Romantic Rhine – Southbound

8 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel

Vacation Overview

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this exciting journey along the Rhine River, which takes you across Germany—and touches in Holland, France, and Switzerland!

This magnificent river cruise begins in the ever popular, modern city of Amsterdam, Holland. There is much to do with the renowned museums and abundance of restaurants amongst the elegant squares and charming canals. The best way to see the treasures of this 700-year-old city is on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.” Cologne, Germany—a 2,000 year-old city known for its gothic architecture—will be an exciting stop with its famous twin-spired cathedral and Old Town with many shops, cafés, and taverns. While you’re there, why not try a locally-brewed Kölsch beer? Pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. And nearby, in the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, visit the unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum to see the impressive collection of historical self-playing instruments. Continue your Rhine river cruise to Mainz for a guided walk and visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. An excursion takes you to Heidelberg to visit the ruins of its red-walled castle towering magnificently over the city. In Strasbourg, France, you’ll be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Also, stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade.

Before the end of your European river cruise vacation, stop in Breisach, Germany, the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—an area of unrivaled natural beauty—best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock.

Itinerary

 

Day 1Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)

Welcome to Amsterdam, Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, canals, and bike paths throughout the city make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Perhaps you would like to take an optional excursion to Zaanse Schans with its traditional houses and Dutch craft workshops. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception.

NOTE:
Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

DinnerDinner

Day 2Amsterdam

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 in the city this afternoon to explore on your own. Later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 3Cologne, Germany

Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne in the afternoon. 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. 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 Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 4Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim

Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. Here, join a Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the city that reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is 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. In Rüdesheim, the quintessential Rhine Valley wine town, visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to 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 before returning to your ship for dinner.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 5Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg

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. Join your Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK through the Altstadt (Old Town) with its 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 you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. After lunch, travel to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany. 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 Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 6Strasbourg, 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. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, 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-timber 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. An optional excursion into Alsace wine country is available today. After dinner, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 7Breisach, 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 described them as black. Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. You may opt for a visit to the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 8Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

NOTE:
Departure flights should not leave Zürich Airport before 10:00am.

Breakfast Breakfast

Vacation Highlights

Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome reception

Day 2 Amsterdam: canal cruise

Day 3 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk

Day 4 Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: guided sightseeing in Koblenz; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat

Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; excursion to Heidelberg; guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat

Day 6 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; onboard woodcarving demonstration

Day 7 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a local woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum

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

  • Departures November 24 and December 8 are offered as exclusive Festive Time Cruises, including special features and visits to Christmas markets at no additional 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.

Hotels

Amsterdam

Moevenpick Amsterdam City

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.

Room Mate Aitana

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

A 284 room designer hotel recently built on the new artificial island in the IJ river and offers free Wi-Fi throughout. The hotel boasts a trendy cosmopolitan restaurant, which serves international food, the lounge bar provides a stylish setting for drinks and there is also a fitness center.

Zurich

Renaissance Zurich Tower

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

This 300 room luxury hotel is housed in a modern tower building located in the vibrant Zurich West quarter. The exclusive Grill restaurant serves urban cuisine and the lounge bar offers drinks, snacks and cocktails. Other amenities include a fitness area on the 15th floor with city views, sauna and steam bath.

Excursions


Amsterdam
Packages
Rudesheim
Strasbourg
Breisach

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Discover Zaanse Schans & the Symbols of Holland

Discover Zaanse Schans & the Symbols of Holland

Tour a working windmill, watch wooden clogs being made, and visit a cheese farm on this exciting half-day guided excursion to Zaanse Schans!

Price Range: $

Biking in Amsterdam

Biking in Amsterdam

Pedal your way past polders, dykes, and quaint, centuries-old villages on this exhilarating guided bike tour through the beautiful Dutch countryside.

Price Range: $$

Muiderslot Castle

Muiderslot Castle

From Golden Age paintings to 13th-century arms and armor, discover the wonders of Muiderslot Castle, one of Holland's most beautiful medieval castle fortresses, on this captivating half-day guided tour.

Price Range: $$

Amsterdam Culinary Walk

Amsterdam Culinary Walk

Discover Amsterdam's charming Jordaan district, and taste the authentic foods the locals know and love on this enjoyable guided foodie walking tour.

Price Range: $$

Packages

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: $$$$

Rudesheim

Rudesheim

Traditional German Dinner

Traditional German Dinner

Treat your tastebuds to a hearty 3-course Rheinisch dinner on this delightful dinner outing including German entertainment and drinks.

Price Range: $$

Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Defending France: The Maginot Line of WWII

Defending France: The Maginot Line of WWII

Explore France's awe-inspiring WWII Maginot Line, one of the greatest networks of defensive fortifications ever built, on this guided visit through the underground barracks, storehouses, and railways.

Price Range: $$

Into the Alsace Countryside with Wine Tasting

Into the Alsace Countryside with Wine Tasting

Travel along the famed Alsace Wine Route on this enchanting half-day excursion that visits a traditional medieval Alsace village and includes a cellar tasting of the local wines.

Price Range: $$

Breisach

Breisach

Storybook Colmar, the Little Venice of France

Storybook Colmar, the Little Venice of France

Discover the fusion of German and French culture on this wonderful guided tour through storybook Colmar, the 'Little Venice' of France and capital of the Alsace wine region.

Price Range: $$

Breisach on Two Wheels: Along he Hills of Kaiserstuhl

Breisach on Two Wheels: Along he Hills of Kaiserstuhl

Pedal your way through the lovely hills of the Kaiserstuhl region on this active guided bike excursion past quaint German villages, orchards, and terraced vineyards.

Price Range: $$

Dates and Prices

Find the vacation dates that work for you, click "Reserve Now" for a vacation quote. You'll be able to select the number of people traveling, add Travel Protection, and also get an air-inclusive vacation price. You'll find we offer competitive and hassle-free air-inclusive vacations where you receive free airport transfers and flights coordinated with vacation dates.

The price listed does not include your airfare, taxes or fees. Once you click "Reserve Now", you will be able to receive an air quote and a final cruise quote.



Vacation
Start
Date


Vacation
End
Date


Departure
Number


Calendar


Ship
Photos displayed represent the first ship in
the list. Visit the Ship Details tab to view
other ship photos (when applicable).
09/23/18 09/30/18 80923 Affinity Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out NOT AVAILABLE   
09/29/18 10/06/18 80929 Imagery II Sold Out Sold Out $5,298
$5,148
Reserve Now
09/30/18 10/07/18 80930 Felicity Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out Please Call
10/06/18 10/13/18 81006 Tranquility II Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out Please Call
10/07/18 10/14/18 81007 Affinity Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out Please Call
10/13/18 10/20/18 81013 Imagery II Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out NOT AVAILABLE   
10/14/18 10/21/18 81014 Felicity Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out Please Call
10/20/18 10/27/18 81020 Tranquility II Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out Please Call
10/21/18 10/28/18 81021 Affinity Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out Please Call
10/27/18 11/03/18 81027 Imagery II Sold Out $3,948 Sold Out Reserve Now
10/28/18 11/04/18 81028 Felicity Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out Please Call
11/24/18 12/01/18 81124 Tranquility II $2,499
$2,349
Sold Out Sold Out Special Interest
12/08/18 12/15/18 81208 Tranquility II Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out Please Call
Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.


Special Interest Cruises Available

Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine - 11/24/2018, 12/8/2018
Learn More


Gateway for departure is Zürich, Switzerland.

Port charges:
$168

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Extra nights per person in Amsterdam
in single room from $185 to $355, in twin room from $115 to $245

Extra nights per person in Zürich
in single room $230, in twin room $140

Prices shown include cruise in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck.

To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:

Affinity/Felicity
Category / Decks / Price
B / Sapphire Deck / $649
A / Sapphire Deck / $699
P / Royal Deck / $799
Avalon Suite / Royal Deck / $1,499

Tranquility II/Imagery II

Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo / Deck / $199
B / Sapphire Deck / $1,149
A / Sapphire Deck / $1,199
P / Royal Deck / $1,299
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $1,999

NOTE:
  • Departures November 24 and December 8 are offered as exclusive Festive Time Cruises, including special features and visits to Christmas markets at no additional 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.


2019 Vacation Information Available - View Details



Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.
View full Terms & Conditions

Important Notes

  • Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
  • A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you. View Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions.
  • The following charges are not included in the land/cruise vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; intra-vacation air, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $11.20 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $4.10 per segment, and U.S. and international arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature.
  • Additional airline-imposed fees for seat assignments may apply and are not included in your total package cost. Please refer to carrier websites for seat assignment policies and applicable pricing.

Booking your Vacation with Air
Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Early Airfare Price Guarantee locks in a price that is guaranteed not to increase. Air pricing and schedules are available approximately 330 days prior to last travel date in the itinerary. At that time the best air price will be utilized and a new invoice with the air cost and confirmed schedule will be sent. The identity of the carrier, which may include the carrier’s codeshare partner, will be assigned and disclosed at this time. If the guaranteed price is the lowest, the schedule with the lowest fare per contracted classes of service will be booked. Any voluntary change to the confirmed flights negates the guaranteed price and is subject to air pricing at the time of the change.

Guaranteed air-inclusive prices - air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional non-refundable air deposit of $300 per person is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus a non-refundable per person service fee of $30 (North/Central America), $50 (Europe/Middle East) or $80 (all other international destinations). Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.

Air-Inclusive Vacations — Applicable Taxes & Fees
Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.