Magical Christmas Markets with Saga
Magical Christmas Markets with Saga
Kick start the festive season early on this 5-night cruise to the Continent visiting an array of Northern Europe’s best Christmas markets. From Holland’s second city, Rotterdam, an overnight stay allows plenty of time to visit the largest Christmas market in the Netherlands in Dordrecht, and The Hague’s Royal Christmas Fair. Live choirs and storytellers are bound to get you in the Christmas spirit as you peruse the traditional wooden chalets displaying hand-crafted trinkets and Christmas ornaments. Continue to Belgium where an included transfer to Bruges takes you to the heart of this medieval city, where the annual Christmas market will be in full swing. Perhaps let your adventurous side take over and try skating on the glittering ice rink in the shadow of the 290-foot Belfry. Discover a different side to the historic city of Rouen, as the city centre is brought to life with merry games, concerts and music, or maybe visit Honfleur’s Christmas market to pick up a selection of regional cheeses and calvados brandy. We’ll keep the holiday spirit alive on board with performances from a party band, and a Christmas crafts instructor, who can help you make gifts to take home to your loved ones.
- Overnight stay in Rotterdam
- Chauffeur service up to 250 miles
- All meals on board, including 24-hour room service
- Selected drinks
- Included transfers to Christmas markets
- All on-board gratuities
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch and additional cancellation rights on overseas holidays for over 50s, or a price reduction if not required (cover is subject to medical questions)
- Entertainment and activities
- Welcome cocktail party and Captain’s dinner
- All port taxes and visas
Hand Picked By
Elegant, timeless, relaxing... Saga Sapphire is all these things, but with a few little surprises too. A small ship carrying no more than 720 passengers, she is delightfully intimate and welcoming. Enjoy the informal atmosphere, spacious cabins and a host of exciting features.
At sea there is plenty to see and do on board, whether you choose to relax and soak up the sun by the pool or get active at some of the facilities, there's plenty on offer. Relax with a good book in The Library, visit the fully equipped gymnasium, pamper yourself at the Aqua Spa, or play a round of crazy golf at St Andrew's on the Top Deck.
With a variety of different dining experiences, there's something for every mood. Before or after dinner, you can relax and enjoy a drink in one of the relaxing bars or lounges, or even visit The Beach Club, with a quirky British seaside vibe, you can enjoy an ice cream or a handful of sweets by the pool. Savour a delicious dinner at the main restaurant, Pole to Pole, styled to reflect different continents including Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Speciality restaurant, East to West, offers a taste of Asia, with the best Oriental flavours and Asian-influenced dishes, while the Verandah and Grill is a casual buffet style dining.
Saga Sapphire Profile
- 37,301-ton ship
- 27.6-foot draft
- Air conditioned & stabalised
- Ten passenger decks
- 720 passengers
- 415 officers and crew
- 4 restaurants
- 3 bars
- 2 pools
- Crazy Golf, Aqua Spa, Library, Hair Salon, Gymnasium & Games Room
- 4 passenger lifts
- UK & European electoral sockets
Day 1: Dover, England
Embark Saga Sapphire. Depart 1600.
Day 2: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Arrive 0800. Arrive in Rotterdam, the world’s largest port, and Holland’s second city. With an overnight stay in port, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city nicknamed ‘Manhatten on the Meuse’ due to its impressive skyscrapers and modern architecture such as cubic houses and the striking Erasmus Bridge. Take an included transfer to your first Christmas market of the cruise, in the nearby historic city of Dordrecht. With over 200 stalls, laid out over 1.5 miles, Dordrecht is home to the biggest Christmas market in the country, which, despite it’s size, is known for its cosy atmosphere. As you meander through the city centre, towards the harbour, browse for gifts for family and friends from the stalls selling hand-made products, arts and antiques. With four stages dotted along the route, featuring live music from choirs and bands, you’ll find it hard to keep the Christmas spirit at bay. When you reach Grote Kerksplein you’ll find a nativity scene featuring live oxen, donkeys, sheep and even a camel, with the 13th-century church as the gothic centrepiece. Alternatively, perhaps join an optional excursion delving into the world of Delft Blue pottery. Learn about the history and production of this world-famous pottery, and visit the original Delft factory dating back to the 17th century.
Day 3: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Depart 2000. Today take advantage of an included transfer to The Hague to explore the annual Royal Christmas Fair in the city centre. Lange Voorhout, The Hague’s prettiest street, comes to life, lit up with glittering lights under the faux rooftop created by the avenue of linden trees intertwining overhead. With approximately 100 stalls selling a range of traditional gifts, from wooden carvings to winter coats, the Royal Christmas Fair oozes festive charm. As you take in performances from children’s choirs, theatre groups and storytellers, keep your eyes peeled for Santa Claus as he mingles in the crowds. Today you will also have the opportunity to visit the city of Gouda, the namesake of the famous Dutch cheese.
Day 4: Zeebrugge, Belgium
Arrive 1000. Depart 1900. The seaside resort of Zeebrugge is the gateway to Bruges, the capital of the Belgian province of West Flanders, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An included transfer takes you to the heart of this medieval city, where the annual Christmas market will be in full swing. The picturesque canals, and romantic cobbled streets oozing with history are transformed into a winter wonderland, adorned with twinkling fairy lights and beautifully decorated Christmas trees. Browse the quaint wooden chalets, all laden with hand-made decorations and Belgian chocolates, and soak up the magical atmosphere as you watch horse-drawn carts amble past the illuminated Grote Markt. If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll have time to try skating on the impressive ice rink on the main square, before warming up with an indulgent Belgian hot chocolate.
Day 5: Le Havre, France
Arrive 1100. Depart 2200. From the port of Le Havre, at the mouth of the River Seine, take an included transfer to Rouen. Historic Rouen brims with fascinating monuments and museums, including a cross that marks the place where the famous martyr, Joan of Arc, is said to have been burnt at the stake. In December, the city sparkles with holiday cheer as over 70 chalets pop up in the heart of the medieval city, against the backdrop of the grand Gothic cathedral. As you peruse the stalls, selling items including local cheese and cider, as well as jewellery and leather goods, admire the picturesque half-timbered houses of Place du Vieux-Marché, and maybe take a ride on the Ferris wheel for panoramic views. Alternatively, perhaps visit the elegant Christmas market of Honfleur, and pick up some last-minute stocking fillers, on an optional excursion.
Day 6: Southampton, England
Arrive 0800. Disembark Saga Sapphire after breakfast.
Cabin and Fares
|Cabin Type||Guide Price||Additional Info|
|Outside||From £699pp||Including optional travel insurance or a discount of £22 if not required|
All cabins aboard Saga Sapphire are light, bright and spacious, with adjustable lighting, plush fabrics and crisp white linen. Whichever cabin you choose, 24-hour room service is always included, which means you can have a meal, snack or refreshments brought to you at any time, for no extra charge. Please note: cabin size and layout may vary from the picture displayed.