Monday 11 December | Meet the tour leader at Malta International airport at 12.15 p.m. for check in on our Air Malta flight departing to Zurich at 2.25 p.m. Upon arrival, a private coach will transfer us to our 3-star hotel in Freiburg for room check-in and after you may wish to go the the centre of town for personal sightseeing. The lovely heart of this city is known as the Munsterplatz, with the magnificent 800-year old Cathedral overpowering the rest of the city!
Tuesday 12 December | After breakfast and room check-out enjoy some free time in Freiburg. The Freiburg Christmas Market, nestled in the heart of the Black Forest, is a magical destination that offers an unforgettable experience for all who visit. Stepping into the Freiburg Christmas Market is like stepping into a winter wonderland. The historic city center, with its cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses, is transformed into a festive scene filled with twinkling lights, the scent of mulled wine, and the sounds of traditional Christmas music. In the early afternoon we shall then drive on to Strasbourg and transfer to our Croisi Europe river cruise ship for 4 nights of leisure, delicious food and breath-taking scenery. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. After dinner on board, join us for an evening celebrating the Alsatian holiday cookies known as bredeles. Our ship will cruise through the night and enjoy the rest of the evening making new friends as we sail the Rhine!
Wednesday 13 December (Public Holiday in Malta) | After breakfast enjoy the morning as we’ll cruise the Rhine to the legendary rock of the Lorelei, following the twists and turns of the river dominated by dramatic ruins, scenic vineyards, and majestic fortresses. Join us in the lounge and taste delicious bredeles! Our first stop shall be in Rüdesheim, a picturesque village lined with narrow, cobblestone streets and half-timbered homes. We suggest you board a tourist train (extra & subject to weather conditions) for Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet, showcasing 350 self-playing mechanical music instruments dating from the 18th to the 20th centuries and including delicate musical boxes and a gigantic piano-orchestrion. Then enjoy some free time on your own to discover the international Christmas market located in the city’s historic downtown area. The 120 wooden chalets set the stage for an authentic German Christmas market displaying artisan objects, great gift ideas and delicious culinary specialties such as local cookies and of course, pretzels! The city is also home to one of the largest nativity scenes in Europe. We’ll enjoy dinner on board before a quick escape to the city again this evening to taste the exquisite Rüdesheimer Kaffee.
Thursday 14 December | We’ll cruise to Mainz in the early morning. Upon arrival either join an optional organized walking tour of the city to see many of its remarkably restored sites. Alternatively explore the town on your own visiting the magnificent 1,000-year old Saint-Martin’s Cathedral and walk down the picturesque streets of the old city to the Gutenberg Museum, which houses two copies of the Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed with movable type in the West. Enjoy some free time on your own before heading back to the ship. Don’t miss the colorful local Christmas market near the cathedral, framed by splendid Renaissance-style buildings. Germany is known for its decorative wooden Christmas carousels, and a larger than life one is usually found at the market in Mainz surrounded by traditional chalets selling handcrafts, souvenirs, and luscious goodies. Enjoy lunch on the ship and spend the afternoon cruising to Gambsheim. Feel free to join in for a bit of onboard entertainment recounting Christmas traditions. Tonight is our festive gala evening and the ship will cruise through the night.
Friday 15 December | After breakfast we arrive in Gambsheim and we shall enjoy an excursion visiting Wingen-sur-Moder and a visit to the Musée Lalique to learn about crystalware-genius René Lalique and his successors. Lalique became one of the greatest names of his time, both as a jeweler and a master glassmaker. Discover the company’s wide range of impressive crystal and glass designs, pieces of jewelry, tableware, lights, and vases. Admire the fabulous collections and don’t miss the temporary exhibit just for the holidays! We’ll return on board and enjoy lunch as we cruise to Strasbourg. Once we arrive, feel free to join our tourleader as we explore the historical centre of the city and its shopping streets, including the “Place de la Republique”, and mansions of the 18th century, the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the picturesque area of the “Petite France”. We suggest you explore the Strasbourg Christmas Market held throughout the month of December, considered to be the largest and one of the oldest Christmas markets in France and attracts thousands of visitors each year. We return onboard in time to enjoy an authentic Alsatian dinner this evening, followed by a quiz to test your knowledge about Alsatian Christmas Markets!
Saturday 16 December | Enjoy breakfast on board this morning before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. Our coach shall drive to Zurich where we shall enjoy a city highlight tour followed by some free time where you may wish to enjoy the atmosphere of the famous Christmas Market in the main train station with its over a hundred inviting stalls! We shall then transfer to Zurich airport in time for check in for our Airmalta flight departing at 5.40 p.m. arriving in Malta at 8 p.m.