Cruise Itinerary | Zurich to Vienna River Cruise - Avalon Waterways®

The Upper Rhine to the City of Music 2017

13 Day River Cruise from Zürich to Vienna

2017 Information. Switch to 2018 »

Four countries, three rivers, and the impressive Main Danube Canal are the basis of this delightful river cruise vacation. Start in Zürich, Switzerland, then travel to Basel to embark your river cruise vessel. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Karlstad, Würzburg, Kitzingen, Regensburg, Passau and Nuremberg. Visit Heidelberg and its imposing castle and cruise through the splendid Wachau Valley. Guided orientations of the smaller towns show off their famous sights, and time in Regensburg includes the chance to sample some of Germany’s world-famous beers. Your journey concludes in Vienna with guided sightseeing and time at leisure to explore this extraordinary “City of Music” on your own.


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 12-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 Frankfurt: choice of guided sightseeing of Frankfurt or excursion to Seligenstad

Day 5 Karlstadt: guided sightseeing

Day 6 Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz

Day 7 Kitzingen: guided sightseeing

Day 8 Nuremberg: choice of guided city sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour

Day 9 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting

Day 10 Passau: guided walk

Day 11 Dürnstein: guided walk, see the Stiftskirche

Day 12 Vienna:
guided sightseeing

Day 13 Vienna (Disembarkation):
your vacation ends this morning

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

Learn from local experts about the main Danube canal and the European union.

Meals

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

NOTES:

  • 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! Your river cruise vessel is docked on the Rhine River in Basel, where France, Switzerland, and Germany meet. 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 an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your included SIGHTSEEING 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 middle of medieval Strasbourg, featuring a statue of the inventor of the printing press. An optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany

This morning, an excursion takes you 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. See the 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! Enjoy the afternoon relaxing on board as you head for the Main River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Frankfurt

This morning, you have the choice between GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of Frankfurt or joining an excursion to SELIGENSTADT. Frankfurt on the Main is a city of superlatives: it is the largest financial center in continental Europe, home to the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, one of the world’s largest. The city is a center for culture, commerce, and education, and hosts the world’s largest motor show as well as the world’s largest book fair. It has two major botanical gardens, one of which is Germany’s largest. Seligenstadt is one of the oldest towns in Germany. The city’s most important building is the Einhard Basilika, on which Pope Pius XI bestowed the honorary title of “minor basilica” in 1925. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Karlstadt

Enjoy a leisurely morning of cruising on the gentle Main River and reach historic Karlstadt after lunch. Enjoy GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of this interesting town, which was once an important player in the wine-growing industry. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Würzburg

Arrive in Würzburg during breakfast. Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, also known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” makes an immediate impression with imposing Marienberg Fortress perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge). On your included 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 on your own, or maybe join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Kitzingen

Situated on the Main River east of Würzburg, Kitzingen is Bavaria’s biggest wine producer. GUIDED SIGHTSEEING shows you the city’s best-known sights such as the Fallerturm (Crooked Tower). Your Local Guide will recount some of the more delightful myths surrounding the founding of the city. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Nuremberg

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. This morning, choose either a 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 RALLY GROUNDS tour. During free time, be sure to make a wish at the beautiful fountain on the Hauptmarkt (main square). Legend says your wish will come true if you turn its gold ring three times. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9Regensburg

This morning, arrive in Regensburg, 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. Tonight, enjoy a tasting of some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Passau

Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK, or maybe join the full-day optional excursion to Salzburg to see some of The Sound of Music sights or to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11Dürnstein, Austria

This morning is dedicated to the beautiful and romantic Wachau Valley, where so much of the excellent Austrian wine is grown and produced. Stop in Dürnstein, whose baroque blue and white Stiftskirche stands right on the river bank. Join a Local Expert for a GUIDED WALK. Afterward, there is free time to explore this small town on your own before you head for Vienna. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12Vienna

Also known as the “City of Music,” Vienna inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—to name just a few of the sights your Local Guide will show you during your INCLUDED TOUR. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a classic Viennese café. An optional concert is available during your stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13Vienna (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

Artistry II

Artistry II

The Avalon Artistry II delivers an intimate setting, along with two full decks of suites featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air BalconySM. With 200 square feet, Panorama SuitesSM are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, giving you the rare opportunity to wake each morning to the enchanting scenery and fresh breezes. Onboard amenities include complimentary computer use in public areas and Wi-Fi access, a Fitness Center, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, shade system, whirlpool, and the delightful Sky Bistro.

Included Amenities

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Fitness Center
  • Elevator
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Hair salon
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Breisach
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
  • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Bicycles available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
  • Local FavoritesSM onboard experiences to bring the customs, cultures and tastes of your destinations to life, including local entertainers, artisans & experts
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library
  • Full-size closet mirror

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 and chair
  • Luxurious 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 and lighted makeup mirror
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
  • 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 and chair
  • Sofa
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • 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 BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
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 BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
  • Luxurious 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 and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Glattbrugg
Vienna

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

Vienna

Intercontinental - Vienna

Intercontinental - Vienna Johannesgasse 28, Wien,  Austria Johannesgasse 28
Wien, Austria

Hotel as shown or similar

A luxurious 458 room hotel with timeless elegance. Wi-Fi access is available in the lobby and guestrooms subject to a fee (payable locally) and there is also a fitness centre with sauna, steam bath, solarium and 24 hour gym. Traditional Viennese cuisine and Mediterranean favourites can be sampled in the stylish restaurant. Viennese coffee and pastries can be enjoyed in the Café and the opulent American bar has a large selection of cocktails with live piano music.

Hotel Amenities

Business Center
Dry Cleaning
Elevator
Restaurant On-Site
Gift Shop
Currency Exchange
Spa Services
Concierge desk
Beauty Salon
Fitness Room
Bar/Lounge
Luggage Storage
Room Amenities

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

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)


Zurich
Strasbourg
Wurzburg
Regensburg
Linz
Durnstein
Vienna
Packages

Zurich

Pilatus

Pilatus

Enjoy the magnificent panorama from Mount Pilatus

Price Range: $$

The Rhine Falls - Europe's Biggest Waterfall

The Rhine Falls - Europe's Biggest Waterfall

At 500 feet (152m) wide and 75 feet (23m) high, with an average 21,000 cubic feet (595 cubic m.) of water per second, the Rhine Falls are Europe's biggest waterfall. This is a great natural spectacle that you should not miss!

Price Range: $

Strasbourg

Alsace

Alsace

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 wine-making country.

Price Range: $$

Maginot Line

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. A true must for all history lovers.

Price Range: $$

Black Forest

Black Forest

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.

Price Range: $

Wurzburg

Rothenburg

Rothenburg

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.

Price Range: $$

Regensburg

Weltenburg

Weltenburg

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.

Price Range: $$

Linz

The Sound of Music Tour

The Sound of Music Tour

This tour takes you along the footsteps of Maria von Trapp and her famous family, while taking in local historical sights both from the city of Salzburg and also the picturesque Lakes and Mountains region along the way.

Price Range: $$

Southern Bohemia

Southern Bohemia

Travel to Southern Bohemia, which calls itself the "pearl of the Czech Republic" and enjoy this unique region visiting their impressive age-old towns full of life and culture and its beautiful countryside.

Price Range: $$

Durnstein

Classical Concert

Classical Concert

Enjoy an unforgettable concert in one of the city's elegant concert halls.

Price Range: $$

Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace

Visit magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Price Range: $$

Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebrating a birthday or anniversary while you're cruising? Add an Avalon Celebration Package to your vacation. You can make your special day even more memorable with special touches ranging from flowers to a private cocktail reception.

Price Range: $$