A festive journey destined to delight travelers of all ages.
Switzerland, France and Germany provide the perfect backdrop for this true connoisseur’s Christmas market cruise. Discover the roots of our Christmas traditions as you explore some of Europe’s most charming towns. Browse for unique ornaments in Basel’s Christmas Market. Sip vin chaud as you stroll to Place Kléber to behold the enormous, brilliantly lighted tree that Strasbourg offers modern celebrants. See how the baroque town hall of Koblenz is transformed into an Advent calendar and find unexpected treasures in the red-roofed stalls clustered around Cologne’s magnificent cathedral.
Savor tantalizing once-a-year treats with Uniworld’s “Taste of Christmas” program, including gingerbread, crepes with cinnamon and warm spiced wine. Revel in brightly painted carousels and handmade ornaments, medieval squares illuminated by twinkling lights, life-sized Nativity figures and joyful brass choirs. Sail through castle-strewn hillsides and visit charming towns decked in holiday finery for a holiday season you will never forget.
Who will enjoy this cruise? Shoppers searching for unique gifts, and Christmas enthusiasts looking for the origins of many cherished holiday traditions. Anyone who loves seasonal treats and festive holiday decorations and lights.
Arrive at Cologne Bonn Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer, or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
Your local expert will show you favorite haunts around the Old Town and share some of the cathedral’s most intriguing and magical secrets with you.
Koblenz, Cruising the romantic Rhine River
This morning, you’ll reach the famous intersection of the Rhine and the Moselle. Here, where the two rivers meet, you’ll find the enchanting town of Koblenz. Watch the waters of the Moselle gush into the Rhine as you stand on the spit of land called German Corner before embarking on a walking tour of Koblenz’s historical treasures. Later, spend a spectacular afternoon onboard your luxurious boutique ship as you sail the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stretch of the Rhine is extraordinarily picturesque: Castles perch atop steep cliffs above the water and each quaint village is marked by the spire of its historic church.
Your day begins in Rüdesheim, which, like many cities along the Rhine, dates back to Roman times, when the Rhine was the northern border of the empire. Today, Rüdesheim is famous for its beauty and its entertaining alley of shops and wine bars called the Drosselgasse. Then you’ll head back to the ship for a short cruise to Mainz. Mainz’s Old Town brims with specialty shops tucked into lovingly restored buildings. You’ll find jewelry, leather goods, books, toys—something special for every special person on your list. Or opt to explore neighboring Wiesbaden’s Christmas Market.
Wake up and choose your adventure for the day. Today you’ll have two choices: Venture into the storied city of Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in the country, or visit the Doktorenhof vinegar estate for a special vinegar tasting. The atmospheric cellar is like no other you’ll ever experience, and the candlelit tasting room is decked for the holidays. If you speak no German, here’s one phrase you might want to learn now: “Fröhliche Weihnachten,” or “Merry Christmas!”
Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, a rather overused word that in this case is perfectly apropos. It’s also been known as the “Crossroads of Europe” for its strategic location halfway between Paris and Prague. With a friendly local expert, see this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops that will win your heart. You won’t want to miss the holiday treats like bûche de Noël, the delicious Christmas cake made to look like a yule log.
Basel is a cultural and artistic powerhouse, with all sorts of galleries, theaters and museums. And at this time of year, the city’s Christmas Market draws visitors from all over Europe, as does its Christmas Street, lined with more than 100 beautifully decorated and illuminated Christmas trees. Do you have a special wish for Christmas? Write it in the Wish Book, which lies open in Basel’s 17th-century Town Hall during Advent, waiting for residents and visitors to express their hopes and dreams for the holiday—or for the world.
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer, or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg for your flight home.