Christmas in the Heart of Germany – Westbound 2018

8 Day River Cruise from Prague to Wiesbaden

2018 Information. Switch to 2019 »

This Christmastime river cruise begins in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, and one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Set on the banks of the Vltava River, you will be immersed in holiday spirit as you explore the famous Christmas markets with rows of brightly decorated wooden huts that sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Stand in front of the medieval Astronomical Clock, which amazes as an intricate art piece and visualization of time unlike anything else in the world—and don’t miss the beautifully decorated tree in Old Town.

Board your ship in Nuremberg, the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Guided sightseeing shows you its historical treasures, as well as Old Town, illuminated with holiday lights and decorations. There’s plenty of time to visit the Christmas market, one of the most famous in Germany. And be sure to savor some traditional lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), a specialty of Nuremberg. Next stop is delightful Bamberg, where nativity scenes built by local citizens are exhibited throughout town. Learn about Christmas traditions as you cruise to charming Würzburg, known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” and surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. Walk through the halls of the ornate Bishop’s Residenz—home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Learn how to bake a traditional cookie before arriving at one of the charming small towns with half-timbered houses and narrow streets that are dotted along the Main River. Take a guided walk of one of these picturesque Bavarian villages—sure to be even more appealing lit up with festive lights and decorations.

As this unforgettable Europe river cruise ends in Wiesbaden, you will never forget the historical treasures of Germany and magnificent Prague perfectly paired with the sights, sounds, and tastes of the joyous holiday season..


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Days 1-2 Prague: guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit Hradčany Castle grounds on Day 2; Christmas markets

Day 3 Prague–Nuremberg, Germany (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day4 Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour, Christmas market

Day 5 Bamberg: guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall; onboard lecture; Christmas market

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

Day 7 Miltenberg: onboard culinary demonstration, guided walk

Day 8 Wiesbaden: your vacation ends this morning.

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

Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic

Welcome to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. This fascinating city straddles the Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires, and pinnacles highlighting its skyline.

Day 2

(B)

Prague

Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time. See its best-known treasures, such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; HRADČANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. Browse the Christmas markets, where rows of brightly decorated wooden huts sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Get a little inner warmth with a cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine) and a traditional hot sausage. The beautifully decorated tree in the Old Town is an impressive sight.

Day 3

(B, D)

Prague–Nuremberg, Germany (Embarkation)

After lunch, drive to Nuremberg to embark your cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew for a welcome reception.

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Nuremberg

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. Choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations, and the Christmas market is one of the most famous in the world. You’ll find 200 stalls offering traditional wares, including Nuremberg Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), baked goods and sweets, Christmas decorations, ornaments, and more. After your free time at the Christmas Market, a shuttle bus service will be at your disposal to take you back to the ship.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Bamberg

In the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, especially interesting are the nativity scenes built by local residents and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you’ll find many regional delicacies, like gingerbread and nut bread. Rejoin your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Würzburg, and attend a fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about European Christmas traditions.

Day 6

(B, L, D)

Würzburg

Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The city makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (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...maybe visit the Christmas markets or join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg where you will have the opportunity to visit the Christmas Museum. Be sure to try a Schneeball (snowball), a local specialty not at all suitable for a diet!

Day 7

(B, L, D)

Miltenberg

A CULINARY DEMONSTRATION will be delivered before lunch and before your arrival in Miltenberg. Tucked away behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates, the picturesque Bavarian village of Miltenberg is a cultural gem on the banks of the Main River. This afternoon’s GUIDED WALK will acquaint you with the town’s delightful Marktplatz (market square), which centers around a Renaissance-era fountain and features striking half-timbered buildings, cobblestone lanes, and one of the oldest inns in Germany, Haus zum Riesen (the giant’s house) and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall. There’s free time to explore before you depart for Wiesbaden before dinner.

Day 8

(B)

Wiesbaden (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

NOTE:
Flights out of Frankfurt should not leave before 10 am. Gateway city for departure is Frankfurt, Germany.

Notes

  • Christmas Markets are open from the first weekend of December, depending on the location.
  • 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.
  • Special features and day of operation are subject to change.
  • 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 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. With 200 square feet, Panorama SuitesSM are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording you the incomparable opportunity to wake each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. 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

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • Convenient Elevator Service
  • Outside viewing deck
  • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
  • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • 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
  • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • Complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit, and cookies available throughout the day
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, shade awnings, & outdoor deck game area
  • 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
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Durnstein
  • Light lunch & casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • 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
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and board games
  • 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
  • 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

Prague
Frankfurt

 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)


Prague
Packages
Wurzburg

Prague

Wonders & Wines of Castle Melník

Wonders & Wines of Castle Melník

Travel into the Bohemian wine country for an engaging guided visit of medieval Castle Melník and a tasting of the locally produced wines!

Price Range: $$

Terezin Concentration Camp Visit

Terezin Concentration Camp Visit

Prepare for a moving encounter with Terezin, a magnificent 18th-century Austrian fortress with a terrible past. This guided excursion reveals the tragic suffering that took place under the brutal Nazi regime at what became the Terezín Concentration Camp.

Price Range: $$

Czech Dinner

Czech Dinner

A typical Czech meal in a famous wine restaurant to experience the real Prague atmosphere.

Price Range: $$

Discover Prague's Hidden Treasures

Discover Prague's Hidden Treasures

Walk with an expert guide around Prague's Charles Bridge and ancient Malá Strana district on the Left Bank of the Vltava River to discover the city's tucked-away treasures.

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: $$$$

Wurzburg

Discover Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Discover Rothenburg ob der Tauber

The Jewel of the Middle Ages awaits your discovery on this half-day guided excursion to fairytale Rothenburg ob der Tauber on Germany's famed Romantic Road.

Price Range: $$

Similar Cruises

6 Day River Cruise from Nuremberg to Wiesbaden

Starting at: $1,849

per person without air*

Cruise Details

8 Day River Cruise from Frankfurt to Prague

Starting at: $2,169

per person without air*

Cruise Details