TUI Yuletide Wonders 2022 River Cruise

This cruise is guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit, stopping at some of Germany’s oldest and biggest markets. You’ll also swing by France’s self-proclaimed Capital of Christmas, Strasbourg.

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Christmas market Speyer

Itinerary

Depending on when your flight arrives, you can start your festive shopping in Frankfurt. The market here has thrown its hat into the ring as one of Germany’s oldest – its roots are traced back to 1393. The main stalls pop up in the prettiest part of town, with the glittering tree ringed by Romerberg Square’s half-timbered houses. It’s impossible to leave this place empty-handed, or with an empty stomach. Make sure to snap up Bethmannchen and Brenten marzipan cookies – they’re a Frankfurt favourite.

After leaving Frankfurt last night, you’ll arrive in Speyer and have the afternoon and evening to explore. You can combine Christmas shopping with sightseeing, since the market takes place in front of Speyer’s UNESCO-rated cathedral. Climb its south-west tower for a bird’s-eye view of all the festive action. Or, back on the ground, work your way around stalls hosted by the city’s twin towns – from as far away as Italy, Russia and China.

The ship will anchor up in Plittersdorf today, giving you easy access to Rastatt and BadenBaden. In Rastatt, the market’s framed by a Baroque palace. In Baden-Baden, meanwhile, the Black Forest and the preened gardens of Lichtentaler Allee form the backdrop. And entertainment comes in the form of choirs, ice-skating and a living nativity – complete with bleating sheep. You won’t leave Plittersdorf until late, so you can sip mulled wine surrounded by twinkling lights.

You’ll arrive in Kehl this morning. The French city of Strasbourg – often dubbed the Capital of Christmas – is just across the river. And no one’s arguing with that title. The city’s giant tree gives New York’s Rockefeller Center a run for its money. At 100 feet tall, it soars above over 300 stalls in the central square. And, when you get peckish, you can wash the sausages and tarts down with local Alsatian wine.

There are around 100 stalls to visit in Mainz, but you’ve got a whole day to see them. Just like in Speyer, everything centres on the city’s 10thcentury cathedral. There are life-sized nativity figures, a musical clock and a 11-metre-tall festive pyramid to inspect. Plus, you can print your own Christmas cards at the Gutenberg Museum. We don’t leave until late, so you can get cosy in one of the wine barrel-shaped cabins, too.

You’ll finish things up back in Frankfurt. If there’s time before your flight home, you can set about shopping for souvenirs. There are fairs inside the Romerhallen and St Paul’s Church, where you can browse bits from local artists. When you’re back home, you don’t have to wave goodbye to the German festivities, either – vendors from the city come to sell their wares in Birmingham each year at the aptly named Frankfurt Christmas Market.

Price Guide

Date Price (pp)
26 November 2022 £749
11 December 2022 £719

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 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

Excursion Guide

  • Walking tour of Speyer
  • German wine route & tasting session
  • Heidelberg castle & city tour
  • Exploring the Black Forest
  • Half day trip to Colmar
  • Strasbourg city tour
  • Walking tour of Mainz & Gutenberg museum
  • Eberbach Monastery & wine tasting