Christmas Market River Cruise - Avalon® France & Germany

Christmastime in Alsace & Germany – Southbound 2017

5 Day River Cruise from Frankfurt to Basel

2017 Information

Celebrate the festive season in Central Europe with a magnificent 4-night cruise from Frankfurt to Basel! Stops include Mannheim, Germany, for an excursion to Heidelberg, where you visit the red sandstone castle and bask in the holiday atmosphere; Strasbourg, France, for guided sightseeing and time to explore one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe; and Breisach for an included excursion into Germany’s legendary Black Forest. Try some festive Glühwein, smell the aromas of the Christmas markets, shop for local Christmas ornaments, and delight in the holiday cheer. This year, start your holiday season with this joyous and memorable cruise—there is no better way to celebrate the season! Your ship will be decorated and dressed up in Christmas colors.


Dates & Prices Request A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 4-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Frankfurt: onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Heidelberg-Mannheim: guided visit of the castle; see the Great Vat, Christmas markets; time at leisure for Christmas markets in Mannheim

Day 3 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral

Day 4 Breisach: excursion to the Black Forest; Christmas market

Day 5 Basel: your vacation ends this morning

Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.

Enjoy a lively accordion music presentation, and attend a fascinating woodcarving demonstration.

Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Farewell dinner
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel

NOTES:

  • Christmas markets operate from late November until the third week of December, depending on the location.
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Frankfurt, Germany (Embarkation)

Welcome to Germany! This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception before sailing out of Frankfurt. (Dinner)

NOTE:
Flights into Frankfurt must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2Excursion to Heidelberg–Mannheim

This morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, which was founded in 1386. Visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it! At this time of year, an ice rink is set up at the foot of the castle, and stalls offer Glühwein, Bratwurst, and other tasty treats. The Christmas market itself is scattered over five town squares, and you’ll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. Rejoin your ship in Mannheim, and the afternoon is yours to do as you please.There is plenty of free time to shop for Christmas decorations or gifts at the Mannheim Christmas market. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Strasbourg, France

Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is, without a doubt, an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your GUIDED WALKING TOUR you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. Dating back to 1570, the traditional Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Located around Place de la Cathédrale and Place Broglie, its centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets you’ll notice the pleasing aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits—a truly magical atmosphere! This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine region is available. This evening, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest

Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany’s BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents once described them as black. There’s no better setting for this time of year than when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs, connoting images of warm and festively decorated interiors. Surely, the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. This afternoon there’s free time in Breisach to visit one more Christmas market—or you may join an optional excursion to Colmar in France’s Alsace region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Basel Switzerland (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends after breakfast today. (Breakfast)

NOTE:
Flights out of Zürich airport should not leave before 10 am.

Ship Details

Tranquility II

Tranquility II

Another exciting Suite Ship® graces the rivers of Europe in 2015. The intimate setting of the Avalon Tranquility II features two full decks of Panorama Suites with Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony®. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard-perfect for stretching out and relaxing-or even throwing a private cocktail party for up to six adults in the spacious sitting area. Onboard amenities and services include complimentary computer use in public areas and free Wi-Fi access, a Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, a hair salon, elevator, and a spacious Sky Deck with shade system, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al-fresco lunches of light grill fare.

Included Amenities

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Sky Deck with shade awnings
  • Non-smoking interior
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for all guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Durnstein
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Avalon Choice cruising experience
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees
  • Complimentary maps
  • Selection of Local Favorites to bring the customs, cultures, and tastes of your destination to life
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs
  • Expanded Fitness Center
  • Elevator
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew
  • Cruise Director
  • Revolutionary engineering
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Hair salon (manicures available)
  • Onboard movie nights
  • Bicycles you can check out and use around many port towns for free
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing options
  • Local Favorites onboard experiences with local chefs, entertainers, artisans & experts
  • Well-stocked library
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day

Staterooms & Suites

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) - 200 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air Balcony®
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
  • Coffee table
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk
  • Sofa
Royal Suite - 300 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air Balcony®
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
  • Coffee table
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Frankfurt
Zurich

Frankfurt

Moevenpick Frankfurt City

Moevenpick Frankfurt City Den Haager Strasse 5, Frankfurt,  Germany Den Haager Strasse 5
Frankfurt, Germany

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

A 288 room modern property with a good location close to one of the city's newest shopping centers. Facilities include a restaurant serving Swiss specialities with an open show kitchen, an all-day bar for cocktail and snacks and a top floor fitness area.

Hotel Amenities

Bar/Lounge
Restaurant On-Site
Spa Services
Parking/Valet
Elevator
Dry Cleaning
Currency Exchange
Business Center
Luggage Storage
Free WiFi
Fitness Room
Room Amenities

Climate Control
Smoking Rooms
Disabled Access / Rooms
Air Conditioning
Desk
Pay Movies
Wake-Up Calls
Complimentary Toiletries
In-Room Safe
Television
Cable/Satellite
Internet Access
Phone
Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
Room Service
Coffee Maker
Hair Dryer
Non-smoking Rooms
Mini-bar
Iron/Ironing Board

Zurich

Renaissance Zurich Tower

Renaissance Zurich Tower Turbinenstrasse 20, Zurich,  Switzerland Turbinenstrasse 20
Zurich, Switzerland

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

This 300 room luxury hotel is housed in a modern tower building located in the vibrant Zurich West quarter. The exclusive Grill restaurant serves urban cuisine and the lounge bar offers drinks, snacks and cocktails. Other amenities include a fitness area on the 15th floor with city views, sauna and steam bath.

Hotel Amenities

Bar/Lounge
Concierge desk
Business Center
Ice Machine
Free WiFi
Fitness Room
Elevator
Currency Exchange
Restaurant On-Site
Luggage Storage
Spa Services
Parking/Valet
Dry Cleaning
Room Amenities

Disabled Access / Rooms
Mini-bar
Wake-Up Calls
In-Room Safe
Climate Control
Complimentary Newspaper
Air Conditioning
Window Opens
Alarm Clock
Room Service
Desk
Hair Dryer
Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
Television
Complimentary Toiletries
Phone
Non-smoking Rooms
Iron/Ironing Board
Cable/Satellite
Coffee Maker
Internet Access

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

We know that many times travelers celebrate special occasions on vacation and you can now pre-purchase celebration packages before your cruise departure. We offer special birthday, anniversary and wedding vow packages. These packages include all the elements you need to celebrate with family & friends.

Availability of optional excursions is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

Once you have booked your vacation, Avalon Waterways provides the ability to pre-purchase excursions and packages, register for your cruise and provide emergency contact information online.

Similar Cruises

Want help finding a vacation?

Find a Travel AgentContact Us