Christmas Markets on the Rhine

Yuletide carols and storybook villages, the Christmas season brings the holiday traditions of Europe with a 7-day voyage on the Rhine Valley river cruise. The Christmas Markets on the Rhine invites travelers to embrace the festive cheer while exploring the oldest, yet timeless Christmas markets around Europe. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll experience during the Christmas Market River Cruise 2023.

Christmas Markets on the Rhine
Photo credit AMAWaterways

Cologne Christmas Market in Cologne, Germany

Cologne Christmas Market
Photo credit AMAWaterways

As you embark on this river cruise, one of the first stops on this voyage is Cologne, Germany. Known as “Cathedral City,” it’s fitting that the Christmas market is centered around the foot of the Cologne Cathedral. From local businesses and organic culinary delicacies, there’s plenty to browse at this Christmas market. You can also find over 100 free events while strolling through this spectacular holiday, such as Kölsh beer tasting or a bike tour.

P.S. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the market offers the chance for kids to enjoy the children’s program, “Sternwarte” from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Heidelberg Christmas Market
Photo credit

Heidelberg Christmas Market in Heidelberg, Germany

Oh not so silent night. In Heidelberg, this town of world-famous castles is filled with bustling streets and season greetings during the Heidelberg Christmas Market. With photo-worthy alleys, beautiful ice rinks, and an antique carousel, there’s something for everyone. Better yet, this annual holiday gathering focuses on sustainability by using green electricity and energy-saving technology, ultimately consuming 75-80% less electricity.

Capital of Noël in Strasbourg, France

Capital of Noel Christmas Market
Photo credit

Twinkling lights and snowflakes aplenty, the “Christkindelsmarik” is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. Dating back to 1570, this merry market has over 300 stalls in different squares and streets across the Grand Ile. Known as the “Capital of Noel,” this Christmas market proves its nickname with internationally acclaimed spaetzle, Bredele cookies, fairtrade products, magical performances and most important of all, the Great Christmas Tree.

Don’t forget to try the award-winning “Bretzels,” the soft, bready pretzel of your dreams.

Gengenbach Christmas Market
Photo credit to

Gengenbach Christmas Market in Gengenbach, Germany

Another stop on your river cruise is in Gengenbach, Germany. Possibly one of the most fascinating destinations, the Gengenbach Christmas Advent Market transforms the Gengenbach Town Hall into a life-size advent calendar. With artwork from Andy Warhol, Otmar Alt, Quint Buchholz, and Marc Chagall, the 24 windows of the town hall will be decked out for the window opening ritual every evening at 6 p.m. Music, games, and the backlit windows will give tourists the “treasure chest of imagination” during this magical attraction. Of course, there will also be plenty of stalls and delicacies for visitors to enjoy at the Gengenbach Advent market. After a two-year break, the town of Gengenbach is ready to bring back this holiday extravaganza for all to enjoy.

P.S. The town hall will feature a special performance on stage daily at 5 p.m. and 3 p.m. on weekends.

Photo credit AMAWaterways

From Germany to France, the Christmas Market River Cruise 2023 will be filled with unforgettable nights of holiday fun. Sail into the season with friends and family on this immersive experience through the Rhine Valley.

Join us for Cruise Night on December 11th at 5 pm MST to learn more about our Christmas Market on the Rhine Group Trip in 2023! It’s a 7-Night Cruise along the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam. We’ll stop at the most iconic Christmas Markets along the way. Register for the Zoom meeting here.