We’ve often written about the magical experience of sailing through Europe during winter at the height of the Christmas Market season. These voyages are extremely popular and tend to sell out well in advance, which is why Avalon Waterways’ Christmas in the Heart of Germany is our river cruise itinerary of the week.
This eight-day journey from Prague to Frankfurt (or reverse) kicks off with a two-night stay within reach of the Czech town’s greatest highlights, like the Astronomical Clock, Prague Castle and the historic Charles Bridge.
In Nuremberg, Germany, guests embark the Avalon Vista for their cruise through the winter wonderland along the Main-Danube Canal before reaching the waters of the Danube. A day and a half is provided in this pivotal German city, allowing ample time to explore its famous Christmas Market — dating back to 1628 — in the heart of Nuremberg’s painstakingly reconstructed Old Town.
Avalon Vista sails on to Bamburg, where you can walk through this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site. During December, the town is resplendent in Christmas cheer and décor, and features nativity scenes that the townspeople have constructed by hand. Of course, no visit to the heart of Bavaria is complete without sampling some of the region’s legendary beers.
Guests will then visit Wurzburg, where guided tours will all you to explore the magnificent Bishop’s Residenz before having free time to wander the gorgeous Christmas market and sample some Gluhwein.
In Wertheim and Miltenberg, the Christmas spirit is in full swing. If you’re lucky, you might be treated to a light dusting of snow in December, turning these picturesque Bavarian villages in to veritable winter wonderlands. The Christmas Markets are the main draw at this time of year; don’t forget to indulge in some traditional Lebkuchen, or ginger bread — made, interestingly, with far more nuts and far less “ginger” than its North American counterpart.
The cruise comes to a conclusion in Frankfurt. It’s worth lingering a while in this modern city, which still has a few remaining traces of its historic past visible — along with its own Christmas market — near the Hauptwache square.
More information on Avalon Waterways, its fleet and itineraries, can be found by viewing our complete company overview here on River Cruise Advisor.