Christmas Markets Cruise on the Rhine River

Description: Bunt geschmückter Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Jesuitenplatz bei Nacht. Viele Menschen schlendern umher.    Description: Bunt geschmückter Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Plan bei Nacht. Viele Menschen schlendern umher.  

from Basel SWITZERLAND to Amsterdam
 on luxurious crystal cruises

explore the fabulous christmas markets in some of the most celebrated
christmas market towns in europe
including switzerland, france, germany and
 2 days in amsterdam holland

Plus an optional 2 night pre cruise land package
in basel AND LUZERN switzerland


Crystal Cruise Line is known for its luxury and its all inclusive cruises – You will enjoy everything included on this cruise

  • First class ALL SUITE accommodations
  • All meals -INCLUDED
  • All drinks - INCLUDED
  • Daily shore excursions - INCLUDED
  • All wifi on the ship - INCLUDED
  • All gratuities - INCLUDED

What makes this river cruise stand out over Christmas markets cruises offered elsewhere – THE SHIP AND THE CRUISE LINE – Don’t be fooled, Crystal is the top of the cruising industry and has been for over 20 years.  If you are considering taking a Christmas markets cruise, do it in style. Cruise the Christmas Markets only on Crystal!

  There are cruises and there are Crystal Cruises-You will see the difference yourself. – Onboard there is nothing that compares to the elegance of a Crystal cruise ship, The quality and amenities found in the Crystal staterooms and the customer service of the staff found on Crystal.  And Crystal’s complimentary shore excursions are a few notches ahead of their competition. 

 See for yourself the difference in 2020. Join us for our Christmas markets cruise on Crystal

Cruise dates November 30th –december 7th, 2020


optional 2 night pre cruise itinerary

Sat. Nov. 28th 2020 – Arrive into Basel Switzerland on your own flight arrangement and transport to our four star hotel in basel.  tonight we will have a brief group orientation


sun NOV. 29TH

Experience this unique day tour within a small group to the stunning Swiss city of Luzern. We will meet our tour guide in Basel at the train station. Together with our guide we will travel typically Swiss-style by train to Luzern (1 hour) and we will make our way first to the world known wooden chapel bridge. Continue through the old town, passing along the Kornmarkt, the Spreuer bridge to the Schwanenplatz.


We will enjoy a leisurely and very scenic walk along the lake shore to arrive at the «Lion monument». Your tour guide will tell you the story of this sculpture, before you continue to the St. Leodgar church. A short bus ride to the train station will take place, a stop at the concert hall will take place before, we will board one of the Lake Lucerne boats for a stunning panoramic cruise. The cruise will take approx. 1 hour. Enjoy the view of the Lucerne Bay, the surrounding mountains and the scenery. You will arrive back in central Lucerne by boat.  Our tour guide will lead us back to the train and back to Basel with scenic views from the train..

Tonight is at leisure.  Maybe try Swiss Fondue for Dinner, a local specialty of the region!

Monday Nov. 30th – We will be picked up at our hotel and taken to the river boat to board our ship at mid day.


cruise itinerary AT A GLANCE

 For detailed port descriptions, Christmas market descriptions for each port and a list of the FREE Shore Excursions offered in each port scroll past this itinerary at a glance.

Nov 30, Mon

Basel, Switzerland   

Embark PM

5:00 PM


Dec 01, Tue

Strasbourg, France


Late Night

Discover More


Dec 02, Wed

Mannheim, Germany   


Late Night

Discover More


Dec 03, Thu

Rüdesheim, Germany



Discover More


Dec 03, Thu

Cruising the Romantic Rhine River



Discover More


Dec 03, Thu

Koblenz, Germany   



Discover More


Dec 04, Fri

Koblenz, Germany   


Late Night

Discover More


Dec 05, Sat

Cologne, Germany



Discover More


Dec 05, Sat

Rhine River Cruising



Discover More


Dec 06, Sun

Amsterdam, Netherlands



Discover More


Dec 07, Mon






(For a listing of the free shore excursions offered in each port, scroll past the Port/Christmas markets descriptions)




Pre cruise dates Sat. Nov. 28th-Mon. Nov. 30th, 2020

Even with its international flair and reputation as an iconic center for progressive art and design, Basel’s medieval town center invites exploration by foot with an abundance of museums and galleries. While antiquity may be Basel’s strong suit, two of its native sons – architects Herzog & de Meuron renowned design London’s Tate Modern Beijing’s Bird’s Nest – bring a modern flair to the city’s design along with other notable architects including Frank Gehry
For details of our pre cruise 2 night land package in Basel and Luzern Switzerland, see above.



Strasbourg france

Tuesday december 1st  2020

The seat of the European Parliament, Strasbourg is one of the world’s most photogenic towns. It boasts a breathtaking Gothic cathedral and a remarkable charm that oozes from virtually every cozy corner of Grande Île, or “Large Island,” the first city center to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Strasbourg Christmas market is one of the oldest in Europe.  Strasbourg invites you on a true sensory journey. From the fairy-like lights to the delicious aromas, let yourself be carried away by the city’s warm atmosphere,  marvel and wander around the 300 wooden chalets set up in the city’s historic centre. With its majestic Great Christmas Tree sporting a dress of lights, and its countless illuminated streets, the Capital of Christmas takes you into an enchanted and richly decorated city that will enthral young and old. 
Come and experience an authentic Alsatian Christmas, filled with magic and traditions from bygone days. It is also the ideal occasion to visit Strasbourg’s Grande Île, the particular charm of which peaks during this period of festivity.




Mannheim germany

wednesday dec. 2nd 2020

The name Benz is synonymous with automotive innovation, and here is where this legacy began. Also born here was the “man-powered running machine” (or bicycle), the Lanz Bulldog tractor and first rocket-powered aircraft, firmly establishing the city as the place for innovation and industry. The university town is also alive with hubs of diverse food, drink and shopping, as well as a thriving art and musical culture.

No country is more well known for its Christmas markets than Germany and Nothing says Christmas in Germany quite like the charming, quintessential Christmas markets that decorate the country during this magical time of year.

From traditional handicrafts and quirky ornaments to tasty local delicacies and sweet-scented mulled wine, there’s absolutely nothing you can’t find in a German Christmas market and this is the first of four German towns our Christmas markets cruise will visit this week.

Where Santa Claus Goes Shopping: The Mannheim Christmas Market is one of the largest and most beautiful Christmas markets in southwest Germany. Many thousands of guests visit this Christmas Market every year.

The Mannheim Christmas Market is situated in the center of Mannheim, just five minutes walk from the central railway station.

About 200 booths or more are placed around the "Wasserturm", a historic water reservoir and Mannheim's most famous landmark.

Surrounded by an expansive Art Nouveau garden, the Mannheim Christmas Market is a wonderful place to walk around with friends and family. It offers a great deal of ideas for Christmas gifts and decorations. Arts and crafts from many German regions and neighbouring countries are available to buy including a huge choice of toys, ceramics, candles, leather and Christmas decorations



Rüdesheim germany

thursday december 2nd 2020

If Rüdesheim’s scenic location on the UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge doesn’t sweep you off your feet, then the town’s medieval Old Town with its half-timbered buildings and narrow lanes, especially the Drosselgasse overflowing with charming shops and taverns, surely will. The region’s renowned Rieslings, produced here for centuries from vineyards dating to Roman times, promise to delight, too.

More than 15 nations from six continents bring and offer their goods, specials, customs and celebrations of the season:
Good and thoughtful things, gifts and delights from Orient and Occident, from Europe and from overseas.
Guests from all over the world and locals together celebrate within the ancient historical landscape of the Rhine Gorge, creating a unique flair and atmosphere. Enchanting Stalls & Glowing Lights. Homes and mansions, decked with lights greenery and ornaments, show the festive spirit of the season.
Vendors and craftspeople invite, offer goods, gifts and delights, in colours, spices, scents the comfort and joy of ‘Weihnachten am Rhein’. Enjoy the Holidays & Be our Guest!




Friday December 3rd and Saturday Dec. 4th 2020

Located where the Rhine and Moselle rivers and three mountain ranges meet, Koblenz’ scenery is unmatched. Add to that the city’s 2,000-year-old history, hilltop fortress and squares lined by classic Germanic architecture and you have a place ready made for photos. Ambling along the town’s narrow lanes and river promenade, you might encounter medieval churches, flower-filled parks, sidewalk cafes and perhaps a “weinstube”, or wine tavern, ideal for sipping Riesling and drinking in the atmosphere.

Koblenz Christmas Market

Six tranquil Koblenz old town squares, over 100 festive and glittering Christmas houses - plus gingerbread hearts and bright lights: Germany’s oldest city turns into a strolling paradise for romantics at Christmas time. Koblenz expects over 300,000 visitors from around the world to view its original attractions in a special atmosphere: an Advent calendar in the 24 dormers of the baroque town hall, a cappella choirs singing Christmas songs from around the world - and historic stagecoach rides.

  •               Description: Bunt geschmückter Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Jesuitenplatz bei Nacht. Viele Menschen schlendern umher.                Description: Bunt geschmückter Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Plan bei Nacht. Viele Menschen schlendern umher.
    Koblenz Germany Christmas Market scenes 



Cologne germany


Germany’s most visited landmark – the UNESCO-listed Cologne Cathedral – dominates the skyline here, its magnificent Gothic twin-spires reaching toward the heavens. Peel your eyes away from the towering Kölner Dom Cathedral, its local name, to see the space needle-like Rhine Tower, ancient Roman ruins, a modern museum, cozy beer halls and the arches of the Hohenzollern Bridge, reconstructed after the war.

Cologne, the city that gave birth to the delicious mulled wine, invites its winter tourists into a magical land of Christmas markets. From traditional to glamorous and from the old town to the Rhine, each of Cologne’s Christmas markets has its own unique charisma.

Probably the most impressive of all is the one set up against the city’s spellbinding Gothic Cathedral (Cathedral Christmas Market), where more than 160 stalls full of life and magic seduce visitors with an excellent array of arts and crafts. With the same charm, but another magnificent backdrop, Cologne’s Old Christmas Market stands out due to its rustic appeal that perfectly complements the cobbled Alter Markt.

Equally delightful are the tenderly festooned Angel’s Christmas Market on the Neumarkt; the maritime flavored Harbour Christmas Market overlooking the Rhine and the idyllic village-like Christmas Market at Stadtgarten.



Amsterdam, Holland

December 6th - all day and overnight

Everyone has an image of Amsterdam. For some, it’s small boats gliding on the canals and locals two-wheeling on bikes to work and, as frequently, to meet friends for drinks. For others, it’s gabled buildings leaning, seemingly precariously, over cobbled streets and cozy taverns illuminated by candles. Still others imagine tulips in bloom and the paintings Vermeer, Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Each vision is even more beguiling when experienced in person.

Throughout the month of the December, the Netherlands overflows with Christmas spirit. Markets become more than a place to buy food and trinkets – they become a place to warm up with glühwein and oliebollen, find the perfect gifts for friends and family.

During the holiday season, Amsterdam lives up to its picture-postcard image more than ever. The narrow, cobbled streets are festively decorated, the bridges glow with fairy lights and oliebollen vendors keep hungry Christmas shoppers in good spirits. 

Visit Amsterdam Light Festival

Light Festival is the annual event in Amsterdam held from the mid-November to the mid-January. Artists from all around the world are creating light installations especially for this event. Selected art pieces are exhibited during these two months and could be seen along the canals.

The best way to see them is on one of the special canal cruise boats

The monthly Sunday market, which highlights the work of local artists, fashion designers and creatives, gets a little bit groovy with the special Funky Xmas Market in early December. Head to the Westergas to browse through a heap of handmade art and accessories, or simply sit back and enjoy the artsy atmosphere
Taste an Oliebollen in amsterdam

Oliebollen are similar to donuts, they are just made in a shape of a boll. They’re often flavoured with apple filling or simply served with a bunch of icing sugar. Tastes like heaven, but be careful, because they’re very caloric.

However, be sure to try them at least once during the Christmas season in Amsterdam.

Check out some of the most beautiful Christmas lights

Each year Amsterdam is becoming more and more illuminated during the holiday season. Some of the most beautiful Christmas lights could be find at the Damrak, Dam Square and the Museumplein


FREE SHORE EXCURSIONS  offered by Crystal on this cruise

Strasbourg, FRANCE

Day 2 Dec 1, Tue


City Walk, Canal Boat Cruise & Christmas Market

Enjoy an enriching visit to Strasbourg, France, located on the western side of the Rhine River. Your panoramic coach tour and guided walk to see its famous sights and Christmas market is topped off with a memorable cruise along the canals of this picturesque city known as the "Venice of the North."

Approx. Duration

3 hrs

Strasbourg Cathedral - Private Visit with Exclusive Organ Recital

Enjoy a very private visit -- for Crystal guests only -- to the famous Cathédrale Notre-Dame of Strasbourg where you'll be treated to an exclusive organ recital and a visit to the crypt, which is typically not open to the public

Approx. Duration

2 1/2 hrs


Mannheim, GERMANY

Day 3 Dec 2, Wed


Mannheim Sweet Treat & Christmas Market

Take a panoramic drive through Mannheim passing sights including the memorial dedicated to Karl Benz, the historic Art Nouveau Water Tower, and the Baroque Palace before exploring the city on your own with the chance to try a local specialty, spaghetti ice cream.

Approx. Duration

2 1/2 hrs

Full Day Heidelberg Castle, City Walk and Christmas Markets

Acquaint yourself with the radiance of Heidelberg at Christmastime. Visit its iconic hilltop castle, then explore the city's history and charm before wandering at your leisure through the magical Christmas markets

Approx. Duration

6 1/2 hrs

Heidelberg Castle & City Walking Tour, Half Day 

Acquaint yourself with the beautiful city of Heidelberg. Visit its iconic hilltop castle, then explore the city's history and charm on a pleasant walk through town.

Approx. Duration

4 1/2 hrs


Rüdesheim, GERMANY

Day 4 Dec 3, Thu
Rüdesheim by Foot & by Cable Car with Christmas Markets

Enjoy a scenic ride by cable car to visit Rüdesheim's iconic Niederwald Monument, where you'll appreciate stunning views overlooking the Rhine Valley.

Approx. Duration

2 1/2 hrs


Koblenz, GERMANY

Day 5 Dec 4, Fri
Koblenz City Walk & Jewish Quarter

Discover the rich, centuries-old Jewish history and culture of the Old Town section of Koblenz.

Approx. Duration

3 hrs

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress by Cable Car

Glide by cable car over the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers to explore the magnificent Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, where you'll discover its centuries-old history as you appreciate stunning views overlooking the Upper Middle Rhine Valley

Approx. Duration

2 hrs

Cologne, GERMANY

Day 6 Dec 5, Sat


Cologne Walk - Cathedral Visit & Christmas Markets

A grand and glorious city unfolds during an engaging stroll featuring Cologne’s most renowned sights, not the least of which is the magnificent cathedral, one of Europe’s most celebrated architectural wonders.

Approx. Duration

3 1/2 hrs



Day 7 Dec 6, Sun
Approx. Duration

4 hrs

Private Canal Boat Tour and Visit to Rijksmuseum

Spend a few hours browsing through the masterworks of the world-renowned Rijksmuseum; then enjoy a boat ride through the colorful canals — the quintessential Amsterdam experience

Approx. Duration

4 hrs



With the highest staff-to-guest ratio among all European river lines, and professionals chosen for the expertise and friendly demeanor, Crystal’s genuine hospitality sets the stage for a journey beyond compare.


Extraordinary personal attention, butler service for every suite and superb, farm-to-table cuisine. An unparalleled standard of all-inclusive amenities is complemented by the most generous collection of inclusive excursions ashore. This is Crystal River Cruises



Cuisine transcends mere excellence and enters the sublime. Menus of Michelin-level envy are sourced with the freshest ingredients and paired with the finest wines. Every meal is a celebration of the ever-changing riverscape.


The Crystal Life Spa finds a natural home on the rivers of Europe, as do complimentary yoga classes on deck, fitness centers and swimming pools on every ship.  Take advantage of state-of-the-art cardio equipment and free weights as well as daily yoga and stretching classes.
A heated indoor pool with a swim-against-the-current feature helps to burn more calories while taking a dip. Spa treatments and products combine in-depth knowledge of botanical ingredients with cutting-edge science to deliver health, beauty and anti-aging therapies.
Surrounded by picturesque scenery, take in a complimentary yoga class, or choose to jog, walk or stroll on the open-air top deck. 


A king-size bed or twin beds, adjustable dining table, writing desk and vanity, and 40” flat-screen HD TV highlight this popular suite. Enjoy an Espresso coffee as you watch the sunrise from your Panoramic Balcony-window, or in-suite canapes or tea at any time


A soothing glass-enclosed shower with overhead and handheld showerheads and single vanity with halo-lit mirror highlight this exquisite bath. Enjoy plush ETRO robes, slippers and bath amenities from the renowned Italian fashion house.


Relax and allow the tireless efforts of your European-trained butler to elevate your journey into the sublime. Enjoy 24-hour room service, twice-daily housekeeping and a host of other services in this popular suite.


Enjoy a champagne reception and effortless digital check-in in this elegant glass-enclosed social space hosting daytime lectures and evening entertainment including a vibrant piano bar, dancing and cabaret-like performances.
Scenic river cruising feature sommelier-hosted wine tastings, chef-led culinary classes and destination enrichment lectures hosted by local historians and professors.

Suites –All cabins on Crystal River Cruises are Suites

The largest standard suites in all of European river cruising, these accommodations feature king-size beds (convertible to twin beds for double occupancy of course) facing Panoramic Balcony-windows, walk-in closets, gorgeous bathrooms with double vanity sinks and glass-enclosed showers, a host of high-tech amenities and Crystal’s acclaimed butler service.


Rates include:

  • First class ALL SUITE accommodations
  • All Meals –INCLUDED
  • All Drinks - INCLUDED
  • Daily Shore Excursions - INCLUDED
  • All WiFi on the ship - INCLUDED
  • All Gratuities – INCLUDED
  • Airport/Ship/Airport Transfers - INCLUDED


CATEGORY S5  Petite Suite with Panoramic Balcony-window™ (S5)

  • 188 square feet  (17.5 m2)   Deck 2

With a roommate of the same gender assigned or two people travelling together:
Only $3499 per person plus tax
Optional single room supplement: $1225 (very limited quantity of single occupancy rooms)






A cruise deposit of $900 is due within 7 days of making your reservation

All deposits must be made on our secure payment server and a $25 discount will be applied at the time of your balance payment if your deposit is made at the time of booking your reservation

Balance payments are due June 25th, 2020



If you have traveled with us before and are travelling with a friend as your roommate or booking single occupancy, you can cancel for a full refund of your $750 deposit by March 1st, 2020

If you have traveled with us before and are requesting we assign you a roommate, you can cancel by Feb. 1st, 2020 for a full refund of your $750 deposit

If you have not traveled with us before and are travelling with a friend as your roommate or booking single occupancy, you can cancel by March 1st 2020, for a full future trip credit of your $750 deposit toward any trip we offer departing within one year of your canceled trip date

If you have not traveled with us before and are requesting we assign you a roommate, you can cancel by Feb. 1st 2020 for a full future trip credit of your $750 deposit toward any trip we offer departing within one year of your canceled trip date