AAA Travel

Holiday Cruises

Traditional Christmas Market in Germany

Traditional Christmas Market in Germany. Photo by Getty Images.

Looking for a relaxing and unforgettable way to enjoy your holiday season? On a Christmas or New Year’s cruise, you can kick back and let us handle the work while you enjoy exciting festivities, delicious food, wine, and some of the best scenery in Europe.

The holiday cruises offered by AAA have been selected for their attention to comfort, unique travel experiences, and holiday charm.

AAA’s Best Holiday Cruises

AAA is proud to offer premium river cruises for travelers with a variety of different interests. Whether you want to experience a plethora of European Christmas markets, or you want to wander the streets of Paris in the winter, we have the premium holiday cruise or travel package you’re looking for.

Linz Main Square in Austria

Christmas at Linz, Austria. Photo by Orietta Gaspari/Getty Images.

1. European Christmas Markets River Cruise

If you are looking for a cruise that enables you to soak in the magic of dozens of European Christmas markets, this eight-day Danube River cruise will introduce you to some of the most cheery towns in Europe. Stops on this European Christmas markets cruise include:

Day 1: Munich, Germany
One of Munich’s main winter attractions is Marienplatz Christmas Market, where visitors can enjoy mulled wine and cheerful holiday lights to their heart’s content.

Day 2: Passau, Germany
Passau also boasts a Christmas market complete with cozy winter drinks, live music, and festive trinkets — perfect for stocking stuffers.

Day 3: Linz, Austria
Linz is a marvelous city to see during the holiday season. The town is dotted with beautiful architecture (glorious to behold when all dusted with snow) and is the birthplace of Linz Cake, a delightful regional dessert that is filled with jam and festive spices.

Day 4: Krems, Austria
Krems is home to a dazzling Christmas market decked out in magical twinkling lights and lined with wooden sheds serving mulled wine mixed with marillenschnaps (apricot brandy).

Day 5: Vienna, Austria
The most elegant Christmas markets in Europe can be found in Vienna. The city boasts not one, not two, not three, but 12 holiday markets. The markets may be explored one right after another while market visitors enjoy mulled wine, spiced cider, and local Viennese treats to their heart’s content.

Day 6: Bratislava, Slovakia
Whether visitors are looking for a brisk, open-air Christmas market or one housed inside of the city’s Old Market Hall (slightly warmer while still equally charming), Bratislava is sure to please. A couple of other notable features in the city are the St. Elisabeth Church, iconic for its blue facade, and Bratislava Castle (a magical place to visit in the winter).

Day 7 & 8: Budapest, Hungary
Budapest comes alive during the holiday season, with bathing culture being a huge wintertime draw to the city. Spas and saunas in abundance await travelers to Budapest alongside other holiday festivities such as a Christmas light tram, ice skating, and cheerful seasonal markets.

Passau City Bavaria

Passue in Bavaria. Photo by Pete Flyer/Getty Images.

2. Christmas on the Danube

The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe, flowing for 1,770 miles and passing through 10 countries. This makes it one of the best rivers for a holiday cruise as it allows passengers to visit some of Europe’s most festive nations during the holiday season.

During this eight-day cruise on the Danube, passengers will visit the following ports of call:

Day 1: Würzburg
If you want to experience one of the most picturesque European Christmas markets, the one in Würzburg will enchant you. The market has more than 100 stalls filled with holiday ornaments, wooden toys, spiced red wine, and other seasonal delights.

Day 2: Würzburg, Rothenburg, & Nuremberg
Rothenburg is home to one of Europe’s longest-running Christmas markets, with a history that spans more than 500 years.

Day 3: Nuremberg
Nuremberg is a wonderful city to visit during the holiday season. Between the theater, toy museum, and winter markets, Nuremberg acts as a festive inspiration to each and every visitor.

Day 4: Regensburg
Regensburg is a city rich in traditions and old architecture, with more than 2,500 years of intriguing history. The city has four Christmas markets — which are more than sufficient for a winter day’s worth of sightseeing.

Day 5: Passau
One of the oldest (and most picturesque) cities in Bavaria, Passau is a quiet, intriguing city to visit during the winter months and the perfect location to experience traditional Bavarian cuisine for the first time.

Day 6: Wachau Valley (Austria), Emmersdorf, Durnstein, & Vienna
While four ports of call may feel like a great many stops in one day, these locations are in close proximity to one another and enable passengers to get a diverse taste of different European cultures in a single day.

Days 7 & 8: Vienna
Vienna is one of Europe’s prettiest cities to visit during the winter months. It seems that every public square magically transforms into a cheery holiday market, bursting with seasonal goodies, warm beverages, and small gifts.

Champs-Élysées in Paris

The Champs-Élysées in Paris. Photo by Getty Images.

3. Spotlights on Paris — Featuring Seine River Cruises

While not an official cruise per se, Spotlights on Paris is a worthwhile holiday adventure that features two separate cruises on the Seine. Paris is one of the most rewarding cities to visit during the winter months, with its cozy eating and drinking establishments lending a warm, inviting atmosphere to every street corner.

This six-day travel experience includes the following stops:

Day 1: Paris, France
Experience all that the City of Lights has to offer by dining at the Eiffel Tower, shopping on the Champs-Élysées, and taking photos beneath the Arc de Triomphe. Your day will finish with the first of two holiday cruises included on this trip — a serene boat ride down the Seine, accompanied by a magnificent bottle of wine.

Day 2: Montmartre, France
Famous for the magnificent Sacré-Coeur Basilica, Montmartre is an artistic quartier of Paris with more than a day’s worth of quaint rues and shops to explore.

Day 3: The Louvre
With around 380,000 objects (35,000 of which are artwork pieces), the Louvre is an art-lover’s paradise, and even an entire day spent wandering the halls will barely scratch the surface of what the magnificent museum has to offer.

Day 4: Solo Day in Paris
While exploring Paris in a group can be one of the most fun ways to see the city, wandering the alleyways and quartiers solo offers an entirely different experience.

Indulge in some traditional Parisian pasttimes by eating a jambon-beurre sandwich for lunch or stopping for a petite espresso break at a charming corner cafe.

Day 5: The Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles was first used as a hunting lodge by King Louis the 13th but was later converted into a palace by his son, Louis the 14th. The palace features magnificent rooms and grounds that can be enjoyed for hours on end. This day concludes with another holiday cruise and dinner on the Seine.

Day 6: Paris, France
With 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods) to explore, spending another day in Paris soaking in the festive ambiance and indulging in decadent French cuisine won’t be a challenge for travelers.

Contact Your AAA Agent for the Best Holiday Cruise Deals

Ready to embark on a holiday cruise around your favorite European destination? Contact your local AAA agent for more details on our holiday cruises and to book your adventure.

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