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Christmas Markets on the Rhine

December 6 - 13, 2025


Amsterdam, Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland

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7- Night Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel

Visit some of the most traditional Christmas Markets in the world to immerse yourself in the romance of the season and learn about Europe’s enduring holiday customs at its most joyous time of year. While at the Cologne Christmas Market in front of its UNESCO-designated Gothic church, warm up with a mug of hot glühwein. Allow Strasbourg, known as the “Capital of Noel,” to enchant you as it has done for so many others over the years. Strasbourg features the oldest and largest Christmas Market in France. Wander around Heidelberg’s imposing Christmas Market, which is tucked away in the Old Town’s picturesque squares. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the largest Advent calendar in the world, which is located in Gengenbach. Every evening at 6:00 PM, the neo-classical town hall’s beautifully lit windows open, revealing an image by a well-known artist, like Andy Warhol, behind each one. As you travel along the Rhine, savor the entire splendor of the season in great European fashion.

Strasbourg at Christmas

Meet the Ama Viola

From the bedroom to the Main Lounge, vibrant floral and geometric designs quickly make it clear that the AmaViola is not your typical river cruise ship. Most staterooms have dual balconies, maximizing your enjoyment as vineyards and steeples pass by. From dawn till dusk, delectable food fit for La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an exclusive and well-known gastronomic society, is served. The elegance and style of The Chef’s Table speciality restaurant, as well as the concerted effort to serve each daring, gorgeous, and delectable course of the regionally themed tasting menu, have a symphonic quality. The hair salon’s butterfly wallpaper emphasizes how you’ll come out looking brand-new, and the relaxing sun deck pool with swim-up bar revitalizes your mood. Along with a walking track, fitness center, and fleet of onboard bikes to keep you happy and healthy while on your vacation, AmaViola inspires you to be the greatest version of yourself. A ship with 78 staterooms, spanning 443 feet long by 38 feet broad, with a crew of 51 people was built in the Netherlands. With a capacity of only 156 guests, this cruise is more personal.

Ama Waterways

Christmas Market Cruise on the Rhine River with Bucket List Travel Tours

Visit France, Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland from the Rhine River

You can take advantage of a variety of tours that are included on our river cruises. You will frequently have a selection of excursions to choose from, including regular tours, bike tours, hikes, and Special Interest Tours. To give you the freedom to pick how you wish to explore, we always include a wide range of activities. Whatever you choose, your days will be filled with learning and awe.


AMa Viola from Switzerland
Twin Balcones on the Ama Waterways

Twin Balconies

Our luxurious twin-balcony cabins include a French balcony and an outdoor balcony, allowing you to take in the expansive views and lots of fresh air.

Inviting Public Spaces

Inviting Public Spaces

There will be less people on board, giving you more room to relax and spend time with your loved ones. We never have packed lounges or eateries in our public areas.

Sun-Deck Pool

Sun-Deck Pool

Enjoy the sunshine or cool down in our pool with a swim-up bar as we go by historic castles, quaint towns, and other magnificent sights.

Fitness Room at River Cruise

Fitness Room

Looking for a method to stay active while on vacation? While traveling from one place to another, hit the treadmill or lift some weights.

Award-Winning Dining

Award-Winning Dining

Enjoy great cuisine in a variety of restaurants, including The Chef’s Table and the Main Restaurant. In the Main Lounge, you may also place an order for delectable tapas between meals.

Sightsee by Bike

Sightsee by Bike

You have the option of taking one of our narrated bike tours through Europe, or you can explore on your own, thanks to the fleet of free bicycles on board.

Massage Services and Hair Salon

Massage Services and Hair Salon

After a marvelous day of immersive shore excursions, return to the ship and treat yourself to a bit of pampering with a soothing massage.

Enriching Entertainment

Enriching Entertainment

There is a varied entertainment program on board, featuring anything from local quartets to modern piano favorites to traditional Bavarian music.

Ama Viola Deck Plan

BB Cello Deck: French Balcony & Outdoor Balcony, 210 sq.ft.

Experience the deep-rooted holiday traditions of Europe at its most festive time of year and get caught up in the magic of the holidays with visits to some of the world’s most timeless Christmas Markets. Warm up with a mug of steamy gluhwein while at the Cologne Christmas Market located in from of its UNESCO-designated Gothic cathedral. Let the “capital of Noel,” Strasbourg, the oldest and largest Christmas Market in France, captivate you the way it has for so many others for centuries. Meander through Heidelberg’s majestic Christmas Market nestled idyllically amongst the historic square of the Old Town. And while in Gengenbach, marvel at the world’s largest Advent calendar, where every evening at 6:00 PM, the brightly lit windows of the neo-classical town hall open, and behind each one is a picture by a famous artist, such as Andy Warhol. Cherish all the glory of the season in grand European style as you cruise along the Rhine.

7 - Night River Cruise

Strausburg (002)
Kolsch Beer Tasting



EMBARKATION: Board the ship in Amsterdam for your Christmas Markets on the Rhine cruise.



CANAL CRUISE: Scenic cruising out of Amsterdam. There are 165 canals in Amsterdam, and you’ll get to enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. Later in the day, set sail out of Amsterdam.



COLOGNE WALKING TOUR, Cathedral Visit and Christmas Markets

OR Kolsch beer tasting
OR Cologne Bike Tour

Enjoy cruising to Cologne, home to one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces, the Cologne Cathedral. Join a guided tour through the enchanting Old Town. Explore the UNESCO-designated cathedral and then visit one of Europe’s largest and most renowned Christmas Markets located in front of the cathedral. Alternatively, ride a bike along the Rhine or visit a local tavern to taste Cologne’s traditional Kölsch beer and reibekuchen mit apfelmus—potato pancakes served with applesauce.


Rhine Gorge

Cruise through the castle-laden Rhine River Gorge before reaching the winemaking town of Rüdesheim. Once in Rüdesheim, you will have four choices of morning excursions. Wine connoisseurs will want to go to a wine cellar for a wine tasting followed by a Christmas Market visit to enjoy holiday traditions from around the world. Or go on a hike through the vineyards. Alternatively, you can take a peaceful ride over the vineyards on Rüdesheim’s gondola followed by a visit to the Christmas Market. You may also opt to join a guided bike tour through the town and along the Rhine River before visiting the Christmas Market. Later in the day, you can visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee.



Heidelberg Tour and Christmas Markets

OR Medieval Speyer and Christmas Markets

OR Heidelberg Philosopher’s Path Hike and Christmas Markets

OR Ladenburg Bike Tour

You have the choice to explore two of Germany’s historically rich cities, along with their festive Christmas Markets. Visit Heidelberg, a city that will capture your heart with its mighty castle and historic university. While here, wander along one of Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping streets, the Hauptstrasse, soaking up the Yuletide celebrations at the town’s Christmas Markets. Or hike along the Neckar River on the historic Philosopher’s Path followed by free time to enjoy the Christmas Markets. Alternatively, you can bike along the Neckar River to the medieval town of Ladenburg and visit its Marktplatz, or explore one of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll also have time to visit its Christmas Market in front of the “Old Mint” (Alten Münze) in the famous Maximilianstrasse, with a view of the romantic Imperial cathedral (Kaiserdom).



“The Gem of the Alsace” tour and Christmas Market

OR Strasbourg bike tour

Strasbourg is even more alluring during the season of Advent. The Christkindelsmärik dates back to 1570, making it the oldest Christmas Market in France. Enjoy a panoramic bus tour that takes you past the Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la Republique. Afterwards, walk through the historic town center on the Grande Île, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and through the lovely “La Petite France” district, where you will see the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock and then visit the town’s famous Christmas Market. You can also choose to explore Strasbourg’s different districts by bicycle. Later in the day, opt to visit Gengenbach’s Christmas Markets and the town’s famous illuminated town hall Advent calendar.



Riquewihr Excursion and Christmas Markets

OR Freiburg Excursion and Christmas Markets

OR Breisach Wine Country Bike Tour

Breisach is your gateway to several different excursions. Step back in time with a visit to the enchanting Alsatian town of Riquewihr, which looks almost the same as it did in the 16th century. On your walking tour, admire historic architecture and famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate, followed by a visit to its charming Christmas Markets. Alternatively, head to Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to the Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral said to have “the most beautiful spire on earth.” Then enjoy free time at the Freiburg Christmas Markets. Those wishing a more active excursion can cycle through Breisach’s countryside.



DISEMBARKATION: Disembark the ship and bid farewell to Basel as you prepare for your return flight home.

Seven Unique Christmas Markets

The Cathedral Market is located beneath the largest tree in the Rhineland, beneath a canopy of more than 70,000 LED lights, and in front of the iconic Gothic Cathedral. Visit this holiday magnificence, which Rudolph himself would vouch for as shining brightly.
During the holidays, the entire city of Cologne comes to life and resembles a theme park celebrating Christmas. Seven markets, each with a special and entertaining twist, are available to draw people of all ages and interests. A variety of delectable, sugary delicacies as well as regional specialties like baked apples, cinnamon biscuits, and mulled wine will tantalize the senses.

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