Christmastime in Alsace & Germany - Basel to Frankfurt

Celebrate the festive season in Central Europe with a four-night winter cruise from Basel to Frankfurt. In Breisach, enjoy an included excursion into the Black Forest, then enjoy guided sightseeing in the historic French city of Strasbourg, home to one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets. Step back in time in the red sandstone castle of Heidelberg, skate across the town’s ice rink and bask in the holiday atmosphere of this university town. Warm up with a glass of spicy Glühwein while shopping for local festive ornaments to decorate the tree back home – a lasting memento from this special seasonal holiday.

Your cruise at a glance

  • Breisach
    • Excursion to the Black Forest and time to enjoy the town’s traditional Christmas markets.
  • Strasbourg
    • Guided sightseeing with a visit to La Petite France district and the Gothic cathedral.
  • Heidelberg
    • Visit to the castle, led by a guide, and time to explore the seasonal street markets.

Christmas markets

Itinerary

Christmastime in Alsace & Germany - Zürich to Frankfurt map

Day 1

Zürich

Meals included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Transfer to Basel (Embarkation). Welcome to Switzerland. NOTE: Flights into Zürich must arrive before 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2

Breisach

Meals included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany's Black Forest region, an area of unrivalled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents once described them as black. There's no better setting for this time of year than when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs, connoting images of warm and festively decorated interiors. Surely, the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. This afternoon there's free time in Breisach to visit the Christmas market—or you may join an optional excursion to Colmar in France's Alsace region.

Day 3

Strasbourg

Meals included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is, without a doubt, an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your guided walk tour you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone Gothic Cathedral with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petite France district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. Dating back to 1570, the traditional Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Located around Place de la Cathédrale and Place Broglie, its centrepiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets you'll notice the pleasing aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits—a truly magical atmosphere! This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine region is available.

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