Christmas Markets Along the Rhine

11 days
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4.6/5 Excellent
100+ reviews  
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Cancellation Policy
River Cruise
Maybe it's the sight of medieval landscapes glittering with colorful lights, or the familiar, heartwarming melodies of "Silent Night" and "O Christmas Tree" sung in their original German. Or maybe it's the excitement of the traditional Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market), brimming with handmade toys and ornaments, and filled with the delicious aromas of fresh...
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Trip type
River Cruise
Lodging level
Premium - 4 star
Physical level
Trip pace
Flexible schedule


    • Visit Kaysersberg
    • Visit the nearby commune of Riquewihr, a renowned "wine village" known for its Rieslings
    • Enjoy a sightseeing tour by boat along Strasbourg's canals
    • Discover romantic Heidelberg, a historic university town
    • Explore Koblenz and stroll among the stalls of its wonderful Christmas Market
    • Visit the Deutsches Eck, or "Corner of Germany"
    • See the ruins of Roman temples
    • Visit to the National Liberation Museum

What's this trip about?

    Maybe it's the sight of medieval landscapes glittering with colorful lights, or the familiar, heartwarming melodies of "Silent Night" and "O Christmas Tree" sung in their original German. Or maybe it's the excitement of the traditional Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market), brimming with handmade toys and ornaments, and filled with the delicious aromas of freshly baked cookies and warm mulled wine ... For many, Christmastime in the Old World is simply the most satisfying way to experience the holidays. And this festive Grand Circle River Cruise—which includes ALL meals onboard, and wine with dinner—is a wonderful gift to yourself that will remain a treasured holiday memory for years to come

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Itinerary focusClassic Highlights
Group sizeStandard Group - 25 + people
Age rangeNo age restrictions
Flights and transportN/A
Start CityBasel
End CityAmsterdam

Travel Themes

  • 50 plus
  • Cultural
  • National Parks
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Festivals & Special Events


  • Europe
  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • France
  • Netherlands


  • Amsterdam
  • Heidelberg
  • Heidelberg Castle
  • Koblenz
  • Strasbourg


  • Culture
  • Historic sightseeing
  • History
  • Nature
  • River cruise

Trip includes

    • Choose to purchase Grand Circle's airfare, and your airport transfers, government taxes, fees, and airline fuel surcharges are included. Or, make your own air arrangements Accommodations: for 10 nights aboard a private Grand Circle river ship in an outside cabin ALL meals: 10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 10 dinners (with complimentary wine with dinner) 6 exclusive, included tours: Kaysersberg • Strasbourg • Baden-Baden • Mainz • Koblenz • Cologne 4 Exclusive Discovery Series events: Home-Hosted Kaffeeklatsch • Christmas Traditions discussion • Stollen cooking demonstration • Europeans Today discussion Program Director: We are the only cruise line to provide the exclusive services of a resident Program Director (assigned to no more than 47 travelers) Plus, enjoy these features on every Grand Circle River Cruise: Personal headset on all included and optional tours Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions and Dinners 5% Frequent Traveler credit toward your next Grand Circle trip—an average of $157 Baggage handling for 1 piece of luggage per person, including tips Now included for 2015 Beverages during lunch and dinner onboard, including beer, wine, and soft drinks All port charges Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers on your main trip

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Travel Map

Day 1: Depart U.S.

Depart the U.S. today on your flight to Basel, Switzerland.

Day 2: Arrive in Basel, Switzerland

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

This morning, you arrive at the Basel airport, where you are met and transferred to the pier to embark your river ship. From Basel, located where Switzerland, Germany, and France all meet, ships can navigate the Rhine all the way to the ...

Day 3: Breisach, Germany • Kaysersberg, France

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, you'll sail toward Breisach, Germany, set just on the edge of the Black Forest.

Upon arrival this afternoon, you'll head into Alsace on the French side of the Rhine to visit Kaysersberg. This was the birth...

Day 4: Strasbourg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After breakfast, enjoy a sightseeing tour by boat along Strasbourg's canals. Strasbourg has been strategically important since ancient times. It became a free imperial city in 1262, and then was occupied by France in 1681 and ...

Day 5: Plittersdorf, Germany • Baden-Baden • Speyer • Home-Hosted Kaffeeklatsch

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, the ship docks at the German town of Plittersdorf and you depart by motorcoach for the Black Forest region. You'll stop for a visit in the spa town of Baden-Baden, nestled in thick, peaceful forests. Since Roman ...

Day 6: Speyer • Optional Heidelberg tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

You have the morning free in Speyer. On your own, you might take in the Historical Museum of the Palatinate, which has large collections of pre-Roman and Roman materials and includes a wine museum. The ship begins cruising tow...

Day 7: Mainz • Optional Rudesheim Dinner

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning you'll enjoy a walking tour of Mainz and see the town's great eleventh-century Romanesque cathedral. The 2,000-year-old city of Mainz rose to prominence in the eighth century when St. Boniface, the "German Apostle...

Day 8: Mainz • Christmas Traditions discussion • Koblenz

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today, the ship cruises along some of the most beautiful and inspiring parts of the Rhine as you sail for Koblenz. En route, you'll learn about local holiday lore during an exclusive Discovery Series discussion about German Ch...

Day 9: Koblenz • Stollen demonstration

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

The morning is at leisure to explore Koblenz and stroll among the stalls of its wonderful Christmas Market. Savor the smell of chestnuts roasting over open fires, and perhaps savor an authentic Bratwurst as you shop for handma...

Day 10: Cologne • Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After breakfast, disembark for a guided walking tour of Cologne's Old City. A Roman settlement called Colonia Agrippina after AD 50, Cologne came under Frankish control in the fifth century. You can still see the ruins of Roma...

Day 11: Nijmegen • Optional Liberation Museum tour • European's Today discussion

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, arrive in Nijmegen, a Dutch city built on seven hills overlooking the Waal River just west of its confluence with the Rhine. You'll see the arching bridge that spans the Waal, which was the site of an important b...

Day 12: Return to U.S.

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Dates & Availability

Price From $1,645
Price per day$150
Single supplement (single occupancy)$495
Last Updated: 8/2/2018

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Grand Circle Cruise Line.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Grand Circle Cruise Line Reviews & Ratings

4.6/5  Excellent
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Other Grand Circle Cruise Line Reviews



Jul 2021

Grand Circle Cruise Line Company Reviewsby Grand Circle Cruise Line

Company has gone downhill

I am a 12 time traveler with Grand Circle and OAT. But maybe no more. They are impossible to reach by phone without waiting for hours. I even tired their emergenc...


Constance B.

Jan 2020

Grand Circle Cruise Line Company Reviewsby Grand Circle Cruise Line

A great trip, we really

A great trip, we really enjoyed it a lot.


Wayne D.

Dec 2019

Grand Circle Cruise Line Company Reviewsby Grand Circle Cruise Line

Considered the Best of the Best!,,,,

The Places covered by the trip were full of historical facts worthy of remembering till the last days of our lives!,,,, Our Travel Director, RENE BAUER , is super kn...

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Tour Operator

Grand Circle Cruise Line

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Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises serves both our Grand Circle Travel and Overseas Adventure Tour (OAT) brands with an award-winning fleet known for exceptional value and high-quality experiences in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Custom-designed according to our travelers’ specifications, our fleet includes 50+ small river and ocean-going ships that we own or privately charter.

Grand Circle Foundation

Grand Circle Foundation was established in 1992 as a means to give back to the world that had already given us so much. Since its inception, our Foundation has donated or pledged more than $50 million to educational, humanitarian, and cultural organizations worldwide.


Grand Circle Travel—Worldwide Discovery by Land & by Ship


Traveling with Grand Circle is about more than sightseeing. It’s about immersing yourself in other cultures, sharing the warm camaraderie of like-minded American travelers, and feeling comfortable, safe, and well-cared for every step of the way. It’s not simply a destination you’ll find, but a profound awareness of the life-changing joy of cultural connections, and we’ve been creating those connections for more than 50 years.

Explore by land

Travel by Ship

Meet cogenial, like-minded friends

Our Program Director's share an insider's perspective

Meet local people where they live, work and play

Travel safe, confident, and carefree

Traveling for change: One village, one leader, one life at a time

Travel with the Leader in Worldwide Learning & Discovery

Bring your travel dreams to life: witness the breathtaking expanse of China from atop the Great Wall … visit centuries-old windmills in Holland, and meet those who call the iconic structures home … ride a donkey to the top of ancient isles in Santorini, Greece... Visions like these are everyday realities for Grand Circle travelers, thanks to the principles that ground every one of our vacations: value, choice, discovery, and careful pacing.

Our VALUE puts your travel dreams within reach

Grand Circle can help you realize your travel dreams for a lot less than you ever thought possible. That’s because each of our Small Ship Cruise Tours, River Cruise's, and Land Tours includes full-service accommodations, included tours, exclusive Discovery Series events, and so much more. And, because we work with our regional offices located throughout the world, we’ve been able to establish long-term relationships with many local vendors and hotels. Buying direct brings down our costs—and allows us to pass the savings on to you. And negotiating directly for hotel space also allows us to secure as many single room allotments as possible for our solo travelers. That way, we can also extend our great value to solo travelers, too! In fact, we offer the best value and benefits for solo travelers, guaranteed.

The CHOICE is yours

You’ll always have plenty of choices with Grand Circle. We offer you a breadth of awe-inspiring travel destinations—from Europe’s great, culture-laden capitals and the lush vineyards of French and German wine regions, to the scenic natural beauty of Chile's Lakes District and Australia's Great Barrier Reef. You’ll also enjoy more optional trip extensions—such as excursions to Phnom Penh & Angkor Wat, Cambodia or Prague, Czech Republic—enabling you to enhance your regional discovery and maximize the value of your already included airfare. You have plenty of choices within each vacation, too, enabling you to follow your own pace and tailor your experience to your own interests with our optional tours. And the free time we’ve woven into our itineraries gives you the opportunity for independent exploration. You can shop, linger at a sidewalk cafe, visit an art gallery or museum, or perhaps explore a cobbled street that caught your eye earlier in the day. You can do as much or as little as you want on Grand Circle vacation—the choice is yours.

DISCOVERIES that enrich and inspire

Wherever you travel with Grand Circle, you can always count on us to provide a rewarding, discovery-rich experience. With regional offices around the globe, we maintain a strong local presence in all the regions you’ll visit. Being a part of local communities means we offer the most illuminating cultural encounters and widest array of learning activities that reflect your destination. Participate in a discussion about life under communism in Eastern Europe. Try your hand at painting in Impressionism’s homeland. All these experiences, and others, have been designed to offer you a deeper understanding of the places you’ll visit—even as you have fun in the process. And because we know you’ll want to experience local life through the people who call your destination home, we’ve arranged for you to meet them where they live, work, and play. From Home-Hosted meals with local families and demonstrations by regional artisans, to touring a family-run winery or visiting a local school, we make sure you enjoy firsthand perspectives on everyday life, while forming connections you’ll never forget.

Well PACED—with an emphasis on comfort

Travel shouldn’t feel like a race from one site to the next. We know that you enjoy both visiting memorable locales and the chance to enjoy them at your own pace. We’ve planned itineraries that blend regional discovery with “down time,” during which you can explore as little or as much as you like—at your leisure. With well-located accommodations on land and conveniently situated docks for our small ships, you’ll be poised for discoveries of all kinds. While walking is our signature mode—allowing access to many of the most unmissable sites, we always balance any lengthy walking tours with plenty of time to refresh and rejuvenate. Plus, you can always rest assured that your safety and comfort are our top priority, with a resident Program Director along, and our local staff in a regional office nearby.

It's included with Grand Circle ...

  • Choose to purchase Grand Circle's airfare, and your airport transfers and government taxes, fees, and airline fuel surcharges are included. Or, make your own air arrangements
  • The services of expert, resident Program Directors who speak fluent English, as well as the native language
  • Accommodations at comfortable hotels and on private, Grand Circle-owned or chartered vessels
  • Most meals, including all meals during the cruise portions of our Grand Circle Cruise Line vacations
  • Guided sightseeing tours
  • Personal headsets on included and optional tours
  • Exclusive Discovery Series events
  • All internal transportation

And more

Now included for 2016

  • Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers on all Grand Circle main trips, most optional tours, and most optional pre- and post-trip extensions
  • Beverages during lunch and dinner onboard Grand Circle Cruise Line ships, including beer, wine, and soft drinks
  • All port charges—a value of up to $250 per person
What they’re known for
Cruises to popular destinations for seniors wanting to travel at their own pace with optional excursions and plenty of free time.


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What's excluded

    • Internation airfare
    • Personal expenses
    • Passport and visa fees
Ship & cabin information
M/S River Harmony
The M/S River Harmony was ranked #26 in Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top 40 River Cruise Ships in the World” 2014 Readers’ Poll The M/S River Harmony was launched in 1999. This ship has a capacity of 140 passengers in 70 cabins, all with outside views. Ship amenities include an elevator, restaurant, bar and lounge, library, Sun Deck, fitness center, and sauna. Your ship has an international crew of 34 and three English-speaking Program Directors.
Registry: Malta Width: 38 feet Length: 366 feet Passenger capacity: 140 Crew/Nationality: 34/International Entered Service: 1999 Decks: 4 Number of cabins: 70—all outside Elevator: Yes (no elevator access to Prelude Deck)
Cancellation policy

Cancellation Charges for River Cruises and Small Ships:

Prior to departure and charges

121 days or more is 10% of selling price or $300—whichever is greater

120-90 days is $300

89-60 days is 40% of selling price

59-30 days is 65% of selling price

29 days–departure is 100% of selling price

Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance alongside your travel package to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances such as medical expenses, trip cancellations, and other contingencies. It offers you peace of mind and ensures you are prepared for unexpected events that may occur before or during your journey
Visa requirements
Visa requirements vary depending on your country of origin and your country of destination. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the relevant requirements. For a handy tool that can help you quickly find the requirements, please visit this link .
Meals Included

10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 10 dinners

Age Requirements
No age restrictions
Optional Activities

Extend Your Trip

Basel, Switzerland

3 nights from only $595

Brussels & Bruges, Belgium

3 nights from only $595

Additional Information
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