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Basel at Christmas, Switzerland

Rhine Holiday Markets

Basel to Cologne - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard S.S. Antoinette
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This cruise is the best way to discover the roots of our Christmas traditions as you explore some of Europe’s most charming towns. Browse for unique ornaments in Basel’s Christmas Market. Sip vin chaud and stroll to Place Kléber to behold the enormous, brilliantly lighted tree that Strasbourg offers modern celebrants. See how the baroque town hall of Koblenz is transformed into an Advent calendar and find unexpected treasures in the red-roofed stalls clustered around Cologne’s magnificent cathedral. Revel in brightly painted carousels and handmade ornaments, medieval squares illuminated by twinkling lights, life-sized Nativity figures and joyful brass choirs. Sail through castle-strewn hillsides and visit charming towns decked in holiday finery for a holiday season you will never forget.

 
Stroll through romantic StrasbourgStop to explore MannheimExplore the historic old town KoblenzEnjoy a cozy Christmas market in CologneWander the streets of RudesheimBasel at Christmas, Switzerland
Highlights
  • Write your wish in a Wish Book, which lies open in Basel’s 17th-century Town Hall during Advent.
  • Join for a a special vinegar tasting at Doktorenhof vinegar estate
  • Explore the specialty shops tucked into lovingly restored buildings at Mainz’s Old Town
  • Experience the Christmas markets around the Cologne Cathedral.
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Basel | Embark

Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. You will be greeted by a representative and transferred to the ship.

Day 2: Basel

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The city of Basel is a cultural and artistic powerhouse, with all sorts of galleries, theaters and museums. At this time of year, the city’s Christmas Market draws visitors from all over Europe, as does its Christmas Street, lined with more than 100 beautifully decorated and illuminated Christmas trees. Do you have a special wish for Christmas? Write it in the Wish Book, which lies open in Basel’s 17th-century Town Hall during Advent, waiting for residents and visitors to express their hopes and dreams for the holiday—or for the world.

Featured Excursion: Basel walking tour with Christmas market

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared this evening.

Day 3: Kehl (Strasbourg)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, a rather overused word that in this case is perfectly apropos. It’s also been known as the “Crossroads of Europe” for its strategic location halfway between Paris and Prague. With a friendly local expert, see this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops that will win your heart. You won’t want to miss the holiday treats like bûche de Noël, the delicious Christmas cake made to look like a yule log.

Choice of Strasbourg walking tour with Christmas market or “Taste of Christmas” Strasbourg walking tour

Day 4: Mannheim (Heidelberg)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leave France behind and sail into Germany during the wee hours of the morning. If you speak no German, here’s one phrase you might want to learn now: “Fröhliche Weihnachten,” or “Merry Christmas!” Today, you’ll have two choices: Venture into the storied city of Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in the country, or visit the Doktorenhof vinegar estate for a special vinegar tasting. The atmospheric cellar is like no other and the candlelit tasting room is decked for the holidays.

Choice of Heidelberg tour with Christmas
+ market 
or Private Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting

Day 5: Mainz | Rüdesheim

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Mainz’s Old Town brims with specialty shops tucked into lovingly restored buildings. Find jewelry, leather goods, books, toys and much more. There is something special for every person on your list, or opt to explore neighboring Wiesbaden’s Christmas Market. However, choose to spend your time in Mainz and then head back to the ship for a short cruise to Rüdesheim, which, like many cities along the Rhine, dates back to Roman times, when the Rhine was the northern border of the empire. Today, Rüdesheim is famous for its beauty and its entertaining alley of shops and wine bars called the Drosselgasse.

Featured Excursions:
Wiesbaden Twinkling Star Christmas Market
Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instruments Museum with Christmas Market

Day 6: Cruising the romantic Rhine River | Koblenz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend a spectacular morning on board your luxurious boutique ship as you sail the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stretch of the Rhine is extraordinarily picturesque: Castles perch atop steep cliffs above the water and each quaint village is marked by the spire of its historic church. After sailing past 40 miles (65 kilometers) of gorgeous scenery, reach the famous intersection of the Rhine and the Moselle. Here, where the two rivers meet, lies the enchanting town of Koblenz. Watch the waters of the Moselle gush into the Rhine as you stand on the spit of land called German Corner before embarking on a walking tour of Koblenz’s historical treasures.

Featured Excursion: Koblenz walking tour with Christmas market

Day 7: Cologne

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your local expert will show you favorite haunts around the Old Town and share some of the cathedral’s most intriguing and magical secrets with you. You can find unexpected treasures in the red-roofed stalls clustered around Cologne’s magnificent cathedral.

Featured Excursion: Cologne walking tour with Cologne Cathedral visit and Christmas markets

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 8: Cologne | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning, disembark the ship in Cologne and depart for the airport for your flight home.

Ship/Hotel

S.S. Antoinette

S.S. Antoinette Lobby
S.S. Antoinette Grand Salon Bar
S.S. Antoinette L'Orangerie Sky Lounge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,999
Classic Cabin
Select a Date
Classic
Magnificent appointed riverview stateroom (163 sq ft - 15 sq m) located on the La Countesse Deck. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers.
French Balcony Cabin
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French Balcony
Sumptuous appointed riverview stateroom (196 sq ft - 18.2 sq m) located on the La Duchesse Deck. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers.
Deluxe Balcony Cabin
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Deluxe Balcony
Luxuriant appointed riverview stateroom (196 sq ft - 18.2 sq m) located on the La Princesse with an open-air balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers.
Suite
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Suite
Lavishly appointed riverview suite (294 sq ft - 27.3 sq m) with open-air balcony. Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Hermès bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmers, heated mirrors, bathrobes and slippers. Additional amenities and services, are included.
Grand Suite
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Grand Suite
Luxurious riverview grand suite (391 sq ft - 36.3 sq m) with open-air balcony, and a spacious living room. Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Hermès bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmers, heated mirrors, bathrobes and slippers. Additional amenities and services, are included.

Notes

Included in Cruise Fare:
  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water
  • 6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Taste of Christmas” program
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks
  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the exquisite S.S. Antoinette
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
  • Visits to 3 countries: France, Germany, Switzerland
  • Visits to 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture
Excluded from Cruise Fare:
  • Prices exclude additional port charges of $190 per person
  • Airfare, international or local
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • Travel protection plan
  • Extensions or land tours 
  • Losses or costs incurred as a result of medical services obtained while on tour
  • Any additional personal expenses
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided on board on the first day of your cruise.
 

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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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