Festive Season on the Romantic Rhine 2019

8 Day River Cruise Basel to Amsterdam

2019 Information

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this winter wonderland journey along the Rhine River, which starts in Switzerland with stops in France, Germany, and Holland! Each town is festively lit and decorated and strains of Christmas carols fill the air.

Board your vessel in Basel, Switzerland, then head for Breisach, Germany, the gateway to the Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. Here’s your first chance to explore a Christmas market offering many traditional items. Continue your river cruise to Strasbourg, France, where you’ll visit the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe and its centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, towering magnificently over the city, and watch the skaters on the ice rink below. Stop in Mainz for a guided walk and visit the captivating Gutenberg Museum.

Next up is the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, and unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. You’re sure to be enthralled by the life-size figures of Europe’s largest nativity scene on the Market Square. Pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge before arriving in Cologne—your last stop in Germany. Here, you’ll explore the 2,000-year-old city known for its gothic architecture and famous twin-spired cathedral. Wander through the Christmas market, try some traditional Lebkuchen and get some inner warmth with a cup of Glühwein.

As an exclamation point to this wonderful Rhine river cruise, you’ll spend time in Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam. 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.”


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Basel (Embarkation):Onboard welcome reception
Day 2 Breisach:Choice of Black Forest Excursion, or guided tour in Colmar; Christmas market
Day 3 Strasbourg:Guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market
Day 4 Excursion to Heidelberg. Mainz:Excursion to Heidelberg, guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat; guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; Christmas market
Day 5 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge: Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat; Christmas market; cruise through the Rhine Gorge
Day 6 Cologne:Guided city walk; Christmas market
Day 7 Amsterdam:Canal cruise
Day 8 Amsterdam (Disembarkation):Your vacation 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
  • USB Ports
  • 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

  • FlexDining® for more venue and seating options, including flexible seating times in our main Dining Room
  • Avalon Fresh® 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 main Dining Room with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. Includes selections of regional recipes, Western dishes and vegetarian options.
  • Enjoy a tasting menu with a view in the Panorama Bistro - a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere while mingling over several satisfying selections
  • 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)

BASEL, SWITZERLAND (EMBARKATION)

Welcome to Switzerland! Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding

Flights into Zürich must arrive by 3 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.

EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH

Day 2

(B, L, D)

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 cozies cafés.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO STRASBOURG

Day 3

(B, L, D)

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.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO LUDWIGSHAFEN

Day 4

(B, L, D)

EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG, GERMANY. MAINZ

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

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

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

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MAINZ

Day 5

(B, L, D)

RÜDESHEIM–RHINE GORGE–KOBLENZ

Eat, Drink and be Merry in Wine Country

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.

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.

Don’t miss the tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of sparkling winter wonderlands in Koblenz.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO COLOGNE

Day 6

(B, L, D)

COLOGNE

Prost! Celebrate in the Rhineland’s Capital City

Classic
Take a Guided City Walk of Cologne—with its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral, OR:

Spend free time enjoying the festive, warm glow of Cologne’s Christmas markets.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AMSTERDAM

Day 7

(B, L, D)

AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND

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.”

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 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.
  • 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.

Ship Details

Panorama
Vista

Panorama

A unique Suite Ship®, the Avalon Panorama was the first of its kind in the industry with two full decks of suites featuring a Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window that transforms the living space into a unique Open-Air BalconySM. As you cruise along Europe's finest rivers, enjoy the fresh breeze and enchanting scenery from the comfort of your suite. With 200 square feet, the Panorama SuiteSM is more than 30% larger than the industry standard, and it gives you the unparalleled opportunity to wake up each morning facing the magnificent passing scenery. Exciting onboard amenities include complimentary computer use in public areas and Wi-Fi access, a well-stocked library, a Fitness Center, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, shade system, whirlpool, and delightful Sky Bistro. There's no better way to cruise in Europe than in the spacious comfort offered on the Avalon Panorama.

Included Amenities

Avalon Suite Fleet

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship
  • Panoramic windows throughout the ship
  • 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
  • Elevator
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms

Fitness & Wellness

  • Fitness Center
  • Avalon Adventure Center
    Your place for active gear and excursions, including
    • Bikes
    • Canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
    • Maps for hiking, biking and jogging routes
    • Fitness and wellness activities
    • FitBits®
    All through your Avalon Adventure HostSM
  • Active shore excursions, both included and optional

Avalon Panorama Suites & Staterooms

  • Open-Air BalconiesSM and Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows in all Panorama Suites
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products & hairdryer
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Wide selection of free movie channels and English-speaking TV
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • Full-size closet and mirror
  • Additional under-bed storage
  • Complimentary bottled water daily

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
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
  • 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
  • USB Ports
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
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
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
  • 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
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
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
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
  • 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
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
DECK PLANS

Vista

The Avalon Vista's two full decks of suites feature Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air BalconySM. Enjoy fresh breezes and enchanting scenery from the comfort of your suite. 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 a Fitness Center,complimentary computer use in public areas and Wi-Fi access, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, shade system, whirlpool, and the delightful Sky Bistro.

Included Amenities

Avalon Suite Fleet

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship
  • Panoramic windows throughout the ship
  • 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
  • Elevator
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms

Fitness & Wellness

  • Fitness Center
  • Avalon Adventure Center
    Your place for active gear and excursions, including
    • Bikes
    • Canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
    • Maps for hiking, biking and jogging routes
    • Fitness and wellness activities
    • FitBits®
    All through your Avalon Adventure HostSM
  • Active shore excursions, both included and optional

Avalon Panorama Suites & Staterooms

  • Open-Air BalconiesSM and Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows in all Panorama Suites
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products & hairdryer
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Wide selection of free movie channels and English-speaking TV
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • Full-size closet and mirror
  • Additional under-bed storage
  • Complimentary bottled water daily

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

Zurich
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). 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)


Zurich
Breisach
Packages
Strasbourg
Amsterdam

Zurich

Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus

Grab your camera and prepare for indescribable panoramic views on this thrilling ascent up Mount Pilatus.

Price Range: $$

Rhine Falls Visit

Rhine Falls Visit

Come face to face with Europe's largest waterfall, magnificent Rhine Falls, on this mesmerizing guided excursion into beautiful northern Switzerland.

Price Range: $

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: $$

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: $$$$

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: $$

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: $

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