Germany’s towns and cities fully embrace the spirit of Christmas. This festive cruise takes you through the undulating valleys of the Rhine to some of the most picturesque, with plenty of time to browse for gifts and sample local treats. Stroll through the cobbled streets and squares of Koblenz, warm up with roasted chestnuts and sweet glühwein in Cologne, and see the figurines that create Rüdesheim’s life-size nativity scene.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your journey to Dover, where we take a break before boarding our coaches, for the Channel crossing to Calais and onward journey to Cologne. Upon arrival, embark MS Serenade 1 (4T), where light refreshments are available.
Day 2 - Koblenz
Koblenz is a beautiful town whenever you go, but in December, the half-timbered dwellings look even more romantic under the glow of Christmas lights. Located amongst some of the best vineyards in Germany, Koblenz offers some delicious wines, and equally delicious red or white glühwein to accompany your Christmas market experience. The market is one of the largest in the area, and includes a bakery where German Christmas cakes and biscuits, including stollen, are available. Be sure to look out for the Schängel Fountain and see the baroque town hall, which is turned into a unique advent calendar. You may like to begin your day with an optional excursion to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Europe’s second largest military garrison. Sitting high above Koblenz, it offers beautiful views of the town and river, and holds interesting museums on history and folklore. Our visit will be followed by a wine tasting at Deinhard Cellar Museum. We sail late evening.
Day 3 - Mainz
We arrive in Mainz around breakfast time. In modern times, Mainz is home to the parliament and the prime minister of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. But it has also preserved a small, but charming old town, full of winding alleys and beautifully crafted half-timbered houses. We take an included walking tour to learn about this 2,000-year-old town and its most influential citizen, Johannes Gutenberg, whose introduction of movable type printing to Europe is widely considered a world-changing invention. We return to MS Serenade 1 to take lunch while we sail to Rüdesheim. Docking early this afternoon, you have the remainder of the day to explore this stunning, traditional town. Head to Drosselgasse; the popular cobbled lane in the heart of the half-timbered old town is full of traditional cosy wine taverns, shops and, at Christmas time, 120 stalls offering traditional gifts and foods from around the world, from Finland to Mongolia. Try some Rüdesheim coffee, made with locally distilled brandy and whipped cream, find traditional gifts of brightly painted nutcracker men and visit Europe’s biggest nativity scene on the market square.
Day 4 - Cologne
We arrive in Cologne just after lunch, with the rest of the day free for you to explore this beautiful city. There are several Christmas markets to choose from throughout the city, including one in the shadow of the glorious Cologne Cathedral.
Day 5 Cologne - UK
After breakfast we board our waiting coaches for the return journey to Calais and Channel crossing. Upon arrival in Dover, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.