Program offerings are subject to change.
Skip to Basel to Cologne Day-to-Day
Arrive at Cologne Bonn Airport where you will be transferred to the ship. (D)
FEATURED EXCURSION: Cologne walking tour with Cologne Cathedral visit and Christmas Markets
What could be more appropriate for this time of year than a visit to Cologne Cathedral, the city’s beloved landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site? It is believed that the earthly remains of the fabled Three Kings (the Magi) lie at rest here. You’ll learn about the history of the cathedral and its artwork, especially the pieces surrounding the Shrine of the Magi. Christian pilgrims have been flocking here for many centuries. In fact, one of the cathedral’s expansions was intended to accommodate the many faithful who travel to experience the wonder of this sacred site.
Cologne boasts no fewer than eight Christmas Markets, and you have the rest of the day to explore them at your own pace following the tour. Be sure to visit the Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market, as well as Alter Markt in front of the City Hall, Neumarkt in Cologne’s shopping area, and the Medieval Christmas Market in front of the Chocolate Museum. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, WD)
Note: On Sundays and Catholic holidays, guided tours inside the cathedral will not be possible.
Koblenz, cruising the romantic Rhine, Rüdesheim
FEATURED EXCURSION: Koblenz walking tour with Christmas Market
Your ship’s course to Koblenz takes you through 40 breathtaking miles of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage cultural landscape. With castles strung like pearls on the hillside and the famous Lorelei Rock, the valley is the perfect example of the romantic Rhine. Once you arrive in Koblenz, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, stroll through picturesque alley-ways lined with half-timbered houses—charmingly decorated for the season—on your way to the Koblenz Christmas Market. There the sounds of a cappella choirs singing the beloved songs of the season resound through the ancient square, and dozens of wooden stands offer arts and crafts, spicy mulled wine, and huge gingerbread hearts. (BB, L, D)
FEATURED EXCURSION: Siegfried’s Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments with Christmas Market
Enjoy a leisurely exploration of the town of Mainz, where Johannes Gutenberg perfected his printing press. Stroll through Old Town and cross the city square to Kaiserdom and Kurfürstliche Schloss. Explore the St. Nicholas Christmas Market with 1,000-year-old St. Martin’s Cathedral as a backdrop. Then you’ll cruise from Mainz to Rüdesheim, located in the heart of the Rhine Valley. The ship docks near Rüdesheim’s unique Christmas Market, which highlights Christmas customs from around the world. Browse the more than 120 stalls packed with holiday delights, and don’t miss Rüdesheim’s life-sized Nativity scene—one of Germany’s largest.
If you like, drop by one of the city’s many wine bars and sample a glass of the local wine; the Rheingau region of Germany is one of the smallest wine-growing regions in the country, yet its Reislings are world-renowned. As it gets darker, take a look at the illuminated decorations on the rooftops; homeowners vie with one another to put up the most colorful displays. A trip to Siegfried’s Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments to see its idiosyncratic collection of self-playing musical instruments is one of the day’s delights. (BB, L, D)
FEATURED EXCURSION: Full-day Heidelberg tour with Christmas Market
Situated on the banks of the Neckar River, Heidelberg is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities and home to the country’s oldest university. Your tour of Heidelberg takes you past the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle and through Old Town, which is all dressed up for the holidays. You’ll have ample time to explore the Heidelberg Christmas Market, which spans more than five squares and offers an inviting array of unusual arts and crafts, as well as exquisite hand blown glass ornaments. Marvel at the Christmas Pyramid rotating inside the tower at the Marktplatz, or take a ride on the carousel. (BB, D)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Strasbourg by canal with Christmas Market or exclusive “Taste of Christmas” walking tour
Situated halfway between Paris and Prague, Strasbourg is known as the “Crossroads of Europe.” See this city as it has been seen through the centuries—via a canal cruise. You’ll arrive in charming Petite France, a neighborhood of cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses that is particularly picturesque at this time of year, where you’ll find the oldest Christmas Market in France. Complete your exploration of Strasbourg’s Old Town with a visit to magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. There in the square before the single-spire Gothic church, you’ll discover finely crafted toys, ceramics, jewelry, and handmade Nativity figurines in a wonderfully festive atmosphere. Or choose instead to taste delicious seasonal treats in Petite France on an exclusive walking tour around Place Kléber. Uniworld’s expert local guide will introduce you to the best this historic district has to offer. (BB, L, D)
FEATURED EXCURSION: Basel walking tour with Christmas Market
Your city walk introduces you to Basel, Switzerland’s second-largest city. Delight in Basel’s Christmas Market, located in the heart of historic Old Town. With more than 150 stands, it offers many locally made craft items, unique ornaments, and delicious seasonal baked goods. Warm your hands on a mug of glühwein (warm spiced wine) as you browse. When you’ve spent as long as you like shopping, visit the illuminated Christmas Street, which is beautifully decorated with over 100 Christmas trees. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, FD)
Disembark the ship and transfer to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg for your flight home, or extend your stay in Lucerne. (CB/BB)
Note: Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.