Winter Cities and Christmas Markets

Soak up the warm, festive atmosphere in three enchanting European cities at the most wonderful time of the year. You could indulge yourself with sweet treats at traditional Christmas markets in Hamburg; admire the twinkling lights and decorations in Amsterdam; and buy last-minute gifts in Antwerp, a city famed for its sparkling diamonds and delicious chocolates.

Office Use W1726

DESTINATION Germany, Netherlands, Belgium
FROM Dublin / Southampton
DATE 14 December 2017
DURATION 7 Nights
PRICE From €1,019 pp

Sail to Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium at the most wonderful time of the year aboard Black Watchand immerse yourself in the warm yuletide spirit of three enchanting cities – the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of the festive season.

Docking first in Hamburg, indulge yourself with delicious traditional treats such as gluhwein and lebkuchen at the city’s world-famous Christmas market, where you could also pick up hand-made gifts; and admire the stunning architecture of the city’s historic Rathaus. Alternatively you could explore the city on foot to see the sights, including the steeple of St. Nikolai Church and the Chilehaus; or even enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Alster Lake.

Next Black Watch will cruise the Netherlands’ impressive Nordzeekanaal before docking overnight in Amsterdam, the Dutch capital. This charming city comes to life at Christmas, and you’ll have time to wander the along the picturesque canals lined with twinkling lights and decorations; and sample the exciting festive atmosphere at the busy markets. Make the most of your time here and visit world-famous attractions such as Anne Frankhuis and the Van Gogh Museum too before sailing on to Antwerp. Stopping overnight in Belgium’s second city, you could purchase last-minute gifts at the famous chocolate shops or in the sparkling diamond district; or even take a short trip to Brussels and visit one of Europe’s best Christmas markets at the beautiful Place Sainte-Catherine.

Flight Times:

OUTBOUND Dublin 0855 – Southampton 1015
RETURN Southampton 1455 – Dublin 1615

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Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 1: Southampton, UK: Depart Late PM

Following a flight from Dublin to Southampton, you will be transferred to the port to board the 4* Fred. Olsen Black Watch where you will begin your journey.

Day 2: At Sea: 

Day 3: Hamburg, Germany: Early AM to Late PM

There’s water everywhere here in Germany’s principal port – from the Alster Lake to a web of canals and waterways spanned by 1,000 bridges.

Located on the River Elbe some 70 miles from the North Sea and home to the country’s largest port, Hamburg is regarded as Germany’s gateway to the world. A vibrant, busy and historic city boasting an impressive Hanseatic League heritage that harks back over 700 years, Hamburg is one of Germany’s most interesting tourist destinations.

A city that cherishes its long history and traditions, Hamburg is awash with beautiful historic buildings and monuments that are typical of Hanseatic culture. The steeple of St. Nikolai – a church almost completely destroyed in World War Two, the 17th century Zollenbrücke Bridge and Hamburg Rathaus are must-visit sites. In the city centre, you will discover the flourishing commercial dynamo of stylish shops, excellent restaurants and legendary nightlife – a celebration of modern, cosmopolitan Hamburg.

At the city’s vibrant waterfront district there’s plenty to see and enjoy too. Discover an array of lively bars and restaurants at the harbour, watch Europe’s second largest port in action or head to HafenCity, a newly developed urban quarter.

Day 4: Cruising North Sea Canal (Noordzeekanaal): Early PM to Late PM

The North Sea Canal (or Noordzeekanaal) is Amsterdam’s direct link to the North Sea and is one of the country’s busiest and most important shipping lanes.

Despite its industrial importance, there’s a lot more to this winding waterway than just container ships. Along the banks of the 16-mile-long canal – from the mouth at Ijmuiden, to the end in Amsterdam – there are an abundance of diverse sights to see on a scenic cruise to the Dutch capital, including interesting fortifications from World War Two, huge power plants, pretty beaches and nature reserves.

Days 4-5: Amsterdam, Netherlands: Late PM OVERNIGHT to Late PM

Amsterdam – Netherlands’s historic capital – is packed with beautiful sights and unique cultural delights.

Amsterdam grew up following the construction of a dam across the River Amstel. In the 17th century wealthy local merchants built elegant homes alongside the city’s many canals. Several of these houses have since been converted to apartments and hotels, with antiquarian bookshops, bars, chic boutiques and cafés at street level.

There are almost 40 museums in Amsterdam and the Museum Quarter has three of the most famous: the Rijksmuseum, with important paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals; the Van Gogh Museum, with over 200 paintings and 500 drawings; and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, with work by major European artists from Manet to Picasso. The Anne Frankhuis is where Anne Frank and her family hid from the German occupiers during the Second World War: it offers a haunting and memorable experience.

Be sure to explore the Canal Ring district, an UNESCO World Heritage site and the location of some of the most expensive property in the Netherlands. Dug in the 17th century, the district has been recognised for its unique cultural and historical values and is home to many celebrities.

Day 6: Cruising Western Scheldt River: Early AM to Early PM

Located in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands, the Western Scheldt River is an estuary of the Scheldt River, and is the only direct way to the North Sea.

An important shipping route for the port of Antwerp, the Western Scheldt River is formed in the east where the Schelde River enters the Netherlands from Belgium. An interesting route to cruise along, there are no bridges across the river, only a tunnel running from Ellewoutsdijk to Terneuzen, or foot ferries.

Days 6-7: Antwerp, Belgium: Early PM OVERNIGHT Early PM

With over 80% of the world’s rough diamonds passing through the city’s famous diamond district at some point, Antwerp is renowned for it’s charm and sparkle. However, there’s a lot more to this fine city than precious stones – it’s home to plenty of other gems to discover and enjoy too.

Antwerp is the world’s leading centre for cut diamonds, but there is more to this vibrant city than precious gems. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is dedicated, in part at least, to Peter Paul Rubens, who lived and worked here. The museum houses his finest works, along with those of other Flemish masters. There are more than 20 other museums in the city, as well as fine buildings from throughout its historic past, excellent shops and delightful parks and gardens.

The Cathedral of Our Lady, the biggest church in Benelux, was started in 1352 on the site of a 10th century chapel, but like many medieval religious buildings, took several centuries to complete. The 123m high tower can be seen from everywhere in the city – and from miles outside. The interior has four altarpieces by Rubens, as well as a marble Madonna and Child by an anonymous sculptor.

Day 8: Southampton, UK: Early AM

Once you have disembarked the Black Watch and finished your incredible adventure we will have you transferred to the airport to get your flight back to Dublin.

7 Nights accommodation aboard the 4 Star Black Watch, operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line. (See ship info tab for more information on the 4 Star Black Watch)

4 Star Black Watch

Cruise ships were once famous for their style and charm. And our Black Watch cruise ship is a hark back to those days, when quality and service were taken for granted. Sleek and intimate, with cabins and suites for 804 people, Black Watch has a warm welcome waiting for you.

Black Watch was voted ‘Best for Entertainment’ in the 2012 Cruise Critic ‘Cruisers’ Choice UK Awards’.  Voters were especially impressed with our service: “they consistently went the extra mile”.

So, be captivated by the entertaining cabaret at the Neptune Lounge, and fire-up your taste buds for a treat at the Glentanar Restaurant. Or, share a relaxing drink over panoramic views across the ocean in our Observatory Lounge.

Click the images for a larger view (Opens in pop up)

Click to Enlarge

Marina Deck 3

Cabin Categories:

  • I Inside
  • F Oceanview
  • E Oceanview
  • L Single Oceanview

Click to Enlarge

Atlantic Deck 4

Cabin Categories:

  • H Inside
  • N Single Inside
  • E Oceanview
  • D Oceanview
  • L Single Oceanview
  • K Single Oceanview

Click to Enlarge

Main Deck 5

Cabin Categories:

  • M Single Inside
  • K Single Oceanview
  • C Superior Oceanview
  • B Superior Oceanview
  • JS Junior Suite
  • DS Deluxe Suite

Click to Enlarge

Lounge Deck 6

Restaurant, Lounge, Bars & Pool

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Lido Deck 7

Cabin Categories:

  • K Single Oceanview
  • B Superior Oceanview
  • A Superior Oceanview
  • JS Junior Suite
  • DS Deluxe Suite

Library, Card rooms & Bar

Click to Enlarge

Bridge Deck 8

Cabin Categories:

  • J Superior Single Balcony
  • BC Balcony
  • JB Single Balcony Suite
  • BS Balcony Suite
  • SS Superior Suite

Click to Enlarge

Marquee Deck 9

Cabin Categories:

  • BS Balcony Suite
  • JB Single Balcony Suite
  • SS Superior Suite
  • MS Marquee Suite
  • PS Premier Suite

Click to Enlarge

Sun Deck 10

Fitness Centre, Golf Nets & Sun Deck

Details valid as of February 2012. Subject to Change.

Dates & Prices

DATE PRICE Cabin
14 December 2017 €1,019 Outside Book Now
14 December 2017 €1,089 Superior Outside Book Now
14 December 2017 €1,279 Single Inside Book Now

Price inclusions

  • Return flights Dublin to Southampton
  • Return Transfers airport / port
  • 7 nights accommodation aboard the 4* Black Watch based on 2 sharing an Oceanview Cabin
  • Fine dining on a full board basis
  • All onboard entertainment
  • One check-in bag of 15kgs and one 10kgs carry-on per person
  • Taxes and charges

Booking remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Non-refundable deposit of 15% due on confirmation of booking
  • 2% surcharge if balance is paid by credit card
  • Optional Insurance available (call for details)
  • Drinks packages available to prebook – only €18 per person per night
  • Gratuities from €5 per person per night
  • Prices are correct at time of going to press.

Office Use W1726