Köln-Düsseldorfer (KD) offers many day-trip sightseeing pleasure cruises on the Rhine during the advent and Christmas market period. Special New Year’s Day party boats also sail from Cologne (Köln).
Köln-Düsseldorfer (KD), the largest operator of riverboats on the Rhine River in Germany, has many day-trip excursion cruises during the pre-Christmas advent period, New Year’s Eve, and winter weekends. KD’s large MS Wappen von Köln boat also hosts a floating Christmas market (Weihnachtsmarkt) on the Rhine near the famous Gothic Cologne cathedral. Most advent Rhine River sightseeing cruises depart from Cologne but boat excursions are also possible from Düsseldorf, Rüdesheim and the Loreley Valley, as well as Frankfurt on the Main River.
Advent and Christmas Market Rhine Cruises from Köln / Cologne
Cologne (Köln) is a popular city in Germany to visit for its Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt), old town, famous Gothic cathedral, and easy-going night life. Cruise excursions from Cologne on the Rhine River (Rhein) are possible on KD river boats during much of the pre-Christmas advent period.
KD offers the following Rhine River boat day-trip excursion cruises from Cologne during the run-up to Christmas:
- Two-hour sightseeing cruises (Nachmittagsfahrten) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons. (Around €16 / €6 for children – food & drink optional.)
- Three-hour romantic evening cruises (Abendfahrten) from Wednesday to Saturday nights (8 to 11 pm) with live music. (Around €18 or €65 all-inclusive with buffet and drinks included.)
- Christmas-Advent brunch (Weihnachtlicher Adventsbrunch) cruises on Sunday mornings. (Around €40 /children €11 – food and glass of Sekt included.)
Christmas-time Rhine cruises are available from around the first weekend after November 24 to the last weekend before December 24. Cruises are never available on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Christmas Market Boat in Cologne (Köln), Germany
KD’s large Rhine riverboat MS Wappen von Köln is used each year to host a floating Christmas market (Weihnachtsmarkt). The Christmas market boat is parked just off the old town near the Gothic cathedral (Dom) and never leaves its mooring.
The Christmas market boat is usually open from around November 24 to a few days before Christmas. Opening hours are around 11 am to 9 pm. Admission is a nominal €2 for adults and free for children.
New Year’s Eve Rhine River Party Cruises from Cologne (Köln), Germany
KD has several boats sailing on the Rhine River from Cologne (Köln) on New Year’s Eve to welcome New Year’s Day. These Silvester party boats offer mostly live-music and all-inclusive buffets, or a disco with free beer (and soft drinks). Boats leave Cologne around 7 pm on New Year’s Eve and return to port around 1 or 2 am on New Year’s Day.
Prices for an all-inclusive New Year’s Eve party cruise on the Rhine from Cologne range from around €160 to €180 and include buffets, free unlimited drinks and Sekt at midnight.
A cheaper alternative is the party boat with disco that includes unlimited beer and soft drinks for around €96. Further snacks and drinks are available. The disco party boat leaves around 9 pm and return around 1 am to Cologne.
Winter Rhine River Sightseeing Cruises from Cologne (Köln)
For the rest of the winter season – end October to end November and early February to early April – regular sightseeing cruises are available from Cologne on weekend afternoons. Reservations are essential, as the boat only departs if sufficient people made bookings.
Sightseeing excursion cruises may be available most winter days to see the Loreley Valley with boats departing from Rüdesheim and Boppard.