Bookings open for European Waterways’ Christmas Markets Cruises

   May 29, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

The December holiday season in Europe has always been deeply rooted in traditions, particularly the Christmas markets that originated in Germany centuries ago. 

European Waterways now offers Christmas Market Cruises in France's Alsace & Lorraine region, providing an immersive experience. These cruises are available in November and December 2023 on selected departures of the hotel barge Panache, which can accommodate up to 12 passengers.

The Christmas Markets Cruises by European Waterways can be booked now and are all-inclusive, offering luxury accommodation, daily excursions, fine wine, and gastronomic meals prepared by a master chef onboard. The price for cabins is GBP 5,450 per person, based on double occupancy. Alternatively, the entire barge, accommodating 12 people, can be chartered for GBP 58,000 on any of the available departure dates.

The towns of Alsace and Lorraine have historically cherished their Christmas Markets, which have played a significant role in the local economy and social fabric. These markets are often situated in front of grand churches and transform the public squares into vibrant spaces filled with colorful lights, music, feasting, and joyful celebrations during the holiday season.

One of the Christmas markets that can be explored on the European Waterways cruise is the Christkindelsmarik in Strasbourg/accessed from Kehl. This market, one of the oldest and largest in Europe, attracts millions of visitors each year. Guests can immerse themselves in the city's historic quarters, such as Place Gutenberg and La Petite France (Little France), taking a step back in time. They can also visit local attractions like the Musee du Chocolat, where they can observe the creation of seasonal candies. The experience culminates with a gastronomic dinner at a traditional Alsatian restaurant.

Another memorable excursion includes a visit to Colmar, a town with cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses reminiscent of the early Renaissance. Colmar features six Christmas markets located in its center, with the market at Place de la Cathedrale standing beneath the shadow of the Gothic Eglise Saint-Martin. The itinerary also includes a stop at the Christmas market of Haguenau, renowned for its impressive 54-foot-long nativity scene.

In Lorraine, guests will explore Lutzelbourg City and its Meisenthal Glass Bauble factory, the birthplace of traditional Christmas ornaments. They will have the opportunity to witness the glass blowers in action. Additionally, the cruise includes a visit to the Musee Lalique, where French jeweler Rene Jules Lalique's remarkable glassware collection, which greatly influenced the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, is showcased.