The Christmas Markets in Germany are considered Europe’s best and what better way to experience a selection of some of the best than on a festive river cruise along the majestic Rhine river in southern Germany. Travel by rail or air to join the cruise in Cologne. Relax on board the MV Prinses Christina as she glides silkily past romantic hilltop castles, picturesque vineyards and historic riverside towns and enjoy the festive markets in Koblenz, Rüdesheim and Mainz. Accommodation is in comfortable twin bedded cabins with breakfast, lunch and dinner each day included as well as morning coffee and afternoon tea.
Koblenz Christmas Market
Day 1: UK to Cologne
Rüdesheim at Christmas time
Depart London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet in the morning on Eurostar to Brussels arriving in just over 2 hours. Continue by train or coach to Cologne and the MV Prinses Christina, with time to settle in before dinner. Alternatively, fly to Cologne by air from regional UK airports – see flight information and options. On arrival transfer to the ship. Overnight in Cologne.
Day 2: Cologne to Koblenz
Early morning we begin our cruise towards Koblenz where the Rhine meets the Moselle. We arrive mid-afternoon and have time to explore and visit the Christmas Market in the main Square. Overnight in Koblenz.
Day 3: Koblenz to Rüdesheim
This morning we sail through the Rhine Gorge to Rüdesheim, passing the famous Lorelei Rock. We arrive early afternoon. On arrival your Cruise Director will take those who wish to the famous Drosselgasse - a unique cobbled lane just 144 metres long, packed with bars, restaurants and live music and to the Christmas Market. Overnight in Rüdesheim.
Day 4: Rüdesheim to Mainz
This morning we set sail for the historic old town of Mainz. At this time of year the market square is a blaze of lights against the imposing back-drop of the thousand-year-old Cathedral of St Martin. Showmen and craftsmen offer Christmas specialities and original presents. Overnight in Mainz.
Day 5: Mainz to Frankfurt to UK
After Breakfast we disembark and have a short transfer by coach to Frankfurt where we take the train to Brussels for our onward Eurostar to London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet arriving during late afternoon. Or, transfer to Frankfurt airport for your flight back to the UK.
MV Prinses Christina
The Prinses Christina
is a comfortable, fully air-conditioned ship where everything on board has been designed to make guests as comfortable as possible. It can accomodate 107 passengers on three decks in cabins which were completely renovated in 2012. A stair lift operates between the main and promenade decks and to the restaurant on the cabin deck. The large sun deck is partially covered.
All 54 river-view cabins have: air-conditioning, a shower and toilet, satellite TV, and European electricity socket (220 volts). Standard cabin area approx 8 sq m.
The elegant lounge and bar – situated on the promenade deck – has picture windows offering a panoramic view. Morning coffee and afternoon tea are served each day in the lounge.
On board the Prinses Christina you’ll start the day with a buffet breakfast. In the summer you’ll enjoy a three-course lunch and a four-course dinner with a choice of menu.
Cabin prices - 2017
Cabin Deck Standard (LSTD) £499pp
Main Deck Standard (MSTD) £599pp
Main Deck Deluxe (MDEL) £699pp
Promenade Deck Standard (PRSTD) £799pp
Promenade Deck Deluxe (PRDEL) £899pp
Eurostar – London to Brussels
From London St Pancras, Eurostar takes as little as 2 hours to Brussels. On board, you will have a reserved, semi-reclining aircraft-style seat. You’ll also find a buffer car serving tea, coffee, hot chocolate, beer, wine, spirits, sandwiches, crisps and a few hot snacks. Sterling, Euros and cards accepted. You can eat and drink in the bar area (standing space only, there are no seats) or take your purchases back to your seat. You can also take your own food and drink on board.
Departures from London are expected to be early to mid morning depending on the exact train departure time, confirmed to us 8 weeks before travel. Please bear this in mind when planning your journey to St Pancras. An overnight stay at a nearby hotel prior to travel may be worth considering – call for information.
Travel & Luggage
There are no actual luggage weight restrictions imposed by the rail companies. However, for your comfort and convenience we recommend you limit your luggage to the following: ONE main suitcase⁄holdall with built in wheels weighing no more than 15 to 20kgs per person – Plus ONE small shoulder bag⁄holdall per person. Restricting the bulk of your luggage to manageable sizes will make the journey more enjoyable. You will need to move all your own bags on and off trains and between platforms and transfer vehicles. Our tour manager will be unable to provide physical assistance with luggage. On TGV trains, you may be allocated seats on the the upper floor, which means you would have to carry your bags upstairs. Many train stations and platforms are big and long, sometimes with stairs or escalators. Some stations have lifts, but using them can involve a longer walk, so be prepared for this when walking with your luggage.
Train travel is a relaxing and enjoyable feature of our holidays
However, at times it can be physically demanding as you will be required to walk and move your luggage on and off trains and between platforms and transfer vehicles. Many train stations and platforms are big and long, sometimes with stairs or escalators, so please be prepared for this when walking with your luggage. The Tour Manager⁄Escort will not be able to provide you and⁄or your luggage with physical assistance at anytime. Where overnight or main hotels are less than 150 metres (approx) from the station, no transportation or luggage assistance will be provided.
Please Help us to Help You
In our experience, clients who discuss with us their concerns over mobility limitations and⁄or health issues (including visibility, hearing etc) when booking, are far more satisfied with the level of service we provide and enjoy a more relaxed and fun holiday, compared to those who attempt to cope without the benefit of our expert advice.
We must stress that these holidays are not suitable for users of mobility scooters, wheelchairs or walking aids (frames, sticks, etc).