• Save up to 30% on Select 2018 Cruise Departures - Ends Dec 31

    Save up to 30% on Select 2018 Cruise Departures - Ends Dec 31

  • AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

    AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

  • Past Guests Save an additional 5%

    Past Guests Save an additional 5%

Rhine Holiday Markets

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Leisurely
German Christmas Treats
Tour Style: Boutique River Cruises
8 Days from $2,499 per person

Switzerland, France and Germany provide the perfect backdrop for this true connoisseur’s Christmas markets cruise. Discover the roots of our Christmas traditions as you explore some of Europe’s most charming towns on a luxury, all-inclusive Rhine River cruise. 

Savor tantalizing once-a-year treats with Uniworld’s “Taste of Christmas” program, including gingerbread, crepes with cinnamon and warm spiced wine. Revel in brightly painted carousels and handmade ornaments, medieval squares illuminated by twinkling lights, life-sized Nativity figures and joyful brass choirs. Sail through castle-strewn hillsides and visit charming towns decked in holiday finery for a holiday season you will never forget.

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  1. 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.

    meal(s):Dinner
  2. 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.

    Featured Excursion:
    Basel walking discovery tour with Christmas Market

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Captain's Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner
  3. 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.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Strasbourg by canal with Christmas Market or Exclusive “Taste of Christmas” Strasbourg walking tour

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  4. 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.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Full-day Heidelberg tour with Christmas Market or Exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting

    Note: Lunch is not included with the full-day Heidelberg tour.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  5. 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.

    Featured Excursion:
    Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum with Christmas Market

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  6. 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. The ship will pass the famous Lorelei rock, where, legend has it, a siren lured sailors to their doom. 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.

    Featured Excursion:
    Koblenz walking discovery tour with Christmas Market

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. 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.

    Featured Excursion:
    Cologne walking discovery tour with Cologne Cathedral visit and Christmas markets

    Note: The number of visitors allowed in Cologne Cathedral is regulated by a very strict set of time slots. Sightseeing will be arranged around the time slots obtained. On Sundays and Catholic holidays, guided tours inside the cathedral will not be possible.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Captain's Farewell Dinner
  8. 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.

    meal(s):Breakfast
  • Itinerary in reverse
Cruise Start Date CATEGORY 5 CATEGORY 4 CATEGORY 3 CATEGORY 2 CATEGORY 1 SUITE Availability Price
Itinerary in reverse
28 Nov 17 $2,499pp $3,299pp $3,799pp $4,099pp $4,499pp $6,299pp Call 1-877-622-9109
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Cologne to Basel
5 Dec 17 $2,499pp $3,299pp $3,799pp $4,099pp $4,499pp $6,299pp Call 1-877-622-9109
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Cologne
Itinerary in reverse
12 Dec 17 $2,499pp $3,299pp $3,799pp $4,099pp $4,499pp $6,299pp Call 1-877-622-9109
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Cologne to Basel
19 Dec 17 $2,499pp $3,299pp $3,799pp $4,099pp $4,499pp $6,299pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Cologne
Itinerary in reverse
28 Nov 18 $3,099pp $3,199pp $3,899pp $4,299pp $4,799pp $6,499pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Cologne to Basel
5 Dec 18 $2,999pp $3,099pp $3,799pp $4,199pp $4,699pp $6,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Cologne
Itinerary in reverse
12 Dec 18 $3,099pp $3,199pp $3,899pp $4,299pp $4,799pp $6,499pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Cologne to Basel
19 Dec 18 $2,699pp $2,799pp $3,499pp $3,899pp $4,399pp $6,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Cologne
  • Itinerary in reverse: This departure's itinerary operates in reverse order.

Note: Christmas markets are generally open from the beginning of Advent until December 23rd.

NOTE: Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.

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.

Price shown is per person based on two people sharing a twin bedded Stateroom. Single rooms are available at a supplement. Port charges included on 2017 departures only. 2018 port charges are an additional $160 per person.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the cruise.

Special Discounts and Promotions: At times we offer discounted departures. These discounts are valid for new bookings only and are not combinable with any other discounts other than our Frequent Traveler Discount and $100 AARP Member Discount. Other restrictions may apply, please call for details.

View River Cruise Terms & Conditions

  • All Meals All Meals
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Professional Cruise Management Professional Cruise Management
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • All Gratuities All Gratuities
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Six-Star Ships Six-Star Ships

Taste

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water

Travel

  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the exquisite S.S. Antoinette
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days

Explore

  • 3 countries
  • 6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Taste of Christmas” and “Gentle Walking” programs
  • 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks

Experience

  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “European Christmas Traditions, from the Nutcracker to the Tannenbaum”

Length: 443 ft / Width: 37.5 ft / Voltage: 110/220 volts / Guests: 154 / Staff: 57

Suites: 9 (294-391 sq ft) / Staterooms: 64 (163-196 sq ft) / Rivers: Rhine River

The luxurious décor of the 443-foot, 154-passenger S.S. Antoinette—Uniworld’s first Super Ship—features fine Brazilian marble on the walls and floors, a 19th-century Venetian glass mirror, a stylish Bar du Leopard with full-service bar, and an onboard cinema. The two-story foyer boasts a 10-foot blue Strauss Baccarat chandelier with huge sapphires—a stunning piece that once hung in New York's famous Tavern on the Green—and a collection of original artwork is displayed throughout the ship.

Click HERE to view a PDF of ship facts.

Staterooms

Royal Suite

Luxurious riverview royal suite (391 sq ft - 36.3 sq m) with open-air balcony, and a spacious living room

Handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, built-in closets, hair dryer, safe, individual climate-control thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center 

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence and Hermes bath and body products, plush towels, special towel warmers, backlit magnifying mirror, heated mirrors, cozy bathrobes and slippers, separate rain shower and tub, and a secluded toilet and bidet area

Additional amenities and service include: in-suite butler service; packing and unpacking assistance; in-room breakfast; daily fruit and cookie plate, and an elegant evening snack; iPod dock; Nespresso coffee machine and fine teas; fully stocked mini bar; bottle of wine upon arrival; shoe shine; free laundry service; and a special dinner in L'Orangerie Sky Lounge

Suites

Luxurious riverview suite (294 sq ft - 27.3 sq m) with open-air balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, built-in closets, hair dryer, safe, individual climate-control thermostat, direct-dial telephone, flat-screen TV with infotainment center 

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence and Hermes bath and body products, plush towels, special towel warmers, backlit magnifying mirror, heated mirrors, cozy bathrobes and slippers

Additional amenities and services, including: in-suite butler service; packing and unpacking assistance; in-room breakfast; daily fruit and cookie plate, and an elegant evening snack; iPod dock; Nespresso coffee machine and fine teas; fully stocked mini bar; bottle of wine upon arrival; shoe shine; free laundry service; and a special dinner in L'Orangerie Sky Lounge

Category 1

Luxurious riverview stateroom (196 sq ft - 18.2 sq m) with open-air balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers

Features & Amenities

Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds draped in high-thread-count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, along with a menu of pillow options.

Our meticulously designed ships feature enticing public areas and luxurious amenities, including a lounge with full-service bar, well-equipped fitness center, restaurant, Serenity River Spa, and a Sun Deck where you can relax and take in the ever-changing views.

Reception

Sky Lounge

Pool

Welcome

Cinema

Salon Bar

Reviews

Trip not yet reviewed
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Germany, France, and Switzerland must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering these countries.

  • The currency in Germany and France is the Euro (€).The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Please note that Switzerland is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, however many prices are nonetheless indicated in euros to help travelers compare prices. Some Swiss merchants may accept euros but are not obliged to do so. Change given back will most likely be in Swiss francs.

    While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in Europe, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • We recommend packing layers to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress.  It’s important to bring comfortable walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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