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Avalon Waterways Spectacular Switzerland with Romantic Rhine (XZH5)

16 Day River Cruise Zürich to Amsterdam 
This European tour includes a Globus escorted vacation in stunning Switzerland, along witha river cruise on the legendary Rhine River through France, Germany, and Holland.

Begin in spectacular Switzerland, where you'll enjoy the country’s beautiful mountains and lakes—with overnights in Zürich, Geneva, the Gruyère area, the Interlaken area, and Lucerne. The highlight of this tour is the time spent in the Interlaken area. The town is nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and surrounded by three mighty mountains: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. From Interlaken, Globus has arranged an unforgettable rack railway trip to the "Top of Europe," a high alpine wonderland of ice and snow. Here, at the amazing Jungfraujoch, Europe's highest railway station at 11,332 feet, you can experience an unforgettable journey through the alpine world; stand on the observation platform to view the glaciers; and witness a panoramic view overlooking France, Germany, and Italy. A truly unforgettable experience! Also, visit the magnificent castle in Gruyères and walk through eight centuries of architecture, history, and culture. Visit Geneva, Switzerland's most international and second-largest city, to explore its fantastic lakeside setting and breathtaking panoramas of the Alps. Here, you'll enjoy guided sightseeing in the city with a visit to the Reformation Park. Enjoy a chocolate tasting at the famous Maison Cailler in Broc; and stop in Gstaad, one of Switzerland's most famous skiing resorts and a popular destination for international celebrities. In Lucerne, enjoy a guided walking tour that includes the Lion Monument and Chapel Bridge.

Embark on your river cruise in Basel, Switzerland, and head for Breisach, Germany. Here, you’ll find the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, and home to 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, or sail to Mainz for a guided walk and a visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful view of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam, offers world-famous museums and an abundance of restaurants amid 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.” A perfect ending to this once-in-a-lifetime vacation in Europe!

Ships: Vista - Panorama

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Zürich: Welcome to Switzerland

Day 2 Zürich–Biel/Bienne–Neuchâte–Geneva: Zürich orientation tour; stop in Biel/Bienne, explore the historical center; Stop in lakeside Neuchâtel

Day 3 Geneva: Guided sightseeing, visit the Reformation Park

Day 4 Geneva–Évian Les Bains–Broc–Gruyère area: See the Rhône vineyards in Évian-Les-Bains; visit the castle in Gruyères; visit the famous Maison Cailler chocolate factory in Broc

Day 5 Charmey–Gstaad–Grindelwald: Orientation tour in Gstaad; travel to Grindelwald

Day 6 Grindelwald. Excursion to the Jungfrau: Visit to the Jungfraujoch railway station

Day 7 Grindelwald–Berne–Lucerne: See the Bear Park, the Old Town and enjoy the panoramic view from the Rose Garden in Berne; travel to Lucerne

Day 8 Lucerne: Walking tour, see the Lion Monument and the Chapel Bridge

Day 9 Lucerne–Basel (Embarkation): Travel to Basel; onboard welcome reception

Day 10 Breisach. Excursion to Black Forest: Choice of excursion to Black Forest or visit to a local winery in Breisach or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 11 Strasbourg: Choice of guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the Gothic cathedral or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 12 Mainz: Choice of guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, or hike up Philosophers' Way, or visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz

Day 13 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz: Visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim or hike in the vineyards with your Adventure Host; cruise through the scenic Rhine Gorge with breathtaking views of ancient castles, towering cliffs, and the legendary Rock of the Lorelei; free time in Koblenz

Day 14 Cologne: Choice of Cologne Highlights walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tour or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 15 Amsterdam: Choice of canal cruise or walk with your Adventure Host

Day 16 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): Your vacation ends this morning

Itinerary (2024)

Day 1ARRIVE IN ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND
 Welcome to Zurich! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travel companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.

(D)
Day 2ZÜRICH–BIEL/BIENNE–NEUCHÂTEL–GENEVA
 Swiss Strolls in Geneva ZURICH An orientation walk in the Old Town includes the Fraumünsterkirche.
BIEL/BIENNE Enjoy free time at the historical district.
NEUCHÂTEL Free time for lunch en route to Geneva.
174 mi / 280 km

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
CITY SIGHTS Fall in love with Zurich with a walk through the Altstadt – its Old Town, in the historic heart of the city. See the guild houses and historic squares that span both sides of the Limmat River. Gracing the shore is the famous Fraumünsterkirche, with its signature green steeple marking the skyline above stained-glass windows designed by masters Chagall and Giacometti.

(B)
Day 3GENEVA
 Grandeur in Geneva GENEVA Guided sightseeing includes Reformation Park and a walk through the Old Town. Free time this afternoon and evening.

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
HISTORY & TRADITION Explore Geneva's Old Town where the imposing St. Peter's Cathedral stands in the city of the Reformation. Discover fascinating stories along the small cobblestone streets and small squares, as well as secret passages. See the Parc des Bastions where giant statues of the leading figures of the Reformation are carved into the great wall – engraved with Geneva's motto, 'Post Tenebras Lux' (Light After Darkness).

(B)
Day 4GENEVA–ÉVIAN LES BAINS, FRANCE–BROC– GRUYÈRE AREA, SWITZERLAND–BROC–GRUYÈRE AREA
 How Sweet it Is ÉVIAN-LES-BAINS Enjoy free time to browse.
GRUYÈRES Globus Local Favorite Visit the castle and enjoy lunch with local specialties and a traditional dessert with meringue and double crème.
BROC [LF] Visit Maison Cailler Swiss chocolate factory for a tasting.
87 mi / 140 km

LOCAL FAVORITE
LOCAL TASTES Meringue a la crème and Swiss chocolate are two perfect pleasures we can’t resist! Capture the tradition of the medieval hilltop Castle of Gruyères with the double sweetness of crème and meringue. Later sink your sweet tooth into Maison Cailler’s decadent delicacies when you visit their famous chocolate factory.

(B,L,D)
Day 5GRUYÈRE AREA–GSTAAD–INTERLAKEN–GRINDELWALD
 Spectacular Switzerland GSTAAD Orientation walk and free time to browse.
INTERLAKEN Free time to explore.
GRINDELWALD Enjoy free time this afternoon and evening.
87 mi / 140 km

FREE TIME TIPS
EXPLORE MORE Grindelwald has been attracting visitors since the 18th century, a popular hub for those wishing to explore the Bernese Oberland, an area renowned for stunning scenery and unspoilt nature. During the winter months the area is a top ski destination, and Grindelwald is Switzerland’s largest ski resort.

(B)
Day 6GRINDELWALD. EXCURSION TO THE JUNGFRAU
 The Top of Europe GRINDELWALD Join an excursion to the Globus Local Favorite Jungfrau Massif with a mountain train ride to the summit, Ice Palace, and receive your Jungfrau Passport. Enjoy free time to explore.

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
EPIC RIDE An unforgettable journey to the Jungfraujoch, often called the “Top of Europe.” Disembark at Europe’s highest railway station and spend time exploring. Visit the Ice Palace where artists have created incredible ice sculptures. Enjoy 360° cinematic experience of the Jungfrau Panorama and don’t miss the chance to take the ultrafast lift to the Sphinx Observatory to get a fantastic view of the longest glacier in the Alps.

(B,D)
Day 7GRINDELWALD–BERNE–LUCERNE
 Alpine Attraction BERNE Guided walking tour includes a stop at Bear Park, panoramic views of the city from the Rose Garden and the Old Town. Free time for lunch.
LUCERNE Enjoy free time late this afternoon and evening.
112 mi / 180 km

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
CITY SIGHTS BärenPark (Bear Park) is home to Pyrenean brown bears (after which the town is named). This hillside habitat in Berne differs greatly from the bear pit of 1191 when Duke Berthold V vowed to name the town after the first animal his hunt found in the nearby woods. The first records of bears being kept in the city date back to 1513 when soldiers brought live bears home as spoils of war. Fast forward to the modern day as the inhumane bear pit of the 16th century has evolved into a 6,000 square-meter natural habitat alongside the Aar River.


(B)
Day 8LUCERNE
 Bridging History LUCERNE Walking tour includes the Lion monument, the Old Town, and the Chapel Bridge. Farewell dinner this evening at a local restaurant.

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
CITY SIGHTS See the symbol of Lucerne at the famous Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. Originally built in 1365, the bridge includes the Wasserturm (water tower) that once served as a prison. Today, this the world-famous timber bridge is Lucerne’s most photographed landmark.

(B,D)
Day 9LUCERNE–BASEL, SWITZERLAND (EMBARKATION)
 Transfer from Lucerne to Basel. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Enjoy dinner and explore the ship on your first night on board.

EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH

(B,D)
Day 10BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST
 German Winemaking and the Beautiful Black Forest

Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.

ACTIVE Enjoy the view on a relaxing bike ride along the Rhine with your Adventure Host, OR:

DISCOVERY Join a full-day Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience the Vogtsbauernohf open-air-museum, visit an authentic water mill, and see a traditional butter-making demonstration, OR:

DISCOVERY Visit to a local winery in Breisach, where you will learn about German winemaking and enjoy a wine tasting.

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar in the morning, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings.

EVENING CRUISE TO STRASBOURG

(B,L,D)
Day 11STRASBOURG, FRANCE
 A Grand Cathedral and La Petite France

ACTIVE Discover Strasbourg by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC Join a City Sightseeing Tour, including Strasbourg’s s gothic, stained-glass cathedral with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petite France District.

You may also choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the historic Maginot Line—the pre-WWII fortifications designed to protect the eastern border of France, or visit Alsace’s wine country today.

Alternatively, take some free time in Strasbourg to visit a museum, or stroll across the city center.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MAINZ

(B,L,D)
Day 12MAINZ, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG
 Castle Walls, and the World’s Biggest Wine Barrel

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Hike up Philosophers’ Way for an inspiring view of the city below, OR:

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Tour to Heidelberg Castle to see the ruins of the magnificent renaissance treasure towering above the city, and its famed Great Vat, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel,” OR:

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided City Walk in Mainz including a visit to the Gutenberg Museum to see the captivating history of printing.

Enjoy live entertainment on board your ship this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MAINZ

(B,L,D)
Day 13RÜDESHEIM–RHINE GORGE
 Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

ACTIVE Enjoy a hike with your Avalon Adventure Host through the picturesque vineyards of Rüdesheim, OR:

DISCOVERY Take a Guided Tour of the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience; based on your departure enjoy a local special treat.

En route to Koblenz, sail through the Rhine Gorge (a UNESCO World Heritage site). Take in the breathtaking views of ancient castles perched on cliffs 400 feet above the water, and pass the legendary Rock of the Lorelei—where the mythological siren’s songs lured ill-fated sailors.

KOBLENZ

Travel Through 2000 Years Of Monumental History

Enjoy free time in Koblenz before a relaxing evening on board with dinner and live entertainment.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN KOBLENZ

(B,L,D)
Day 14COLOGNE
 Prost! Celebrate in the Rhineland

Join your Adventure Host for today’s special activities.

ACTIVE Enjoy a bike ride like the locals in Cologne with your Adventure Host, OR:

DISCOVERY Choose a Guided Walking Tour of Cologne’s important Jewish heritage sites, OR:

CLASSIC Take a Guided City Walk of Cologne—with its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral.

Spend free time over a glass of Kölsch pale lager—locally brewed for over 100 years!

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AMSTERDAM

(B,L,D)
Day 15AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND
 Canals of Colorful Amsterdam

ACTIVE Start your day joining your Adventure Host on an early morning walk in Amsterdam, OR:

CLASSIC Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.”

During tulip season, you may take a Guided Optional Excursion to Keukenhof gardens—with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, as well as other bulbs, planted each year. Outside of tulip season, join a Guided Optional Excursion to Zaanse Schans to see historic windmills and charming Dutch houses. You may also choose an Optional Biking Tour to discover the countryside.

Take some free time to explore Amsterdam’s colorful streets and canal houses, galleries, and shops.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM

(B,L,D)
Day 16AMSTERDAM (DISEMBARKATION)
 Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

(B)

Avalon Pricing Details

Port charges:
$196

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
*05/02/2025 $7,928.00
*05/09/2025 $7,958.00
05/16/2025 $7,958.00
05/23/2025 $8,478.00
05/30/2025 $8,068.00
06/13/2025 $8,068.00
*06/20/2025 $8,578.00
06/27/2025 $8,068.00
07/04/2025 $8,618.00
*07/11/2025 $8,068.00
07/18/2025 $8,068.00
07/25/2025 $8,068.00
*08/01/2025 $8,618.00
08/08/2025 $8,168.00
08/22/2025 $8,298.00
08/29/2025 $8,398.00
09/05/2025 $8,398.00
*09/12/2025 $8,358.00
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