Day 1 – Basel (embark)
Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, where you will be transferred to the ship.
Day 2 – Basel
FEATURED EXCURSION: Basel walking discovery tour with Christmas Market
Your walking discovery tour will introduce you to Basel and its marvelous Christmas Market, located in the heart of the Old Town. With more than 150 stands, it offers many locally made craft items, unique ornaments and delicious seasonal baked goods. Later, take a stroll down Christmas Street, beautifully decorated with more than 100 Christmas trees adorned with twinkling lights. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Day 3 – Kehl (Strasbourg)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Strasbourg by canal with Christmas Market OR exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour
Strasbourg is particularly picturesque during the festive holiday season, as you’ll discover on a canal cruise through Petite France, a neighborhood of cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses. Your tour concludes with a visit inside magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral. Just outside, in the cathedral square, you’ll find Strasbourg’s famous marche de Nöel, the largest and oldest Christmas Market in France, ideally situated in the historic heart of the city. Or, enjoy the flavors of the season on a “Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour.
Day 4 – Mannheim (Heidelberg)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of full-day Heidelberg tour with Christmas Market OR exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting
Your tour of Heidelberg—one of Germany’s most beautiful cities—will take you past the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle and the Old Town’s lavishly decorated shops, followed by free time to explore the local Christmas Market. Or, opt for an excursion to the Doktorenhof vinegar estate to sample unique aperitifs made with honey- and herb-infused wine vinegars.
Note: Lunch is not included with the full-day Heidelberg tour.
Day 5 – Mainz, Rüdesheim
FEATURED EXCURSION: Siegfried’s Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments with Christmas Market
Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Mainz and its St. Nicholas Christmas Market before cruising to Rüdesheim, located in the heart of the fabled Rhine Valley. There, you can see a lighthearted collection of self-playing musical instruments at a local museum, and browse the stalls of Rüdesheim’s unique Christmas Market, which highlights Christmas traditions from around the world. Browse more than 120 stalls packed with holiday delights, and don’t miss Rüdesheim’s amazing, life-sized Nativity scene—one of the largest in Germany.
Day 6 – Cruising the romantic Rhine River, Koblenz
FEATURED EXCURSION: Koblenz walking discovery tour with Christmas Market
En route to Koblenz, your ship will cruise along a spectacularly scenic 40-mile stretch of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape lined with dozens of fairytale castles. Head ashore to explore the Koblenz Christmas Market, filled with charming stands brimming with handcrafted gifts, old-fashioned toys, roasted chestnuts and giant gingerbread hearts.
Day 7 – Cologne
FEATURED EXCURSION: Cologne walking discovery tour with Cologne Cathedral visit and Christmas markets
Christmas is the perfect time to visit Cologne and its famous Gothic cathedral. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a shrine said to contain relics of the Magi—the Three Kings—which has attracted religious pilgrims for centuries. Cologne has no fewer than eight Christmas markets, and you’ll have ample time to explore them at your own pace following your walking tour. Be sure to visit the Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market, as well as the Alter Market, Neurmarkt and the Medieval Market in front of the Chocolate Museum. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
Note: On Sundays and Catholic holidays, guided tours inside the cathedral are not allowed, but individual visits are still welcomed.
Day 8 – Cologne (disembark), transfer to the airport
Disembark the ship and transfer to Cologne Bonn Airport for your flight home.
A joyful wintertime journey showcasing centuries-old holiday traditions.
Discover the origins of our most beloved Christmas traditions as you explore charming towns in Switzerland, France and Germany. On this luxurious, all-inclusive Rhine River cruise, you’ll sip warm mulled wine as you browse for handcrafted ornaments and gifts in festive Christmas Markets, stopping to admire brilliantly lighted trees and shop windows filled with tasty confections. Search for old-world toys and treasures in the festive wooden stalls clustered around Cologne’s magnificent cathedral, and marvel at the baroque town hall of Koblenz, transformed into a giant Advent calendar. Savor tantalizing once-a-year treats with Uniworld’s “Taste of Christmas” program, including freshly baked gingerbread and crepes topped with cinnamon. Revel in the brightly painted carousels, cobblestone squares illuminated by twinkling lights, life-sized Nativity scenes, and soul-stirring choir music. It’s all yours to enjoy as you cruise past castle-lined hillsides and visit charming towns decked in holiday finery.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided “Taste of Christmas” and “Gentle Walking” programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
Use of Nordic walking sticks
7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the exquisite S.S. Antoinette
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
3 countries: France, Germany, Switzerland
3 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
All transfers on arrival and departure days
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “European Christmas Traditions, from the Nutcracker to the Tannenbaum”
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.