Cruise Itinerary | Christmastime Zurich to Prague - Cruise Only

Christmastime Zurich to Prague - Cruise Only 2016

10 Day River Cruise from Zurich to Nuremberg

2016 Information. Switch to 2017 »

Experience the holiday season on this festive river cruise vacation from Zurich to Nuremberg. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Würzburg, Bamberg, and Nuremberg. Other highlights: excursions to Germany’s Black Forest; to Heidelberg for a visit to the red sandstone castle and to Rüdesheim in the heart of Rhine wine country. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the many Christmas markets, where you can sample some tasty holiday treats, smell the festive aromas, shop for locally crafted Christmas ornaments, and delight in the holiday cheer. This year, celebrate the holiday season in style on this memorable and joyous cruise.


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 9-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Zurich. Transfer to Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Breisach: excursion to the Black Forest; Christmas market

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

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

Day 5 Frankfurt. Excursion to Rüdesheim: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat

Day 6 Miltenberg: guided walk; Christmas market

Day 7 Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz; Christmas market

Day 8 Bamberg: guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall; Christmas market

Day 9 Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; Christmas market

Day 10 Nuremberg (Disembarkation): your vacation ends today

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

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:

  • 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 to visit the Christmas market—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, 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. There is plenty of free time to shop for Christmas decorations or gifts. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Frankfurt. Excursion to Rüdesheim

After breakfast this morning, a comfortable motorcoach ride takes you to the pretty little town of Rüdesheim, a perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town. A visit to SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise! Afterward, we’ll offer you a SPECIAL TREAT and then there’s free time to explore. The entire town transforms itself into one large Christmas market, offering products and specialties from a number of nations, all presented in a distinctive manner. You’ll be spoiled by the selection of shops offering a vast variety of Christmas presents and decorations. In the Market Square you’ll find Europe’s largest nativity scene, with life-size figures. In the afternoon, return to Frankfurt. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 6Miltenberg

Tucked away behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates, the picturesque Bavarian village of Miltenberg is a cultural gem on the banks of the Main River. This afternoon’s GUIDED WALK will acquaint you with the town’s delightful Marktplatz (market square), which centers around a Renaissance-era fountain and features striking half-timbered buildings, cobblestone lanes, and one of the oldest inns in Germany, Haus zum Riesen (the giant’s house) and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall. Later continue your cruise on the Main river to Würzburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Würzburg

Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The city makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore the beautifully decorated streets on your own, visit the Christmas markets, or perhaps join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. Here, try a Schneeball (snowball), a local specialty not at all suitable for a diet! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Bamberg

Medieval Bamberg is the former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, the town is decked out for Christmas and especially interesting are the many nativity scenes built by local citizens and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you’ll find many regional delicacies such as gingerbread and nut bread. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9Nuremberg

Although 90% of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Choose either a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized “NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS” tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations, and the Christmas market is one of the most famous in the world. You’ll find 200 stalls offering traditional wares, including Nuremberg Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), baked goods and sweets, Christmas decorations, ornaments, and more. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Nuremberg (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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Hotels

No hotels exist for WZN0 in 2016

 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.

Basel
Breisach
Strasbourg
Wurzburg
Celebration

Basel

Excursion to Mount Pilatus
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

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

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

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

Wurzburg

Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road
Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road

Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road

If you had to pick only one place to visit in the whole of Germany, it should be Rothenburg. The best preserved medieval town in Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber fits the word "romantic" perfectly. The entire walled town of Rothenburg is a living museum. The town wall connects five medieval gates complete with guard towers that date from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries. Just walk along Rothenburg's narrow cobblestone streets and admire the gothic, renaissance, and baroque houses and fountains. You may wish that you had lived in these prettier, quieter, slow times. Climb to the top of the Rothenburg Town Hall Tower (circa 1250-1400) for a wide-angle view of Rothenburg and take pictures of the surrounding, mostly pastoral countryside. Walking in Rothenberg is like a step back into medieval times where one can feel the old roots of the continent. Not to be missed!

Approximate value: €47 EUR per person

Celebration

Anniversary Celebration Cake
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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