Christmas on the Rhine Cruise

Christmas on the Rhine Cruise


Christmas on the Rhine Cruise

6 Days

Tour operator:

Newmarket Holidays

Tour code:


This tour is no longer available

Tour Overview

Celebrate Christmas along the Rhine, calling at pretty German riverside port cities, illuminated by glittering lights and decked with traditional decorations.   

Step aboard a Premium All-Inclusive cruise for a magical five-night journey along one of Europe’s most enchanting rivers. Embrace a schedule of festive on-board activities, indulge in gourmet buffets, sip cocktails in cosy lounge bars, and escape the winter’s chill for treatments in the spa.  

Travelling along a southern stretch of the Rhine, you’ll stop off in picturesque Rudesheim, spend a special Christmas Eve in the ancient city of Speyer, with its UNESCO-listed cathedral, and an unforgettable Christmas in Strasbourg, complete with a guided walking tour. Time will also be enjoyed in medieval Mainz and old-world Koblenz, where you’ll embark on an atmospheric evening walking tour. Finally, you’ll glide through the spectacular Loreley Valley before you return to the cathedral city of Cologne.  


  • Experience six ports of call

  • Wander around the Christmas markets of Cologne

  • Discover charming Rudesheim and its atmospheric old town

  • Spend Christmas Eve in Speyer, with its cathedral, one of the most famous High Romanesque cathedrals in Germany

  • Enjoy a guided walking tour around Speyer and entrance to Speyer Cathedral

  • Celebrate Christmas day in Strasbourg, perhaps watching mass in the world-famous cathedral

  • Visit Mainz with its medieval buildings and sail through the dramatic Loreley Valley

  • Venture on an evening walking tour of Koblenz, taking in the sights by night


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Day One – Cologne, Germany

You can start your journey by acquainting yourself with the cathedral city of Cologne, which boasts a multitude of remarkable structures, enticing attractions and festive Christmas markets before boarding A-ROSA AQUA. To fully immerse yourself, consider arriving a day ahead of your cruise, or perhaps extending your stay after the cruise concludes.

Day Two – Rüdesheim, Germany

Today, you'll find yourself in the heart of Rhine Romanticism, Rüdesheim, a source of inspiration for poets and musicians. Notably, Johannes Brahms composed his renowned third symphony in this enchanting town. From a cultural perspective, the Rheingau region's most celebrated destination abounds with treasures, from historic aristocratic estates to ancient forts.  

Take to the winding lanes of the old town by foot, heading to one of Germany’s most well-known streets, Drosselgasse. This avenue is fringed by lively bars, wine taverns and cafés. Why not sample the coffee speciality, Rüdesheimer Kaffee, which was invented here? You’ll also have time to explore the Christmas markets before they close for Christmas.

Day Three – Germersheim, Germany (Speyer) And Included City Tour

Christmas Eve will be celebrated in Germersheim, situated near the ancient city of Speyer, which boasts a history spanning over 2,000 years. Its crowning jewel is the magnificent cathedral, a showcase of High Romanesque architecture and one of Germany's most celebrated cathedrals, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

You’ll also head off on an included guided tour, learning about the city’s historic and architectural treasures as you explore, as well as enter the cathedral to observe its striking interior.

Day Four – Strasbourg (Kehl), France, Germany

Your cruise along the Rhine will bring you to the lively city of Strasbourg on Christmas day. This city enchants with its collection of medieval half-timbered houses and grand city palaces. A true standout is the Strasbourg Cathedral, offering a breathtaking vista from its observation deck, where the half-timbered houses resemble a model railway landscape. You can also cross Rhine Bridge, where you’ll be half in Germany (Kehl), and half in France (Strasbourg). 

Embrace today in this French part of the Rhine, meandering around at your own pace and perhaps attending Christmas mass in the cathedral. This evening, you can enjoy some festive musical entertainment in the cruise lounge with a guest artist.

Day Five – Mainz And Koblenz, Germany And Included Evening Walking Tour Of Koblenz

The itinerary for Boxing Day features two beautiful stops. Your first call will be Mainz, a delightful city, home to half-timbered houses and sprawling medieval market squares. Experience the laid-back lifestyle of the residents as you stroll around one of Germany’s oldest cities, seeking out the Marktbrunnen, a striking Renaissance fountain, the Romanesque Mainz Cathedral and The Gutenberg Museum, which honours the inventor of the printing press.  

In the afternoon, you’ll pass through the dramatic Loreley Valley before arriving at the next destination, Koblenz, another enthralling city with over 2,000 years of history. Venture along its labyrinth of cobbled streets, observing the stately town houses, castles and former historic courts along the way. From the A-ROSA AQUA ship, you can also see the famous Deutsches Eck, a promontory where the Mosel River joins the Rhine.  

As you’ll be here after the sun has set, you’ll join an included evening walking tour through the old town. During this, you’ll pass the Kaiser Wilhelm Monument, the Schängelbrunnen and the Romanesque churches of St. Kastor and Liebfrauenkirche.

Day Six – Cologne, Germany

As your cruise comes to an end in Cologne, consider making the most of your day before journeying home back to the UK.

What's Included

  • Five nights' Premium All-Inclusive cruise accommodation

  • 14 meals

  • A guided tour of Speyer

  • An evening guided tour of Koblenz

  • Return travel from the UK to Cologne (unless you select our Tour Only option)

  • Included coach transfers to the ship (unless you select our Tour Only option)

  • Free Wi-Fi on board

  • On-board activities and entertainment

  • Gourmet buffet dining with live cooking stations

  • Flexible mealtimes

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Itinerary changes

Unnavigable rivers

Water levels can fluctuate on Europe’s rivers which may result in low or high water conditions in specific destinations. Please be aware that the situation can evolve rapidly, and it is impossible to predict if a cruise will be affected more than a few days in advance. Rest assured water levels are monitored very closely and we will contact you immediately if we are advised that there is likely to be any impact to your upcoming cruise.

Disruption - Delays during your cruise

If progress along the river is disrupted, we will endeavour to keep your holiday going, however the Captain may need to alter the cruise itinerary. This could include remaining moored in the same place extra nights, postponing the departure to the next day or arranging excursions to the itinerary destinations or equivalent alternatives by coach. If this happens, the Cruise Manager will keep passengers informed.

Travelling to Europe

Rules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. You do require government issued passport to travel.

Names - It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names.

Passport - Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be: Less than 10 years old on the day you return home (please check the "date of issue") and valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home (please check the "expiry date").

Visa - You do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Commencing in late 2023 or 2024, all citizens of the United Kingdom will require a ETIAS electronic form completed prior to their arrival into the EU and Schengen member countries. The cost for this travel authorisation will be €7.00 per person with exceptions for under 18’s and over 70’s. The latest information and further details can be found at

Check out our Q&As

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 1983

  • Vaccination Requirements

    Your health and safety are pivotal to our operations, and every customer travelling on a tour with us must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Fully vaccinated means that you have had the full course of an approved vaccine a minimum of 14 days prior to your holiday. We also recommend that you travel with proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Our company’s mission is to enrich lives and improve wellbeing through travel. A big part of that is ‘Travel for Good’. Our ‘Travel for Good’ hub is our first step in a long journey to reduce carbon, offset anything we produce as a company and travel without harming the planet or the people of the destinations we go to.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest Covid-19 policies

  • Fitness to Travel

    We strive to give all our customers full care and attention, but we do need to know at the time of booking if there are any special needs or requirements. It is particularly important that we are advised of any disabilities and also if you intend to bring any specialist equipment such as a wheelchair with you. Please make sure that you make us aware of any requirements.

Reviews of this operator

Mr Albert Owen  

Help is at hand at Newmarket holidays


I tried to book myself on line for an Andre Rieu concert in Vienna but I didn’t manage to complete the booking. I rang the next day & spoke to Sharon who was very helpful. I am a 76 year old pensioner & not totally au fa with the internet. However, Sharon went through it step by step & I felt more confident. She completed the booking for me & said she would also send a paper copy.

Iain Moir  

Newmarket Holidays…top dollar!


Having booked late the service we received from Newmarket staff has been excellent - helpful, friendly, painstaking and above all going further than we could really expect to ensure our requests were all satisfied. We would like to particularly thank Naima for her attention to detail and perseverance in following up our queries. This is the first time we have tried NH but it wont be the last

Miss F J Murphy  

This is the third holiday I have taken…


This is the third holiday I have taken with Newmarket Holidays. They made it easy to change from the Holiday I originally booked to one in the UK. The tour leader was excellent as was our driver, both of whom went the extra mile to ensure we had a lovely holiday. There were difficulties at the hotel due to COVID but we were made very welcome and the staff went out of their way to help us. So I have no complaint about Newmarket's choice of hotel. I am a single traveller and normally do not like to travel in groups but the laidback atmosphere of Newmarket Holidays is fine.

Caroline N, GB  

Hurrah for Eddie and Simon, Newmarket's highlands duo!


Very happy time on an action packed trip to the Scottish highlands. Eddie as tour manager and Simon as driver. Eddie shared his passion for Scottish history and between them they treated us to many unscheduled cultural stops that enhanced our holiday. They went above and beyond all the time. Train trips were amazing and views unforgettable. Hotel was welcoming and food was good. Hot water aplenty for bath. We wanted to escape to another world for a few days and we truly did. THANK YOU. Chris and Caroline

Tony King, GB  

Canada October 2021


We have returned from our long overdue trip to Canada Niagara Falls to the Rockies stating in Toronto and finishing in Vancouver. Well we happened to be the first trip back after the Coiid outbreak and it was so good to go. The company had made sure we were all safe and masks were worn where ever they had to be but this did not dampen the trip at all, the Tour directors ( guides ) were brilliant and we saw and did so much it was a fantastic trip which I would recommend to everyone, defiantly one for the bucket list.


Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Newmarket Holidays requires a minimum deposit of 35% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of newmarket holidays charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 48 days before tour starts: Forfeit 75% of booking price.

    At 34 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 15 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • Vaccination Requirements

    Your health and safety are pivotal to our operations, and every customer travelling on a tour with us must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Fully vaccinated means that you have had the full course of an approved vaccine a minimum of 14 days prior to your holiday. You can find the travel restrictions for different countries on We also recommend that you travel with proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated.

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