Shropshire Star

Take a trip to the Christmas Markets with DFDS

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just a few weeks away. Where has this year gone? writes Sharon Walters. And it’s difficult to get into the spirit even though autumn is fast nearing its end.

Cruise across with DFDS for a festive trip

However what could get you in the festive mood is a trip across the channel to a Christmas market. And it has to be said Europeans do the very best. From small town events to major extravaganzas in cities such as Amsterdam Brussels, Frankfurt and Paris. Streets bedecked with bright lights, Christmas trees, street food, mulled wine and an array of gifts will certainly put a Yuletide smile on your face. You could pop over for a day or make a mini break of it, especially if you venture across to the fantastic markets in Germany and even the Czech republic.

DFDS ferries are offering some great deals for crossings from Dover to Calais and Dunkirk and Newhaven to Dieppe starting from £39 each way for a car and passengers for you to make up your own trip or packages including hotels. And there are up to 50 daily sailings for you to get the perfect timing.

On board there’s a great shop to start your retail therapy and excellent food and drink. If you fancy a quieter spot to start your trip, treat yourself to the Premium lounge where you can enjoy complimentary soft and hot drinks, snacks and pastries. Plus a glass of fizz!

Christmas Markets in France, otherwise known as Marché de Noël, provide a great opportunity for a winter weekend break. The chance in France to visit a Christmas Market is unlimited as Most towns and cities host a French Christmas market between late November and the end of December. They have a fantastic atmosphere and provide the perfect shopping opportunity. Alongside this enjoy the irresistible food and drink stalls which are irresistible with spiced bread, traditional bredle cakes, and mulled wine.

Nowhere does Christmas markets with quite as much aplomb as Germany. Up and down the country, each year, market stalls come out offering numerous delights; from hand crafted toys, tree decorations, candles and lambskin shoes. Gluhwein is warmed for the festive season and aromas of gingerbread and sausage fill the air.

German Christmas markets provide an incredible atmosphere mixed with more unique and authentic stalls than you could ever hope for.

​There are a number of well-known Christmas Markets in Holland including those in Valkenburg, Dordrecht, Deventer, Maastricht and Nijmegen, the oldest city in Holland. Visitors to Dutch Christmas Markets can secure all sorts of Christmas specialities and relish the atmosphere of a Dutch Advent.

The Christmas Market season in Belgium has some of the most beautiful markets. Home to a number of beautiful cities with cobbled streets, town squares and stunning architecture, they exude a fantastic atmosphere and offer great shopping opportunities. The markets offer stalls bursting with traditional crafts, unusual gifts and local treats, ideal for last-minute shopping sprees!

And if you fancy a mini cruise combined with a market visit, there are package breaks with sailings from Newcastle to Amsterdam for two nights on board a cruise ferry and up to three nights in Bruges, Brussels or Amsterdam to enjoy festive delights.


Dover-Dunkirk from £39 each way for a car and up to nine people; Dover-Calais from £45 each way for a car and up to nine people; Newcastle-Amsterdam mini cruises from £72 per person each way, based on two people sharing.