Cruise from city to city as you hop on and off to take in the famous Christmas markets along the River Rhine. Indulge in some cruising luxuries including 4-course dinners and buffet breakfasts and walk it off as you wander the many festive stalls. Main Header image: © Piel Media
Detailed Overview

Price Includes

  • Return channel crossing

Overnight Hotel

  • 1-night dinner, bed & breakfast in the Holiday Inn Gent-Expo, Gent

  • Full buffet breakfast

  • 3-course 2 choice buffet dinner

  • City Tax

MV Esmeralda

  • 4 nights full board cruising on board MV Esmeralda

  • Welcome cocktail during welcome meeting

  • Hot & cold buffet breakfast

  • 3-course lunch with set menu

  • 4-course menu with choice of main course

  • Tea with biscuits each afternoon

  • Tea/coffee after dinner

  • Late night snacks available each night

  • On-board entertainment on one night

  • Captains farewell dinner on the final night with a set menu

  • Cologne Accommodation Tax

  • Porterage on arrival & departure

Overnight Hotel

  • 1-night dinner, bed & breakfast in the Novotel Leuven Centrum, Belgium

  • 3-course 3 choice dinner

  • Buffet breakfast

  • City Tax

Please note: Resort Tax: The resort tax is not included and will be collected from each passenger on arrival.

Please be advised that the Christmas Market dates have not yet been confirmed and may be subject to change.

Tour Itinerary
Day 1

We depart early for our channel crossing and head to our overnight hotel.

Day 2

Board MV Esmeralda in Cologne
In the morning after breakfast, we depart Gent and travel to Cologne to embark MV Esmeralda for 4 nights cruising. We will enjoy a welcome cocktail while our bags are taken to our cabin and will have time to settle in prior to our four-course dinner this evening. The ship is docked overnight in Cologne.

Day 3

Cologne to Koblenz
We will spend today enjoying our cruise from Cologne to Koblenz. Enjoy lunch on board, before the ship arrives in Koblenz around 3pm. We will have a few hours to stretch our legs in the historic city of Koblenz and enjoy the Christmas market. Located in the historic district, the market offers over 100 stalls with a range of arts, crafts and Christmas decorations, not forgetting the tasty snacks, mulled wine and sweet-smelling Christmas cakes. Back on-board dinner is served. The ship is docked overnight in Koblenz.

Day 4

Koblenz to Rudesheim
We will enjoy lunch as we cruise towards Rudesheim where you can spend the afternoon sightseeing and strolling along with wonderful Drosselgasse and a chocolate-box old quarter and perhaps try a coffee made with the local brandy. We will then return to the MV Esmeralda in time for dinner this evening. The ship is docked overnight in Rüdesheim.

Day 5

Rüdesheim to Mainz
After breakfast, we start our Cruise to Mainz. We enjoy lunch on board before arriving in Mainz with the afternoon free to explore the city. The historical Christmas Market in Mainz creates a magical atmosphere with its 100 lovingly decorated and illuminated stands. This evening we have our Captain's Farewell dinner on board the ship. The ship is docked overnight in Mainz.

Day 6

After breakfast, we will leave the MV Esmeralda one last time. Our bags will be transferred to our coach and we will begin our return journey to our overnight hotel.

Day 7

We make our way back to the UK via our channel crossing and home.

Other Information

Overnight Hotel on Outbound

4* Holiday Inn Gent-Expo, Gent

Receive a friendly welcome in our glassed atrium, where you can mingle with friends over chilled Belgian beers in the bar. If time allows, hop on the tram, 100 meters from Holiday Inn Gent Expo, for a 20-minute ride into historic Gent with its wealth of museums, medieval streets and 12th-century architecture.

• Lift • Flat screen TV with cable/satellite • Wi-Fi • Hairdryer • Tea/coffee making facilities • Safe • Telephone • Air-Conditioning • Trouser press • Restaurant • Bar • Lounge Bar •

MV Esmeralda

The Esmeralda offers a high level of comfort and a family atmosphere. The Esmeralda can accommodate 126 passengers on two decks and is airconditioned throughout.  It has a lift between the promenade deck and main deck.  It has a stair lift between the promenade deck and sun deck.  It is a pleasure to relax on the partially covered sun deck.

• Lift between the 2 floors plus a stair lift to sun deck • Lounge • Bar • Restaurant • Air-conditioning • Safe • TV •

Overnight Hotel on Inbound

4* Novotel Leuven Centrum, Belgium

The hotel is the ideal base to explore the beautiful historical city centre of Leuven. Go back in time by visiting the Town Hall, Old market Square and Leuven's University. The medieval city centre is within 15 minutes from the hotel. Leuven has a lot to offer, next to the historical buildings it is recommended to visit the M - Museum Leuven, which houses a great art collection. Experience local specialties at one of the many bars and restaurants of the city.

• Lift • Air Conditioned • Reception 24-hours a day • Free Wi-Fi • Bar • Restaurant • Fitness Centre • Tea/coffee making facilities • Hairdryer • Telephone • TV with Satellite/cable • Safe •

MV Esmeralda


All 63 outward facing cabins have:

  • Air-conditioning

  • Shower & toilet

  • Satellite TV

  • Safe deposit box

  • Twin beds

  • A continental electricity socket (220 volts)


The Esmeralda has a spacious and inviting lounge.

The bar and lounge of the Esmeralda is completely renovated in the beginning of 2011.

Morning coffee and afternoon tea is offered each day in the lounge.


The restaurant at the front of the main deck can accommodate all passengers at a single seating.

On all cruises on board the Esmeralda you'll start the day with a buffet breakfast. On cruises in the summer you'll enjoy a three-course lunch and a four-course dinner with a choice in menu.

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