Christmastime in Alsace & Germany 2016

5 Day River Cruise from Basel to Frankfurt

2016 Information. Switch to 2017 »

Celebrate the festive season in Central Europe with a magnificent 4-night cruise from Basel to Frankfurt! Stop in Breisach for an included excursion into Germany’s legendary Black Forest, and Strasbourg, France, for guided sightseeing and time to explore one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe; visit the red sandstone castle of Heidelberg and bask in the holiday atmosphere of this university town. 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!


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 Zurich. Transfer to Basel: onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Breisach: excursion to the Black Forest

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

Day 4 Heidelberg: guided visit of the castle; see the Great Vat; Christmas markets

Day 5 Frankfurt: your vacation ends this morning

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

Enjoy a fascinating excursion into the Black Forest.

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; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with 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 Zürich, Switzerland–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation)

Welcome to Switzerland. (Dinner)

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

Day 2Breisach, 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—or you may join an optional excursion to Colmar in France’s Alsace region. (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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany

Today, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, 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 is scattered over five town squares, and you’ll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. There is plenty of free time to shop for Christmas decorations or gifts. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Frankfurt (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends after breakfast today. (Breakfast)

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

Glattbrugg
Frankfurt

Glattbrugg

Moevenpick Zurich Airport

Moevenpick Zurich Airport Mittelholzerstrasse 8, Glattbrugg,   Switzerland Mittelholzerstrasse 8
Glattbrugg, Switzerland

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

Hotel with contemporary design features throughout, 2 kms from Zurich Airport and 10 kms from Zurich city center.

Hotel Amenities

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

Alarm Clock
In-Room Safe
Hair Dryer
Non-smoking Rooms
Mini-bar
Air Conditioning
Smoking Rooms
Voicemail
Iron/Ironing Board
Cable/Satellite
Room Service
Television
Phone
Coffee Maker
Desk
Internet Access

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

 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.

Zurich
Breisach
Strasbourg
Celebration

Zurich

Excursion to Mount Pilatus

Excursion to Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus (2132m / 7000 ft) presents its visitors with a thrilling ascent by cable car, spectacular summit views of the 10.000 ft. Bernese Alps (Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau) to the south and Lake Lucerne to the north, followed by the steepest cog-wheel descent in the world. In 1868 Queen Victoria made the excursion riding on the back of a mule. Before driving to Basel for embarkation we shall visit the beautiful lakeside city of Lucerne. Located on the Vierwaldstattersee (Lake of four wooded cantons, also known as Lake Lucerne), Lucerne was praised by Mark Twain as well as millions of visitors who cannot imagine Switzerland without Thorvaldsen's impressive Lion Monument, the wooden "Chapel Bridge" or the finest stores.

Approximate value: €69 EUR per person

Zurich Sightseeing

Zurich Sightseeing

Enjoy our expertly guided Zurich City Tour today. Switzerland`s largest city is beautifully located on the banks of two rivers and a lake. While window shopping at the elegant boutiques along Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most beautiful shopping areas in Europe, you will notice that the streets may not be paved with gold, but you can be certain that a couple of meters below the street, unimaginable treasures lie in underground vaults, as Zurich is the world's banking capital. During the guided tour in one of its churches you will see the world-famous masterpiece by Marc Chagall, a five-part stained-glass window series, which still thrills visitors from around the world.

Approximate value: €34 EUR per person

Breisach

Excursion to Colmar

Excursion to Colmar

Known as the birthplace of the father of The Statue of Liberty, Colmar is indeed, one of the most beautiful, small towns in France. A maze of cobblestoned streets are lined with centuries old half timbered houses, many of them decorated with flowers. Around every corner you will find another photo spot, providing the visitor with a view on 1000 years of European History. Yet, Colmar retains a 'country town' atmosphere which contributes so much to its charm. A short, leisurely bus ride brings you to this charming town for a full city walk that will grant you an extraordinary insight into the region.

Approximate value: €45 EUR per person

Strasbourg

Excursion to the Alsace Countryside

Excursion to the Alsace Countryside

The famous Alsace Wine Route, or "Route des Vins", is a winding ribbon of flower decorated villages in the north of Alsace. This guided excursion takes you on the back roads through the heart of the winemaking country. Stop at the picturesque area of Obernai for a short sightseeing of this lovely, small, typical Alsace town, so much influenced by both the French and the Germans, yet safeguarding its own particular character. Alsace is known for some of the world`s finest wines, to be found in the picturesque villages that dot the route with their half-timbered houses, taverns and stork nests. As there can be no visit to Alsace without a wine- tasting on the spot, we will visit one of its cellars and taste the excellent local wine.

Approximate value: €45 EUR per person

Celebration

Anniversary Celebration Cake

Anniversary Celebration Cake

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary cake presented during dinner. Make this a cruise like no other.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €161.50 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner.

Approximate value: €142 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening.

Approximate value: €344 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special cake and present it to you during dinner. Make this a cruise that you will never forget.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and a wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €207 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with house wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

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