Active & Discovery on the Rhine (Southbound) 2020

8 Day River Cruise Amsterdam to Mainz

2020 Information. Switch to 2019 »

Explore the Rhine River from a unique perspective on Avalon Active & Discovery river cruise. With Avalon Choice, you’ll enjoy a wide variety of included excursions to match your interests and pace. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an art lover, you’ll find the inclusions that speak to you! Your Rhine River cruise begins in Amsterdam for a day full of activities. See the colourful corners of Amsterdam your way—from a canal cruise to a leisurely biking tour, or a guided jogging tour of the city—all at an easy pace! You might choose an included painting class, instead, to recreate the masterpieces of Dutch artists. With Avalon Choice inclusions, you choose how to discover fascinating sites on your Rhine River cruise.

Visit the Chocolate Museum in Cologne, take a guided “bites and highlights” tour in Düsseldorf, and taste regional wines in Eltville. In Koblenz, take a cable car ride up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress for magnificent views of the surrounding area. Onboard, you’ll pass through the magnificent Rhine Gorge and enjoy specialty dishes while cruising. Join us for a Rhine River cruise like no other, with more included selections for every taste, passion, and pace. Avalon Choice on Active & Discovery river cruises gives you the Active, Discovery, and Classic inclusions to see each destination your way!


Dates & Prices Get a Quote Book Online

Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation):Onboard welcome receptionDay 2 Amsterdam:Choice of painting class, or jogging tour, or biking tour or canal cruiseDay 3 Arnhem—Nijmegen:Choice of hike in the National Park, or biking tour, or guided sightseeing of Arnhem, or guided tour of Arnhem’s Kröller-Müller Museum; free time in NijmegenDay 4 Düsseldorf:Choice of guided city sightseeing, or biking tour, or culinary tour, or visit of Benrath PalaceDay 5 Cologne:Choice of jogging tour, or Cologne sightseeing “off the beaten track”, or visit the chocolate museum, or Cologne highlights walking tourDay 6 Koblenz—Rhine Gorge—Rüdesheim:Choice of visit to Marksburg Castle, or Ehrenbreitstein Fortress with cable car ride; or Volcano Tour experience with a visit to the monastery at “Maria Laach”; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; free time in RüdesheimDay 7 Mainz:Choice of visit to the Eberbach Monastery, or Eltville guided tour with wine tasting, or nature walk in EltvilleDay 8 Mainz (Disembarkation):Your cruise ends this morning

Always Included

You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind—offering expansive views and wider perspectives. That's why we've designed a cruise experience that's just a bit different.

Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships. See the Ship Amenities Section below for more information about the amenities in our fleet’s unique ships.

Throughout the Ship
Suites & Staterooms
Health & Fitness
Dining

Throughout the Ship:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Panoramic windows
  • Elegant, contemporary design & decor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Sky Deck with whirlpool, shade awnings, game area and premium lounges
  • Covered Observation Lounge
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour self-serve beverage station with complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, as well as treats throughout the day

Suites & Staterooms:

  • Comfort Collection BedsSM with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with free movie channels
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • Complimentary bottled water daily
  • And, much more.

Health & Fitness:

  • Bikes
  • Canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
  • Maps for hiking, biking and jogging routes
  • Fitness and wellness activities
  • Fitbits®
  • All through your Avalon Adventure HostSM

Dining

  • FlexDiningSM for more venue and seating options, including flexible seating times in our Panorama Dining Room
  • Avalon FreshSM healthy cuisine options at every meal
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with every lunch and dinner
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast options
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch or Sky Grill on the Sky Deck (weather permitting)
  • Daily Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, sweet treats & sandwiches
  • Daily four-course a la carte dinner in the Panorama Dining Room with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. Includes selections of regional recipes, Western dishes and vegetarian options.
  • Alternative Panorama Bistro dinner, featuring regional specialties and small plates
  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions and dinners with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Panorama Lounge featuring premium spirits and Avalon specialty cocktails, along with local entertainment special guests
  • Cocktails available on the Sky Deck
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are 3 types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic
Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.
Discovery
We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.
Active
Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.
  • Plus independent exploration options and use of our exclusive AvalonGO APP.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

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

Day 1

(D)

AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND (EMBARKATION)

How Suite It Is! Welcome Aboard Your Avalon Suite Ship®.

Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 3:30 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Your day in Amsterdam is free to explore at your leisure the colorful cafés, galleries, bridges, and canals.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM

Day 2

(B, L, D)

AMSTERDAM

Colorful Canals of Amsterdam

Active
ACTIVE See the sights of Amsterdam from a unique perspective by joining our Guided Jogging Tour of the city—all at an easy pace with stops for commentary, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Attend a Painting Class and be inspired by the masters’ techniques. Paint your own canvas and discover your inner artist. An orientation walk will complete your experience, OR:
Active
ACTIVE Join a Biking Tour through the Dutch countryside past polders, dykes, and quaint centuries-old villages, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Canal Cruise to explore the iconic waterways and sites of Amsterdam.

This afternoon you might take an Optional Kayaking Excursion. Alternatively take an Optional Guided Excursion to Holland’s beautiful medieval Muiderslot Castle.

Spend free time strolling at leisure through the galleries and cafés of Amsterdam.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ARNHEM

Day 3

(B, L, D)

ARNHEM

Wildlife, WWII Valor, and Van Gogh

Active
ACTIVE Go on a hike in the Hoge Veluwe National Park with a Nature Expert and discover its abundance of wildlife, including deers, wild boars and mouflons, OR:
Active
ACTIVE Biking Join a Biking Tour on the Hoge Veluwe National Park and admire its diversity of scenery, from dense forests to high sand dune, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Join a Guided Sightseeing of Arnhem past impressive monuments and places of remembrance, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of Arnhem’s Kröller-Müller Museum with the world’s second largest Van Gogh collection.
NIJMEGEN

Delicious Dutch Specialties and Famous Mills You may join a Guided Optional Excursion to the Windmill of Thorn or an Optional Cooking Workshop.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DÜSSELDORF

Day 4

(B, L, D)

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY

Avant-Garde Architecture and Amazing Altbiers

Active
ACTIVE Enjoy a stroll in the beautiful gardens in the Park of Benrath Palace and admire the furniture, porcelain and paintings of the main palace, OR:
Active
ACTIVE Join a City Biking Tour to discover interesting stories about the sights and the city itself along the way, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Experience Düsseldorf’s Old Town and get an insight into its culinary diversity, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour of Düsseldorf. Visit the Old Town, but also discover its spectacular subway line, where each station has an individual magic character.

This afternoon you might take a Guided Optional Excursion to Düsseldorf’s microbreweries to try a variety of Altbiers.

Later enjoy live entertainment on board.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO COLOGNE

Day 5

(B, L, D)

COLOGNE

Prost! Celebrate in the Rhineland

Active
ACTIVE For a unique view of Cologne’s history and beauty, join us on a Jogging Tour of the city, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Join an off-the-beaten-path Guided Tour to discover the quaint Belgian Quarter of Cologne, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Visit Cologne’s Chocolate Museum and learn the process of chocolate production and ancient history of this food of the gods, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Take a leisurely Guided City Walk of Cologne for a view of her must-see sights, including the Old City and its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral.

Enjoy a leisurely cruise to Engers this evening while having dinner on board.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ENGERS

Day 6

(B, L, D)

KOBLENZ—RHINE GORGE

Fortress Walls and Manor Halls Where the Rhine and Moselle Meet

Active
ACTIVE Take a Guided Tour of Marksburg Castle, visit its battlements overlooking the Rhine, and take a scenic walk down the surrounding hillside back to your ship, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY For a unique experience, join us on an excursion to the “Lava City” of Mendig for a Volcano Encounter, including exploring the caverns and corridors where basalt (cold lava) was mined, as well as a visit to the nearby Monastery at “Maria Laach”, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Enjoy a leisurely Guided Walk of ancient Koblenz, including a cable car ride to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress for a spectacular panoramic view.

Enjoy lunch on board and the breathtaking beauty of the Rhine Gorge as you cruise on your way to Rüdesheim, where you will have time to discover this picturesque village.

In the evening enjoy dinner on board while cruising to Bingen.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BINGEN

Day 7

(B, L, D)

MAINZ

Forests and Famous Vineyards

Enjoy an early morning sail to Mainz before breakfast.

Active
ACTIVE For some exercise before lunch, join a Guided Nature Walk along one of the Rheinsteig walking trails through Eltville’s idyllic forests and vineyards, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Join a Guided Walk through the historic Old Town of Eltville am Rhein—well known as the City of Wine— with a Wine Tasting included, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Discover the romanesque beauty of Eberbach Monastery, the location of almost all the interior scenes of the film version of Umberto Eco’s dark medieval murder mystery “The Name of the Rose.”
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MAINZ

Day 8

(B)

MAINZ (DISEMBARKATION)

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Ship Details

Expression

Expression

Part of Avalon's cutting-edge fleet of Suite Ships®, the Avalon Expression came onto the European river cruising scene with a bang. This gorgeous ship features two full decks of Panorama SuitesSM with Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air BalconySM. Awake in your Comfort Collection window-facing bed each morning with seamless river views that become part of your living space. With 200 square feet, Panorama SuitesSM are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, delivering incomparable views of Europe¿s most stunning landscapes. Onboard amenities include an alternative light dining option in the Panorama Bistro, an expanded fitness center, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, and light al fresco lunches at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck.

Included Amenities


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
  • USB Ports
  • 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
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
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
  • 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
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • 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
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 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
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
  • 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
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Amsterdam
Frankfurt

 Optional Excursions

No matter what you’re into: food, wine, history, art, music or anything else, we give you the freedom to personalize your vacation with optional excursions that speak to your interests.

When you book your excursions with us, you can be assured that every optional excursion that we offer coordinates with the free time that you'll have in your destination, so you'll never have conflicts between included and optional activities. Our team of travel experts carefully selects each optional excursion that we offer to ensure that you receive the highest quality at a great value. Our tried-and-true partners have a finger on the pulse of the city in which they operate so they deliver the very best experiences. We offer experiences you cannot create on your own and because you’re booking with us, we coordinate all your transportation and timing needs.

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). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyAvalon site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

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


Amsterdam
Nijmegen
Dusseldorf
Mainz
Packages

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: $

Exclusive Kayak Adventure Through the Canals of Amsterdam

Exclusive Kayak Adventure Through the Canals of Amsterdam

Get a unique perspective of Amsterdam as you traverse the city's canals by kayak! Whether you're a hard-core kayaker or a newcomer to the activity, this fun guided excursion is perfect for anyone seeking an active adventure in the city.

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: $$

Biking in Amsterdam

Biking in Amsterdam

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

Price Range: $$

Nijmegen

Forgotten Foods Cooking Workshop

Forgotten Foods Cooking Workshop

Ever heard of verius, garum, or asafoetida? This unique cooking workshop will introduce you to long-forgotten dishes and ingredients from the ancient past. Step into one of Nijmegen¿s oldest buildings, the Commanderie, which dates back to 1196, and hear how experts uncovered details about historical foods and drinks from ancient European manuscripts, frescoes, and mosaics. Learn about obscure vegetables, herbs, fruits, and spices from the Roman Empire, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Golden Age, and discover how the combinations of sweet & savory, sweet & sour, and sweet & salty go clear back to Roman times . Then, roll up your sleeves and create some of the dishes you learned about, and enjoy the delectable fruits of your labor afterward!

Price Range: $$

WWII Operation Market Garden Liberation Museum & Jeep Safari

WWII Operation Market Garden Liberation Museum & Jeep Safari

Immerse yourself in the sites and events of September 1944 and Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation in history-an effort by the Allies that liberated the Netherlands from Nazi occupation. This gripping guided excursion takes you to Groesbeek, where a first stop at a military cemetery sets the somber stage for the day. Also visit the National Liberation Museum 1944-1945, which focuses on democracy, freedom, and human rights, and brings to life the historical events and incredible acts of heroism by the American, British, Canadian, and Polish troops. Wander among the interactive exhibits; watch original films; see what life was like before the war and under Nazi occupation; and celebrate the against-all-odds liberation. You will also have the chance to hop aboard an authentic war-era military vehicle to learn how Groesbeek was almost completely destroyed during the war, and to see the landing and drop zones, and even a replica of a glider used during the operation!

Price Range: $$

Into the Dutch Countryside: Windmill & Farm Visits with Carriage Ride

Into the Dutch Countryside: Windmill & Farm Visits with Carriage Ride

Visit a windmill and fruit farm, and enjoy a carriage ride on this unique excursion into the Dutch countryside. Your adventure begins at a family-run farm where fruit and flowers are grown. Meet members of the family, and help pick some fruit--a truly memorable experience! Then, visit a last-of-its-kind windmill that has been grinding flour since the 15th century. Meet the miller, and hear all about the mill's unusual location on the border of three polders, and its turbulent past through dike breaches and WWII conflicts. Finally, hop aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a relaxing ride through the Ooijpolder nature reserve. Be sure to watch for resident herons, storks, and birds of prey, as well as wild horses along the riverbanks.

Price Range: $$

Dusseldorf

The Art of Coffee Workshop

The Art of Coffee Workshop

From hand-filtering and cold-brewing to mixology and tastings, learn the art and science behind the perfect cup of coffee during a fun, informative, and interactive coffee workshop in Düsseldorf¿s atmospheric Old Town.

Price Range: $$

Düsseldorf Altbier Discovery Tour

Düsseldorf Altbier Discovery Tour

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: $

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: $$

Mainz

Mainz & its Gutenberg Museum

Mainz & its Gutenberg Museum

Discover 2,000 years of history in Mainz, founded by the Romans, occupied by Napoleon, and rich with cultural heritage. Enjoy a guided walk through the Old Town, then visit the Gutenberg Museum to learn about Johannes Gutenberg's printing press, and to see the famed 15th-century Gutenberg Bible.

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: $$$$