European Waterways introduces brand-new Christmas Markets Cruises in France's Alsace-Lorraine

   November 6, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

The river cruise brand European Waterways introduced a new offering - Christmas Markets Cruises in France's Alsace-Lorraine region. The holiday-themed hotel barge cruises have already gained popularity among travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the nostalgic traditions of Christmases past, while also savoring the unique blend of French and German charm found in Alsace-Lorraine.

These voyages are available on the company's 12-passenger barge Panache, navigating the Canal de la Marne au Rhin. The land excursions include visits to renowned Christmas markets, such as Strasbourg's Christkindelsmarik, recognized as the oldest Christmas market in Europe, and the market of Haguenau, famed for its impressive 52-ft/16-m-long nativity scene.

Originating in Germany centuries ago, Christmas Markets remain one of Europe's enduring and cherished traditions, drawing millions of visitors annually. Set against the backdrop of magnificent churches, these markets are known for their vividly adorned stalls offering an array of artisanal goods, including hand-blown glass tree ornaments and an assortment of festive souvenirs. Visitors can indulge in regional delicacies like freshly roasted nuts, cookies, and cakes, as well as an array of cheeses, meats, fish, and sausages.

In Strasbourg, alongside the Christmas markets, guests can explore the Musee du Chocolat, where seasonal sweets are crafted. The itinerary also includes visits to the six Christmas markets of Colmar, with highlights like the market at Place de la Cathedrale, which sprawls before the Eglise Saint-Martin. The journey in Lorraine features excursions to the Meisenthal Glass Bauble factory, where artisans demonstrate their craft, and the Musee Lalique, home to the remarkable glassware collection of French jeweler and master glassmaker Rene Jules Lalique.

After days of exploring the region's festive delights, guests can anticipate returning to the cozy barge saloon, where a comforting drink awaits them, and the master chef prepares a sumptuous four-course evening meal.

European Waterways' Christmas Markets Cruises offer an all-inclusive experience, providing luxury accommodations, daily excursions, fine wines, and gourmet meals crafted with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Guests have the option to book individual cabins or charter the entire barge for a family or group experience.