Cologne Christmas Markets Mini Cruise Review on DFDS' Princess Seaways

The Cologne Christmas Markets mini cruise was perfect for some festive sightseeing.

Cologne Christmas Markets

The Cologne Christmas Markets mini cruise package from DFDS is a great excuse for festive sightseeing.

The start of the trip was a bit rocky thanks to severe weather hampering the efforts of Princess Seaways.

Once the ship arrived in Amsterdam, everything was taken care of for me. A comfortable coach was waiting to whisk me, and my companions, to the German city. With a slight delay at check-in, I soon offloaded my bags in the room. A short walk later and I was in the heart of Cologne and its famous Christmas Markets.

I spent two nights at the Marriott hotel, which gave me around 1½ days to explore the city. I chose to seek out as many of the markets as I could. Other passengers opted to find just the one.

The beauty of this trip, besides the pre-organised transport and accommodation, was the generous amount of free time in the city. I could do as much or as little as I wanted to.

I managed to cram a lot into this trip. The Christmas markets were fantastic and lived up to their legendary status, despite being very busy. Stalls that sold local arts, crafts, confectionery, and baked goods sat alongside those filling the air with aromas of mulled wine (Gluhwein) and Bratwurst hotdogs. These were as authentic and traditional German Christmas markets as you can get.

Christmas Markets by day
The Christmas Markets by day - and far quieter than at night!

By night, the Christmas decorations glistened and added a magical feel to proceedings.

Beyond the Christmas markets, there is far more to Cologne. Try to get out and about, and explore the city. The sights, sounds, and tastes, together with the Christmas Markets, made this an unforgettable trip.

I loved Cologne and would not hesitate to go back. The beautiful Rhine river acts as a magnificent backdrop to this warm and rich city.

  • Ferry comfort
  • Ferry entertainment
  • Ferry food and drink
  • Transfers
  • Cologne


The Cologne Christmas Markets mini break was a great way to see the city and its festivities with the minimum of fuss. Visit the main Market but make sure you visit some of the many others on offer to experience the variety this city has to offer.

Read more in this series

  1. International Passenger Terminal, Port of Tyne
  2. Princess Seaways Review
  3. Princess Seaways Cabins
  4. Food & Drink on Princess Seaways
  5. Entertainment on Princess Seaways
  6. Guide to Ijmuiden Port, Amsterdam
  7. Cologne Marriott Hotel Review
  8. You Cannot Visit Cologne And Not See These Sights
  9. Cologne Christmas Markets Guide
  10. Cologne Christmas Markets Mini Cruise Review on DFDS' Princess Seaways (you are here)
(Photo credit(s) to David Fiske)
Disclosure: DFDS kindly supplied a half board mini cruise to Cologne, including overseas transfers and a hotel. I paid for travel to and from the Port of Tyne, my hotel, car parking, incidentals onboard, and meals and incidentals overseas. The opinions in this article are my own.

Written by David Fiske

David first found his sea legs on a cruise around the Caribbean in 2009. Since then he's looked for any excuse to get back on the water which led him onto creating Mini Cruise Reviews as a way to showcase short min breaks that sail from the UK (on ferries or cruise ships).


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