TUI Mistletoe & Rhine 2022 River Cruise
Nowhere in the world does Christmas markets like Germany. This trip takes you to five festive favourites, that vary from fairy tale hamlets to sprawling, city-wide celebrations.
Germany’s fifth largest city, Frankfurt, is first up on the to-see list. The skyline’s a bit like a patchwork quilt, with modern and historic sections stitched together along the banks of the Main River. In the old quarter, Romerberg square’s stepped rooftops and half-timbered buildings form a ring around the bustling Christmas market. Tasty Bethmannchen biscuits, made from marzipan and almonds, are a local favourite, and the city’s signature apple wine is worth a taste.
After joining the Rhine, you’ll call in at Cologne today. It’s a bit of a show off when it comes to Christmas markets, with four different events spread around the city. The Cathedral Market has one of the Rhineland’s tallest Christmas trees, plus artisan glass-blowers and wood-carvers. The Old Market’s the most traditional, while the Neumarkt has costumed angels sprinkling glitter among the stalls. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, the Harbour Market’s known for its chocolates.
You’ll arrive in Dusseldorf first thing this morning, so there’s loads of time to explore. The main Marktplatz is a good place to start and the 16th-century town hall makes for a handsome backdrop. From here, the Altstadt Markt has stalls that look like mini versions of Dusseldorf’s Medieval townhouses. The Little Angel’s Market is the place to go for the best crafts and handmade souvenirs, and there’s a cute music pavilion in the middle.
Koblenz is on the agenda today. It’s home to lots of UNESCO-ranked sights and the Christmas market’s a real attention grabber, too. More than 100 stalls congregate around the old quarter, under the eyes of the Baroque town hall. This impressive building doubles up as a giant advent calendar – its 24 windows gradually light up throughout December. The gluhwein’s particularly tasty here and you can sink a few in the evening, ,as your ship won’t leave until the morning.
When you arrive in sleepy Rudesheim, you’ll see things are a little more quaint. The dinky old town really comes alive during December, though. The global-themed festivities are often dubbed the ‘Christmas Market of Nations’. The food and drink roster covers everything from Finnish to Far Eastern, plus traditional German flavours. Rudesheim coffee is a favourite – it’s mixed with tasty local brandy and topped with whipped cream. The life-sized nativity scene is one of the biggest in Europe, too.
You’ll get a touch of déjà vu on your final day, as you find yourself back in Frankfurt. If you’ve time before your flight, there are plenty of sightseeing and snacking must-tries. Sample spiced Brenten biscuits at the Christmas market, or treat yourself to a mug of toasty gluhwein – Germany’s version of mulled wine. Beyond the festive scenes, the Museumsufer district lives up to its name, with sculpture, film and natural history museums to visit.
|21 November 2022||£749|
|1 December 2022||£819|
|6 December 2022||£769|
|16 December 2022||£699|
- Upgrade to All Inclusive from £100pp
- Direct flights from a range of UK airports with 20kg luggage allowance
- 5 nights on board TUI Isla
- Includes £85 experience credit per person
- Airport transfers - to and from your ship
- Full board plus - breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Tea, coffee and juices with breakfast
- Wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner
- Barbecues on deck (weather permitting)
- Free WiFi (signal permitting)
- All tips and port charges
- Cologne's breweries with sightseeing
- Cologne city tour with cathedral
- Cologne city tour
- Walking tour of Dusseldorf
- Dusseldorf pub crawl
- Dusseldorf city tour with Rhine tower
- Koblenz hilltop fortress & scenic cable car
- Walking tour of Koblenz
- Koblenz tourist train & wine tasting
- Winzerexpress & Seigfrieds mechanical music cabinet
- Winzerexpress, cable car & old town
- Rudesheim wine tasting