Before you embark on one of Europe’s most legendary rivers, begin your vacation with two nights in exquisite Lucerne, Switzerland, and a ride up one of the country’s legendary mountains. Your journey along the Rhine River starts in Basel, Switzerland, with stops in France, Germany, and Holland! Each town is festively lit and decorated and strains of Christmas carols fill the air.Lucerne with its ornate patrician houses and famous covered Chapel Bridge is a delight during this Advent time and the Christmas markets are of an impressive variety! A cable car ascent of Mt. Pilatus rewards with a spectacular view over the wintry Alps. Embark your ship in Basel and head for Breisach, Germany—gateway to the Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. Free time lets you explore the Christmas market offering many traditional items. Continue to Strasbourg, France, where you’ll visit the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe and its centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, towering magnificently over the city, and watch the skaters on the ice rink below. Stop in Mainz for a guided walk and visit the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Next up is the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, and unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. You’re sure to be enthralled by the life-size figures of Europe’s largest nativity scene on the Market Square. Pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge before the last stop in Germany, Cologne. Wander through the magical Christmas market, try some traditional Lebkuchen and get some inner warmth with a cup of Glühwein.Finally, spend time in Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam. The best way to see the treasures of this 700-year-old city is on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.”
Day 1-2 Lucerne: guided walkDay 3 Lucerne–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation): excursion to Mount Pilatus; onboard welcome receptionDay 4 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a woodcarver’s workshop:; Christmas market Day 5 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas marketDay 6 Excursion to Heidelberg–Mainz: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat in Heidelberg; Christmas market; visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; Christmas marketDay 7 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim and enjoy a special treat; Christmas market; cruise through the Rhine GorgeDay 8 Cologne: guided city walk; Christmas marketDay 9 Amsterdam: canal cruiseDay 10 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning
In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.