Rhine Christmas Markets with Switzerland

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Rhine Christmas Markets with Switzerland

Tour Description:

Travel in luxury from Zurich to Amsterdam on this 12-day cruise and tour. Take in the highlights of the Rhine & Switzerland including Lucerne, Montreux & Strasbourg.
Itinerary also travels in reverse.

Map for Rhine Christmas Markets with Switzerland
Click for larger view.

Dates & Pricing

Monday 25 Nov 24 — Friday 06 Dec 24Starting at $11,205Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Thursday 28 Nov 24 — Monday 09 Dec 24Starting at $11,205Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Sunday 08 Dec 24 — Thursday 19 Dec 24Starting at $11,705Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Tuesday 10 Dec 24 — Saturday 21 Dec 24Starting at $11,705Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Monday 01 Dec 25 — Friday 12 Dec 25Starting at $12,265Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Thursday 04 Dec 25 — Monday 15 Dec 25Starting at $12,265Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Sunday 07 Dec 25 — Thursday 18 Dec 25Starting at $12,265Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 10 Dec 25 — Sunday 21 Dec 25Starting at $12,265Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Monday 15 Dec 25 — Friday 26 Dec 25Starting at $12,265Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Check Mark Icon Disclaimer: Prices listed are per person, based on double occupancy, and in USD. All promotions are valid for new bookings only, capacity controlled and valid on select dates and departures. Individual Terms and Conditions will apply to all promotions. Any promotion can be withdrawn at any time without notice. Please speak with your Pavlus Travel Planner for complete vendor terms and conditions, including eligible tour and cruise dates.


Welcome to Switzerland and the city of Zurich, the largest in the country and one of the most liveable in the world. Here, residents cycle along wide streets, relax in leafy parks and dine under the stars in open-air restaurants. It’s known as a global financial centre, but there’s also one of Europe’s most eclectic cultural scenes, world-class contemporary art and a fascinating history.  Check in to your historic hotel in Zurich for an overnight stay.

Zurich > Lucerne > Bern
Set off on foot this morning for a walking tour with a local guide. Zurich is one of the world’s great walking cities, with a flat centre, many pedestrian-only streets and historic bridges. Wander along the Bahnhofstrasse, the city’s main street that’s lined with glamorous boutiques and international flagship stores. Straddling both sides of the Limmat River, Zurich’s Old Town is a pleasant jumble of tiny laneways, cobbled squares and medieval buildings. Don’t miss St Peter’s Church, where the original 9th century foundations are still visible beneath the chancel and the iconic twin towers of the Grossmünster church.  Then, travel through the impossibly pretty town of Lucerne. Perched on the edge of the spectacular Lake Lucerne, you’ll find exquisite medieval architecture, a 685-year-old wooden footbridge (the oldest in Europe), and glimpses of the majestic Alps in the distance.   Arriving in Bern check in to your luxurious hotel for some well-deserved rest.

Bern > Montreux
It’s back on the road this morning for your first taste of the Swiss Alps in the village of Gstaad. A favourite with the international jet set, Gstaad is renowned as a ski resort in winter and an outdoor adventure playground in summer. The first thing you’ll see is the magnificent Gstaad Palace hotel, which looks like a fairytale castle perched above the tiny village. Stroll through the chic shopping district and admire the jaw-dropping views.  Wind your way back down to the lakeside town of Montreux. It sits on the edge of Lake Geneva, one of the largest lakes in Western Europe that is shared between Switzerland and France. Montreux is known as the Swiss Riviera for its stunning scenery, charming waterfront, perfect climate and chic lifestyle.  Check in to your hotel for a two night stay. It’s just a few steps from the shore of the lake, and offers elegant rooms, fine Swiss cuisine and an indulgent spa. 

Why not take the opportunity to wake early and walk along a section of the path that runs around the shore of Lake Geneva. There are beautiful views over the calm water, with boats bobbing at anchor and mountains in the distance. You can join the path right out the front of the hotel. You’ll be thankful you made time for some exercise, because today you’re going to dive into the gooey cheese culture of Montreux.  Enrich Today’s Scenic Enrich: All aboard the cheese train: Delight in a panoramic train journey to Château-d’Oex. Upon arrival you’ll view traditional cheese-making at the Restaurant Le Chalet. The restaurant makes its own cheese, and in your private demonstration, the cheesemaker will transform milk into hard cheese right in front of your eyes.

Montreux > Basel
Transfer today to Basel where you will be greeted by your friendly crew and welcomed on board your Scenic Space-Ship.

Kehl > Strasbourg
Enjoy a leisurely morning sailing towards Kehl. Relax in the sunshine on the Sun Deck as you relish the scenery rolling by. Arrive in the city of Kehl, the gateway to Strasbourg, this afternoon. It’s the capital city of the Alsace region, where sherbert-coloured, half-timbered houses heave together on the banks of a complex network of canals.  On its central island, the UNESCO-listed Grand Ile, is the Petite France district, so named for the 15th century hospital that was built here for patients suffering from syphilis, ‘the French disease’. It is also known as the Tanners’ Quarters, thanks to its medieval industries. Its meandering cobbled laneways are lined with a medley of buildings with shuttered windows and bright flowerboxes.  Enjoy a guided walking tour of this charming town, taking in many of its most important sights including the Cathedral, Petit France, the Grand Ile and its beautiful canals. Strasbourg is located on the border of France and Germany and ownership of the town has changed hands many times between the two countries. Due to this, Strasbourg is a unique mixture of both French and German architecture and culture. You will be driven to Strasbourg, passing many notable sites, including the European Parliament on your way.  After your guided tour you have free time to explore the magical markets. Strasbourg has some of the largest and most popular Christmas markets in Europe with the town squares and pedestrian zone coming alive with festive cheer.

Rastatt > Baden-Baden
This morning you will arrive in Rastatt. Enjoy a delicious, hearty breakfast in Crystal Dining before your excursion to Baden Baden, famous for its Roman baths. Located on the fringes of the Black Forest, this luxurious town was a favoured summer escape during the Belle Epoque and is World Heritage listed as part of the Great Spa Towns of Europe. It oozes relaxation, has tranquil green spaces, many pretty public gardens, and grand historical architecture.   Freechoice: Choose to spend this morning the way you want with Scenic Freechoice: Walking tour of Baden Baden: Walk in the steps of the upper class, who enjoyed this spa town as a summer retreat in the 19th century. See the elegant Kurhaus, a plush spa resort built in the 1820s with a casino and luxury shopping in its colonnade and explore the remains of Roman baths. Spa visit: What better way to enjoy the splendours of the town than relaxing and rejuvenating in the thermal baths at Caracella Spa, permanently and naturally heated by thermal waters some 2,000 metres under the Earth’s surface. Comprising numerous baths, guests can soak in these waters said to possess healing properties, at your leisure. This afternoon, choose to stay in Baden Baden and enjoy the Christmas Markets, with around 100 beautifully decorated huts and stalls set up in front of the Kurhaus. Pick up handmade gifts, sample local festive treats or take a turn around the ice rink. You can also choose to return to your Scenic Space-Ship for lunch and take the time to relax on board. Soak up the opulence of your suite, many of which have a window that converts into a Scenic Sun Lounge, allowing you uninterrupted views of the Rhine. If you feel like something more active after your morning in the spa town, head to the state-of-the-art gym for an invigorating workout.

You will arrive in Mannheim early this morning. Known as a ‘chessboard city’ for its streets that were methodically laid out like a grid in the 17th century, it is also famous as the home of some of the world’s most brilliant engineering minds, including Carl Benz, founder of Mercedes-Benz who set up his workshop in the city. Nearby, the city of Heidelberg is a truly romantic setting, with an 18th-century arch bridge that straddles the Necker River and a 16th-century ruined castle on the hillside looming above town.   Freechoice: Today we have a selection of Scenic Freechoice on offer: Orientation Tour of Heidelberg with free time: From Mannheim, you will transfer by coach to Heidelberg. Enjoy a brief walking tour of Heidelberg, including the old town, and then enjoy some free time. The walking tour is not too strenuous but there are some stairs and uneven ground. Historical tour of Heidelberg: As well as a guided tour of Heidelberg, this option includes a visit to Heidelberg Castle, one of the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. Explore the courtyard, the balcony that offers an incredible view over the Old Town and view the great Heidelberg Tun, the world’s largest Wine Barrel located in the castle’s Cellar. Enjoy some free time before returning to your Scenic Space-Ship via coach. The walking tour is not too strenuous but there are some stairs and uneven ground. Excursion to Bad Durkheim: From Mannheim, it’s a short drive through stunning vine-covered landscapes to Bad Durkheim. On arrival, visit Fitz Ritter, a 9th generation family-owned vineyard that offers exceptional quality wine.  You will have the opportunity to taste some during your guided tour. Enrich Scenic Enrich - Private classical concert: Enjoy a private evening concert at a fine Baroque Palace. Be greeted to the Palace with a welcome drink before witnessing the grandeur of the theatre room and taking in a fabulous classical concert. Your memorable performance will feature accomplished musicians and a soloist.

This morning you will cruise along the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. This 65-kilometre stretch of the river is dotted with some 40 hilltop castles and fortresses that span a period of 1000 years. Sailing down this section of the river is like being transported through the pages of a fairytale.   The Rhine abounds in myths, legends and folklore that have been passed on for generations, including the story of Lorelei. This enchanting woman was betrayed by her sweetheart and spent her days bewitching men. As her punishment, she was sent to a nunnery, however on her way she jumped to her death in the river. Legend has her spirit casting spells on sailors who passed the rock, where a bronze statue sits today.     You will arrive in Koblenz after lunch. Located where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet, Koblenz is a melange of French and German cultures and one of Germany’s oldest cities with a history spanning 2,000 years. Koblenz is surrounded by vineyards, forest and mountain ranges and is also known as the gateway to the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. During the festive season, the city sparkles with thousands of lights strung along the streets and many buildings illuminated with colourful projections.   Freechoice: This afternoon, explore the way you want with Scenic Freechoice: Guided walking tour of Koblenz: Join your guide through one of the oldest cities in Germany. Explore the Florinsmarkt, the former political and economic centre of the city. On your way through the winding streets of the old town you will see impressive townhouses, each with its own unique history, charming squares and historic churches. Excursion to Cochem: Journey to the town of Cochem, a medieval gem resting on the banks of the Moselle River. Cochem will make you feel as if you are stepping directly into a medieval romance; the traditional town is nestled on the riverbanks, with pastel-coloured buildings, half-timbered houses, cobbled laneways and an enchanting hilltop castle surrounded by sloped vineyards. You will transfer via minibus to Reichsburg Castle, which dates to the Middle Ages. Enjoy a guided tour of the castle, which features a knight’s hall, trophy room and cellars, before wandering down to the Old Town seeing many historic buildings along the way.

You will arrive in Cologne early this morning, a city known for its liberal and laidback lifestyle, a unique beer culture, thriving auto industry and the jaw-dropping cathedral that dominates its skyline. Settled by the Romans, this major cultural centre for the Rhineland was built during the Middle Ages but was largely destroyed during WWII. The magnificent Gothic cathedral, an enormous World Heritage site that dates to 1248, was badly damaged but remained standing tall above the ruins of the city.  Take the time to discover Cologne on a walking tour. Wander the laneways of the historical Old Town, which is home to many breweries serving up draft Kolsch beer. Enjoy some free time to visit the citys centrepiece and icon, Cologne Cathedral. The Kolner Dom, as it is known locally, is also the location for magnificent Christmas Markets and after your guided tour there is plenty of time to wander the wooden stalls where local venders sell delicious treats and decorations. Don’t forget to look out for the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland. Your Scenic Space-Ship will depart just before dinner, allowing you plenty of time to be immersed in the tastes and scents of Christmas, like hot chestnuts, freshly baked gingerbread and mulled wine, all on offer in this lovely town.

This afternoon we arrive in Amsterdam. The Netherland’s capital city is a treasure trove of architectural beauty, masterpiece-filled galleries, tranquil scenes of boats putting along 16th-century canals, narrow cobbled laneways filled with boutiques and cafes, and streets busy with cyclists criss-crossing their way about town. Often referred to as the Venice of the North, much of the UNESCO-listed canal system exists today as it did hundreds of years ago, lined with well-preserved canal houses and intersected by charming bridges.  Freechoice: The choice is yours, explore your way with one of today’s Scenic Freechoice: Canal cruise: Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometres of canals and today you will see some of the prettiest sights of the city from these historical waterways. This one-hour cruise takes you along the Gentleman’s Canal, where you will see The Skinny Bridge, and The Prince’s Canal, which was known for its warehouses. You will go past the Old Lord Mayor’s House, The Seven Bridges, Anne Frank’s House and head to the Brewer’s Canal. As the historic centre glides past, you can admire the elegant merchant’s residences, churches and warehouses, dating from the Golden Age. Walking tour of Amsterdam: Explore Amsterdam on foot today, discovering the maze of canals and bridges in the city centre. Your guide will be covering history, modern lifestyle and Dutch culture. You also get to taste herring, a local delicacy not to be missed. Cycling tour: Take a small ferry to the outskirts of town for a biking tour. Amsterdam is known as the bicycle capital of the world, with more bikes than cars and more than 35,000 kilometres of cycle paths. Your local guide will be at hand to offer information about everyday life of the Dutch people, many of whom you will see getting around on two wheels. 

After a hearty breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Amsterdam airport for your onward or homebound flight.  This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions.  ^Massage/spa treatments at additional cost.

Check Mark Disclaimer: Prices listed are per person, based on double occupancy, and in USD. All promotions are valid for new bookings only, capacity controlled and valid on select dates and departures. Individual Terms and Conditions will apply to all promotions. Any promotion can be withdrawn at any time without notice. Please speak with your Pavlus Travel Planner for complete vendor terms and conditions, including eligible tour and cruise dates.