Wonderland River Cruise
A magical journey from Trier (or
optionally Paris), along the
Rhine, and to Amsterdam
The nearly new Amadagio will be your luxury home while you
cruise along the rivers and visit beautiful old towns and
cities in the pre-Christmas season in Germany, Holland (and
Find distinctive and unique hand crafted items to take back
as Christmas gifts, while enjoying a relaxed and
Maybe you've cruised on a
gigantic cruise ship before. A river cruise is very different.
The custom built (in 2006) river cruiser, Amadagio, has only 75 cabins,
making for a much more personal and less institutional
The river cruise itinerary is
also very different to a traditional ocean cruise. You
never have rough seas, and you're always treated to beautiful
views out your cabin window, never just empty ocean. And
nearly all shore touring is included at no extra charge.
Note : We can offer you
an across the board 5% discount on all cruises operated by
Amadeus Waterways. So if this special
escorted tour doesn't suit,
have us arrange whichever other cruise you'd prefer.
skip down to the booking form
You should leave the US on
or before Saturday 29 November, so as to arrive into Trier on or
before Sunday 30 November. You'll board the Amadagio that afternoon, and touring activities start the next
The cruise ends in Amsterdam on the morning of Sunday
At this point you're free to either fly home,
to then come and join us on our
Christmas Markets Danube
cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg (and get a special $200
discount for doing so) and optionally onto
Prague, or to extend your
stay any other way you wish.
Many people choose to arrive a day before the
start of the cruise. This means if you - or your luggage -
should miss a connecting flight, or if anything else goes wrong,
you still have a day up your sleeve before the start of the
It also gives you a day to
'de-jetlag' before the cruise gets underway.
Pre and Post Cruise Optional
You are welcome to fly into
Europe any time you wish, of course, and to return home at any
time, too, and similarly you don't need to limit yourself to
simply flying in to Trier and out of Amsterdam.
We offer two very special Travel Insider
extensions to enhance your overall tour experience.
Pre-Cruise Option - Paris and
Fly to Paris rather than
Trier, and spend three nights there with included city touring
and breakfasts, then travel by luxury coach to Trier to join the
cruise, with a stop in Luxemburg on the way. $600 per
Post-Cruise Option - Another
Christmas Markets Cruise
Yes, seriously. Consider
adding our other
Christmas Markets cruise to your cruise from Trier to Amsterdam.
On the day this cruise ends, simply fly from Amsterdam to
Budapest and then join the Amalegro and enjoy our traditional
Danube Christmas markets
cruise to Nuremburg (with optional extension on to Prague).
This is our most popular
annual cruise/tour, and would make a lovely enhancement to your
As a small incentive, if you
choose both cruises, we
can offer you a special $200 discount off the combined cruise
price, too. The net extra price of the second cruise
depends on the cabin category you choose, and ranges from $1499
Which is the better
Christmas Markets Cruise?
Maybe you've only time to
do one of the two Christmas Market cruises, and you're wondering
which is the 'better' of the two to choose.
This is a hard question
to answer without knowing more about your particular interests,
what parts of Europe you like the best, and where you may have
However, as a broad rule
of thumb, and if we had to choose, our feeling is that the Budapest to Nuremberg
cruise on the Danube is probably very slightly more
focused on Christmas Markets, whereas the Trier to Amsterdam
cruise is a broader focused cruise. But the biggest
difference is simply the different rivers and parts of Europe
you travel through.
Either is wonderful.
Both are even better!
About the Cruise/Tour
Like a traditional cruise,
this is a fully meal inclusive cruise, and - better than a
traditional cruise - it includes a generous amount of shore
touring as well. You won't have to pay extra for your
shore touring when visiting the lovely towns and cities along
The cruise of course
includes three great meals a day, plus various other snacks,
on-board entertainment, as well as generous opportunities to
sightsee, both from the boat as it cruises the river, and while
ashore during the many stops. You typically have time to
both participate in a provided tour and also to sightsee and
shop on your own.
A nice extra feature is free
wine, beer, or soda provided with every dinner.
While all meals are available on the vessel, you'll also be able
to experience other dining opportunities ashore if you wish.
Similarly, the on-board entertainment can be supplemented with
visits to clubs and bars and shows ashore - the vessel
will sometimes stay in port until late at night, allowing you a chance to
experience each town by day and by night.
These are great cruises for
singles. Because the ship carries a maximum of 150
passengers, you have a chance to meet other people on board and
to create new friendships. Most people on these cruises
seem to be variously middle aged and older.
Why River Cruising
River cruising is simply and
absolutely the most comfortable and convenient way to travel
around Europe. You can unpack your bags and get
comfortable in your lovely large cabin and not need to repack or
transfer until the end of the cruise - this in itself is
probably all the convincing you'll need!
In addition, European towns
have historically tended to be centered around the major rivers,
and so river cruising is a great way to get to the lovely
historic parts of Europe, at a sedate speed, and in luxurious
How else could you travel
around Europe? On a bus tour? Yuck! By train
or car - yes, but then you have an abundance of travel hassles
I've experienced every
possible type of travel, and I'm a 100% convert. River
cruising is the best way to see Europe. Try it,
and you'll be sure to agree.
Why Cruise in Winter?
Ha - tricked you! We're
not even in winter yet at this time of year, it is still late
fall. In any event, there are two good reasons
to enjoy this cruise at this off-season time of year.
The first reason is simply
because it is the off-season. The crowds of people aren't
as crushingly overpowering as they are in the busy season.
Paris and Amsterdam, in particular, are full to overflowing with
tourists in the height of the summer season, making visits to
places unpleasant, crowded, noisy, and generally nasty. At
this time of year things are much emptier, calmer, and less
The second reason is to
experience the Christmas markets. Because of the strong
Christian tradition in the towns we visit, Christmas is viewed
more seriously to start with, and the Christmas markets are a
delightful celebration of our shared Judeo-Christian and
Yes, the weather is cold, but nothing which several layers of warm
clothes can't combat, and our previous Christmas Market
cruises have been blessed with good weather (ie usually no rain,
very little snow
and not uncomfortably cold).
I recommend this cruise and this
time of year.
I've loved the three Christmas Cruises I've already done, and the more than 90
Travel Insider readers who've accompanied me have been similarly
charmed by it.
Try it for yourself - you'll be delighted you did.
About the Amadagio
The cruise ship for this
nearly new (launched in 2006), having been custom designed to meet the special
needs of the European waterways, enabling it to operate in less favorable
conditions than many of the other boats (ie when the water
levels are 'too high' or 'too low').
The boat is long but narrow
(so as to fit in the locks).
It is 360' long and 37.4' wide, and cruises at 15.6 mph.
This might seem like a slow speed, but it is faster than many of
the other cruise boats, enabling the boat to get between towns
faster and giving you more time sightseeing.
Dining is single-seating and
with no pre-assigned tables, so you can move about as you wish
from meal to meal. Amadeus even provides a generous amount
wine (or beer) with your evening meal each night.
Smoking is restricted to the
outside Sun Deck only.
The cruise has been marketed
primarily to English speaking people and the language
on board is exclusively English. This means you won't have the
inconvenience of having to listen to every announcement being
repeated in four or five different languages, and you can
conveniently talk to your fellow guests (and likely soon to be
new friends) on board.
Cabins on the Amadagio
are larger than most of the other cruise boats in Europe - a
massive 170 sq ft each.
The cruise is offered in
five cabin grades plus there are four suites as well.
There are 71 cabins and four suites on
three decks, and all are well equipped with a/c, bathroom and
shower, phone, flat screen television, internet access,
hairdryer and safe. The television has both local and
satellite channels, a bridge-cam channel, and an evening
All five grades of cabin are
very similar in terms of size and amenities. The main
difference is the deck the cabins are situated on.
picture clearly shows the three accommodation decks on
Amadagio. The top deck and the middle deck have floor
to ceiling sliding doors and 'French balconies' (a very small
space outside the sliding door), but the lower deck just has
The most important
difference though is not the style of window, but rather the
height above the waterline. There is a big difference in
perspective and view between the top deck (suites and A category
cabins) and the middle deck (B and C category cabins), while on
the lowest deck (D and E category cabins) the floor is actually
below the waterline and your windows and eye level is only a
foot or so above the waterline. On this deck, with even
the slightest amount of bank on the sides of the river, you'll
not see anything other than the water and bank from the bottom
deck, and there may be a bit more water and machinery noise on
that level too.
When moored, if your cabin
is on the dockside rather than the outboard side, the lowest
deck cabins will have a view blocked by the dock, the middle
deck cabins may have a limited view, and the top deck cabins
will usually have a view above the dock level.
These differences are much
more profound than in a massive cruise ship where even the
lowest deck is still a long way above the waterline. Of
course, if you do choose a D or E category cabin, you can spend
the days in the public areas and enjoy the views from there, but
if you can justify the extra cost to go up a deck or two, the
chances are you'll be very pleased you did.
Suites are 255 sq ft, cabins
are 170 sq ft.
Tip : Choose the
least expensive cabin type on the deck you'd rather be on.
There is very little added value in choosing a D cabin in favor of an E
cabin, or a B cabin in favor of a C cabin.
Christmas Wonderland Cruise - Detailed Day by Day Itinerary
Click this image to have a larger map open in a new window
This lovely itinerary takes you through (optionally France
and Luxemburg then) Germany,
and ending up in Amsterdam.
Click here for a
detailed day by day itinerary of this lovely cruise vacation.
Per person pricing for the
cruise is as follows :
Trier to Amsterdam
Add Paris Pre-cruise option
Add discounted Budapest to Nuremberg cruise
(airfare Amsterdam to Budapest extra)
Extras and Inclusions
Port Taxes are $91 per
person for one cruise, $182 for both cruises.
Air can be arranged for you
by us through Amadeus or you can make your own arrangements
as you wish. Air fares can be quoted from most cities
in the US.
You can pay for your tour using a
credit card with no credit card surcharge.
A $400 per person
non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your participation
and to hold your preferred grade of cabin on
this cruise, and the balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
What about the Air Fare?
If you buy the Amadeus
airfare, they include transfers from the airport to the cruise
ship when you arrive into Paris (if you buy the pre-cruise
option, and back to the airport in
Amsterdam too if you don't add the other cruise). These transfers
are convenient, but require you to arrive on the exact day the
tour starts and leave the exact day the cruise ends. They
can easily be arranged by yourself when you
arrive at the airport as well (ie taxi), so should not unduly influence
your airfare planning.
We suggest you check to see
if you can use any frequent flier miles you might have for this
travel, and/or check to see what the best fare you can get on
your favorite airline is, then compare it to the Amadeus rate
and make your decision then.
You are therefore free to
make your own arrangements, any way you wish, to travel to
Trier (or Paris for the pre-cruise option) and then
home again from Amsterdam (or Nuremberg or Prague), and you can of course make extra
stops and arrive earlier or stay longer. You can choose whichever
carrier has the best fare and the best schedules for you, and
you can also choose a carrier that you wish to earn miles with.
We'll be pleased to answer
any questions you might have about arranging your air
transportation, of course.
Which cities to fly in and out
This might seem like an
obvious issue, but remember that Europe is very small and so if
you can't get convenient flights (or fares) on your preferred
airlines to and from the obvious cities at the start and end of
your tour, consider flying in or out of nearby airports and then
using a train to get between that airport and the city you need
to be in.
Trier has only a small
airport, which means few flight choices, and typically more
expensive fares. You might find it preferable to fly to
either Frankfurt (a major hub) or Luxemburg.
From Frankfurt, you could
take a train to Trier - trains leave from the airport itself,
and it is about a 3½ hour journey.
From Luxemburg, the easiest
thing is to take a taxi from the airport. It is only a 36
mile journey from there to Trier.
You'll probably find it easy
to get flights to Paris or from Amsterdam, but if you choose to
travel to a different European city, remember that rail
connections between cities in Europe are fast, comfortable,
convenient, and usually fairly priced, too.
We generally recommend you
should protect against the various types of losses that may
occur while traveling.
Amadeus Waterways offer a
policy that covers you for trip cancellation and interruption
costs, medical costs, trip delay, and baggage delay or loss.
This is $229 per person. The premium is payable with your
Good news - if you choose
both cruises, you don't need to pay double insurance. The
one policy will cover you during both cruises.
To add an extra trip
cancellation premium that will allow you to cancel for any
reason at all, add another $40. With this add-on premium,
if you cancel for a reason not covered by the main policy,
Amadeus will refund you as much of your payment as is covered by
their usual policy, and give you a voucher to be redeemed
against future travel any time in the next year for the balance.
for a new page with more information on the Amadeus travel
How to Extend or Vary this Tour
There are many ways you can
extend or vary this tour. You're of course free to add anything
you like, before or after the cruise. Alternatively, if
you prefer, the cruise is a complete experience in itself
without needing any extra time.
We recommend you consider
arriving into Europe at least a day before the cruise starts, so
as to give yourself a day to resolve any problems that may occur
such as missing/delayed flights or losing luggage.
If you have additional time
(and money) then we'd recommend you consider adding the
Christmas Markets cruise
to this cruise.
If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
We're here to help ensure your experience is as good as
Need More Information?
If you've a question or need
more clarification, go ahead and ask. Click for Live
Chat Help (if we're online) or
send us an email, or feel free to call us at (206)337-2317.
Tour Terms and Conditions
standard terms and conditions
apply to this tour.
In addition, please note
these extra terms :
1. The 90 day
payment due date is considered to be Friday 15 August 2008.
2. US citizens require a
current passport that will not expire for at least six months
after the date of their planned return back to the US in order
to be admitted to Europe. They do not require any European visas. Citizens of other countries should check with the
airline that will transport them to Europe to determine what
passport and visa requirements may apply.
3. Tour price is
subject to change prior to full payment being received.
4. Terms and
conditions of the cruise line (Amadeus
Waterways) also apply.
The Travel Insider is
licensed by the State of Washington as a seller of travel -
registration number 602 036 247.
26 Dec 2007, last update
28 May 2011