BASEL - Basler Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Barfuesserplatz mit ueber 100 Marktstaenden. Christmas Market in Basel. Copyright by Basel Tourismus/Byline:


The holidays are pure magic along Europe’s waterways. Storybook villages and snow-capped castles line the rivers’ banks, and in grand cities and charming towns alike, festive Christmas markets celebrate the season with colorful crafts, gingerbread and warm, spicy Glühwein.

Who: Up to 5 IFWTWA journalists.
The group in its entirety will consist of 20 social media influencers and their guests.

When: December 2 to 9, 2016

Where:  Basel up to Amsterdam along the river Rhine

What: Share in the holiday spirit, on shore and on board. In medieval town squares and down cobbled lanes, aromas of old-world family recipes waft from kitchens—hot potatoes, chestnuts, grilled sausages and baked treats. Market stalls offer a delightful array of hand-carved toys, ornaments, nutcrackers and colorful woolen scarves. Viking’s Christmas cruises help spread the cheer with on board festivities: you can bake gingerbread cookies with the executive chef, decorate the ship’s Christmas tree and enjoy live, regional holiday music from a local ensemble. Experience the highlights of the legendary Rhine over eight days. In Germany, sail past castles commanding the riverbanks, and tour both Marksburg Castle and the ruins of Heidelberg Castle. Admire Cologne, the jewel of the Rhine, with its awe-inspiring Dom, and witness the lush landscape of the Black Forest region. Explore Holland’s famous windmills and waterworks, and encounter multicultural Strasbourg in France.

VikingOdin-Exterior-0002Viking will cover the cost of the cruise and round trip economy airfare from the US or Canada for each IFWTWA applicant that is invited to participate. If the member chooses to bring a +1, they will be responsible for their own airfare (and will have the opportunity to purchase this through Viking at their industry rates) and Viking will cover the cost of the cruise for the guest as well. All meals and the Silver Spirits beverage package are included. If the participant arranges their airfare to arrive/depart when the cruise begins/ends, they will also receive shuttle transfers from the airport to the ship in Basel and from the ship to the airport in Amsterdam. Some people do choose to extend their time in Europe on either end of the trip and Viking can coordinate flights to match that type of schedule, but transfers wouldn’t be included for the deviated travel leg. There will also be a credit per stateroom that can be applied to any optional excursions.

Criteria to apply: Applicants must be physically fit enough to participate in all tours and events prepared for the working journalists by the host during these eight days. Although the physical demands on this trip are minimal, you must be able to walk the cobblestone streets, tour the markets and ancient cities, climb the worn steps of castles and ruins and be on your feet for extended periods. Participation in these outings is not optional for IFWTWA journalists. Here is the cruise on Viking.

IFWTWA invitees must maintain an active presence on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. As this is a social media-focused group trip, Viking is looking for savvy social media users with engaged communities of 5K+. The target market for articles after the trip would be reaching a US-based audience of 55+. Additionally, Viking Cruises targets top regional markets for coverage including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Toronto, Canada and more top Designated Marketing Areas. Attendees must commit to maintaining their regular social media posting cadences and post a minimum of once per day using trip-specific hashtag(s). They will also participate in the #TravelSkills chat that will be taking place on the first day of the trip (December 2nd) – questions will be shared in advance.

Deadline for applying: Thursday, September 15, 23:00 PST. Participants to be confirmed the week of September 19th and Edelman/Viking teams will coordinate booking details. Upon selection, members (and their +1s) will be asked to fill out a passenger information form and provide a copy of the photo page of their passports.

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