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Christmastime from Basel to Prague 2019

12 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Save $1,000 per couple off this cruise. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement in certain cabin categories on select 2019 river cruises. Click here for eligible departures.

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

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 BASEL, SWITZERLAND (EMBARKATION)
Welcome to Switzerland! Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Zürich must arrive by 3 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Stroll through the city centre, 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
History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest

DISCOVERY Join a full-day 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 bretzels, mulled wine, and Black Forest cake.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO STRASBOURG (B,L,D)

Day 3 STRASBOURG, 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/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER (B,L,D)

Day 4 SPEYER, GERMANY. HEIDELBERG EXCURSION
Winter Wonders and a Wine Barrel Fit for a King

CLASSIC Take a half-day Guided Tour that includes the magnificent Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat—the world’s largest wine barrel.

This afternoon, visit the local German Christmas Markets in Heidelberg, or Speyer. Explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of these sparkling winter wonderlands.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO WIESBADEN (B,L,D)

Day 5 WIESBADEN. EXCURSION TO RUDESHEIM
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

DISCOVERY Tour the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience in Rüdesheim

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER (B,D)

Day 6 MAIN RIVER VILLAGE
Hidden Gifts and Holiday Delights in Beautiful Bavaria

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of a picturesque village along the Main River.

DISCOVERY Join a Cookie-Baking Demonstration on board your ship while sailing.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WÜRZBURG (B,L,D)

Day 7 WÜRZBURG
Ornaments, Old Saint Nicholas, and Nutcrackers Sweet

CLASSIC Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the “Pearl of the Romantic Road” with its Old Main Bridge, towering fortress, and baroque Bishop’s Residence.

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the beautiful Bavarian town of Rothenburg. Visit the Käthe Wohlfahrt German Christmas museum—the world’s most extensive collection of traditional German Christmas decorations.

Spend free time enjoying the festive, warm glow of Wurzburg’s Christmas markets.

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

Day 8 BAMBERG
Cherished Christmas Customs and Cradle Scenes

DISCOVERY Enjoy an onboard Christmas Traditions Lecture while sailing.

CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bamberg—medieval home of Germany’s Roman Empire dynasties. Stroll through dozens of Bamberg’s nativity scenes—from miniature to life-size.

Take free time to enjoy the quaint Christmas markets, and warm up with traditional German dumplings, sausage, and a glass of hearty Bavarian ale.

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

Day 9 NUREMBERG
Living Heritage and History Lessons

CLASSIC Choose a Guided Tour of Nuremberg’s medieval architecture, gilded fountain, Gothic cathedral, and Kaiserburg Castle, OR:

CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally Grounds—used by the Third Reich.

Spend free time browsing the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample favorite Bavarian fare—bratwurst, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other Christkindlmarkt culinary delights.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG (B,L,D)

Day 10 NUREMBERG (DISEMBARKATION)
Bid your crew farewell and head for the Golden City of Prague

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to reveal the secrets of Prague as your expert local guide takes you to Charles Bridge and Malá Strana—two of Prague’s most romantic and picturesque spots. (B)

Day 11 PRAGUE
Gothic Cathedrals, Grand Castles, and Czech Christmas Spirits

CLASSIC Take a Guided City Walk to visit Hradcany Castle Grounds; see St. Vitus Cathedral, and Old Town’s Astronomical Clock.

Spend the afternoon on your own to browse the exquisite Christmas Markets of Prague. Stroll through the brightly colored wooden stalls for ornaments and handmade toys and handicrafts.

In the evening, you might like to attend an Optional Folklore Dinner Show, sampling traditional Czech cuisine in an authentic Prague setting. (B)

Day 12 PRAGUE
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Day 1 Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Day 2 Breisach: excursion to Black Forest; Christmas market
  • Day 3 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, 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; Christmas markets
  • Day 5 Wiesbaden. Excursion to Rüdesheim: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat
  • Day 6 Main river village: guided walk, onboard baking demonstration
  • Day 7 Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz; Christmas market
  • Day 8 Bamberg: onboard Christmas Traditions lecture; guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall; Christmas market
  • Day 9 Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; Christmas market
  • Day 10 Nuremberg (Disembarkation)—Prague: travel to Prague
  • Day 11 Prague: guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit Hradcany Castle Grounds; Christmas market
  • Day 12 Prague: your vacation ends this morning
All This Included
On this Christmastime river cruise, you’ll start in Switzerland, and cruise through the heart of Germany, with stops in France and the Czech Republic. Explore many unique Christmas markets, where you can shop for locally crafted gifts, smell the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread, and sample tasty holiday treats.

Embark your river cruise ship in Basel, Switzerland, and sail to Breisach, Germany. From here, enjoy a visit to Germany’s Black Forest, known for contributing Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks to the world. In Strasbourg, France, visit the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with its ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. This time of year, the historic charm of the city is mixed with festive aromas, sights, and sounds—creating a truly magical atmosphere! In Heidelberg, Germany, visit the imposing ruins of Heidelberg Castle. You’ll find an ice rink at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market covers five town squares with an array of seasonal crafts and delicacies. An excursion takes you to charming Rüdesheim on the Rhine River, where you’ll see Europe’s largest nativity scene with life-size figures. In Würzburg, walk through the halls of the ornate Bishop’s Residenz—then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). Learn about holiday traditions as you sail to Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you’ll find nativity scenes built by local citizens throughout the town. On a guided tour of Nuremberg, marvel at the city’s medieval fortifications and gothic churches, and of course visit the Christmas market, one of the oldest in Germany.

Your Christmastime river cruise vacation ends in beautiful Prague, Czech Republic, which you visit with a Local Guide. The Christmas market offers rows of brightly decorated wooden huts selling ornaments and Czech handicrafts—be sure to try a traditional hot sausage from one of the stalls.

Ship Amenities - Avalon Artistry II:
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  • Fitness Center
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Elevator
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Hair salon
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Breisach
  • Bicycles available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Local FavoritesSM onboard experiences to bring the customs, cultures and tastes of your destinations to life, including local entertainers, artisans & experts
  • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • Well-stocked library
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day
  • Full-size closet mirror
Ship Dining - Avalon Artistry II:
  • Avalon FreshSM healthy cuisine options at every meal
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • Captain's reception with sparkling wine & canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Five-course farewell dinner
  • Spacious, open-seating dining room
  • Daily early-riser breakfast
  • Daily late-riser breakfast
  • Full buffet breakfast with sparkling wine and made-to-order egg station
  • Lunch buffet with carving and pasta stations
  • Sky Bistro lunch option on the Sky Deck
  • 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
  • Delectable regional & Western cuisine with all onboard meals
  • Four-course dinners with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrées and desserts or cheese
  • Complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Upscale bar serving premium spirits
  • Night Fare served at 10:30 pm
  • Healthy meal options
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Tastings - sample the destination's famous delicacies
  • Coffee or tea after dinner
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Artistry II, Avalon Visionary
Zurich: Radisson Blu Airport
Prague: Hilton Prague Old Town
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Zurich:
in single room from $185 to $349, in twin room from $120 to $208

Extra nights per person in Prague:
in single room $250, in twin room $148
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • 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 check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Port charges: $234
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
  • Triples not available.
  • 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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