Holiday Markets Cruise ~ The Festive Rhine River

Holiday Markets Cruise ~ The Festive Rhine River

Embrace the joyous Old-World holiday spirit in Germany and France on a seven-night, first-class Rhine River cruise! Explore enchanting, festive markets decked out for the holidays with twinkling lights and shop for handmade treasures. Stroll through charming medieval towns, enjoy a special musical performance in Heidelberg’s romantic old town and taste delicious seasonal treats. Plus, customize your journey with a choice of excursions, such as wine tastings, culinary tours or cultural experiences, in the ports of Breisach, Strasbourg, Rüdesheim and Düsseldorf.

Trip Itinerary:

December 10 Düsseldorf, Germany

December 11 Düsseldorf, Germany

Arrive at Düsseldorf Airport, where your AHI Travel Representative will be waiting to escort you to the ship. After settling into your cabin, get acquainted with your fellow travelers during tonight’s Welcome Reception and Dinner.

December 12 Düsseldorf

Your choices today include (1) a scenic/walking tour of Düsseldorf, famous for its half-mile stretch of more than 250 bars, cafés and breweries or (2) a trip to Aachen, Emperor Charlemagne’s historic capital, to visit the richly decorated cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the holiday market. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy free time in the afternoon to explore Düsseldorf’s seven themed Christkindlmarkts.

December 13 Cologne

This morning, learn about cherished German holiday traditions. Then, on a guided walking tour in the old town, see Cologne’s landmarks and marvel at the awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral. Topped by two ornate spires, it was under construction for more than 630 years. Step inside to see the stone columns soaring toward the vaulted ceiling. After lunch on the ship, take a complimentary shuttle to the city center and make your own plans. At the holiday market outside the cathedral, shop for blown-glass ornaments, colorfully painted nutcrackers and handcrafted decorations.

December 14 Rhine Gorge | Rüdesheim | Personalize Your Journey

Stand at the ship’s rail and take in the stunning Rhine Gorge, a gently curving section dotted with some 40 castles and fortress ruins. In the port of Rüdesheim, choose from (1) a guided old town tour and a visit to a captivating museum of mechanical musical instruments or (2) a trip to the beautiful Abbey of St. Hildegard and a tasting at a winery. The ship cruises to Mannheim tonight.

December 15 Mannheim | Heidelberg

Disembark in Mannheim and journey to nearby Heidelberg. Tour hilltop Heidelberg Castle overlooking the Neckar River valley, then stroll through the romantic historic center and along the banks of the river. Relax afterward over a lunch of traditional dishes and delight in the cozy atmosphere that Germans call gemütlichkeit. Spend some time exploring on your own before relishing a wonderful musical treat, an exclusive performance of holiday songs, arias and contemporary songs by a trio. This evening, the ship cruises to Strasbourg.

December 16 Strasbourg, France | Personalize Your Journey

In the Alsatian capital, select from (1) a scenic/walking tour that highlights Strasbourg’s unique mix of German and French architecture and includes a visit to the splendid Notre Dame Cathedral or (2) a delectable culinary tour of Strasbourg’s small winstubs, wine pubs, and other local cafés and shops. During free time, meander within Strasbourg’s luminous marché de Noël, one of France’s oldest holiday markets established in 1570. Later, back on the ship, learn about cherished German holiday traditions. Then, gather together to savor a mug of Glühwein, a warm wintertime favorite made with red wine, spices and citrus.

December 17 Breisach, Germany | Freiburg | Personalize Your Journey

Head to Freiburg, a vibrant university city, to see its medieval landmarks on a guided stroll and visit the merry Christkindlmarkt. Return to the ship for a refreshing lunch. Next, choose an excursion in France’s Alsace region: (1) a walking tour and winery visit in Riquewihr, a charming medieval village set in a small valley near the Vosges Mountains or (2) a trip to Colmar, where four magical holiday markets brighten the intimate old town. Celebrate your yuletide journey at tonight’s Farewell Reception and Dinner.

December 18 Basel, Switzerland | Depart for home city

After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow travelers. Disembark the ship in Basel and transfer to the airport in Zürich for your return flight home.

NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions.


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