We’ve been enjoying Christmas Market river cruises for almost 15 years – sometimes on the Rhine, sometimes on the Danube. Sometimes upstream, sometimes downstream. Don’t get us wrong – all are wonderful experiences, and hundreds of Travel Insiders have happily shared them with us over the years.
The time has now come to offer you a very different type of Christmas Markets experience. We’ve taken the best elements of a river cruise, and then added extra features, flexibility and freedom – things that are unavoidably impossible when you’re on a boat, limited to rivers and its schedule. The result is what we are calling a ‘land cruise’.
Although we have coach travel (as do river cruises on many days too) this is not a coach tour. Just like a river cruise, we spend a full week in one place – but we’ll be staying at a lovely boutique hotel rather than onboard a small river cruise boat.
Rather than cramped cabins on a small boat, you can enjoy spacious hotel rooms in a central city boutique hotel. Rather than just having the one ship’s restaurant, fixed dining times and limited menu choices, we’ve a city full of dinner choices – even Michelin starred restaurants for the foodies in our group. We will be visiting different towns all around the region for varied lunch choices.
We have chosen Lille in northern France as our touring base. Lille is distinctive for being on the Eurostar and other high-speed rail lines, making it really easy to get to (40 minutes from Brussels, 70 minutes from Paris, 90 minutes from London), and allowing you a lot of choices for where you fly in and out. Lille is a lovely city itself, and also has a rich variety of lovely nearby places to visit, so each day we will radiate out from Lille to experience selected nearby towns, including over the border in Belgium too. Most of the places we visit have lovely Christmas Markets.
After the one week ‘land cruise’ we offer a three-day extension to Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and even Lichtenstein.
Pricing is also much better than a river cruise. Rates start at $2495 per person, share twin. Like a cruise, we have two categories of room upgrade offered.
But, unlike a river cruise, there are no port fees to be added to the tour price, and we don’t distribute two envelopes per person for ‘suggested tips’ at the end, either!
Again unlike river cruises, single supplements have been kept to a very fair 25%, so as to make it easy for our many single travelers to join the tour, too. We also have a matching/share program for singles.
We have even created a ‘quantity discount’ program if you bring other people with you.
The cruise/tour starts on Sunday 9 December and ends one week later on Sunday 16th. If you’d like to stay a bit longer, we suggest various pre-tour options and offer a three night post-tour option too.
Whether you’ve enjoyed a Christmas river cruise or not, and whether you’ve visited these areas at other times of year or not, you’ll find lots to love on this wonderful tour at a charming time of year.
Please do come and join a group of your fellow Travel Insiders on this lovely experience this December.