5 Reasons to Take a Danube River Cruise During the Holiday Season

By Shelli Elledge

Don’t want to cook and clean this year for the holidays?  How fun would it be to celebrate the joys of the season while cruising one of Europe’s most prestigious rivers?  A Danube River cruise might be just the remedy.  Here are five reasons why the holiday season is one of the best times to go.

Vienna, Austria in Winter
Christmas Season in Vienna, Austria

Photos of Vienna Provided by Shelli Elledge

1. Discounted River Cruise Packages

Many companies offer discounted cruise packages during the holiday season.  Since it requires short-term planning, availability is limited.  But if you’ve ever considered taking a cruise on the Danube River, it is a great time to stretch your travel dollars.

2. Onboard Holiday Meals

River cruises are famous for excellent cuisine, but holiday river cruises are even better!  Although authentic cuisine is available, the holiday season is the only time of year that many cruise companies also offer traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas favorites.  So, even when in Europe, you won’t miss the traditional turkey, cranberries, and all the trimmings! 

3. Christmas Markets

The holiday season is the only time of the year to experience the famous Christmas Markets.  That’s when town squares transform into a shoppers paradise for handmade items, chocolates, and Christmas ornaments.  Stroll the cobblestone streets and mingle with the locals.  Chase the chill away with a piping hot mug of a local favorite.  Munch on homemade pretzels, fine chocolates, or German sausages.  It is a great time to be in Europe!

Prague, Czech Republic in WinterPrague
Christmas Markets in Budapest, HungaryBudapest
Budapest, HungaryBudapest

Photos of Prague and Budapest Provided by Shelli Elledge

4 Festive Decorations and Light Displays

Decorating for the holidays is a favorite tradition in Europe.  Metropolitan centers, town squares, and village shops become dazzling light displays.  Thousands of lights are strung overhead, huge evergreens become living Christmas trees, and bright, shiny red ribbons adorn entrances.  The world famous opera houses and symphony halls with ornate chandeliers are especially dazzling.

5 Christmas Productions, Symphonies, and Concertos

Part of the joy of travel is to experience cultural events, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s influence is evident in the Danube River region.  Take a walking tour of his birthplace in the beautiful city of Salzburg, Austria. Discover why Vienna is known as the “Waltz Capital” of the world.  Experience the splendor of the elegant Vienna Opera House and visit a coffee house.  The holidays are wonderful times to enjoy sights and sounds of this special area!

The Danube River is one of the most loved rivers in all of Europe because of the lush forests, elegant cities, and fairy tale castles.  But during the holiday season, Danube River cruisers have the unique opportunity to experience and enjoy the Christmas wonders of long, long ago.  

Guest author, Shelli Elledge, is a teacher and a freelance writer. She loves to write about river cruising, family travel, and staying healthy on the road. Since Shelli has a background in Finance, she also likes to write about ways to make travel more affordable.

You can connect with Shelli on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Also be sure to visit Shelli's website, Written FYI.

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