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Avalon Waterways Christmastime From Basel To Vienna (WMV)

16 Day River Cruise Basel to Vienna 
If you’ve dreamed of the beautiful, time-tested traditions of European Christmas markets, your dream can come true on a Christmas cruise from Switzerland to Austria. Experience the holiday season like never before, from the beauty of the Black Forest to the glistening lights of Strasbourg’s Christmas markets. Discover traditions and tastes that warm the heart. With views like no other, your Avalon Suite Ship® is decked out for the holidays, brimming in holiday spirit. See the shining stalls with crafts, cuisine, and curios come alive with music, peace, and merriment. Visit glowing German Christkindlesmarkt stalls as you cruise on the Rhine and Main Rivers from Heidelberg to Passau—and quaint villages in between. Continue in the holiday glow in Austria to visit the magnificent Benedictine Abbey in Melk, then spectacular Vienna for a culinary tour through the Christmas Markets.

Ships: Tranquility II & Passion

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Breisach: choice of visit to Badische Winzerkeller, or excursion to Black Forest; Christmas market

Day 3 Strasbourg: guided tour, 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; Christmas markets in Speyer

Day 5 Frankfurt. Excursion to Rüdesheim: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat

Day 6 Main River Village: guided tour; onboard cookie-baking demonstration

Day 7 Würzburg: guided tour, visit the Bishop’s Residenz; Christmas market

Day 8 Bamberg: onboard Christmas Traditions lecture; guided tour, see the Old Town Hall; Christmas market

Day 9 Nuremberg: choice of guided tour 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 tour; Christmas market

Day 14 Melk: guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey; onboard cookie tasting

Day 15 Vienna: choice of guided tour, or culinary tour at Christmas market

Day 16 Vienna (Disembarkation): your cruise ends this morning

Itinerary (2020)

Day 1BASEL, SWITZERLAND (EMBARKATION)
 Welcome to Switzerland! Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Zürich or Basel 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

(D)
Day 2BREISACH, 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 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

(B,L,D)
Day 3STRASBOURG, 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

(B,L,D)
Day 4SPEYER, GERMANY. HEIDELBERG EXCURSION
 Winter Wonders and a Wine Barrel Fit for a King

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour that includes the magnificent Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat—the world’s largest wine barrel. After the tour, visit the local German Christmas markets in Heidelberg.

Explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of Speyer Christmas markets.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO FRANKFURT

(B,L,D)
Day 5FRANKFURT. 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 MAIN RIVER VILLAGE

(B,D)
Day 6MAIN RIVER VILLAGE
 Hidden Gifts and Holiday Delights

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.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WÜRZBURG

(B,L,D)
Day 7WÜRZBURG
 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


(B,L,D)
Day 8BAMBERG
 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.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NUREMBERG

(B,L,D)
Day 9NUREMBERG
 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

(B,L,D)
Day 10NUREMBERG (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

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG

(B,D)
Day 11NUREMBERG
 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

(B,L,D)
Day 12REGENSBURG
 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

(B,L,D)
Day 13PASSAU
 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.

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

(B,L,D)
Day 14MELK, 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

(B,L,D)
Day 15VIENNA
 Royal Collections 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

(B,L,D)
Day 16VIENNA (DISEMBARKATION)
 Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

(B)

Avalon Pricing Details

Gateway city for arrival is Zurich, Switzerland.

Port charges:
$390

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability).

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Extra nights per person in Zürich:
in single room from $198 to $364, in twin room from $129 to $215

Extra nights per person in Vienna:

in single room from $218 to $237, in twin room from $130 to $149

All prices per person based on double occupancy. Cruise price based on Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck. See below for upgrade pricing.

To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:

Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo Deck / $427
B / Sapphire Deck / $2,463
A / Sapphire Deck / $2,570
P / Royal Deck / $2,784
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $4,713

Avalon 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.

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