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Festive Season on the Romantic Rhine ea

Festive Season on the Romantic Rhine

8 Day River Cruise Amsterdam to Basel

Vacation overview

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this special winter voyage along the Rhine River across Germany, and touching in Holland, France, and Switzerland! This magnificent festive season Rhine river cruise begins in Amsterdam, Holland, with a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.”

Cruise to the 2,000-year-old city of Cologne, Germany. Try a locally brewed Kölsch beer, marvel at the amazing gothic architecture, and stroll the Christkindlesmarkt for mementos, confections, and hot drinks. You’ll sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge on your way to Rüdesheim where you’ll be enchanted by the festive Christmas market glow. Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum for extra holiday cheer. In Mainz, enjoy the remarkable Gutenberg Museum and lovely holiday markets. Join an excursion to Heidelberg Castle, home to the Great Vat (the world’s largest barrel of wine)!

In Strasbourg, France, see the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals, and the city’s astronomical clock, as well as Strasbourg’s famous Christmas market—one of the oldest and finest in Europe. You’ll sail to the gateway of the beautiful Black Forest in Breisach, Germany, and experience the magical charm, festive lights, and traditional décor of each destination’s shining Christmas markets.

At every stop, you’ll experience the magical charm of this time of year, with the towns decked out in festive lights and décor, and the Christmas markets waiting to be explored.

Budapest
WAZ-T1 Map

Itinerary

 

Day 1   AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND (EMBARKATION)

Welcome to Holland! Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 3:30 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

With a free day to explore before your cruise, take time to enjoy the warmth and glow of Christmas tradition or join a Guided Optional Excursion to Zaanse Schans to see historic windmills and charming Dutch houses.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM

Day 2   AMSTERDAM

Colorful Amsterdam —with Canals, Crooked Houses, and Cuisine of a Golden Age

CLASSIC Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.”

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO COLOGNE

Day 3   COLOGNE, GERMANY

Prost! Celebrate in the Rhineland’s Capital City

CLASSIC Take a Guided City Walk of Cologne—with its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral.

Spend free time enjoying the festive, warm glow of Cologne’s Christmas markets. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO RÜDESHEIM

Day 4   RHINE GORGE—RÜDESHEIM

Eat, Drink and be Merry in Wine Country

Sail through the Rhine Gorge to Rüdesheim, past the legendary rock of The Lorelei–where the siren of mythology sang songs to lure ill-fated sailors.

DISCOVERY Take a Guided Tour of the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for one-of-a-kind instrumental experience.

DISCOVERY Based on your departure date, enjoy either a Coffee Tasting or a Wine Tasting.

Don’t miss the tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of sparkling winter wonderlands in the city. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN RÜDESHEIM

Day 5   MAINZ. EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG

Printing Halls, Castle Walls, and the World’s Biggest Barrel of wine

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided City Walk, including a visit to the Gutenberg Museum to see the captivating history of printing.

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Tour to Heidelberg Castle to see the ruins of the magnificent renaissance treasure towering above the city, and its famed Great Vat, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.”

In your free time visit the local Christmas market: explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sound.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO STRASBOURG

Day 6   STRASBOURG, FRANCE

Gothic Giants, Military Marvels, and Varietal Vintages

CLASSIC Join a City Sightseeing Tour, including Strasbourg’s gothic, stained-glass cathedral with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petit France District.

Savor the warmth and glow of Christmas tradition by spending your free time wandering the French winter markets of Strasbourg. Take in the lights, music, and the pleasures of the season.

You may also choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit Alsace’s wine country today.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BREISACH

Day 7   BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO THE BLACK FOREST

History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest

CLASSIC Visit the charming village of Colmar on a Guided Tour of its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings; enjoy the warmth and glow of the Christmas season, OR:

DISCOVERY Join a full-day Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience local traditions and the vibrant Christmas mood.

Follow your visit to Colmar with a free afternoon in Breisach for shopping and taking a break in one of the many cozy cafés.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BASEL

Day 8   BASEL, SWITZERLAND (DISEMBARKATION)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Flights should not leave Zürich airport before 10 am.

Vacation Highlights

Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome reception on board

Day 2 Amsterdam: canal cruise

Day 3 Cologne: guided city walk; Christmas market

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

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; Christmas market

Day 6 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market

Day 7 Breisach: choice of Black Forest Excursion, or guided tour in Colmar; Christmas market

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

  • 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.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Christmas markets are open from the first weekend in December, depending on the location.

Excursions


Amsterdam
Strasbourg
Packages

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Zaanse Schans & the Symbols of Holland

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: $

Bites & Highlights: Jordaan Foodie Walking Tour

Bites & Highlights: Jordaan Foodie Walking Tour

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: $$

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: $$

Strasbourg

Strasbourg

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: $$

Strasbourg: Bites & Highlights

Strasbourg: Bites & Highlights

Discover the Alsatian cuisine and traditions, so influenced by the unique history of a region, whose control alternated between Germany and France for centuries.

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: $$$$


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.

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