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Get into the Holiday Spirit
Judy Perl of Judy Perl Worldwide Travel has designed an itinerary that shows off Switzerland as a spectacular holiday destination, long noted for its Christmas markets that transform the cities of Zurich, Basel, and Lucerne into winter wonderlands straight out of a fairytale. If you are going on a Rhine River cruise, which Judy can also arrange, make sure to spend a few days seeing all that these cities have to offer before or after you sail.
  • Original swiss perl one.jpg?1431038816?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger
    Day 1
    Zurich's Old Town
    After you arrive in Zurich, you'll have an afternoon walking tour including Fraumünster Church with its Chagall windows, Old Town views from Lindenhof, and many other landmarks. Then you'll have a private visit to the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum and end the afternoon in the historic Schipfe area. Spend the evening strolling Zurich's oldest Christmas market, in the heart of the Old Town, where you can sample mulled wine and stock up on Swiss chocolate and spices.
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    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Emanuel Ammon
    Day 2
    A Lake Cruise to Lucerne
    You'll admire Lucerne from the water, on a lake cruise, and then hop off for an afternoon walking tour. See the famous Chapel Bridge, Water Tower, Lion Monument, and other sites. Angela Rosengart will welcome you to the Rosengart Collection, with its important works by Picasso and Klee. Afterwards head to the Lozärner Weihnachtsmärt Christmas market where the air is filled with the scent of lebkuchen gingerbread and you can browse for locally made crafts.
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    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger
    Day 3
    Zurich to Basel
    Spend the day sightseeing as you make your way from Zurich to Basel by private car. In Schaffhausen you'll stop at the Rhine Falls, Europe's largest waterfall. Spend the evening relaxing at your hotel for the night, the Hotel Les Trois Rois.
    Accommodations:
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    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Gian Marco Castelberg & Maurice Haas
    Day 4
    Walk the Streets of Basel
    You'll discover the rich history and modern art and architecture of Basel on a private walking tour. Highlights include the Old Town, the Spalentor, and the Basel Minster. Then you'll explore the Basel Christmas Market, one of Switzerland's largest. Make your way through the winding cobblestone streets enjoying various culinary delights, from grilled sausages to raclette, waffles, and authentic Basel Läckerli.
    Accommodations:
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    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Bern Tourismus
    Day 5
    A Capital Adventure
    Today you'll head south to Switzerland's capital, Bern, an hour by train from Basel. Your private tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site will include the Houses of Parliament, the Federal Mint, the Clock Tower, Town Hall, and Bear Park. You'll also explore some of the world's finest modern and contemporary art at the Zentrum Paul Klee.
    Accommodations:
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    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Schuerpf
    Day 6
    Up the River
    Continue your European adventure by heading up the Rhine on a 7-night Amawaterways cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, stopping at some of the region's other oldest, largest, and most famous Christmas markets. (Note, the cruise is not included in the price of this itinerary.)