Image Credit : Tauck, Unsplash, Chris Boese, Chan Lee, Mateo Krossler, Deniz-Fuchidzhiev, Patrick Robert Doyle

2023 Christmas Markets Along the Rhine With Tauck

Basel to Düsseldorf (& Vice Versa)
Emerald Deck From $4,920

Offer Expired

Waiting for Cruiseline update

Contact us for current specials

Travel along the Rhine for the holiday season with Tauck, from Basel to Köln and Düsseldorf aboard ms Inspire, both perfect ways to capture all the magic of Christmas Markets in Germany and France.

Along with all the inclusions that are part of every Tauck river cruise, Tauck’s Christmas market experience wows you with special holiday touches like an onboard tree-trimming party… glühwein and other treats aboard the riverboat, decorated in a festive seasonal theme… a traditional European Christmas dinner with all the fixings… special evenings of onboard holiday-themed entertainment… walking in the footsteps of celebrities at the Kurhaus casino in Baden-Baden… a lecture on Alsatian storytelling traditions in Strasbourg… a cookie-making demonstration and a visit to the fanciful Siegfried’s Mechanisches Musikkabinett in Rüdesheim… a traditional German lunch in Heidelberg and much more!

Now Is The Best Time To Plan Your 2023 Christmas Holiday!
Book Now! Limited Availability!
Make It A December To Remember…

  • 74608
  • River
  • 01 Jan 24
  • Dusseldorf
  • Basel
  • Europe
  • From 13 Dec 23 to 20 Dec 23
  • 20 Dec 23, 26 Dec 23
  • 7 nights
  • Tauck Cruising
  • Multiple Cruiseships 5.5 stars
  • Cruise-Tour

  • Dusseldorf, Koln, Rudesheim, Heidelberg, Baden Baden, Strasbourg, Lucerne, Basel


  • Visits to Christmas Markets in Rüdesheim, Heidelberg, Baden-Baden and Strasbourg
  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors & Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions – AUD $1,775 Value!
  • Walking tours of market cities and towns with local guides
  • Visits to Old Town Heidelberg and historic Heidelberger Schlöss (Heidelberg Castle)
  • Sightseeing in Lucerne and ascent of Mt. Pilatus by gondola
  • Storytelling in Strasbourg
  • Cookie-baking demonstration & Siegfried's Mechanisches Musikkabinett visit in Rüdesheim
  • Special lunch ashore in Heidelberg
  • Traditional European Christmas dinner & holiday events aboard the riverboat
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks
  • All meals included – 20 total; Service charges, taxes, porterage, airport transfers and applicable fuel surcharges

Important Terms

  • * Rates quoted are in Australian dollars.
  • Cruises & Train Tours: 120 days or more before departure = Loss of Deposit.
  • 60 days before departure = Loss of 50% of tour cost, not including air (if applicable)
  • 59-1 day before departure = Loss of 100% of tour cost, not including air (if applicable)
  • Regarding 2024 departures, you can reserve your preferred departure date and we will advise you once the 2024 trip is finalized and priced. You will then have two weeks to cancel; should you cancel, you'll receive a full refund of your trip deposit and the cost of the Travel Protection Product (if purchased). If you are making your own air arrangements, do not book your flights until this trip is finalized as start and end cities may change.
  • Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes unless otherwise stated.
  • Advertised price includes any bonus nights, special offers or discounts listed in the inclusions.
  • Surcharges may apply due to demand, Christmas & New Year's Eve, school or public holidays, trade shows, special events & other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Prices may be based on Dynamic Rates and as such, may fluctuate at anytime without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases, or at the property's discretion.
Cabin Name/Category From Price/person  
Emerald Deck $4,920 Book Now
Ruby Deck $4,990 Book Now
Diamond Deck $6,170 Book Now

Currently, we have the following 2023 departures available in AUD, per room for two adults sharing:

13th December from $4,990 Southbound direction
20th December from $4,920 Northbound direction

Want to plan ahead for Christmas 2024? Speak to one of our travel specialists to reserve your preferred departure date and we will advise you once the 2024 trip is finalized and priced.

*Rates are based on per person for two adults sharing. For solo travellers or single person occupancy rates, or other cabin types not listed, please contact our Travel Specialists for a quote.




Day 1

Arrive Düsseldorf/embark riverboat

Tour begins: 5:30 PM, Düsseldorf. Transfers are included from the Düsseldorf Airport and Düsseldorf Train Station to the ms Inspire, where embarkation begins at 4:00 PM. Guests enjoying a pre-stay in Düsseldorf at the Hotel Breidenbacher Hof will receive a transfer from the hotel to the riverboat. If you arrive earlier, you might choose to go into the city to visit one of Düsseldorf’s Christmas Markets – and perhaps have your first taste of the traditional glühwein that is so much a part of the holiday scene. Back onboard the riverboat, meet your Tauck Directors and cruise mates at the captain’s welcome reception followed by dinner tonight.

ms Inspire


Day 2

Historic Köln

Travel back in time as you make your way along the River Rhine… Glide past rolling hillsides and see the magnificent castles of centuries past… each with its own unique story to tell… Your Tauck Director will give you insights into that history, before sharing the tale of the enchantress Lorelei, who lured lovelorn sailors to their demise with her beauty and song… See lasting remnants of the Altstädte, or Old Towns, of German cities, many restored to their former glory after World War II… Experience what the river has to offer… from the comfort of your riverboat. Spend the morning in Köln (Cologne) and enjoy a guided tour of this historic cultural center of the Rhineland – with its Christmas Market adjacent to the Gothic, twin-spired Kölner Dom. Back aboard ship, take part in our tree-trimming party after dinner tonight as the riverboat cruises to Koblenz overnight, then on to Rüdesheim.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ms Inspire


Day 3

Romantic Rüdesheim & Mechanical Music

Rüdesheim – Holiday carols, children’s laughter, carousels… the season’s joyful noises reverberate across this little town on the Rhine as you browse the shops and stalls of its Weihnachtsmarkt, another Christmas Market tour standout, winding your way through its quaint cobblestone streets; the largest nativity scene in Europe adorns the market square. Even the Drosselgasse, a narrow lane famed for its wine bars, is all done up in yuletide green and gold. Heart-shaped lebkuchen, local favorites like schweinebraten and jagerschnitzel – and especially Rüdesheim coffee, laced with locally produced brandy – tempt your taste buds. Enjoy a morning aboard the riverboat as you cruise along the Rhine to Rüdesheim. Do a bit of exploring at the city’s Weihnachtsmarkt near the pier before walking or riding a mini-train (weather permitting) to Siegfried’s Mechanisches Musikkabinett for an unexpected musical treat; here, housed in a 16th-century castle, you’ll find one of the world’s largest collections of whimsical mechanical musical instruments, some centuries old. It wouldn’t be the holiday season without holiday cookies; a cookie-making demonstration may give you some ideas to take home – and the results you’ll sample are especially good when accompanied by Rüdesheim coffee, infused with local brandy. Spend some free time on your own, then return to the riverboat to enjoy dinner aboard ship and continue your cruise.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ms Inspire


Day 4

Holiday happenings in Heidelberg

Heidelberg – With thousands of stars twinkling in the trees… hundreds of booths sprawling across five city squares… and an ice rink glistening in the shadow of Heidelberger Schlöss… you’ll think you’ve stepped inside a snowglobe at this shining Weihnachtsmarkt! Festooned with figures from the city’s history, the glowing Christmas Pyramid dominates the Marktplatz. On the Universitätsplatz, a carousel turns, and the scent of almonds and glühwein fills the air. Watch skaters whirl to holiday tunes at the rink on the Karlsplatz… hunt for crafts at the Anatomiegarten… or stroll past the crèche on the Kornmarkt. Dock this morning for a full-day trip to Heidelberg. Home to Germany’s oldest university, Heidelberg has been a dynamic place since sometime in the 5th century… and a lot happens here, especially during the holiday season. Begin your day with a guided visit to the ruins of Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schlöss), which has kept watch over the town below for many centuries, revealing what castle life might have been like there long ago. A funicular ride leads to a walking tour of the medieval Old Town, and a visit to Heidelberg’s Christmas Markets, sprawling across five city squares aglow with thousands of twinkling lights. Wind up your day with a traditional German lunch – with award-winning beer – at a local restaurant. Reboard the riverboat to continue your cruise; a jazz band entertains you onboard tonight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ms Inspire


Day 5

Christmas in Baden-Baden & the Black Forest

Baden-Baden – The Black Forest’s special magic casts its spell over the Christmas Market of this famous spa town, set adjacent to its sumptuous Belle Èpoque casino complex – the Kurhaus – which screen icon Marlene Dietrich called “the most beautiful casino in the world.” Cheered by the strains of local choirs and bands performing holiday music – or perhaps by the baaaas of bleating sheep from the market’s “living Nativity” – wind your way to booth upon booth of carved wooden toys and ornaments, silver jewelry, decorative candles and goodies galore. Christmastime in the Black Forest has a magic all its own, as you’ll see today after docking for an excursion to Baden-Baden. This famous Black Forest spa town has welcomed people seeking its healing waters (“baden,” in fact, means “to bathe”) since Roman times… as well as the wealthy elite who have frequented its Belle Èpoque casino, the Kurhaus, for more than a century. Following a walk through Baden-Baden’s delightful Christmas Market, visit the adjacent Kurhaus. After lunch back aboard the riverboat or on your own in town, the afternoon is yours to enjoy as you please. Join your Tauck Directors for a Discovery Briefing before dinner aboard the riverboat this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ms Inspire


Day 6

Storytelling traditions & more in Strasbourg

Strasbourg – Steaming mulled wine… gingerbread… Advent wreaths… a towering Christmas tree, dwarfed by soaring Strasbourg Cathedral… nearly every street and building aglow with lights and decorations… bredle, the tiny, traditional holiday cakes of Alsace… the unmistakable sights, sounds, flavors and smells of the Alsatian holidays surround you at Strasbourg’s Marchés de Noël, the oldest and largest in France. A dozen themed markets fan out from the cathedral along the Grand Rue – the original Christkindelsmärik… the Bredle Market… the Kingdom of the Wine Growers… the Children’s Village… the Village of Sharing and others. Artisans show off their wares in stalls that stretch on as far as the eye can see… and the ancient heart of this canal-crossed city is bathed in gold! A local guide joins you aboard the riverboat to tell the story of storytelling in France’s Alsace region, before heading out for a walking tour through ancient Strasbourg’s Christmas Market, the biggest and oldest in all of France. Home to the European Union and in a sense the “Capital of Europe,” Strasbourg would also like you to think of it as the “Capital of Christmas.” The setting of its Marchés de Noël (as Christmas Markets are called in most cities in France), around the Gothic Cathedral de Notre-Dame, is breathtaking; after your visit, you can return to the riverboat or explore on your own and have lunch in Strasbourg, one of the best Christmas Market tour towns in France! Enjoy cocktails followed by the chef’s signature dinner this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ms Inspire


Day 7

Lucerne & Mt. Pilatus at Christmastime

From the riverboat this morning, set off on a shore excursion to Switzerland’s lakeside “City of Lights,” Lucerne. Head out for the heights of Mt. Pilatus via gondola to enjoy spectacular views of the city and Lake Lucerne; after descending the mountain by gondola, take an orientation tour with your Tauck Director. Highlights include the Kappelbrucke, a covered wooden footbridge crossing the Reuss River that dates back to the 1330s; an octagonal Water Tower once used as a prison; and lovely squares like the Kornmarkt, Weinmarkt and Hirschenplatz. In Altstadt Lucerne (Old Town), narrow cobblestone lanes lead to picturesque squares lined with houses painted with frescoes. Following time in Lucerne, return to the riverboat in the afternoon. Please join us this evening for the captain’s farewell reception followed by dinner aboard the riverboat – sharing more memories of your Rhine holiday cruise over a mug of steaming glühwein with the new friends you’ve made – as the ship makes its way to Basel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ms Inspire


Day 8

Homeward bound

Tour ends: Basel, Switzerland. Fly home anytime. Upon disembarking the riverboat (no later than 9:00 AM), transfers are included to Euro Airport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg or Basel’s SBB train station; guests can also transfer to Zürich Airport or Zurich Hauptbahnhof (train station). Please allow 3 hours for flight check-in.


Tauck Cruising

Go beyond the ordinary and experience cruise travel at its best with Tauck. What makes Tauck’s Small Ship Cruising and River Cruising unique is the focus on the destination. Each scenic ports of call connect you with people and places,  which will give you a moving, compelling and heart-warming experience both onboard and ashore.

Time ashore is enriched by in-depth cultural exploration and insider access that ensures up-close-and-personal connections with the locals and daily life. Tauck’s cruise travel adventures include guided sightseeing with local experts such as naturalists, historians, and accomplished lecturers. You’ll dine on regional cuisine on land at aboard ship that showcases specialties of the destination. After a day of extraordinary sightseeing, Tauck welcome you back onboard the hand-picked vessels for warm camaraderie and lively conversation that’s inherent on every Tauck cruise travel experience. The stories are endless, the memories are timeless and the connections priceless.

You can expect to see the sights a bit differently than you would with anyone else. Tauck explores Europe’s great waterways from the Rhine and the Danube to the Rhône and the Seine in France. Their luxurious riverboats are spacious and comfortable, welcoming you to an onboard experience characterized by the Tauck. Discover river cruises that go beyond the ordinary!

Tauck Voted World’s Best River Cruise Line

For the second time in three years, Tauck has been named the “World’s Best River Cruise Line" by the readers of Travel + Leisure, one of the world’s most authoritative and respected publications for travellers. The World’s Best Awards from Travel + Leisure are selected by the magazine’s readers. Every year, T+L holds a survey for readers to fill out on their main website. The survey remains open until April.

Winners are announced in the August/September issues of Travel + Leisure. These awards are given in categories such as hotels, resorts, spas, cruises, airlines, travel companies, tour operators, cities, islands, family travel, and more.

River Cruising

The heart of history meets the art of sophisticated river cruise travel aboard Tauck’s river cruises. Experience the Tauck difference on cruise travel days along great European waterways from the Rhine to the Danube, from the canals of the Netherlands to the Rhône, from the Main to the Danube and the Moselle…

You’ll cruise aboard spacious riverboats that have been custom designed to meet American standards with well appointed outside facing cabins and suites, a choice of on-board dining venues, complimentary wine with dinner, fitness centers and attentive personal service from Tauck’s staff and the ship’s crew.

Ancient civilizations beckon on cruise travel days along the River Nile in Egypt and China’s Yangtze River on Tauck’s Exotic journeys, where 3- and 4-night river cruise travel enhances land journeys.

Small Ship Cruising

The difference in Tauck’s small ship cruise travel lies in the choreography of the total cruise travel experience – the combination of personalized cruising with cultural land exploration. How you spend your days ashore – where you go, what you do, who you meet – that’s the Tauck difference. From the moment you step ashore, with 85 years of expertise on land ensures that on every cruise travel day, every moment of your shore excursions (all included in the price) count! Smaller ships hold fewer passengers, which means more personal attention from the captain and the crew – you’ll find the on-board atmosphere to be both club-like and comfortable. The pace is more relaxed, the conversations are richer, and the day-to-day experiences are shared with like-minded travelers.


Call a Luxury Cruise Specialist on 1300 308 081 and Quote #74608

(During Business Hours)