TUI Christmastime on the Rhine 2022 River Cruise

This five-night sailing packs in hot springs, luxurious palaces and cinnamon-scented Christmas markets – plus much more.

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Frankfurt Christmas markets

Itinerary

This sailing starts off in Wiesbaden, a wine-centric city in western Germany. The ship doesn’t leave port until after dark, so you’ve got plenty of time to potter around the city centre and see what the Christmas market has to offer. The latter’s a good place to grab some festive-themed souvenirs – you can buy everything from regional sparkling wine to glass-blown baubles. And, if you want to warm yourself up during your visit, Wiesbaden has 14 hot springs for you to soak in.

Today, you’ll drop the anchor in Plittersdorf, a village-like port that acts as a gateway to the town of Rastatt. It’s a 10-minute drive to the latter’s town centre, where you can get your gloves on a 30-stall-strong Christmas market and visit a couple of impressive chateaus. The former’s a great place to pick up handmade wooden nutcracker ornaments and cookie gift sets – you’ll find it between the Church of St Alexander and the town hall.

You’ll anchor on the western bank of the Rhine today, for a stop at the French city of Strasbourg. Despite being in France, you’ll see plenty of German influences on show here. In fact, entire districts – like La Petite France – are filled with Bavarian-style half-timbered houses. Strasbourg’s Christmas market looks like one you’d find in Germany, too. The souvenir-stocked stalls sit next to the city’s mammoth cathedral, and cluster around a Christmas tree that could rival the one at the Rockefeller Center in New York.

You’ll arrive in Breisach in the morning, giving you a full day to wander around the town’s red-roofed centre. The whole place boasts a Medieval-style appearance, despite being mostly destroyed during the Second World War. The cobbled streets weave towards the town’s centrepiece, the hilltop St Stephen’s Church – it dates back to the 12th century. As for the Christmas market, you can watch cuckoo clock-carving demos, tuck in to a sauerkraut-topped pizza, and try hot cherry liqueur.

Speyer’s Christmas market is the star of the show today. It takes over the town’s old quarter, where festive-themed huts and stalls rub shoulders along the paved streets. There’s an entire section dedicated to handicrafts, and you can try your hand at baking Christmas cookies. Head over to the old gate, meanwhile, and you can skate around a 2,000-square-foot ice rink.

You’ll round off this sailing back in Wiesbaden. If you’ve got time before your flight back to the UK, you can shop for last-minute souvenirs and get in a final sightseeing session. The city’s known for its sekt, a kind of sparkling wine that’s known as German Champagne. There are plenty of bars and restaurants where you can try some for yourself. The Wiesbaden Museum deserves some attention, too – it’s loaded with art exhibitions and natural history displays.

Price Guide

Date Price (pp)
3 December 2022 £739
18 December 2022 £799

What's Included

  • Upgrade to All Inclusive from £100pp
  • Direct flights from a range of UK airports with 20kg luggage allowance
  • 5 nights on board TUI Maya
  • 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

Excursion Guide

  • Christmas walking tour of Strasbourg
  • Shop for Christmas handicrafts in Speyer
  • Take a look at Strasbourg’s giant Christmas tree
  • Sip on hot cherry liqueur in Breisach