Holiday Markets Cruise – New Departure Added!

Holiday Markets Cruise – New Departure Added!

Feel the magic of the holidays in France, Germany and Switzerland on a seven-night Rhine River cruise. Celebrate centuries-old traditions and shop festive markets overflowing with handmade decorations, toys, jewelry and other treasures. Delight in the sounds of carolers and bells and the scent of nutmeg, cinnamon and fresh pine in the air. Sip warm spicy Glühwein on the ship. Visit a hillside castle and enjoy a musical performance in Heidelberg.  Admire Cologne’s spectacular Gothic cathedral, the red sandstone landmarks of bustling Freiburg, and the pastel-colored houses of charming Breisach. Personalize your cruise with a variety of included excursion choices in Basel, Breisach, Rüdesheim and Strasbourg, such as a wine tasting, art tour or culinary experience. Aboard your first-class ship, revel in the beauty of the Rhine Gorge. This heartwarming journey includes a generous meal plan, plus wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner. There is no supplement for solo travelers.

Trip Itinerary:

December 11 Depart Gateway City

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Frankfurt, Germany. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: FRA.

Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service

December 12 Frankfurt, Germany | Cologne

Arrive at Frankfurt Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Cruise Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to the pier in Cologne and embark the MS Amadeus Silver III. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your cabin may not be immediately available.

Tonight, get to know your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception and Dinner.

Accommodations – MS Amadeus Silver III
Meals – Dinner

December 13 Cologne

Enrichment: German Holiday Traditions. From Advent wreaths to Christmas baking, cherished seasonal customs have been handed down from one generation to the next. Discover some of the favorite traditions in German households.

Discovery: Cologne.
Activity level: Moderate
Germany’s oldest major city, Cologne takes pride in its vibrant cultural scene and its awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral. Topped by two ornately decorated spires, the Dom was under construction for more than 630 years. During a guided walking tour of the old town, marvel at the cathedral’s impressive exterior as you stand in the Domplatz and then step inside to see the stone columns soaring upward toward the vaulted ceiling.

Enjoy lunch on board the ship.

Free Time: The afternoon is at leisure to explore Cologne on your own. Complimentary shuttles between the ship and the city center will be available.

The ship departs Cologne for Rüdesheim.

Accommodations – MS Amadeus Silver III
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

December 14 Rhine Gorge | Rüdesheim

This morning, sail through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley en route to Rüdesheim. This scenic gorge is the most famous stretch of the Rhine River. Here, vines that produce the area’s famous Riesling grapes lace the hills rising from the riverbank. Some 40 castles, built during the Holy Roman Empire, stand imposingly on the terraced hills, and fortified towns and villages once doubled as toll stations for passing ships.

Folk tales have developed around the Loreley Rock for centuries; the one most associated with it stems from a 19th-century German Romantic poem involving a beautiful, but spurned, sorceress, who upon being convicted of luring men to their deaths, jumped to her own death from the rock. Subsequent writers, most famously poet Heinrich Heine, elaborated on the theme. In Heine’s 1823 poem, “Die Lorelei,” Loreley was a siren whose bewitching song caused passing sailors to crash their ships on the rocks. UNESCO honored this section of the Middle Rhine Valley as a cultural landscape because of how societies have used and developed the valley over thousands of years. The Rhine has been a crucial trade route during that time, and as such it has fostered the mingling of northern and southern European cultures.

The ship arrives in Rüdesheim this afternoon.

Personalize Your Journey | Choose one of the following excursions.
Rüdesheim Walking Tour.
Activity level: Moderate
Rhine Wine Tasting.
Activity level: Moderate

The ship sails to Speyer tonight.

Accommodations – MS Amadeus Silver III
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

December 15 Speyer | Heidelberg

The ship arrives in Speyer, Germany, this morning.

Discovery: Heidelberg.
Activity level: Moderate
Visit the nearby city of Heidelberg, and step inside the red sandstone walls of Heidelberg Castle, which stands watch over the Neckar Valley. Inside the Fassbau, the Barrel Building, see the immense wine barrel, which once held 34,342 gallons of wine. It was built in 1591 to store the wine collected as taxes. Then stroll through the city center, passing the Student Jail, Old University and the cathedral, and walk along the banks of the Neckar River.

Relax afterward at a restaurant in the area, where you’ll savor traditional German dishes and delight in the comfortable, cozy atmosphere that Germans call “gemütlichkeit.”

Free Time: Spend some time exploring on your own in Heidelberg’s historic center.

Later, enjoy a special musical performance in town. Listen to an entertaining mix of holiday songs, arias and contemporary pieces as you enjoy seasonal refreshments.

Return to the ship for dinner.

The ship departs Speyer this evening.

Accommodations – MS Amadeus Silver III
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

December 16 Strasbourg, France

Personalize Your Journey | Choose one of the following excursions.
Strasbourg Panorama.
Activity level: Moderate
Culinary Strasbourg.
Activity level: Moderate

Return to the ship for lunch.

Free Time: This afternoon, take advantage of a complimentary shuttle from the ship to the Strasbourg city center. Stroll through the city on your own, and visit the holiday market. Established in 1570, it is touted as being France’s oldest “marché de Noël,” as the French holiday markets are known. Stay warm with a mug of mulled wine and immerse yourself in the festive holiday spirit!

This evening, gather for a Glühwein party with your shipmates. If you haven’t already tried it at one of the holiday markets, you’ll delight in this warm concoction of cloves, cinnamon, citrus and red wine, a wintertime favorite!

The ship departs for Breisach, Germany, tonight.

Accommodations – MS Amadeus Silver III
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

December 17 Breisach, Germany | Freiburg

Discovery: Freiburg and Breisach.
Activity level: Moderate
Begin your walking tour of the German towns of Freiburg and Breisach near the storied Black Forest. In Freiburg, explore the lively Augustinerplatz in the center of town, noted for the Freiburg Münster, the historic 11th-century cathedral decorated with vibrant stained-glass windows and lacy spires. Continue to Breisach, full of pastel-colored houses and cobbled lanes.

Return to the ship for lunch.

Personalize Your Journey | Choose one of the following excursions.
Riquewihr and the Wines of the Alsace.
Activity level: Moderate
Colmar Markets.
Activity level: Moderate

Return to the ship for dinner.

The ship departs for Basel, Switzerland.

Accommodations – MS Amadeus Silver III
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

December 18 Basel, Switzerland

The ship arrives in Basel early this morning.

Spend the day exploring Basel, a vibrant city on the Rhine River in the northwest corner of Switzerland near the French and German borders.

Personalize Your Journey | Choose one of the following excursions.
Alemannia Basel.
Activity level: Active
The Way of Arts in Basel.
Activity level: Moderate

Return to the ship for lunch.

This afternoon, take advantage of complimentary shuttles between the ship and the Basel city center. Explore the market and the city on your own.

Tonight, gather for a festive Farewell Reception and Dinner to celebrate your Advent adventure on the Rhine.

Accommodations – MS Amadeus Silver III
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

December 19 Depart for Gateway City

After breakfast, bid farewell to the Rhine River and disembark the ship in Basel, Switzerland.

AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Cruise Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Zürich Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals – Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions.

Map:


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