Our journey started in Cologne Germany where we began a week long sailing aboard the Uniworld SS Antoinette from Cologne to Basel, Switzerland.
Our Ship – Uniworld SS Antoinette
Onboard the S.S. Antoinette—one of Uniworld’s beautiful Super Ships—guests immediately feel as if they’ve stepped into France’s 18th-century Palace of Versailles. The luxurious surroundings feature unique decorative elements and a warm and welcoming ambiance. Fine Brazilian marble adorns the walls and floors and a sparkling 19th-century Venetian glass mirror rests high above the reception desk. The two-story foyer boasts a 10-foot blue Strauss Baccarat chandelier with huge sapphires, a stunning piece that once hung in New York’s famous Tavern on the Green. We loved our week-long stay on the Antoinette.
Cologne is one of the oldest cities in Germany. It is home to the UNESCO world heritage site, Cologne Cathedral which is reported to contain the earthly remains of the Three Kings (the Magi). Cologne boasts no fewer than 8 Christmas markets, most of them within walking distance of each other.
Located where the Mosel river meets the Rhine river, Koblenz features the famous Deutsches Eck (German Corner), the point where the rivers converge. Between Cologne and Koblenz, castles are strung along the Rhine river like pearls on the hillside along with the famous Lorelei Rock. Koblenz has picturesque alleyways lined with half-timbered houses which are decorated for the Christmas season.
Rudesheim is home of the not-to-be-missed Siegfrieds Museum of mechanical musical instruments. Here you are in the heart of the Rheingau, one of Germany’s smallest but most world-renowned wine growing regions.
Located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main rivers, Mainz is where Johannes Gutenberg perfected the printing press. The St. Martin’s Cathedral is over a 1000 years old.
A short bus ride from where our ship docked on the Rhine – Heidelberg is located on the Neckar river. During WWII, Heidelberg was almost completely spared from allied bombings, and as a result has retained its baroque charm of narrow streets, picturesque houses and the world-famous Schloss (castle ruins).
Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace region of France and is widely known for hosting EU institutions and its fantastic historical city center which was the first city center to be classified in its entirety as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Located along the Alsatian Vineyard Route, Obernai was an optional excursion. A charming town still enclosed by its old city walls, Obernai did not disappoint.
Sharing a border with both France and Germany, Basel lies in the northwest corner of Switzerland. Basel has a beautiful medieval old town center and rich architecture throughout.
Located in the heart of Switzerland, Lucerne was also an optional excursion on our Christmas market cruise. Legend has it that across the lake at Altdorf is where William Tell shot the apple of his son’s head. The Lion Monument commemorates the Swiss Guards, massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution – Mark Twain praised it as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” Lucerne has a small, but remarkably preserved old town.
A Christmas Market Cruise is an amazing way to travel. Give us a call or drop us a note so we can start planning your trip!