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8 Days | Rhine Holiday Markets


Day 1 | Cologne, Germany. Arrive at Cologne Bonn Airport where you’ll be transferred to the ship. (D)

Day 2 | Cologne. Stroll through the narrow streets of Old Town as you make your way to the cathedral, the city’s beloved landmark and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cologne boasts no fewer than five Christmas Markets, so we have planned an entire day in this city for you to discover these markets at your own pace following the tour. Be sure to visit the Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market, as well as Alter Markt in front of the City Hall, Neumarkt in Cologne’s shopping area, and the Medieval Christmas Market in front of the Chocolate Museum. (BB, L, Captain’s Welcome Gala)

Note: No tours are given inside Cologne Cathedral on Sundays or Catholic holidays.

Day 3 | Koblenz. Cruise the Rhine. Rüdesheim. In the morning, you’ll begin your walking tour of Koblenz through romantic alleyways lined with halftimbered houses decorated for the season. You’ll pass by St. Castor’s Church, the Church of Our Lady, Schängel Fountain, and historic City Hall. Afterward, delight in the Koblenz Christmas Market with its dozens of wooden stands offering arts and crafts, spicy mulled wine, and sweet Christmas cakes. In the afternoon, you’ll cruise to Rüdesheim via the breathtaking 40 miles of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its 40 castles strung like pearls on the hillside, and the famous Lorelei Rock, the valley is the perfect example of the romantic Rhine. (BB, L, D)

Day 4 | Rüdesheim. Mainz. In the morning visit Rüdesheim that is located in the heart of the Rhine Valley. Rüdesheim has been a magnet for romantics ever since the early 19th century. Its rolling hills, historical monuments, and winding alleyways are a real treat. While in Rüdesheim, you’ll visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum and its unique collection of self-playing musical instruments. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in the town of Mainz, once home to Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. Stroll through Old Town and the city square, where you’ll see Kaiserdom, St. Stephan’s Church, and Kurfürstliche Schloss. Explore the St. Nicholas Christmas Market with 1,000 year-old St. Martin’s Cathedral as a backdrop. (BB, L, D)

Day 5 | Germersheim (Heidelberg). Situated on the banks of the Neckar River, Heidelberg is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities and one of the best-preserved Medieval cities in Europe. It is also home to one of Germany’s oldest universities. Your tour of Heidelberg takes you past the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle, a once-fortified castle, and through Old Town, which is all dressed up for the holidays. You’ll have ample time to explore the Heidelberg Christmas Market, which spans over five squares. Marvel at the Christmas Pyramid rotating inside the tower at the Marktplatz, or take a ride on the carousel. (BB, D)

Day 6 | Kehl, France (Strasbourg). Situated halfway between Paris and Prague, Strasbourg is known as “The Crossroads of Europe” and home of the magnificent, single-spire Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral as well as many beautiful halftimbered houses. See Strasbourg as it has been seen through the centuries—on a canal cruise. Enjoy Petite France, which is especially picturesque at this time of year. And visit the oldest Christmas Market in France in a breathtaking setting right in front of Strasbourg’s Gothic cathedral. (BB, L, D)

Day 7 | Basel, Switzerland. Your city walk introduces you to Basel, Switzerland’s second-largest city. Delight in Basel’s Christmas Market, located in the heart of historic Old Town, and visit the illuminated Christmas Street, which is beautifully decorated with over 100 Christmas trees. (BB, L, Captain’s Farewell Dinner)

Day 8 | Basel. Disembark the ship and transfer to EuroAirport Basel-Mullhouse-Freiburg for your flight home. (CB/BB)

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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