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Avalon Waterways Christmastime from Vienna to Basel (WVM)

16 Day River Cruise from Vienna to Basel 
Open a gift wrapped in glowing lights and sights of the inviting beauty of Christmas markets on the Danube and Rhine River. Embark on special departures for the festive season in Europe’s most beautiful Christmas markets and festivities. Enjoy the jolly atmosphere on our decorated Suite Ships® as you delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of local Christmas traditions along your river cruise. Enjoy stunning winter views on the Danube with the warm glow of Christmas markets, beautifully adorned with ageless traditions.

Savor the special views of the season by embarking in Vienna with a culinary tour in the Christmas markets of the City of Music. Sail through the wonderful Wachau Valley with visits to Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey perched above the Danube. In Passau, browse through the shining Christmas markets in the “City of Three Rivers.” On to Regensburg for Christkindlesmarkt shopping and beer tasting on board, and a visit to Nuremberg with your choice of a city tour or the WWII Rally Grounds. Spend a day exploring the Christmas markets here for traditional keepsakes and delicious specialties. Take an excursion from Nuremberg to Munich for to see the historic home of monarchs at Nymphenburg Palace.

In Bamberg, tour the city of seven hills of the Imperial Dynasties, and enjoy onboard Christmas Traditions lecture as you sail to Würzburg—the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”—with Christmas markets brimming with holiday cheer. Visit a quaint Bavarian Main River village and enjoy a cookie-baking demonstration on board your ship. Take an excursion to Rüdesheim in the Rhine Valley wine region to experience the joyful Mechanical Music Museum. Enjoy Christmas market lights and delights through Heidelberg and Speyer before sailing to Strasbourg for the La Petite France district and shimmering Christmas markets. Continue on to the Black Forest for a traditional Bavarian Christmas atmosphere or visit the largest wine producer in Europe at Badischer Winzerkeller winemakers. Your European Christmas cruise concludes in Basel, Switzerland.

Ships: Passion & Tranquility II - Envision - Impression
Special Offer/Promotion

Avalon Waterways Promotions & Special Offers

  • Save $2500 per couple on select 2021 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 11/27/21, 12/05/21
  • Save $1500 per couple on select 2021 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 12/03/21
  • Single supplement waived on the cruise portion of select 2021 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 12/05/21
  • Save $1,500 per couple on select 2020 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 12/03/20
Restrictions May Apply

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Vienna (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Vienna: choice of sightseeing or culinary tour at Christmas market

Day 3 Wachau Valley—Melk—Grein: scenic cruising through the Wachau Valley; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; onboard cookie tasting, guided tour in Grein

Day 4 Passau: guided tour; Christmas market

Day 5 Regensburg: guided tour; Christmas market; beer tasting on board

Day 6 Nuremberg: on board Christmas Traditions lecture; choice of guided tour or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; Christmas market

Day 7 Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich: guided tour, see the Marienplatz, Christmas market

Day 8 Nuremberg: day at leisure to visit Christmas market

Day 9 Bamberg: guided tour, see the Old Town Hall; onboard Christmas Traditions lecture

Day 10 Würzburg: guided tour, visit the Bishop’s Residence; Christmas market

Day 11 Main river village: cookie-baking demonstration on board; guided tour

Day 12 Frankfurt. Excursion to Rüdesheim: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, enjoy a special treat; Christmas market

Day 13 Heidelberg—Speyer: guided visit of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, Christmas market; Christmas market in Speyer

Day 14 Strasbourg: guided tour, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market

Day 15 Breisach: choice of visit to Badischer Winzerkeller, or excursion to the Black Forest; Christmas market

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

Itinerary (2021)

Day 1VIENNA, AUSTRIA (EMBARKATION)
 Welcome to Austria. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Vienna must arrive by 3:30 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Indulge in traditional holiday fare and hot libations to warm your heart and soul before boarding.

(D)
Day 2VIENNA
 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.

Alternatively, 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 CRUISE TO MELK

(B,L,D)
Day 3MELK–GREIN
 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 on board while sailing to Grein.

CLASSIC Take a Guided Walk of Grein, including its historic theater, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances.

Enjoy live entertainment on board.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN PASSAU

(B,L,D)
Day 4PASSAU
 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.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG

(B,L,D)
Day 5REGENSBURG
 Christmas Magic in Bavaria’s Medieval Miracle

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 on board.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NUREMBERG

(B,L,D)
Day 6NUREMBERG
 Living Heritage and History Lessons

DISCOVERY Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this morning.

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 on your own to browse the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample favorite Bavarian fare—from dozens of bratwurst varieties, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other culinary delights of the Christkindlmarkt.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG

(B,L,D)
Day 7NUREMBERG. EXCURSION 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 your ship in Nuremberg in the late afternoon.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG

(B,D)
Day 8NUREMBERG
 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.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BAMBERG

(B,L,D)
Day 9BAMBERG
 Cherished Christmas Customs and Cradle Scenes

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.

DISCOVERY Enjoy an onboard Christmas Traditions Lecture while sailing.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WÜRZBURG

(B,L,D)
Day 10WÜRZBURG
 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.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MAIN RIVER VILLAGE

(B,L,D)
Day 11MAIN 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.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO FRANKFURT

(B,L,D)
Day 12FRANKFURT. 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, enjoy a local special treat.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER

(B,D)
Day 13HEIDELBERG EXCURSION. SPEYER
 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 these sparkling winter wonderlands.

This evening, enjoy live entertainment on board.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO STRASBOURG

(B,L,D)
Day 14STRASBOURG, 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 CRUISE TO BREISACH

(B,L,D)
Day 15BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST
 History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest

DISCOVERY Visit to Badischer 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.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BASEL

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

Flights shouldn’t leave Zürich airport before 10 am.

(B)

Avalon Pricing Details

Book now to guarantee Early Preview Pricing, available only until April 6, 2020.

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.

Additional accommodations before or after your tour may be available.

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.
  • 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.
  • Christmas markets generally operate from late November until the third week of December, depending on the location.

Avalon Waterways Fleet

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Avalon Tour Dates

Tour Land StartAvalon RetailRequest Quote
*11/27/2021 Special Offer/Promotion $6,797.00
*12/03/2021 Special Offer/Promotion $6,797.00
*12/05/2021 Special Offer/Promotion $6,797.00
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