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Christmas along the Rhine River

By Viator, October 2013

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As the home of the original Christmas market and the traditional Christmas tree, few places capture the magic of yuletide like Germany and there are some tough contenders for the country’s most idyllic Christmastime destination. If its medieval romance and glittering light displays you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with a cruise along the picturesque Rhine River and as the temperatures plummet, the entire Rhine Valley is aglow with festive sparkle.  

Germany’s legendary Christmas markets are the focal point of many wintertime tours and the Rhine hosts several atmospheric Christkindlmarkets, many sprawled along the scenic riverside. The wine-making town of Rüdesheim will be swapping Riesling for Glühwein over the holiday season, with a giant Christmas market held in its Old Town; Trier’s Christmas market crowns an annual German Mulled Wine Queen; and Cologne boasts no less than 5 Christmas markets, including one held in the shadow of its landmark UNESCO-listed Cathedral. There are plenty of other ways to get in the Christmas mood too - Koblenz’s Town Hall transforms into an enormous Advent Calendar for the entire month; Speyer hosts a dramatic fireworks and festive lights display; and the live manger scene in Worms draws huge crowds. 

Of course, the best way to take in the sights of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Rhine Valley is with a river cruise and winter is one of the most scenic times to soak up the views, as the fairytale landscape transforms into a real-life winter wonderland.  Take to the icy waters on a festive Christmas afternoon cruise from Rüdesheim or Cologne and look out over the snow-capped turrets of Katz Castle and Marksburg Castle while tucking into hot waffles and coffee. Or get romantic on a candlelit Christmas Dinner cruise along the Rhine or a Christmas Sunday Brunch Cruise, accompanied by a decadent spread of festive foods and a chorus of Christmas carols. 

Tours & Tickets

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Nuremberg Third Reich and Roman Empire Historical Day Trip

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 40 Reviews

During your time in Germany, visit the famous town of Nuremberg and learn about its fascinating story on this full-day trip from Munich. Today a dynamic and ...  Read more

Location: Munich, Germany
Duration: 10 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $51.38
$64.56 Save $13.18

Cologne Christmas Sunday Brunch Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

Capture the Christmas spirit as you cruise along the majestic Rhine River through the grand old city of Cologne and indulge in a decadent brunch buffet. Admire ...  Read more

Location: Cologne, Germany
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $46.11

Düsseldorf Rhine River Christmas Afternoon Cruise

Soak up the holiday spirit on this 2-hour afternoon cruise on the Rhine River from Düsseldorf. Enjoy lovely wintry views of Düsseldorf's Old Town and ...  Read more

Location: Dusseldorf, Germany
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $29.64

Düsseldorf Rhine River Christmas Dinner Cruise

Capture the Christmas spirit on this Rhine River cruise from Düsseldorf as you listen to a DJ playing Christmas music and indulge in a sumptuous buffet ...  Read more

Location: Dusseldorf, Germany
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $79.05

Rhine River Christmas Afternoon Cruise from Rüdesheim

Cozy up on this festive cruise along the Rhine River, listening to Christmas music as you admire castles, churches and vineyards on the shores of the river. ...  Read more

Location: Rudesheim, Germany
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $28.98

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