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Many European Christmas Markets Closed But Some River Cruise Operators Still Plan to Operate
Christmas market in Frankfurt, Germany (Photo: S.Borisov/Shuterstock)

Many European Christmas Markets Closed But Some River Cruise Operators Still Plan to Operate

Many European Christmas Markets Closed But Some River Cruise Operators Still Plan to Operate
Christmas market in Frankfurt, Germany (Photo: S.Borisov/Shuterstock)

November 05, 2020

Adam Coulter
UK Managing Editor
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(1:10 p.m. EST) -- A small number of river cruise operators still plan to operate festive cruises on Europe's rivers, but with many Christmas markets closed it's not clear how festive these cruises can be.These ae mainly charter cruises however and -- dependent on whether Germany extends its lockdown beyond November 30 -- will be operated by Nicko, VIVA, Amadeus, Phoenix and AmaWaterways on AmaStella.A-ROSA has suspended all operations until the end of November and is adopting a wait-and-see approach depending on whether the German lockdown is extended.Of the other river cruise lines -- TUI River, Titan, Tauck, Scenic, Avalon, Emerald and Viking -- all have suspended operations until the end of year and in some cases, beyond. The largest river cruise line in Europe, the French company CroisiEurope, has canceled all sailings for the year. Nicko released the following statement: "We currently assume that we will be able to carry out our advent and holiday trips on the Rhine and on the Main in December.{#widget:image|decorators:article_image|image:18721|title:Wooden booths offering souvenirs during Christmas Market in Prague, Czech Republic (Photo: Rostislav Glinsky/Shutterstock)|description:Wooden booths offering souvenirs during Christmas Market in Prague, Czech Republic (Photo: Rostislav Glinsky/Shutterstock)#}"Of course, the cruises are also attractive without Christmas markets. The guests can be enchanted by winterly landscapes and look forward to festive lighting and Christmas atmosphere."In fact, although many Christmas markets have been cancelled in Germany in the meantime -- however, many cities, municipalities and local authorities are already considering whether and how they can still provide a little Christmas market atmosphere with individual stands selling mulled wine and food -- while of course observing the appropriate hygiene measures and the locally applicable regulations."Amadeus confirmed it would be operating from December, offering five-day cruises from Nuremberg on Amadeus Imperial on the Main; and five-day cruises on the Rhine and Moselle from Cologne. The line will also be operating Christmas and New Year's Eve cruises on the Danube and Rhine.Most of the major Christmas Markets are canceled, including: Nuremburg, Cologne, Munich, Budapest and Strasbourg.The overall rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe has trickled onto ships in recent weeks. A fairly large outbreak took place on Swiss Crystal, a river cruise ship operated by Scylla, where 60 out of 92 passengers tested positive for COVID-19.The sailing was a music-themed cruise, where passengers spent time singing and yodeling, according to

news reports

. That outbreak followed another on the Moselle, Vista Serenity.River cruise ships, in general, have not had protocols that require passengers to take COVID-19 tests before boarding, although masks, social distancing and temperature checks are used.

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