Rhine Holiday Markets (8 Days)

Cruise Line: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Basel, Switzerland to Cologne, Germany
DAY
PORT
ARRIVE DEPART
DAY 1
Basel, Switzerland

Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer, or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

DAY 2
Basel, Switzerland

Basel is a cultural and artistic powerhouse, with all sorts of galleries, theaters, and museums. And at this time of year, the city's Christmas market draws visitors from all over Europe, as does its Christmas Street, lined with more than 100 beautifully decorated and illuminated Christmas trees. Be sure to make a wish in the town's Wish Book! Your day in Basel begins with a short panoramic tour of Switzerland's second-largest city. Long an important center of education, banking, and trade, Basel boasts a glorious history that stretches back to the Roman Empire. During the Renaissance, its university and master printers drew intellectuals from all over Europe, including the great thinker Erasmus of Rotterdam, whose tomb is found within the walls of the Romanesque cathedral. To this day, the city remains a cultural and artistic powerhouse, with numerous art galleries, theaters, and more than 30 museums. And at this time of year, a beloved Christmas market draws visitors from all over Europe.

DAY 3
Kehl, Germany
Strasbourg, France
Kehl, Germany

Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, a rather overused word that in this case is perfectly apropos. Whether you see it via a canal boat or on foot with a friendly local expert, this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests, and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Kehl, directly across the river from Strasbourg, will be your ship's base while you explore the Alsatian capital, which is known as the "Crossroads of Europe" for its strategic location halfway between Paris and Prague. It is home to a magnificent single-spire Gothic cathedral and many beautiful half-timbered houses.

DAY 4
Mannheim, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany
Mannheim, Germany

Wake up in Germany and choose your adventure for the day. You can join an excursion to the historic university town of Heidelberg, where you'll see the castle ruins and visit the Christmas market. Or for something really unexpected, venture into a spooky candlelit tasting room to sample flavorful elixirs made from wine vinegars. Utterly unique and surprisingly delicious! Your ship left France behind and sailed into Germany during the wee hours of the morning. If you speak no German, here's one phrase you might want to learn now: "Fröhliche Weihnachten", or "Merry Christmas!" Today you'll have two choices: venture into the storied city of Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in the country, or visit the Doktorenhof vinegar estate for a special vinegar tasting.

DAY 5
Mainz, Germany
Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany

Double your fun today with visits to two Christmas markets. The first is in Mainz, the birthplace of Gutenberg's revolutionary printing press and home to a 200-year-old Christmas market. The next is in Rüdesheim, a town famous for its life-sized Nativity scene, brandy-infused coffee, and a quirky museum devoted to mechanical musical instruments. Mainz, standing at the confluence of the Rhine and the Main rivers, may be best known as the city where Johannes Gutenberg prepared his priceless 42-line bible for publication in 1485, using his newly invented printing press. You have the morning at leisure to explore the city that inspired such ingenuity, venturing off on your own to visit the Gutenberg Museum or one of the other intriguing museums nearby. Or you could stroll with the cruise manager through the Old Town neighborhood known as the Cherry Orchard, which is lined with picturesque half-timbered houses, on your way to the 200-year-old St. Nicholas Christmas Market. The millennium-old St. Martin's Cathedral acts as its backdrop, and the holiday pyramid smack in the middle of the square reflects Mainz's history—figures of Gutenberg and the ancient Roman commander Drusus join the standard angels and Santas. Mainz's Old Town brims with specialty shops tucked into lovingly restored buildings: you'll find jewelry, leather goods, books, toys—something special for every special person on your list. However you choose to spend your time in Mainz, you'll head back to the ship for a short cruise to Rüdesheim, which, like many cities along the Rhine, dates back to Roman times, when the Rhine was the northern border of the empire. Today, Rüdesheim is famous for its beauty and its entertaining alley of shops and wine bars called the Drosselgasse. It's also home to a unique and fascinating little museum devoted to mechanical musical instruments.

DAY 6
Koblenz, Germany

On today's cruise along the Rhine, watch out for the Loreley rock, a tall slate cliff towering over the narrowest point of the river. Celebrated in song and shrouded in legend, the rock is famous for the tale of Loreley, a beautiful siren whose beguiling song doomed passing sailors. Further down the river, step ashore in Koblenz, a historic town with a colorful past, eclectic architecture, and an enchanting Christmas market. Spend a spectacular morning onboard your luxurious boutique ship as you sail the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stretch of the Rhine is extraordinarily picturesque: castles perch atop steep cliffs above the water and each quaint village is marked by the spire of its historic church. After sailing past 40 miles (65 kilometers) of gorgeous scenery, you'll reach the famous intersection of the Rhine and the Moselle. Here, where the two rivers meet, you'll find the enchanting town of Koblenz.

DAY 7
Cologne, Germany

You simply cannot visit Cologne without paying homage to its most notorious site, the Gothic masterpiece that serves as the city's cathedral. Your local expert will show you favorite haunts around the Old Town and share some of the cathedral's most intriguing and Magi-cal secrets with you. Later, you can explore the city's seven (!) Christmas markets to your heart's content. Cologne is the largest and oldest city of the Rhineland and a cultural mecca, with more than 30 museums and hundreds of art galleries. A congenial atmosphere and a mix of ancient, modern, and reconstructed buildings characterize the heart of the city.

DAY 8
Cologne, Germany

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer, or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Cologne Bonn Airport for your flight home.

Rhine Holiday Markets map

About the Ship

What's Included

Included

    • An array of pillow options, flat-screen TVs with infotainment centers, and bathrooms stocked with robes, slippers, and L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products

    • All scheduled airport transfers

    • All meals onboard

    • Unlimited beverages onboard, including wines; beers; spirits; cocktails; soft drinks; juices; cappuccinos, lattes, espresso, and French press coffee; teas; and mineral water

    • Shore excursions hosted by English-speaking local experts, with personalization options including Choice Is Yours, Go Active, Do as the Locals Do, Village Day, and Gentle Walking programs and a host of exclusive experiences designed for Uniworld guests only

    • Ship-wide Internet and Wi-Fi access

    • Well-equipped fitness center with exercise classes onboard and use of bicycles* and Nordic walking sticks for onshore enjoyment

    • All gratuities onboard and onshore

    NOTE: Bicycles are not available on the River Countess because bike riding is prohibited in Venice.

Not Included

  • These include, but are not limited to, airfares to and from your destination except where specified; airport/departure taxes; cost of passport and visas; taxes; excess baggage charges; laundry; phone calls; all items of a personal nature; items not included on regular menus; expenses for additional sightseeing not specified in the itinerary; premium spirits & premium wine (please refer to complimentary beverage program in Uniworld’s Terms & Conditions), meals not detailed in the itinerary; Gratuities for programs in Russia, Egypt, India, China and Vietnam/Cambodia.

About Us

The moment you step onboard any of Uniworld's luxurious, one-of-a-kind floating boutique hotels, you’ll experience the care that went into the beautiful design. With outstanding service that comes from the heart, a choice of personalized and exclusive excursions, delicious farm-to-table cuisine, and a choice of inspiring destinations throughout world—every element is included, and is as unique and special as each guest. U by Uniworld is innovating the travel industry with a fresh approach to river cruising. Our sleek ships give you access to the heart of the city, local food, lively onboard atmosphere, and immersive activities.

Insider Tip

As the most all-inclusive cruise line on the rivers, Uniworld elevates all-inclusive luxury river cruising to an entirely new level.

Terms & Conditions

All fares are per guest in US Dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Availability of all stateroom categories cannot be guaranteed. Fares for single guests are available upon request. Additional restrictions may apply. If you have purchased your transatlantic or transpacific air with Uniworld and/or you have purchased a cruise-tour package with Uniworld that includes air, your entire package price will be guaranteed at time of initial payment.

Reservations and Payments: A deposit of at least 10% of the cruise-tour fare (cruise-tour, plus port charge, plus pre and or post land extensions, less applicable discounts), per person is required within 72 hours of reservation. Final payment is due at least 120 days prior to departure. Reservations will be canceled if final payment is not received in a timely manner. For all guests booking air travel with Uniworld, a separate non-refundable airfare deposit of $450 per person is required at time of booking. Upon receipt of air deposit your airfare, tax and fuel surcharges are final. You may cancel your air within 24 hours of booking and receive a full refund of the airfare deposit or the total amount paid for air if paid in full at time of booking

Click here for full US terms and conditions and cancellation policies.

Click here for full Canadian terms and conditions and cancellation policies.

Ships' Registries: China, Egypt, India, The Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Vietnam



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