Door 2 Tour

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Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm

The Rhine Christmas Markets – 5 Days

Europe
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Board Basis: Full Board
  • Tour Ref: D2TJUS9877

Holiday Summary

  • Travel Type: Make your own way

5 days

A-Rosa 2024 - 5 Days

PRICE FROM ? £839 per person
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Itinerary

Description

Celebrate the Christmas season with the ultimate wine tasting, cuisine sampling and shopping cruise along the Rhine! From picturesque Rüdesheim to Frankfurt, Germany’s festive markets offer all kinds of produce, items and crafts and are famous the world over for their combination of seasonal ambience, joie de vivre and excellent choice of stalls. Admire the Renaissance facades in the traditional market square in Mainz and then immerse yourself in the enchanted valleys of the Middle Rhine as we head to Koblenz, where ice-skating, picturesque-drawn horse carriages and the smell of scented almonds create the perfect Christmas setting.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Ferry to Calais & embarkation in Cologne, Germany

Make your own way to Kent to join the coach before we head for the ferry to Calais and onwards to Cologne, where we board the A-ROSA AQUA for the start of our four-night cruise.

Lined with a bustling wide promenade and criss-crossed with bridges, our first glimpse of the mighty Rhine in Cologne is destined to be a memorable one. There’s also time to explore the city, well-known for its fine selection of monuments and attractions. The market is in the shadow of the mighty UNESCO Gothic cathedral, a wonderful experience prior to our cruise and a delightful setting for some Christmas shopping.

Day 2 – Rüdesheim & Mainz, Rhine

Located in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, our next port of call of Rüdesheim marks the end of several old merchants’ routes and is renowned for its wine. Drosselgasse, an alleyway with half-timbered facades known as ‘The World’s Longest Wine Bar’, is one of Germany’s principal attractions and the perfect place to sample some of the region’s best vintages. Visit the Rheingauer Weinmuseum in the Brömserburg to learn more about wine cultivation in the region, and if you want to sample wines that are in production today, head to the rustic wine taverns in the Old Town. At Christmas the market takes over the town, with plenty of music and glühwein to enjoy.

Later, we arrive in Mainz to enjoy an evening amid the festive atmosphere in the quaint Old Town where the Christmas market is located. Sitting at the very heart of the Rhineland's wine-growing region, sophisticated Mainz is the perfect mix of history and culture. Wander the cobbled streets of the Old Town and lose yourself among half-timbered houses, vibrant bars, traditional shops and tempting eateries. With 2,000 years of history, Mainz is not just one of the oldest cities in Germany – it is also a place where you can see history come alive wherever you turn.

Day 3 – Frankfurt, Main

Frankfurt is undergoing something of a metamorphosis, so expect to find a booming city rubbing shoulders with classic traditional German charm here on the banks of the Main. After suffering serious damage in World War Two, Frankfurt has risen from the ashes as one of Europe's premier financial centres. Glittering skyscrapers dominate the cityscape, earning the city one of its new nicknames, 'Mainhattan'. With a cluster of distinct neighbourhoods to explore, wander beautiful botanical gardens, cobblestone streets and dip into cafés, boutiques and museums. The dining scene here is delicious too, influenced by Frankfurt's melting pot of cultures and nationalities, there's everything from vegan cuisine to cosy German cookery. Head to the restored Altstadt (Old Town) and see the reconstructed and newly-built timber-framed houses so synonymous with this region, centred around the lively Romerberg Square. Or how about the delightful Christmas market? Bursting with festive cheer, St Paul’s Square is transformed into a magical winter wonderland with twinkling lights and cosy stalls.

We depart Frankfurt and sail into the heart of the Middle Rhine Valley. With vine-clad slopes, palaces and castles scattered across hills and villages nestled along the riverbanks, it is clear why this area was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. This stretch of the river is also where we find perhaps the most famous slate rock in the world: the Lorelei. In 1801, Clemens Brentano wrote the ballad Zu Bacharach am Rheine about an enchantress who was able to bewitch any man. Heinrich Heine later also referred to this legend in Die Lore-Ley – probably his best-known poem.

Day 4 – Koblenz, Germany

We arrive at Koblenz in the afternoon, the perfect time to explore the Christmas markets located in the Old Town, an easy walking distance from the ship. Don’t miss the delightful Kaiserin-Augusta-Anlagen, the southern part of the Rhine promenade, turned into a landscaped park with artistic historical monuments and sculptures between 1856 and 1861. If you fancy a treat, try Debbekooche! Originally eaten by those who couldn’t afford goose on Saint Martin’s Day, it is now considered a regional speciality and is traditionally served with apple sauce. Delicious!

Day 5 – Disembarkation in Cologne & ferry home

We arrive back in Cologne where we disembark and head to Calais for our return journey. The coach drops us back at the hotel in Ashford, Kent for you to make your way home.

Self Drive Bullets

  • Return coach transfers between Kent & your cruise ship
  • Return ferry crossings with included access to Club Lounge
  • 4-night round-trip cruise from Cologne, Germany on a premium all-inclusive basis:
    • Breakfast, lunch & gourmet buffet or à la carte dining
    • Regional specialties
    • Afternoon tea & snacks
    • Free room service
    • Tea, coffee & water available all day & evening
    • High-quality drinks (11am-midnight): soft drinks, beers, sparkling wine & a selection of wines, cocktails & long drinks (exceptions are specialities subject to surcharges & champagne)
    • 15% discount on spa treatments
    • Water, bathroom products, bathrobe & slippers in the cabin
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free use of all on-board facilities such as sauna & fitness room
  • Use of on-board e-bikes for independent exploration
  • On-board entertainment (includes up to two cultural performances)
  • Free A-ROSA app to help you explore
  • Services of an on-board Guest Relations Manager
  • Port taxes

Please note: There is no seating plan or dress code; free table times ensure a relaxed atmosphere among guests.

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Accommodation

A-ROSA AQUA

Relax on board A-ROSA AQUA, with 99 outside-facing cabins featuring a TV, hairdryer, en-suite facilities and a bathrobe. There is plenty to keep us entertained on board; join in with fun-filled activities, including a putting green, shuffleboard and a giant chessboard or unwind in the whirlpool, gym and luxurious spa. Dining is indoors and on the sun deck (weather permitting), while the bar and lounge provide the perfect space to enjoy nightly entertainment.

Price shown is based on two people sharing an outside cabin with port holes. Single cabins on request.

Cabin upgrades available (situated on higher decks and complete with Juliette balconies to enjoy watching the delightful riverscapes pass by). Subject to availability.

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