Come Travel with Me for Europe’s Christmas Markets!
I have never been more excited to share about a trip!
For the past few years I’ve often been referred to as the “Christmas Market Queen” and for good reason. You could say I’m obsessed. I’ve been to dozens of Christmas markets across Europe. I’ve never in my life experienced anything more magical. It’s truly a sensation for the senses. The fragrant smell of candied nuts and mulled wine, the hand carved wooden stalls and twinkling lights, the utter joy as people shop, explore, and marvel at the beauty of these fairy-tale towns come to life.
There's nothing else like it. And I want you to come with me!
Michael and I knew we wanted to host a trip with a group of travelers to our absolute favorite place in the world: the Christmas Markets in Central Europe.
We've hosted a couple trips in the past in Portugal and Italy and they were one of our favorite ways to travel.
The problem was we wanted we to offer a multi city and country trip to really get a feel for the Christmas Markets. But the logistics were a nightmare.
And then we realized the best way to really experience the markets was with a river cruise! Enter, Avalon Waterways!! A stunning, state-of-the-art river cruise, the perfect Christmas Itinerary, and the deal of a lifetime.
This is your official invitation to come with me from December 14-21st to Europe for Christmas on Avalon Waterways!
When: December 14 – December 21, 2022
Where: Our itinerary takes us on the stunning Rhine River and starts off in Basel, Switzerland then on to Breisach and the Black Forest in Germany, Strasbourg, France – an actual fairy tale town, on to Mainz with a stop in Heidelberg, Germany where we lived. Then to Rüdesheim-Rhine Gorge and then to Cologne, Germany – one of my favorite Christmas markets! Finally, ending in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
What's included? What I love about cruising is that nearly everything is included! But Avalon is an incredible value. Your meals and drinks on board are included. Even beer and wine are included during lunch and dinner. An excursion each day. And, your flight is included as well!
How much? Avalon Waterways was able to secure us a great deal- starting at $3,257 per person!
Why: A great way to travel, meet other passionate travelers, and the CHRISTMAS MARKETS!
Who: YOU! You are welcome to go solo, bring a friend, or significant other. Michael will be there so of course, men are welcome as well!
SPOTS ARE LIMITED and I do expect spots to fill up quickly. Right now, the trip is $100 off. Sign up here
We absolutely adore Avalon Waterways and have worked with their family of brands a number of times. This is truly one of my all time favorite companies. I've taken a river cruise with them on the Danube through Budapest and Austria and their cruises are phenomenal.
Imagine unpacking just once and stopping in Basel, Switzerland, Black Forest, Germany, Heidelberg, Germany (where we lived!), Strasbourg, France, Cologne, Germany, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You’ll get to explore, go to the markets, take tours, and eat the best food! All on a luxury river cruise.
Not only are we getting an exceptional cruise itinerary, they are giving us an incredible deal! For $3,257 INCLUDING airfare we are taking an 8 day cruise through some of my favorite places.
Since 2004, Avalon has sailed throughout the world (mostly Europe) and has 16 ships offering suites and very large rooms. Avalon offers “Open-Air Balconies” which means you can open the windows all the way (7 feet!) and turn your whole stateroom into a balcony. Because of this, you have more space in your room. Your bed faces the window and you can enjoy the scenery as you cruise down the river.
I absolutely adore cruising, but a river cruise is a different, immersive experience. Your food and drinks are included on board (including beer and wine during lunch and dinner). A selection of excursions are offered every day with an included free option each day. You also have ample time to explore on your own!
On the Avalon cruise ship you have many different areas to hang out and explore. There's simply no bad place to sit. The ship is designed so that no matter where you are, you have a beautiful view outside. The lovely Panorama Restaurant offers seated breakfast, lunch, and dinner with helpful and friendly staff that serve you.
You can also have room service for breakfast and from your window facing bed. I also love going back to the Club Lounge to play board games or get a coffee 24/7. And getting the warm cookies there too!
Our itinerary for the Christmas Markets is absolutely phenomenal! Avalon has some incredible river cruise itineraries throughout Europe and this one leads you to some of the best places for Christmas.
From small villages brimming with charm to larger cities that aim to wow when it comes to Christmas. This is the best of both worlds. And we'll travel in style on Avalon Waterways gorgeous ship.
Here's our Romantic Rhine itinerary:
Day 1 Basel
An adorable town located on the northern border of Switzerland, making it a melting pot of Swiss, German and French cultures. This is actually on my list for best Christmas markets in Switzerland!
You'll find towering Christmas trees, and the famous Christmas tree pyramid along with dozens of wooden stalls.
Day 2 Breisach (Black Forest)
The Black Forest is a winter wonderland. This is where stories like Hanzel and Gretel, Snow White, and so many other fairy-tales were born. We will feel just like we're in a fairy-tale here!
Day 3 Strasbourg
The actual Capital de Noel! During the Christmas season, Strasbourg appears to me like what Dr. Seuss had in mind when he was creating “Whoville” in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It's almost as if you're stepping into a dreamlike city of lights, with a lot of crazy Christmas decorations on each window and mulled wine scent drifting through the air. There's absolutely nothing like it! This is hands down one of my favorite Christmas Markets in all of Europe!
Day 4 Mainz & Tour of Heidelberg
I lived in Germany from 2016-2019. Before we moved Michael and I had never stepped foot in Germany! We researched where to live beforehand and picked Heidelberg. We picked right. A castle overlooking a river of 16th century town. Pinch me! We'll go here to explore the castle and see the adorable Christmas Market!
Day 5 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz
There's an array of activities we can do here! Visit the Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim, explore the castles and vineyards with your Avalon Waterways Adventure Host or take a scenic cruise along the Rhine Gorge; or have some free time in Koblenz!
Day 6 Cologne
This Christmas Market is INCREDIBLE! I brought my Mom here last year and she was blown away. Multiple markets throughout the city, music, great food, and Christmas joy all around! The markets are large and each one is themed differently. It's one of my favorite Christmas markets in Germany.
Day 7 Amsterdam
One of the loveliest cities in all of Europe, but add twinkle lights! We're heading to Amsterdam to explore the canal city. Amsterdam has great food, pretty architecture, and lots of museums to explore!
Day 8 Amsterdam
Our last day we'll spend in Amsterdam and depart from here! I truly can't wait to share in the magic with you.
Sailing With Avalon
Not only is this an incredible itinerary, cruising with Avalon Waterways is stress-free. The food is delicious and local. Often, the chefs will bring in local food from where we're docked that evening. It's like eating at a Michelin star restaurant every single day- and it's all included in the price!
A choice of wines and beers are served alongside lunch and dinner and you can purchase mixed drinks. In addition, there's a happy hour offered each night before dinner with half priced drinks and signature cocktails.
Your double occupancy room on Avalon is so spacious. Inside you'll find a large, functional bathroom with premium L'Occitane toiletries, a TV offering over 100 different new and classic movies, and the incredible views out the Open-Air Balcony. The bed was exceptionally comfortable and I loved the ample room to to store my belongings.
I've been lucky enough to cruise with Avalon Waterways before and it's truly such an incredible experience.
Of course, you can never go wrong with a trip to Europe, but going at Christmas AND on a river cruise?! This is a dream come true!
Taking a river cruise is the perfect way to travel. A beautiful, state-of-the-art ship, and room, with the best food and views. River cruises allow you to visit intimate corners of the world you wouldn't be able to otherwise. Instead of being in a bus or car, we'll cruise down the Rhine and sip wine while we watch the sights.
River cruises are a unique, luxurious experience. On Avalon you get a personal holiday experience, with staff dedicated to each guest. It's unparalleled! Here are some photos from my trip with Avalon on the Danube! You can read more about that here.
Then, when we land in our destination, we have ample time to explore and enjoy. And if we need a break, we easily hop back on the boat!
Most food, beverages, and many of the excursions are included in the overall price, which allows us to enjoy a decadent vacation without the stress of planning every detail and pinching every penny. The price Avalon Waterways gave us is AMAZING.
But best of all, we are cruising together! You're going to make lifelong friends. Having hosted trips in the past, the friendships you'll make are truly one of a kind. Many of the travelers on previous trips have actually traveled together after!! A group just went to Paris!
I know this Christmas trip will be once in a lifetime. I hope you'll join me on this magical Christmas Markets river cruise!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How can I secure my spot? On Friday, May 20th at 12pm central standard time 20 spots will open. You'll need to put in your information (full name, phone, email address) and a credit/debit card to pay for the $250 deposit which locks in your spot! You'll do that here.
Is there a payment plan? Yes! After the initial $250 deposit you'll pay $300 deposit in 2 weeks for the flight. Then you can pay as much or as little as you want in installments up until September 15th, which is the final payment date.
Do I have to do the flight? You don't but it is a REALLY good deal. Only $399 for your round-trip flight with airport transfer! If not, you can take -$399 off the price.
Can I book with my friend/husband/mom? YEP! There is an option to book two people. The price is the same, $3,257 per person. You'll put $250 deposit down per person, so $500 total.
What are the double occupancy rooms? Can I travel solo? I've hosted trips in Portugal and Italy before and we've always done double occupancy rooms. It's the best to get to know each other and so fun! And of course you can travel solo! I would say 95% of the people on past trips have! This is the best way to make friends.
What about free time? There will be free time OF COURSE! I love the way Avalon sets up cruises to include an activity and give you time to explore. The best part is we always have a meeting point on the boat! This trip is absolutely go at your own pace.
Can I extend my trip or come before the date? You bet! This is your trip and I want it to be the trip of a lifetime. You can do that and I'm happy to help you plan that.
Which airfare is included? All of that is listed right here!
More questions? Email [email protected] – Avalon has the best customer service and will answer any and all questions you have!
I can't wait to sail with you! Book your trip here!