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Christmas Markets on the Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel)

Spend 2 nights in Zürich, 2 nights in Lucerne, then enjoy a 7-night cruise from Basel to Amsterdam

  • Price starts at: $2899
  • Tour length: 8 Days
  • Trip Type: River Cruise

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Available Dates

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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
(click for larger version)
Itinerary map of Christmas Markets on the Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel)>

Day 1

ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – EMBARKATION. Arrive in charming Amsterdam and board your luxurious river cruise ship. Meet your fellow travelers tonight at the Welcome Dinner. (D)

Day 2

AMSTERDAM. The famous canals of Amsterdam await discovery on your city tour. Begin with a scenic canal cruise and see the tall narrow homes lining the water, the Skinny Bridge, and the house where Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding during WWII. Next, you’ll walk to Begijnhof, known for its historic buildings dating back to the Middle Ages and have some free time to explore. Later, enjoy a panoramic city tour on which you’ll see the Royal Palace, Westerkerk and stop for photos at a Dutch windmill before returning to the ship. This afternoon depart for Germany. (B,L,D)

Day 3

COLOGNE, GERMANY. The ship arrives in Cologne around lunchtime. You will have a guided tour of the city, strolling through the Old Town and Cathedral Square, and visiting the fabled Gothic cathedral. This evening, you will experience the elaborate Christmas Market in Cathedral Square, one of Europe’s largest and most renowned. The ship cruises overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 4

RÜDESHEIM. This morning, cruise through the picturesque Rhine Gorge, admiring its many castles and fortress ruins and the legendary Lorelei Rock. This afternoon you will arrive in the winemaking town of Rüdesheim where you will have the option to take one of three excursions: wine tasting with a local vintner, a gondola ride above the town to see the Niederwalddenkmal Statue, or a guided bike tour along the Rhine River to one of Germany's best wine regions. Later you’ll have free time to shop at the town’s Christmas Market and explore the Drosselgasse, the town’s most famous and charming street, a narrow passage lined with shops and taverns. This evening, visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, home to a remarkable collection of old robotic and self-playing musical instruments, or join us for some Rüdesheimer Coffee. The ship sails overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 5

MANNHEIM – HEIDELBERG. Arrive in Mannheim, where you have a choice between three excursions this afternoon. Your first option is a half-day excursion to the historic university town of Heidelberg, where you will visit the red-walled castle with its Great Vat (a 49,000-gallon wine cask) and enjoy beautiful views of the Neckar Valley and city below. You can also opt to visit the Mannheim Baroque Palace, intended to be the second largest Baroque palace complex in Europe. It was designed to highlight the important role of the Palatine Prince Electors in the Holy Roman Empire. As a third option you can enjoy a tour of Speyer one of Germany’s oldest cities, known for its cathedral, numerous churches and the medieval Altpörtel (Old Gate). You will have time later to visit the local Christmas Markets. This evening, the ship continues onward to Strasbourg, France. (B,L,D)

Day 6

STRASBOURG, FRANCE. Capital city of France’s Alsace region, Strasbourg is situated on the Rhine at the German border. After arriving this morning, enjoy one of three excursions. The first option is a panoramic tour that will take you past the Orangery, the European Parliament and the Place de Republique. Afterwards, explore on foot with a walking tour of the lovely “La Petite France” neighborhood, where you will see the Gothic cathedral with its famous astronomical clock, and have a chance to visit Strasbourg’s famous Christmas Market – said to be the oldest and best in all of France. Your other options are a bike tour to the Old Town, or a hike that starts at the Orangery and makes its way to the cathedral. The remainder of the day is yours to spend as you wish. The ship moors in Strasbourg overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 7

BREISACH, GERMANY. You have two exciting excursions to choose from today. The first is a walking tour of Riquewihr, a picturesque town renowned for its historic architecture and for its Riesling wines, followed by time at the town’s Christmas Market. A second option is a walking tour of the beautiful towns of Breisach and Freiburg, where you will visit the historical city center and Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone. You will also visit Christmas Markets here. Your third option is guided bike tour of Breisach that takes you through the Rheinau woods. Tonight, the ship cruises towards Switzerland. (B,L,D)

Day 8

BASEL – DISEMBARKATION. Disembark your cruise in Basel. (B)


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
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