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Christmastime in Alsace & Germany 2022 (Northbound)

5 days with Avalon Waterways   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 BASEL, SWITZERLAND (EMBARKATION)
Welcome to Switzerland. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Zürich or Basel must arrive by 3 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Stroll through the city center, enjoy the festive illumination and savor Christmas delicacies like waffles, gingerbread, sweets and Swiss raclette.

EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH (D)

Day 2 BREISACH, 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—between 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.

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. Alternatively, spend your afternoon leisurely browsing Breisach’s lovely Christmas market to sample pretzels, mulled wine, and Black Forest cake.

Later, enjoy live entertainment onboard

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO STRASBOURG (B,L,D)

Day 3 STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Joyeux Noël in Strasbourg

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 in a wine country village in beautiful Alsace. Spend free time this afternoon strolling through the glowing winter markets of Strasbourg.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER (B,L,D)

Day 4 SPEYER, GERMANY. HEIDELBERG EXCURSION
Winter Wonders 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.

Explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of Speyer Christmas markets.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO FRANKFURT (B,L,D)

Day 5 FRANKFURT (DISEMBARKATION)
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Flights should not leave Frankfurt airport before 10 am. (B)
Map
All This Included
This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France and Germany, with beautiful passing views 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 Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Ship Amenities - Avalon Imagery II:
    • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
    • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, shade awnings, & outdoor deck game area
    • State-of-the-art fitness center
    • Non-smoking staterooms & ship interior
    • Convenient Elevator Service
    • Elegant, contemporary design
    • Outside viewing deck
    • Headsets for guided shore excursions
    • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
    • Sightseeing with Expert Local Guides
    • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
    • Complimentary room service for Continental breakfast
    • Sky Deck whirlpool
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
    • Additional biking excursions available in Amsterdam, Breisach and Bernkastel
    • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, Nordic walking sticks, watercraft & maps
    • Casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
    • Choice of Classic, Active or Discovery excursions so that you can experience your cruise your way
    • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
    • Onshore & Onboard experiences with regional customs, cultures & tastings with local artisans, experts & entertainers
    • Specialty coffees, espresso drinks and beWell Essence flavored and infused water available throughout each day
    • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and board games
    • Complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit, and cookies available throughout the day
    • Full-size closet mirror
  • Ship Dining - Avalon Imagery II:
    • Avalon FreshSM healthy cuisine options at every meal
    • Specialty coffees, espresso drinks and beWell Essence flavored and infused water available throughout each day
    • Welcome & farewell cocktails with sparkling wine & canapés
    • Spacious, open-seating Panorama Dining Room
    • Daily early-riser breakfast
    • Daily late-riser breakfast
    • Daily a la carte breakfast with full range of classic breakfast items, healthy Avalon Fresh® options and daily specials
    • Daily a la carte lunch including regional specialties, healthy Avalon Fresh® options and classic dishes
    • Al fresco lunch in the Sky Grill
    • Cocktails with a view on the Sky Deck
    • Healthy Corner options including low calorie, low fat, high fiber, low cholesterol, and high energy choices
    • Vegetarian options at every meal, as well as vegan and allergy-free selections
    • Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, and sweet treats
    • Happy Hour every evening including featured drink specials
    • Seasonal cuisine featuring the freshest local ingredients
    • Chef-prepared onboard meals with regional cuisine and familiar favorites
    • Four-course dinners with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrées and desserts or cheese
    • Complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner
    • Complimentary room service for Continental breakfast
    • Panorama Lounge & Bar with premium spirits, cozy seating, panoramic windows & dance floor
    • Healthy meal options
    • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
    • Tastings - sample the destination's famous delicacies
    • Casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Coffee or tea after dinner
    • Light lunch in the Panorama Lounge
    • FlexDining flexible dining times with menu & venue options
Highlights
  • Day 1 Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Day 2 Breisach: choice of visit to Badischer Winzerkeller or excursion to Black Forest; Christmas market
  • Day 3 Strasbourg: guided tour, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market
  • Day 4 Speyer. Excursion to Heidelberg: guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat; free time for Christmas market
  • Day 5 Frankfurt (Disembarkation): your cruise ends this morning
Accommodations
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Imagery II

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.
  • Gateway city for arrivals is Zürich
  • Port charges$112
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Avalon Waterways terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.