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Christmas Market Cruises

17 October 2023

Christmas is a magical time filled with festive cheer, delicious food and heartwarming celebrations. And the perfect way to get into the festive spirit is by treating yourself to a Christmas market cruise. Sailing into a charming destination, you’ll be able to explore the enchanting streets of a city or town, see the twinkling Christmas lights and experience all that the market has to offer; from the glasses of mulled wine or cider to the roasted chestnuts and festive gifts. 

The ultimate way to indulge in local cuisine or to purchase souvenirs to take home with you, there are so many incredible Christmas market cruises available to choose from across Europe, no matter where you wish to travel to; including Christmas market cruises from Southampton in 2023, and Christmas market cruises from Tilbury. 

But what are the best Christmas markets to experience in 2023? We’ve created a handy list that you can use, along with the top Christmas market cruises this year!

Bruges Christmas Market 2023

Kicking off this list is the beautiful city of Bruges. A vibrant city in Belgium that’s home to an array of attractions, including the Belfry of Bruges, the Bruges City Hall and the Groeninge Museum, from late November to the start of January it’s home to a magical Christmas market each year. 

Bruges Christmas Market
Bruges Christmas Market

Transforming into a fairytale destination, the Grote Markt which is situated at the heart of the city, turns into a winter wonderland, with fairy lights, Christmas trees, market stalls and ice skating on offer for you to enjoy. Known as the ‘Winter Glow’, wandering around Bruges’ Christmas market during a stop off during your cruise is the ultimate festive activity. 

Bruges Christmas Market 2023 Dates

Discover our selection of December Bruges deals.

Rotterdam Christmas Market 2023

Rotterdam is a bustling, modern city in The Netherlands that’s known for being a popular stop off for cruises; with the port within easy reach of its centre. With a rich maritime history, and a mixture of modern and historic architecture, it’s a fascinating destination to explore, especially at Christmas. 

Rotterdam Christmas Market
Rotterdam Christmas Market

During the festive season, the city is filled with lights and decorations. And although there’s not a traditional Christmas market in its centre, there are different seasonal events throughout the city for you to enjoy. Firstly, there’s the Winter Fair at the Rotterdam Ahoy. At the Winter Fair, there are over 200 stalls offering clothing, home accessories, food and more. 

Secondly, there’s the Weelde Winter Warenmarkt. Featuring handmade items, creative workshops, art and more, this market is ideal if you’re looking to purchase a unique Christmas gift. And lastly, there’s the Christmas Market Trompenburg Tuinen. Running for three days at the start of December, this festive market is situated within a captivating botanical garden. With different stalls selling a range of different goods, including traditional food, it’s popular with Rotterdam locals and tourists alike. 

Rotterdam Christmas Market 2023 Dates

Discover our variety of December Rotterdam getaways.

Hamburg Christmas Market 2023 

Hamburg has long been a beloved Christmas getaway destination due to its sparkling festive atmosphere, delicious Christmas staples such as stollen and the extraordinary arts and crafts on offer throughout its markets. And by opting for a Christmas market cruise in 2023 to this magical city, you’ll be able to see all of these enchanting festive sights whilst sailing on an extraordinary cruise ship!

Hamburg Christmas Market
Hamburg Christmas Market

Although there are several Christmas markets spread throughout the city, the main Christmas market (or Weihnachtsmarkt) is situated in front of Hamburg’s town hall. With a giant Christmas tree, dozens of stalls selling a variety of items from handmade toys to Christmas decorations and food, visiting this wonderful market is a great way to enter the festive season. Santa Claus also regularly visits the market on his sleigh; a feature that kids are bound to love! 

Hamburg Christmas Market 2023 Dates

Discover our range of December Hamburg offers.

Amsterdam Christmas Market 2023

Amsterdam is a picturesque, historic city in The Netherlands that has so much to offer, from beautiful canals surrounded by cafes and restaurants, to landmarks such as the Rijksmuseum and Vondelpark. And although it’s a fantastic place to visit throughout the year on a cruise, a Christmas market cruise to Amsterdam will be unlike anything you’ve experienced before. 

Not only is there a giant ice rink with a backdrop of the Rijksmuseum, but there are several Christmas markets and festive events throughout the city that are must visits during your cruise stop off. Looking like a Christmas postcard with decorated trees, and market stalls galore, you’ll have an unforgettable time in this fascinating city. 

Ice skating rink in Museumplein
Ice skating rink in Museumplein

The first must visit Christmas event is the Amsterdam Winter Paradise. Located within RAI Amsterdam convention centre, there are indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks, festive food stalls, Christmas trees and more for you to explore. 

Secondly, there’s Ice Amsterdam at Museumplein. Featuring an abundance of stalls selling Christmas gifts, food, drink (such as traditional gluhwein) and festive music and the aforementioned ice skating rink, this popular winter feature should be on your list whilst visiting Amsterdam in November to February. A more traditional Christmas market, it’s a wonderful place to wander around throughout the day or night. 

Amsterdam Christmas Market 2023 Dates

Top Christmas Market Cruises 2023 

Choose from a wide selection of extraordinary Christmas market cruises. Offering something for everyone, whether you’re looking for Christmas market cruises from Liverpool, Christmas market cruises from Tilbury or a Christmas market cruise from Southampton in 2023, we’ve got you covered. 

Christmas onboard MSC Cruises
Christmas onboard MSC Cruises

Book Your Christmas Market Cruise 2023 with Iglu 

Getting into the festive spirit? Book your Christmas market cruise in 2023 with Iglu and enjoy a magical getaway filled with purchasing handmade gifts, trying mouth-watering festive food and admiring all of the whimsical decorations. No matter where you go, you’ll have a wonderful cruise that’s filled with heartwarming moments from start to finish. 

You can also check out our Top 10 Christmas Cruise Deals page, along with our tempting New Year Cruise Offers.

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