European Christmas markets have been a festive tradition since the 13th century and today offer a wealth of spectacular holiday scenes and experiences in the picturesque river towns and villages of Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland.  Twinkling lights covering medieval town squares provide a magical backdrop for large, tented markets lined with wooden stalls trimmed in thousands of colored lights and overflowing with handmade decorations, dolls, toys, artisan wares, porcelain and endless other gift items, while the holiday melodies of wandering minstrels and choral groups, tantalizing aromas of gingerbread and other baked goods fill the air.

European Markets from Nuremberg to Vienna features some of the most delightful holiday scenes in Central Europe including the Nuremberg Christmas Market, named for the infant Jesus and also known as Christkindlesmarkt.  At each market, you’ll find wooden stalls displaying traditional items  that range from quirky little characters made of fruit and dressed in Bavarian costumes to beautifully carved and painted Nativity figures, exquisite ornaments and fine contemporary crafts, along with fairytale villages decked in holiday finery.

Parisian Royal Holiday, roundtrip from Paris dressed in her stylish holiday best takes you to see the Christmas tree at Notre Dame, the Champs-Élysées glittering with even more sparkling lights and other city highlights.  A private tour of Versailles takes you through the Hall of Mirrors, Queen and King’s chambers, and Marie Antoinette’s Le Petit Trianon. Back in Paris, you’ll have a private cocktail reception hosted by the owners of the luxurious 17th-century Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, and in the medieval city of Rouen, indulge in delectable holiday treats at La Couronne, the restaurant made famous by Julia Child.  Those sailing over New Year’s will welcome 2018 in the shimmering City of Lights.

The cruises are aboard luxury vessels averaging 130 passengersand are renowned for their elegant decor, lavish furnishings, antiques, original artwork and fine dining. Luxuriously-appointed staterooms have every amenity including flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, marble bathrooms, robes , slippers, complimentary WiFi and many have French balconies.

A wide selection of additional cruise programs are also available at Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.

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