German Christmas Markets 2018

River Rhine | Germany, Europe

5 days
per person
  • Rudesheim at night
  • Rudesheim
  • Cologne Christmas Markets
  • Cologne at night
  • Christmas Markets
  • Christmas Markets
Rudesheim at nightRudesheimCologne Christmas MarketsCologne at nightChristmas MarketsChristmas Markets
Note that there may be small differences between our general Itinerary for this cruise and a specific departure. To view departure specific itineraries please go to the Dates and Prices tab and click "View Itinerary" on a specific departure.

German Christmas Markets

When it comes to Christmas markets, nowhere does it quite like Germany. Our journey along the Rhine takes in the Christmas Markets of Bonn, the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven, with time to explore before we continue to Koblenz, one of Germanys oldest cities which is transformed into a Christmas paradise. Then we cruise along the spectacular Rhine Gorge to Rüdesheim’s romantic old town and the Drosselgasse which are filled with 120 stalls from 12 different countries. Our cruise along the mighty Rhine takes you to these destinations, where you can shop alfresco style and enjoy the magical atmosphere; and with our ship close by, you can just wander back when you’ve done all your shopping and sightseeing, relax in the cosy lounge and enjoy a warming drink served by the crew. It’s seasonal shopping at its best!

Day 1: UK – Cologne
We travel to Cologne, one of the main cities along the Rhine, which is set around its beautiful gothic cathedral. Here we join our ship and enjoy a relaxing evening.

Day 2: Cologne – Bonn – Koblenz
We cruise down the Rhine to discover the many faces on Bonn and the architectural heritage of more than 2,000 years. We have free time to explore the Christmas markets. We continue cruising down river to Koblenz, at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, this evening we visit the Koblenz Christmas Market, with over 130 festively decorated wood stalls offering a range of handmade gifts, Christmas decorations and gifts. Enjoy a glass or red or white glüwein whilst listening to festive music playing.

Day 3: Koblenz - Rüdesheim
This morning we cruise along spectacular Rhine Gorge and past the famous Lorelei rock, to the quaint town of Rüdesheim. We have free time to explore the Christmas markets, a delightful event held in the town’s chocolate-box old quarter. You can also join our optional excursion; Rüdesheim Delights, to visit the wonderful Mechanical Music Museum of Siegfried and topping off our excursion we will be offered a mug of glühwein.

Day 4: Rüdesheim – Mainz
We continue cruising down the Rhine to Mainz, where the Rhine meets with the Main river. You can enjoy the rest of the day exploring the Christmas markets, where the historic market square turns into a beautiful spectacular of lights. The streets are filled with aromas of gingerbread, chestnuts and mulled wine. The backdrop of the thousand year old cathedral is where the showmen and craftsmen offer Christmas specialities.

Day 5: Mainz – UK
This morning we bid farewell to our captain and crew and disembark for the return journey to the UK.


• Start the Christmas season in style with a Rhineland cruise

• Visit a host of Christmas Markets in both Koblenz and Cologne

• Sample wonderful German Christmas-time food and drink

• Have the opportunity to buy unique Christmas gifts

• Shop in beautiful surroundings – a far cry from the High Street and shopping centres

• Sail through the World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge


We offer a number of flexible travel options for you to join your cruise, whether you want to travel to the port of departure or directly to the ship. Please see below:

Coach via Dover or Hull

On many of our cruises you can take advantage of our convenient and FREE regional coach departures aboard our modern executive coaches from a town or city near you to the port of departure and onwards to meet the ship.

Join a Ferry crossing at Dover or Hull

When you travel by coach or car, you will join a ferry at Dover or Hull, depending on your chosen cruise, and cross over to Europe. Our coach will then take you to meet our ship at the embarkation point as shown in the cruise itinerary. Hull crossings take place overnight, adding 2 days to the cruise duration.

Overnight hotel in Dover or Ashford

Travel at your own pace, in the comfort of your own vehicle and stay overnight at Dover or Ashford, in accommodation close to the port of departure and be collected/returned by our coach. Prices for Ashford start from £59 per person per night and for Dover for £65 per person per night on a bed and breakfast basis and include parking for one vehicle for the duration of your cruise.

Eurostar from London St Pancras

Enjoy the benefits of rail travel – boarding at London St Pancras International, you will be whisked effortlessly along by Eurostar whilst relaxing in your reserved seat. You have the freedom to stretch your legs whenever the mood takes you and purchase drinks and snacks from the buffet carriage.

Join at the Ship

You are of course free to make your own way to and from the ship by booking your flight/ferry or train tickets independently – a small reduction applies. With your joining instructions we will send you a map of where the ship is berthed and also a boarding time.

Dates and pricing

The details below show the travel options, pricing and the available departure dates for this itinerary. If you have any questions about this cruise please do not hesitate to call our Holiday Advisors.


DepartureTravel optionsBooking

Enhance your holiday experience with a range of optional and included excursions that allow you to discover the history of our ports of call, experience the tradition of local regions and explore further afield. They’re the perfect complement to your cruise itinerary, but they are subject to availability so we recommend you book early!

Rudesheim Christmas Markets

Rüdesheim Delights


The quaint town of Rüdesheim holds a particular charm during the winter months, with the wine bars, streets and narrow alleys bustling with seasonal festive fayre and sales of its regional Rheingau wines and beers. In Rüdesheim’s most captivating , inclined street called the Drosselgasse, you can seek out a souvenir bottle or two along with some local Asbach brandy. A highlight of our excursion is a visit to the marvellous Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum, where fascinating examples of early 1900 mechanical music making systems can be viewed. Topping off our visit will be the offer of a complimentary mug of Glühwein, with the invitation to keep our mug as a souvenir. Prost!

At a glance

Length: 5 days

From: Cologne

Ends: Mainz

Travel options available:

  • Coach via Dover or Hull
  • Join a Ferry crossing at Dover or Hull
  • Overnight hotel in Dover or Ashford
  • Eurostar from London St Pancras
  • Join at the Ship
5 days
per person

Customer feedback

Included in the Price

  • Return travel from the UK
  • Welcome drink, Captain’s get-together & party night
  • En suite cabin accommodation aboard the MS Serenity
  • Four nights’ cruise on a full board basis
  • Early risers and mid morning tea/coffee
  • Entertainment on every night of your cruise
  • Visits to Cologne, Bonn, Koblenz, Rüdesheim & Mainz
  • Services of our experienced and friendly Cruise Director and Cruise Manager


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