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Avalon Waterways Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Southbound) (WFZ)

5 Day River Cruise Frankfurt to Basel 
This Christmastime river cruise is a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season! Board your Avalon Suite Ship® in Frankfurt, Germany, then sail up the Rhine River to Basel, Switzerland, passing beautiful views and quaint villages festively lit and decorated. This one-of-a-kind Christmas river cruise through France and Germany takes you on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. At 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. You’ll also find an array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts. Strasbourg, located on the border of France and Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. Strasbourg 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 the Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Your Christmas river cruise along the Rhine River takes you to 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 this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Your delightful holiday cruise ends in Basel, Switzerland. Don’t miss this experience to savor the holiday season in traditional and beautiful Christmas traditions of European winter markets and festivities!

Ships: Envision - Tranquility II - Impression - Imagery II

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Frankfurt (Embarkation): Onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Speyer. Excursion to Heidelberg: Guided visit of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat; free time for Christmas market

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

Day 4 Breisach: Choice of visit to Badischer Winzerkeller or excursion the Black Forest; Christmas market

Day 5 Basel (Disembarkation): Your cruise ends this morning

Related Avalon Tours

WFZ - Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Southbound)
WZF - Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Northbound)

Itinerary (2022)

Day 1FRANKFURT, GERMANY (EMBARKATION)
 Welcome to Germany. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Frankfurt must arrive by 3 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER

(D)
Day 2SPEYER. EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG
 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.

This evening, enjoy live entertainment on board

EVENING/OVERNIGHT 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 CRUISE TO BREISACH

(B,L,D)
Day 4BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST
 German Winemaking 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.

After your visit to Badischer Winzerkeller, 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

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BASEL

(B,L,D)
Day 5BASEL, SWITZERLAND (DISEMBARKATION)
 Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Flights shouldn't leave Zürich airport before 10 am or Basel airport before 8 am.

(B)

Avalon Pricing Details

Gateway city for departures is Zürich

Port charges:
$112

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

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.

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.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Avalon Waterways Fleet

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Avalon Tour Dates

Tour Land StartAvalon RetailRequest Quote
12/08/2021 $1,999.00
12/14/2021 $1,999.00
12/16/2021 $1,999.00
12/10/2022 $1,999.00
12/15/2022 $1,999.00
12/17/2022 $1,999.00
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