Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets - Riviera Travel River Cruises - 15th Dec 18

Discover the magical ambience of Germany`s traditional Christmas markets with their host of unique, inspired gift ideas, plus the stunning Rhineland in its wintry splendour.

Date: 14–18 Dec 2018

Ship: Charles Dickens

OutsideBalcony
AU $1,009AU $1,319

Discover the magical ambience of Germany`s traditional Christmas markets with their host of unique, inspired gift ideas, plus the stunning Rhineland in its wintry splendour.

__________________

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT - We currently have 5 cabins (only) on Lower deck with no single supplement - Single from $1009* - sole use occupancy with a double bed all to yourself! (correct as at 17Jan18 - subject to availability at time of booking)

__________________

ADD ON A DRINKS PACKAGE - An onboard Drinks Package:

Available for all new 2018 departures is an onboard drinks package (valued at $99 per person). This includes draught beer, non-alcoholic beer, soft drinks, juices, red/white/rose house wines, and wine recommendations from the menu - served with lunch and dinner onboard your ship. If you would like to add on this package please advise prior to departure from Australia.

_____________

ENCHANTING RHINE & YULETIDE MARKETS RIVER CRUISE Cruise-Only package includes:

  • 4 night river cruise round trip from Cologne aboard ms Charles Dickens
  • All meals from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your day of departure including Welcome Cocktails & Dinner plus Captain`s Dinner
  • Complimentary onboard tea & coffee
  • Five star service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides
  • Complimentary onboard Wi-Fi
  • The services of a Riviera Travel River Cruises cruise director and tour manager
  • Included visits and shore tours: 4 visits and tours including guided tours of Frankfurt and Koblenz and visits to Rudesheim and Cologne
  • Port charges

___________________

Cabin types:

Lower deck cabins - are on the lowest deck with windows (which do not open) running along the top of the wall

Middle deck cabins - are on the 2nd deck and have French Balconies (ie full glass sliding door which opens fully - cannot step out as there is iron safety railings along the lower half of the doorway)

Upper deck cabins - as for middle deck but located on the 3rd deck up.

____________________

Cruise Day to Day itinerary

(subject to change by the cruise line without notice)

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL IN COLOGNE

Moored in Cologne`s picturesque historic centre, your first-class crew will be ready to welcome you on board and ensure you settle into your comfortable and extremely well equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.

DAY 2 – RHINE GORGE & RUDESHEIM

To really get in the Christmas mood, nothing beats waking up on board to find you`re already cruising through an entrancing winter wonderland. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning and relax on board while a kaleidoscope of riverside views drifts by in all their seasonal glory. Wrap up warm and take to the deck for an invigorating breath of frosty air as we pass through the outstandingly beautiful Rhine Gorge, where the river flows a little faster, the vineyard-covered valley sides are steeper and ruined castles sit atop rocky crags. Tales of mysterious happenings here have been passed down over the generations, most famously of all the legend of the Lorelei – the maiden said to have enticed sailors onto the rocks with her irresistible songs. The festive period is a magical time to visit this picturesque part of Germany, and no country does it better. The historic Yuletide markets here are the ideal places to soak up the spellbinding atmosphere while seeking out unusual presents for friends and family back home. After lunch on board we arrive in Rudesheim, whose quirky, crooked houses and tiny streets provide the perfrect chocolate-box setting for its Christmas market. As you wander the myriad stalls, glistening in the glow of hundreds of fairy lights, stop perhaps for a slice of gingerbread or a warming Rudesheim coffee with its fortifying shot of locally distilled Asbach brandy and a dollop of whipped cream. And don`t forget to pay a visit to the Christmas shop: open year-round, it`s a treasure trove of all things seasonal, from tree decorations and music boxes to wooden nutcrackers and handcrafted figurines. As the evening light fades, amble back on board to enjoy a sumptuous dinner in the ship`s excellent restaurant.

DAY 3 – FRANKFURT

During breakfast this morning we cruise into the cosmopolitan city of Frankfurt. Located on the Main River, it`s Germany`s financial and business hub, with one of the world`s largest stock exchanges. The city also has an unexpectedly charming and traditional side, with a medieval Old Town of colourful half-timbered houses huddled around cobbled squares, a wealth of peaceful parks and scenic riverside paths. This morning we enjoy a guided tour to experience its fascinating contrast of new and old: the towering skyscrapers of the 21st-century city on one side; the historic centre on the other, featuring Saint Paul’s Church, the Imperial Cathedral and the Gothic Romer, a complex of gabled buildings dating from the 15th to 18th centuries, including the Altes Rathaus or Old Town Hall. There has been a Christmas market held in Frankfurt`s historic centre for over 600 years, making it one of the oldest in Europe. It is also one of the most popular, and after lunch on board take a stroll among the maze of stalls clustered around the Romerplatz market place and Saint Paul`s Square selling arts and crafts, toys, decorations and tempting seasonal food and drink – you can`t fail to be captivated by its joyful ambience. The 100-foot-tall Christmas tree, carol music and classic fairground attractions all add to the cheery festive feel, while aromas of freshly made gingerbread and baked apples fill the air – simply magical. No visit would be complete without sampling a glass of warming Gluhwein, or mulled wine. This delicious concoction is usually made with red wine heated with citrus zest and spices such as cloves and cinnamon. Sometimes it’s drunk mit Schuss, meaning a shot of rum or brandy has been added for extra punch! There`s time to relax on board before the Captain`s Dinner tonight, so why not unwind with an aperitif in the bar and chat about the day`s events with your fellow travelling companions and newly made friends?

DAY 4 – KOBLENZ & COLOGNE

Early risers will witness our arrival in historic Koblenz, dramatically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. The city is a romantic`s dream – forest-covered hillsides dominate the skyline, while the lower slopes are strewn with the pretty half-timbered buildings so typical of the Rhineland. This morning you will have a tour of Koblenz with a knowledgeable local guide, taking in its principal monuments, discovering ancient squares, admiring lovingly restored historic house frontages and quaint hidden passageways. Located in the characterful Old Town, Koblenz`s Christmas market is one of the largest in the Rhineland. As you browse its gaily decorated stalls, the mouthwatering aromas of hot chestnuts and sausages fill the air, and you must visit the Christmas bakery making the famous Stollen – the delicious spiced bread containing candied and dried fruits, nuts and marzipan customarily eaten at this time of year. Back on board for lunch, we make our return to Cologne along the Rhine Valley, admiring the rolling countryside, idyllic medieval towns, Gothic church steeples and fairytale castles that create such an enchanting scene. As the towering spires of Cologne`s cathedral come into view on the wintry skyline, we moor in the shadow of this ancient monument once again. Christmas creates a special atmosphere here and you have free time to immerse yourself in the city`s seven Yuletide markets, each with its own unique theme. Every year a huge number of visitors are drawn to the more than 160 tastefully decorated festive stalls of the Cathedral Christmas market, impressively set against the spectacular backdrop of this imposing Gothic building where the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland, illuminated with 50,000 LED lights, is a magnificent glittering sight to behold. There`s also plenty of live entertainment to enjoy. After browsing the market and its Aladdin`s cave of festive gifts and foods, return to the ship to enjoy a final delicious dinner this evening.

DAY 5 – RETURN HOME

This morning you disembark the ship, aglow with the memories of a truly special cruise.

__________________________

*Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person share twin (unless stated as single) in AUD, based on best available cruise fare at time of publication (17Jan18). All prices based on cash payment - credit card fees may apply. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. The following are NOT included in this package - 1. Ships gratuities 2. Drinks aboard river cruise other than those as listed as included in a Drinks Package (if you choose to pay the additional fee) 3. Any meals other than those as stated 4. Transfer to port to join cruise 5. Transfer from port to depart cruise 6. Travel insurance - proof of which is mandatory prior to documentation release 7. International or domestic airfares. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Offer valid until sold out/withdrawn from sale and is subject to availability at time of booking. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty.

4 nights From AU $1,009 per person, twin share