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Gateway Destinations

The Unending Charm of Europe’s Christmas Markets

For those of us who celebrate Christmas, experiencing a Christmas Market in Europe may bring back childhood memories like it was yesterday.  From the end of November through at least Christmas Eve and sometimes through New Year’s Eve, numerous towns in Europe line the streets of their historic centers with wooden structures filled with gifts and food for sale.  Music abounds everywhere in the streets and sipping hot beverages such as mulled spice wine or hot cocoa keeps shoppers warm while they wander the streets looking for just the right gift or memento.   Each town or village offers their unique crafts and foods for sale, but all exude a common atmosphere of festive joy.

Traveling the beautiful waterways of Europe is one of the best ways to visit several Christmas markets during one season.  Leading river cruise lines such as AmaWaterways, Uniworld, Avalon, Scenic, Tauck, Emerald and Viking offer itineraries that focus on visiting these colorful markets found in the charming villages and bustling towns along the river banks of Europe.  Imagine returning to your cozy stateroom aboard your beautiful “floating hotel” after enjoying a few hours in the crisp winter air after a busy day or night of shopping and merriment.  Then relaxing with a delicious meal and a comfortable night’s sleep before waking up to explore the treasures at the next port.

River cruising in Europe during the Christmas season is a great time to unite friends or family members and spend enjoyable quality time together.

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