Avalon slates Christmas market cruises

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The Christmas market in front of city hall in Vienna.
The Christmas market in front of city hall in Vienna. Photo Credit: Michelle Baran

Avalon Waterways plans to launch six Christmas market cruises at the end of the year, managing director Pam Hoffee said Tuesday.

The cruises will be offered to British and Canadian travelers: The company will offer two sailings each for the U.K. market on the Danube and Rhine and two for Canadian travelers on the Danube, beginning at the end of November, Hoffee said.

"We're gearing up to operate, which we are really excited about,"  she said. "These have been selling for about a month now, and they are doing relatively well."

While the Christmas market in Cologne, Germany, has announced it won't operate this year because of the pandemic, most others are optimistic about opening this year, she said.

"The reality is these are outdoor markets, and outdoor markets have been happening all summer," Hoffee said.

While there may be measures to control crowds, most are working to make sure they can still  open this winter, she said.

"We're thrilled to be finally not just looking at how we're putting together protocols but now implementing them and training our crew," Hoffee said.

Likewise, she said, Avalon stands ready to open more end-of-year sailings if Europe opens to Americans, which make up the bulk of their customer base.

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