Aled Jones, right, shot to fame at the age of 15 thanks to his wonderful version of Walking In The Air, which featured in the film The Snowman. Aled has since recorded more than 30 albums spanning the classical music repertoire. He has presented the BBC's Songs Of Praise since 2004 and has his own radio show on Sunday mornings.
Enjoy Germany's Christmas markets and a private concert with Aled Jones
The historic German city of Cologne is magical at any time of year but during the festive season it has an even more enchanting atmosphere. With the backdrop of a stunning Gothic cathedral, you will explore Cologne's famous Christmas markets, complete with the sights, sounds and smells emanating from the traditional stalls. During an exclusive five-day cruise along the Rhine, you will also have the chance to do your Christmas shopping at markets in Rudesheim and Koblenz, with an optional afternoon excursion to Bonn.
And to make this trip truly unmissable, it will end with a fitting festive finale: an exclusive concert by the much-loved singer and broadcaster Aled Jones in the 19th Century Trinitatiskirche in Cologne. You will board the four-star MS Serenity in Mainz before making your way along the Rhine. During the adventure, you will stop in Rudesheim and Koblenz to wander around the markets and browse the unique, handmade gifts, foodie treats and decorations.
Your trip will conclude in Cologne, where you'll find one of the largest and most spectacular Christmas markets, before your exclusive evening concert with Aled Jones. Aled is one of the UK's favourite entertainers and he has recorded 31 albums over a 34-year career, which started when he was just 15. Readers who book this trip will also receive a signed copy of his latest album.
Your home for this trip will be The River Cruise Line's flagship MS Serenity, which will transport you through the spectacular scenery in comfort and style.
Exclusive Aled Jones concert
In the stunning surroundings of Cologne's beautiful Trinitatiskirche, you will enjoy an exclusive performance from the world-famous singer, including a spine-tingling rendition of Walking In The Air.
Germany is famous for its festive markets and you'll be able to pick up original handmade gifts for putting under the tree on visits to the markets in Koblenz, Rudesheim, Mainz and Cologne. The local gingerbread and mulled wine will, of course, help keep you in the festive spirit.
With a skyline dominated by its magnificent Gothic cathedral, the stunning city of Cologne is a wonderful place to end your trip. You'll explore the city and some of the smaller markets by the Rhine and the impressive main Christmas market, which is overlooked by the cathedral. In the evening, you will be there to see Aled perform an intimate concert.
Free Aled Jones CD
Guests who book this trip will receive a complimentary signed copy of Aled Jones's latest album (one per booking) to take home and listen to and remind you of your amazing festive holiday.
Sail on MS Serenity
The River Cruise Line's flagship vessel, the stylish MS Serenity, is like a floating four-star hotel. Your home for the duration of the trip features air-conditioned cabins with a bright, modern feel, en suite bathrooms, and excellent river views so that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Reasons to book
Exclusive Aled Jones performance
Free Aled Jones CD
Sail on MS Serenity
- Return travel by air or rail
- Four nights' full board on MS Serenity
- Exclusive Aled Jones concert in Cologne
- Visits to Mainz, Rudesheim, Koblenz and Cologne, with an optional excurison to Bonn
- Signed copy of Aled Jones's latest CD*
- Complimentary tea and coffee on board
- The services of a cruise manager throughout
- All port taxes and fees
Day1UK – MainzMainz, Germany
Travel to Mainz, where the Rhine and Main rivers meet. Here you'll board MS Serenity and enjoy a relaxing evening with dinner onboard included.
Day2Mainz – RüdesheimRudesheim, Germany
After breakfast you'll enjoy a free morning in Mainz before a lunchtime sailing to Rüdesheim. On arrival you'll have free time to explore the Christmas markets, a delightful event held in the town's chocolate-box old quarter or you can join the optional excursion; Rüdesheim Delights, to visit the wonderful Mechanical Music Museum of Siegfried before enjoying a delicious mug of glühwein.
Day3Rüdesheim – KoblenzKoblenz am Rhein, Germany
This morning you'll sail to Koblenz, at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, cruising through the spectacular Rhine Gorge and past the famous Lorelei rock. Here you'll have free time to visit the Koblenz Christmas Market, with over 130 festively decorated wooden stalls offering a range of handmade gifts and Christmas decorations. Enjoy a glass or red or white glüwein whilst listening to festive music playing.
Day4Koblenz – CologneCologne, Germany
After breakfast, you'll cruise up the Rhine to the beautiful city of Cologne. The hive of festive activity takes place around the cathedral and the old town, where you will find a maze of pretty stalls offering outstanding arts and crafts. There are also a number of smaller markets to enjoy including the Harbour Christmas Markets held on the Rhine, with snowy white pagoda tents reminiscent in the city garden. This afternoon, you could choose to discover the many faces of Bonn and its over 2,000-year-old architectural heritage. Enjoy some free time here to explore before your evening of special entertainment. Transfer to the Trinitatiskirche in Cologne this evening, where you'll enjoy an exclusive concert featuring Aled Jones. Return to the ship later for your evening meal on board the ship.
N.B. The ship will no longer cruise through Bonn, but an optional afternoon trip including coach transfers will be offered in lieu.
Day5Cologne – UKCologne, Germany
This morning you'll bid farewell to your captain and crew and disembark for the return journey to the UK.
This four-star river cruise ship offers guests space, style and outstanding service
With her sleek design and claret-and-cream exterior, MS Serenity is a stylish ship - and she has fantastic cabins and facilities too.
On arrival you will enjoy a welcome drinks reception, after which you can make yourself at home. The cabins are what make this ship stand out: it's a lovely place to start each day, in your own private space with beautiful views of the river.
The panoramic restaurant ensures you miss none of the scenery during breakfast, lunch and dinner - all of which are freshly prepared by the onboard chefs. After a day of exploring, take a seat on the terrace of the Lido bar, or head up to the deck for a game of giant chess before enjoying your dinner and the evening's entertainment.
When you retire to your cabin, take a look at the daily programme to find out what the following day will bring...
- Lounge bar with panoramic windows
- Lido bar with outdoor terrace
- Restaurant with panoramic windows
- Sun deck with loungers and awnings
- Air conditioned cabins
- Lift serving all areas (except Sun deck)
Panorama deck cabins: These cabins are of the highest standard. They are on the upper deck and have an en suite shower and toilet, air conditioning, twin beds, satellite TV, radio, safe and hairdryer. There's plenty of storage space and they have excellent views of the river with a french balcony.
Middle deck cabins: These cabins are on the middle deck and are the same size and layout as the panorama deck cabins. They have an en suite shower and toilet, air conditioning, twin beds, satellite TV, radio, safe, hairdryer and large sliding windows for you to enjoy the passing scenery.
Main deck cabins: These cabins are on the lower deck and are the same size and layout as the panorama deck cabins, with the same facilities. The only difference is the outside view, which is via two small windows.
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