Highlights of Germany – Cruise Only 2016

10 Day River Cruise from Passau to Basel

2016 Information

Willkommen in Deutschland—welcome to Germany! This beautiful vacation takes you along the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers. Board your ship in Passau; explore Regensburg, a beautifully preserved medieval city, where you’ll visit one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Also enjoy a picturesque Bavarian village with medieval homes; visit Heidelberg and its famous castle; and explore the La Petite France district in Strasbourg. Cruise the Main Danube Canal, and the most spectacular part of the Rhine Gorge. Visit the magnificent Bishop‘s Residenz in Würzburg, savor beer tasting in Regensburg, and a special treat in the quintessential wine village of Rüdesheim. Large and small, well-known and lesser-known towns and villages come to life on this delightful vacation.


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Highlights & Sightseeing

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

Day 1 Passau (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting

Day 3 Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour

Day 4 Kitzingen: guided sightseeing

Day 5 Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz

Day 6 Main River Village: guided walk

Day 7 Boppard–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: guided walk in Boppard; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; enjoy a special treat

Day 8 Excursion to Heidelberg: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat

Day 9 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral

Day 10 Basel (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

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

Attend a tasting of authentic German beers.

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 is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Arrival transfers are not included and are not offered for purchase with this cruise-only itinerary.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Passau, Germany (Embarkation)

This afternoon board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception this evening as you set sail for Regensburg. (Dinner)

Day 2Regensburg

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Here—where the locals congregate—feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner, we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Nuremberg

Today, enjoy a relaxing morning of cruising before arriving in Nuremberg. 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 from an included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized “NUREMBERG TRIALS” tour. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Kitzingen

Kitzingen is the center of the wine trade in the region known as Franconia. Join your LOCAL GUIDE for a visit of this city on the river Main. See the city’s main landmark, the leaning tower with its distinctive crooked roof, and the renaissance Town Hall, built in 1563 and formerly used as a watch tower and prison. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Würzburg

Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” makes an immediate impression with imposing Marienberg Fortress perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. The afternoon is free for you to explore or shop, or you may wish to join an optional excursion to the medieval walled city of Rothenburg on the “Romantic Road.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Main River Village

On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates. With half-timbered houses, narrow streets, and medieval town centers, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer’s delight. Join your Local Guide to experience one of these towns on a GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Boppard–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim

This morning, arrive in Boppard on the left bank of the Rhine. After breakfast, a GUIDED WALK will acquaint you with this town, which saw its beginnings as a Celtic settlement, then a Roman stronghold, and today as a spa center and a popular tourist destination. During lunch, sail southward through the most dramatic part of the river, the RHINE GORGE, before arriving in Rüdesheim, the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries; and enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Excursion to Heidelberg

This morning, relax on board before joining an afternoon excursion to HEIDELBERG, home to the oldest university in Germany, founded in 1386. With a LOCAL GUIDE, 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! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9Strasbourg, 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 an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, here, on your included 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. A choice of optional excursions is available this afternoon; a trip into the Alsace wine region in France may strike your fancy, or on the other side of the river in Germany, the Black Forest beckons. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

NOTE:
Departure flights should not leave Zürich airport before 10 am.

Ship Details

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Hotels

No hotels exist for WPZ0 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.

Regensburg
Wurzburg
Rudesheim
Breisach
Strasbourg
Celebration

Regensburg

Excursion to Weltenburg Abbey and the Danube Gorge

Excursion to Weltenburg Abbey and the Danube Gorge

The Danube Gorge has both a gentle and a strange beauty. In a magnificent show of force, the Danube has carved its way through the Swabian Alb to create a stunning landscape - a wild, romantic stretch of river with sheer cliffs rising over 300 feet out of the water. At its upper end Weltenburg Abbey is located on a peninsula directly below the cliffs of the gorge. It was founded by Irish or Scottish monks in 620 and is one of the oldest abbeys in Bavaria. The present Benedictine abbey dates back to the 18th century when it was extensively rebuilt in baroque style. Their ceiling frescoes of the Heavenly Jerusalem blend seamlessly with the abbey interior and are particularly noteworthy. Important is also that Weltenburg Abbey houses the oldest abbey brewery in the world, as the monks have been brewing beer since 1050. A beer and a "pretzel" are a welcome refreshment.

Approximate value: €47 EUR per person

Wurzburg

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

Rudesheim

German Dinner

German Dinner

Savor a typical German Dinner Rheinisch style with most typical local fare, "Schnapps vom Brett" and a wonderful home-made soup. Enjoy a typical German platter - a selection of various roasts with home-made sauerkraut, and a variety of other locally made delicacies. Let the talented entertainers give you the best of German music and typical entertainment of both your and their choice. Lean back and relax in a century -old establishment where your drinks, a full-German three-course menu and transportation are all included. An unforgettable, cozy evening with your family and friends, old and new alike.

Approximate value: €59 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

Iconic Black Forest with Open Air Museum

Iconic Black Forest with Open Air Museum

200 kilometers (124 miles) long and 60 kilometers (37 miles) wide, the Black Forest is not only one of the most varied, but also one of the biggest and best known holiday regions in Germany. During our guided tour you can find out how people have lived and worked in Black Forest farmhouses over the last 400 years by visiting the Open Air Museum, where culture and history come alive. Each farmhouse represents the architecture and economic situation of its area of origin. Experience how kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms were once equipped and discover the day-to-day life of their inhabitants.

Approximate value: €44 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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