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Avalon Waterways Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine with Lucerne Extension – Northbound (WZAE-T)

10 days from Lucerne to Amsterdam 
Begin this exhilarating vacation with 2 nights in Lucerne, where you’ll walk across the famous covered Chapel Bridge and ride the world’s steepest cogwheel railway to the top of Mt. Pilatus for a birdseye view over the town, lake and surroundings. (Departures October 19 to November 2 visit the Swiss Transport Museum as transportation up Mt. Pilatus is unavailable due to maintenance.) Then one of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this mesmerizing journey along the Rhine. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Koblenz, and Cologne, as well as an excursion to the Black Forest and to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river dotted every mile with castles. Visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam. Be sure to pack your camera so you can capture the romance and splendor of this magical journey. Your ship will be decorated and dressed up in Christmas colors. You will have free time to explore some of Europe’s famous Christmas Markets where you will find all sort of gifts to bring home.

Ships: Imagery II

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Lucerne. Welcome to Switzerland!

Day 2 Lucerne. Guided sightseeing, see the Lion Monument, walk across CHAPEL BRIDGE

Day 3 Lucerne–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation): Mountain excursion; onboard welcome reception

Day 4 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a woodcarver’s workshop; Christmas market

Day 5 Strasbourg:
guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral, Christmas Market

Day 6 Excursion to Heidelberg–Mainz:
guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat in Heidelberg; visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Christmas Market

Day 7 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz:
visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and enjoy a special treat in Rüdesheim; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; guided walk in Koblenz

Day 8 Cologne:
choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk, Christmas Market

Day 9 Amsterdam: canal cruise and Illumination Cruise during Lights Festival.

Day 10 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

Special Interest Departures

12/14/2017 - Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine with Lucerne Extension – Northbound

Itinerary (2017)

Day 1Lucerne.
 Welcome to Lucerne! The remainder of the day is free to start exploring this delightful town on the Reuss River.
Day 2Lucerne.
 On your GUIDED WALK this morning, admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the 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. This afternoon, you are free to explore on your own. (B)
Day 3Lucerne–Basel (Embarkation).
 This morning, another true Swiss experience: a trip to the top of nearby Mount Pilatus, the “Guard of Lucerne,” for spectacular vistas over Lucerne, its lake, and the Alpine scenery. Departures WZA2-T 1019 to 1102 will visit the Swiss Museum of Transport, as transportation up Mount Pilatus will be closed for maintenance during this period. This afternoon, a short transfer takes you to Basel to board your river cruise vessel.
Day 4Breisach, Germany. 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 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. There’s no better setting for this time of year than when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs, connoting images of warm and festively decorated interiors. Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. This afternoon there’s free time in Breisach to visit the Christmas market—or you may join an optional excursion to Colmar in France’s Alsace region. (B,L,D)
Day 5Strasbourg, 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, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, 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. 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. Dating back to 1570, the traditional Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Located around Place de la Cathédrale and Place Broglie, its centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets you’ll notice the pleasing aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits—a truly magical atmosphere! This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine region is available. (B,L,D)
Day 6Excursion 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 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! At this time of year, an ice rink is set up at the foot of the castle, and stalls offer Glühwein, Bratwurst, and other tasty treats. The Christmas market itself is scattered over five town squares, and you’ll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. In the afternoon, arrive in Mainz. Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this 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, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here and during a GUIDED WALK you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. (B,L,D)
Day 7Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz.
 This morning dock in pretty Rüdesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll 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. The entire town transforms itself into one large Christmas market, offering products and specialties from a number of nations, all presented in a distinctive manner. You’ll be spoiled by the selection of shops offering a vast variety of Christmas presents and decorations. In the Market Square you’ll find Europe’s largest nativity scene, with life-size figures. 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 waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive equestrian statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the 2,000-year-old city of Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. (B,L,D)
Day 8Cologne.
 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. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! 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! Enjoy a walk in the fabulous and magical Christmas markets before leaving Cologne and sailing to Amsterdam. (B,L,D)
Day 9Amsterdam, 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. Say Goodbye to Amsterdam during a special ILLUMINATION CRUISE and experience the Lights Festival hosted by Amsterdam during the winter season. A glass of Glühwein will warm you up as you enjoy the Christmas lights. (B,L,D)
Day 10Amsterdam (Disembarkation).
 Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Included Avalon Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Farewell dinner
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
  • Buffet breakfast daily in Lucerne

Avalon Pricing Details

Gateway for arrival is Zürich, Switzerland.

Port charges:
$168

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Extra nights per person in Lucerne:
in single room from $369 to $443, in twin room from $235 to $259

Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
in single room from $179 to $445, in twin room from $112 to $245

Prices shown include cruise in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck.

To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:

Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo / Deck / $199
B / Sapphire Deck / $1,149
A / Sapphire Deck / $1,199
P / Royal Deck / $1,299
Avalon Suite / Royal Deck / $1,899

Avalon Notes

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.

Avalon Waterways Fleet

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Avalon Tour Dates

Tour Land StartAvalon RetailRequest Quote
*12/14/2017 $2,995.00
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