Rhine River Christmas Market Cruise

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A Rhine River Christmas Market Cruise had been on our bucket list for a long time. In December 2012, Alan and I cruised on AmaWaterways Amacello from Amsterdam to Basel with a land extension in Lucerne and Zurich. As we publish articles about the trip, you’ll see them here.

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AMA Waterways Christmas market cruise itinerary

We arrived in Amsterdam via Lufthansa a day early to rest up from jet lag. Accommodations were at the Amsterdam Marriott.

After boarding the Amacello on a Thursday afternoon, with an overnight in Amsterdam, we started the next morning with a choice of an Amsterdam Canal Cruise and city tour or visiting the Jordaan area of Amsterdam.Then, the real fun began with stops in Germany, France and Switzerland including:

  • Cologne: Cologne walking tour and cathedral visit plus Christmas markets
  • Koblenz: Overnight
  • Rudesheim: Siegried’s Music Museum, wine tasting, Christmas markets
  • Speyer: Speyer walking tour or Heidelberg excursion, Christmas markets
  • Strasbourg: Strasbourg city tour, Strasbourg canal cruise, Christmas markets
  • Breisach: Colmar excursion or Black Forest excursion
  • Basel: Basel city tour

After disembarking in Basel, we continued on an AMA Waterways Christmas cruise land extension to Lucerne and Zurich. In Lucerne we stayed at the Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne. Activities included Lucerene walking tour, Christmas markets, optional Swiss Mountain tour and Lucerne Lake cruise.

Unfortunately, this is where the trip took a wrong turn for me and I ended up in a hospital. Luckily, Alan and I have a Medjet Assist membership which brought me home. Read about it in my Medjet Assist review.

The tour continued to Zurich without us with a Zurich city tour and Christmas markets visit. There was also an optional tour to Rhine Falls.

Our Rhine River Christmas Cruise Experience

Jordaan District Walking Tour With AmaWaterways

A Snowy Walking Tour in Amsterdam

When Alan and I boarded Amacello in Amsterdam for an AmaWaterways Rhine River Christmas Market cruise, we didn’t expect such a snowy welcome. But those white flakes didn’t keep us from exploring Amsterdam on a Jordaan District walking tour provided by the ship. In fact, the snow added to the fun of visiting the UNESCO World Heritage […]

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Riekermolen, an Amsterdam windmill

A foggy view at Riekermolen

Do you like Alan’s atmospheric photo of an Amsterdam windmill? Did you know that this shot wasn’t planned? The lens fogged up when Alan pulled out the camera to photograph Riekermolen, a windmill near Amsterdam that dates from 1636. And It proves that sometimes a camera mishap can turn out better than you think. We […]

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Cologne Cathedral

A Winter Walking Tour of Cologne, Germany

Pastel-colored buildings enhance the snowy scene when AmaWaterways Amacello pulls into her spot along the banks of the Rhine River in Cologne, Germany. Cologne in December can be snowy, as it is on our visit. But Alan and I aren’t going to let a little snow on the ground keep us from exploring Germany’s 4th […]

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Rheinstein castle in the Rhine Gorge

Winter on the Rhine

On a foggy, sleety day, AmaWaterways Amacello winds through the Rhine Gorge where medieval castles and vineyards compete for attention above scenic river banks. Alan heads outside to take photos but returns quickly, unable to shield his lens from pelting sleet. Most Rhine River cruisers hope to view the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World […]

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Saturday’s scene: the Rudesheim Christmas market

The Rudesheim Christmas market more than met my expectations of a Christmas market scene in Germany. When Alan and I walked from the AmaWaterways Amacello into the small German village, we discovered a winter tableau worthy of the front cover of a Christmas card. After crossing some rail tracks near the pier, we climbed the […]

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Gingerbread decorating hanging from a building

Strasbourg, the Capital of Christmas

Although in France, the Strasbourg Christmas markets rival those of Germany when it comes to elaborate Christmas decorations and displays. Alan and I enjoyed the festive scenery while on a walking tour with AMAWaterways. Our Rhine River cruise had stopped in Europe’s capital city—the European Parliament meets here—for an all day discovery that included a […]

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lion-lucerne-sculpture

The lion of Lucerne

The Lion of Lucerne honors Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution. The memorial was carved into a sandstone cliff face between 1820 and 1821. The colossal work of art measures ten meters by six meters. But it’s not the staggering size that is the most impressive element of the Lion […]

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