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Christmas Markets of the Rhine

5 days From £1,795 per person

Experience Germany’s delightful festive markets on a luxurious cruise

Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys

2023 Tour code: RLM24

About the tour

Immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas as we sail along the beautiful Rhine, discovering fairytale Germany at the most magical time of the year. Experience the twinkling lights and enticing aromas of Germany's Christmas markets, the stunning beauty of the Rhine Gorge, and many festive treats - all from the luxury of our floating hotel.

Unforgettable Experiences

Rhine Christmas Markets
Rhine Christmas Markets
Soak up the festive atmosphere and Christmas markets of Cologne, Rüdesheim, Koblenz, and Bonn, visiting quaint town squares and indulging in the tantalising scents and tastes of Christmas.
Mulled Wine
Mulled Wine
Enjoy a glass of mulled wine as we listen to festive carols on our ship.
Gingerbread Demonstration
Gingerbread Demonstration
Take part in a gingerbread baking demonstration.
Discover Koblenz and Bonn on fascinating guided tours.

What’s included


Day 1 - To lively Cologne to board our luxurious ship

We meet at St Pancras and board the Eurostar to Brussels, continuing by train to Cologne. Here, we board our luxurious cruise ship, which is bedecked in Christmas finery. We enjoy a welcome cocktail on board ahead of dinner. Tonight we set sail upstream through the lower Rhine towards charming Rüdesheim.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - The enchanting Rhine Gorge and delightful Rüdesheim

We sail through the ancient landscapes of the Rhine Gorge during breakfast this morning. We soak up the breathtaking views of centuries-old castles, emerald green forests, and the legendary Lorelei rock, which soars almost 500 feet out of the water. This monument has been the inspiration for countless myths and legends, and we hear of them as we sail by.

This afternoon, we arrive in the captivating town of Rüdesheim, famous for its delicious white wine, especially the dry Riesling variety. Unique Christmas markets are found in the town's historic centre and offer an enticing variety of goods from across 12 nations.

You have time to wander amongst the stalls shopping for gifts, or maybe sample a Rüdesheim Coffee, made with local Asbach Uralt Brandy and served with whipped cream. You could stroll along the Drösselgasse, a vibrant street in the Old Town lined with quirky pubs, cafés, and wine cellars.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Picturesque Koblenz

We leave Rüdesheim behind this morning to set sail for Koblenz. Cruising back through the enchanting Rhine Gorge, we enjoy a gingerbread making demonstration in the lounge

On arrival in Koblenz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, we enjoy a guided walking tour of the town's most famous sights. We see Deutsches Eck where you'll be surrounded by inspiring vistas including the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. After our tour, there's time to explore at your own pace. You might like to visit one of the popular taverns or explore the Christmas markets.

We enjoy a highlight of our holiday this evening - a Christmas-themed gala dinner on board. We can choose between two delicious menus: one with traditional German food, including duck consommé, braised goose leg, and pear and marzipan strudel. The other menu is traditional British food, including roast turkey, pigs in blankets, and, of course, Christmas pudding with brandy butter.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Vibrant Bonn and bustling Cologne

During a relaxed breakfast, we set sail for Bonn, the birthplace of the world-renowned composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. On arrival, we step back in time with a guided tour of the history-filled streets. We see the Beethoven monument and lovely Hofgarten Park. We continue to the Minster - one of Germany's oldest churches - beneath which are Bonn's lovely Christmas markets.

The markets are delightful, casting the city in the golden glow of fairy lights. In December the town hall is transformed into an enormous Advent Calendar with a different window lit up each day throughout the month.

Back on board, we enjoy lunch as we sail back to Cologne. This afternoon, we enjoy a delightful Christmas-themed afternoon tea, sampling festive classics including mince pies, stollen, gingerbread, pigs in blankets, turkey and stuffing sandwiches, and of course, mulled wine.

On arrival in Cologne, you have free time to enjoy Cologne's magnificent markets. There are seven to choose from, each with a unique character, however the most popular is the Cathedral Christmas Market. This vibrant market has a dramatic backdrop of Cologne's Gothic Cathedral and hosts around 160 festive stalls, selling everything from charming wood-carved gifts to delicious local delicacies.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Homeward bound

After breakfast this morning, our cruise comes to an end and we make our way to the railway station. We continue by rail to Brussels and join the Eurostar to London St Pancras, where our festive holiday ends.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, you may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.


MS Amadeus Imperial
MS Amadeus Silver II