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Xmas Market

Cruising in a winter wonderland  

By Tony Laker.


Last December, Tony and Tracey Laker from House of Travel Lakers Invercargill escorted a river cruise to the Christmas markets of Europe. Here, Tony explains why a winter Christmas is so special.


Where did you go?
Our 2018 ‘Magical European Christmas Markets River Cruise Tour’ was escorted by Tracey and myself, and included a stopover in Dubai (quite the contrast to Christmas in Europe!) then three nights in beautiful Prague and a seven-night river cruise from Nuremburg to Budapest, stopping along the way in Regensburg, Passau, an excursion
to Salzburg, Melk, the amazing Wachau Valley, and ‘The City of Music,’ Vienna.


Why is a river cruise a great way to see Europe’s Christmas markets?
Christmas time in the cities and towns of Europe is truly enchanting, and a river cruise is a fantastic way of experiencing the festive lights and decorations, and the incredible stalls, while leisurely sailing down the river system in five-star luxury.

What are the advantages of cruising?
One of the biggest benefits of river cruising is always the close proximity that the ship berths to the centre of the places you stop, meaning you can easily stroll into the historic areas, and it’s an even bigger benefit at Christmas time when the markets are in full swing.


Where are the Christmas markets located?
Every city and town we stopped at along the way featured beautiful and very vibrant Christmas markets, always located in the main squares or most historical areas, and all featuring countless traditional wooden huts selling a huge range of Christmas goodies such as handmade gifts and crafts, amazing food, and very tasty mulled wine.

Is it festive on-board?
Christmas on-board a river cruise will make you believe in holiday magic all over again. We were sailing aboard a luxurious ship and it was beautifully decorated. From the baubles to the European villages with fairytale houses and a friendly, festive charm, it was all very beguiling.


What will I see and taste?
Everyone on the tour commented how there was so much variety of the items on sale at the markets, and the biggest surprise for everyone was the incredible range of food on offer as well: chocolates, pastries, spicy gingerbread, sweet roasted almonds, specialty sausages, and apfelstudels.

What’s your fondest memory?
Happy locals and tourists enjoying the sweet sound of carols, the vibrancy of the markets, the giant Christmas trees, and the specialty food (did I mention the mulled wine!!?) If you love a Christmas atmosphere: the smell of a Christmas tree and the chorus of carol singers, then you’ll love this.

What tips would you give customers for a trip like this?
This is a journey that will bring out your inner child and get you excited for Christmas.


Ready for warm mulled wine and Christmas music? Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or Click Here for cruise deals. 


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