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Emerald Waterways cruise covers more than 25 Christmas markets

Emerald Waterways cruise covers more than 25 Christmas markets
Emerald Waterways, which entered service in Europe this year with two new vessels, is offering a 15-day 'Christmas Markets of Europe' cruise visiting more than 25 noted markets.

The cruise sails from Amsterdam Nov. 29 and ends Dec. 13 in Budapest. Prices range from $3,960 to $7,705 per person, double occupancy.

Two eight-day segments are also offered: Amsterdam to Nuremberg, departing Nov. 29, and Nuremberg to Budapest, departing Dec. 6. Prices range from $2,080 to $3,955.

Held during the four weeks of Advent, the Christmas markets offer a festive atmosphere to shop for such gifts as nutcrackers and hand-crafted toys. Seasonal delicacies include apple strudel, stollen and roasted nuts.

Favorite stops include Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt, held in front of the rathaus (city hall), and Nuremburg’s Christmas market, which dates to 1628 and reminds visitors that this town has a legacy of creating some of the finest toys in the world.

The sailings visit picturesque and historic cities. A walking tour of Amsterdam’s city center provides an up-close experience. A visit to Old Town in Cologne reveals the heritage of Germany’s oldest city, while a trip to the Maritime Market provides spectacular views of the Rhine. In Koblenz, Rüdesheim, Miltenberg. Wertheim and Würzburg, Germany, cruisers get to experience life in a quaint European village and visit museums and other cultural sites of interest. Bamberg, the 'city of experience,' offers one of Europe’s largest intact medieval town centers.

Nuremberg's history includes World War II sites. Weltenburg and Regensburg, Germany, are rich in Bavarian history and visitors can taste the region’s famous dark beer. Highlights from Passau, Germany, and Linz, Melk and Dürnstein, Austria, include a visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral and a 900-year old Benedictine Abbey.

In Vienna, the 'City of Music,' cruisers can tour the famous opera house or watch a Viennese concert in addition to a full day of sightseeing. In Budapest, one of Eastern Europe’s most ancient cities, passengers can join a walking tour or visit the royal palace.

Emerald Waterways' new Emerald Star and Emerald Sky each carry 182 passengers in 72 suites and 20 staterooms, including two built for solo occupancy. A heated swimming pool with a retractable roof transforms into a movie theater in the evening, and there are two restaurants. The ships also offer a hairdresser, massage therapy room and fitness area.

Emerald Waterways is part of the Scenic Tours Group.