One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this special winter voyage along the Rhine River. Enjoy glowing Christmas markets on your European river cruise across Germany, and touching in Holland, France, and Switzerland! This magnificent festive season Rhine river cruise begins in Amsterdam, Holland, with a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.” Cruise to the 2,000-year-old city of Cologne, Germany, with its grand gothic architecture and lively shops, cafés, and taverns. Try a locally brewed Kölsch beer, and stroll the Christkindlesmarkt for mementos, confections, and hot drinks. You’ll then cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water—on your way to charming Rüdesheim where you’ll be enchanted by the festive Christmas market glow. Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum for extra holiday cheer. Continue your Rhine river cruise with a visit to Mainz, and visit the remarkable Gutenberg Museum, lovely holiday markets. Join an excursion to Heidelberg to for a castle visit to see the world’s largest barrel of wine! In Strasbourg, France, you’ll be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. The city’s Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. You’ll sail to the gateway to the exquisite Black Forest in Breisach, Germany, as you experience the magical charm, festive lights, and festive décor of each destination’s shining Christmas markets. You’ll complete your cruise in Basel, Switzerland, and set out for your European vacation in Mt. Pilatus and Lucerne. Your Monograms Local Host® is on hand to assist you during your 2-night stay in Switzerland. Enjoy a guided walking tour including the Lion Monument, Old Town, Chapel Bridge, the Water Tower, Jesuit Church, and a special highlight excursion to Mount Pilatus.
Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome reception on boardDay 2 Amsterdam: canal cruiseDay 3 Cologne: guided city walk; Christmas marketDay 4 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat; Christmas marketDay 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, free time for Christmas market; excursion to Heidelberg, guided visit of the castle, see the Great VatDay 6 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas marketDay 7 Breisach. Excursion to Black Forest: choice of Black Forest Excursion, or guided tour in Colmar; Christmas marketDay 8 Basel (Disembarkation)–Mount Pilatus–Lucerne: excursion to Mount Pilatus (in case of bad weather, visit the Swiss Transport Museum instead); guided walking tour in Lucerne with the Lion Monument and Chapel BridgeDay 9 Lucerne: full day at leisureDay 10 Lucerne: 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 is necessary, a substitute will be offered.Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.Christmas markets are open from the first weekend in December, depending on the location.