Christmas Markets.

edited July 1 in Europe

Has anyone seen any info on the Christmas Markets NOT happening this year? We usually go every other year, and this was our year to go. We booked the NEW Yuletide Cruise Brussels to Amsterdam. We totally expect this to cancel. Our Sept Legends of the American West tour just cancelled a couple days ago.

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  • edited July 2

    We are on the 6 Dec Southbound departure. I've been watching, but have seen nothing yet. It will likely be another two months at least before any decision is made. There is a long way to go to clean this up enough and turn things around enough to make it possible.

  • AlanS -- Our AAA travel agent called Tauck today and they told her a decision for the rest of 2020 will be made after July 4. Since Rick Steves has cancelled all his tours for 2020, I almost expect Tauck to do the same. Plus, the restrictions they've put on river cruising would make me not go until they are lifted (if they ever are).

  • Terrilynn, was the Jul 4 decision just for river cruises or all tours? Still waiting to hear about my Sep Switzerland tour.

  • Claudia Sails, she said after July 4th they would make a decision for Tauck tours for the rest of the year. Our Tour for September was here in America and it's been cancelled - it was Legends of the American West - so if they cancelled ours, I can't imagine yours will go.

  • We've been expecting cancellation - just wish they do it so I could take care of other things like the flights, a hotel for afyer, etc.

    Sort of surprised your tour was cancelled when they're talking of having the Canyonlands tour. Right now I wouldn't go near Arizona and the northern part of the state and southern Utah have very limited medical facilities.

  • terrilynn
    6:25PM
    AlanS -- Our AAA travel agent called Tauck today and they told her a decision for the rest of 2020 will be made after July 4. Since Rick Steves has cancelled all his tours for 2020, I almost expect Tauck to do the same. Plus, the restrictions they've put on river cruising would make me not go until they are lifted (if they ever are).

    Thanks.
    I hate to wait until next year, but we were pro-active and have already booked 6 Dec 2021. I’ll just need to cancel our flights then re-book in January is 2021.

  • Thank you Terrilynn. I am still waiting on SA Tour in Sept.

  • I would think there will be no Christmas markets still being held to go to this year. Belgium has a high infection rate too. I do hope you can go next year.

  • There are six of us booked for the Dec.6th Trip. I think it is going to be canceled also. This would have been our third CM trip and we booked in January 2019.

  • I, too, have done the original Christmas Markets cruises and am booked on the Dec. 20 Yuletide Spirit trip this year. I won't go, but I'm waiting for Tauck to cancel. Since I am a solo traveler and the single rooms sell out quickly, I am on the waitlist for the Dec. 6 cruise in 2021. Luckily I book my flights with miles so shouldn't have much trouble reinstating the miles once I cancel this year.

  • edited July 3

    British
    6:27AM
    I would think there will be no Christmas markets still being held to go to this year. Belgium has a high infection rate too. I do hope you can go next year.

    Oh, Debbie Downer :D

    There are only three XMAS Mkts departures on Yuletide Spirit: Brussels to Amsterdam (which goes to Belgium) in 2020 and four in 2021. The other XMAS Mkts tours are on the Rhine between Köln and Basel, which as everyone knows is a COVID-free corridor. :D I can't speak to the Danube.

    Factoid: For those wondering, why there are only three Rhine XMAS Mkts departures in 2020 and only 4 in 2021 (vs 6 or 7 in the past), it is because the MS Grace was reassigned to cover the new Brussels to Amsterdam Mkts river cruise. That leaves just the Inspire to cover both Northbound and Southbound Rhine XMAS Mkts. Also, for 2021, the Southbound cruise starts in Düsseldorf vs Köln, and the Northbound cruise ends in Düsseldorf vs Köln.

  • Interesting Alan. I hadn't noticed that they were only using the newer/longer Inspiration class ships for Christmas cruises. Wonder what they've doing with the older Jewel class ships? I asked once about what they did with the ships during the winter season (other than refurbishments) and was told they were often used in major cities for overflow hotel accommodations, special events, etc.

  • edited July 3

    Claudia Sails
    10:27PM
    . . . . I asked once about what they did with the ships during the winter season (other than refurbishments) and was told they were often used in major cities for overflow hotel accommodations, special events, etc.

    As a multi-river cruiser, you already know you can see where they are parked in the winter (or anytime) by going to Cruise Mapper . If underway, it will tell you where it is headed and at what speed. MS Inspire is currently underway on the Rhine near Leutesdorf. It is headed south to Mainz at 4 kts. MSY Wind Star is in port at Colon, Panama. The ship page also often has deck plans, cabin layouts, number of passengers, reviews, etc. (ships for our next two voyages)

  • I used that or a similar site to track the Sapphire when we were booked on it for the Seine cruise the year it was completely overhauled with new cabins. At one point it was in the English channel - I believe on board a bigger transport ship. Scyllas website shows all the ships they own including the ones Tauck uses.

  • i guess I'll add my two cents about the ship classes. My understanding is that the Jewel class riverboats operate on the rivers in France, as they can't accommodate the larger Inspiration class boats. I was on the Emerald twice on my two Rhone cruises. I was on the Inspire for my first Christmas Markets cruise on the Rhine in 2015 and the Joy on my second Christmas Markets river cruise on the Danube in 2018. I was on the Grace last fall for the Amsterdam, Rhine and Swiss Alps river cruise and I had hoped to see some of the same crew on my Yuletide Spirit cruise this year. That will not happen because either I or Tauck will cancel and I'll wait until next year.

    As for what happens to the boats during the off-season, they are not used only by Tauck. On one of my French cruises, the crew members that I got to know said that they wished Tauck was their last trip as the group that was coming on after us (we were the final Tauck group) was from another tour group entirely and they weren't looking forward to them at all.

  • edited July 6

    Not quite travelcrazy.

    The older/shorter Jewel ships:
    Emerald - Rhone/Saone rivers
    Sapphire - Seine
    Treasure and Espirit - Danube and Rhine - the longer ships don't do the Main canal transit needed for the cruises that include both rivers

    The Inspire class only do the Rhine and Danube:
    Inspire - Rhine plus the Holland/Belgium cruises
    Grace - Rhine
    Joy and Savor - Danube

    I've been on all four of the Jewels and once on the Inspire.

    I also have heard the crews like Tauck tours best. But maybe they're just sweet talking us.

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