Detailed Itinerary Christmas Markets on the Rhine
CRUISE YEAR
Day 1
ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – EMBARKATION
Board the ship in Amsterdam for your Christmas Markets on the Rhine cruise. (D)

Day 2
AMSTERDAM
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)

Amsterdam
Day 3
COLOGNE, GERMANY
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 or visit a local tavern to taste Cologne’s traditional Kölsch beer and reibekuchen mit apfelmus—potato pancakes served with applesauce. (B,L,D)

Cologne
Day 4
RHINE GORGE – RÜDESHEIM
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 go on a hike through the vineyards. You may also opt to join a guided bike tour through the town and along the Rhine River. Later in the day, you can visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, 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)

Rhine Gorge
Day 5
LUDWIGSHAFEN
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)

Ludwigshafen
Day 6
STRASBOURG, FRANCE
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 count down to Christmas with a 24-day, larger-than-life Advent calendar. (B,L,D)

Strasbourg
Day 7
BREISACH, GERMANY
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 historic architecture, as well as famous sights such as the Dolder Gate. Alternatively, you may wish to visit Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone, as well as its enchanting Christmas Market. Those wishing a more active excursion will want to cycle through the scenic countryside. (B,L,D)

Breisach
Day 8
BASEL – DISEMBARKATION
Disembark the ship and bid farewell to Basel as you prepare for your return flight home. (B)

Day 1
BASEL, SWITZERLAND - EMBARKATION
Embark the ship in Basel. Tonight, meet your fellow passengers on board. (D)

Day 2
BREISACH, GERMANY
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 visit Freiburg, founded in 1120, and home to Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone, as well as its enchanting Christmas Market. Those wishing a more active excursion will want to cycle through the scenic countryside; or go on an excursion to the Black Forest, a magical land full of cultural traditions, as well as home to elaborate cuckoo clocks, striking half-timber houses, ruined castles and quaint towns. (B,L,D)

Breisach
Day 3
STRASBOURG, FRANCE
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)

Strasbourg
Day 4
LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY – RÜDESHEIM
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). Later in the day, sail to Rüdesheim where you can visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum; or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer Coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy. (B,L,D)

Ludwigshafen
Day 5
RÜDESHEIM – RHINE GORGE
Your exploration of Rüdesheim continues with your choice of three excursions. Take a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the river. Afterwards, indulge your taste buds with a sampling of Riesling wines in the vineyards. Alternatively, you can join a guided bike ride through the town and along the Rhine River to Schloss Johannisberg; or hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards. During the afternoon, set sail along the scenic Rhine River Gorge with its fabled legends and many castles. (B,L,D)

Rüdesheim
Day 6
COLOGNE
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 apple sauce. (B,L,D)

Cologne
Day 7
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Begin your discovery of Amsterdam with a scenic canal cruise, followed by a walking tour to the Begijnhof, known for its historic Middle Ages building and concluding with a panoramic city tour that includes the Royal Palace and Westerkerk. (B,L,D)

Amsterdam
Day 8
DISEMBARKATION - DEPART AMSTERDAM
Bid Farewell to Amsterdam and prepare for your homeward flight. (B)

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