THE VALUE OF INCLUSIVE CRUISING
Inclusive. A word that you don’t tend to associate with cruising. A river cruise with no extra costs and unexpected fees. Your entire experience from ship to shore is included.
From enriching excursions led by Certified Local Guides, to VIP access into the must-see sites. From sparkling wine with breakfast, to specialty coffees throughout the day, to regional beers and wines with dinner. From luxuriously spacious staterooms boasting floor-to-ceiling windows to free WiFi.
ROMANTIC RHINE STARTING FROM ONLY $4,143!
Take advantage of this great offer from Avalon with prices starting from only $4,143 | SAVE $1,900 per couple on select sailings!
One of Europe’s most legendary rivers takes you across Germany and touches in Holland, France, and Switzerland! This magnificent Rhine River cruise begins in the ever popular, modern city of Amsterdam, Holland. Cruise on its famous canals along the elegant grachten–the best way to see the treasures of this 700-year-old city dating back to the “Golden Age.” Visit Cologne, Germany—a 2,000 year-old city known for its Gothic-style architecture—and see its famous twin-spired cathedral and Old Town with many shops, cafés, and taverns.
Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—offering the most beautiful view of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. Cruise to the charming wine town of Rüdesheim and visit the unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. Continue your Rhine River cruise to Mainz for a guided walk and visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum, or take an excursion to Heidelberg to visit the ruins of its red-walled castle. In Strasbourg, France, marvel at the red-sandstone Gothic-style cathedral with ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Also, stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade. Stop in Breisach, Germany, the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest. Here, find unrivaled natural beauty in the area best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock.
AT A GLANCE
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. The streets, squares, and canals—not to mention the bike paths throughout the city—make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Perhaps you would like to take an optional excursion to Zaanse Schans with its traditional houses and Dutch craft workshops. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception.
Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation):Onboard welcome reception
Day 2 Amsterdam:Canal cruise
Day 3 Cologne:Choice of Cologne highlights walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tour or bike with your Adventure Host
Day 4 Rhine Gorge-Rüdesheim:Scenic cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim or hike in the vineyards with your Adventure Host
Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg:Choice of guided walk in Mainz with a visit to the Gutenberg Museum-or a guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, or a hike up Philosophers’ Way
Day 6 Strasbourg:Choice of guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the Gothic cathedral or bike with your Adventure Host
Day 7 Breisach:Choice of excursion to Black Forest, or visit to a local winery in Breisach
Day 8 Basel (Disembarkation):Your cruise ends this morning
DAY 2 AMSTERDAM
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 in the city this afternoon—you might like to join an optional biking tour (weather permitting). Later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany.
DAY 3 COLOGNE, GERMANY
Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne in the afternoon. 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!
DAY 4 RHINE GORGE–RÜDESHEIM
Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. Here, join a Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the city that reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. In Rüdesheim, the quintessential 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. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT before returning to your ship for dinner.
DAY 5 MAINZ - EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG
Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. Join your Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK through the Altstadt (Old Town) with its many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here, and you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. After lunch, travel to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany. With a LOCAL GUIDE, 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!
DAY 6 STRASBOURG, 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. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, 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-timber 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. An optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available today. After dinner tonight, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration.
DAY 7 BREISACH, 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 described them as black. Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. You may opt for a visit to the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago.
DAY 8 BASEL, SWITZERLAND (DISEMBARKATION)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
Click here to read a blog by our expert Diane Short about what to expect on a cruise like this!
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