Grand Christmastime Cruise from Basel to Vienna 2019

16 Day River Cruise Basel to Vienna

2019 Information. Switch to 2018 »

This Christmastime European river cruise sails across Germany and Austria along the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers. Enjoy guided sightseeing along the way and delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of centuries-old Christmas markets.

Take a deep breath of fresh air in Germany’s Black Forest region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with forests of thick pine trees. Then, make your way down the Rhine River to Strasbourg, France, to experience the historic charm of the city. A mix of festive aromas, sights, and sounds—creating a truly magical atmosphere! On an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg
Castle and watch the skaters on the ice rink below.

See Europe’s largest nativity scene with life-size figures In Rüdesheim, then cruise along the Main River, passing the festive lights and decorations of charming along the way. In Würzburg, visit the ornate Bishop’s Residenz, then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). Continue to Bamberg, with its many beautiful nativity scenes, and take an excursion to the Bavarian capital of Munich. Amid its historical buildings, amazing architecture, and the famous Marienplatz, you’ll also love to see its traditional Christmas market with the festive aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread. Learn about holiday traditions as you cruise to Regensburg, and taste some German beers.

Visit the magnificent Melk Abbey as you cruise through Austria’s winter wonderland of the Wachau Valley. Taste traditional cookies on your way to Vienna, and take a guided tour, culinary walk, and browse the Christmas markets for a taste of traditional Austrian fare. A fitting end to a magical holiday cruise!


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Basel (Embarkation):Onboard welcome reception
Day 2 Breisach:Excursion to Black Forest; Christmas market
Day 3 Strasbourg:Guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market
Day 4 Speyer. Excursion to Heidelberg:Guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat; Christmas markets
Day 5 Wiesbaden. Excursion to Rüdesheim:Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat
Day 6 Main river village:Guided walk, onboard baking demonstration
Day 7 Würzburg:Guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz; Christmas market
Day 8 Bamberg:Onboard Christmas Traditions lecture; guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall; Christmas market
Day 9 Nuremberg:Choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; Christmas market
Day 10 Nuremberg (Disembarkation). Excursion to Munich (Embarkation):Guided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz
Day 11 Nuremberg:Day at leisure to visit Christmas market
Day 12 Regensburg:Onboard Christmas Traditions lecture; guided walk; Christmas market; beer tasting on board
Day 13 Passau:Guided walk; Christmas market
Day 14 Melk:Guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey; onboard cookie tasting
Day 15 Vienna:Choice of guided sightseeing, or culinary tour at Christmas market
Day 16 Vienna (Disembarkation):Your vacation ends this morning

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.

Stroll through the city center, enjoy the festive illumination and savor Christmas delicacies like waffles, gingerbread, sweets and Swiss raclette.

EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH

Day 2

(B, L, D)

BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST

History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest

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

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings.

Alternatively, spend your afternoon leisurely browsing Breisach’s lovely Christmas market to sample bretzels, mulled wine, and Black Forest cake.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO STRASBOURG

Day 3

(B, L, D)

STRASBOURG, FRANCE

A Gothic Cathedral, Heaven’s Time, and Joyeux Noël

Classic
Come along for City Sightseeing, including the city’s gothic, stained-glass cathedral with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petite France District.

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to beautiful Alsace, for an afternoon in a French wine-country village.

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

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER

Day 4

(B, L, D)

SPEYER, GERMANY. HEIDELBERG EXCURSION

Winter Wonders and a Wine Barrel Fit for a King

Classic
Take a half-day Guided Tour that includes the magnificent Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat—the world’s largest wine barrel.

This afternoon, visit the local German Christmas Markets in Heidelberg, or Speyer. Explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of these sparkling winter wonderlands.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO WIESBADEN

Day 5

(B, D)

WIESBADEN. EXCURSION TO RUDESHEIM

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

Discovery
Tour the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience in Rüdesheim.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER

Day 6

(B, L, D)

MAIN RIVER VILLAGE

Hidden Gifts and Holiday Delights in Beautiful Bavaria

Classic
Take a Guided Tour of a picturesque village along the Main River.
Discovery
Join a Cookie-Baking Demonstration on board your ship while sailing.
AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WÜRZBURG

Day 7

(B, L, D)

WÜRZBURG

Ornaments, Old Saint Nicholas, and Nutcrackers Sweet

Classic
Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the “Pearl of the Romantic Road” with its Old Main Bridge, towering fortress, and baroque Bishop’s Residence.

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the beautiful Bavarian town of Rothenburg. Visit the Käthe Wohlfahrt German Christmas museum—the world’s most extensive collection of traditional German Christmas decorations.

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

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BAMBERG

Day 8

(B, L, D)

BAMBERG

Cherished Christmas Customs and Cradle Scenes

Discovery
Enjoy an onboard Christmas Traditions Lecture while sailing.
Classic
Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bamberg—medieval home of Germany’s Roman Empire dynasties. Stroll through dozens of Bamberg’s nativity scenes—from miniature to life-size.

Take free time to enjoy the quaint Christmas markets, and warm up with traditional German dumplings, sausage, and a glass of hearty Bavarian ale.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NUREMBERG

Day 9

(B, L, D)

NUREMBERG

Living Heritage and History Lessons

Classic
Choose a Guided Tour of Nuremberg’s medieval architecture, gilded fountain, Gothic cathedral, and Kaiserburg Castle, OR:
Classic
Join a Guided Tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally Grounds—used by the Third Reich.

Spend free time browsing the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample favorite Bavarian fare—bratwurst, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other Christkindlmarkt culinary delights.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG

Day 10

(B, D)

NUREMBERG (DISEMBARKATION). EXCURSION TO MUNICH (EMBARKATION)

This morning disembark the vessel which has brought you to Nuremberg and drive to Munich

Classic
Enjoy a Guided City Tour which will show you the highlights of fascinating Munich. See Nymphenburg Palace—a former residence of Bavarian monarchs, along with the Old and New Town Halls of Marienplatz.

Return to Nuremberg in the late afternoon and embark on the ship which will take you to Vienna.

Day 11

(B, L, D)

NUREMBERG

Living Heritage and History Lessons

A day to relax and enjoy Nuremberg at your own pace. Stroll through the festively lit streets, buy those last-minute Christmas gifts, or ask your Cruise Director for suggestions of things to do.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG

Day 12

(B, L, D)

REGENSBURG

Christmas Magic in Bavaria’s Medieval Miracle

Discovery
Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this morning.
Classic
Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria—entrance to the Castra Regina fortress built in 179 AD.

Take time to browse Regensburg’s sparkling Christmas markets. Enjoy hot-mulled wine, candied almonds, gingerbread, or bratwurst.

Discovery
Later, indulge in an onboard Beer Tasting to sample regional German brews.

Enjoy live entertainment as you sail.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU

Day 13

(B, L, D)

PASSAU

Saint Stephens, Salzburg, and the Story of Silent Night

Classic
Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful “City of Three Rivers.”

You may like to join a Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg, Austria. See the setting of The Sound of Music, and learn the story behind the beloved Christmas hymn, Silent Night (included for departure 25 November only).

Spend free time in Passau’s charming Christkindlmarkt near magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Take a brief evening cruise to Linz, and go out for music and dancing or late-night dessert before sailing to Melk.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK

Day 14

(B, L, D)

MELK, AUSTRIA

Striking Frescoes and the Breathtaking Wachau Valley

Classic
Take a Guided Tour of Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings.
Discovery
Enjoy an Austrian Cookie Tasting while sailing through the splendid Wachau Valley to Vienna.
VIENNA

Vienna’s Winter Wonderland

This evening, you may choose to attend an Optional Excursion to a Royal Waltz Concert for an unforgettable evening of music in an elegant hall.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN VIENNA

Day 15

(B, L, D)

VIENNA

Royal Collections, Amusing Attractions, and Culinary Confections

Classic
Take a Guided Tour of Vienna to see the Imperial Palace complex—the winter residence of the Imperial family, OR:
Discovery
Join a Guided Culinary Tour of Vienna’s magical Christmas Advent Markets to sample Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel.

You may join a Guided Optional Tour of Schönbrunn Palace—summer home of the Habsburg dynasty for 300 years.

Spend free time on your own to enjoy the Christkindlesmarkt, or relax by the fire’s glow in a Viennese café this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN VIENNA

Day 16

(B)

VIENNA (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.

Ship Details

Visionary
Passion

Visionary

The Avalon Visionary delivers an intimate setting, along with two full decks of suites featuring 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, giving you the rare opportunity to wake each morning to the enchanting scenery and fresh breezes. Onboard amenities include complimentary computer use in public areas and Wi-Fi access, a Fitness Center, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, shade system, whirlpool, and the delightful Sky Bistro.

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

Passion

Yet another beautiful Suite Ship graces the rivers of Europe in 2016. The Avalon Passion welcomes passengers to their home-away-from-home with two full decks of Panorama Suites, featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform into a unique Open-Air Balcony. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than industry standard and ideal for stretching out and relaxing-or even throwing a private cocktail party for up to six adults in the spacious sitting area. On board, passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi access, complimentary computer use in public areas, a Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, an elevator, and an expansive Sky Deck with shade system, premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al fresco lunches of light grill fare.

Included Amenities


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
  • 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
Vienna

 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)


Zurich
Breisach
Packages
Strasbourg
Wurzburg
Passau
Vienna

Zurich

Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus

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

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: $$

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: $$

Passau

Discover Salzburg's Christmas Traditions

Discover Salzburg's Christmas Traditions

See Salzburg most famous sights and learn all about its Christmas traditions, including a tasting of Austrian holiday delicacies, on this enthralling full-day guided excursion.

Price Range: $$$

Vienna

Classical Concert

Classical Concert

Enjoy a spellbinding evening of classical works by Mozart and Johann Strauss, performed brilliantly by professional Salon Orchestra Alt-Wien musicians in one of Europe's prettiest venues.

Price Range: $$

Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Jewel of Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Jewel of Vienna

Visit magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former summer residence of the Habsburg imperial family.

Price Range: $$

Similar Cruises

16 Day River Cruise from Vienna to Basel

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per person without air*

Cruise Details