top of page

The irresistible magic of a Christmas river cruise

Making some perfect holiday memories

I’ll never forget that Christmas when I was eleven. That magical year, I got a puppy. I’d been begging my parents for a couple of years, and she finally was mine: a beautiful white Samoyed. Another Christmas I’ll never forget is the one when I was fourteen: the pump to the well, which supplied our house water, broke, so we had no running water that Christmas.

Many holidays in our lifetimes aren’t extremely memorable because they’re pretty much what we expected. I’m sure you’ve noticed that we tend to remember most clearly the things in life that have the most emotion attached to them.

Speaking of emotion: one I love is anticipation. I LOVE anticipating a vacation, don’t you? I think it’s super fun to pre-create the experiences and memories that will be made, and anticipate all the great things it will bring.

Let’s talk about the irrestible magic of a Christmas river cruise. Talk about combining two amazing feelings into one: the joy of Christmas combined with the anticipation of an incredible vacation with those you love, all tied up in one package.

Why take a river cruise?

First, I love that it encourages quality time together: it’s a more intimate experience than ocean cruising and allows everyone to be together on a small ship, while still allowing everyone to pursue their own interests, such as biking tours, castle hikes, food or wine experiences, and cultural immersions.

Second, I love river cruising for generational family trips, or for groups.

And third, I love that river cruises put you in the heart of cities and villages…no catching a train or cab, just the experience of the location’s charm.

This cruise includes fairytale castles and historic vineyards in a perfect 7-day itinerary. It’s called Rhine Castles and Swiss Alps, and is a perfect mix of a vacation fantasy. It begins by exploring the canal-rich, beautiful city of Amsterdam, and then sails off to Germany and the city of Cologne, the charming villages of Rudesheim and Heidelberg, and then through the Rhine Gorge, strung with 40 castles along the riverbanks. Then cross the border into the Alsace region of France, followed by the spectacular panorama of the Swiss Alps. Covering the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland, this incredible itinerary is a dream come true.

Here’s the 7-day magic of a Christmas river cruise along the Rhine River:

Day 1: Embarkation in Amsterdam.

Day 2: Amsterdam. The highlight of the day is a canal cruise tour.

Day 3: Cologne. This day, explore Old Town, the Cologne Cathedral, and the Christmas markets, with over 160 booths and pavilions.

Day 4: Rhine Gorge & Rudesheim. Cruise through the captivating Rhine Gorge, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of the river before reaching the winemaking town of Rüdesheim. One stop today is Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum with its remarkable collection of self-playing musical instruments.

Day 5: Ludwigshafen. Today you can visit the perfectly preserved medieval city of Heidelberg. Stop by the charming Christmas markets or visit a museum which highlights exhibits of vintage cars, military aircraft and submarines.

Day 6: Strasbourg. Strasbourg offers flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location. Visit the Cathedrale de Notre Dame and other famous locations.

Day 7: Basel. Tour the city by foot or on a guided bike tour that takes you through three countries: Switzerland, France and Germany. Visit Lucerne, with its spectacular medieval walls and towers.

Day 8: Basel. Bid farewell to Basel as you disembark and prepare for your flight home.

River cruising is such an incredible experience, especially doing a Christmas cruise like this one. This cruise has an option for adding on 3 nights at Lake Como after disembarking at Basel, or for adding a couple of nights in Amsterdam before cruising. Besides Christmas, it’s available in 2021, July through December; and in May through December in both 2022 and 2023. The best thing about reserving a cruise early is that you have lots of opportunity to anticipate and save for this amazing experience.

Our best memories are the ones attached to lots of emotion. If you’re interested in making these types of memories, let me know! I’m happy to discuss this or many other river cruise options.

Photos courtesy of AmaWaterways


bottom of page