Avalon Waterways is offering savings on its Christmas-time river cruise sailings this year. // © 2010 IStock Images
While the 2010 river cruise season is coming to an end, the magical Christmas market cruises are still available, and Avalon Waterways is offering a special gift: a $1,000 per couple discount on select departures. For those who want to trade the stresses and strains of the holidays for an Old World holiday celebration, the offer applies to two departures that celebrate right on board.
The discount applies to the nine-day Christmastime on the Danube itinerary departing from Vienna Dec.10 and offering an opportunity to bring home wonderful goodies from the Christmas markets in Vienna, Regensburg, Nuremberg and finally, Prague, where the cruise ends. Nuremberg, for instance, glitters in the lights and wares in 180 stalls where you can buy unusual ornaments and handcrafted gifts, wonderful gingerbread and fruit loaves and mulled wine, without a plastic item in sight. Or take the Dec. 24 departure from Prague and celebrate Christmas and see the New Year in on the way to Vienna.
Or take advantage of the offer on a festive eight-day Christmas in the Heart of Germany river cruise from Prague to Frankfurt, featuring a deluxe five-night river cruise on the Main River. The vacation begins with an overnight in 1,000-year-old Prague and its Old Town Christmas market with charming wooden toys, Czech handicrafts, hot sausages and svarene vino
(hot mulled wine). There's more holiday cheer in Nuremberg, Bamberg and Wuerzburg, and the lovely little medieval town of Miltenberg decorates to the hilt and has one of the most romantic and fattening Christmas markets in Bavaria (and that is really saying something), with unforgettable musical performances by adult and children's choirs outdoors.
The Dec. 14 departure gives guests time to arrive home loaded with lebkuchen
, toys and shimmering blown-glass ornaments; on the Dec. 21 Frankfurt to Prague departure, guests celebrate Christmas onboard and return home or stay in Prague for the New Year.