River Cruise Month

European River Cruise photo

Idyllic European River Photo – taken by Bill Edwards

by Don McCann

More river cruises are booked in July than in any other month of the year and most of those bookings are for sailings far into the future.  “So what is it about river cruises anyway?” you might be asking.  One of the best features of river cruising is the very issue which begs advance bookings.  You see most river vessels only hold from 130 to 190 guests, so it makes for a wonderful ambiance onboard, but makes inventory scarce unless you plan AHEAD!

So since now is the time many are thinking (or should be thinking) of river cruise reservations for next year, we thought we’d remind you that we have a separate site exclusively for river cruises.  Take a look and contact us with any questions and/or your preferred dates for a reservation……….RiverCruiseEscapes.com .

Tauck River Cruise in Southern France

Tauck River Cruise in Southern France, photo by John Lane

European Christmas Markets River Cruise: Two In One

by Don McCann

Local Baked Treats at Vienna Christmas Market

Local Baked Treats at Vienna Christmas Market

By now, most travelers know about the wonders of European river cruises.  However, many are unaware of the holiday charms of a Christmas Markets river cruise.  These holiday event favorites feature crafts, jewelry, gifts, etc., as well as great local foods and entertainment; they are really more of a ‘festival’.  Tourists and locals mingle as they stroll by the various booths and sip either excellent hot chocolate, or the delicious glühwein, a hot wine favorite!  Germany is perhaps the most noted for the ‘markets’, but you’ll find them throughout Europe beginning in mid, or late November until Christmas.

The attraction of a Christmas Markets cruise is that, not only will you have a great itinerary with tour options at each port, but you’ll also have the opportunity to experience these magical holiday events in various locations.  In other words, it’s almost like two cruises in one; sightseeing, markets, or some of both!  On our recent cruise along the Danube, we were able to visit three, different Christmas Markets in Vienna, Salzburg, and Munich.  Wherever the locations, each one has its own personality and some cities have multiple markets in various locations.  In Vienna and Munich, the market was in front of their town hall building, or “Rathausplatz” in Vienna and “Rathaus” in Munich.  The fantastic facades of these buildings provide the perfect authentic European setting for all visitors to their Christmas Markets.  However, in some locations, the market will simply be in a city square, or maybe a large park area.

Rhine, Danube, or whatever river itinerary you choose for a Christmas Markets River Cruise, you are in for a treat!

Vienna Christmas Market

Vienna Christmas Market at Rathaus

Munich Christmas Market

Munich Christmas Market at Rathaus in Marienplatz


Look for an announcement soon on our special Christmas Markets departure in December!

Paris to Prague with Avalon Waterways – photos by Bill

Continuing with our Cruise Week features, Bill Edwards is sharing his photos of his recent Avalon Waterways Paris to Prague itinerary in Central Europe:

Avalon Bill map

Disney World? NO, this is the real thing! Charming Paris



Everyone’s favorite tower!


Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre, Sacred Heart overlooking Paris


Off to join the river cruise, via the famed TGV !!




One of many castles along the Rhine
One of the many castles along the Rhine
Ruins along the Rhine



Reichsburg Castle overlooking Cochem


Avalon Luminary docked in Koblenz


Charming architecture of Koblenz


Bill in Miltenberg




Lovely View, Overlooking Miltenberg




The beauty of river cruising: the peaceful Moselle

Vineyards along the Moselle

The many locks always provide a fun and interesting experience!







Always something to see, along the Moselle


Historic Bamberg


Avalon Bill Bamberg2

Bamberg waterfront



overlooking Prague




Prague & blue skies


A very serious guard in Prague


Stunning window in Prague


For more information on Avalon Waterways, click here>

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