The Christmas Markets of Germany and Strasbourg

River Rhine | Germany, Europe

7 days
per person
Note that there may be small differences between our general Itinerary for this cruise and a specific departure. To view departure specific itineraries please go to the Dates and Prices tab and click "View Itinerary" on a specific departure.

The Christmas Markets of Germany and Strasbourg

Fully immerse yourself in the festive season, as you enjoy a magical Christmas market experience like no other. As we cruise along the Rhine’s waters, passing through winter wonderlands and the breathtaking Rhine Gorge, you will soon come to realise that it’s true what they say, and nowhere does Christmas quite like Germany! Our journey takes us to Bonn, Koblenz, Rüdeshiem, Mannheim and Mainz, where you can literally shop until you drop - with the ship close by, ready to welcome you back on board for a warm drink, whenever you’re done sightseeing and browsing the many twinkling stalls. With a trip also to Strasbourg in France, to witness one of Europe’s oldest and largest Christmas Markets, this river cruise is the best way to conjure up that festive spirit!

Day 1: UK – Cologne
We travel to Cologne, one of the main cities along the Rhine, which is set around its beautiful gothic cathedral. Here we join our ship and enjoy a relaxing evening.

Day 2: Cologne – Bonn – Koblenz
We cruise down the Rhine to discover the many faces on Bonn and the architectural heritage of more than 2,000 years. We have free time to explore the Christmas markets. We continue cruising down river to Koblenz, at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, this evening we visit the Koblenz Christmas Market, with over 130 festively decorated wood stalls offering a range of handmade gifts, Christmas decorations and gifts. Enjoy a glass or red or white glüwein whilst listening to festive music playing.

Day 3: Koblenz - Rüdesheim
This morning we cruise along spectacular Rhine Gorge and past the famous Lorelei rock, to the quaint town of Rüdesheim. We have free time to explore the Christmas markets, a delightful event held in the town’s chocolate-box old quarter. You can also join our optional excursion; Rüdesheim Delights, to visit the wonderful Mechanical Music Museum of Siegfried and topping off our excursion we will be offered a mug of glühwein.

Day 4: Rüdesheim – Mainz
We continue cruising down the Rhine to Mainz, where the Rhine meets with the Main river. You can enjoy the rest of the day exploring the Christmas markets, where the historic market square turns into a beautiful spectacular of lights. The streets are filled with aromas of gingerbread, chestnuts and mulled wine. The backdrop of the thousand year old cathedral is where the showmen and craftsmen offer Christmas specialities.

Day 5: Mainz
Enjoy a free day in Mainz, where the Rhine and Main rivers meet, and enjoy a relaxing evening onboard our ship.

Day 6: Mannheim
We reach Mannheim in the early morning and have plenty of free time to enjoy the Christmas market. The city is located at the union of the Rhine and the Neckar rivers, and offers lots of sightseeing opportunities; the Mannheim Palace, a stunning baroque structure which now houses the university; the Luisenpark, noted as one of the most beautiful parks in Europe; and the Fernmeldeturm Mannheim, an impressive telecommunication tower complete with observation deck. However, the main attraction during winter months is undoubtedly the Christmas market – one of the largest in southwest Germany! Lunchtime sees us heading off to Heidelberg for more Christmas markets. Extending over five historic market squares and featuring around 140 stalls, you are guaranteed to find that special gift! We set sail in the early evening, heading towards Strasbourg.

Day 7: Strasbourg
Enjoy a full day in the remarkable city of Strasbourg. See the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, a gothic masterpiece; the stunning Kammerzell House which dates back to the 15th century; the Petite France district with its beautiful riverside setting; and the Church of Saint-Thomas, an excellent example of Alsatian gothic art. The Strasbourg Christmas Market is said to be the oldest and largest in Europe, dating back to the 1570s. Voted the Best European Christmas Market for the last two years running, it is spread over 11 areas of the city and features a huge Christmas tree standing at almost 100 feet. Add to this the themed events, several hundred miles of Christmas lights and giant ice rink, and this market will undoubtedly be the highlight of your cruise!

Day 8: Mainz – UK
We bid farewell to the captain and his crew and set off on the return journey to the UK.



We offer a number of flexible travel options for you to join your cruise, whether you want to travel to the port of departure or directly to the ship. Please see below:

Coach via Dover

On many of our cruises you can take advantage of our convenient and FREE regional coach departures aboard our modern executive coaches from a town or city near you to the port of departure and onwards to meet the ship.

Ferry crossing at Dover

When you travel by coach or car, you will join a ferry at Dover, depending on your chosen cruise, and cross over to Europe. Our coach will then take you to meet our ship at the embarkation point as shown in the cruise itinerary.

Overnight hotel in Dover or Ashford

Travel at your own pace, in the comfort of your own vehicle and stay overnight at Dover or Ashford, in accommodation close to the port of departure and be collected/returned by our coach. Prices for Ashford start from £59 per person per night and for Dover for £65 per person per night on a bed and breakfast basis and include parking for one vehicle for the duration of your cruise.

Eurostar from London St Pancras

Enjoy the benefits of rail travel – boarding at London St Pancras International, you will be whisked effortlessly along by Eurostar whilst relaxing in your reserved seat. You have the freedom to stretch your legs whenever the mood takes you and purchase drinks and snacks from the buffet carriage.

Meet at your cruise ship

Make your own travel arrangements at your convenience to join your selected cruise, simply board your cruise ship at the embarkation point.

Dates and pricing

The details below show the travel options, pricing and the available departure dates for this itinerary. If you have any questions about this cruise please do not hesitate to call our Holiday Advisors.


DepartureTravel optionsBooking

At a glance




Travel options available:

  • Coach via Dover
  • Ferry crossing at Dover
  • Overnight hotel in Dover or Ashford
  • Eurostar from London St Pancras
  • Meet at your cruise ship
7 days
per person

Customer feedback

Included in the Price

  • Executive return coach travel from your chosen departure point
  • Return ferry crossing
  • Welcome drink, Captain’s get together and Party Night
  • En-suite cabin accommodation aboard the MS Serenity
  • Full board during the cruise
  • Visits to Colonge, Bonn, Koblenz, Rudesheim, Mainz, Mannheim and Strasbourg
  • Entertainment on every night of your cruise
  • Services of our experienced and friendly Cruise Director and Cruise Manager

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