons why you’ll love your first river cruise on AmaWaterways.

Contact me today to learn more about River Cruising and allow me to match you with a River Cruise that matches your interests and budget!