Welcome aboard this enchanting VIVA Rhine Christmas market cruise! As the wintry wind sweeps through the deck and the scent of mulled wine and freshly baked treats fills the air, I’ll take you on an unforgettable journey through the festive Christmas traditions of the picturesque cities along the Rhine.
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VIVA Rhine Christmas market cruise
VIVA Cruises is celebrated for its expertise in river cruises across Europe, navigating the continent’s most picturesque rivers. Recognized globally for its outstanding service, VIVA Cruises presents an all-inclusive experience for travelers around the world. The unparalleled benefit? Your floating hotel stands as a steadfast companion, offering a return to a familiar haven with every comfort after a day of exploration, ensuring you want for nothing.
The VIVA Rhine Christmas market cruises take place during the Advent season in December. There are various travel routes to choose from, including those along the Rhône, Danube, Rhine, and many more. Moreover, for some destinations, you can choose between different travel intineraries and the length of your journey. We opted for the 4 day Rhine Christmas market cruise . Of course, these sailing routes may change annually. You can already check the offerings for the upcoming year here. If you haven’t made plans for the holidays yet, also consider the fantastic Christmas and New Year’s cruises.
On our 4 day Rhine Christmas market cruise, we embarked on MS VIVA ONE. This vessel features 88 comfortable cabins spread across 3 decks. There are various types of cabins tailored to different personal preferences and, of course, your budget.
VIVA Rhine Christmas cruise intinerary
Day 1: Departure in Düsseldorf
Traveling to Düsseldorf
The Christmas market of Düsseldorf
Before dinner begins, you have some time to explore the Christmas Market of Düsseldorf. And I would say, definitely don’t miss it because it is absolutely worthwhile. The Düsseldorf Christmas market features a total of seven Christmas markets spread throughout the city. All the Christmas markets are within walking distance of each other:
- Handwerker-Markt – Marktplatz
- Altstadt-Markt – Marktstraße en Flinger Straße
- Sternchen-Markt – Wilhelm-Marx-Haus
- Engelchen-Markt – Heinrich-Heine-Platz
- Märchen-Markt – Schadowplatz
- Kö-Bogen-Markt – Jan-Wellem-Platz en Joachim-Erwin-Platz
- Schadow-Markt – Schadowstraße
Departure to Koblenz
Day 2: Koblenz
Enjoy a relaxing morning on the VIVA cruise
As Koblenz is our first destination and also the farthest, you have the morning to enjoy the ship. Take the time to explore the vessel, breathe in the fresh air on the deck, and admire the landscape. Treat yourself to some relaxation in the wellness area with a sauna experience or book a rejuvenating massage. Whether you prefer working on your fitness in the gym or leisurely enjoying a drink in the lounge, this morning is dedicated to your well-being.
After a tranquil morning, lunch is served featuring a salad buffet, soup, and a chose out of various delicious main courses. But as the saying goes, save the best for last, which is definitely the case here. Following lunch, an extensive high tea awaits you in the lounge. Indulge yourself in a buffet filled with delicious cakes and treats. One thing is for sure: on this vacation, it’s not the time to watch your figure.
Immerse yourself in the Christmas atmosphere in Koblenz
VIVA Cruises organizes excursions in every city where the ship docks, and during our visit to Koblenz, we took part in this special experience. We embarked on a brief walk with by a knowledgeable guide, leading us to the point where the Rhine and Moselle rivers converge. The stroll naturally concluded at the charming Christmas market of Koblenz.
Koblenz is already a charming city to stroll through, but with more than 100 festively lit Christmas stalls, this place becomes even more magical. Here, you can indulge in delightful treats like mulled wine, Christmas cake, bratwurst, and pancakes. As you wander around, you can purchase the most beautiful handmade Christmas gifts or simply revel in the warm and cozy Christmas atmosphere. The traditional Koblenz Christmas market extends across various picturesque locations in the historic old town, and these locations are situated on the following streets and squares:
- Am Plan,
- Vorplatz Liebfrauenkirche.
Day 3: Bonn and Cologne
The festively decorated stalls can be found on the 3 squares in the center of Bonn. You’ll also discover an ice rink there.
Last but not least, you reach Cologne, where you can explore one of the most impressive Christmas markets in Germany. And it’s not without reason, as last year, the Christmas market in Cologne was voted the most beautiful Christmas market in Germany by visitors of the website Christmas Market Germany.
Cologne turns the Christmas market into a grand event every year, with numerous stalls offering delightful treats and charming trinkets. There is a lot to experience on many squares and in the surrounding streets, with a total of 6 Christmas markets. Five of them are located in the city center, including the romantic and impressive Cathedral Christmas Market with 160 beautifully decorated stalls filled with treats and Christmas decorations. Other highlights include the Christmas markets on Neumarkt, Rudolfplatz, the fairytale-like Christmas market on Alter Markt, and Heumarkt, where you can even enjoy a very large ice rink.
Additionally, there are some Christmas markets slightly outside the city center, such as Der Weihnachtsmarkt im Rheinauhafen near the Chocolate Museum. Heavenue Cologne and Veedelsadvent, on the other hand, are local, smaller, and cozier Christmas markets where it’s less crowded. My personal favorite was the Christmas market with a view of the largest and most impressive cathedral (DOM) in Germany.
Day 4: Düsseldorf
Do you want to know more about Germany? Definitely check out these blog posts.
- The most romantic villages in Rhineland
- The perfect day trip in Monschau
- The best things to do in Baden-Baden
Thank you for reading.