If you’re traveling on a European Christmas market cruise this year, there are some things you should know before you get to your destination. Fun and merriment is in store. Of course, you know that or you wouldn’t have planned your cruise. But, be prepared for some unexpected surprises.
1. The Weather Will Be Really Cold
European Christmas cruises take you to joyful and beautiful locales that are typically sprinkled with snow. You’re not going to be hunkered down in blankets of it most likely. But know that your clothing and shoes will need to keep you warm in cheerfully chilly weather, so layer and bring cozy hats and scarves. It’s a good ideal to pack hand warmers to keep in your coat pockets too.
2. Security Is Pretty Tight
There are extra security measures in place at most European Christmas markets because of the unfortunate deadly attack that happened in Berlin in 2016. Some of the larger markets have armed police and police vehicles blocking the ends of the market street and the entrances to the market squares. Other markets have mild police presence, just enough so you’ll feel secure while you shop and those that would do harm are discouraged.
3. The Masses Are at the Markets
Expect that the Christmas markets will be crowded. They’re not so jammed with people that you can’t move or get to the vendors, but there are a lot of people trying to soak up the season. It’s wise to visit the markets during the week and earlier in the day.
4. Your Ship Won’t Be That Crowded
Even if the markets are packed with people, your ship will probably won’t be. The cruise lines want you to experience a pleasant journey where you can relax and simply have a festive time. Many Christmas market cruises sell out, but others set sail without full occupancy. Either way, the scene on these cruises is serene for the most part.
5. There Are Places to Shop Other than the Markets
The Christmas markets are a great place to pick up holiday sweets, decorations, gifts and trinkets. But do visit the boutiques and shops in your port city if you can. You’ll usually be able to spend an entire day touring a destination, so head to the stores around the markets and search for local wine, candies and clothing.
Are you going on a Christmas market cruise this year? If not, do you have plans to take a journey to the markets next year? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.