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AMAWATERWAYS
12 Days | Christmas Markets on the Rhine
Southbound


AMSTERDAM TO ZURICH

Day 1 | Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Embark. Arrive in Amsterdam and board your luxurious river cruise ship. (D)

Day 2 | Amsterdam. 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. (B,L,D)

Day 3 | Cologne, Germany. 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. (B,L,D)

Day 4 | Cruising the Rhine Gorge. Rudesheim. Cruise through the castle-laden Rhine River Gorge before reaching the winemaking town of Rüdesheim. Once in Rüdesheim, you will 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. You’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy Christmas traditions from all over the world at Rüdesheim Christmas Market. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | Mannheim. You have the choice to explore two of Germany's historically rich cities, along with their festive Christmas Markets. Visit Heidelberg, a city that will capture 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. You'll also 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). (B,L,D)

Day 6 | Strasbourg, France. 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. (B,L,D)

Day 7 | Breisach, Germany. 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 historical architecture, as well as famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate. Alternatively, you may wish to go to two other gems. Visit Freiburg, founded in 1120, and home to Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone, as well as an enchanting Christmas Market. Those wishing a more active excursion will want to cycle through the scenic countryside. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | Basel, Switzerland. Disembark. Lucerne. Disembark your ship and board a motorcoach to Lucerne. Visit the Lion Monument, built to honor the Swiss Guards who fought for King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. You'll then get acquainted with the city on a walking tour along with a visit to the Christmas Market before checking into your hotel. (B)

Day 9 | Lucerne. Enjoy a day at leisure soaking up the festive atmosphere of this medieval gem situated on Lake Lucerne. Wander through its Christmas Market located at the Franziskanerplatz and enjoy the festive atmosphere with a mug of holiday cheer, glühwein. (B)

Day 10 | Lucerne. Zurich. Cruise across the tranquil waters of Lake Lucerne to Vitznau, where you will board a motorcoach for a scenic drive through the countryside to Zurich, which seamlessly blends its historic past with its progressive future. Experience the magic of Zurich dressed in her holiday best. Join a walking tour followed by a visit to the 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. (B)

Day 11 | Zurich. Spend the day exploring Switzerland’s second largest city at your leisure. (B)

Day 12 | Zurich. After breakfast, bid farewell to Switzerland and prepare for your return flight home. (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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SOUTHBOUND ITINERARY
12 DAYS | AMSTERDAM TO ZURICH
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