Join us as we experience the deep-rooted holiday traditions of Europe at its most festive time of year. Our festive river cruise will take us from Amsterdam to Basel.
Experience the deep-rooted holiday traditions of Europe at its most festive time of year. Cologne’s Christmas Market with its impressive Gothic cathedral backdrop; the "Capital of Noël," Strasbourg, with its magnificent great Christmas tree; and Heidelberg’s Christmas Market nestled idyllically amongst the historic squares of the Old Town; are all timeless traditions handed down through the centuries. Cherish all the glory of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Rhine. We will be touring in the following countries: France, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland.
November 30-Saturday | ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – EMBARKATION
Day 1- Arrive in Amsterdam and board your luxurious river cruise ship. (D)
December 1- Sunday | AMSTERDAM
Day 2- There are 165 canals in Amsterdam and you'll get to enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. Later in the day, set sail out of Amsterdam. (B,L,D)
December 2- Monday | COLOGNE, GERMANY
Day 3- Enjoy cruising to Cologne, home to one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces, the Cologne Cathedral. Join a guided tour through the enchanting Old Town. Explore the UNESCO-designated cathedral and then visit one of Europe’s largest and most renowned Christmas Markets located in front of the cathedral. Alternatively, ride a bike along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten; or visit a local tavern to taste Cologne’s traditional Kölsch beer and Reibekuchen—potato pancakes served with applesauce. (B,L,D)
December 3- Tuesday | RHINE GORGE – RÜDESHEIM
Day 4- Cruise through the castle-laden Rhine River Gorge before reaching the winemaking town of Rüdesheim. Once in Rüdesheim, you will have three choices of morning excursions. Wine connoisseurs will want to go to a wine cellar for a wine tasting. Or, for a more active adventure, join a guided bike tour through the town and along the Rhine River. Later in the day, you have two more options. Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum, home to a remarkable collection of self-playing musical instruments; or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee. You’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy Christmas traditions from all over the world at Rüdesheim Christmas Market. (B,L,D)
December 4- Wednesday | LUDWIGSHAFEN
Day 5- You have the choice to explore two of Germany's historically rich cities, along with their festive Christmas Markets. Visit Heidelberg, a city that will capture your heart with its mighty castle and historic university. While here, wander along one of Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping streets, the Hauptstrasse, soaking up the Yuletide celebrations at the town’s Christmas Markets. Alternatively, you can explore one of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll also have time to visit its Christmas Market in front of the “Old Mint” (Alten Münze) in the famous Maximilianstrasse, with a view of the romantic imperial cathedral (Kaiserdom). (B,L,D)
December 5- Thursday | STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Day 6- Strasbourg is even more alluring during the season of Advent. The Christkindelsmärik dates back to 1570, making it the oldest Christmas Market in France. Enjoy a panoramic bus tour that takes you past the Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la Republique. Afterwards, walk through the historic town center on the Grande Île, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and through the lovely “La Petite France” district, where you will see the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock and then visit the town’s famous Christmas Market. You can also choose to explore Strasbourg's different districts by bicycle. During the afternoon, visit Gengenbach Christmas Market where every year the locals countdown to Christmas with a 24-day, larger-than-life Advent calendar. (B,L,D)
December 6- Friday | BREISACH, GERMANY
Day 7- Visit the enchanting Alsatian town of Riquewihr beautifully dressed in her holiday finery with twinkling decorations and a lively Christmas Market. On your walking tour, admire historical architecture, as well as famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate. Alternatively, you may wish to go to two other gems. Visit Freiburg, founded in 1120, and home to Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone, as well as an enchanting Christmas Market. Those wishing a more active excursion will want to cycle through the scenic countryside. (B,L,D)
December 7- Saturday | BASEL – DISEMBARKATION
Day 7- Disembark the ship and bid farewell to Basel as you prepare for your return flight home. (B).
Your Package Includes
An initial deposit for regional motorcoach tours and Land + Fly packages is required to guarantee your reservation! Flight deposits will also be required per itinerary at or following initial deposit. If you plan to stay in a room by yourself- select Single. If two people are sharing one room- select Double. If three people are sharing one-room- select Triple. If four are sharing one room- select Quad. Note: Single, Triple and Quad arrangements may not be available on all itineraries