Christmas and New Year on the Rhine Spirit of the Rhine River Cruise

Celebrate Christmas and the New Year amid the beautiful wintery scenery of the Rhine and Moselle, stepping ashore to visit ancient castles, charming towns and quaint villages. Enjoy mulled wine, a festive atmosphere and traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings on board Spirit of the Rhine. You’ll welcome in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display over Boppard.

Included visits reveal the Ehrenbreinstein Fortress overlooking Koblenz, Heidelberg and its castle, and the beautiful historic quarter of Strasbourg, a showcase of impressive architectural heritage. Spend a relaxing Christmas Eve sailing from Strasbourg to Speyer, where you’ll have the opportunity to attend Midnight Mass. Admire the beautiful wintery scenery of the Middle Rhine on the morning of Christmas Day before visiting the winemaking town of Rüdesheim. On Boxing Day you’ll arrive in the pretty town of Lahnstein, a new port of call for Saga River cruises, where you may like to visit spectacular Marksburg Castle. Explore Bonn, birthplace of Beethoven, on an included tour before toasting in the New Year in Boppard. An included guided tour of Cologne is sure to be another highlight of your holiday.

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Christmas Market

Itinerary

Travel by coach from Folkestone to Cologne, via Eurotunnel or ferry, and embark Spirit of the Rhine. Enjoy a welcome drink and dinner on board, and cruise overnight to Koblenz.

Arrive in Koblenz early this morning and after breakfast on set off to explore the city independently.
Sprawled out across both banks of the Rhine, Koblenz is home to numerous cultural monuments, including a mighty statue of Willhelm I on horseback, which marks the Rhine's confluence with the Moselle. You can look forward to visiting Ehrenbreitstein Fortress during another stop here.
Spend the afternoon and rest of the day relaxing on board as your ship cruises towards Mannheim.

Early this morning you’ll arrive in the city of Mannheim, set beside the Rhine and Neckar rivers.
From here an included excursion takes you to the historic university city of Heidelberg, with its romantic riverside setting and fairytale castle, which you will also visit. Heidelberg Castle is an iconic landmark and its ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures in Europe. Following your visit you’ll re-board Spirit of the Rhine and spend the afternoon on the water sailing towards Strasbourg.

Sail across the border into France early this morning, arriving in the capital of Alsace in time for breakfast on board and an included morning visit to the city’s historic quarter.
There are a number of very attractive sights, including the UNESCO-listed Grand Île, with its picturesque medieval half-timbered houses and the 17th-century Ponts Couverts – covered bridges – that cross the river Îll, but the city's crowning glory is its magnificent Gothic cathedral. Return to your ship for lunch on board and in the afternoon you can either make use of our included shuttle service back into the city, or perhaps join an optional excursion to the beautiful wine-producing town of Obernai.
Your ships moors overnight in Strasbourg.

Bid France a fond farewell this morning as you leave Strasbourg behind and enjoy a relaxing day sailing along the Rhine to Speyer, arriving in the early evening. Later, you’ll have the opportunity to attend Midnight Mass and experience the festive traditions of Germany.

Spend a peaceful Christmas morning cruising the beautiful Middle Rhine. Then, after lunch, you're free to explore the charming town of Rüdesheim. Linger over a stein of beer in the Drosselgasse, or perhaps join an optional trip to Siegfried's Museum of Mechanical Music.
Look forward to a traditional Christmas dinner on board.

Depart Rüdesheim this morning and sail to Lahnstein, arriving at lunchtime.
A new port for Saga River cruises, Lahnstein has a scenic setting at the confluence of the Lahn River with the Rhine. From here you can join an optional excursion to Marksburg Castle, an imposing medieval fortress set atop a hill further along the river.
This evening, Spirit of the Rhine will continue sailing towards Cologne through the night.

Spend the day in the historic city of Cologne exploring at leisure.
Perhaps go in search of the city’s 12 Romanesque churches, including the twin-spired Cologne Cathedral which is known for its gilded medieval reliquary. Adjacent to the cathedral you’ll find Museum Ludwig, where the works of masters such as Picasso are displayed, and the Romano-Germanic Museum with its Roman antiquities.
Spirit of the Rhine will continue sailing to Bonn this evening, arriving late in the evening.

This morning you’ll set off on an included tour of one of Germany's oldest cities and its provisional capital city between 1949 and 1990.
Bonn remained the seat of the German federal government until as recently as 1999. An included tour will reveal some of the highlights, which include magnificent baroque palaces and historic buildings from the 16th century when the powerful elite of Cologne chose to reside here. The city is also known as one of the country's finest centres for art, thanks to the impressive Museum of Art and the Federal Art Gallery. It is also the birthplace of famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven, whose childhood home is now part of a fascinating museum.
Spirit of the Rhine departs early this evening for an overnight cruise to Cochem.

Arrive in Cochem early this morning and spend the day exploring this charming town that sits on the banks of the Moselle. Cochem is dominated by the fairy-tale Reichsburg Castle, which sits high on a vine-clad hilltop – perhaps pay a visit on an optional excursion this afternoon.
Depart Cochem late this afternoon and arrive in Traben-Trarbach late this evening.

The ‘twin towns’ of Traben-Trarbach which straddle the river are linked by a bridge. Moor here in what was once the second-largest wine-trading centre in Europe, after the French city of Bordeaux. You will be struck by Traben-Trarbach’s contrast with the half-timbered architecture of other Moselle wine villages. Many of its buildings are in a smart art nouveau style, known in Germany as Jugendstil. These include a number of grand villas built for wealthy wine merchants by the Berlin architect Bruno Möhring.
This afternoon Spirit of the Rhine continues along the Moselle to Alken, arriving in the late evening and mooring overnight.

Early risers may have time for a quick stroll in the historic village of Alken, which is set beneath the twin-towered, late-12th century castle – Burg Thurant, one of the oldest in the region. Your cruise continues to Boppard, located in the UNESCO-listed Rhine Gorge. Arriving in the afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to join an optional wine tasting excursion.
Tonight bid farewell to 2021 with mulled wine and a New Year’s Eve party on board, and enjoy the spectacular fireworks that light up the river at the stroke of midnight.

Depart Boppard this morning and cruise the short distance to Koblenz, where your ship will moor for the rest of the day and overnight, giving you plenty of time to explore.
The city sits at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers – a huge equestrian statue of Emperor Wilhelm I marks the spot where they meet. Your included morning excursion explores Koblenz and visits Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, a Prussian citadel that overlooks the river. Work started on it in the 11th century and it was at the forefront of a succession of conflicts right through to the end of the First World War.
Spend the afternoon at leisure.

Sail from Koblenz early this morning, arriving in Cologne late this morning.
Spend the afternoon discovering the city’s historic attractions during an included excursion which begins with a scenic coach trip in the company of a knowledgeable guide who will point out the highlights. See the pretty Altstadt, or old town, which has been sensitively restored to it's pre-World War II glory, the awe-inspiring towers of Gross St Martin, the elaborate town hall and mighty Gothic cathedral. Then set off on foot to get a closer look as you stroll along the cobbled lanes and lively squares, such as the Alter Markt.
Spirit of the Rhine will sail towards Düsseldorf during dinner and will moor there overnight.

After breakfast, disembark Spirit of the Rhine ready for your journey home.

Price Guide

Date Price from (pp)
20 December 2021 £2,249

What's Included

  • Low deposit of only £99pp
  • VIP door-to-door travel service
  • Optional travel insurance or a discount of £54 if not required†
  • Return coach travel via Eurotunnel or ferry
  • 14 nights on board Spirit of the Rhine
  • Traditional Christmas dinner on board
  • 40 meals: 14 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 14 dinners
  • All gratuities on board
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Saga cruise director & Saga cruise escort on board
  • 6 included excursions & experiences