Rhine Holiday Market 2017

Day 1: Basel (embark)

Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, where you will be transferred to the ship.

Day 2: Basel

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Basel walking discovery tour with Christmas Market

Your walking discovery tour introduces you to Basel, Switzerland’s second-largest city, and its marvelous Christmas Market, located in the heart of the Old Town. With more than 150 stands, it offers many locally made craft items, unique ornaments and delicious seasonal baked goods. Later, take a stroll down Christmas Street, beautifully decorated with more than 100 Christmas trees adorned with twinkling lights. Celebrate the evening at the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Optional Excursions:
Tour of Lucerne

Tour of Lucerne

  • Duration: 5.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $97.90

Located on the frosty shores of Lake Lucerne and framed by the snow-capped Alps, Lucerne enchants visitors with all the sights of a traditional Swiss Christmas. Stroll past the 13th-century Water Tower and across the famous covered Chapel Bridge, with its 15th-century painted panels (depicting scenes from the Plague). Admire the stately façades of the medieval family palaces and the old city ramparts, the Town Hall and the famous Lion Monument, which commemorates the Swiss Guards who died defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution—and delve into the delights of the Christmas markets on your own.

Day 3: Kehl (Strasbourg)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Strasbourg by canal with Christmas Market OR exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour

Strasbourg is particularly picturesque during the festive holiday season. Discover its magic on a canal cruise through Petite France, a neighborhood of cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses. Just outside the cathedral square, you’ll find Strasbourg’s famous Marché de Nöel, the oldest Christmas market in France. As part of a long tradition of authentic, atmospheric Christmas markets, the 300 stalls of Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmärik are spread out over 12 locations within the city center, making it one of the largest in Europe. If you prefer to celebrate Strasbourg’s holiday magic in a different way, enjoy the flavors of the season on a “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour showcasing the spirit of Alsatian Christmas and showing you why Strasbourg is the “Capital of Christmas.”
Optional Excursions:
Alsatian Wine Road

Alsatian Wine Road

  • Duration: 4
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $49.50

Head out along the Alsatian Wine Road, a winding road that hugs the foothills of the Vosges Mountains and links charming villages and vineyards producing the great white wines of the region, to a family-owned winery, where you’ll sample three delicious wines. Your next stop is Obernai, a picturesque town of half-timbered houses and delightfully decorated shops, where you can explore the Christmas Market.

Day 4: Mannheim (Heidelberg)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of full day Heidelberg tour with Christmas Market* OR exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting

Situated on the banks of the Neckar River, Heidelberg is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe. It is also home to one of Germany’s oldest universities. Your tour of Heidelberg takes you past the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle, a once-fortified castle, and through Old Town, which is all dressed up for the holidays. You’ll have ample time to explore the Heidelberg Christmas Market, which spans over five squares. For those who prefer to try something different, visit the Doktorenhof vinegar estate to sample the unique aperitifs made with honey- and herb-infused wine vinegars. *Note: Lunch is not included with the full day Heidelberg tour.
Optional Excursions:
Gourmet vinegar cooking class

Gourmet vinegar cooking class

  • Duration: 4.5
  • Easy:
  • Price: $115.50

Learn the secrets of creative but easy cooking when you join a chef in his 300-year-old village home—one with a very modern kitchen—near Doktorenhof. Schnitzel and sauerkraut may include vinegar in their ingredients, but the four courses you help prepare for lunch today take vinegar in a whole new direction. You might use orange blossom vinegar to season prawns or cherry vinegar in chocolate tartlets. This is a friendly, hands-on experience with a chef who welcomes novices as well as experienced cooks into his kitchen. The menu will be determined by what’s fresh and local, and your chef instructor is a master at pairing regional wines with regional foods. Sauté, sip, sample—and enjoy!

Day 5: Mainz, Rüdesheim

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum with Christmas Market

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Mainz, once home to Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, and its St. Nicholas Christmas Market with 1,000-yearold St. Martin’s Cathedral as a backdrop. During the afternoon, cruise to Rüdesheim, located in the heart of the fabled Rhine Valley. Discover why Rüdesheim has been a magnet for romantics ever since the early 19th century. Its rolling hills, historical monuments and winding alleyways are a real treat. While in Rüdesheim, you’ll visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and its unique collection of self-playing instruments. Spend time browsing more than 120 stalls packed with holiday delights, and don’t miss Rüdesheim’s amazing, life-sized Nativity scene—one of the largest in Germany.
Optional Excursions:
Mainz Art Tour: Chagall windows and Gutenberg Museum with first bible

Mainz Art Tour: Chagall windows and Gutenberg Museum with first bible

  • Duration: 3
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $42.90

The Bible is the focus of this tour, as you visit two extraordinary treasures devoted to it. Marc Chagall created the luminous stained-glass windows for St. Stephan’s Church that are an exquisite tribute to peace and reconciliation: Angels, birds and images from the Book of Psalms float in a sea of blue glass high above the austere aisles of the 14th-century church. The artist began the project in 1976, when he was 90 years old, and had only finished the nine main panels at the time of his death in 1985. His pupil Charles Marq spent the next 14 years completing the project. After seeing these ravishing gems of 20th-century art, you’ll go to the Gutenberg Museum, home to two of Johannes Gutenberg’s original Bibles. Gutenberg’s workshop has been re-created here, and you can watch his press at work—you can even try your hand at laying out type and printing it in the museum shop if you like.

Day 6: Cruising the romantic Rhine River, Koblenz

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Koblenz walking discovery tour with Christmas Market

En route to Koblenz, your ship will cruise along a spectacularly scenic 40-mile stretch of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape. With its 40 castles strung like pearls on the hillside and the famous Lorelei Rock, the valley is the perfect example of the romantic Rhine. Once in Koblenz, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, you’ll begin your walking tour through romantic alleyways lined with half-timbered houses decorated for the season. Afterward, delight in the Koblenz Christmas Market with its dozens of wooden stands offering arts and crafts, spiced mulled wine and sweet Christmas cakes.

Day 7: Cologne

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Cologne walking discovery tour with Cologne Cathedral visit and Christmas markets

Christmas is the perfect time to visit Cologne and its famous Gothic cathedral. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a shrine said to contain relics of the Magi—the Three Kings—which has attracted religious pilgrims for centuries. Cologne has no fewer than eight Christmas markets, and you’ll have ample time to explore them at your own pace following your walking tour. Be sure to visit the Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market, as well as the Alter Market, Neumarkt and the Medieval Market in front of the Chocolate Museum. Spend your last night onboard at the festive Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. Note: On Sundays and Catholic holidays, guided tours inside the cathedral are not allowed, but individual visits are still welcomed.

Day 8: Cologne (disembark), transfer to the airport

Disembark the ship and transfer to Cologne Bonn Airport for your flight home.

Day 1: Cologne (embark)

Arrive at Cologne Bonn Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship.

Day 2: Cologne

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Cologne walking discovery tour with Cologne Cathedral visit and Christmas markets

Christmas is the perfect time to visit Cologne and its famous Gothic cathedral. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a shrine said to contain relics of the Magi—the Three Kings—which has attracted religious pilgrims for centuries. Cologne has no fewer than eight Christmas markets, and you’ll have ample time to explore them at your own pace following your walking tour. Be sure to visit the Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market, as well as the Alter Market, Neumarkt and the Medieval Market in front of the Chocolate Museum. Spend your last night onboard at the festive Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. Note: On Sundays and Catholic holidays, guided tours inside the cathedral are not allowed, but individual visits are still welcomed.
Optional Excursions:
Tour of Lucerne

Tour of Lucerne

  • Duration: 5.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $97.90

Located on the frosty shores of Lake Lucerne and framed by the snow-capped Alps, Lucerne enchants visitors with all the sights of a traditional Swiss Christmas. Stroll past the 13th-century Water Tower and across the famous covered Chapel Bridge, with its 15th-century painted panels (depicting scenes from the Plague). Admire the stately façades of the medieval family palaces and the old city ramparts, the Town Hall and the famous Lion Monument, which commemorates the Swiss Guards who died defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution—and delve into the delights of the Christmas markets on your own.

Day 3: Koblenz, cruising the romantic Rhine River

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Koblenz walking discovery tour with Christmas Market

In Koblenz, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, you’ll begin your walking tour through romantic alleyways lined with half-timbered houses decorated for the season. Afterward, delight in the Koblenz Christmas Market with its dozens of wooden stands offering arts and crafts, spiced mulled wine and sweet Christmas cakes. En route to Rüdesheim, your ship will cruise along a spectacularly scenic 40-mile stretch of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape. With its 40 castles strung like pearls on the hillside and the famous Lorelei Rock, the valley is the perfect example of the romantic Rhine.
Optional Excursions:
Alsatian Wine Road

Alsatian Wine Road

  • Duration: 4
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $49.50

Head out along the Alsatian Wine Road, a winding road that hugs the foothills of the Vosges Mountains and links charming villages and vineyards producing the great white wines of the region, to a family-owned winery, where you’ll sample three delicious wines. Your next stop is Obernai, a picturesque town of half-timbered houses and delightfully decorated shops, where you can explore the Christmas Market.

Day 4: Rüdesheim, Mainz

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum with Christmas Market

Discover why Rüdesheim has been a magnet for romantics ever since the early 19th century. Its rolling hills, historical monuments and winding alleyways are a real treat. While in Rüdesheim, you’ll visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and its unique collection of self-playing instruments. Spend time browsing more than 120 stalls packed with holiday delights, and don’t miss Rüdesheim’s amazing, life-sized Nativity scene—one of the largest in Germany. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Mainz, once home to Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, and its St. Nicholas Christmas Market with 1,000-yearold St. Martin’s Cathedral as a backdrop.
Optional Excursions:
Gourmet vinegar cooking class

Gourmet vinegar cooking class

  • Duration: 4.5
  • Easy:
  • Price: $115.50

Learn the secrets of creative but easy cooking when you join a chef in his 300-year-old village home—one with a very modern kitchen—near Doktorenhof. Schnitzel and sauerkraut may include vinegar in their ingredients, but the four courses you help prepare for lunch today take vinegar in a whole new direction. You might use orange blossom vinegar to season prawns or cherry vinegar in chocolate tartlets. This is a friendly, hands-on experience with a chef who welcomes novices as well as experienced cooks into his kitchen. The menu will be determined by what’s fresh and local, and your chef instructor is a master at pairing regional wines with regional foods. Sauté, sip, sample—and enjoy!

Day 5: Germersheim (Heidelberg)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of full day Heidelberg tour with Christmas Market* OR exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting

Situated on the banks of the Neckar River, Heidelberg is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe. It is also home to one of Germany’s oldest universities. Your tour of Heidelberg takes you past the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle, a once-fortified castle, and through Old Town, which is all dressed up for the holidays. You’ll have ample time to explore the Heidelberg Christmas Market, which spans over five squares. For those who prefer to try something different, visit the Doktorenhof vinegar estate to sample the unique aperitifs made with honey- and herb-infused wine vinegars. *Note: Lunch is not included with the full day Heidelberg tour.
Optional Excursions:
Mainz Art Tour: Chagall windows and Gutenberg Museum with first bible

Mainz Art Tour: Chagall windows and Gutenberg Museum with first bible

  • Duration: 3
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $42.90

The Bible is the focus of this tour, as you visit two extraordinary treasures devoted to it. Marc Chagall created the luminous stained-glass windows for St. Stephan’s Church that are an exquisite tribute to peace and reconciliation: Angels, birds and images from the Book of Psalms float in a sea of blue glass high above the austere aisles of the 14th-century church. The artist began the project in 1976, when he was 90 years old, and had only finished the nine main panels at the time of his death in 1985. His pupil Charles Marq spent the next 14 years completing the project. After seeing these ravishing gems of 20th-century art, you’ll go to the Gutenberg Museum, home to two of Johannes Gutenberg’s original Bibles. Gutenberg’s workshop has been re-created here, and you can watch his press at work—you can even try your hand at laying out type and printing it in the museum shop if you like.

Day 6: Kehl (Strasbourg)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Strasbourg by canal with Christmas Market OR exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour

Strasbourg is particularly picturesque during the festive holiday season. Discover its magic on a canal cruise through Petite France, a neighborhood of cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses. Just outside the cathedral square, you’ll find Strasbourg’s famous Marché de Nöel, the oldest Christmas market in France. As part of a long tradition of authentic, atmospheric Christmas markets, the 300 stalls of Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmärik are spread out over 12 locations within the city center, making it one of the largest in Europe. If you prefer to celebrate Strasbourg’s holiday magic in a different way, enjoy the flavors of the season on a “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour showcasing the spirit of Alsatian Christmas and showing you why Strasbourg is the “Capital of Christmas.”

Day 7: Basel

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Basel walking discovery tour with Christmas Market

Your walking discovery tour introduces you to Basel, Switzerland’s second-largest city, and its marvelous Christmas Market, located in the heart of the Old Town. With more than 150 stands, it offers many locally made craft items, unique ornaments and delicious seasonal baked goods. Later, take a stroll down Christmas Street, beautifully decorated with more than 100 Christmas trees adorned with twinkling lights. Celebrate the evening at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 8: Basel (disembark)

Disembark the ship and transfer to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg for your flight home.