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Basel at Christmas, Switzerland

Christmas on the Rhine

Amsterdam - Basel - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Viking Cruises
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On this 8-day Christmas on the Rhine Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel aboard Viking Cruises, engage in the festive ambiance of Christmas while traveling through picturesque villages. Enjoy holiday treats and local specialties while perusing vibrant stalls for handmade ornaments and distinctive gifts. Delight in the sparkling lights of Cologne and immerse in the joyful atmosphere of the Rhine Valley, where storefronts, wine cellars, and markets embrace the holiday spirit. 
Brilliant tulips growing near AmsterdamThere are a lot of Carousels in the Christmas Markets throughout Germany and France.Toys in the Christmas MarketCruise the Rhine through CologneNativity scene in RudesheimKoblenz at nightSpring flowers in MannheimExplore quaint towns along the RhineBasel at Christmas, Switzerland
Highlights
  • Explore Basel, Switzerland's best-kept secret
  • Discover Breisach, Germany, gateway to the fabled Black Forest region
  • Experience Strasbourg, France, the capital of Christmas and Christmas markets
  • Immerse in the festive cheer of Rüdesheim, Germany
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Embark

Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. A city of charming canals, elegant gabled houses, splendid museums and abundant bicycles, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam is a delight to explore. Its patchwork of waterways forms about 90 islands connected by 1,500 bridges. The legacy of the Dutch Golden Age lives on in gilded manses and in the lush paintings of Rembrandt and other Dutch masters that adorn the Rijksmuseum, The Netherlands’ grand repository of art and cultural history. Discovering Amsterdam is a pleasure best pursued on foot; visitors line the tranquil canals and linger over Dutch pancakes, or take a stroopwafel to go.

Day 2: Scenic Sailing: Waal & Merwede | Dordrecht, The Netherlands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail the bucolic waters of the Rhine, deep into the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt Delta, as classic Dutch landscapes unfurl all around. Flat farmland, charming windmills and svelte poplar trees line the shores, and vast tracts of land stretch in all directions, growing all manner of bounty, from tomatoes to tulips. Gaze upon Friesian cows and tidy villages with their neatly laid farmhouses and marvel at how much of this land was reclaimed from the sea, with the aid of traditional windmills and the construction of dikes.

Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland. Throughout the city, there are hundreds of historic monuments and landmarks, including the Grote Kerk and the 13th-century Augustinian monastery known as Het Hof. The picturesque waterways and decorative bridges of Dordrecht exude a bygone era and are best explored on foot. The inner-city harbors are centuries old and lined with grand warehouses that have now been transformed into elegant homes. With a relaxed atmosphere and a plethora of quaint cafés and shops, Dordrecht oozes old-world charm.
 

Day 3: Cologne, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Themed winter markets feature across Cologne during the holiday season, inviting visitors to browse colorful market stalls for handmade gifts, beautiful artwork and colorful crafts. The towering Gothic Cologne Cathedral provides a stunning backdrop to the city’s festivities and array of offerings from its red wooden stalls. Beneath the pointed roofs of Cologne harbor’s tented market, unique crafted goods are displayed amid the twinkling lights of boats bobbing in the marina.

Day 4: Koblenz | Scenic Sailing | Middle Rhine | Rüdesheim, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Koblenz is a traditional German country town with a wine heritage that spans centuries; a key ingredient for the warming glühwein that is served from taverns and market stalls during the holiday season. The scent of cinnamon, cloves and spices waft from steaming mugs as the sounds of festivities fill the air from one of the many musical performances, creating a toe-tapping atmosphere. Centered around the Schängel fountain, the Koblenz Christmas market offers all the flavors of the yuletide season from its famous Christmas bakery.

The Rhine River flows through one of Germany’s most scenic regions. As you sail its most picturesque stretch, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Middle Rhine, you will pass vineyard-blanketed hills whose steep slopes require vintners to pick grapes by hand, keeping a centuries-old tradition alive. Splendid castles line the banks, all of which have stories to share, and the Lorelei Rock presides at a dramatic curve in the river. This infamous river maiden mesmerized sailors with her song and lured them to their demise at her feet.

 

Day 5: Mannheim | Speyer, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Mannheim’s Christmas market is a holiday season shopping extravaganza, centered around the city’s iconic water tower. One of Germany’s oldest and largest markets, more than 160 booths host vendors from around the world, offering handicrafts and handmade items. Beautiful glassware, and carved wooden toys and games, sit alongside Christmas lanterns, colorful baubles and ornaments, all of which are presented in quaint wooden houses. Luxurious cashmere scarves, sheepskin mittens and felt hats are the ideal purchase to take home as gifts for friends and family.

Speyer’s Old Town transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. With the historic Old Gate as a stunning backdrop, market stalls are brimming with yuletide treats, serving Christmas cookies and steaming mugs of aromatic glühwein. Skaters don their woolen hats and gloves, and take to the ice for some festive fun, while visitors browse for unique handmade gifts. The holiday atmosphere continues into January, bringing the opportunity for New Year merrymakers to enjoy the festivities and sample regional specialties, such as potato soup and yeast dumplings.

Day 6: Strasbourg, France

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Strasbourg is said to be the capital of Christmas in France, with the city’s cathedral square taking center stage as it is transformed into a winter wonderland. The city’s Christkindelsmärik is the oldest in France, dating back to 1570. Hundreds of stalls are brimming with colorful wares, fine food and mulled wine, bringing festive cheer in abundance. Alsatian specialties feature an array of hearty classics, from bretzels (soft, bread-like pretzels) to bredele (star-shaped spiced cookies), and knacks (sausages) to pain d’epices (gingerbread).

Day 7: Breisach, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Breisach is a gateway to the fabled Black Forest region, built on a basalt rock outcropping in the Rhine plain. It is located in one of the warmest parts of Germany, across the river from French Alsace, famous for its wine growing. But Breisach, too, can boast about its wine: it is home to Europe’s largest cellars, with a storage capacity of more than 160 million liters. The most prominent landmark of Breisach is the Romanesque-Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, built between the 12th and 13th centuries. Its two towers are visible from throughout the city and from the Rhine.

Day 8: Basel, Switzerland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
A delightful blend of old and new, Basel is Switzerland’s best-kept secret. During the holiday season, the medieval Old Town is transformed into a magical yuletide affair. Cobblestone streets are lined with wooden chalet-style huts selling all manner of festive treats and gifts. Visitors to the Christmas market can enjoy a warming cup of aromatic glühwein in a decorated boot-shaped mug. Hand-carved tree decorations, cheerfully painted ceramics and delicious food are sold from stalls throughout the city. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.

Ship/Hotel

Viking Cruises

Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,799
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Viking Ship
Select a Date
Standard Stateroom (F)
150 sq ft, river-view with half-height picture window. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Select a Date
Standard Stateroom (E)
150 sq ft, river-view with half-height picture window. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Select a Date
French Balcony Stateroom (D)
135 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door & French balcony. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Select a Date
French Balcony Stateroom (C)
135 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door with French balcony. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
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Veranda Stateroom (B)
205 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door & full-size veranda. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
Select a Date
Veranda Stateroom (A)
205 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door & full-size veranda. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
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Veranda Suite (AA)
275 sq ft, river-view with full-size veranda off separate sitting room & French balcony off sleeping quarters. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
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Explorer Suite (ES)
445 sq ft, river-view with private wraparound balcony off separate sitting room & French balcony off sleeping quarters. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.

Notes

*This itinerary runs departures aboard multiple sister-ships. Contact us for more details.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Visits to UNESCO Sites
  • Enrichment lectures & Destination Performances
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Drinks, beverages and meals not included in the package
  • Optional shore excursions/tours/concerts

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