Romantic Rhine Author Cruise with Diana Gabaldon (Northbound) 2020

8 Day River Cruise Basel to Amsterdam

2020 Information

HOOKED ON OUTLANDER? BOOK A CRUISE WITH ITS AUTHOR! A NOVEL VACATION...

Bound to be the most memorable trip of 2020 (or a lifetime), author of the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling OUTLANDER series Diana Gabaldon is exclusively hosting an AUTHOR CRUISE with Avalon Waterways on the Rhine River in 2020. It’s your chance to get insider OUTLANDER insight, with your favorite author… FOR A WEEK! Diana Gabaldon has added to the storytelling tapestry of our lives while also inspiring travel with her literature. In her OUTLANDER series of novels and novellas – now an award-winning series on STARZ – she has brought to life the backdrops of Scotland, North America, France, Germany as well as dozens of destinations across the globe. With 35 million copies of her books in print worldwide, OUTLANDER can be found in 43 countries and 39 languages. On the June 9, 2020 departure of the Romantic Rhine cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, this inspiring storyteller will share an inspired cruise – and daily excursions – with an intimate group of her fans.

A MAGICAL ITINERARY...

From the German Black Forest of fairytales to the historic canals of Amsterdam, disappear in the magic of this Rhine River cruise with Author Diana Gabaldon. This week-long vacation – set onboard the Avalon Expression – delivers you to the heart of Europe to explore all the towns and cities along the Rhine River while enjoying panoramic views and spectacular, castle-lined backdrops days and night. Your 8-day Romantic Rhine river cruise begins in Switzerland where you will board your Suite Ship and home-away-from-home for the week before heading to the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain (on the French-German border) to find your gateway to Germany’s Black Forest. From there, set sail for Strasbourg, France with its ancient murals and astronomical clock, not to mention quaint shops, delightful bistros and waterfront promenade. The journey continues through Germany with a visit to the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, the charming wine town of Rüdesheim and, of course, an awe-inspiring pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge – the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine where dozens of ancient castles tower over the river from cliffs that seem to touch the sky. The last stop in Germany is in the gothic city of Cologne. End this cruise with an exclamation point in the picturesque, canal city of Amsterdam with its world-famous museums and tilting, gabled homes that date back to the “Golden Age.”


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Basel (Embarkation): Onboard welcome receptionDay 2 Breisach: Choice of excursion to Black Forest, or visit to Badische WinzerkellerDay 3 Strasbourg:Guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedralDay 4 Mainz:Choice of guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, or hike up Philosophers’ Way, or visit the Gutenberg Museum in MainzDay 5 Rüdesheim—Rhine Gorge—Koblenz:Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat; scenic cruise through the Rhine Gorge; free time in KoblenzDay 6 Cologne:Choice of “Cologne Highlights” walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tourDay 7 Amsterdam:Canal cruiseDay 8 Amsterdam (Disembarkation):Your cruise ends this morning

Cruise YourWay

Avalon makes it easy to experience vacation your way with seamless extension options before and after your cruise. Your Way offers added nights in a selection of locales. From Budapest to Barcelona, you can spend a little or a lot more time getting to know more on shore with Your Way custom itineraries.

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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.

Enjoy dinner and explore the ship on your first night on board.

EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH

Day 2

(B, L, D)

BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST

History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest

Discovery
Visit to Badische Winzerkeller, the largest German wine producer in Europe. Discover Germany’s southernmost wine country in Baden—ideally situated between the hills of the Black Forest and the Rhine River. Learn about the vintners’ process in the vineyards here, and enjoy a wine tasting, OR:
Discovery
Join a full-day Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience the Vogtsbauernhof open-air-museum, visit an authentic water mill, and see a traditional butter-making demonstration.

Follow your visit to Badische Winzerkeller with a free afternoon in Breisach.

EVENING CRUISE TO STRASBOURG

Day 3

(B, L, D)

STRASBOURG, FRANCE

Gothic Giants, Petite France, and Varietal Vintages

Classic
Join a City Sightseeing Tour, including Strasbourg’s 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 the splendid Alsace wine country, or a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings.

Alternatively, enjoy a free afternoon sampling the local cuisine in Place Kléber.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO LUDWIGSHAFEN

Day 4

(B, L, D)

LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG

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,” OR:
Active
Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Hike up Philosophers’ Way for an inspiring view of the city below.

Alternatively enjoy a brief cruise to Mainz this afternoon and join our included tour.

MAINZ

Turning the Pages of History

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

Enjoy live entertainment on board your ship this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MAINZ

Day 5

(B, L, D)

RÜDESHEIM—RHINE GORGE

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

Discovery
Based on your departure, enjoy either a Coffee Tasting or a Wine Tasting.
Discovery
Take a Guided Tour of the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience, OR:
Active
Take a Guided Hike through the vineyards with your Adventure Host, and enjoy the view with a cable car ride back down.

Relax on the Sky Deck for an afternoon cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge to Koblenz. Sail past the legendary rock of The Lorelei—where the siren of mythology sang songs to lure ill-fated sailors.

KOBLENZ

Travel Through 2000 Years Of Monumental History

Enjoy free time in Koblenz before a relaxing evening on board with dinner and live entertainment.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN KOBLENZ

Day 6

(B, L, D)

COLOGNE

Prost! Celebrate in the Rhineland

Classic
Take a Guided City Walk of Cologne—with its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral, OR:
Discovery
Choose a Guided Walking Tour of Cologne’s important Jewish heritage sites.

Don’t miss the chance to enjoy free time over a glass of Kölsch pale lager—locally brewed for over 100 years!

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AMSTERDAM

Day 7

(B, L, D)

AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND

Canals of Colorful Amsterdam

Classic
Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.”


During tulip season, you may take a Guided Optional Excursion to Keukenhof gardens—with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, as well as other bulbs, planted each year. Outside of tulip season, join a Guided Optional Excursion to Zaanse Schans to see historic windmills and charming Dutch houses. You may also choose an Optional City Biking Tour to discover the countryside.

Take some free time to explore Amsterdam’s colorful streets and canal houses, galleries, and shops.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM

Day 8

(B)

AMSTERDAM (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.
  • Due to “Sail Amsterdam” departure August 1 will end in Rotterdam instead of Amsterdam with modifications to the itinerary.


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Romantic Rhine Author Cruise with Diana Gabaldon (Northbound)

Start Sooner, Stay Longer

Start your vacation earlier or stay longer with destination options before or after your Avalon cruise.

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

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)

No Excursions are available at this time.