Active Discovery on the Rhine - Northbound 2018

8 Day River Cruise from Frankfurt to Amsterdam

2018 Information. Switch to 2019 »

A new and exciting way to river cruise and to actively discover well-known and off-the-beaten-path treasures along the Rhine. At each stop, you choose your activity—get some exercise with an active outing, discover a fascinating but perhaps lesser-known site, or do the more traditional sightseeing activity. The choice is yours!

Your river cruise adventure begins in Mainz, Germany, near Frankfurt, and ends in Amsterdam—Holland’s lively capital. Active guests can choose to hike near Eltville, and in the idyllic landscape around Duisburg, climb up to Marksburg Castle for a guided visit and spectacular views, participate in a reenactment of Roman Games in Xanten, bike along the Rhine River, or join a running tour in Amsterdam. For those looking to discover the gems of the area, we will introduce you to the wine of the region at a tasting in Eltville, the art of chocolate making when you visit the Chocolate Museum in Cologne, and German delicacies during a culinary tour in Duisburg. You can walk the mining corridors of an ancient volcano from which basalt was extracted and visit the Zollverein Coal Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Perhaps a Roman Clothes Workshop will intrigue you, or you might like to try your hand with a paintbrush at a painting class in Amsterdam. Visit the Eberbach Monastery whose church provided the backdrop to the movie “The Name of the Rose,” join a guided walk in Cologne, take a cable car to Ehrenbreitstein Castle in Koblenz, and cruise the canals of Amsterdam.

All these activities and more are yours for the taking—and if that’s not enough—you’ll cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, attend a concert at Castle Engers, and enjoy onboard specialty dinners of the region. An unforgettable river cruise experience that offers something for everyone!


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

DAY 1 Arrive in Frankfurt, Germany. Transfer to Mainz (Embarkation): welcome to Germany; welcome reception

DAY 2 Mainz, Excursion to Eltville–Rüdesheim: choice of visit to the Eberbach Monastery, Eltville walking tour and wine tasting, or hiking in Eltville

DAY 3 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Boppard–Koblenz – Engers: free time in Rüdesheim; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; choice of visit to Marksburg Castle, walking tour of Koblenz, or join a Volcano experience; concert at Castle Engers

DAY 4 Bonn–Cologne: free time in Bonn; choice of Cologne sightseeing off the beaten track, visit the chocolate museum, or walking tour in Cologne

DAY 5 Düsseldorf–Duisburg: free time in Düsseldorf; choice of visit the Zollverein coal mine,guided hiking around Duisburg, or culinary walk in Duisburg

DAY 6 Xanten: choice of biking tour along the Rhine, participate in the Roman games at the Archaeological Park, or take part in a Roman clothes workshop

DAY 7 Amsterdam, Holland: choice of joining a painting class, jogging tour, or canal cruise

DAY 8 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends with breakfast

Meals

  • Welcome & farewell cocktails with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Farewell dinner
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck
  • Daily four-course à la carte dinner in the main dining room
  • Alternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1

(D)

Arrive in Frankfurt, Germany. Transfer to Mainz (Embarkation)

Welcome to Frankfurt, Germany’s financial capital! This afternoon, transfer by motorcoach to Mainz where the AVALON FELICITY is docked. After a mandatory safety exercise, meet your friendly crew and fellow travelers at a WELCOME RECEPTION.

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

Day 2

(B, L, D)

Mainz, Excursion to Eltville–Rüdesheim

This morning, start your day with a delicious buffet breakfast, after which an excursion takes you to nearby Eltville. Here, CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • on a visit to the EBERBACH MONASTERY, savor the simple beauty of the Monastery’s monumental Romanesque church, and discover this outstanding backdrop to the famous movie, “The Name of the Rose,” that brought the Middle Ages back to life here in this monastery, or;
  • Eltville am Rhein is picturesquely situated amid forest, vineyards, and the Rhine River and is well known as “the City of Wine, Sekt (sparkling wine), and Roses.” An ideal city for a GUIDED WALK through the historic Old Town and a TASTING of some of the local wine, or;
  • for some exercise before lunch, HIKE around on the first-class hiking trail, “Rheinsteig.” Wander through Eltville’s idyllic forest or explore the numerous scenic trails through the vineyards. This afternoon is free to relax on board, explore on your own, or perhaps join a local expert for an optional guided walk of Frankfurton- the-Main.
Before dinner, set sail for Rüdesheim, and this evening, enjoy a dinner of Rhineland specialties, such as Sauerbraten (slow-cooked beef roast marinated in wine), Reibekuchen (potato pancakes), and more.

Day 3

(B, L, D)

Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Boppard–Koblenz – Engers

Be prepared for a day of gorgeous scenery! This morning, explore Rüdesheim—a quaint, quintessential Rhine Valley wine town—on your own. Alternatively, if you are feeling active, one of our optional excursions may be just right for you. During lunch, marvel at today’s SCENIC HIGHLIGHT as you cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the water. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. This afternoon, we make a stop in Boppard, and here CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • if you don’t mind climbing steps, join an excursion to MARKSBURG, the only castle on the Middle Rhine to escape destruction or ruin. You’ll be taken through the kitchens and dining area, along the battlements overlooking the Rhine, to the bedrooms and torture room, and to the chapel. Marksburg Castle is one of the principal sites of the WORLD HERITAGE Rhine Gorge, or;
  • explore the ancient city of Koblenz on a GUIDED WALK with an expert guide. Then, take a cable car ride up to historic EHRENBREITSTEIN CASTLE and soak up the beautiful panoramic view from above the banks of the Rhine, or;
  • participate in a unique VOLCANO EXPERIENCE! A short coach transfer from your ship takes you to the “LAVA CITY” of Mendig, where basalt, cold lava, was mined. Tour this labyrinth of mining corridors which, in the early 19th century, became beer storage cellars.
Rejoin your ship and spend some free time in Koblenz late this afternoon. Standing at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, this 2,000-year-old city is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. During dinner, cruise to Engers where you dock overnight and enjoy a CONCERT performance at Castle
Engers.

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Bonn–Cologne

A leisurely start this morning as you head for Bonn, Germany’s seat of Government before the country was reunified. The morning is yours to explore on your own, or you may prefer to participate in an optional excursion. A short sail during lunchtime brings you to Cologne, one of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland. The city straddles the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Step ashore and CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • Cologne is home to unusual museums that offer a unique perspective on German history, life, and death. COLOGNE OFF THE BEATEN TRACK leaves the hubbub of well-traveled tourist attractions to explore offbeat sites, including a cemetery, and museums featuring the Olympics; tolerance; and European handicrafts. And you’ll be introduced to the Kölsch lifestyle and mindset, or;
  • chocaholics may delight at visiting the CHOCOLATE MUSEUM and learn about the role of chocolate in old South American cultures, such as the Mayas and the Aztecs, and the European elite. Visitors are taken through the process of chocolate production from the farm to the candy store, continuing through a greenhouse where two species of cacao trees are grown and then on through the industrialization of chocolate production, including vintage advertising campaigns, or;
  • for the more traditionally minded, a CITY WALK is a journey of discovery taking visitors through the area immediately surrounding the Cathedral and the narrow alleyways of the Old Town. The walk passes by the Romano-Germanic Museum with its famous Dionysus mosaic, the Town Hall, Alter Markt (the old market) and Gross St. Martin (Great St. Martin).
Your ship remains docked in Cologne until late tonight.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Düsseldorf–Duisburg

This morning, wake up in Düsseldorf where after breakfast you might like to join an optional biking tour, or visit some microbreweries to try a variety of Altbiers. Rejoin your ship for lunch and enjoy leisurely sailing to Duisburg. Located on the western edge of the Ruhr industrial area, Duisburg is renowned for its steel industry and its large inland harbor (one of the largest in the world), and is therefore an important venue for commerce. Here, CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • visit the ZOLLVEREIN COAL MINE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hundreds of coal mines produced coal in the Ruhr area, but only one has the distinction of being a World Heritage Site—with good reason: the Zollverein Coal Mine is a masterpiece of industrial architecture, or;
  • for a more active option, discover the idyllic landscapes and forests around Duisburg on a GUIDED HIKE, or;
  • the culinary spectrum of the multicultural Metropolis Ruhr is gigantic. Local cuisine, with both hearty and refined creations, spoils its customers. Join us on a CULINARY WALK and experience the real life of German Essen (food) on a behind-the-scenes look at the city.
Sail away from Duisburg in the early evening.

Day 6

(B, L, D)

Xanten

Today you are in Xanten, a historic Roman city in the German region of North Rhine Westphalia. The city is known for its archaeological park and is altogether a treasure for archaeologists as it is the only Roman town north of the Alps which has not been built over since the collapse of the Roman Empire. This afternoon, CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • you are invited to participate in the ROMAN GAMES at the Archaeological Park, where you will get first-hand experience of life during the Roman Empire, or;
  • take part in a ROMAN CLOTHES WORKSHOP. The course provides an opportunity to dress up in genuine Roman attire—even in antiquity it was said, “You are what you wear!” or;
  • enjoy a BIKE TOUR along the Rhine.
This evening, prepare for a special GALA FAREWELL DINNER featuring dishes that were similar to those served in Roman times.

Day 7

(B, L, D)

Amsterdam, Holland

Holland’s vibrant and sophisticated capital has a rich 700-year history and a distinct ambiance, where there is always a plethora of things to see and do. After breakfast this morning, CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • discover your inner artist by joining a PAINTING CLASS to discover some of the secrets of famous names like Van Gogh, Rembrandt, or Warhol! A warm welcome with coffee, tea, and petit fours sets the tone for this interesting and artistic workshop which is sure to inspire your creativity. Get to work like Van Gogh or paint a selfportrait like Rembrandt! Of course, your work of art is yours to take home with you, or;
  • perhaps a more active choice is more appealing: a JOGGING TOUR in Amsterdam is a great way to explore a city! Enjoy the beauty of Amsterdam while burning off a few calories! No need to worry about the pace—we’ll take it easy with regular stops at the major sights. The distance is about 7.5 Kms (4.6 miles) and a “running commentary” is provided by experienced joggers, all native “Amsterdammers”, or;
  • take a traditional tour of the city’s grachten on a CANAL CRUISE. Besides providing a stunning backdrop to the city’s historical center, floating down Amsterdam’s canals is one of the most memorable ways to discover the city’s sights and attractions. After the canal cruise, explore some of the off-the-beaten-track parts of the city with your expert guide. Return to your ship for an excellent buffet lunch and then decide how to spend your afternoon. Perhaps you wish to venture out and explore more of the city on your own (but look out for the bicycles!), or stay busy by joining one of our optional excursions, such as biking in the Dutch countryside?
Your last dinner on board reminds you that you are in Holland and introduces you to some Dutch specialties.

Day 8

(B)

Amsterdam (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning!

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.

Ship Details

Felicity

Felicity

Enjoy cruising along Europe's celebrated rivers aboard this magnificent ship. Accommodating only 138 passengers, the Avalon Felicity offers the intimate feeling of a small ship while providing the spaciousness passengers have come to expect from the Avalon fleet. The roomy and well-appointed staterooms feature a minimum of 172 square feet of space and are the largest of the European rivers today. All staterooms and suites include a well-stocked minibar, spacious closet, flatscreen satellite TV and radio, Comfort Collection Beds, and a large private bathroom complete with a full shower, hairdryer, and premium bath amenities. For the more active guests, desirable onboard amenities include a Fitness Center and Sky Deck complete with whirlpool. Complimentary computer use in public areas and Wi-Fi access allow passengers to share their experience with friends and family at home. See ship details below and view all Avalon Felicity Europe river cruises.

Included Amenities

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Non-smoking staterooms & ship interior
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Expert Local Guides
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Lounges and upscale bar serving premium spirits
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Breisach
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
  • Onshore & Onboard experiences with regional customs, cultures & tastings with local artisans, experts & entertainers
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit, and cookies available throughout the day
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, shade awnings, & outdoor deck game area
  • Convenient Elevator Service
  • Outside viewing deck
  • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
  • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, Nordic walking sticks, watercraft & maps
  • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and board games
  • Full-size closet mirror

Staterooms & Suites

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. 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
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. A, B, P) - 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
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass door with French Balcony
  • Writing desk and chair
Avalon Suite - 258 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
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass door with French Balcony
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Frankfurt
Amsterdam

 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)


Mainz
Packages
Rudesheim
Bonn
Dusseldorf
Amsterdam

Mainz

Mainz walking tour

Mainz walking tour

The Mainz walking tours lead to the sites of famous monument builders, follow the traces of well-known figures, and will fascinate you with unusual views of the city. The highlight of the walking tour is the visit of the Gutenberg Museum. Four thousand years of the history of the culture of writing from all over the world meet within the Gutenberg Museum. About 550 years ago Johannes Gutenberg invented printing with type made using a casting device and a printing press, thus revolutionizing the world. How that was done can be experienced in the Gutenberg Museum - for example in his reconstructed workshop. With a large number of typographic implements, old presses and typesetting machines, the history of letterpress printing comes to life. At the center of attention are two copies of the world-famous 42-line Gutenberg Bible which are on show in the strong-room

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: $$$$

Rudesheim

Biking along the Rhine

Biking along the Rhine

Enjoy a pleasant biking in the lovely city of Rüdesheim.

Price Range: $$

The Life of Hildegard of Bingen Walking Tour

The Life of Hildegard of Bingen Walking Tour

Follow in the footsteps of Hildegard of Bingen, one of the most important women in the Middle Ages. Born in 1098 in the area surrounding Bingen, Hildegard experienced religious visions starting at the age of 3, and went on to become a Benedictine Abbess, scientific and medical writer, composer, and philosopher, and more. In 2012, she was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI and elevated to the status of a Doctor of the Church. This captivating guided excursion visits the sites that played a role during the life of this incredible figure, known as the Sibyl of the Rhine. Meet your expert guide and begin with a stroll along the river to the Museum am Strom with its fascinating displays that include a model of the Hildegard cloister and graphic reproductions that vividly depict Hildegard's work. Spend time in the museum's Hildegarten, featuring some of the many herbs, shrubs, and trees she identified as medicinal in her nature studies. On to the ruins of the Hildegard cloister, which was destroyed during the Thirty Years' War. Only a few arches from the church nave have been preserved, but the history projector helps visitors envision what the cloister and surrounding area once looked like. A final stop at the late-neogothic Basilica of St. Martin with its Romanesque crypt, where the relics of St. Hildegard may have been placed during the 13th century.

Price Range: $

Bonn

Bonn Quiz Tour

Bonn Quiz Tour

Game and trivia enthusiasts will love this unique approach to guided sightseeing. Just form your team and answer your expert guide's questions to move from site to site. As the tour proceeds, you'll see a lot, learn a lot, and may even emerge the Bonn Quiz champion!

Price Range: $

Dusseldorf

Rhine Tower Ascent with Sparkling Wine

Rhine Tower Ascent with Sparkling Wine

Discover Media Hafen, Düsseldorf's vibrantly redeveloped dock area, where you'll ascend the city's tallest building for magnificent views and a glass of delicious sparkling wine.

Price Range: $$

Altbier Tour

Altbier Tour

Join an expert guide for a tour and tasting of Düsseldorf-s world-famous Altbiers! Learn all about these historic top-fermented beers, including what gives them their dark copper color and crisp, fruity taste. Prost!

Price Range: $

Düsseldorf on Two Wheels: City Center

Düsseldorf on Two Wheels: City Center

Discover Düsseldorf from the saddle of a bike on this invigorating 2-hour guided bike tour that shows off all the city's major highlights.

Price Range: $$

Amsterdam

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: $$

Kayak Tour of Amsterdam

Kayak Tour of Amsterdam

Get a unique perspective of Amsterdam as you traverse the city's canals by kayak! Whether you're a hard-core kayaking enthusiast or a newcomer to the activity, this fun and active guided excursion is perfect for kayaking enthusiasts and newcomers alike!

Price Range: $$

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