Sunday, 4 September 2011

Cruise Through Your Christmas List With eWaterways

Dating back to 15th century Germany and the Alsace region of France, Christmas markets are a fantastically traditional way to prepare for the festive season and, with eWaterways, the niche and river cruise specialists, stress-free Christmas shopping combined with a spectacular winter cruise holiday is guaranteed.

The Amadeus Brilliant and the Royal Crown, two of Europe’s finest river cruise ships, will both sail the German and French waterways this November and December to offer cruisers an authentic Christmas Market experience.

The brand new luxury river ship Amadeus Brilliant, which launched this April to much acclaim, will take in Cologne, Koblenz, Strasbourg, Basel and Speyer for the 6-day 'Magic of Advent' cruise on the Rhine. Starting and finishing in Cologne, guests will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds: luxurious surroundings of the cruise ship and the delights of arriving in cities bursting with festive colour, aromas and sounds.

Stopping in Strasbourg, there will also be time to enjoy France’s eastern-most city on the border of Germany, where the Christmas market takes place on Grande Ile, a UNESCO Heritage Site and the first city centre to be granted world heritage status. Guests will be able to make the most of the ambiance and excitement of the markets, each selling a plethora of hand-made and unusual gifts, whilst sipping on a steaming mug of mulled wine. This is how Christmas should be!

The 'Magic of Advent' 6-day cruise takes place on 27 November, 2 December, 7 December and 12 December. Prices start from £465 including taxes and charges per person (cruise only) and include 5 nights on the Amadeus Brilliant on a fullboard basis, the Captain’s Gala Dinner and daily onboard musical performances.

The five-star river yacht Royal Crown will embark this November on a series of round trips to Mainz for the 4-day 'Historic Christmas Markets' cruise. A major highlight of this voyage is the breathtaking city of Rüdesheim. The Christmas market here brings a distinctly festive feel to the romantic old quarter and its popular Drosselgasse – a cobblestone lane with more than 120 stalls, which, during the festive season, showcases Christmas traditions from across the globe.

Sailing along the Middle Rhine Valley - a photographer’s dream, with numerous castles, palaces, vineyards and picturesque villages - guests can opt for an optional walking tour that includes visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites Ehrenbreistein fortress and Stolzenfels Castle. The historical port city of Cologne, with its horse drawn carriages, sparkling lights and medieval churches, offers fabulous shopping opportunities at eight different Christmas markets all within walking distance of each other.

The 'Historic Christmas Markets' 4-day cruise takes place on 28 November, 5 December and 12 December. Prices start from £400, including taxes and charges per person (cruise only) and 3 nights on the Royal Crown on a full board basis, with welcome and farewell dinners.

For more info, visit www.ewaterways.co.uk or contact the river-cruise experts of The Cruise Line Ltd.