Detailed Itinerary Christmas Markets on the Rhine

CRUISE YEAR

7- Night Cruise


Day 1

AMSTERDAM, 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

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY
Enjoy a scenic cruise into Düsseldorf. In the afternoon, take a brief trip to the nearby city of Cologne on a guided tour of its enchanting Old Town, where you will see sites such as the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall; the Fishmarkt, which dates back to the 12th century and the Great St. Martin Church. Then visit one of Europe’s largest and most renowned Christmas Markets. Or explore historic Düsseldorf on foot with a knowledgeable local tour guide. Then, be treated to a tasting of Altbier, a clean and crisp beer developed in Düsseldorf that is crafted using traditional brewing techniques. Conclude the tour with a visit to the local Christmas Market. Alternatively, cover more ground with an active bike tour of the city. (B,L,D)

Dusseldorf

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 four choices of morning excursions. Wine connoisseurs will want to go to a wine cellar for a wine tasting followed by a Christmas Market visit to enjoy holiday traditions from around the world. Or go on a hike through the vineyards. Alternatively, you can take a peaceful ride over the vineyards on Rüdesheim’s gondola followed by a visit to the Christmas Market. You may also opt to join a guided bike tour through the town and along the Rhine River before visiting the Christmas Market. Later in the day, you can visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Instrument Cabinet, or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee. (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. Or hike along the Neckar River on the historic Philosopher’s Path followed by free time to enjoy the Christmas Markets. Alternatively, you can bike along the Neckar River to the medieval town of Ladenburg and visit its Marktplatz, or 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. Later in the day, opt to visit Gengenbach’s Christmas Markets and the town’s famous illuminated town hall Advent calendar. (B,L,D)

Strasbourg

Day 7

BREISACH, GERMANY
Breisach is your gateway to several different excursions. Journey into medieval Colmar, located in the enchanting Alsace region of France. Delight in the half-timbered houses lining the cobblestone streets as you take in the whimsical blend of French and German culture and the town’s wonderful Christmas Markets. Alternatively, head to Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to the Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral said to have “the most beautiful spire on earth.” Then enjoy free time at the Freiburg Christmas Markets. Those wishing a more active excursion can cycle through Breisach’s countryside. (B,L,D)

Breisach

Day 8

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

Day 1

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - EMBARKATION
Board your ship in Basel for your Christmas Markets on the Rhine cruise. (B)

Day 2

BREISACH, GERMANY
Breisach is your gateway to several different excursions. Journey into medieval Colmar, located in the enchanting Alsace region of France. Delight in the half-timbered houses lining the cobblestone streets as you take in the whimsical blend of French and German culture and the town’s wonderful Christmas Markets. 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 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 count down to Christmas with a 24-day, larger-than-life Advent calendar. (B,L,D)

Strasbourg

Day 4

LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY – RÜDESHEIM, GERMANY
You have a choice of several excursions, depending on your interest. Visit Heidelberg, a perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along German’s Castle Road, followed by a visit to the Christmas markets. For those seeking a more active adventure, hike the historic Philosopher’s Path or bike along the shores of the river Neckar, ultimately arriving in the medieval town of Ladenburg. Alternatively, you can discover the medieval past of Speyer and its charming Christmas markets. Later in the day, sail to the winemaking town of Rüdesheim, where you can taste the village’s sweet wine or its special delight, Rüdesheimer coffee, ceremoniously made with whipped cream and brandy. (B,L,D)

Ludwigshafen

Day 5

RÜDESHEIM – RHINE GORGE SCENIC CRUISING – LAHNSTEIN, GERMANY
Visit Siegfried’s whimsical Mechanical Instrument Cabinet, take a guided bike tour through the town and along the Rhine River, hike through the vineyards or soar high above the town by gondola and later enjoy Christmas traditions from all over the world at Rüdesheim Christmas market. Later in the day, sit in the Main Lounge, out on your balcony or bundle up on the Sun Deck to enjoy a scenic cruise through the Rhine Gorge, during which you will see many historic castles. Upon reaching Lahnstein, take a unique tour of Lahneck Castle. (B,L,D)

Rüdesheim

Day 6

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY
Enjoy a scenic cruise into Düsseldorf. In the afternoon, take a brief trip to the nearby city of Cologne on a guided tour of its enchanting Old Town, where you will see sites such as the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall; the Fishmarkt, which dates back to the 12th century and the Great St. Martin Church. Then visit one of Europe’s largest and most renowned Christmas Markets. Or explore historic Düsseldorf on foot with a knowledgeable local tour guide. Then, be treated to a tasting of Altbier, a clean and crisp beer developed in Düsseldorf that is crafted using traditional brewing techniques. Conclude the tour with a visit to the local Christmas Market. Alternatively, cover more ground with an active bike tour of the city. (B,L,D)

Düsseldorf

Day 7

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Cruise the iconic canals of Amsterdam, considered the “Venice of the North” and admire the historic architecture along the way. Alternatively, taste local specialties at one of Amsterdam’s grand cafés. Please note that an alternative tour will depend on docking location. (B,L,D)

*Please note an alternative tour will operate depend on docking location.

Amsterdam

Day 8

AMSTERDAM - DISEMBARKATION
Disembark the ship and bid farewell to Amsterdam as you prepare for your return flight home.

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