Having done two previous cruises with Scenic and a Christmas market cruise with their sister company Emerald, I was really looking forward to this cruise. What a disappointment!!
While I would consider another cruise with Scenic, I do not recommend their Rhine Christmas Market cruise.
1. No on-board Christmas/holiday ambiance. Meager decorations that included a couple of decorated trees and a few snowflake cutouts on the windows. No lights, no special food, no holiday music, special afternoon Christmas tea.
The ship docked in a rural area and the bus ride into Baden Baden was about 45-60 minutes each way. The bus dropped us off and picked us up in a central area. The guide led us along the river, through the Christmas market area for a view of the bathhouse and onto the Roman ruins. There was free time to look around and we bought a number of things in the local shops and enjoyed a sausage roll in the Christmas market area.
The ship docked in an industrial area and the bus ride to Heidelburg was about an hour each way. The ship offered several tours including one for gentle walkers. Having been to Heidelberg before, I opted to take the funicular from the center of town up past the castle to the top of the mountain. Great views.
Back in town, the local shops in the pedestrian area offer a lot of variety. I enjoyed a cappucino and a piece of cake in a local cafe and found the service to be good and the price reasonable.
The ship docked in a nice area in Koblenz. The coach ride to Cochem was about an hour each way but the scenery was very nice. The guide took us through the town pointing out the local sights. The town is hilly with lots of steps and half timbered buildings. We visited the interior of St. Martin Church. We were there on a Sunday but many of the shops were open. The Christmas market itself seems to mainly offer food.