The Best of Austria & Switzerland with Romantic Rhine 2018

18 Day River Cruise from Vienna to Amsterdam

2018 Information. Switch to 2019 »

This amazing vacation offers the best of both worlds: a land tour of Austria and Switzerland—two of Europe's most scenic countries—and a river cruise on the legendary Rhine River with stops in France, Germany, and Holland!

If you're a fan of palaces and castles, you'll enjoy a visit to Vienna, Austria’s Schönbrunn Palace, once the home of the Habsburg family. Stand in awe as you hear the stories of this royal family's home. And in Switzerland, you'll enjoy a visit to romantic Chillon Castle, a well-preserved, medieval castle on the shores of Lake Geneva. If spectacular scenery is your interest, you'll be thrilled with a ride on the world-famous Glacier Express train, where you'll travel first-class with panoramic windows to admire the thundering waterfalls, impressive peaks, glacial ice fields, and tiny villages on your way to Zermatt, Switzerland. Other scenic highlights include a Danube cruise along the prettiest part of the river on your way to Salzburg; a private boat cruise on the fjord-lake in Lucerne; a scenic drive into the Swiss Engadine, considered the most beautiful mountain area in the world; and more. Some sightseeing highlights include The Sound of Music Parish Church in Mondsee, a walk through the Old Town in Innsbruck, and the Lion Monument and Chapel Bridge in Lucerne.

After this land tour of the historical sights, castles, palaces and spectacular scenery, you’ll embark your cruise ship in Basel, Switzerland, for an exciting river cruise along the Rhine River! In Breisach, Germany, find the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. In Strasbourg, France, be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and the fascinating astronomical clock. Stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, towering magnificently over the city, and stop in Mainz for a guided walk and a visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. In the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, visit the unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam, offers world-famous museums and an abundance of restaurants amongst the classic architecture and charming canals. See the treasures of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.” A perfect ending to this fabulous land and river cruise adventure!


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Vienna: arrive in Vienna, welcome dinner

Day 2 Vienna: guided sightseeing, visit Schönbrunn Palace and Heldenplatz

Day 3 Vienna–Melk–Mondsee–Salzburg: Danube cruise, visit the church from The Sound of Music in Mondsee; in Salzburg guided walking tour, visit Mirabell Gardens and the Residenz Square; dinner with the wine at the St. Peter Stiftskeller

Day 4 Salzburg: day at leisure

Day 5 Salzburg–Innsbruck–St. Moritz, Switzerland: walk through the Old Town to the Golden Roof

Day 6 St. Moritz–Chur–Zermatt: Glacier Express train to Zermatt

Day 7 Zermatt: day at leisure

Day 8 Zermatt–Berne: guided visit of Chillon castle

Day 9 Berne–Interlaken–Lucerne: guided walking tour in Berne, stop at the Rose Garden and the Bear Park, in Interlaken take pictures of the Jungfrau massif

Day 10 Lucerne: walking tour including the Lion Monument and Chapel Bridge, private cruise with a drink and farewell dinner at a local restaurant

Day 11 Lucerne–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 12 Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum

Day 13 Strasbourg, France: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral

Day 14 Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany–Mainz: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat in Heidelberg; visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz

Day 15 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim and enjoy a special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; guided walking tour in Koblenz

Day 16 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk

Day 17 Amsterdam, Holland: canal cruise

Day 18 Amsterdam (Disembarkation):
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

(D)

Arrive in Vienna, Austria

Welcome to Vienna! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a special welcome dinner with wine at your hotel.

Day 2

(B)

Vienna

Start your guided sightseeing with a visit to magnificent SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE. Then, drive along the Ringstrasse, pass the State Opera House, the Jewish quarter, and stop at the Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Austrian imperial family. Marvel at the impressive courtyards, famous HELDENPLATZ, and awesome St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Balance of the day is at leisure and you can choose from our exciting optional excursions to enhance your stay.

Day 3

(B, D)

Vienna–Melk–Mondsee, Salzburg

Enjoy a leisurely DANUBE CRUISE along the prettiest part of the river. Afterwards, catch glimpses of historic Melk Abbey, and continue through the romantic Salzkammergut lakeland, made famous in The Sound of Music movie. Stop in Mondsee to visit the PARISH CHURCH, which was used for the wedding scenes, and continue to Salzburg. During your guided walking tour admire exquisite MIRABELL GARDENS, the Great Festival Hall, St. Peter’s Monastery, and magnificent RESIDENZ SQUARE, where some scenes of The Sound of Music movie were filmed. Also take pictures of Mozart’s birthplace in the charming Getreidegasse. A special dinner and Salzburger Nockerl (sweet dessert soufflé) has been prepared for you at the famous St. Peter Stiftskeller restaurant.

Day 4

(B)

At Leisure in Salzburg

Today is your chance to join an optional excursion to spectacular Berchtesgaden and Hitler’s Eagles Nest.

Day 5

(B, D)

Salzburg–Innsbruck–St. Moritz, Switzerland

Enter the Tyrolean Alps and stop in the capital of crystal, Innsbruck. Enjoy a pleasant walk through its quaint medieval lanes to Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. Next, a scenic drive into the Swiss Engadine, considered by many as the most beautiful mountain area in the world with its deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests that turn golden in the fall, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style. The rest of the day is at leisure in ritzy St. Moritz.

Day 6

(B, L)

St. Moritz–Chur–Zermatt

Drive through exhilarating Alpine scenery. At Chur, board the first-class panoramic coach of the world-famous GLACIER EXPRESS TRAIN, which connects two of Switzerland’s most famous skiing areas: St. Moritz and Zermatt. Enjoy your first-class ride with panorama windows and admire thundering waterfalls, impressive peaks, glacial ice fields, and tiny villages as you pass through the Valais, a region known for its great mountain resorts and excellent wines. Lunch will be served on the train. This afternoon you are in Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the majestic Matterhorn.

Day 7

(B, D)

At Leisure in Zermatt

An entire day at leisure gives you the possibility to join a spectacular optional excursion to the Klein Matterhorn for breathtaking panoramic views of the Matterhorn and the Alps.

Day 8

(B)

Zermatt–Berne

Board the MOUNTAIN TRAIN to Täsch and motor through the lower Rhône Valley to the shores of Lake Geneva. Here, enjoy a highlight visit to CHILLON CASTLE, the 12th-century water fortress immortalized by poet Lord Byron. Arrive in Berne for your overnight stay.

Day 9

(B)

Berne–Interlaken–Lucerne

Your guided tour starts with a stop at the Rose Garden for a panoramic view of the city. Walk through the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town, witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and marvel at the ornate, flower-adorned fountains. Stop at the BEAR PARK, symbol for the name of the town. Next is Interlaken, where you can take pictures of the towering Jungfrau, then continue across Brünig Pass to picturesque Lucerne. An optional evening is available to a folklore party with yodeling and alphorn blowing for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking.

Day 10

(B, D)

Lucerne

On your walking tour this morning, admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the fallen Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town. Then, cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit church. Afterwards, shop for watches, and you may wish to join an optional excursion to Mount Pilatus. This evening, enjoy a PRIVATE BOAT CRUISE on the fjord-like lake, followed by a farewell dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate the success of your Swiss vacation.

Day 11

(B, D)

Lucerne–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation)

Your Globus tour ends today with a late-morning transfer by coach to Basel, where your Avalon ship is docked for embarkation. Please reconfirm all transfer details directly with your Globus Tour Director while on tour.

Day 12

(B, L, D)

Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest

Excursion to the Black Forest. Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany’s BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty. The area got its name because the pine forests are so dense, local residents described them as black. The most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks! You may opt to visit the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Vogtsbauernhof Museum to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago.

Day 13

(B, L, D)

Strasbourg, France

Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. On your walking tour, you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Explore Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available.

Day 14

(B, L, D)

Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany–Mainz

This morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, which was founded in 1386. Visit the ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, it holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor on top of it! In the afternoon, arrive in Mainz, which today is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. The Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz is a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here. During a GUIDED WALK, you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM.

Day 15

(B, L, D)

Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz

This morning, dock in pretty Rüdesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, and enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT. Downstream from Rüdesheim is the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the water. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of 2,000-year-old Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments.

Day 16

(B, L, D)

Cologne

One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years!

Day 17

(B, L, D)

Amsterdam, Holland

Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion.

Day 18

(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 becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.

Ship Details

Imagery II

Imagery II

One of 2016's two new additions to the youngest fleet on Europe's waterways, the Imagery II continues all of Avalon's outstanding Suite Ship traditions. Passengers can choose from two full decks of Panorama Suites, featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony. At a spacious 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording the incomparable opportunity to awaken each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi access, an expanded Fitness Center, an elevator, alternative light dining options in the Panorama Bistro or al fresco grill lunch at the Sky Bistro, and an expansive Sky Deck with whirlpool, premium lounge chairs, a shade system, and deck games.

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
  • 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
  • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and board games
  • Full-size closet mirror
  • 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
  • Additional biking excursions available in Amsterdam, Breisach and Bernkastel
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • 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

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

Vienna
Salzburg
St. Moritz
Zermatt
Berne
Lucerne
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).

Price Ranges

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


Vienna
Salzburg
St. Moritz
Zermatt
Berne
Lucerne
Breisach
Packages
Strasbourg
Amsterdam

Vienna

Classical Austrian Dinner

Classical Austrian Dinner

Enjoy a typical Austrian dinner.

Price Range: $$

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: $$

Classical Austrian Dinner and Concert

Classical Austrian Dinner and Concert

Experience what Vienna is best known for, as you enjoy a typical Austrian Dinner followed by a concert in one of its beautiful venues.

Price Range: $$$

Salzburg

Spectacular Berchtesgaden

Spectacular Berchtesgaden

Spectacular drive out of Salzburg and enjoy the view of the Austrian and Bavarian Alps

Price Range: $$

St. Moritz

Pontresina and the Roseg Valley

Pontresina and the Roseg Valley

Enjoy the world renown Roseg Valley.

Price Range: $$

Zermatt

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Enjoy the fantastic view from the highest sightseeing point in Europe, Klein Matterhorn!

Price Range: $$$

Berne

Dinner at a Swiss Farm

Dinner at a Swiss Farm

Tonight, travel out of the elegant capital of Berne and step back in time! Meet the family that owns a restaurant with its own farm, and taste the specialties of the region.

Price Range: $$

Lucerne

Trümmelbach Waterfalls

Trümmelbach Waterfalls

Experience the awesome thunderous roar of the water as it rushes past you inside the mountain: these are the Trümmelbach Falls!

Price Range: $

Swiss Folklore

Swiss Folklore

Raise a glass and toast an unforgettable evening of traditional entertainment during this excursion featuring a 3-course feast of local specialties, alphorns, yodeling, and festive Swiss music and dancing.

Price Range: $$

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: $$

Breisach on Two Wheels: Along he Hills of Kaiserstuhl

Breisach on Two Wheels: Along he Hills of Kaiserstuhl

Pedal your way through the lovely hills of the Kaiserstuhl region on this active guided bike excursion past quaint German villages, orchards, and terraced vineyards.

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

Defending France: The Maginot Line of WWII

Defending France: The Maginot Line of WWII

Explore France's awe-inspiring WWII Maginot Line, one of the greatest networks of defensive fortifications ever built, on this guided visit through the underground barracks, storehouses, and railways.

Price Range: $$

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

Amsterdam Culinary Walk

Amsterdam Culinary Walk

Discover Amsterdam's charming Jordaan district, and taste the authentic foods the locals know and love on this enjoyable guided foodie walking tour.

Price Range: $$

Biking in Amsterdam

Biking in Amsterdam

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

Price Range: $$

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: $