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Take a ride on the ferris wheel or take a stroll through the Christmas Market

Christmas Markets on the Rhine - Cruise Only

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard MS Amastella
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Join the MS Amastella charming crew on this 8-day Rhine River cruise through the fabled Black Forest region and the Alsace region. As you navigate along the enchanting waterways of Europe, stop at Heidelberg and Cologne, famous for its majestic Cathedral and bustling Christmas markets. Conclude your winter adventure in Amsterdam, amidst the city’s legendary canals and colorful holiday surroundings.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive In Amsterdam, Netherlands | Embark
Day 2 : Amsterdam, Netherlands
Day 3 : Cologne, Germany
Day 4 : Rhine Gorge | Rüdesheim, Germany
Day 5 : Ludwigshafen
Day 6 : Strasbourg, France
Day 7 : Breisach, Germany
Day 8 : Basel, Switzerland | Disembark

Highlights

  • Observe the house where Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding
  • Visit Cologne's Christmas Market, one of Europe’s largest and most renowned
  • Arrive in Rüdesheim and enjoy a wine tasting with a local vintner
  • Set off on a tour of Speyer, one of Germany’s oldest cities

Ship

MS Amastella

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Take a ride on the ferris wheel or take a stroll through the Christmas Market Wander a cozy Christmas Market Vienna Western Church with water canal view in Amsterdam Cologne, Germany View of Strasbourg city

Day 1 Arrive In Amsterdam, Netherlands | Embark

Arrive in charming Amsterdam and board your luxurious river cruise ship. Meet your fellow travelers tonight at the Welcome Dinner. 

Day 2 Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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. Later in the day, set sail towards Cologne.

Day 3 Cologne, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 apple sauce.

Day 4 Rhine Gorge | Rüdesheim, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise through the castle-laden Rhine River Gorge before reaching the winemaking town of Rüdesheim. Once in Rüdesheim, you have three choices of morning excursions. Wine connoisseurs may want to go to a wine cellar for a wine tasting. Those who wish to soar high above the vineyards can take a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue. 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 also have plenty of time to enjoy Christmas traditions from all over the world at Rüdesheim Christmas Market.

Day 5 Ludwigshafen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You have the choice to explore two of Germany’s historically rich cities, along withtheir festive Christmas markets. Visit Heidelberg, a city that will capture your heart with its mighty castle andhistoric university. While here, wander along one of Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping streets, theHauptstrasse, soaking up the Yuletide celebrations at the town’s Christmas markets. Or hike along the NeckarRiver on the historic Philosopher’s Path. 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 timeto visit its Christmas market in front of the “Old Mint” (Alten Münze) in the famous Maximilianstrasse, with aview of the romantic Imperial cathedral (Kaiserdom). (B,L,D)

Day 6 Strasbourg, France

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 can 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.

Day 7 Breisach, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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. 

Day 8 Basel, Switzerland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark your cruise in Basel and catch your independent flight home.

MS Amastella

Per person starting at
$3,099
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Cat. E
Violin & Cello Deck French Balcony, 170 sq. ft.
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Cat.D
Piano Deck Fixed Windows, 160 sq. ft.
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Cat.CB
Violin Deck French Balcony, 155 sq. ft.
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Cat.CA
Violin & Cello Deck French Balcony, 170 sq. ft.
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Cat.BB
Cello Deck French Balcony & Outside Balcony, 210 sq. ft.
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Cat.BA
Violin Deck French Balcony & Outside Balcony, 210 sq. ft.
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Cat.AB
Cello Deck French Balcony & Outside Balcony, 235 sq. ft.
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Cat.AA
Violin Deck French Balcony & Outside Balcony, 235 sq. ft.
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Suite
Violin Deck French Balcony & Outside Balcony, 350 sq. ft.

Notes

Single supplement is 50%, except for Suites which are 100%.

Included Features:
- 7 nights luxury accommodation in an outside stateroom (most with twin balconies)
- Computer for internet access
- Entertainment-On-Demand in all staterooms featuring free high-speed internet access, movies, a music library and English language TV stations
- Mini-fridge, desk and sitting area
- Bottled water replenished daily
- Wellness Program with a dedicated Wellness Host leading various exercise classes as well as discussions on healthy eating and relaxation techniques, both on board and on shore.
- Personalized service from a highly trained Cruise Manager during both cruise and land programs
- Internet and Wi-Fi access
- Sun deck pool with swim-up bar and walking track
- Fitness room, massage services and hair salon
- Main Lounge with panoramic views and bar
- Daily entertainment including cultural performances
- All onboard dining in a variety of venues
- Regionally inspired cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients
- The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant
- Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner, La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Dinner, Captain's Cocktail and Gala Dinner
- La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs exclusive dining experience
- Unlimited fine wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Unlimited sparkling wine and fresh juice with breakfast
- Sip & Sail Daily Cocktail Hour with complimentary wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks
- Tapas, sandwiches, snacks and refreshments served daily in the Main Lounge
- Immersive tours in every destination
- Gentle, regular, active and late-riser tour options
- Bike tours and hikes
- Special Interest Tours
- Knowledgeable guides
- Personal headset for easy exploration
- Airport transfers with purchase of air from the expedition company
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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