Christmas markets cruise for kids?

Andrea said: July 17 2011 4:55 PM

Christkindl Markt

Just wondering if you know of any cruise lines in Europe that do the Christmas Markets and will take children aged from 2 and 3 quarters to 8?



Donna @ Little Gulliver said: July 22 2011 4:29 PM

Hi Andrea,

its lovely to hear from you again. We hope your last European trip went well and are really pleased to see you’re planning another (also a little envious)!

The Christmas markets sound like a ‘must do’ activity for the bucket list and I think experiencing this when the kids are young sounds like lots of fun. However, I’m  unsure of a specific cruise line to recommend.

History of the Christmas Markets

For those of us who know little of the Christmas markets, I’ll give a brief rundown of their background…The Christmas markets are a tradition believed to have

started in Germany in 1434 and are now held all over Europe. There are genuine market stalls where visitors can search for handcrafted gifts while soaking up the Christmas traditions (such as Santa, nativity scenes and carolling). And for us in the southern hemisphere it is a way of experiencing the best of a European winter Christmas.

I love the tradition of the Christmas markets and it seems those in Germany may be the best to check out, with Nuremberg being the most famous. They run from late November to the third week of December or later, depending on the location. Another thing about sticking to a German cruise is that you may be able to select a shorter option (and can make an exit if it isn’t suiting the kids) while still able to see the ‘best of the best.’ Some families prefer a longer cruise and incorporate sight-seeing with the Christmas markets. Parents report they are able to have some adult time on shore, while leaving the kids in the care of experienced workers.

Cruises for Families

I would suggest checking the Cruises for families website (type in destination Europe, date November or December 2011) and have a look at the types of cruises it suggests. It will allow you to get a feel of your ‘ideal’ Christmas markets family cruise. If you find one you really like, it is then a matter of tracking down this or a similar through a local (Australian) agent ot tour operator. (Generally you cannot book with an overseas operator. Australian cruise enthusiasts are constantly unhappy that this invariably means paying more for the same cruise than our European counterparts).

Further Reading

Europes best Christmas markets

Taking teens to the Christmas markets

Christmas market cruises

Christmas market tour search

Australian Operator


I hope you find this information useful. Let us know how you go, I’ve loved reading about these cruises and would love to go on one!

Thanks again for contacting us and sorry we can’t be of more help.

Kind regards,


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