Get away during the holiday season and discover festive traditions and holiday markets in charming riverside towns in Germany, France, and Switzerland on an unhurried river cruise.

Starting at: $3,590 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Festive entrance to Strasbourg's historic city center  Holiday decorations at Place Kleber, Strasbourg  Young traveler enjoying a pretzel in Strasbourg during the holidays  Gingerbread, Germany  Enticing holiday sweets. Credit: Meghan Nash  Holiday market treasures. Credit: Meghan Nash  Holiday market in Germany. Credit: Meghan Nash  Passing through the Rhine Gorge. Credit: Meghan Nash  Passing through the Rhine Gorge. Credit: Meghan Nash  Holiday market in Cologne  View of Cologne along the Rhine River

Holiday Markets

A Holiday River Cruise with a Stay in Alpine Interlaken

11 days from $3,590

Get away during the holiday season and discover festive traditions and holiday markets in charming riverside towns in Germany, France, and Switzerland on an unhurried river cruise.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I loved going to the stops on the cruise to experience the wonderful holiday markets - be sure you have extra space for the treasures you will buy!! Also the kind of trip you can take again!

- Ellen S.

The Holiday Markets tour is a magical way to see Germany, Luxembourg, and Paris as the cities and people wonderfully display the joy of the season!

- Charles M.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Victoria Jungfrau Hotel

Interlaken, Switzerland

Located in the heart of Interlaken, the deluxe Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa is evocative of the days of Europe’s Belle Epoch. For more than 150 years this gracious Grand Hotel has maintained its position as one of the most beautiful in Europe. Guest rooms are bright, airy and welcoming with all of the comfort and amenities one expects in a five-star hotel. You’ll enjoy three dining options and a comfortable full-service bar. The Victoria Jungfrau makes a perfect base while exploring Interlaken and the Bernese Oberland. The entire hotel is smoke-free and WiFi is complimentary.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: River cruise that docks at each port for disembarkation. Morning, afternoon, or full-day excursions at a moderate pace. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities, including holiday markets. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, absence of elevators). Winter conditions with colder temperatures, snow, and wind are possible. Travelers may encounter icy and/or snowy streets, walkways, and steps, requiring more effort and time. Some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Choice of excursions with varying activity expectations offered on some days.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

Tour Extensions

Optional Pre and Post-Cruise Extensions - Berlin, Germany

The capital of Germany is a must-see travel destination, especially when it comes to the advent season when the city turns into a real-life Christmas-fairy-tale. There are about 80 Christmas markets spread out all over the city to explore while enjoying sweet treats and classic mulled wine. Charlottenburg Palace is a magical experience where you can discover seasonal crafts and wintertime treats, including the ubiquitous roasted chestnuts. Believed to be the most beautiful square in Berlin, the Gendarmenmarkt is particularly exciting during the holiday season. Browse as craftsmen carve intricate traditional wooden gifts and create sparkling Christmas tree ornaments. It is also a popular spot for artists to gather and display their work. Expect everything from jugglers and fire-eaters, to a variety of musical performers.

Accommodations - InterContinental Hotel Berlin​

The upscale Intercontinental Hotel Berlin sits next to leafy Tiergarten Park and a pleasant walk to the iconic Brandenburg Gate. Relax in a bright, elegantly appointed guest room featuring all the modern amenities, take a refreshing swim in the inviting indoor pool or indulge yourself with a treatment in Spa Intercontinental. After a full day of touring, enjoy cocktails in the Marlene Bar and experience fine dining in a chic 14th-floor restaurant that offers splendid panoramic city views. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the hotel.

Number of Nights: 3

Itinerary

Post-cruise Extension December 5-8, 2021 

Day 1 - Dusseldorf / Berlin:  Breakfast will be served onboard ship. Afterward, disembark the ship and depart Dusseldorf via the ICE high-speed train to Berlin. On arrival, transfer via motorcoach to the Intercontinental Hotel Berlin where accommodations are reserved. After settling in, join your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director for a short walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. The balance of the day is free so you can explore on your own. (B)

Day 2 - Berlin: Breakfast will be served each morning of your stay in the hotel. See the main sights of this fascinating city on an East/West tour including Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate, the Alexanderplatz, the Kliniker Brücke, and much more. The remainder of the day will be at leisure to discover the local Christmas Markets or one of Berlin’s remarkable museums. (B) 

Day 3 - Berlin: The entire day is at leisure for independent exploring. Your Smithsonian Travel Director will be available at the hospitality desk for suggestions on special events, points of interest, restaurants, and dining reservations.

Day 4 - Berlin This morning, depart the hotel and transfer to Berlin’s International Airport for the return flight to the U.S.

Pre-cruise Extension December 1-5, 2021 

Day 1 & 2 – U.S. Gateway Cities / Berlin: Depart the U.S. on your evening transatlantic flight for Berlin, Germany. Upon arrival, clear brief immigration and customs formalities then transfer to the Intercontinental Hotel Berlin where accommodations have been reserved. After settling in, join your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director for a short walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. The balance of the day is free so you can explore on your own.

Day 3 - Berlin: Breakfast will be served each morning during your stay in the hotel. See the main sights of this fascinating city on an East/West tour including Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate, the Alexanderplatz, the Kliniker Brücke, and much more. The remainder of the day will be at leisure to enjoy the Christmas Markets or one of Berlin’s remarkable museums.

Day 4 - Berlin: The entire day is at leisure for independent sightseeing. Your Smithsonian Travel Director will be available at the hospitality desk for suggestions on special events, points of interest, restaurants, and dining reservations.

Day 5 – Berlin / Dusseldorf: This morning, depart the hotel and transfer to Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof (Central Rail Station) for the ICE high-speed train to Dusseldorf. On arrival, transfer to the Amadeus Silver III at the dock in the Rhine River.

Optional Pre-cruise Extension (Group #1 – November 24–28, 2022) 

Day 1 – U.S. Gateway Cities / Berlin 

This evening, depart your selected gateway city for Berlin, Germany. After brief arrival formalities, you will be met and transferred to the upscale InterContinental Hotel Berlin where accommodations have been reserved. After settling in, join your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director for a short walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. The balance of the day is free so you can explore on your own. (B) 

Day 2 – Berlin 

Breakfast will be served each morning of your stay in the hotel. See the main sights of this fascinating city on an East/West tour including Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate, the Alexanderplatz, the Kliniker Brücke, and much more. The remainder of the day will be at leisure to discover the local Christmas Markets or one of Berlin’s remarkable museums. (B)  

Day 3 - Berlin 

The entire day is at leisure for independent exploring. Your Smithsonian Travel Director will be available at the hospitality desk for suggestions on special events, points of interest, restaurants, and dining reservations. 

Day 4 – Berlin 

This morning, depart the hotel and transfer to the Berlin rail station for the for the ICE high-speed train to Dusseldorf to begin your river cruise. 

Optional Post-cruise Extension (Group #2 – December 12-15, 2022) 

Day 1 - Dusseldorf / Berlin 

Breakfast will be served onboard ship. Afterward, disembark the ship and depart Dusseldorf via the ICE high-speed train for Berlin. On arrival, transfer via motorcoach to the InterContinental Hotel Berlin where accommodations are reserved. After settling in, join your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director for a short walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. The balance of the day is free so you can explore on your own. (B) 

Day 2 – Berlin 

Breakfast will be served each morning of your stay in the hotel. See the main sights of this fascinating city on an East/West tour including Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate, the Alexanderplatz, the Kliniker Brücke, and much more. The remainder of the day will be at leisure to discover the local Christmas Markets or one of Berlin’s remarkable museums. (B)  

Day 3 - Berlin

The entire day is at leisure for independent exploring. Your Smithsonian Travel Director will be available at the hospitality desk for suggestions on special events, points of interest, restaurants, and dining reservations. 

Day 4 - Berlin 

This morning, depart the hotel and transfer to Berlin’s International Airport for your return transatlantic flight to the U.S. 

Please note extension program itineraries may change due to unforeseen circumstances and/or operational considerations.

Special Air Rates/Services

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 45 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations upon arrival and departure (in most cases). We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).
River Cruising

Guidance on water levels and itinerary modifications

Your ship is designed with state-of-the-art flexibility in navigating rivers. On rare occasions, river cruising is subject to challenges due to unannounced river lock maintenance and/or weather-related increases or decreases in river depth. Extreme conditions may render a portion of a river itinerary unnavigable.

Should your river cruise be affected: 

  • You will receive a revised schedule outlining any changes prior to your departure either by regular mail or email. 
  • Any additional transportation, hotel accommodations, meals or special events, as a result, changes to the published itinerary will not increase the price of your trip. 
  • All ports of call and trip highlights contained in your original itinerary will be included in your revised schedule.  Under these extreme circumstances, additional motor coach travel, ship changes and/or hotel nights may be required to ensure participants experience the trip safely and as advertised.
Ship

Amadeus Imperial

The stylish 82-cabin MS Amadeus Imperial, evocative of a grand European hotel, debuts in 2020 as the newest flagship in the innovative Amadeus fleet. Travelers can relax on the River Terrace, or gather in the Amadeus-Club or Panorama-Bar for entertainment. Savor European specialties at the restaurant’s breakfast and luncheon buffets. Dinner menus offer regional cuisine, and local wines complement both lunch and dinner. Shipboard amenities include a sun deck, fitness center and massage room. Wi-Fi is complimentary.

Amadeus Silver III

Amadeus Silver III, along with sister ships in the Amadeus fleet, reflects the elegance and romance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music. The meticulous crafting of these deluxe ships sets new standards in design and technology and feature the comforts of a floating five-star hotel.

Public facilities are spacious and typically include the Panorama Bar, Lido Bar, Amadeus-Club with Internet station, library, beauty salon, boutique, fitness studio with massage services and early morning exercise classes. Guests will also appreciate the complimentary audio headset available to all passengers for listening enhancement during shore excursions. Laundry service is available.

Staterooms

Each exclusively chartered ship offers up to 84 river-view, air-conditioned, stylishly appointed suites (284 square feet) and staterooms (from 172 square feet), among the most spacious of any European river ship. Most accommodations feature a French balcony with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with iron railing. Each stateroom has two twin beds (convertible to one queen-size bed), a private bathroom with shower, individual climate control, satellite telephone and television, writing desk, safe, and hair dryer.

 Cuisine

Freshly prepared continental meals featuring local ingredients are served in single, unassigned seatings in the delightfully scenic Panorama Restaurant and include early-risers’ coffee, buffet breakfast and lunch, afternoon tea, five‑ course dinner, and late-evening snack. Complimentary wine and beer served with lunch and dinner.

Ship Staff

The English-speaking, international crew provides warm hospitality. The Amadeus Silver III meets the highest safety standards and is the only fleet of European river ships to have been awarded the “Green Certificate” of environmental preservation.

Amadeus Imperial

The stylish 82-cabin MS Amadeus Imperial, evocative of a grand European hotel, debuts in 2020 as the newest flagship in the innovative Amadeus fleet. Travelers can relax on the River Terrace, or gather in the Amadeus-Club or Panorama-Bar for entertainment. Savor European specialties at the restaurant’s breakfast and luncheon buffets. Dinner menus offer regional cuisine, and local wines complement both lunch and dinner. Shipboard amenities include a sun deck, fitness center and massage room. Wi-Fi is complimentary.

Amadeus Silver III

Amadeus Silver III, along with sister ships in the Amadeus fleet, reflects the elegance and romance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music. The meticulous crafting of these deluxe ships sets new standards in design and technology and feature the comforts of a floating five-star hotel.

Public facilities are spacious and typically include the Panorama Bar, Lido Bar, Amadeus-Club with Internet station, library, beauty salon, boutique, fitness studio with massage services and early morning exercise classes. Guests will also appreciate the complimentary audio headset available to all passengers for listening enhancement during shore excursions. Laundry service is available.

Staterooms

Each exclusively chartered ship offers up to 84 river-view, air-conditioned, stylishly appointed suites (284 square feet) and staterooms (from 172 square feet), among the most spacious of any European river ship. Most accommodations feature a French balcony with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with iron railing. Each stateroom has two twin beds (convertible to one queen-size bed), a private bathroom with shower, individual climate control, satellite telephone and television, writing desk, safe, and hair dryer.

 Cuisine

Freshly prepared continental meals featuring local ingredients are served in single, unassigned seatings in the delightfully scenic Panorama Restaurant and include early-risers’ coffee, buffet breakfast and lunch, afternoon tea, five‑ course dinner, and late-evening snack. Complimentary wine and beer served with lunch and dinner.

Ship Staff

The English-speaking, international crew provides warm hospitality. The Amadeus Silver III meets the highest safety standards and is the only fleet of European river ships to have been awarded the “Green Certificate” of environmental preservation.

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I loved going to the stops on the cruise to experience the wonderful holiday markets - be sure you have extra space for the treasures you will buy!! Also the kind of trip you can take again!

- Ellen S.

The Holiday Markets tour is a magical way to see Germany, Luxembourg, and Paris as the cities and people wonderfully display the joy of the season!

- Charles M.
Reading List

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24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.