German Christmas Markets River Cruise

German Christmas Markets River Cruise

Cruise the Rhine visiting four Christmas Markets along the way


Cruise the Rhine visiting four Christmas Markets along the way


Discover Christmas traditions from all over the world at the charming Rüdesheim Christmas Market. More than 120 stands from twelve nations offer their special products in the world-famous 'Drosselgasse' area in the historic city centre. This famous street is covered in sparkling lights and decorations during Christmas time and the festivities are popular with wine enthusiasts as the local wine growers open their cellars to offer winter specialities that will be sure to warm you up on those cold winter days. An absolute must-try treat at the Christmas market is the delicious Rüdesheim Coffee, made exclusively with local Asbach Uralt Brandy, whipped creams and served in an authentic Rüdesheim coffee set.

Be sure to visit Germany's largest nativity scene with its life-sized figures, and enjoy the numerous events, parades and concerts as well as the special festive highlights taking place at weekends. 



Six tranquil Koblenz old town squares, (Münzplatz, Plan, Rathausplatz, Liebfrauenkirche, Jesuitenplatz, Zentralplatz) host the annual Christmas Market with over 100 festive and glittering Christmas houses - plus gingerbread hearts and bright lights: Germany’s oldest city turns into a strolling paradise at Christmas time. Koblenz expects over 300,000 visitors from around the world to view its original attractions in a special atmosphere: an Advent calendar in the 24 dormers of the baroque town hall, a cappella choirs singing Christmas songs from around the world - and historic stagecoach rides.



Every year, the city centre of Cologne is touched by the magic of the festivities in the run-up to Christmas. When the Christmas markets in Cologne open their gates on the last Monday before Advent, millions of visitors from around the world delight at the goods on sale at the quaintly designed huts (or "Buden").

The Cologne Christmas markets give visitors a choice of 7 main markets and Cologne's oldest Christmas market is held on the Neumarkt, the city centre market in the shopping district

Christmas music, arts and crafts, toys, Christmas decorations and the scent of the Christmas bakeries create a wonderful atmosphere. It is not just children's eyes that light up when pewter pourers, wreath binders and glassblowers demonstrate their art, and the aroma of mulled wine, hot chestnuts and gingerbread fills the air.

Visitors can also view Cologne’s magical nativity scenes laid out at around 110 different places in the city from the 26th November 2018 until the 6th January 2019



Aachen's festively illuminated Christmas market is arranged around the cathedral - Germany's first UNESCO World Heritage site - and the historical town hall. Over 100 stalls in this lovingly decorated "Christmas town" on the market square offer everything your heart could desire. If you only sample one treat here, make sure it's the Printen, the city's famous gingerbread. Look forward to a wide range of festive entertainment including music ensembles at the weekend.

Thursday 29th Nov

A morning departure from Cumbria for the journey via York to Hull and the overnight sailing to Rotterdam.

Friday 30th Nov

We leave Rotterdam and head through Holland into Germany and along the Rhine Valley to Rudesheim where we board the MV Esmeralda, our home for the next 3 nights. After checking into your cabin, explore Rudesheims Christmas Market with 120 stalls in the popular ‘Drosselgasse’ area. Dinner is served on board MV Esmeralda tonight. Relax on board after dinner or return to the market for the evening.


Saturday 1st Dec

Breakfast is served on board as we cruise north along one of the most spectacular parts of the Rhine Gorge passing by the famous Lorelei Rock, we arrive in Koblenz as lunch is served on board. In the afternoon explore Koblenz, with over 100 festive market stalls, one of Germany’s oldest cities is a blaze of lights, try one of the traditional gingerbread hearts, mulled wine or a riesling fruit loaf. Dinner on board tonight with entertainment or return to the town centre market.

B, L, D

Sunday 2nd Dec

Our cruise continues north, breakfast and lunch on board before docking in Cologne, the city offers seven different romantic Christmas Markets, each has its own special atmosphere and its own programme. Enjoy a gala farewell dinner hosted by the ships captain.

B, L, D

Monday 3rd Dec

We disembark in Cologne and rejoin our coach, we then head to the German border town of Aachen, wander around the many stalls and sample some Aachen printen, a local gingerbread. We depart after lunch for the journey to Rotterdam and our overnight sailing to Hull.


Tuesday 4th Dec

We leave Hull and return home to Cumbria.

B=Breakfast Included, L=lunch Included, D=Dinner Included

MV Esmeralda

The Esmeralda offers a high level of comfort and a friendly atmosphere. The Esmeralda can accommodate 126 passengers on two decks and is airconditioned throughout.  It has a lift between the promenade deck and main deck.  It has a stair lift between the promenade deck and sun deck. 


All 63 outward facing cabins have:

- air-conditioning,

- shower & toilet,

- satellite TV,

- safe deposit box,

- twin beds and

- a continental electricity socket (220 volts).


Lounge /Bar

The Esmeralda has a spacious and inviting lounge.

The bar and lounge of the Esmeralda was completely renovated at the beginning of 2011.

Morning coffee and afternoon tea is offered each day in the lounge.



The restaurant at the front of the main deck can accommodate all passengers at a single seating. 

On all cruises on board the Esmeralda you'll start the day with a buffet breakfast. On cruises in the summer you'll enjoy a three-course lunch and a four-course dinner with a choice in menu.


Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
High Hesket Palmerstons Furniture Store
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Old Bus Station Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
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29 Nov
£495.00 Add

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