Viking River Cruises is one of the best ways to visit Christmas markets all over Europe, in both Germany and France when you travel in December.

Sail the Rhine River with Viking between Amsterdam and Basel, making stops in both Germany and France giving you an authentic European Christmas Market experience.

On board the ship, you'll enjoy festive activities like tree-trimming and gingerbread house decorating, and warm drink options will usually include mulled wine.


Most cities are built right on the waterways so you will have plenty of excursions because the cruise makes at least one stop – sometimes two – per day.

I recommend doing the walking tours because they give you an overview of each city's history. The guides will also point out the Christmas markets that you can visit on your own.

A favorite stop of mine was the port and tour at Kinderdijk to see the famous traditional windmills that help keep the Netherlands above sea level.

Christmas Markets

I enjoyed a full day in Cologne exploring the city's eight Christmas markets and our evening stop in Rudesheim to visit its Christmas markets at night.

While sailing you can enjoy the picturesque views along the way. You'll be passing lots of cute towns and hillside castles. Plus the cruise offers activities and entertainment.

The river cruise line is phenomenal. With Viking, your room, the service of the incredible staff, your meals, wifi, and usually one tour at each port is included.