Christmas Markets Along the Rhine - Northbound

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Tauck

Travel along the Rhine for the holiday season, from Basel to Köln and Düsseldorf aboard ms Inspire, both perfect ways to capture all the magic of Christmas Markets in Germany and France. Along with all the inclusions that are part of every Tauck river cruise, Tauck's Christmas market experience wows you with special holiday touches like an onboard tree-trimming party... glühwein and other treats aboard the riverboat, decorated in a festive seasonal theme... a traditional European Christmas dinner with all the fixings... special evenings of onboard holiday-themed entertainment... walking in the footsteps of celebrities at the Kurhaus casino in Baden-Baden... a lecture on Alsatian storytelling traditions in Strasbourg... a cookie-making demonstration and a visit to the fanciful Siegfried's Mechanisches Musikkabinett in Rüdesheim... a traditional German lunch in Heidelberg and much more!

Highlights
  • Visits to Christmas Markets in Rudesheim, Heidelberg, Baden-Baden and Strasbourg
  • Walking tours of market cities and towns with local guides
  • All private Tauck shore excursions – £951 Value!
  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors & Tauck Cruise Director
  • Visits to Old Town Heidelberg and historic Heidelberger Schloss (Heidelberg Castle)
Destinations
  • Basel
  • Europe
  • Switzerland
Tour Types
  • Luxury

Location: Basel, Switzerland

<strong>Tour begins: 5:30 PM, Basel.</strong>&nbsp;Transfers are included from EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg to the riverboat&nbsp;where embarkation begins at 4:00 PM. Guests enjoying a pre-stay in Basel will receive a transfer from the hotel to the ship. Guests can also fly into Z&uuml;rich airport and will be transferred to their ship. If you arrive earlier than 4:00 PM, you might want to go into the city to see the Christkindlmarkt &ndash; said to be the largest and most traditional in Switzerland &ndash; and perhaps have your first taste of the traditional <em>gl&uuml;hwein</em> that is so much a part of the Christmas Market scene. Back on board the riverboat, meet your Tauck Directors at a discovery/welcome briefing, and enjoy a casual captain's welcome reception followed by dinner &ndash; and your Christmas Market cruise begins!

Accommodation Name: ms Inspire

Meals: Dinner

Location: Lucerne, Switzerland

Awaken aboard the riverboat in Basel, then set off on an excursion to Switzerland's lakeside "city of lights," Lucerne. On an orientation tour with your Tauck Director, highlights include the Kappelbrucke, a covered wooden footbridge crossing the Reuss River that dates back to the 1330s; an octagonal Water Tower once used as a prison; and lovely squares like the Kornmarkt, Weinmarkt and Hirschenplatz. In Altstadt Lucerne (Old Town), narrow cobblestone lanes lead to picturesque squares lined with houses painted with frescoes. From town, you&rsquo;ll head out for the heights of Mt. Pilatus via gondola; after descending the mountain by gondola, catch up with the riverboat in late afternoon. Back onboard, join us for dinner, then celebrate with your fellow travelers at our tree-trimming party as you help decorate the riverboat's Christmas tree, a highlight of our Christmas Market cruises!

Accommodation Name: ms Inspire

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Strasbourg, France

<span style="color: #5f497a;"> <strong>Strasbourg</strong> </span>- <em>Steaming mulled wine... gingerbread... Advent wreaths... a towering Christmas tree, dwarfed by soaring Strasbourg Cathedral... nearly every street and building aglow with lights and decorations... bredle, the tiny, traditional holiday cakes of Alsace... the unmistakable sights, sounds, flavors and smells of the Alsatian holidays surround you at Strasbourg's March&eacute;s de No&euml;l, the oldest and largest in France. A dozen themed markets fan out from the cathedral along the Grand Rue - the original Christkindelsm&auml;rik... the Bredle Market... the Kingdom of the Wine Growers... the Children's Village... the Village of Sharing and others. Artisans show off their wares in stalls that stretch on as far as the eye can see... and the ancient heart of this canal-crossed city is bathed in gold! A lecture on local storytelling traditions is part of your unforgettable day in Strasbourg.&nbsp; </em> <em>&nbsp;</em> Strasbourg would like you to think of it as the "Capital of Christmas" and it is, after all, the "Capital of Europe" in a sense &ndash; being the home of the European Union. Before a walking tour through this ancient French Alsatian city, whose entire center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, gain some insights about storytelling traditions with an expert local guide during a lecture aboard the riverboat. The setting of&nbsp;Tauck's Christmas Market&nbsp;tours &ndash; around Strasbourg's Gothic Cathedral de Notre-Dame &ndash; is breathtaking. After a walking tour of the Christkindlmarkt, you'll have leisure time to explore on your own &ndash; and have lunch in town or return to the riverboat on one of the shuttles that will run between the city and the dock for most of the afternoon. Back aboard the riverboat, join your Tauck directors for a discovery briefing before a festive dinner tonight.

Accommodation Name: ms Inspire

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Baden-Baden, Germany

<span style="color: #5f497a;"><strong> Baden-Baden</strong> </span>- <em>The Black Forest's special magic casts its spell over the Christmas Market of this famous spa town, set adjacent to its sumptuous Belle &Eacute;poque casino complex &ndash; the Kurhaus &ndash; which screen icon Marlene Dietrich called "the most beautiful casino in the world." Cheered by the strains of local choirs and bands performing holiday music &ndash; or perhaps by the baaaas of bleating sheep from the market's "living Nativity" &ndash; wind your way to booth upon booth of carved wooden toys and ornaments, silver jewelry, decorative candles and goodies galore. Join us for a guided visit inside the 19th-century Kurhaus, and explore more of Baden-Baden's holiday charms as you wish. A&nbsp;favorite destination&nbsp;of our Christmas Market tours along the Rhine.&nbsp;</em> <em>&nbsp;</em> The riverboat docks for an excursion to Baden-Baden; this famous Black Forest spa town is the ideal setting for a winter fairy tale at Christmastime. The tempting aromas of <em>gl&uuml;hwein</em> and gingerbread linger among the labyrinth of stalls in the Weihnachtsmarkt. With its natural springs reputed to have healing powers, Baden-Baden has long attracted the wealthy elite, who come to take the waters and play in the magnificent Belle &Eacute;poque casino, the Kurhaus, adjacent to the Christmas Market; get a taste of what being one of &ldquo;the in-crowd&rdquo; feels like as you visit the complex. Discover more of Baden-Baden on your own, perhaps indulging in more gingerbread and <em>gl&uuml;hwein</em>. Continue cruising this evening; you'll visit Heidelberg tomorrow.

Accommodation Name: ms Inspire

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Heidelberg, Germany

<span style="color: #5f497a;"><strong>Heidelberg</strong></span> &ndash; <em>With thousands of stars twinkling in the trees... hundreds of booths sprawling across five city squares... and an ice rink glistening in the shadow of Heidelberger Schl&ouml;ss... you&rsquo;ll think you&rsquo;ve stepped inside a snowglobe at this shining Weihnachtsmarkt! Festooned with figures from the city&rsquo;s history, the glowing Christmas Pyramid dominates the Marktplatz. On the Universit&auml;tsplatz, a carousel turns, and the scent of almonds and gl&uuml;hwein fills the air. Watch skaters whirl to holiday tunes at the rink on the Karlsplatz... hunt for crafts at the Anatomiegarten... or stroll past the cr&egrave;che on the Kornmarkt. Explore iconic Heidelberger Schl&ouml;ss (Heidelberg Castle), ride a funicular to the medieval Old Town for a walking tour, and enjoy a traditional German lunch at a local restaurant. </em> &nbsp; A day in Heidelberg promises both holiday cheer at its Weihnachtsmarkt and insights about life here past and present. A tour of Heidelberger Schl&ouml;ss high above the city reveals the ruins of this mighty medieval castle and a sense of what it might have been like to live there so long ago. A funicular ride leads to a walking tour of the city&rsquo;s Old Town and Heidelberg&rsquo;s Christmas Markets, winding up with a traditional German lunch &ndash; featuring award-winning local beer &ndash; in the heart of the city. Spend some free time in the hometown of Germany&rsquo;s oldest university before catching up with the riverboat for tonight&rsquo;s cruise; enjoy live jazz onboard this evening.

Accommodation Name: ms Inspire

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Rüdesheim, Germany

<span style="color: #5f497a;"> <strong>R&uuml;desheim </strong></span>- <em>Holiday carols, children's laughter, carousels... the season's joyful noises reverberate across this little town on the Rhine as you browse the shops and stalls of its Weihnachtsmarkt, winding their way through its quaint cobblestone streets; the largest nativity scene in Europe adorns the market square. Even the Drosselgasse, a narrow lane famed for its wine bars, is all done up in yuletide green and gold. Heart-shaped lebkuchen, local favorites like schweinebraten and jagerschnitzel &ndash; and especially R&uuml;desheim coffee, laced with locally produced brandy &ndash; tempt your taste buds. While in R&uuml;desheim, visit the whimsical Siegfried's Mechanisches Musikkabinett, housed in a castle &ndash; a unique inclusion on Christmas Market tours and cruises!&nbsp;</em> <em>&nbsp;</em> After a leisurely morning spent cruising along the Rhine and enjoying your riverboat's&nbsp;amenities as you please, there's more Weihnachtsmarkt fun waiting for you in the romantic town of R&uuml;desheim in the Rhine Valley. After a stroll through the Christmas market near the pier, walk or ride a mini-train (weather permitting) to Siegfried's Mechanisches Musikkabinett, a museum featuring an impressive collection of mechanical musical instruments, some dating back centuries, housed in the Bromserhof, a 16th-century castle. A cookie-baking demonstration shares secrets of traditional treats like <em>lebkuchen</em> and <em>stollen,</em> which are very tasty when accompanied by special R&uuml;desheim coffee with a touch of local brandy mixed in. After some free time, return to the riverboat for the chef's signature dinner tonight; maybe you'll want to take a stroll ashore later.

Accommodation Name: ms Inspire

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Köln, Germany

<em>Travel back in time as you make your way from R&uuml;desheim to K&ouml;ln and D&uuml;sseldorf on a historic cruise along the River Rhine&hellip; Glide past rolling green hillsides and see the magnificent castles of centuries past&hellip; each with its own unique story to tell&hellip; Your Tauck Director will give you insights into that history, before sharing the tale of the enchantress Lorelei, who lured lovelorn sailors to their demise with her beauty and song&hellip; See lasting remnants of the Altst&auml;dte, or Old Towns, of German cities,&nbsp;<span></span>many restored to their former glory after World War II&hellip;&nbsp; Experience what the river has to offer&hellip; from the comfort of your riverboat.</em> Spend the morning cruising, arriving in K&ouml;ln (Cologne) in the early afternoon. Enjoy a guided tour of this historic cultural center of the Rhineland in K&ouml;ln &ndash; with its Christmas Market adjacent to the Gothic, twin-spired K&ouml;lner Dom. Join us for the captain&rsquo;s farewell reception followed by dinner tonight... and you may want to raise one last cup of <em>gl&uuml;hwein</em> and toast the wonderful time you've had discovering Christmastime along the Rhine. Your riverboat spends the evening cruising to D&uuml;sseldorf.

Accommodation Name: ms Inspire

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Köln, Germany

<strong><strong>Tour ends: D&uuml;sseldorf.</strong>&nbsp;</strong>Fly home anytime. Transfers are included from the riverboat&nbsp;to D&uuml;sseldorf Airport or train station. Guests enjoying a post-stay in D&uuml;sseldorf will receive a transfer from the hotel to the airport. Please allow three hours for airport check-in.

Meals: Breakfast

  • Visits to Christmas Markets in Rudesheim, Heidelberg, Baden-Baden and Strasbourg
  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors & Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions – £951 Value!
  • Walking tours of market cities and towns with local guides
  • Visits to Old Town Heidelberg and historic Heidelberger Schloss (Heidelberg Castle)
5* Loved the Christmas Markets!!!
This was our first Tauck river cruise. We were very impressed with how organized the trip was. No hitches anywhere along the way, from pick up at the train station to drop off. The staff was very warm, inviting and helpful. Food was great! And special activities in the evening were fun. Tour guides were very knowledgeable. Loved the stop at Rudesheim where we toured the music box museum, had the special Rudesheim coffee and cookies at a local restaurant, and then had time to relax, explore, eat, and shop in the evening.
Added By:
Date: 20-Dec-2016

5* Christmas magic!
After hearing about the Christmas markets on a previous Tauck River cruise, I decided I would like to do the Rhine River Christmas market cruise. I have to say it is magical to see the beautiful towns that we stop at with all their Christmas lights hung and the Christmas stalls with all their goodies. The food was fabulous and I loved it. When people ask me my most memorable moment I never can pick one because everything we do and see is so different and memorable. I loved everything about this trip and want to tell everybody to try it.
Added By:
Date: 26-Dec-2017

5* Second time was just as wonderful as the first.
This was our second river cruise with Tauck. It was a wonderful trip, just like the first time. Tauck staff takes care of everything so you don't have to worry about anything. Everybody is friendly and very helpful. The service is exceptional and the food is great. We will be back for sure. Too many to mention.
Added By:
Date: 21-Dec-2016

5* Just fabuloso!
Tauck is THE BEST! The ship only had 113 guests so everything felt very intimate. We got friendly with many of the passengers and many of the staff, who were superb. What made a huge difference for me was the lactose free menu items. The chef was willing to use lactose free milk and cream in many items so I could eat everything. Also special items! Everything
Added By:
Date: 26-Dec-2017

4* 2017 Rhine Christmas Markets
It was a terrific experience with excellent excursions. Tauck continues to impress with its sophistication and professionalism, coupled with a personal, warm touch. The itinerary provided a rare opportunity to see and appreciate the various cultures, national personalities, and seasonal festivities of Switzerland, France and Germany. Heidelberg with its castle, old town, and overall setting.
Added By:
Date: 26-Dec-2017

5* Xmas Markets on the Rhine River
What a wonderfully magical, fairy tale of a trip. It's difficult to state just one or two things that were exceptional. * The MS Inspire is a beautiful ship! * Tauck cruise directors were so kind! * Beautiful Cities! * Wonderful food! Taxi ride back to the ship at 140 kph on the Autobahn from Baden-Baden, Germany, because I was very late meeting the motor coach carrying us back to the ship. The gorgeous ship! The Tauck cruise directors! My beautiful room on the MS Inspire! The food! Making new friends! The Christmas Markets! 1st Tauck trip but not my last!
Added By:
Date: 28-Dec-2017

3* Tauck was not magical
Based on a Danube river cruise and a Tauck land Switzerland trip, I booked this trip for my daughter and me, expecting Tauck to blow the other cruise line out of the water. Did not happen. All the elements of a planned trip were there...just nothing special about the ship atmosphere. Might it be that the crew has no incentive due to no tipping? Having a light snow fall up at the Heidelberg Castle
Added By:
Date: 11-Dec-2017

5* Tauck ChristmasMarket River Cruise on the Rhine
I gave my son this trip as a special birthday gift and we both had a fantastic time! The boat was so beautifully decorated in Christmas finery and comfortable as well. The crew were so passenger-focused, very warm and friendly and fun. The food was delicious and soooo plentiful. This is my third Tauck trip and I plan to do more in the future. The beautiful, magical Christmas markets of Europe!
Added By:
Date: 19-Dec-2016

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Touring with Tauck

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This tour is operated by Tauck

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Start: Basel, Switzerland
Finish: Köln, Germany
Suitable for: 0-99
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