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Avalon Waterways Christmastime in Alsace & Germany – Northbound (WZF)

5 days from Zürich to Wiesbaden 
This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France and Germany, with beautiful passing landscapes and quaint villages festively lit and decorated—a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season!

Board your ship in Basel, Switzerland, then stop in Breisach, considered the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest. An area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. There is no better setting than at this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Strasbourg, France, located on the border with Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. The city is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe—dating back to the 16th century. Take in the aromas of mulled wine, spice cakes, and biscuits. Bask in the holiday atmosphere as you visit Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock.

You’ll go on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. This time of year, an ice rink can be found at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market is spread over five town squares. Delight in the holiday cheer with Glühwein (hot mulled wine), bratwursts, and other regional delicacies. There’s plenty of time to find just the right Christmas present amongst the array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts before this magical European river cruise ends in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Ships: Tranquility II - Imagery II
Special Offer/Promotion

Avalon Waterways Promotions & Special Offers

  • Single supplement waived on the cruise portion of select 2017 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
  • Save $500 per couple on select 2017 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
  • Save $500 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 11/28/18
  • Single supplement waived on the cruise portion of select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
Restrictions May Apply

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Zürich. Transfer to Basel: onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Breisach: excursion to the Black Forest; Christmas markets

Day 3 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market

Day 4 Heidelberg: guided visit of the castle; see the Great Vat; Christmas markets

Day 5 Wiesbaden: your vacation ends this morning

Related Avalon Tours

WFZ - Cruise from Frankfurt to Basel

Itinerary (2018)

Day 1Arrive in Zürich, Switzerland–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation).
 Welcome to Switzerland. This afternoon, board your ship and meet your crew at an onboard welcome reception. (D)

NOTE:
Flights into Zürich must arrive before 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2Breisach, 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 once described them as black. There’s no better setting this time of year than when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs. Surely, the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, 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 3Strasbourg, 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. In fact, on your GUIDED 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 4Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany.
 Today, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, 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 is scattered over five town squares, and you’ll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. There is plenty of free time to shop for Christmas decorations or gifts. (B,L,D)
Day 5Wiesbaden (Disembarkation).
 Your vacation ends after breakfast today. (B)

NOTE:
Departure flights should not leave Frankfurt Airport before 10 am.

Avalon Pricing Details

Gateway for arrival is Zürich, Switzerland.

Port charges:
$96

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 $150, in twin room $100

Extra nights per person in Frankfurt:
in single room $245, in twin room $140

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 / $114
B / Sapphire Deck / $657
A / Sapphire Deck / $685
P / Royal Deck / $742
Suite / Royal Deck / $1,142

Avalon Notes

  • Christmas markets operate from late November until the third week of December, depending on the location.
  • 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
11/30/2017 $1,349.00
11/28/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $1,499.00
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