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Avalon Waterways The Best of Switzerland with Romantic Rhine (XZG5)

15 days from Zürich to Amsterdam 
This fabulous vacation beginning with an in-depth land tour of everything stunning Switzerland has to offer; then a river cruise along the legendary Rhine River—with stops in France, Germany, and Holland—awaits you!

With its stunning mountains, fascinating old towns, and beautiful lakes, Switzerland offers something for everyone. On this tour, experience some of its most interesting cities with overnights in Zürich, St. Moritz, Lugano, Zermatt, Lake Geneva, and Lucerne. And no tour to Switzerland is complete without seeing the stunning scenery, so enjoy a scenic drive following Lake Zürich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. In Täsch, board a mountain train to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the famous Matterhorn. If beautiful lakes are what you desire to see, you'll enjoy Lake Como; Lake Maggiore; Lake Geneva; and Lugano, the popular subtropical resort on the shores of Lake Lugano. To bring Switzerland to life, Globus has arranged some unique experiences for you. Enjoy lunch at a traditional Swiss working farm in Berne and a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus to enjoy heavenly views. Of course, Switzerland is known for its chocolates, so this tour would not be complete without a taste of traditional chocolate pralines.

Embark on your river cruise in Basel, Switzerland, and head for Breisach, Germany, where you’ll find 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. In Strasbourg, France, be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and the fascinating astronomical clock. Stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, towering magnificently over the city, and stop in Mainz for a guided walk and a visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam, offers world-famous museums and an abundance of restaurants amongst the classic architecture and charming canals. See the treasures of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.”

From stunning scenery and vibrant cities to its special experiences, this river cruise and land tour is sure to delight. So grab your camera and get ready for an amazing vacation!

Ships: Affinity - Felicity
Special Offer/Promotion

Avalon Waterways Promotions & Special Offers

  • Save $300 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 09/02/18, 09/09/18
  • Save $500 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
  • Single supplement waived on the cruise portion of select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
Restrictions May Apply

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Zürich: arrive in Zürich, welcome dinner

Day 2 Zürich–Vaduz, Liechtenstein–St. Moritz, Switzerland: orientation walk of the Old Town; taste Sprüngli chocolate pralines; visit the capital of Liechtenstein

Day 3 St. Moritz–Lake Como, Italy–Lugano, Switzerland: picture stop in Lake Como

Day 4 Lugano–Stresa, Italy–Täsch, Switzerland–Zermatt: a stop in Stresa at Lake Maggiore; mountain train to Zermatt

Day 5 Zermatt–Lake Geneva: drive through the Rhône Valley to Lake Geneva

Day 6 Lake Geneva–Berne–Lucerne: guided walking tour, stop at the Bear Park and enjoy a panoramic view from the Rose Garden; lunch at a working farm

Day 7 Lucerne: walking tour including the Lion Monument and Chapel Bridge; Mount Pilatus excursion including a souvenir cap; farewell dinner

Day 8 Lucerne–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 9 Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum

Day 10 Strasbourg, France: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral

Day 11 Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany–Mainz: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat in Heidelberg; visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz

Day 12 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim and enjoy a special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; guided walking tour in Koblenz

Day 13 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk

Day 14 Amsterdam, Holland: canal cruise

Day 15 Amsterdam (Disembarkation):
your vacation ends this morning

Itinerary (2018)

Day 1Arrive in Zürich, Switzerland.
 Welcome to Zurich! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)
Day 2Zürich–Vaduz, Liechtenstein–St. Moritz.
 Enjoy an orientation walk of Zurich’s well-preserved OLD TOWN with its medieval guild houses, and [LF] taste the traditional CHOCOLATE PRALINES at the famous Sprüngli Confectionery. Next, a scenic drive following Lake Zurich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. After a break in its capital, Vaduz, ascend the Rhine Valley into the mountainous Grisons, a canton where three of the country’s four languages are spoken. The 7,504-foot Julier Pass, an important Alpine road since Roman times, leads to the Engadine. This valley is considered by many as the most beautiful mountain area in the world, with deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests that turn golden in the fall, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style. Afternoon arrival in ritzy St. Moritz. (B,D)
Day 3St. Moritz–Lake Como, Italy–Lugano, Switzerland.
 A gradual change of scenery as you descend towards the enchanting shores of Italy’s Lake Como and continue on to the southern tip of Switzerland. The vegetation south of the Alps is Mediterranean: chestnut groves, vineyards, and olive and fig trees make you forget that earlier today you were within walking distance of glaciers. Afternoon arrival in the popular subtropical resort town of Lugano allows time for shopping under the arcades of Via Nassa or an espresso on flower-festooned Piazza Riforma. To truly appreciate splendid Lake Lugano, an exciting optional boat ride is available, followed by dinner at a traditional “grotto” restaurant. (B)
Day 4Lugano–Stresa, Italy–Täsch, Switzerland–Zermatt.
 From Lake Lugano to the Italian shore of Lake Maggiore for a break in elegant Stresa. An optional boat ride to enchanting Isola Bella can be arranged. Continue over lofty Simplon Pass into the Swiss Valais, an area renowned for its excellent wines and great mountain resorts. To reach the most famous of them, leave the coach behind in Täsch and board a MOUNTAIN TRAIN to climb the last few miles up to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn. (B)
Day 5Zermatt–Lake Geneva.
 This morning, you can join an exciting optional excursion to Klein Matterhorn for spectacular views of the surrounding Alps. Later, motor through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhône Valley, and arrive at beautiful Lake Geneva for your overnight stay. (B,D)
Day 6Lake Geneva–Berne–Lucerne.
 In the stately capital of Berne, your guided tour starts at the BEAR PARK, followed by a panoramic view of the city from the Rose Garden. Next, enjoy a walking tour through the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town. Witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and take pictures of ornate, flower-adorned fountains. The highlight of the day is a [LF] special lunch at a traditional Swiss WORKING FARM, to give you a chance to see how people live in rural Switzerland. Over Brünig Pass to picturesque Lucerne. An optional dinner excursion is available to a folklore party with yodeling for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking. (B,L)
Day 7Lucerne.
 On your walking tour 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. Afterwards, another true Swiss experience: [LF] a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus, the “Guard of Lucerne,” where you get a special SOUVENIR CAP to always remember this experience! Tonight, a special farewell dinner awaits you at your hotel for a proper auf Wiedersehen. (B,D)
Day 8Lucerne–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation).
 Your Globus tour ends today with a late-morning transfer by coach to Basel, where your Avalon ship is docked for embarkation. Please reconfirm all transfer details directly with your Globus Tour Director while on tour. (B,D)
Day 9Breisach, 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. The area got its name because the pine forests are so dense, local residents described them as black. The most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks! You may opt to visit the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Vogtsbauernhof Museum to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (B,L,D)
Day 10Strasbourg, France.
 Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. 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. Explore 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. This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available. (B,L,D)
Day 11Excursion 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 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, it holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor on top of it! In the afternoon, arrive in Mainz, which today 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 is a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here. During a GUIDED WALK, you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. (B,L,D)
Day 12Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz.
 This morning, dock in pretty Rüdesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to 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. 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 water. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of 2,000-year-old Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. (B,L,D)
Day 13Cologne.
 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. 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! (B,L,D)
Day 14Amsterdam, 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. (B,L,D)
Day 15Amsterdam (Disembarkation).
 Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Included Avalon Meals

Cruise Portion:
  • 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; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel
Land Portion:
  • Full buffet breakfast daily; 1 special lunch; 4 three-course dinners with wine, including a welcome dinner in Zürich and a special farewell dinner in Lucerne

Avalon Pricing Details

Prices based on double room occupancy.

Single room supplement:
$260

Triples not available.

Extra nights per person in Zurich:
in single room $149, in twin $100

Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
in single room $235-$305, in twin room $135-$170

Cruise Details:
Port charges:
$168

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only..

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

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

To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:

Affinity/Felicity
Category / Decks / Price
B / Sapphire Deck / $649
A / Sapphire Deck / $699
P / Royal Deck / $799
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $1,499

Tranquility II/Imagery II
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 / $1,999

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 becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.

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