insights from the ultimate cruising team



I’m dreaming of a white Christmas … No, we haven’t gone mad or got confused about what month it is, we’ve just got a couple of fantastic Christmas packages that we’re super excited about. If you’ve always thought about experiencing a winter Christmas but you don’t want to spend it away from family, then these packages - both starting in December, let you soak up the Yuletide atmosphere and still get you home in time for the big day - are for you.

Think warm cups of hot chocolate, roasting chestnuts, ice rinks watched over by towering, glittering Christmas trees, tinsel, fairy lights and snow and the soft sound of Christmas carols in the background … it’s just the ticket to get you into the Christmas spirit! Today we’re talking about the Christmas markets!

There’s nothing quite like browsing shops that are all decorated for Christmas. If you’ve ever spent a Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll know the excitement of the first snow fall and the magic leading up to Christmas. You’ll know what it’s like to step into a toasty warm shop after the crisp, chill outside. And you’ll know what it’s like to relax in front of a warm fire, perhaps with a glass of spiced, mulled wine.

The Christmas markets are perfect for finding unique, hand-crafted gifts and each year, stall-holders come out to sell their latest wares. Whether you’re in Europe or in America, there are great bargains to be had, so let’s take a look at the options:

European Christmas Markets

The European Christmas Markets are a sight to behold! You’ll find villages twinkling with fairy lights and stalls laden with arts and crafts like the famous German nutcrackers. It’s the perfect place to search for that perfect gift for a special someone or to simply soak up the atmosphere! There are a number of river cruises to choose from – Germany to Hungary, Amsterdam to Switzerland or round trip ex Vienna, Budapest or Cologne. It all depends on how much time you have (cruises range from 4 to 10 days usually) and which parts of Europe you are interested in. For details, options and departure dates, you can have a chat with our consultants (request a call by clicking here)

Plantation Christmas Markets

She’s the lady of the river … stately, glitteringly elegant and undeniably beautiful. Introducing the American Queen!

Reminiscent of days gone by, the American Queen exudes the glitz and glamour of yesteryear, the vibrant joie-du-vivre and good old fashioned Southern charm! You’ll find ornate chandeliers, rich wooden floors, plush period furnishings and brass galore and for this voyage, the ship will be decorated throughout in the Christmas theme. Nobody quite does Christmas like America!

You’ll be able to get into the Christmas spirit with a couple of days in Los Angeles and San Francisco before your cruise to fill up those bags with Christmas goodies. Once on board the American Queen, it’s up the river we go experiencing the best of the Antebellum south! You’ll visit significant sites from the Civil War, browse unique shops and museums and experience the Cajun and Creole cultures, before a grand final night at Nottoway Plantation with live music, dancing, ceremonial lighting of the bonfires and sensational food.


For more details on the Christmas Market cruises speak to one of our Ultimate Cruising experts by requesting a call here or calling 1300 485 846 (or 0300 485 846 in NZ).