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Exploring the Christmas Markets along the Rhine

Weds 13 Dec 2017

One of our customers recently enjoyed her first river cruise, joining the luxurious AmaPrima on a Rhine Christmas Markets itinerary. Read her exclusive review:

Having only been on the larger ocean cruises before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a river cruise. However, I am now truly converted. I was worried that a smaller ship with capacity for less than 200 guests might seem claustrophobic, but it never felt that way. In fact, it was great to meet so many people from different countries and get to know them a bit better.

The crew could not be faulted and worked really hard to make sure everyone was having the best experience. They were always smiling and cheerful and so attentive to every request, especially the restaurant waiters who seemed almost telepathic in anticipating your personal likes and dislikes. The food was amazing – a buffet breakfast with the option of ordering off the menu, a light lunch in the lounge or full meal in the restaurant, and dinner served in the restaurant. Wine, beer and soft drinks were included with lunch and dinner. There was also the opportunity to visit the Chef’s Speciality Restaurant (again included) to sample a taster menu of 5 courses with accompanying wines. Added to this, afternoon tea and snacks in the lounge late at night, meant no-one ever went hungry!

Christmas Tree on AmaPrima Cat C Cabin on AmaPrima Modern lounge decorated for the festive season Whirpool on Sun Deck Cake showing the cruise itinerary Gingerbread icing activity on board One of the superb main courses Delicious dessert on board Selection of mini desserts Basel Christmas Markets in Basel Beautifully decorated houses in Riquewihr Scenic Strasbourg, capital of Alsace Picturesque Speyer Scenery along the Rhine Pfalzgrafenstein Castle on the Rhine Cologne's Gothic cathedral Decorations at Cologne's Christmas Market

Although I had already visited a lot of the towns and cities we stopped at on this particular route, there was often a “Special Interest” excursion available (at different walking paces to accommodate varying degrees of mobility), which enabled me to discover new places. After the excursions, which usually lasted half a day, it was a pleasure to return to the warmth of the ship and have a rest or make use of the facilities including the gym, the bar, library and games room. One afternoon, there was a Gingerbread Icing activity which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The entertainment on board AmaPrima was fantastic. There was a varied range of musicians and performers who came on board throughout the cruise to keep everyone entertained after dinner. These included a French singer and accordion player, an Abba tribute band, a superb singer with a varied repertoire ranging from Village People to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and finally a very talented classical trio. Christmas Carols with the crew and a visit from Santa Claus meant there was something for everyone.

For anyone thinking about booking a river cruise for the first time, I would say definitely do it as you won't be disappointed!

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