Strasbourg & German Christmas Markets Quilting Cruise

Prices from £849


9 Dec 2017 - 13 Dec 2017
Duration: 4 nights
Ref: 17079
With: Karin Hellaby


Prices from £849
Single Supplement: £149
Deposit: £250

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For a truly magical pre-Christmas break we’ve combined a relaxing cruise on the mighty river Rhine with the chance to explore Strasbourg and the traditional German Christmas Markets from the comfort of your floating hotel. Each winter, the streets and squares of Strasbourg are illuminated with light as Christmas casts its spell on the beautiful French City which is one of the largest and oldest Christmas Markets in Europe. We explore the city of Mannheim, with its own market and there’s a chance to join an optional excursion to Heidelberg in the Neckar Valley. With a visit to Cologne, where we will find Germany’s favourite and largest Christmas market easy to explore from our Rhine – side hotel, this is a Christmas market extravaganza!


"I love Christmas Markets! Especially, the unique crafts and the smell of Christmas foods. Join me as we explore the Markets around the Rhine river, each one with its own unique flavour and atmosphere. We have the flexibility of rail travel for extra shopping! I will have fabric kits ready for you to make Christmas ornaments in a variety of techniques, so that we can indulge in a little (or a lot) of stitching whilst we drift through the lovely wintry scenes."

DAY 1 - by rail to the Rhine

This morning we take the Eurostar to Brussels and then a high speed International train to Cologne where we change to the German Railways for a journey along the Rhine Valley to Mainz, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Rhine and Main.

We embark our floating home, MS Serenity and enjoy a relaxing evening on board as we glide along the Rhine towards Mannheim.

This evening, join us for dinner in the ship’s restaurant and a chance for us to welcome you and for you to meet your fellow travellers and chat about the days ahead.

DAY 2 - Rhine Cruise and Mannheim

We wake up in Mannheim where we will have plenty of free time to explore and enjoy the Christmas Markets in this vibrant Riverside town.

Mannheim is located at the union of the Rhine and Neckar Rivers and, as well as the Christmas Markets, offers exciting shopping opportunities!

After lunch we have the opportunity to join an optional excursion to the beautiful university city of Heidelberg to enjoy their Christmas markets which extend over five historic markets squares and feature around 140 festive stalls. The cost of the excursion is £15.

In the early evening we set sail along the Rhine towards Strasbourg.

DAY 3 - Strasbourg Christmas Market

We arrive in Strasbourg in the morning and enjoy a full day in this remarkable city. The Christmas market here is said to be the oldest and largest in Europe dating back to the 1570s and has been voted the best European Christmas markets for two years running. The markets is spread over eleven areas of the city and is adorned with miles of sparkling lights as wells a giant ice rink.

Back on board, we depart Strasbourg in the early evening for our cruise towards Mannheim.

DAY 4 - Cologne Christmas Markets

MS Serenity arrives in Mannheim in the morning and, after breakfast on board, we bid farewell to captain and crew and head to Cologne on the train.

Cologne’s Christmas markets are a sight to behold...with a maze of markets and festive stalls dotted around the city. The hive of the activity takes place in the remarkable surroundings of the mighty Cathedral , while the Altemarkt and Neumarkt offer a variety of arts and crafts and more smaller markets offer unbeatable choice...wherever you go Glühwein & Gingerbread can be found!

Our hotel is within walking distance to the markets.

DAY 5 - by rail Cologne to London

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before we join the high-speed International train service to Brussels and Eurostar back to London St Pancras.


Twin cabin: £849
Single supplement: £149
Middle deck upgrade (twin only): £50 per person
Panorama deck upgrade (twin only): £100 per person


  • Return Eurostar and International Rail Travel to Mainz and from Cologne
  • 3 nights onboard MS Serenity in a main deck twin cabin on a full board basis
  • 1 night in the Maritim Hotel, Cologne, on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 Christmas themed Hand stitching workshops lead by Karin Hellaby during the cruise
  • Rhine Cruise visiting Mannheim & Strasbourg Christmas Markets
  • Visit to Cologne Christmas Markets


Travel to and from London, drinks and meals other than mentioned, optional Excursion to Heidelberg, travel insurance and items of a personal nature.


Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you?
If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays:
Europe - £50


Stitchtopia Holidays are designed with all crafters in mind, wherever you live in the world! If you would like to make your own flight arrangements and meet us at our first hotel, please let us know - we would love to tell you more about our “meet us there” holiday discounts.


For single travellers who are interested in our trips, but don’t have a friend able to come with them why not join our "Stitch Together" programme to help with the costs of a single occupancy room? We have designed a way for you to find someone to share a room with on any of our Stitchtopia Holidays.

Find out more about our "Stitch Together" programme >>

MS Serenity****

MS Serenity is a 4 star ship with a sleek and spacious design. On the Panorama deck you will find the spacious lounge bar with panoramic windows and comfortable seating whilst the Lido bar, with its outdoor terrace, can be found at the stern.

The restaurant, also with panoramic windows on the Middle deck, is where we enjoy breakfast, lunch and evening meals. If the weather permits, why not visit the sundeck for uninterrupted views of the Rhine scenery?


Cabins are situated over 3 decks:

Panorama deck cabins
On the upper deck with a full length window and a French balcony. Each cabin has an en-suite shower & WC, air conditioning, twin berths, satellite TV, radio, safe and hairdryer.

Middle deck cabins
On the middle deck with mid height picture windows. These cabins are the same size as those on the Panorama deck and also have an en-suite shower & WC, air conditioning, twin berths, satellite TV, radio, safe and hairdryer.

Main deck cabins
On the lower deck with head height picture windows. These cabins are the same size as those on the Panorama deck and also have an en-suite shower & WC, air conditioning, twin berths, satellite TV, radio, safe and hairdryer.

The Maritim Hotel, Cologne

The Maritim Hotel’s Rhine-side position is within walking distance of the city centre and the Christmas markets. The hotel is bright and airy with a leisure centre offering an indoor swimming pool, sauna and beauty centre. There is also a bar and restaurant. All rooms are air conditioned and ensuite with a satellite TV, safe and hairdryer. Free Wifi is available throughout the hotel.