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Basel at Christmas, Switzerland

Christmas Markets on the Rhine

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard MS Amaserena
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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.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive In Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Day 2 : Amsterdam
Day 3 : Amsterdam | Embark
Day 4 : Amsterdam
Day 5 : Cologne, Germany
Day 6 : Rhine Gorge | Rüdesheim
Day 7 : Ludwigshafen
Day 8 : Strasbourg, France
Day 9 : Breisach, Germany
Day 10 : Basel, Switzerland | Disembark | Lucerne
Day 11 : Lucerne
Day 12 : Lucerne | Zurich
Day 13 : Zurich
Day 14 : Depart Zurich

Highlights

  • Visit Zaanse Schanse windmills and village
  • Ride a bike along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten
  • Enjoy Christmas traditions from all over the world at Rüdesheim Christmas Market
  • Explore Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe

Ship

MS Amaserena

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Basel at Christmas, Switzerland Vienna Ice skating at a Christmas Market in Zurich Amsterdam by night Ehrenfels Castle on Rhine River near Rudesheim Bicycles on a bridge over the canal.

Day 1 Arrive In Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Arrive in Amsterdam and check into your hotel.

Day 2 Amsterdam

A city tour of Amsterdam provides the perfect overview before enjoying leisure time on your own. 

Day 3 Amsterdam | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Check out of your hotel and before transferring to the ship, visit Zaanse Schanse windmills and village. 

Day 4 Amsterdam

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The famous canals of Amsterdam await discovery on your scenic canal cruise. Tall narrow homes along the water, the beautiful wooden Skinny Bridge and the Anne Frank House are a few of the highlights you will see. Later in the day, set sail out of Amsterdam.

Day 5 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 6 Rhine Gorge | Rüdesheim

  • 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 will 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. Have plenty of time to enjoy Christmas traditions from all over the world at Rüdesheim Christmas Market. 

Day 7 Ludwigshafen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You have the choice to explore two of Germany's historically rich cities, along with their festive Christmas Markets. Visit Heidelberg, a city that captures 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. 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). 

Day 8 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 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. 

Day 9 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 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 wants 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. 

Day 10 Basel, Switzerland | Disembark | Lucerne

After disembarking your ship, 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. 

Day 11 Lucerne

The iconic Lion Monument, which you can visit was sculpted in memory for the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792. It has captured the hearts and minds of visitors for centuries, including Mark Twain who praised it as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” Visit the spectacular medieval walls and towers, dating back to the 13th century. Located around the Musegg Wall area, the towers rise high over the city, giving great panoramic views of Lucerne, the Reuss River and the surrounding mountain scenery. There are a total of nine towers, including one featuring the oldest clock in the city. Afterwards, soak up the festive atmosphere of this medieval gem wandering through its Christmas Market located at the Franziskanerplatz and enjoy the festive atmosphere with a mug of holiday cheer, glühwein.

Day 12 Lucerne | Zurich

Cruise across the tranquil waters of Lake Lucerne to Vitznau, where you can board a motorcoach for a scenic drive through the countryside to Zurich, which seamlessly blends its historic past with its progressive future. Once in Zurich, check into your hotel.

Day 13 Zurich

Join a walking tour of Zurich and as you do experience the magic of the city dressed in her holiday best. 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. 

Day 14 Depart Zurich

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, bid farewell to Switzerland and prepare for your return flight home. 

MS Amaserena

Amsterdam

Lucerne

Zurich

Per person starting at
$4,659
AmaSerena E
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E
Piano deck, fixed windows
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D
Piano deck, fixed windows
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C
Violin & Cello deck, French Balcony
AmaSerena C
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BB
Cello deck, French Balcony & Outside Balcony
AmaSerena AB
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BA
Violin deck, French Balcony & Outside Balcony
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AB
Cello deck, French Balcony & Outside Balcony
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AA
Violin deck, French Balcony & Outside Balcony
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AA+
Violin deck, French Balcony & Outside Balcony
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Suite
Violin deck, French Balcony & Outside Balcony

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
- Land Program
- 2 nights hotel in Amsterdam at the AmstelInterContinental Hotel (or similar), includingwalking tour, Zaanse Schans visit and dailybreakfast
- Transfer from the ship in Basel to Lucerne with Baselcity highlights tour en route
- 2 nights hotel in Lucerne at the Hotel SchweizerhofLucerne (or similar), including walking tour, LionMonument,Christmas Market and daily breakfast
- Transfer from hotel in Lucerne to Zurich with scenicLake Lucerne cruise en route
- 2 nights hotel in Zurich at the Zurich Marriott Hotel(or similar) including city tour, Christmas Marketand daily breakfast
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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