Cruises

Classic Christmas Markets (2023)

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Nuremberg to Frankfurt | 8 Days

Date Range: Dec 2023 - Dec 2023

Ships : River Queen, River Princess

Countries: Central Europe

Europe’s famous Christmas markets have changed little over the past five centuries, and the childlike wonder they instill is yours to enjoy on this magical cruise along the Main.

Europe’s famous Christmas markets have changed little over the past five centuries, and the childlike wonder they instill is yours to enjoy on this magical cruise along the Main.

A journey that will make you believe in holiday magic all over again.


Once upon a time, people gathered on cobblestone squares to buy the special tools and ingredients they needed to make the treats of the season. They kept warm with hot spiced wine, music and games while they shopped and chatted with the local tradesmen. Those were the first Christmas markets, 500 years ago. Today, though the light comes from twinkling electric bulbs rather than torches, bonhomie and fun still prevail.


Discover villages with fairytale houses and a friendly, festive atmosphere. Share traditional holiday goodies with the people who made them. Watch as modern children abandon their usual electronics and discover the enchantment of hand-carved wooden toys, as scents of cinnamon and roasting nuts fill the air. Sail through Christmas country, trying Frankfurt’s famous apple cider and Nuremberg’s gingerbread. Throughout, cozy up to steaming mugs of glühwein (warm spiced wine) and do as the locals do by collecting different mugs from each stall and town you visit. Embrace the holiday spirit in Germany, the land where many Christmas traditions began, and find the magic of the season in the smiles that you meet along the way.


Who will enjoy this cruise


Those wanting to experience the quintessential magic of the holidays while shopping for one-of-a-kind treasures and discovering the legends behind some of our most popular holiday traditions.

Nuremberg to Frankfurt | 8 Days
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Program offerings are subject to change.
DAY 1 Nuremberg (Embark)
Arrive at Nuremberg International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
DAY 2 Nuremberg
For a holiday extravaganza, look no further than Nuremberg, which boasts the largest and grandest Christmas Market in all of Germany— and that’s really saying something. The “Gingerbread Capital of the World” pulls out all the stops during the holidays, as you’ll see for yourself on a panoramic tour guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. You could not ask for a more perfect place to begin an exploration of Christmas traditions than Nuremberg. Stroll through the castle gardens and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, then walk through a maze of cobblestone lanes down to the central Market Square. There, spread out before the Church of Our Lady, is the largest Christmas Market in Germany.

Featured Excursion:

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
DAY 3 Bamberg
The fact that Bamberg still exists today is something of a miracle—it survived WWII bombing virtually unscathed. It’s a superb example of a medieval German city, one compact enough to explore on foot with a local expert. You’ll also have free time to visit not just one but four Christmas Markets and a captivating amount of nativity scenes located along nativity trail.

Featured Excursion:
DAY 4 Kitzingen (Rothenburg), Würzburg
Rothenburg looks like something straight out of the pages of a storybook, with its medieval walls, cobbled streets, Gothic churches and Hansel-and-Gretel houses. Join a local expert for an insightful walking tour, and then wander amongst the stalls at one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets

Featured Excursion:

Today’s lunch will be on your own.
DAY 5 Würzburg
This morning, you’ll head off to see the Würzburg Residence, a baroque-style palace famous for its gigantic ceiling fresco. Later, visit the town’s renowned Christmas Market, held in front of the old City Hall, for some one-of-a-kind gifts for friends back home. Beautifully decorated wooden booths are illuminated by the soft glow of Christmas lighting, and the air is filled with the scent of roasted chestnuts and the sound of Christmas carols. One of the best ways to embrace a different culture is through encounters with local residents, which you’ll experience this afternoon in a typical Franconian village. Make new friends over hot drinks and homemade seasonal treats.

Featured Excursions:
DAY 6 Wertheim
Located at the confluence of the Tauber and Main rivers, Wertheim is a lovely village dating back over a thousand years. It epitomizes the friendly, slow-paced small-town atmosphere of many German villages; here, residents greet each other by name as they do their daily shopping for fresh bread and sausage in tiny shops. On your guided walking tour of the village, you’ll hear a lot about daily life in Wertheim, as well as facts about the town and its history. Its many well-preserved medieval buildings—complete with low doors and tiny windows—attest to the inconveniences of life in the Middle Ages.

Featured Excursion:
DAY 7 Frankfurt
Frankfurt is known as the “Mainhattan” of Europe, a financial powerhouse with soaring skyscrapers as well as traditional Old Town architecture. Experience both aspects of the city today, with time to browse the local Christmas market, one of the best on the Continent. Other options include a “Taste of Christmas” walking tour featuring all sorts of sugary and savory treats or an excursion to the Christmas market in Wiesbaden.

Featured Excursion:

Other Excursions:

Dive into the energy of this sophisticated city with your guide, roaming from its historic heart, Römer Square, to its landmark skyscraper, Main Tower, where you’ll take an elevator to the 650-foot-high (198 meters) viewing platform for a panorama of the 50 skyscrapers that underline the importance of this European hub. Closer to earth, you’ll see the Römer, a complex of patrician houses originally built around 1288 that has served as Frankfurt’s City Hall for more than 600 years. From here, you’ll notice the red sandstone tower of St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral; kings were elected and emperors crowned here beginning in 1356. Then you’ll have the opportunity to explore this lovely city at your own pace. Old Town, which is resplendent with the joyous sights and sounds of Frankfurt’s Christmas Market, is a great place to start. This market is simply beautiful, featuring a vintage carousel and a huge, gorgeously illuminated Christmas tree.

If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping and you don’t see just what you’re looking for at the market, you could check out the designer shops on Goethe Street or the little boutiques on Berger Street. The treasures of the Römer are so close to the ship that you can take in the sights at your leisure before returning to the dock. If you’d like a break from holiday shopping, no fewer than 13 museums line the Main River right next to your ship, all of them worth exploring. The Städel has a splendid collection of works by painters ranging from Rubens to Baselitz.

Mainhattan walking tour with Christmas market
or

What better way to end your holiday cruise than by sampling some of the seasonal specialties of this region? Join your local expert for an exploration of Frankfurt’s culinary delicacies, including holiday treats such as bethmännchen, a marzipan- filled pastry named for a 19th-century banking family, and quetschemännchen, quirky little plum-and-nut figures that are traditionally made for the season (they were also traditionally sent by a young man to the young lady he was interested in; if she accepted one from him, she accepted him also). These are just a couple of the treats awaiting you as you ramble through the picturesque area around historic Römer Square, where markets have been held since the 13th-century. Tall half-timbered houses, including the old Town Hall, enclose the square, which has hosted a Christmas market since the 1390s. Now you’ll find long rows of gaily decorated stalls filled with imaginative crafts and delicious foods, one last delightful market for you to enjoy before you head home.

“Taste of Christmas” Frankfurt walking tour

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
DAY 8 Frankfurt (Disembark)
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to the Frankfurt International Airport for your flight home.
Frankfurt to Nuremberg | 8 Days
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Program offerings are subject to change.
DAY 1 Frankfurt (Embark)
Arrive at Frankfurt International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
DAY 2 Frankfurt
Frankfurt is known as the “Mainhattan” of Europe, a financial powerhouse with soaring skyscrapers as well as traditional Old Town architecture. Experience both aspects of the city today, with time to browse the local Christmas market, one of the best on the Continent. Other options include a “Taste of Christmas” walking tour featuring all sorts of sugary and savory treats or an excursion to the Christmas market in Wiesbaden.

Featured Excursion:

Other Excursions:

Dive into the energy of this sophisticated city with your guide, roaming from its historic heart, Römer Square, to its landmark skyscraper, Main Tower, where you’ll take an elevator to the 650-foot-high (198 meters) viewing platform for a panorama of the 50 skyscrapers that underline the importance of this European hub. Closer to earth, you’ll see the Römer, a complex of patrician houses originally built around 1288 that has served as Frankfurt’s City Hall for more than 600 years. From here, you’ll notice the red sandstone tower of St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral; kings were elected and emperors crowned here beginning in 1356. Then you’ll have the opportunity to explore this lovely city at your own pace. Old Town, which is resplendent with the joyous sights and sounds of Frankfurt’s Christmas Market, is a great place to start. This market is simply beautiful, featuring a vintage carousel and a huge, gorgeously illuminated Christmas tree.

If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping and you don’t see just what you’re looking for at the market, you could check out the designer shops on Goethe Street or the little boutiques on Berger Street. The treasures of the Römer are so close to the ship that you can take in the sights at your leisure before returning to the dock. If you’d like a break from holiday shopping, no fewer than 13 museums line the Main River right next to your ship, all of them worth exploring. The Städel has a splendid collection of works by painters ranging from Rubens to Baselitz.

Mainhattan walking tour with Christmas market
or

What better way to begin your holiday cruise than by sampling some of the seasonal specialties of this region? Join your local expert for an exploration of Frankfurt’s culinary delicacies, including holiday treats such as bethmännchen, a marzipan- filled pastry named for a 19th-century banking family, and quetschemännchen, quirky little plum-and-nut figures that are traditionally made for the season (they were also traditionally sent by a young man to the young lady he was interested in; if she accepted one from him, she accepted him also). These are just a couple of the treats awaiting you as you ramble through the picturesque area around historic Römer Square, where markets have been held since the 13th-century. Tall half-timbered houses, including the old Town Hall, enclose the square, which has hosted a Christmas market since the 1390s. Now you’ll find long rows of gaily decorated stalls filled with imaginative crafts and delicious foods.

“Taste of Christmas” Frankfurt walking tour

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
DAY 3 Cruising the Main River, Wertheim
Located at the confluence of the Tauber and Main rivers, Wertheim is a lovely village dating back over a thousand years. It epitomizes the friendly, slow-paced small-town atmosphere of many German villages; here, residents greet each other by name as they do their daily shopping for fresh bread and sausage in tiny shops. On your guided walking tour of the village, you’ll hear a lot about daily life in Wertheim, as well as facts about the town and its history. Its many well-preserved medieval buildings—complete with low doors and tiny windows—attest to the inconveniences of life in the Middle Ages.

Featured Excursion:
DAY 4 Würzburg
This morning, you’ll head off to see the Würzburg Residence, a baroque-style palace famous for its gigantic ceiling fresco. Later, visit the town’s renowned Christmas Market, held in front of the old City Hall, for some one-of-a-kind gifts for friends back home. Beautifully decorated wooden booths are illuminated by the soft glow of Christmas lighting, and the air is filled with the scent of roasted chestnuts and the sound of Christmas carols. One of the best ways to embrace a different culture is through encounters with local residents, which you’ll experience this afternoon in a typical Franconian village. Make new friends over hot drinks and homemade seasonal treats.

Featured Excursion:

Other Excursions:

Travel through Franconia’s rolling hills and farms to the picture-perfect village of Aschfeld, which features a historic church with a defensive wall that protected residents throughout the Middle Ages, After your visit to the Heimatmuseum at the Fortified Church, sample some homemade Christmas goodies such as cookies, stollen and gingerbread, along with coffee and tea. The locals' English-speaking abilities vary, so this is a great opportunity for you to try out your German, just as they are trying out their English. Here’s one phrase you might want to know: “Fröhliche Weihnachten,” which means “Merry Christmas!”

Franconian Christmas “Village Day”
or Würzburg Christmas Market night stroll
DAY 5 Kitzingen (Rothenburg), Schweinfurt
Rothenburg looks like something straight out of the pages of a storybook, with its medieval walls, cobbled streets, Gothic churches and Hansel-and-Gretel houses. Join a local expert for an insightful walking tour, and then wander amongst the stalls at one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets

Featured Excursion:

Today’s lunch will be on your own.
DAY 6 Bamberg
The fact that Bamberg still exists today is something of a miracle—it survived WWII bombing virtually unscathed. It’s a superb example of a medieval German city, one compact enough to explore on foot with a local expert. You’ll also have free time to visit not just one but four Christmas Markets and a captivating amount of nativity scenes located along nativity trail.

Featured Excursion:
DAY 7 Nuremberg
For a holiday extravaganza, look no further than Nuremberg, which boasts the largest and grandest Christmas Market in all of Germany— and that’s really saying something. The “Gingerbread Capital of the World” pulls out all the stops during the holidays, as you’ll see for yourself on a panoramic tour guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. Stroll through the castle gardens and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, then walk through a maze of cobblestone lanes down to the central Market Square. There, spread out before the Church of Our Lady, is the largest Christmas Market in Germany.

Featured Excursion:

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
DAY 8 Nuremberg (Disembark)
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to the Nuremberg International Airport for your flight home.
Cruise Departure Double Occupancy Pricing Ship
Sat, 02 Dec 2023
(Nuremberg to Frankfurt)
$3,899.00 River Princess
Select this date
Fri, 08 Dec 2023
(Nuremberg to Frankfurt)
$3,899.00 River Queen
Select this date
Fri, 15 Dec 2023
(Nuremberg to Frankfurt)
$3,599.00 River Queen
Select this date
Fri, 22 Dec 2023
(Nuremberg to Frankfurt)
$3,599.00 River Queen
Select this date
Sat, 23 Dec 2023
(Nuremberg to Frankfurt)
$3,599.00 River Princess
Select this date
  • All fares are per guest in US Dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted.
  • Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice.
  • Availability of all stateroom categories cannot be guaranteed.
  • Single Supplement applies for single accommodation.
  • Itineraries, hotels, and vessels may change, and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water level fluctuations and other uncontrollable factors.
  • The order of sightseeing and docking ports are subject to change according to port authority assignments.
  • Prices exclude additional port charges of $210 per person

Dining

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water

Dining

Excursions

  • 6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Taste of Christmas” and “Village Day” programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all shore excursions
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks

Excursions

Accommodations

  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the regal River Queen
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Internet and Wi-Fi access

Accommodations

Experiences

  • 1 country: Germany
  • 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • Group Transfers are included on arrival and departure days (please see terms and conditions for transfer guidelines)
  • Gratuities for onboard personnel (ship staff, crew, Cruise/Tour Manager) are included during the cruise/tour
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment

Experiences