Christmas Markets on the Rhine

8 Days
Zurich to Amsterdam
From (AUD)
$ 4,095
Dates & Pricing

2024 Zurich > Amsterdam

Discover Europe’s most popular river cruises

A classic journey on the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers promises spectacular landscapes, rich culture, and fascinating history, where world-class cities are complemented by romantic towns.
Cruise through the heart of Europe’s finest cities, many of whom host large traditional Christmas markets. There’s nothing quite like taking a Rhine River cruise at Christmas time, as you’ll be able to take advantage of the hundreds of stalls all selling ideal Christmas presents for the folks back home.
Tour Map
Tour Code:
EWXZ
Duration:
8 days
Departure City:
Zurich
Return City:
Amsterdam

8 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Zurich – Basel

    Welcome to Switzerland and the start of your Christmas cruise journey. You’ll be met at the airport by a member of the Emerald Cruises team and transferred to your contemporary Star-Ship in Basel, where your friendly captain and crew will be waiting to greet you. This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board.

    Please book your flight to arrive into Zurich prior to 01:00 PM.

    Meals Included: Dinner

  2. Day 2 - Breisach

    Today, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Rhine town of Breisach. Entrenched between two countries, it’s also known as the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest region. In the afternoon, enjoy a scenic drive through the Black Forest Highlands on your way to the Hofgut Sternen complex located at the foothill of Ravenna Gorge, a place where history and tradition merge. It was here that in 1770 Marie Antoinette stopped with 52 beautifully decorated carriages on the way to her wedding to King Louis XVI.

    As part of your EmeraldPLUS programme, you’ll also have the chance to see the postcard-worthy Christmas market situated underneath the 40-metre-high Ravenna Viaduct. Be amazed by the magical aroma of Black Forest specialties and unique handcrafted regional products sold there.

    EmeraldPLUS

    Guided visit to the Christmas Market at Ravenna Viaduct

    Included Excursion

    Guided tour of Breisach

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  3. Day 3 - Kehl – Strasbourg

    This morning, we’ll dock in Kehl, and you’ll be transferred by coach across the river to Strasbourg, the storied capital of France’s Alsace region. Your guided tour of Strasbourg will include the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Grande Île, the historical centre of the city, known for its medieval half-timbered buildings, old tanning houses, Baroque sandstone buildings and charming canal system. Afterwards, you’ll have the opportunity to visit one of its most charming Christmas markets, where you can enjoy traditional German Christmas treats and shop for presents and stocking-fillers.

    Included Excursion

    Guided tour of Strasbourg

    DiscoverMORE

    Alsace wine route with tasting (extra expense, only available on select dates)

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  4. Day 4 - Ludwigshafen – Heidelberg

    Your guided tour of Heidelberg’s rich history includes a wine tasting session and a visit to the ruins of Heidelberg Castle, which overlooks the Rhine River and a red-roofed skyline. Some of the most successful painters of the Romantic era drew inspiration from Heidelberg Castle, including British artist William Turner, who depicted images of the ruins in several of his paintings. Afterwards, stroll down the cobbled streets of the Old Town, touching on the Church of the Holy Spirit and the oldest university in Germany.

    Included Excursion

    Guided tour of Heidelberg

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  5. Day 5 - Koblenz

    Today, we’ll take you into the heart of Koblenz, an ancient city pulled from the pages of a German fairy tale. Enjoy the picturesque backdrop of vineyards and snow-topped mountain ranges as your local guide takes you through open cobbled squares and down narrow streets. Your tour will include the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers at the German Corner and idyllic panoramic views of the Rhine from Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.

    Included Excursion

    Walking tour of Koblenz & a visit to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress

    DiscoverMORE

    Moselle Valley & Cochem Castle visit (extra expense)

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  6. Day 6 - Cologne

    Seven idyllic Christmas markets effortlessly transform the postcard-worthy city of Cologne into a winter wonderland over the Christmas period. Following your guided tour of the city, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the markets at your leisure, perhaps visiting the ornate stalls beneath the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cologne Cathedral, where you can drink traditional glühwein out of beautifully decorated mugs.

    Included Excursion

    Guided tour of Cologne's Old Town

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  7. Day 7 - Amsterdam

    Board a glass-top canal boat for a tour down the Dutch capital’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal system, passing historic merchant houses that reflect the bygone era of the Dutch Golden Age, a time when the Dutch empire was considered one of the most influential in the world. Throughout the city, you’ll explore the delightful Christmas stalls, each surrounded by people in their finest knitwear drinking hot mugs of mulled wine and enjoying traditional festive foods.

    Included Excursion

    Canal cruise

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  8. Day 8 - Amsterdam

    After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow guests and Star-Ship as you are transferred to the airport, taking memories of quintessential German villages and the magic of Christmas with you.

    This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Tour inclusions

YOUR CRUISE INCLUDES
  • 7 nights on board an Emerald Cruises Star-Ship
  • Airport transfers to and from your Star-Ship
  • The services of an Emerald Cruises cruise director
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All tipping and gratuities

INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
  • Guided tour of Breisach
  • Guided tour of Strasbourg
  • Guided tour of Heidelberg
  • Walking tour of Koblenz & a visit to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
  • Guided tour of Cologne's Old Town
  • Canal cruise

EmeraldPLUS
  • Guided visit to the Christmas market at Ravenna Viaduct

DINING HIGHLIGHTS
  • 20 delectable meals including 7 breakfasts (B), 6 lunches (L), 7 dinners (D)
  • Including a Welcome and Farewell Reception & Dinner
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board

Pricing & Availability