On this Christmastime river cruise, you’ll start in Switzerland, and cruise through the heart of Germany, with stops in France and the Czech Republic. Explore many unique Christmas markets, where you can shop for locally crafted gifts, smell the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread, and sample tasty holiday treats.
Embark your river cruise ship in Basel, Switzerland, and sail to Breisach, Germany. From here, enjoy a visit to Germany’s Black Forest, known for contributing Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks to the world. In Strasbourg, France, visit the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with its ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. This time of year, the historic charm of the city is mixed with festive aromas, sights, and sounds—creating a truly magical atmosphere! In Heidelberg, Germany, visit the imposing ruins of Heidelberg Castle. You’ll find an ice rink at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market covers five town squares with an array of seasonal crafts and delicacies. An excursion takes you to charming Rüdesheim on the Rhine River, where you’ll see Europe’s largest nativity scene with life-size figures. In Würzburg, walk through the halls of the ornate Bishop’s Residenz—then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). Learn about holiday traditions as you sail to Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you’ll find nativity scenes built by local citizens throughout the town. On a guided tour of Nuremberg, marvel at the city’s medieval fortifications and gothic churches, and of course visit the Christmas market, one of the oldest in Germany.
Your Christmastime river cruise holiday ends in beautiful Prague, Czech Republic, which you visit with a Local Guide. The Christmas market offers rows of brightly decorated wooden huts selling ornaments and Czech handicrafts—be sure to try a traditional hot sausage from one of the stalls.