Christmas Markets on the Rhine

December 5 - 15 (or 19*), 2019


Itinerary      Pricing      Inclusions

Experience the deep-rooted holiday traditions of Europe at its most festive time of year. From the iconic canals of Amsterdam to Switzerland’s glittery cities, Lucerne and Zurich, get caught up in the magic of the holidays with visits to some of the world’s most timeless Christmas Markets. Warm up with a mug of steamy glühwein while at the Cologne Christmas Market located in front of its UNESCO-designated Gothic cathedral. Let the "Capital of Noël," Strasbourg, the oldest and largest Christmas Market in France, captivate you the way it has for so many others for centuries. Meander through Heidelberg’s majestic Christmas Market nestled idyllically amongst the historic squares of the Old Town. And while in Gengenbach, marvel at the world’s largest Advent calendar, where every evening at 6:00 PM, the brightly lit windows of the neo-classical town hall open and behind each one is a picture by a famous artist, such as Andy Warhol. Cherish all the glory of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Rhine.  




2 Pre-Nights in Amsterdam

December 6, 2019: Amsterdam - Hotel Check-In

Arrive in Amsterdam and check into your hotel.

December 7, 2019: Amsterdam - Walking Tour

Get acquainted with the Netherlands’ largest city, Amsterdam, boasting history, art, architecture, bridges, canals, cobblestone streets, world-class museums, bicycles and narrow alleys on a city tour. Afterward, enjoy leisure time exploring the city even more; perhaps visit one of its many prestigious museums, such as the Rijksmuseum, home to Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” and Vermeer’s “The Kitchen Maid.” (B)

7-Night Cruise Amsterdam to Basel

December 8, 2019: Amsterdam - Zaanse Schans Visit - Embarkation

Check out of your hotel and, before transferring to your ship, visit Zaanse Schans, where you can observe life as it used to be lived in the Netherlands. Authentic windmills, houses, and shops were relocated to this picturesque area, creating a typical 17th- to 18th-century village. (B,D)

December 9, 2019: Amsterdam - Canal Cruise - Scenic Cruising Out of 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)

December 10, 2019: Cologne - "Holy City" Tour with Cathedral and Christmas Market OR Cologne Bike Tour OR Kölsch Beer Tasting

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)

December 11, 2019: Rhine Gorge - Castles Along the Rhine Scenic Cruising - Rüdesheim - Wine Tasting OR Schloss Johannisberg Bike Tour OR Vineyard Hike - Christmas Market - Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum OR Rüdesheimer Coffee

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)

December 12, 2019: Ludwigshafen - "Romantic Heidelberg" Excursion and Christmas Market OR "Secrets of Speyer Tour and Christmas Market

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 13, 2019: Strasbourg - "The Gem of the Alsace" Tour and Christmas Market OR Strasbourg Bike Tour - Gengenbach - Gengenbach Christmas Market and Advent Calendar

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. Afterward, 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)

December 14, 2019: Breisach - Riquewiihr Walking Tour and Christmas Market OR Freiburg excursion with Christmas Market OR Breisach Wine Country Bike Tour

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 the 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)


2 Post-Nights in Lucerne and 2 Post-Nights in Zurich

December 15, 2019: Basel - Disembarkation - Basil Highlights Tour - Transfer to Lucerne - Lucerne Walking Tour - Hotel Check-In

After disembarking your ship, you'll either depart for the airport with wonderful memories of your Christmas Markets cruise, or you'll continue on with your 4-night extension. You’ll go on a highlights tour of Basel before being transferred to Lucerne. Once in Lucerne, get acquainted with the city on a walking tour along with a visit to the Christmas Market before checking into your hotel. (B)

December 16, 2019: Lucerne - Lion Monument, the Medieval City Walls and Christmas Market

The iconic Lion Monument, which you’ll visit, was sculpted in memory of the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792. It has captured the hearts and minds of visitors for centuries. You’ll also visit the spectacular medieval walls and towers, dating back to the 13th century. Afterward, soak up the festive atmosphere of this medieval gem while wandering through its Christmas Market, located at the Franziskanerplatz, and enjoy a mug of holiday cheer, glühwein. (B)

December 17, 2019: Lucerne - Scenic Lake Lucerne Cruise to Vitznau - Vitznau - Scenic Drive to Zurich - Zurich - Hotel Check-In

Check out of your hotel, and then take a cruise across the tranquil waters of Lake Lucerne. While cruising, enjoy the breathtaking mountain scenery, marked by steep Alpine peaks, sloped forests and fertile meadows and valleys beyond. Once in Vitznau, you will board a motorcoach for a scenic drive through the countryside to Zurich. (B)

December 18, 2019: Zurich - "Little Big City" Tour and Christmas Market

Join a walking tour of Zurich and experience the magic of the city dressed in her holiday best.
You’ll visit Zurich’s Christmas Markets, including the largest indoor Christmas Market in Europe located in Zurich’s Main Train Station. An absolute highlight is a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree decorated with thousands of sparkling Swarovski crystals. (B)

December 19, 2019: Zurich - Return Flight Home

After breakfast, bid farewell to Switzerland and prepare for your return flight home. (B)


Included Cruise Features: 

» Spacious accommodations in riverview stateroom or suite – most staterooms offer twin balconies

» Fine dining, including unlimited complimentary hand-selected wines, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board

» “Sip & Sail” Daily Cocktail Hour with complimentary wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks

» Cocktail Reception and Captain’s Gala Dinner

» Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board

» Guided shore excursions in every port including Special Interest Tours

» Live entertainment, cooking demonstration and more

» Complimentary bicycles and helmets

» Services of a professional Cruise Manager


Optional Land Programs:

PRE-CRUISE: 2 nights hotel in Amsterdam at the Barbizon Palace or Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky (or similar), including walking tour, Zaanse Schans visit and daily breakfast

POST-CRUISE: 2 nights hotel in Lucerne at the Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne (or similar), then 2 nights at the Hotel Schweizeriof Zurich (or similar) and includes daily breakfast and a guided city tour

» Transfer from the ship in Basel to the hotel in Lucerne, then to Zurich




from $3,099 $2,849 per person




Pre-cruise 2 nights Amsterdam

from $640 pp

(December 6 - 8)


Post-cruise 2 nights Lucerne and 2 nights Zurich

from $1,560 pp

(December 15 - 19)


*All pricing subject to change and based on availability.

Group Leader:

Amanda Vallone






Click here to view the flyer!



Are you interested in this tour?