Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Northbound)

5 Day River Cruise Basel to Frankfurt

Cruise WZF

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Overview

This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France and Germany, with beautiful passing views and quaint villages festively lit and decorated—a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season! Board your ship in Basel, Switzerland, then stop in Breisach, considered the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest. An area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. There is no better setting than at this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Strasbourg, France, located on the border with Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. The city is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe—dating back to the 16th century. Take in the aromas of mulled wine, spice cakes, and biscuits.

Bask in the holiday atmosphere as you visit Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. You’ll go on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. This time of year, an ice rink can be found at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market is spread over five town squares. Delight in the holiday cheer with Glühwein (hot mulled wine), bratwursts, and other regional delicacies. There’s plenty of time to find just the right Christmas present amongst the array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts before this magical European river cruise ends in Frankfurt, Germany.
This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France and Germany, with beautiful passing views and quaint villages festively lit and decorated—a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season! Board your ship in Basel, Switzerland, then stop in Breisach, considered the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest. An area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. There is no better setting than at this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Strasbourg, France, located on the border with Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. The city is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe—dating back to the 16th century. Take in the aromas of mulled wine, spice cakes, and biscuits.

Bask in the holiday atmosphere as you visit Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. You’ll go on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. This time of year, an ice rink can be found at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market is spread over five town squares. Delight in the holiday cheer with Glühwein (hot mulled wine), bratwursts, and other regional delicacies. There’s plenty of time to find just the right Christmas present amongst the array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts before this magical European river cruise ends in Frankfurt, Germany.

Book your cruise with or without flights

Cruise prices are shown without flights included in case you wish to book them separately, or aren't ready to return home when you disembark! Or we can book your flights for you from most UK airports, with overseas transfers and ATOL protection included. The choice is yours!

Book your cruise with or without flights

Itinerary

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Classic
<p>Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.</p>
Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Day 1 BASEL, SWITZERLAND (EMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Dinner

Welcome to Switzerland! Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.
Flights into Zürich or Basel must arrive by 3 pm.
Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Stroll through the city center, enjoy the festive illumination and savor Christmas delicacies like waffles, gingerbread, sweets and Swiss raclette.


EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH


Day 2 BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO THE BLACK FOREST

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Visit to Badische Winzerkeller, the largest German wine producer in Europe. Discover Germany’s southernmost wine country in Baden—ideally situated between the hills of the Black Forest and the Rhine River. Learn about the vintners’ process in the vineyards here, and enjoy a wine tasting, OR:Join a Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience local traditions and the vibrant Christmas mood.


You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings. Alternatively, spend your afternoon leisurely browsing Breisach’s lovely Christmas market to sample pretzels, mulled wine, and Black Forest cake.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO STRASBOURG


Day 3 STRASBOURG, FRANCE

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

A Gothic Cathedral, Heaven’s Time, and Joyeux Noël

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Come along for City Sightseeing, including the city’s gothic, stained-glass cathedral with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petite France District.


You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to beautiful Alsace, for an afternoon in a French wine-country village.
Savor the warmth and glow of Christmas tradition by spending your free time this afternoon wandering the French winter markets of Strasbourg. Take in the lights, music, and the pleasures of the season.


EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER

Day 4 SPEYER, GERMANY. HEIDELBERG EXCURSION

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Winter Wonders and a Wine Barrel Fit for a King

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a Guided Tour that includes the magnificent Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat—the world’s largest wine barrel. After the tour, visit the local German Christmas markets in Heidelberg.


Explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of Speyer Christmas markets.


EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO FRANKFURT


Day 5 FRANKFURT (DISEMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.
Flights should not leave Frankfurt airport before 10 am.

Questions? Our travel specialists can help with any queries, quotes or special requirements.  Request a callback or email us.

Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Hotels

It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative, similar standard, hotels to those shown