VACAYA’S 2023 Europe Christmas CRUISE HAS SOLD OUT!

If you’d like to put your name on our waitlist for this cruise, please follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. If you don’t yet have a profile in our booking system, set one up HERE.
  2. Once your profile has been completed, email info@myvacaya.com and provide us with the following information: full name, phone number, email address, type of room(s) you’re looking for

Once on the list, we’ll reach out to you in the order your name appears on our waitlist if a room that fits your request becomes available. 

With consumers’ pent-up appetite for travel reaching a fevered pitch, we advise that you book as early as you can for all of our trips. We certainly don’t want you to miss out on another VACAYA adventure!

Congratulations to all those who managed to scoop up a room on this magical Christmas adventure. We can’t wait to welcome you to Switzerland!

 


 

Our Most Requested Adventure Of All Time Returns in 2023...
Experience the Christmas Markets of Europe with VACAYA!

In 2019, VACAYA hosted the two most magical weeks in LGBT+ travel history as we sailed the rivers of Europe during the beautiful Christmas season. That cruise proved to be our highest rated of all time and ever since we’ve been flooded with the question, “When are you doing it again?!?” Well… the wait is over… because we’re going back to Europe for Christmas 2023!

This is your chance to make the Yuletide gay as VACAYA explores the Christmas Markets of Europe aboard the beautiful Emerald Sun from December 2-9, 2023. We’re sailing from stunning Basel, Switzerland to über-LGBT-friendly Amsterdam! If you’ve never explored the Christmas Markets of Europe or if you sailed with us in 2019, the itinerary for our 2023 adventure is ALL NEW as we sail the Rhine and experience the very best of Switzerland, Germany, France, and The Netherlands. Powered by the elves of VACAYA, this 2023 adventure is your Christmas wish come true!

 

❄️❄️❄️ WE ANTICIPATE THIS MAGICAL CRUISE WILL SELL OUT VERY VERY QUICKLY. ❄️❄️❄️
So if you’ve been waiting for it, we encourage you to move with the haste of St. Nick to ensure you don’t miss out!


 

Don’t see your first choice in room category?
Upgrades that become available will be prioritized to guests who’ve already booked their second choice.

Looking to capture the Christmas spirit in 2023? THIS is the one!
trip highlights

7 Magically Festive Nights

The Very Best of the European Christmas Markets

Included Activities Morning through Evening

Cherished Lifelong Memories

Day 1 | Sat, Dec 2 | Basel, Switzerland | Depart 6:00pm
Day 2 | Sun, Dec 3 | Breisach, Germany
Day 3 | Mon, Dec 4 | Kehl, Germany to Strasbourg, France
Day 4 | Tues, Dec 5 | Ludwigshafen to Heidelberg, Germany

Day 5 | Wed, Dec 6 | Koblenz, Germany
Day 6 | Thu, Dec 7 | Cologne, Germany
Day 7 | Fri, Dec 8 | Amsterdam, Netherlands
Day 8 | Sat, Dec 9 | Amsterdam, Netherlands

DAY 1
SATURDAY, DEC 2, 2023
BASEL, SWITZERLAND 47°N 7°E
BOARDING 3PM | DEPART 6PM
BASEL, SWITZERLAND  47°N  7°E

A delightful blend of old and new, Basel is Switzerland’s best-kept secret. During the holiday season, the medieval Old Town is transformed into a magical yuletide affair. Cobblestone streets are lined with wooden chalet-style huts selling all manner of festive treats and gifts. Visitors to the Christmas market can enjoy a warming cup of aromatic glühwein in a decorated boot-shaped mug. Hand-carved tree decorations, cheerfully painted ceramics, and delicious food are sold from stalls throughout the city.

Many will choose to spend their pre-cruise time in nearby Zürich, which truly is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

No matter where you choose to kick off your European holiday adventure, we’ll all come together today on our beautiful Sun!

DAY 2
SUNDAY, DEC 3, 2023
BREISACH, GERMANY
BREISACH, GERMANY

Breisach is built on a basalt rock outcropping in the Rhine plain, opposite its French sister city, Neuf-Brisach. It’s located in one of the warmest parts of Germany, across the river from French Alsace, famous for its wine growing. But Breisach, too, can boast about its wine: it’s home to Europe’s largest cellars, with a storage capacity of more than 160 million liters. The most prominent landmark of Breisach is the Romanesque-Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, built between the 12th and 13th centuries. Its two towers are visible throughout the city and from the Rhine.

Included Tour: Guided visit to the Christmas Market at Ravenna Viaduct 

DiscoverMORE Option (extra expense): Excursion to Riquwihr 

DAY 3
MONDAY, DEC 4, 2023
KEHL, GERMANY TO STRASBOURG, FRANCE
KEHL, GERMANY TO STRASBOURG, FRANCE

Although we’ll dock in Kehl, we’ll head across the river to stunningly beautiful Strasbourg, France to spend our day. Strasbourg is said to be “The Capital of Christmas” in France, with the city’s cathedral square taking center stage as it’s transformed into a winter wonderland. The city’s Christkindelsmärik is the oldest in France, dating back to 1570. Hundreds of stalls are brimming with colorful wares, fine food, and mulled wine, bringing festive cheer in abundance. Alsatian specialties feature an array of hearty classics, from bretzels (soft, bread-like pretzels) to bredele (star-shaped spiced cookies), and knacks (sausages) to pain d’epices (gingerbread).

Included Tour: Guided tour of Strasbourg

DiscoverMORE Option: Evening concert at Bruchsal Palace 

DAY 4
TUESDAY, DEC 5, 2023
LUDWIGSHAFEN TO HEIDELBERG, GERMANY
LUDWIGSHAFEN TO HEIDELBERG, GERMANY

Today is all about exploring Heidelberg, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful towns in all of Germany – a picture-perfect Christmas postcard!

One of Germany’s most perfect architectural treasures, Heidelberg is all the more remarkable because it escaped bombing during World War II. Set in an almost idealized German landscape, this jewel sits on the banks of the River Neckar, surrounded by forests and with an imposing castle dominating the church spires and terracotta gabled roofs of the compact Aldstadt – the romantic Old Town. During the 19th century, Heidelberg was the center of Germany’s Romantic Movement, on the route of the “Grand Tour” and visited by many artists including JMW Turner, who captured its splendors for eternity. Heidelberg will be dressed to the nines in Christmas finery and this jewel will be a highlight of our adventure together.

Included Tour: Guided walk of Heidelberg 

DAY 5
WEDNESDAY, DEC 6, 2023
KOBLENZ, GERMANY
KOBLENZ, GERMANY

Koblenz is a traditional German country town with a wine heritage that spans centuries; a key ingredient for the warming glühwein that is served from taverns and market stalls during the holiday season. The scent of cinnamon, cloves, and spices waft from steaming mugs as the sounds of festivities fill the air from one of the many musical performances around town. Centered around the Schängel fountain, the Koblenz Christmas Market offers all the flavors of the yuletide season from its famous Christmas bakery.

Included Tour: Walking tour of Koblenz and a visit to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress

DiscoverMORE Option (extra expense): Visit Moselle Valley and Cochem Castle

DAY 6
THURSDAY, DEC 7, 2023
COLOGNE, GERMANY
COLOGNE, GERMANY

Endless winter markets are featured all around Cologne during the holiday season, inviting visitors to browse colorful market stalls for handmade gifts, beautiful artwork, and colorful crafts. The towering Gothic Cologne Cathedral provides a stunning backdrop to the city’s festivities and the main market is located nearby. Beneath the pointed roofs of Cologne harbor’s tented market, unique crafted goods are displayed amid the twinkling lights of boats docked in the marina. Be sure to check out the kitschy all-gay Heavenue Market on the grounds of KölnBonn near Rudolfplatz.

Included Tour: Guided tour of Cologne’s Old Town

DiscoverMORE Option (extra expense): Visit the Eau de Cologne Museum 

DAY 7
FRIDAY, DEC 8, 2023
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

A city of charming canals, elegant gabled houses, splendid museums, and more bicycles than you’ve ever seen, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam is a delight to explore. Its patchwork of waterways forms about 90 islands connected by 1,500 bridges. The legacy of the Dutch Golden Age lives on in gilded mansions and in the lush paintings of Rembrandt and other Dutch masters that adorn the Rijksmuseum, The Netherlands’ grand repository of art and cultural history. Discovering Amsterdam is a pleasure best pursued on foot and the Christmas Markets here feature our favorite holiday treat: fresh stroopwafel to go!

We’ll overnight here in Amsterdam on this exciting Friday night!

Included Tour: Canal Cruise

DAY 8
SATURDAY, DEC 9, 2023
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

Although our time together ends today, we encourage you to stay here in Amsterdam a few extra days to explore all this magical city has to offer. We hope to see you around town!

Merry Christmas!

While we work tirelessly to craft the perfect itinerary for each trip, it’s always subject to change based on weather, river, and myriad other conditions.

 

GET TO KNOW EMERALD SUN

Ship Highlights
Christmas Perfection
on the Undeniably Chic
Emerald Sun
THE TERRACE
THE TERRACE
A perfect place to enjoy a relaxing meal near the bow of the ship. On cooler days or evenings, the outside heaters help create a warm atmosphere. As we make our way down the Rhine, this will become a favorite hang-out spot to watch the stunning countryside glide by.
HORIZON BAR & LOUNGE
HORIZON BAR & LOUNGE
At the very heart of Emerald Sun is the Horizon Bar & Lounge. A contemporary and chic social space, the lounge is equipped with a fully-stocked bar, skilled bartenders, help-yourself hot drinks, and plush seating and sofas. The Lounge comes alive on evenings where VACAYA’s signature entertainers are featured.
REFLECTIONS RESTAURANT
REFLECTIONS RESTAURANT
Dining aboard Emerald Sun provides an endless array of yummy farm-to-table gems. Reflections Restaurant is where you’ll enjoy the majority of your meals while onboard.
SUN DECK & SKY BARBECUE
SUN DECK & SKY BARBECUE
The Sun Deck offers stellar views of the beautiful scenery that glides by. It’s the perfect place to lounge away an afternoon or evening as you take in the magical charms of Europe’s famed rivers. Weather permitting, Sun Deck’s Sky Barbecue offers gastronomic delights to suit every taste and appetite.
FITNESS & WELLNESS AREA
FITNESS & WELLNESS AREA
Take advantage of Emerald’s fully equipped Fitness Area and spa-like Wellness Area. Whether you decide to make the most of the gym or enjoy a thoughtful invigorating treatment, this is the perfect way to begin or end your day of exploration and adventure.
HEATED POOL, CINEMA, & LOUNGE
HEATED POOL, CINEMA, & LOUNGE
“Dream big.” That was the challenge Emerald designers were encouraged to do when they created the Star-Ships. Lucky for us, they did! Sun’s innovative retractable roof over an indoor heated pool sets a new standard for riverships.

Don’t miss out on the endless Christmas cheer. You know what to do…

Book Now

 

<p>Feel the Magic!</p>

Feel the Magic!