We are signing up for a riverboat cruise this Dec. From Vienna to Nuremberg wanting to see the Christmas Markets. We have been on wait-lists for Rick's tour of markets but are ready to give up getting a spot. I'm wondering if anyone has done the riverboat that time of year? Too cold? Stormy? Thoughts?
We have been to the Christmas Markets more than a few times. Vienna is splendid, been to Nuremberg and not so splendid. I know it has great marketing, but the crowds are terrible, and you can find the same things elsewhere. We're going this year starting in Budapest to Vienna to Krakow to Wroclaw to Dresden. All by train. 33 days.
We did xmas markets dec., 2019, Germany, Switzerland, France. I know, different cities, but I can address time of year. And- it was a fantastic experience! The sights, smells, sounds, energy, and excitement kept us nice and warm.
The days are short, its daylight from about 8:00am -4:30pm.
Rain was predicted 100% for everyday we were there. We saw very little rain, mostly evening showers.
It's not cold with the right clothes. We had four outfits, used thermal layers [easy to wash out], cashmere sweaters. Brought a bag of hand warmers which were a godsend- put them inside our gloves, with cashmere scarf and hat.
I found a down coat [on sale in July at Macy's] which went down to my ankles. No cold air could get to me! And- occasionally wore a rain poncho [or full-length packable rain coat.]
The Markets got crowded when the locals got off work. Shop during the day, and wander to admire the lights and drink warm gluhwein at night.
You could do the trip on your own.....
We have been to Christmas Markets in Alsace and in Germany several times, the last being two weeks in 2019. We have always traveled by train and made our own hotel reservations. The markets are wonderful! I disagree that all markets are the same- each has somewhat different emphasis and we usually spend a good part of the day just sightseeing and then hit the markets just before dark which comes fairly early. We pack light, carrying a small carryon and a medium backpack each. We are in our mid 70s and find it easy to travel by train. Maybe three or four outfits, hat, gloves and scarf. I have a knee length packable down coat with hood from Landss End which has been perfect. Sure the weather is cold but we have not encountered rain. Or snow and it is a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit. We do not buy many item as we have a lifetime of Christmas items. Go and enjoy!
We did a river cruise in December 2018 and it was the best vacation of our lives! We had some snow and a few overcast days, but it was still magical. I am a Florida girl, so I was freezing the whole time, but that's what gluhwein is for! Dress in layers and you'll be fine. Each market has something a little different to offer. If you love Christmas and Europe, this will be the best trip. The convenience of the a floating hotel spoiled us for life.
What cruise line did you use Cobra1417?