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Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine with Lucerne, Paris & London 2018
(Northbound)

16 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Save $500 to $1,000 per couple off 2018 Europe cruises. Expires November 28. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement in certain cabin categories on 2018 river cruises. Expires November 28. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Avalon Journeys Club members save 5% off the cruise/land price. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Lucerne
Welcome to Lucerne! The remainder of the day is free to start exploring this delightful town on the Reuss River.
 
Day 2 Lucerne
On your GUIDED WALK 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. This afternoon, you are free to explore on your own. (Breakfast)
 
Day 3 Lucerne–Basel (Embarkation)
This morning, another true Swiss experience: a trip to the top of nearby Mount Pilatus, the “Guard of Lucerne,” for spectacular vistas over Lucerne, its lake, and the Alpine scenery. Departures October 19 to November 2 will visit the Swiss Museum of Transport, as transportation up Mount Pilatus will be closed for maintenance during this period. This afternoon, a short transfer takes you to Basel to board your river cruise vessel. (Breakfast)
 
Day 4 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. 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! This afternoon there’s free time in Breisach to visit the Christmas market —or you may join an optional excursion to Colmar in France’s Alsace region. ) (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 5 Strasbourg, 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. Dating back to 1570, the traditional Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Located around Place de la Cathédrale and Place Broglie, its centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets, you’ll notice the pleasing aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits—a truly magical atmosphere! This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 6 Excursion 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. Then there's free time to explore the local Christmas market in this beautiful city. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 7 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz
This morning, dock in pretty Rudesheim, 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. During the festive period the entire town transforms itself into one large Christmas market, offering products and specialties from a number of nations, all presented in a distinctive manner. You’ll be spoiled by the selection of shops offering a vast variety of Christmas presents and decorations. In the Market Square, you’ll find Europe’s largest nativity scene, with life-size figures. 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 8 Cologne
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. This morning, join an included GUIDED CITY 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! Wander through the fabulous and magical Christmas market before leaving Cologne and sailing to Amsterdam. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 9 Amsterdam, 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 10 Amsterdam–Paris, France
Disembark your Avalon ship for your included transfer to the train station, where you will travel via HIGH-SPEED THALYS TRAIN (first class) to join your Monograms package. (Breakfast)
 
Day 11 Paris
Morning guided sightseeing takes you to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL, where Napoleon was crowned emperor in 1804, to admire its famed 13th-century Rose Window. Pass the Latin Quarter, Les Invalides, the Opéra, Place de la Concorde, and Arc de Triomphe. Drive by the Seine River with its beautiful bridges and stop to take photos of the iconic Eiffel Tower from one of the best viewing points. Also enter the world’s most visited museum, THE LOUVRE, to see Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and other treasures (Louvre replaced with Seine cruise on Tuesdays). (Breakfast)
 
Day 12 Paris
Your Local Host can suggest options, like an excursion to Monet’s Giverny or Versailles Palace, a visit to Musée d’Orsay, where to try French onion soup, and many other possibilities. (Breakfast)
 
Day 13 Paris–London, England
Travel to London by HIGH-SPEED EUROSTAR TRAIN (Standard class). (Breakfast)
 
Day 14 London
Morning guided sightseeing includes London’s landmarks. Drive past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben; Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were married; Whitehall’s mounted horseguards; the Prime Minister’s Downing Street; and Piccadilly Circus. Take photos of the London Eye, the giant Ferris wheel situated on the river bank, and the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. Then, visit ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL (except on Sundays). Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece with its world-famous dome is an iconic feature of London’s skyline. (Breakfast)
 
Day 15 London
Your Local Hosts will be pleased to give you some interesting suggestions for the day—perhaps a visit to the blood-curdling London Dungeon or Madame Tussauds’ celebrity wax figure exhibition, and an acclaimed West End show with pre-theater dinner at a London restaurant. (Breakfast)
 
Day 16 London
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Lucerne: guided walk
  • Lucerne–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation): excursion to Mount Pilatus; onboard welcome reception
  • Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a woodcarver’s workshop; Christmas market 
  • Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market
  • Excursion to Heidelberg–Mainz: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat in Heidelberg; Christmas market; visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; Christmas market
  • Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim and enjoy a special treat; Christmas market; cruise through the Rhine Gorge
  • Cologne: guided city walk; Christmas market
  • Amsterdam: canal cruise
  • Amsterdam (Disembarkation): transfer to Paris
  • Paris & London: 6 nights hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast; Monograms Local Host Service & Destination Guides with city maps; guided sightseeing, inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE; high-speed Thalys train (first class) from Amsterdam to Paris; high-speed Eurostar train (Standard class*) from Paris to London (porterage available for one suitcase on Paris– London stretch only); transfers to/from train stations 
All This Included
Europe’s most legendary cities, rivers, and sights await you on this mesmerizing river cruise and land vacation. Your adventure begins with two overnights in lovely Lucerne, Switzerland, where a guided walk features the ornate historic homes lining the walled Old Town and Chapel Bridge—the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. Enjoy free time to explore on your own and an excursion takes you to the top of Mount Pilatus for spectacular Alpine views! (Departures October 25 to November 2 visit the Swiss Transport Museum as transportation up Mt. Pilatus is unavailable due to maintenance.)

A short transfer delivers you to your Avalon ship to embark your river cruise on the enchanting Rhine River. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Koblenz, and Cologne, as well as an excursion to the Black Forest and to Heidelberg—Germany’s oldest university town. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river dotted every mile with majestic castles. Visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam. Transfer by high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris for your exciting Monograms extension. Your hotel reservations, sightseeing with local experts, and transfers to and from your hotels will all be arranged. Best of all, you’ll have the services of friendly and knowledgeable Local Hosts® who can answer questions, share inside information, help arrange activities and excursions, and more. We know the very best place to photograph the iconic Eiffel Tower, and we’ll take you there to get your shots! You’ll go to Notre Dame Cathedral to admire its amazing stained-glass Rose Window, and the Louvre museum to see Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and other treasures. With three overnights, the “City of Light” is yours for discovering.

Next, bid “Au Revoir” as an included high-speed train transfer whisks you from Paris to London for three nights and plenty of time to investigate just what makes England so jolly. From your local expert, you'll hear the inside stories of famous places like Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Go inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, the iconic cathedral where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married. You’ll also see Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly Circus—just to name a few iconic London landmarks. With a full day to explore London on your own, perhaps ride the London Eye, shop at the iconic Harrods department store, or take in a West End theater show. A perfect ending to wonderful Avalon European river cruise and Monograms land vacation!
  • 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; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
  • Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
  • Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
  • Headsets for shore excursions
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Personalized room options & excursions
Accommodations on this Tour
Lucerne: Palace Luzerne
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Tranquility II
Paris: To be determined
London: Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Lucerne:
in single room from $370 to $445, in twin room from $240 to $260

Extra nights per person in London:
in single room from $188 to $291, in twin room from $97 to $148
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades available.
  • Supplement to upgrade to standard premier on Eurostar train Paris-London: $185.
  • Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • Port charges of $168 are not included.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
  • 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 is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* 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. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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