Don Korta | August 31, 2023

The Holiday of a Lifetime! – Christmas Markets Cruise on the Rhine 2023

As the end of summer approaches and the holiday season is right around the corner, now is the best time to plan your 2023 holiday plans!

Experience the enchantment of Christmas traditions and festivities on a Christmas Markets River Cruise.

Combining the charm of European river cruises with the allure of traditional Christmas markets, this unique travel experience promises to immerse you in a world of twinkling lights, festive decorations, and heartwarming cheer.

Set sail along some of Europe’s most iconic rivers to explore historic cities and towns while indulging in the holiday spirit.

Now is the best time to make your upcoming holiday plans with our special of $2,000 PER COUPLE SAVINGS!


  9 Days • 21 Meals
Enjoy a seven-night cruise on an Emerald Cruises Star-Ship. Travel to Amsterdam, Cologne, Koblenz, Ludwigshafen, Heidelberg plus Kehl and Strasbourg. An Activity Manager will host daily onboard wellness activities, games, classes and evening entertainment on the cruise. All meals are included with a variety of international cuisine.

  • 21 Meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners
  • Airport transfers on tour dates when air is provided by Mayflower Cruises & Tours
  • Seven-night cruise
  • First-class service by an English-speaking crew
  • English-speaking Cruise Director onboard
  • Shore excursions with English-speaking local guides
  • Personal listening device for excursions
  • All meals included with a variety of international cuisine
  • Complimentary regional wines, beer and soft drinks accompany onboard lunches and dinners
  • Onboard Activity Manager will host daily onboard wellness activities, games, classes and evening entertainment
  • Complimentary WiFi onboard
  • All gratuities included
  • Complimentary bikes onboard for use ashore

Day 1  Depart the USA

Depart the USA on your overnight flight to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Day 2  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Welcome to Amsterdam, a postcard-worthy destination of picturesque canals and cafés. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your luxurious Emerald Cruises Star-Ship. After boarding, enjoy free time to independently explore the narrow cobbled streets and gabled houses of the Dutch capital. This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner onboard. Meal: D

Day 3  Amsterdam

Board a glass-top canal boat for a tour along Amsterdam’s UNESCO World Heritage canal system. Pass historic merchant’s houses that reflect the bygone era of the Dutch Golden Age, as well as delightful Christmas stalls, surrounded by people in their finest knitwear drinking mugs of hot mulled wine. Meals: B, L, D

Day 4  Cologne, Germany

Seven idyllic Christmas markets effortlessly transform the postcard-worthy city of Cologne into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. Following a guided walking tour of the old town, enjoy free time to visit the ornate stalls of the Christmas market around the UNESCO World Heritage cathedral. Decorated mugs hold steaming hot Glühwein, and local vendors sell handmade sweets and local delicacies. Meals: B, L, D

DiscoverMORE Visit Farina Eau de Cologne Museum (additional expense)

Day 5  Koblenz

Arrive in the 2000-year-old town of Koblenz, an ancient city that looks as though it has been pulled from the pages of a German fairytale. Enjoy a picturesque backdrop of vineyards and snow-topped mountain ranges as your local guide takes you on a walk through open cobbled squares and along narrow streets.

Your tour will include the German Corner at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers and idyllic panoramic views of the Rhine from Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. In the city center you’ll find festive, cottage-style stalls of the Christmas market and Lebkuchenherzen (traditional gingerbread hearts) to create a magical European Christmas experience. Meals: B, L, D

DiscoverMORE Moselle & Cochem Castle Visit (additional expense)

Day 6  Ludwigshafen – Heidelberg

From the port of Ludwigshafen, depart by coach for Heidelberg. Your guided tour of Heidelberg’s rich history includes a wine tasting and a visit to the ruins of Heidelberg Castle, overlooking the Neckar River and a red-roofed skyline. A stroll along the cobblestone streets of the Old Town touches on the Church of the Holy Spirit and the oldest university in Germany, further enhancing your visit to this historic city. Meals: B, L, D

Day 7  Kehl – Strasbourg, France

This morning, dock in Kehl for the short journey by coach across the river to Strasbourg, the storied capital of France’s Alsace region. A local guide leads you on a walking tour through this picturesque town. Stroll along the Grand Île and through the charming Old Quarter, ‘La Petit France’. Admire the historical city center and UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its medieval black and white timber-framed buildings, old tanning houses, baroque sandstone buildings, canals, and river locks, along with its centerpiece, the gothic cathedral.

Enjoy free time to visit the stalls of Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmärik, one of the oldest in Europe, before returning to the ship. Meals: B, L, D

DiscoverMORE Excursion to Riquewihr (additional expense)

DiscoverMORE Evening Concert at Bruchsal Palace (additional expense)

Day 8  Breisach, Germany

Begin the day with a guided tour of Breisach, also know as the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest region. This 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. This was the site where, in 1770, Marie Antoinette stopped with 52 beautifully decorated carriages on the way to her wedding to King Louis XVI.

During this holiday season, see the picture-perfect Christmas market situated underneath the 130’ high Ravenna Viaduct where unique handcrafted regional items await your perusal. Meals: B, L, D

EmeraldPLUS Guided visit to the Christmas Market at Ravenna Viaduct

Day 9  Basel, Switzerland – Zurich – USA

It’s time to bid farewell to the captain and crew as you disembark the vessel and transfer to the Zurich airport. Flights to depart Zurich after 12:00 p.m. Meal: B

Itinerary and vessel are subject to change.


Days 2 – 8  Aboard an Emerald Cruises Star-Ship


 Dates and Rates
Departure Date Stateroom Category Per Person twin Single Room
DEC 8, 2023 CAT E – Riviera – Emerald Stateroom $3,395 + $2,379
CAT B – Vista – Panorama Balcony Suite $4,495 + $3,149
CAT A – Horizon – Panorama Balcony Suite $4,645 + $3,249
CAT S – Horizon – Grand Balcony Suite $5,195 N/A
CAT SA – Horizon – Owner’s One-Bedroom Suite $5,895 N/A
Call for air rates and schedules.

Passport & Visas: Each U.S. citizen must have a valid passport. Expiry date of passports should be at least 6 months after the return date of tour. If you don’t have a passport, call our office and we’ll tell you how to apply for one. Some countries require visas for entry by U.S. citizens. We will send visa applications and instructions if a visa is required for your tour.
Holders of non-U.S. passports should contact their nearest consulate and inquire about the necessary passport or visa documentation required for entry into the countries visited. NOTE: Due to airline security measures, your passport name must match your airline ticket name and your tour reservation name or you may be denied aircraft boarding.

To Learn More About This Trip Of A Lifetime,
and To Book YOUR Relaxing Vacation, please contact
Destinations with Character Travel
and one of our Experienced Travel Consultants will handle all of your needs!
Don’t forget to ask about Protecting Your Vacation with Travel Protection!
Contact Destinations with Character Travel
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