Don and recently went on a Christmas Markets River Cruise with AmaWaterways. We started in Budapest and ended up in Nuremberg. We extended our trip and spent a few days in Prague….a must visit city! It was a wonderful bucket list trip! A river cruise is a very different experience than an ocean cruise. The ships are much smaller and more intimate. We traveled on the AmaWaterways Serena, a newer ship that holds less than 150 passengers. AmaWaterways is the company that Adventures by Disney partners with for it’s river cruises. As 20 year Disney Vacation Club members, we are huge fans of how Disney runs it’s hospitality. The cruise director and staff make the trip truly memorable. Each day we were briefed on the next city we would visit. With wonderful excursions included with your fare, we took advantage of all that they had to offer. It was also interesting to travel down the river and go through the many locks. Our last night on the ship we went through 16 locks up and over and down the continental divide. What a cool experience!
One our our favorite things was to collect mugs in each of the Christmas markets. The Gluhwein (hot mulled wine) they serve is a bit different in each country, so we had to try them all. We also had to taste the local food, mostly sausages, gingerbread and pastries that they stuffed with Nutella, whipped cream or ice cream. Some of the time we ate at the markets but we also tried to find old taverns and pubs where we could mix with the locals and get a glimpse back to earlier times.
Traveling to Europe in the winter means warm clothes and layers. We were glad to have purchased warm footwear…my first pair of Uggs and some great Johnston Murphy boots for Don. His flannel lined LL Bean jeans and my Cuddl Duds kept us warm and toasty despite the cold temperatures. It is important to plan in advance for the possible weather conditions. Of course, there were high end retailers in every city we visited as well as wonderful handmade hats, scarves and gloves for purchase at the Christmas markets.