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Escape it all on a wintertime cruise on the lakes formed by the Havel River, and discover the best of Berlin and Potsdam during the holidays. Luxuriate in the magic of Christmas while visiting beautiful palaces with sumptuous gardens. Top it all off with a literal “cherry on the cake” during a customary pause of “Kaffee und Kuchen” (coffee and cake).
We’ll set out on a panoramic tour of Berlin all dressed up for the holidays. Our tour includes the Reichstag, Alexanderplatz, Brandenburg Gate, and Checkpoint Charlie—the scene of many spy thrillers and novels during the Cold War. At tea time, we’ll enjoy the customary Kaffee und Kuchen, a cup of coffee and delicious German cake. Our last stop will be the enchanting Christmas market in Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin. This is where you’ll find the best of Berlin at Christmas. Artists show off their refined works, and every German Christmas culinary delight imaginable is for sale.
We’ll start our tour in the cheerful Scheunenviertel neighborhood. One of the most interesting sites in this quarter is the Hackesche Höfe complex, a series of eight interior, interconnecting courtyards bordered with former working-class homes. In the Jewish Quarter, we’ll see the old and new synagogues and the Jewish cemetery where Moses Mendelssohn is buried.
We’ll enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Spend some free time this afternoon at the Christmas market in the Alexanderplatz, a must-see site in Berlin. The market includes some incredible scenes, such as the beautifully lit, giant Christmas pyramid and the rows of tiny chalet stands with handmade gifts. Our last stop will be the city’s television tower, where you’ll be transported to the top in only 40 seconds to step out onto the observation platform for a fantastic 360° view of the city at night.
Tour Charlottenburg Palace at your own pace with an audio guide in your language. Step back in time to the era of Prussian kings as you stroll through the palace’s fine halls and rooms. Don’t miss the White Hall—the former reception area and dining room of Frederick the Great—or the Golden Gallery, which rivals any hall found in Versailles. Your audio guide will help you discover all the decorative details of these fabulous rooms. With music from the era accompanying your tour, you’ll also visit the winter apartments and the lavishly decorated Queen Louise's Bedroom. Other treasures include the library and the collection of ornate snuff boxes that belonged to Frederick the Great. The Christmas market in front of the palace offers one of the most authentic German holiday experiences. Take some time to look for gifts and souvenirs while enjoying the treats and mulled wine available.
We’ll tour the New Palace in Sanssouci Park. The colossal New Palace stands in contrast to the more intimate Sanssouci Palace. Even Frederick the Great called it an act of bravado. He preferred the smaller palace and used the more ostentatious one for elaborate celebrations and housing dignitaries. The immense, Baroque-style palace has three wings to it. Within these wings are 200 rooms, royal apartments, and four splendid galleries. Our tour will include the most eccentric of the rooms—the Grotto Hall—which has just reopened after extensive restoration. The walls of this amazing hall hold over 24,000 shells, semi-precious stones, and fossils. After, enjoy some free time at the Blauer Lichterglanz Christmas market in the historic center of Potsdam.