Romantic Rhine River Cruise - Avalon Waterways®

Romantic Rhine – Northbound 2016

8 Day River Cruise from Zürich to Amsterdam

2016 Information. Switch to 2017 »

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits on this mesmerizing journey along the Rhine. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Koblenz, and Cologne, as well as an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river dotted every mile with castles. Visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam. Be sure to pack your camera so you can capture the romance and splendor of this magical journey.


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Zürich–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral

Day 3 Excursion to Heidelberg: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat

Day 4 Mainz–Rüdesheim: visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; enjoy a special treat

Day 5 Rhine Gorge–Koblenz: cruise through the Rhine Gorge; choice of guided sightseeing in Koblenz or visit Sayn Manor House

Day 6 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk

Day 7 Amsterdam: canal cruise

Day 8 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

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

Enjoy a special treat in Rüdesheim.

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:

  • Departure December 3 is offered as an exclusive Festive Time Cruise, including special features and visits to Christmas markets at no extra cost. Experience the holiday season the European way! Enjoy the jolly atmosphere on your festively decorated ship as you delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of local customs and traditions.
  • 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, home of the Matterhorn and the majestic Alps! Transfer by motorcoach to Basel, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner)

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

Day 2Strasbourg, 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, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your 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. This afternoon, optional excursions into the Alsace wine country or to the Black Forest are available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany

After a leisurely morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, 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! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Mainz–Rüdesheim

Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. The Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here and during a GUIDED WALK you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. During lunch, depart Mainz and cruise on to pretty Rüdesheim, a typical 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. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colorful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Rhine Gorge–Koblenz

Downstream from Rüdesheim is the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive equestrian statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the 2,000-year-old city of Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments; or visit nearby SAYN MANOR HOUSE, belonging to the counts of the same name. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Cologne

One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Amsterdam, Holland

Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Amsterdam (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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Hotels

Glattbrugg
Amsterdam

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

Amsterdam

Moevenpick Amsterdam City

Moevenpick Amsterdam City Piet Heinkade 11, Amsterdam,  Netherlands Piet Heinkade 11
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

A stylish 408-room hotel in the perfect location, this waterfront property offers Free Wi-Fi internet access throughout. The chic restaurant serves creative international cuisine and there is a fabulous bar serving drinks and light snacks which is also a great spot for a nightcap. For relaxation there is a Lifestyle Studio featuring a gym, Finnish sauna, bio sauna & ice fountain.

Hotel Amenities

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

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

 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
Strasbourg
Rudesheim
Amsterdam
Celebration

Zurich

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

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

Excursion to the Maginot Line
Excursion to the Maginot Line

Excursion to the Maginot Line

The Maginot Line - named after the War Minister Andre Maginot - was completed by the end of 1930s along the Franco-German border, stretching from Switzerland to the vicinity of the Belgian frontier. The Line was composed of huge fortresses with smaller defense posts or simple blockhouses. You are invited to discover with the help of our local expert one of the forts with a maze of underground galleries, where you will see the fascinating equipment and the original and unique fittings of the kitchen, storage areas, power plant, ventilation system and the barracks with their sleeping quarters and first aid facilities. A true must for all history lovers.

Approximate value: €46 EUR per person

Iconic Black Forest with Open Air Museum
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

Rudesheim

German Dinner
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

Amsterdam

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans
A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans

If you are in the Netherlands only for a short time, then this is a great excursion to see the typical Dutch sights in just one afternoon. Join our local expert on a journey through times when Dutch sailing ships crossed the seven seas and goods from all corners of the world were traded in Holland. A short coach ride gives you picturesque views of the Dutch "polder" landscape, reclaimed land with endless horizons and cattle grazing on the green grasslands. The open air village of Zaanse Schans is a collection of typical Dutch houses, windmills & craft stores which all have preserved their original character. We will have an inside visit of a working windmill. Highly interesting is the clog making demonstration and the cheese factory. In the little stores you can easily find all the Dutch souvenirs you want to take home. Zaanse Schans is a pleasant half day excursion which includes an array of typical sights for which Holland is famous.

Approximate value: €36 EUR per person

Anne Frank House
Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

Visit the hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her diary during the Second World War. For more than two years, Anne Frank, her family, and four others lived secretively in the back part of her father's office building at #263 Prinsengracht, before being betrayed and turned in to the Nazis. If you have read the famous diary much of this will be familiar to you, but even if you haven't this can be a thought provoking place to see. The Anne Frank House/Museum, open since 1960, is probably the most famous attraction in town for new visitors. Take advantage of our tailor made tour, with an introduction by our local escort, hassle free transport and priority entrance.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person

Can Buy Me Love - Amsterdam by Night
Can Buy Me Love - Amsterdam by Night

Can Buy Me Love - Amsterdam by Night

Experience Europe's most famous Red Light District at its best during the evening. Amsterdam has always cherished the ideas of tolerance and worldliness. The city takes on an entirely new and fascinating character at night: many of its bridges, along with numerous historic buildings and monuments are almost extravagantly illuminated. A night-time boat tour of the city is highly recommendable. Take an expertly guided private cruise and walking tour through the famous Red Light District, learn about the customs and traditions of this provocative and alluring aspect of life in Amsterdam. Enjoy the city's night life and collect memories and stories to take home (Excursion not suitable for children).

Approximate value: €53 EUR per person

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local
Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local

The Netherlands is known for being the perfect country to go for a bike ride. After a short bike ride from your ship, a ferry takes you out of the hectic city. Then continue your biking tour into the beautiful and green nature reserve called "Waterland". Your local guide will take you through centuries old picturesque villages with typical wooden houses, past countless brooks and waterways, across old wooden bridges, along the Ijsselmeer, through green pastures. Designated bicycle paths connect the entire region. On a nice spring or summer day, the green fields are full of flowers, sheep and cows are in the meadows. Comfortable bicycles, helmets and refreshment in a typical Dutch Inn are provided and of course all these experiences under guidance of a local guide. A different way to experience Holland.

Approximate value: €59 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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