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Avalon Waterways Grand Christmastime Cruise from Basel to Vienna (WXZV)

16 days Basel to Vienna 
This Christmastime European river cruise sails across Germany and Austria along the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers. Enjoy guided sightseeing along the way and delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of centuries-old Christmas markets.

Take a deep breath of fresh air in Germany’s Black Forest region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with forests of thick pine trees. Then, make your way down the Rhine River to Strasbourg, France, to experience the historic charm of the city. A mix of festive aromas, sights, and sounds—creating a truly magical atmosphere! On an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg
Castle and watch the skaters on the ice rink below.

See Europe’s largest nativity scene with life-size figures In Rüdesheim, then cruise along the Main River, passing the festive lights and decorations of charming along the way. In Würzburg, visit the ornate Bishop’s Residenz, then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). Continue to Bamberg, with its many beautiful nativity scenes, and take an excursion to the Bavarian capital of Munich. Amid its historical buildings, amazing architecture, and the famous Marienplatz, you’ll also love to see its traditional Christmas market with the festive aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread. Learn about holiday traditions as you cruise to Regensburg, and taste some German beers.

Visit the magnificent Melk Abbey as you cruise through Austria’s winter wonderland of the Wachau Valley. Taste traditional cookies on your way to Vienna, and take a guided tour, culinary walk, and browse the Christmas markets for a taste of traditional Austrian fare. A fitting end to a magical holiday cruise!

Ships: Imagery II & Passion - Visionary & Passion
Special Offer/Promotion

Avalon Waterways Promotions & Special Offers

  • Save $500 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
Restrictions May Apply

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Breisach: excursion to Black Forest; Christmas market

Day 3 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, 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

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

Day 6 Main river village: guided walk, onboard baking demonstration

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

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

Day 9 Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing 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 walk; Christmas market

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

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

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

Related Avalon Tours

WXVZ - Cruise from Vienna to Basel

Itinerary (2019)

Day 1BASEL, 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.

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 Join a full-day 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 half-day Guided Tour that includes the magnificent Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat—the world’s largest wine barrel.

This afternoon, visit the local German Christmas Markets in Heidelberg, or Speyer. Explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of these sparkling winter wonderlands.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO WIESBADEN

(B,L,D)
Day 5WIESBADEN. 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 SPEYER

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

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 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.

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.

(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 (included for departure 25 November only).

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, Amusing Attractions, 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 vacation 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.

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Extra nights per person in Zürich:
in single room $215, in twin room $146

Extra nights per person in Vienna:

in single room $217, in twin room $130

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 / $2463
A / Sapphire Deck / $2570
P / Royal Deck / $2784
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $4713

Avalon 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 is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

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