Cruise Itinerary | Moselle & Rhine River Cruise - Avalon Waterways®

The Rhine & Moselle – Southbound 2017

13 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel

2017 Information. Switch to 2018 »

This exciting river cruise vacation has it all! Begin in Amsterdam with a cruise through the city’s enchanting canals. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Cologne, Koblenz, Luxembourg City and Strasbourg; visit France’s Metz or take an excursion to the Maginot Line; see the Roman ruins at Trier; visit Eltz Castle and the unique Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim. Sail past the legendary Lorelei rock and through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, enjoy a walking tour of pretty Bernkastel, and excursions to majestic Heidelberg and to Germany’s legendary Black Forest.


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 12-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Amsterdam: canal cruise

Day 3 Cologne: choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk

Day 4 Koblenz: choice of guided city walk, see the Deutsches Eck; or visit Sayn Manor House

Day 5 Bernkastel: guided walk; onboard wine tasting

Day 6 Thionville, France: choice of excursion to Metz or to the area of the Maginot Line

Day 7 Remich. Excursion to Luxembourg City–Grevenmacher. Excursion to Trier, Germany: guided sightseeing of Luxembourg City; choice of guided sightseeing in Trier or “Roman Trier,” see the Porta Nigra

Day 8 Beilstein. Excursion to Eltz Castle

Day 9 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; enjoy a special treat

Day 10 Excursion to Heidelberg: guided visit of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat

Day 11 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; onboard woodcarving demonstration

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

Day 13 Basel (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.

Attend a cuckoo clock carving demonstration, and enjoy an onboard accordion music presentation.

Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions 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

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.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)

Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation). Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, restaurants, and lively marketplace has a distinct ambiance. If your flight arrives early enough, you might like to take one of the optional excursions on offer. Then, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner)

NOTE:
Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 2 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.)

Day 2Amsterdam

After breakfast, set out to discover the treasures of this city by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” The afternoon is free to explore on your own or join in one of a number of optional excursions on offer. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Cologne, Germany

One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a GUIDED CITY WALK or a 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Koblenz

At the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. Join a Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the city, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments; or visit nearby SAYN MANOR HOUSE, belonging to the counts of the same name. As you cruise the wide, peaceful curves of the Moselle River, it quickly becomes obvious why the Moselle Valley is famous for its beautiful and tranquil scenery, and that this is an important wine-growing area. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Bernkastel

In the middle of the Moselle region is the charming wine village of Bernkastel with its narrow streets and half-timbered houses that have stood since the Middle Ages. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK that includes the beautiful marketplace with its renaissance-style Town Hall—built in 1608—and the “pointed house,” built in 1416. Wine growers in this area look after Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards, the most celebrated of the vintages being the Bernkasteler Doktor. Before dinner, enjoy an ONBOARD TASTING of some local wines. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Thionville, France

Today, the choice is yours. Join an EXCURSION TO METZ, a city with a rich history and many cultural and architectural gems, or alternatively, history buffs might prefer to participate in the excursion to a nearby area of the MAGINOT LINE, which stretched from Switzerland to the Belgian border. The line was composed of huge fortresses with smaller defense posts or simple blockhouses. Return to your vessel in time for lunch. The afternoon is free with the possibility to join an optional excursion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Remich, Luxembourg. Excursion to Luxembourg City–Grevenmacher. Excursion to Trier, Germany

Because of its location and natural geography, Luxembourg City has been a place of strategic military significance throughout history; the first fortifications were built as early as the 10th century. The city center occupies a picturesque site, perched high on precipitous cliffs that drop into the narrow valleys of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers. A LOCAL GUIDE will acquaint you with this city whose layout is complex as it is set on two levels, straddling hills and dropping into the two river valleys. At the head of the Moselle Valley is Trier, Germany’s oldest city. Some say Trier is even older than Rome and that it was populated over a thousand years before the Romans arrived. Many Roman remains have survived, including a 20,000-seat amphitheater; the Porta Nigra, the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement, which still gives access to the town’s center; imperial baths; and the Roman Bridge, Germany’s oldest bridge with stone pilings dating from 144-152 AD—all evidence of this once grand Roman city. Trier also offers pleasant market squares, Germany’s oldest Christian church, and a cornucopia of architectural styles—Roman, baroque, neo-classicism, renaissance, and gothic. A choice of GUIDED CITY SIGHTSEEING or the more history-focused “ROMAN TRIER” guided tour, followed by some free time, gives you the opportunity to discover this magnificent town. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Beilstein, Germany

A leisurely day today, with free time this morning to explore the quaint little town of Beilstein. Then, this afternoon, visit medieval ELTZ CASTLE, still owned by a branch of the family who lived there in the 12th century. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim

A highlight this morning after breakfast: cruise through the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. Then, arrive in 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. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colorful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Excursion to Heidelberg

This morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany. With a local expert, visit the imposing 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, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11Strasbourg, France

Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, 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. Also spend time exploring 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. An optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available. After dinner tonight, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest

Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border is the gateway to Germany’s BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents described them as black. Surely the most well-known products from this region are cuckoo clocks, Black Forest ham, and Black Forest cherry cake. Choose to visit the workshop of a local woodcarver and clock maker, and purchase some locally made souvenirs, or visit an OPEN-AIR MUSEUM to see just how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

NOTE:
Departure flights should not leave Zürich airport before 10 am.

Ship Details

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Hotels

Amsterdam
Zurich

Amsterdam

Moevenpick Amsterdam City

Moevenpick Amsterdam City Piet Heinkade 11, Amsterdam,  Netherlands Piet Heinkade 11
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

A stylish 408-room hotel in the perfect location, this waterfront property offers Free Wi-Fi internet access throughout. The chic restaurant serves creative international cuisine and there is a fabulous bar serving drinks and light snacks which is also a great spot for a nightcap. For relaxation there is a Lifestyle Studio featuring a gym, Finnish sauna, bio sauna & ice fountain.

Hotel Amenities

Restaurant On-Site
Luggage Storage
Fitness Room
Currency Exchange
Free WiFi
Bar/Lounge
Business Center
ATM
Parking/Valet
Gift Shop
Concierge desk
Dry Cleaning
Spa Services
Elevator
Room Amenities

Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
In-Room Safe
Disabled Access / Rooms
Non-smoking Rooms
Smoking Rooms
Wake-Up Calls
Television
Room Service
Climate Control
Pay Movies
Internet Access
Coffee Maker
Desk
Hair Dryer
Mini-bar
Window Opens
Air Conditioning
Phone
Voicemail
Iron/Ironing Board
Cable/Satellite
Complimentary Toiletries

Zurich

Renaissance Zurich Tower

Renaissance Zurich Tower Turbinenstrasse 20, Zurich,  Switzerland Turbinenstrasse 20
Zurich, Switzerland

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

This 300 room luxury hotel is housed in a modern tower building located in the vibrant Zurich West quarter. The exclusive Grill restaurant serves urban cuisine and the lounge bar offers drinks, snacks and cocktails. Other amenities include a fitness area on the 15th floor with city views, sauna and steam bath.

Hotel Amenities

Bar/Lounge
Concierge desk
Business Center
Ice Machine
Free WiFi
Fitness Room
Elevator
Currency Exchange
Restaurant On-Site
Luggage Storage
Spa Services
Parking/Valet
Dry Cleaning
Room Amenities

Disabled Access / Rooms
Mini-bar
Wake-Up Calls
In-Room Safe
Climate Control
Complimentary Newspaper
Air Conditioning
Window Opens
Alarm Clock
Room Service
Desk
Hair Dryer
Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
Television
Complimentary Toiletries
Phone
Non-smoking Rooms
Iron/Ironing Board
Cable/Satellite
Coffee Maker
Internet Access

 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)

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