Christmas Markets of Germany & Denmark

Embark on a magical cruise to Germany and Denmark and experience the fun, festivity and flavours of some of Europe’s very best Christmas markets. In eight nights you’ll visit three charming cities, each offering an enchanting experience at the most wonderful time of the year. In Germany you’ll take in the yuletide delights of Bremen and Hamburg, and spend two days sailing along the Kiel Canal; while in Denmark you’ll enjoy a full day in Copenhagen, savouring the welcoming festive atmosphere of the capital.

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DESTINATION Germany & Denmark
FROM Dublin
DATE 13 December 2018
DURATION 8 Nights
PRICE Was €1,229 now just €979pp

Join Balmoral on a magical cruise to Germany and Denmark for the chance to go in search of that special gift or simply soak up the friendly festive atmosphere of some of Europe’s very best Christmas markets.

Germany really comes to life at ‘the most wonderful time of year’ and with a day each in Bremen and Hamburg, you’ll have opportunities to enjoy the country’s famous yuletide spirit to the full. In both cities you’ll discover dreamland-esque Christmas markets draped with twinkling lights and decorations and packed with pretty wooden huts selling a variety of gifts and delicious traditional treats such as glühwein and lebkuchen. From Bremen you can also tour to Oldenburg and be enchanted by the Old Quarter, transformed into a dazzling ‘winter wonderland’ at Christmas. Aside from the festive markets there’s much more to pack in too. You could take in the historic structures of Bremen’s UNESCO-listed city centre and the many highlights of Hamburg, including the gothic-style St Nikolai Church, the Chilehaus and the unique Miniatur Wunderland – home to world’s largest model railway – to name just a few. You’ll also experience daytime scenic cruising of the Kiel Canal, passing through this incredible German waterway twice of your unforgettable festive adventure.

Sandwiched between your calls into Bremen and Hamburg is a full day in Copenhagen. Any time spent in the delightful Danish capital is memorable, but even more so at Christmas when you can savour the fairytale atmosphere and mesmerising displays of light and decoration. A particular highlight is the busy festive market hosted at the legendary Tivoli Gardens, one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. You’ll find plenty of stalls offering everything from Nordic handicrafts to tempting local delicacies, such as gløgg wine and æbleskiver apple pancakes. Alternatively you could choose to take a walking tour of the city and see the sights, including the impressive Christiansborg and Amalienborg Palaces; explore the charming Nyhavn waterfront district; or head to the pedestrianised streets of Strøget, which are lined with lovely cafés and superb shops.

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Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 1: Southampton, United Kingdom: Depart Late PM

Following a flight from Dublin Newcastle, you will be transferred to the port to board the Fred. Olsen Balmoral where you will begin your journey.

Day 2: At Sea: 

Day 3: Bremen, GermanyArrive Early AM Depart Late Night

The key maritime role played by the city of Bremen, which straddles the Weser River in northwest Germany, is underlined by its impressive Hanseatic buildings. Bremen’s Hanseatic Gothic architecture in the Marktplatz and narrow timber buildings in the Schnoor Quarter are the standout highlights in the oldest part of the city. The ornate Gothic Town Hall, originally built between 1405 and 1410, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has within its walls a restaurant with original Hanseatic era décor and the Bremer Ratskeller,a public house in the basement.

The Town Hall is also home to a number of large model ships in its upper hall and 12 of the oldest wines in the world. Nearby is the Roland Statue, a giant stone figure that symbolises freedom of trade.

In contrast, Überseestadt – the former docklands – offers a completely different experience and is a fine example of modern Bremen. Here, a selection of trendy bars, stylish cafes and fine restaurants can be found, as well as a beautiful harbour and yacht-filled marina.

Day 4: Kiel Canal Transit, Germany: Arrive Early AM Depart Late PM

Connecting the North Sea, at the mouth of the Elbe River, to the Baltic Sea at Holtenau, the Kiel Canal is one of the world’s busiest and most important shipping routes. Slicing a man-made path through the German countryside, this 61-mile-long marvel of engineering allows vessels to avoid 250 nautical miles of sea sailing on average, ensuring a faster and safer passage through Europe.

Day 5: Copenhagen, Denmark: Arrive Early AM Depart Late Night

With its vibrant atmosphere, modern culture and beautiful architecture, Copenhagen is the essence of Scandinavian cool. One of Europe’s oldest and most popular cities, Copenhagen is also one of the cleanest and most cosmopolitan. Its narrow streets are always busy with welcoming locals and are lined with colourful cafes, bars, shops and places to eat. Its bridges ring with cycling commuters and the pristine waterways make visiting this city a wonderful experience.

The historic centre of Denmark’s capital, an 18th-century rococo district, is home to the Royal Family’s Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace and Rosenborg Castle, surrounded by gardens and home to the crown jewels. The Little Mermaid sculpture at Langelinje Pier is a must-visit attraction too.

Nyhavn – Copenhagen’s 17th century waterfront and canal – is home to a number of wooden ships and many brightly coloured 17th and 18th century townhouses that have been converted into bars and restaurants.

Day 6: Kiel Canal Transit, Germany: Arrive Late AM Depart Late Night

As picturesque as it is important, the Kiel Canal is a popular route for ‘pleasure’ crafts and smaller-sized cruise ships such as those in the Fred. Olsen fleet. Sailing slowly along the canal presents an opportunity to take in gorgeous scenes of lush-green countryside and a collection of interesting villages and towns flanking the still waters, and marvel at several impressive bridges. Maritime enthusiasts will delight at the various shapes, sizes and sheer volume of the ships and vessels navigating this busy waterway too.

Day 7: Hamburg, Germany: Arrive Early AM Depart Late PM

Located on the River Elbe, Hamburg is the country’s largest port and regarded as Germany’s gateway to the world.

A vibrant, historic city boasting an impressive Hanseatic League heritage that harks back over 700 years, Hamburg’s maritime soul permeates the city. From its architecture to its cuisine, water is ever present in Germany’s principal port. The city is crossed by hundreds of canals, and spanned by 1,000 bridges. Near its centre, the charming Inner Alster Lake is dotted with boats and surrounded by divine cafes.

Hamburg is awash with historic buildings and monuments typical of Hanseatic culture. The steeple of St. Nikolai – a church almost destroyed in World War II, the 17th century Zollenbrücke Bridge and Hamburg Rathaus are must-visit sites. The central Jungfernstieg Boulevard connects the Neustadt (new town) with the Altstadt (old town), home to the impressive 18th century St. Michael’s Church.

In the city centre, the amazing Miniatur Wunderland museum is highly recommended, as is the ocean-liner-shaped Chilehaus, the crowning glory of the UNESCO-listed Kontorhaus District. The flourishing swathe of stylish shops, excellent restaurants and legendary nightlife – a celebration of cosmopolitan Hamburg – add more exciting dimensions to this city.

Hamburg’s waterfront district offers much to enjoy. Visit the popular Fischmarkt, discover an array of lively bars and restaurants at the harbour, watch Europe’s second largest port in action or head to Hafen City, a newly developed urban quarter.

Day 8: At Sea: 

Day 9: Southampton, United Kingdom: Arrive Early PM

Following breakfast at your hotel, we will have you transferred to the airport for your flight back to Ireland.

8 Nights accommodation aboard the Balmoral, operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line. (See ship info tab for more information on the Balmoral)

Balmoral

Balmoral is the largest of our ocean-going cruise ships, yet is still small enough to navigate size-restricted waterways such as the Kiel Canal, providing fantastic scenic cruising opportunities, and retains the warm, intimate and friendly atmosphere that the Fred. Olsen fleet is renowned for. Balmoral is named after the Scottish residence of the British Royal Family, and the Scottish theme runs throughout the main dining venues – the Ballindalloch, Avon and Spey – where guests can enjoy tantalising menus prepared by our expert chefs.

Featuring 710 well-appointed rooms and suites and a selection of comfortable lounges, bars and inviting public areas which have been extensively refitted and improved as part of Fred. Olsen’s fleet-wide refurbishment programme, Balmoral provides guests with ample space in which to relax and share a memorable cruise experience with hundreds, not thousands, of fellow travellers. And, as our guests have come to expect, there is always an array of superb entertainment on offer throughout the day, from lectures and hobby classes to live cabaret and comedians, ensuring you can make the most of your time on board.

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Dates & Prices

DATE PRICE CABIN
12 December 2018 Was €1,229
now €979
Inside Book Now
12 December 2018 Was €1,319
now €1,069
Oceanview Book Now
12 December 2018 Was €1,499
now €1,249
Superior Oceanview Book Now

Special Offer!
Save €250pp

Price Inclusions

  • Return flights from Dublin to Southampton
  • Return Transfers between airport and port
  • 8 nights accommodation aboard the Balmoral
  • 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 of €130

Booking remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Full Payment required at time of booking
  • Optional Insurance available (call for details)
  • Drinks packages available to prebook – only €18 per person per night
  • Gratuities from €5 per person per night payable at the end of your cruise onboard M.S. Balmoral
  • These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change and availability. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking.

Office Use L1838