'Christmas Markets on the Rhine' cruise

Sail between Amsterdam and Basel with AmaWaterways

 

Experience the deep-rooted holiday traditions of Europe at its most festive time of year. You can choose to travel from Amsterdam and enjoy Switzerland after your cruise, or stay in Switzerland first and cruise northwards along the river.  

Get caught up in the magic with visits to some of Europe's timeless Christmas Markets. Warm up with a mug of steamy glühwein while at the market located in front of Cologne's UNESCO-designated gothic cathedral. Let Strasbourg's 'Capital of Noël', the oldest and largest Christmas Market in France, captivate you the way it has for centuries. Meander through Heidelberg’s majestic Christmas Market nestled idyllically amongst the historic squares of the Old Town. And while in Gengenbach, marvel at the world’s largest advent calendar, where every evening the brightly lit windows of the neo-classical town hall open and behind each one is a picture by a famous artist. Cherish all the glory of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Rhine.

Several ships cruise the Rhine on this itinerary: AmaKristina, AmaMora, AmaPrima, AmaSerena, AmaStella. Please check with us with regard to dates if you have a particular preference. 


River cruising with a Switzerland holiday - how does it work? Click here for an overview


Starting guide prices for a Category E stateroom range from £2,240-£2,310 per person for 7 nights.

This is in addition to your flights and hotel and rail arrangements in Switzerland. We will be pleased to provide a tailor made quotation for your holiday, including cabin upgrades or single supplements. Please note, AmaWaterways holidays have different deposit conditions, which you can view here.

We are pleased to detail below the itinerary for this cruise - these are some of the highlights, but you will actually have a choice of complimentary excursions every day.

Day 1 - Amsterdam / Basel

Transfer from Schiphol airport or Basel train station and board your luxurious river cruise ship.

Settle in to your cabin, meet your fellow cruise guests and enjoy a fabulous dinner with unlimited wine, beer or soft drinks. 

Day 1 - Amsterdam / Basel

Transfer from Schiphol airport or Basel train station and board your luxurious river cruise ship.

Settle in to your cabin, meet your fellow cruise guests and enjoy a fabulous dinner with unlimited wine, beer or soft drinks. 

 
Day 2 - Amsterdam / Breisach

Southbound - there are 165 canals in historic Amsterdam, and you’ll get to enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. Later in the day, set sail out of Amsterdam.

Northbound - Visit the enchanting town of Riquewihr beautifully dressed with twinkling decorations and a lively Christmas Market. On your walking tour, admire historical architecture, as well as famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate. Alternatively, you may wish to visit Freiburg with its red sandstone cathedral and enchanting Christmas Market.

Day 2 - Amsterdam / Breisach

Southbound - there are 165 canals in historic Amsterdam, and you’ll get to enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. Later in the day, set sail out of Amsterdam.

Northbound - Visit the enchanting town of Riquewihr beautifully dressed with twinkling decorations and a lively Christmas Market. On your walking tour, admire historical architecture, as well as famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate. Alternatively, you may wish to visit Freiburg with its red sandstone cathedral and enchanting Christmas Market.

 
Day 3 Cologne / Strasbourg

Southbound - Cruise to Cologne and join a guided tour through the enchanting Old Town. Explore the gothic cathedral and then visit one of Europe’s largest and most renowned Christmas Markets. Try the traditional Kölsch beer and potato pancakes served with apple sauce. 

Northbound - A panoramic bus tour takes you past Strasbourg's main sights. Afterwards, walk through the historic centre with the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame and the Christmas Market. During the afternoon, visit Gengenbach Christmas Market with its larger-than-life advent calendar. 

Day 3 Cologne / Strasbourg

Southbound - Cruise to Cologne and join a guided tour through the enchanting Old Town. Explore the gothic cathedral and then visit one of Europe’s largest and most renowned Christmas Markets. Try the traditional Kölsch beer and potato pancakes served with apple sauce. 

Northbound - A panoramic bus tour takes you past Strasbourg's main sights. Afterwards, walk through the historic centre with the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame and the Christmas Market. During the afternoon, visit Gengenbach Christmas Market with its larger-than-life advent calendar. 

 
Day 4 - Rhine Gorge / Ludwigshafen

Southbound - Cruise through the Rhine Gorge to Rüdesheim. Head to a wine cellar for a wine tasting and later in the day, you can try one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee. You’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy the traditions of the Christmas Market. 

Northbound - A choice of two historic Rhine cities. Heidelberg will capture your heart with its mighty castle and Speyer is known for its romanesque cathedral. Each has a festive Christmas Market, which you will have time to explore, shop and soak up the atmosphere.

Day 4 - Rhine Gorge / Ludwigshafen

Southbound - Cruise through the Rhine Gorge to Rüdesheim. Head to a wine cellar for a wine tasting and later in the day, you can try one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee. You’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy the traditions of the Christmas Market. 

Northbound - A choice of two historic Rhine cities. Heidelberg will capture your heart with its mighty castle and Speyer is known for its romanesque cathedral. Each has a festive Christmas Market, which you will have time to explore, shop and soak up the atmosphere.

 
Day 5 Ludwigshafen / Rüdesheim-Rhine Gorge

Southbound - Visit Heidelberg with its historic castle and university; while here, wander along one of Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping streets. Or try Speyer with its romantic, UNESCO-protected cathedral. Both towns have an atmospheric Chistmas Market for you to enjoy.

Northbound - Your exploration of Rüdesheim continues with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue with panoramic views of the river and a vineyard wine tasting of the local Riesling. Later, set sail along the scenic Rhine Gorge with its fabled legends and many castles. 

Day 5 Ludwigshafen / Rüdesheim-Rhine Gorge

Southbound - Visit Heidelberg with its historic castle and university; while here, wander along one of Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping streets. Or try Speyer with its romantic, UNESCO-protected cathedral. Both towns have an atmospheric Chistmas Market for you to enjoy.

Northbound - Your exploration of Rüdesheim continues with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue with panoramic views of the river and a vineyard wine tasting of the local Riesling. Later, set sail along the scenic Rhine Gorge with its fabled legends and many castles. 

 
Day 6 Strasbourg / Cologne

Southbound - Strasbourg's fabulous Christmas Market dates back to 1570. While here you can also enjoy a panoramic bus tour and a walking tour through the historic heart of the city, taking in the Cathedral and the famous Petit France district. Later, visit Gengenbach Christmas Market. 

Northbound - Join a guided tour through the enchanting Old Town. Explore the UNESCO-designated cathedral and then visit one of Europe’s largest Christmas Markets located in front of the cathedral. Alternatively, cycle along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten. 

Day 6 Strasbourg / Cologne

Southbound - Strasbourg's fabulous Christmas Market dates back to 1570. While here you can also enjoy a panoramic bus tour and a walking tour through the historic heart of the city, taking in the Cathedral and the famous Petit France district. Later, visit Gengenbach Christmas Market. 

Northbound - Join a guided tour through the enchanting Old Town. Explore the UNESCO-designated cathedral and then visit one of Europe’s largest Christmas Markets located in front of the cathedral. Alternatively, cycle along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten. 

 
Day 6 - Breisach / Amsterdam

Southbound - Riquewihr in the Alsace region has a lively Christmas Market and on your walking tour, you can admire the historic architecture. Alternatively, you may wish to visit Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to a Gothic cathedral as well as an enchanting Christmas Market.  

Northbound - Begin your discovery of Amsterdam with a scenic canal cruise, followed by a walking tour to the Begijnhof, known for its historic Middle Ages building and concluding with a panoramic city tour that includes the Royal Palace and Westerkerk. 


Day 6 - Breisach / Amsterdam

Southbound - Riquewihr in the Alsace region has a lively Christmas Market and on your walking tour, you can admire the historic architecture. Alternatively, you may wish to visit Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to a Gothic cathedral as well as an enchanting Christmas Market.  

Northbound - Begin your discovery of Amsterdam with a scenic canal cruise, followed by a walking tour to the Begijnhof, known for its historic Middle Ages building and concluding with a panoramic city tour that includes the Royal Palace and Westerkerk. 


 
Day 8 - Basel / Amsterdam

Enjoy a last breakfast onboard before taking your leave of the ship.

Southbound - It's time for Switzerland element of your holiday. You will be transferred to Basel station, where you can stow your luggage and explore the city, or make your rail connection to the Swiss resort of your choice. 

Northbound - Your transfer takes you to Schiphol airport for your flight home. 

Day 8 - Basel / Amsterdam

Enjoy a last breakfast onboard before taking your leave of the ship.

Southbound - It's time for Switzerland element of your holiday. You will be transferred to Basel station, where you can stow your luggage and explore the city, or make your rail connection to the Swiss resort of your choice. 

Northbound - Your transfer takes you to Schiphol airport for your flight home. 

 

Back to the AmaWaterways river cruise home page here

Back to the AmaWaterways river cruise home page here

 

Map of the route


2019 sailings

  • Amsterdam-Basel November 24, 25, 30 and December 1, 2, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 22, 23 
  • Basel-Amsterdam November 23, 24, 25 and December 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22  

Christmas Markets generally operate from the last week of November to around December 22. If dates change, the first and final sailings above may be modified. 

Planning your ski holiday

Call 0800 619 1200
  • Select your airport from around the UK
  • Choose 1st or 2nd class rail transfers
  • 3 or 4 star hotel accommodation 
  • How many nights are you staying  
  • Would like to upgrade your hotel room
  • Decide on bed & breakfast or half board
Request your ski holiday quote

Scenic rail holidays

Ask us about the Swiss scenic rail journeys - a great way of combining resorts to create your own two or multi centre holiday
Glacier Express
Bernina Express
GoldenPass Line
Gotthard Panorama Express

Planning your holiday

Call 0800 619 1200
  • Decide where you would like to stay
  • Choose your scenic journeys
  • 1st or 2nd class rail travel in Switzerland
  • How many nights in each resort
  • Decide on bed & breakfast or half board
  • 3, 4 or 5 star hotel accommodation
  • Plan visits with your Half Fare Card

You may also like to consider adding a scenic river cruise at the start or end of your holiday. Please ask for details. 

Request your holiday quote