Snow in Hamburg (photo: Copyright: J.P. Meyer)

Four ships are in town during the holidays according to the Hamburg Cruise Center. The Christmas calls started Dec. 4 with the Balmoral. The Saga Pearl II will be returning to Hamburg on Dec. 18 -- almost a year since the ship celebrated her first appearance here. The season officially concludes on Dec. 17 and 18, with the arrivals of the Albatros and the Amadea of Phoenix Reisen, both starting on their world cruises in Hamburg.

The last cruise call of the year, however, is not an ocean-going vessel. On Dec. 27, the Frederic Chopin of Nicko Tours will be in Hamburg. She sails a New Year’s river cruise travelling east on the Elbe. She will be visiting the towns of Wittenberge, Meissen, Dresden and Bad Schandau.