- The beautiful Middle Rhine
Spend a sedate Christmas morning cruising the beautiful Rhine.
- The White Forest
Pay a visit to Lake Titisee in the heart of the Black Forest – which might not live up to its name at this time of year!
Christmas on the Rhine 2019
The Rhine and her Tributariesfrom £1,419 per person 8 2 Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £54 if not required
- Full board
Enjoy a Frohe Weihnachten on this festive cruise along the Rhine!
The fragrance of gingerbread and hot Glühwein, glittering decorations and the joyous sound of carol singers… Celebrate Christmas with traditional cheer during this magical cruise, which unites the stunning scenery of the Rhine with Germany’s festive traditions and allows you to dip into Switzerland and France too. Spend Christmas Eve in Breisach and explore the Black Forest on Christmas Morning and discover the seasonal sights of Koblenz on Boxing Day.
23 meals: 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Return coach travel via Eurotunnel or ferry
- Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- A mulled wine party and traditional Christmas dinner on board
- Saga Cruise Host
- Saga Cruise Assistant on board
- Entertainment and activities on the ship
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
- Tour and canal cruise in Strasbourg
- Heidelberg walking tour and castle visit
- Visit the Black Forest on Christmas Day
19/12/2019 UK to Cologne
Travel by coach from Folkestone to Cologne, via Eurotunnel or ferry, and embark MS Asara. Enjoy a welcome drink and dinner on board, and cruise overnight to Mainz.
Arrive in Mainz after lunch and spend the afternoon and evening exploring the ancient city with a charming and atmospheric old quarter of half-timbered houses and home to a magnificent Romanesque cathedral. Perhaps explore the famous Gutenberg Museum, dedicated to Johannes Gutenberg. Born in the city he was the inventor of the 'moveable type' printing press, and is known as the 'father of modern printing'.
21/12/2019 Mainz to Mannheim
Set sail from Mainz in the early hours and arrive in Mannheim after breakfast. From here you can join an included excursion to the university town of Heidelberg, with its romantic setting on the banks of the River Neckar. Highlights include the Old Bridge across the River Neckar and the ruined castle high above the city. Its rather random appearance is due to it having been added to through different periods of German architectural styles. Virtually destroyed by lightning in 1764 it was cannibalised by locals who used stones from it in their own houses! Set sail again at lunchtime and cruise through the afternoon and evening.
22/12/2019 Kehl (for Strasbourg)
After arriving in Kehl in the early hours, look forward to visiting a French city with distinctive German influences. The capital of the Alsace region was restored to France in 1919, after centuries of tug-of-war with Germany. This morning discover its cobbled streets, picturesque half-timbered houses and its crowning glory, the ornate Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame, on an included tour and cruise on the canals of the city. This afternoon is at leisure for you to explore independently. A transfer to and from the city centre from the mooring will be provided. Leave Strasbourg this evening for the voyage towards Basel.
Basel is located at the meeting point of Switzerland, Germany and France. Spend the day exploring or join an optional city tour to see the highlights. Remain moored here overnight.
24/12/2019 Basel to Breisach
Bid farewell to Basel this morning and perhaps choose to travel into the heart of the enchanting Black Forest, to lovely Lake Titisee, on an optional excursion. Enjoy a scenic boat trip on this glacial lake before a light lunch in a lakeside restaurant offering stunning views. Excursion participants will rejoin the ship in Breisach this afternoon. The town is set at the foot of the Kaiserstühl, or Emperor's Chair, hills named in honour of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III. The hill upon which the town is built would frequently become an island when this area of the river flooded – until the river was 'straightened' by Johann Gottfried Tulla, a German engineer. Don’t overdo it on board this evening as you’ll need to be up and about early for a very special festive treat. Should you wish to attend midnight mass your Saga Host will be able to advise you.
Merry Christmas! This morning you can look forward to an included excursion into the Black Forest. Take a scenic drive along the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse, which runs along the spine of this legendary region, and see some of Germany’s most beautiful scenery. Stop off in Freudenstadt, famous for having the largest market square in Germany, and continue to Oppenau, a beautiful 12th-century town before tea and cake at the Hotel Kalicutt, where the Schwarzwald kirschtorte (Black Forest gateau) is highly recommended. Spend the rest of Christmas Day cruising the majestic Rhine aboard your state of the art ship, which features all mod cons.
You might choose to relax in your spacious cabin, which comes with a permanent hotel bed, TV and its very own coffee machine, and use the complimentary Wi-Fi to wish loved ones at home a Merry Christmas or head to the library to read a book by the fire or how about a trip to the onboard sauna and relaxation area as a little present to yourself. You can look forward to meals in the grand restaurant, though a more intimate speciality restaurant at the stern boasts an open kitchen and panoramic views of the wintry landscapes you are sweeping through. You could bundle up for a walk on the sundeck to see the sights gliding by or hardy souls might even fancy a festive dip in the heated Jacuzzi.
Sail to Koblenz this morning, with its glorious location on the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, which make it an important centre for the wine industry. After arriving around midday, perhaps walk off any excesses from the previous day with a bracing stroll along the pretty riverside promenade, overlooked by the Festung Ehrenbreitstein citadel, which sits on a hill across the river. Perhaps join an optional tour which also visits the fortress, built by the Prussians. Depart later tonight and cruise overnight to Cologne.
27/12/2019 Cologne to UK
Arrive in the early hours and, after breakfast, disembark MS Asara and travel by coach to the UK via Eurotunnel or ferry.
Koblenz and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
Immortalised by Byron and Herman Melville, lofty fortifications have glowered over Koblenz since 1,000AD and changed faces over the centuries. The Prussians constructed Festung Ehrenbreitstein in the early 19th century, when Rhineland became a Prussian province. Despite being Europe’s second largest fortress, after Gibraltar, it played no part in either WWI or WWII. Enjoy a panoramic cable car ride from Koblenz up to the fortress, the views are astounding and you’ll learn about the history of the site. There will be a guided walk around the historic city of Koblenz, and you can admire the elegant architecture. Walking Grade 4
Optional on 8 nights itinerary
The landscape of the Bernese Oberland; alpine pastures, glittering lakes and the towering heights of the Alpine Triplets –the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau –is quite simply breathtaking. Journey along winding mountain roads to the lovely town of Interlaken, which lies serenely between lakes Brienz and Thun. Enjoy some free time exploring, then head up into the mountains to Grindelwald which has been attracting visitors since the late 18th century. Relax over a delicious two-course lunch at the Derby Hotel and enjoy free time in this picturesque Eiger village. See the Mönch and Eiger on the return journey to your ship. Walking Grade 2
Optional on 8 nights itinerary