Hundreds of years ago, small cities throughout Europe transformed into magical Christmas markets during the holiday season. Villagers gathered on cobblestone streets to shop for their seasonal treats and gifts.

Today, that magic is replicated across the continent from mid-November until Christmas Eve. Villages embrace time-honored traditions and create enchanting, festive atmospheres for visitors to shop for one-of-a-kind holiday treasures, sip on hot spiced wine and listen to traditional holiday music.

If you are ready to believe in holiday magic all over again, perhaps a Christmas Market River Cruise is the perfect way to celebrate the season. River Cruises, particularly on the Rhine and Danube, are the best option to experience this quintessential holiday tradition.

Imagine sailing on the riverways of Europe, curled up with a cashmere throw and a hot cocoa in hand. You are on the top deck of your river cruise ship taking in the countless breathtaking views of the fairytale-like villages dotting the coastline. River cruising has some of the same advantages of ocean cruising–you only have to unpack once for example–but these small, intimate ships are able to bring travelers up close to tiny cities that larger ships cannot access. River cruising has been compared to visiting a floating luxury boutique hotel filled with interesting people.

There are many river cruise companies offering all different kinds of experiences for every type of traveler…and the choices can be dizzying. A good travel adviser can help sort out the many offers and itineraries to find one that matches each travelers’ priorities and budget.

In addition, the notion that river cruising is only for the older generation is quickly being dispelled. Families have found that this kind of travel can be a fun and seamless way to introduce children to Europe. Millennials and Gen Xers are also jumping on the bandwagon as well. River Cruise ships offer hiking, biking, kayaking and adventurous excursions to satisfy any age group.

If you want a European River Cruise to be your next vacation, call the travel advisers at Mann Travels.