Christmastime - Basel to Prague

Get a dose of seasonal spirit on this festive river cruise that’s filled with inspiring Christmas card settings. Soak up the spooky atmosphere of the Black Forest in Breisach, breathe in the magic of the red sandstone Gothic cathedral in Strasbourg and wander the cobbled streets of La Petit France with its half-timbered houses. Follow the smell of gingerbread and glühwein to find the traditional Christmas markets, where you can shop for locally crafted ornaments and souvenirs.

Your cruise at a glance

  • Strasbourg
    • Join guided sightseeing tour of the La Petite France district and Gothic cathedral, then imbibe the atmosphere of the Christmas markets.
  • Heidelberg
    • Discover the imposing ruins of Heidelberg Castle, take a spin around its seasonal ice rink and fill up on bratwurst sausages and glühwein.
  • Prague
    • Explore the Old Town, see the astronomical clock and visit the Hradcany Castle Grounds before browsing the festive street stalls.

Christmas market

Itinerary

Multiple itineraries are available:

Christmastime in Alsace & Germany - Frankfurt to Zürich map

Day 1

Zurich - Basel (Embarkation)

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

Included today: Excursion to the Black Forest. 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 one more 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 walking 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 centerpiece 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. This evening, enjoy an on-board woodcarving demonstration.

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