Day 1 – Basel (embark)
Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, where you will be transferred to the ship.
Day 2 – Basel
FEATURED EXCURSION: Basel walking discovery tour with Christmas Market
Your walking discovery tour will introduce you to Basel 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. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
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, as you’ll discover on a canal cruise through Petite France, a neighborhood of cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses. Your tour concludes with a visit inside magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral. Just outside, in the cathedral square, you’ll find Strasbourg’s famous marche de Nöel, the largest and oldest Christmas Market in France, ideally situated in the historic heart of the city. Or, enjoy the flavors of the season on a “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour.
Day 4 – Mannheim (Heidelberg)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of full-day Heidelberg tour with Christmas Market OR exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting
Your tour of Heidelberg—one of Germany’s most beautiful cities—will take you past the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle and the Old Town’s lavishly decorated shops, followed by free time to explore the local Christmas Market. Or, opt for an excursion to the Doktorenhof vinegar estate to sample unique aperitifs made with honey- and herb-infused wine vinegars.
Note: Lunch is not included with the full-day Heidelberg tour.
Day 5 – Mainz, Rüdesheim
FEATURED EXCURSION: Siegfried’s Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments with Christmas Market
Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Mainz and its St. Nicholas Christmas Market before cruising to Rüdesheim, located in the heart of the fabled Rhine Valley. There, you can see a lighthearted collection of self-playing musical instruments at a local museum, and browse the stalls of Rüdesheim’s unique Christmas Market, which highlights Christmas traditions from around the world. Browse 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.
Day 6 – Cruising the romantic Rhine River, Koblenz
FEATURED EXCURSION: 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 lined with dozens of fairytale castles. Head ashore to explore the Koblenz Christmas Market, filled with charming stands brimming with handcrafted gifts, old-fashioned toys, roasted chestnuts and giant gingerbread hearts.
Day 7 – Cologne
FEATURED EXCURSION: 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, Neurmarkt and the Medieval Market in front of the Chocolate Museum. In the evening, enjoy a 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.