Riviera River Cruises will return to celebrating the holiday season on the Rhine and Danube rivers this year with its new Christmas and New Year’s itineraries, as well as its popular Yuletide Markets itineraries.
Navigate these scenic rivers in all their wintry splendor, visiting castles, squares, churches and old towns on guided tours and spending free time shopping festive markets for traditional gifts and treats. On the new itineraries, enjoy a Christmas Day gala dinner or a New Year’s Eve gala dinner, midnight drinks and canapés, and a New Year’s Day brunch.
Classical music concerts and folklore shows will also entertain. A total of 20 departures are planned.
“Winter is a wonderful time of year to visit Europe and a holiday river cruise is ideal for those wanting something different than the average vacation,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera River Cruises’ Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing North America.
“Take in the beautifully decorated cities and towns along the Rhine and Danube rivers, shop their festive markets and try all the delicious treats on offer. This year, we’ll even be celebrating Christmas and New Year’s on board, with garlands adorning staircases and magnificent trees taking center stage. We hope you and your clients will think of Riviera first for their holiday travels.”
On Riviera’s holiday cruises, pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge in Germany, where the swifter current sweeps between narrowing valley sides that tower above. Rüdesheim’s market stalls glow with hundreds of fairy lights, Koblenz’s Christmas bakery makes the famous stollen and Cologne has the largest tree in the Rhineland with 50,000 lights.
Or navigate the Danube Bend, flanked by high mountains, in Hungary and continue on to Slovakia and Austria. Markets are filled with the smells of spiced gingerbread and peppery goulash in Budapest, artisan decorations are available in Bratislava and the windows of Vienna’s city hall are transformed into a giant advent calendar.
Riviera River Cruises’ holiday itineraries include:
Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise: Five-day cruise on select dates in December with guided tours of Bonn, Rüdesheim and Koblenz, and a visit to Cologne.
The Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets River Cruise: Six-day cruise on select dates in December with guided tours of Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava.
Christmas on the Rhine: Eight-day cruise departing Dec. 21 with guided tours of Koblenz, Rüdesheim, Speyer, Strasbourg, Boppard and Cologne. Also includes a Christmas Day gala dinner, a Christmas musical performance, a folklore show and a classical music concert on board.
Christmas on the Blue Danube: Eight-day cruise departing Dec. 22 with guided tours of Vienna, Salzburg or Linz, Budapest and Bratislava, and visits to Esztergom, Melk Abbey and Schönbrunn Palace. Also includes a Christmas Day gala dinner, a Christmas classical quartet recital and a Hungarian Christmas folklore show on board.
New Year on the Rhine: Six-day cruise departing Dec. 28 with guided tours of Rüdesheim, Frankfurt, Koblenz and Cologne. Also includes New Year’s Eve gala dinner, midnight drinks and canapés, a New Year’s Day brunch, a classical music recital and a Hungarian folklore show on board.
New Year on the Blue Danube: Six-day cruise departing Dec. 29 with guided tours of Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Schönbrunn Palace. Also includes New Year’s Eve gala dinner, midnight drinks and canapés, a New Year’s Day brunch, a classical music recital and a folklore show on board.
Riviera River Cruises offers 20 itineraries on 10 rivers and waterways, including dedicated departures for solo travelers with no single supplement. Riviera’s fleet of 12 ships is one of the youngest in Europe, with spacious cabins and suites, and its cruises include fine culinary experiences, from splendid breakfasts to four-course dinners featuring international and regional specialties, as well as expert-led excursions to classic sights and lesser-known places.
Riviera guarantees exceptional value, promising never to add hidden surcharges or fees, and it doesn’t automatically include gratuities or drinks, so the choice is up to guests.
(Riviera River Cruises)