As we watch summer fade into fall, it’s time to plan to celebrate the holidays in old-world style. Viking River Cruises’s holiday sailings offer the most memorable gift you could imagine: in-depth cultural enrichment in Europe’s best loved river ports. Perfectly planned itineraries abound with Yuletide magic, the ideal way to experience Europe’s picturesque atmosphere and charm. This is the most festive time of year to cruise these waters as glittering lights and finery adorn Europe’s streets. On board your home away from home, the discovery continues with cultural enrichment activities designed to keep you fully immersed in the holiday riches of Europe—delicious regional cuisine, destination performances, festively decorated ships, and onboard lectures. Celebrate the season with Viking, and you’ll also enjoy Viking Inclusive Value. One price includes so much from meals and beverages to shore excursions and Wi-Fi.
Europe’s Christmas Markets with Viking River Cruises
Europe’s Christmas markets are where the romance and spirit of the holidays come alive. It’s not just the markets that have all the magic of the holidays, but Viking ships are adorned with extra shimmer and sparkle as well. Explore some of the fairy tale settings of Europe’s Christmas Markets.
Interested in learning more about our European Christmas markets cruises? Visit us at: Viking River Cruises
Viking for the Holidays: Danube Waltz
Celebrate the holidays with the cultural traditions of Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Enjoy art, architecture, history and charming Christmas markets in European destinations including Passau, Vienna, Salzburg, Bratislava and Budapest.
Viking for the Holidays: Romantic Danube
This popular 8-day holiday cruise lets you discover Danube delights in Hungary, Austria, and Germany. From historic Budapest to beautiful Vienna to medieval Regensburg, experience the holiday season like never before.
Gingerbread and glühwein are traditional treats that are enjoyed during the holiday season.
Traditional Gingerbread with Chef Walter Simon Snr.
Spiced and nutty in flavor, these traditional German Christmas cookies resemble soft gingerbread. Enjoy them at home or give as a gift—either way they fill your home with delightful aromas while baking. Taste these and many other holiday treats on one of our late fall or winter cruises along the Rhine or Danube.
One-half cup honey
One-half cup molasses
Three-quarters cup brown sugar (packed)
One tablespoon lemon juice
One teaspoon lemon zest
Two and three-quarters cup flour
One-half teaspoon baking soda
One teaspoon ground cinnamon
One teaspoon ground cloves
One teaspoon ground allspice
One teaspoon ground nutmeg
One-third cup candied citron (diced)
One-third cup hazelnuts (chopped)
One cup sugar
One-half cup water or milk
One-quarter teaspoon vanilla extract
One-quarter cup powdered sugar
Combine honey and molasses in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in brown sugar, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and all spices. Add the molasses mixture and mix well. Stir in citron and hazelnuts. Cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. On a floured surface, roll out a small amount of the chilled dough to one-quarter-inch thickness. If dough is sticky, use more flour when rolling. Using a cookie cutter or a glass, cut round cookies out and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Place baked cookies on a cooling rack and brush icing while still hot. You can decorate with slivers of nuts or candied citron or other dried fruit. Or if you prefer, you can drizzle with melted chocolate. Store in a sealed container with a wedge of apple or orange to retain moistness.
Heat sugar and water or milk with vanilla in a small saucepan, but do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar. If icing becomes crystallized, reheat and add water or milk as needed.
Makes 8–10 servings.
GLÜHWEIN (HOT MULLED WINE)
Around the Christmas season, public houses in nearly every European town offer mulled wine as a delicious antidote to the season’s chill. To warm up on a stormy evening or put yourself in a celebratory mood, you can make your own glühwein at home
4 qts dry red wine (e.g., zinfandel, pinot, burgundy)
1 C white sugar (more to taste)
1 pt brandy
12 whole cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp mace
1 qt dry white wine
6 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, sliced
Pour red wine into a 3-gal pot (or larger) and begin gentle heating. Add sugar and spices. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add brandy and white wine, slices of 1 orange and the lemon. Steep for 1 hour over low heat. Serve hot and garnish with orange slices or a cinnamon stick.
Cook time: 1 hour
Makes 12-15 servings.
If you are considering a Festive Season river cruise, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans in detail.
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or by phone – 800-372-1963