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Christmastime from Budapest to Basel 2019

19 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Save an additional $500 per couple off the air-inclusive price of select 2019 Europe cruises. This deal is combinable with other promotions. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save $500 to $2,500 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 BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
Welcome to Budapest—Hungary’s Captivating Capital

The day is yours to relax and enjoy Eastern Europe’s shining city on the Danube.

Day 2 BUDAPEST
The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided City Sightseeing, including the iconic Heroes’ Square.

Take in the beauty of Budapest while enjoying a free afternoon exploring such famous sights as the Chain Bridge. Get to know the city’s cafés and pubs, and Don’t miss the unique Christmas markets that Budapest hosts every year during the Festive season. (B)

Day 3 BUDAPEST (EMBARKATION)
Time for Coffee, and Confections

With a free day to explore before your cruise, take time to take photographs on the Royal Palace grounds in this treasure trove of historical architecture. Enjoy the Christmas the warmth and glow of Christmas tradition before boarding your Suite Ship®.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIENNA (B,D)

Day 4 VIENNA, AUSTRIA
Vienna Waltzes and the Beautiful Blue Danube

Enjoy sailing the Danube, which shares dozens of miles with Hungary and Slovakia. Relax on the Sky Deck to see the rolling landscape and red-rooftops of the Slovakian capital of Bratislava come into view.

DISCOVERY Enjoy an Austrian Cookie Tasting while sailing to Vienna.

This evening in Vienna, you may choose to join an Optional Excursion to attend a Royal Waltz Concert for an unforgettable evening of music in an elegant hall.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN VIENNA (B,L,D)

Day 5 VIENNA
Royal Collections, Amusing Attractions, and Culinary Confections

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of Vienna to see the Imperial Palace complex—the winter residence of the Imperial family, OR:

DISCOVERY Join a Guided Culinary Tour of Vienna’s magical Christmas Advent Markets to sample Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel.

Join a Guided Optional Excursion to Schönbrunn Palace—a Habsburg Empire summer home for 300 years.

Spend free time on your own to enjoy the Christkindlesmarkt, or relax by the fire’s glow in a Viennese café this evening.

Later, relax on board with live entertainment.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO KREMS (B,L,D)

Day 6 KREMS
Christmas Markets in the Austria’s Wine Country

CLASSIC Join a Guided Walk to explore this small valley town, seemingly untouched by the new world.

In your free time perhaps try some roasted chestnuts, one of the most popular treats at the Christmas market.

During lunchtime sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley to Melk.

MELK

Ornate Architecture and Scenic Splendors

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings, statues, incredible library, and ornate pipe organ.

DISCOVERY Enjoy the flavors of the Wachau Valley with a Wine Tasting on board.

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

Day 7 PASSAU, GERMANY
Go for Baroque in Passau–Where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers meet

CLASSIC Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful “City of Three Rivers,” OR:

Join a full day Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg—the city of Mozart and learn how Austrians celebrate Christmas.

Meet your ship back in Passau after your selected activities for sailing.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG. (B,L,D)

Day 8 REGENSBURG
Magical Regensburg—Bavaria’s Medieval Miracle

CLASSIC Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria—built in 179 AD as the entrance to Castra Regina fortress.

DISCOVERY Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this afternoon.

DISCOVERY Later, indulge in a Beer Tasting on board.

This evening, enjoy live entertainment after dinner as you cruise toward Nuremberg.

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

Day 9 NUREMBERG
Living Heritage and History Lessons

CLASSIC Choose a Guided Sightseeing of Nuremberg—with its medieval architecture, gilded fountain, gothic cathedral, and Kaiserburg Castle, OR;

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

Spend free time on your own to browse the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg (7 Dec departure only). Sample favorite Bavarian fare—from dozens of bratwurst varieties, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other culinary delights of the Christkindlmarkt.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG (B,L,D)

Day 10 NUREMBERG. EXCURSION TO MUNICH
CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided City Tour which will show you the highlights of fascinating Munich. See Nymphenburg Palace—a former residence of Bavarian monarchs, along with the Old and New Town Halls of Marienplatz. (B,D)

Day 11 NUREMBERG
Living Heritage and History Lessons

A day to relax and enjoy Nuremberg at your own pace. Stroll through the festively lit streets, buy those last-minute Christmas gifts, or ask your Cruise Director for suggestions of things to do.

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

Day 12 BAMBERG
Cherished Christmas Customs and Cradle Scenes

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.

DISCOVERY Enjoy an onboard Christmas Traditions Lecture while sailing.

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

Day 13 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 MAIN RIVER VILLAGE (B,L,D)

Day 14 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 WIESBADEN (B,L,D)

Day 15 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 16 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.

This evening, enjoy live entertainment on board

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

Day 17 STRASBOURG, FRANCE
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 CRUISE TO BREISACH (B,L,D)

Day 18 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.

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

Day 19 BASEL, SWITZERLAND (DISEMBARKATION)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Flights shouldn’t leave Zürich airport before 10 am. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Budapest: welcome to Budapest!
  • Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Heroes’ Square; Christmas market
  • Budapest (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Budapest—Vienna: cruising; Austrian cookie tasting on board
  • Vienna: choice of guided sightseeing, or culinary tour at Christmas market
  • Krems—Wachau Valley—Melk: guided walk in Krems; scenic cruising through the Wachau Valley; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; wine tasting on board
  • Passau: guided walk
  • Regensburg: guided walk; Christmas markets; onboard lecture, beer tasting
  • Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing, or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; Christmas market
  • Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich: full-day guided tour in Munich
  • Nuremberg: day at leisure to visit Christmas markets
  • Bamberg: guided tour, see the Old Town Hall; onboard Christmas Traditions lecture
  • Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz; Christmas market
  • Main river village: baking demonstration on board, guided walk
  • Wiesbaden. Excursion to Rüdesheim: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat
  • Heidelberg—Speyer: guided visit of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, Christmas markets; time at leisure for Christmas markets in Speyer
  • Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market
  • Breisach: excursion the Black Forest; Christmas market
  • Basel (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning
All This Included
Board your Avalon Suite Ship® in Budapest—the “Pearl of the Danube”—after enjoying two nights in the “Pearl of the Danube.” Your Danube River trip embarks with an overnight cruise to Vienna to see the historic Vienna Opera House and stunningly beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Sail through the Wachau Valley, and stop in the beautiful villages along the way.

Continue your Christmas cruise sailing to Nuremberg. Enjoy a guided city sightseeing of Munich and go on with a guided sightseeing tour of the glowing Christkindlesmarkt of Bamberg—complete with dozens of nativity scenes of every size.

Savor the sights, sounds, and confections of Würzburg’s warm Christmas markets before sailing to visit a picturesque Main River Village. Enjoy Heidelberg’s sparkling Christmas markets during your stay, before sailing for the splendid French city of Strasbourg. Your European Christmas market cruise continues to Breisach and the Black Forest of Bavaria, where you’ll experience generations of warm and festive Christmas traditions—from Bavarian bretzels to Black Forest Cake and mulled wine, you’ll feel the Christmas spirit in this idyllic setting in the heart of Germany.

Your winter river cruise will conclude in Basel, Switzerland. With Christmas celebration and special traditions large and small, you’ll keep the visions of your European scenic river cruise in your memory for many Christmases to come.
  • Ship Amenities - Avalon Imagery 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
    • Additional biking excursions available in Amsterdam, Breisach and Bernkastel
    • Bicycles available onboard for complimentary check-out
    • Sky Deck game area
    • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
    • 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
    • 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 Imagery 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)
    • Night Fare served at 10:30 pm
    • Upscale bar serving premium spirits
    • Healthy meal options
    • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
    • Tastings - sample the destination's famous delicacies
    • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Coffee or tea after dinner
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Imagery II
Budapest: InterContinental Budapest 
Zurich: Renaissance Zurich Tower 
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Budapest:
in single room $178, in twin room $111

Extra nights per person in Zürich:
in single room $215, in twin room $146
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: $416.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
  • Please call for single accommodation price. 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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