This past summer, I enjoyed a wonderful week on the Rhône and Saône rivers cruising on A-ROSA, a relatively new player in the North American river cruise market.
On December 3, I am returning to cruise on A-ROSA again, this time on an 8-night Christmas Markets river cruise, roundtrip Frankfurt, Germany, with three overnights in three fabulous cities, combined with scenic cruising and stops at other ports of call along the Rhine River.
Exceptional Value For An Outstanding Cruise
I wrote about the remarkable value for this particular sailing in Assessing A-ROSA Stella: 9 Differentiating Factors That Would Make Me Cruise Again.
Fares for the 8-night Christmas Markets cruise begin at $2,099 per person. What’s more is that the itinerary features three overnights: in Strasbourg, Cologne and Koblenz.
Space is tight, so if this cruise appeals to you, better to begin booking before you finish reading this post.
Consult your travel agent or contact A-ROSA directly. Please note that I always recommend booking through a travel agent. Doing so will not cost you more, and often a travel agent may have even better incentives than booking with cruise companies directly.
Full disclosure: I’m not commissioned for those who book this or any other cruise, on rivers or oceans. However, you should know that A-ROSA, along with many other river cruise companies, sponsors River Cruise Advisor.
Nor am I hosting the cruise. I’m simply going to be on board, along for the ride, and I thought I’d let you know about the great experience that it promises to be.
First, let’s look at the value equation: This is an eight-night all-inclusive Christmas Markets cruise on A-ROSA Silva. She’s new, built in Germany, having entered service only last year.
You can read more about A-ROSA Silva here.
The per-diems for this cruise work out to be around $233 per person, which is competitive, plus you’re getting an all-inclusive product.
Other Cruises With Savings
If you can’t make the December 3 sailing, A-ROSA has a few other Christmas and New Year sailings with savings of up to $1,800 per cabin.
Fares for the later sailings begin at $1,499 for a stateroom with a window and $1,999 for a French Balcony stateroom. Dates are December 21 for the 7-night Christmas cruise and December 28 for the 7-night New Year’s cruise.
Single supplements are waived for categories S & A. The Single Supplement for French Balcony staterooms is only 120 percent.
Those who book 14 nights, back-to-back on both cruises, receive $800 to $1,800 per stateroom to spend as you wish. Fares for the back-to-back begin at $2,698 for window accommodations. What a way to spend the holidays.
Still shopping? Other companies that offer Christmas Markets cruises can be found here.
All-Inclusive River Cruising
A-ROSA is seeking to differentiate itself by offering all-inclusive river cruises. Many river cruise companies offer mostly inclusive —meaning beer and wine with dinner and lunch, some shore excursions, WiFi and other products and services are included — but gratuities for the crew, which can be substantial, are not included. Neither are “adult” beverages outside the dining hours. You’ll pay for your after-dinner drink (or you can leave the dining room with a nicely topped-off glass of wine).
Also, a couple of companies are rolling out all-inclusive, meaning that all beverages (with the exception of premium beverages), crew gratuities, shore excursions and more — are included in the cost of your cruise.
And don’t think that everything is included when it comes to all-inclusive river cruising. If you want your laundry done, you’ll pay for it on most river cruise vessels. Want a premium wine or cocktail? That will cost you too. Also, as on most cruises, tipping a euro or two to your tour guide is customary.
See our story, All-Inclusive River Cruises? Introducing A-ROSA
Below is the full itinerary for the December 3 Christmas Markets cruise on A-ROSA Silva. If you’re on board, please say hello.
|Day 1||Frankfurt||Frankfurt is known for its “Manhattan skyline” with the Messeturm (convention tower) which is the highest building in Europe. The old imperial city is one of the most important trading and economic centres in Germany. Many important banks and the most important stock market are situated in Frankfurt. Frankfurt was the birthplace of J.W. v. Goethe and its many universities, theatre and museums provide a diversified cultural life.||6 p.m.|
|Day 2||Speyer||Speyer is a historic old imperial city, which is situated on the left bank of the Rhine. From 1294 to 1797 it was a free imperial city, and the Imperial Diet met frequently in Speyer during that period. It suffered severe destruction in 1689 during the war over the Palatinate succession. The symbol of Speyer is the huge cathedral, one of the most important cathedrals built in the High Romanesque period.||9 a.m.||11 p.m.|
|Day 3||Kehl/Strasbourg||From the Roman era up until the present day, Strasbourg has played a significant role and had an eventful history. The impressive buildings still bear testament to this today. Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace and a European metropolis with many research-, educational- and cultural institutions; it is also the seat of the European Council of Ministers.||1 p.m.||overnight|
|Day 4||Kehl/Strasbourg||—||7 p.m.|
|Day 5||Mainz||Mainz is a historic old town, a former Electoral residence, seat of an Archbishop and also the city of Gutenberg. The city is a focal point of the western end of the Rhine-Main economic region. Around 1450 Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of printing with movable type, set up his press in Mainz. Points of interest are the St Martin and St Stephen cathedrals, the castle of Mainz and the Gutenberg Museum.||9 a.m.||11 p.m.|
|Day 6||Cologne||Cologne, the old Cathedral city, is also one of the most important traffic hubs and commercial centres in Germany, with world famous trade fairs and a busy shipping traffic. Cologne developed out of a Roman colony and looks back on a history of more than 2000 years. In the Middle Ages it was one of the leading towns in Germany. The Second World War destroyed most of the inner city; these parts were rebuilt in a modern style. The landmark and emblem of the city is the Cathedral, a masterpiece of High Gothic architecture and one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. Other tourist attractions are the town hall, the Malakoff Tower, the St Martin Church and the old abbey.||12 p.m.||overnight|
|Day 7||Cologne||—||6 a.m.|
|Day 7||Koblenz||Koblenz is not just where history meets modernity, but also where the Rhine meets the Mosel: at the “Deutsches Eck” (“German Corner”) the two rivers join each other in front of the equestrian statue of Emperor William I.||2 p.m.||overnight|
|Day 8||Koblenz||Cruising by the Lorelei & along the Mid Rhine after departure||—||6 a.m.|
|Day 8||Rüdesheim||Rüdesheim, an ancient little town, stretches along the Rhine under the hills of the Niederwald. The best vineyards are traditionally said to have been planted with Traminer vines by Charlemagne. The excellent local wines and the charming and varied scenery have enabled Rüdesheim to develop since the end of the 19th century into one of the busiest tourist and holiday centres on the Middle Rhine, with a host of friendly restaurants and wine taverns, particularly along the famous Drosselgasse. Rüdesheim has two castles – the Oberburg and the Vorderburg – both were built in the 12th century.||2 p.m.||9 p.m.|
|Day 9||Frankfurt||7 a.m.|