One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this winter wonderland journey along the Rhine River. Begin in Switzerland for your Rhine River cruise through France, Germany, and Holland, and delight in the festive lights, decorations, and culinary treats of each Christmas market along the way. Board your vessel in Basel, Switzerland, then head for Breisach, Germany, the gateway to the unrivaled beauty of the Black Forest. Enjoy the first Christmas market on your Rhine River cruise, in the area known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. Continue your European river cruise to Strasbourg, France—home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe with a spectacular Christmas tree as its centerpiece. Visit Heidelberg’s castle ruins towering above the city, and watch the skaters on the ice rink below. Browse the charming Christmas market in Mainz, and enjoy a guided walk through town, and tour the Gutenberg Museum. Sail to charming Rüdesheim, home to Europe’s largest nativity scene, and pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge on your way to the 2,000-year-old city of Cologne. Wander through Cologne’s brilliant Christmas market, and try traditional Lebkuchen and Glühwein. You’ll visit Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam, and take a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.”
Day 1 Lucerne, Switzerland: welcome to SwitzerlandDay 2 Lucerne: Guided walking tour with the Lion Monument and Chapel BridgeDay 3 Lucerne, Mount Pilatus—Basel (Embarkation): excursion to Mount Pilatus (in case of bad weather, visit the Swiss Transport Museum instead); onboard welcome receptionDay 4 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: choice of Black Forest Excursion, or guided tour in Colmar; Christmas marketDay 5 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas marketDay 6 Excursion to Heidelberg. Mainz: excursion to Heidelberg, guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat; guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, free time for Christmas marketDay 7 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat; Christmas market; cruise through the Rhine GorgeDay 8 Cologne: guided city walk; Christmas market Day 9 Amsterdam: canal cruiseDay 10 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning
In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.Christmas markets are open from the first weekend in December, depending on the location.