‘Tis The Season – Festive Fun On A River Cruise

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This is a sponsored post for TUI River Cruises.

It might feel like last Christmas was only five minutes ago, but you’d be surprised at how quickly the next one will come around.

Christmas River Cruise

And with TUI’s festive cruises on sale far in advance, many of the best sailings will sell out long before the night start drawing in again later in the year.

Booking a festive river cruise now is definitely worth it – you’ll have the rest of the year to get excited, and know you’ve secured a place on a truly magical cruise through the best European regions.

In this guide, I’ll explain what to expect on a festive cruise and I’m sure by the end you’ll have Christmas carols stuck in your head all over again.

Festive River Cruises From Just £899pp

Includes flights, overseas transfers, drinks and more!

Why Choose a Festive Cruise

A festive river cruise is the perfect time to enjoy the culture and beauty of mainland Europe. You’ll delight in the different ways that Christmas comes to life in each port you visit, enjoying great food and drinks as you soak up the traditions of the locals.

You’ll spend plenty of time at the famous Christmas markets, of course, where mulled wines and beers are paired with hot snacks and loads of fantastic souvenir stalls. It’s the ideal place to pick up some stocking fillers for the family or just treat yourself to something special too.

Christmas on a River Cruise

And the onboard atmosphere is fantastic. Expect the same high standards of service as you would enjoy throughout the rest of the year – with all your food included, drinks during meals, comfortable and well-appointed accommodations – along with a host of festive touches.

You might delight in the Christmas meals served in the restaurants, reflecting local delicacies and your favourites from back home too. Or it could be the festive cocktails, or a speciality hot chocolate as you warm up after an evening spent exploring.

You can enjoy local acts and guest speakers who will share their own Christmas traditions, and try out craft activities such as Christmas card making or embroidered gift tags.

There are themed quizzes too, and cosy movie nights featuring some classic Christmas films.

The atmosphere is relaxed, super-friendly and just warm – you’ll love the feeling of wandering each new port, getting rosy-cheeked as you see the sights, and then returning to your ship to snuggle up in comfort with a fancy drink.

Christmas & New Year Cruises

It’s not just the build up – it’s possible to cruise over Christmas Day or New Year if you’d prefer something extra-special.

Christmas Day cruises include all the same festive treats you’d expect from the earlier December cruises, but with a special drinks reception for all guests held on Christmas Eve.

This is then followed by a traditional dinner served on Christmas Day – and with none of the prep for you!

If you’d prefer a New Year’s cruise, you’ll enjoy a gala dinner on New Year’s Eve with a party, including the traditional countdown to midnight. The next morning, a special brunch will be prepared to help you recharge.

The Best Christmas Markets


Strasbourg Christmas

Dive into the festive spirit in Strasbourg, hailed as the Capital of Christmas. Wander through the historic market, brimming with wooden chalets offering delicious mulled wine and handmade crafts. Don’t miss the breathtaking nativity scene at the cathedral or the dazzling Christmas tree at Place Kléber, transporting you back to medieval times.


Cologne Christmas

Explore Cologne’s diverse Christmas markets scattered throughout the city, not just near the cathedral. Enjoy live music performances and traditional treats while browsing the stalls. For a taste of local culture, venture into brewing houses to sample Cologne’s famous beers, adding an extra sparkle to your holiday experience.


Frankfurt Christmas

Step into a fairytale at Düsseldorf’s Christmas market, where a magical themed shopping area awaits. Explore the charming stalls, then retreat to the city’s older beer taverns for a cosy atmosphere and authentic brews, creating memories as enchanting as the season itself.


Dusseldorf Christmas

Experience the grandeur of one of Germany’s oldest and largest Christmas markets in Frankfurt. With over 200 stalls surrounding a towering Christmas tree in the old town, immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere as you sip on mulled wine and explore the diverse array of gifts and goodies.


Koblenz Christmas

Witness the enchantment of Koblenz’s Christmas festivities, highlighted by the captivating rooftop advent calendar at the town hall. Indulge in the traditional Stollen and treat yourself to bottles of local wine, making every moment of your visit a celebration of joy and cheer.

Final Word

Festive river cruises with TUI really are special.

They’re extremely relaxing, and the fares represent excellent value when you consider everything you get – not just the cruise, but your drinks during meals onboard, your flights and your overseas transfers to get to your ship.

And the experiences of cruises in December are something special, whether that’s all the little touches on your ship to make everything feel just to add that festive cheer, or all the traditions you’ll uncover as you wander each port of call.

Don’t put it to the back of your mind – even if Christmas feels ages away, get your cruise booked now, and you can start planning one of the best winter getaways you’ve ever had.

Festive River Cruises From Just £899pp

Includes flights, overseas transfers, drinks and more!

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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