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Romantic Rhine with Bavarian Highlights

16 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

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

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation).
Welcome to Amsterdam, Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, canals, and 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. (D)

NOTE: Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

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 to explore on your own. Later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany. (B,L,D)

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! (B,L,D)

Day 4 Koblenz–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. (B,L,D)

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! (B,L,D)

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 Alsace wine country is available today. After dinner, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration. (B,L,D)

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. (B,L,D)

Day 8 Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)–Zürich–Munich, Germany
Your Avalon cruise ends this morning after disembarkation. To join your Globus tour a coach transfer to Zürich has been arranged for travel to Munich by first-class train. All transfer details and train tickets will be provided by your Avalon Cruise Director during the cruise. Upon arrival at Munich train station look for your Driver, who will transfer you to your hotel. At 6 pm meet your Globus Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 9 Munich–Regensburg.
Sightseeing with a Local Guide of Germany’s “Secret Capital” features the Olympic Stadium, built for the 1972 Olympics; the 1,000-foot-high Olympic Tower; and Königsplatz, used for Nazi rallies during World War II. Drive along the Ludwigstrasse, and see the Bavarian Arch of Triumph and Field Marshall Hall. Also visit lively MARIENPLATZ with the Old and the New Town Halls and the gothic Frauenkirche. Arrive in Regensburg, and meet your Local Guide for a walking tour, featuring the Stone Bridge, the oldest preserved bridge of its kind in Germany; the Porta Pretoria, built in the 2nd century by Emperor Marcus Aurelius; and St. Peter’s Cathedral. Next, [LF] board the Swarovski crystal boat for a CRUISE on the Danube River. You cannot leave Regensburg without [LF] tasting a “medieval hot dog” at the Historic Sausage Kitchen. (B)

Day 10 Regensburg–Nuremberg. 
Visit the THURN UND TAXIS PALACE, a former Benedictine monastery that was converted into the residence of the Princes of Thurn und Taxis in 1812. This family started the first large-scale postal service in Europe in the 15th century. Continue to Nuremberg, known for its children’s toys and gingerbread. Admire the impressive medieval ramparts as you walk through the pedestrian area of the charming Old Town and see St. Sebald Church, painstakingly reconstructed as a monument to peace from the rubble of near-total wartime destruction. Also admire the Schöner Brunnen, a 14th-century fountain dedicated to the Holy Roman Empire. It is said that it brings good luck to spin the two brass rings. (B)

Day 11 Nuremberg. Excursion to Bayreuth & Bamberg.
Look forward to an exciting day. First, stop in Bayreuth for an orientation of this city of festival fame. Richard Wagner came to Bayreuth in 1871 and was not satisfied with the existing 18th-century theater, the Markgräfliches Opernhaus, so he had a new one built. Today, the Festival Hall is used exclusively for the Bayreuth Festival, and only works by Wagner are performed there. Continue to picturesque Bamberg, the city with the largest historical center in Germany and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. [LF] Taste “smoked beer,” a type of beer with a distinctive smoke flavor imparted by using malted barley dried over an open flame. Later enjoy a guided walk along the cobblestone streets, and admire the architecture of the houses. Return to Nuremberg. (B)

Day 12 Nuremberg–Rothenburg–Stuttgart–Black Forest.
A short drive delivers you to medieval Rothenburg with its ramparts and towers, cobblestone lanes, and 16th-century houses. Hear how the town survived the Thirty Years’ War, and shop for Christmas ornaments. On to Stuttgart for [LF] an exciting visit to the MERCEDES-BENZ MUSEUM before continuing to the Black Forest. (B,D)

Day 13 Black Forest–Lake Constance–Oberammergau.
A scenic drive this morning to sparkling Lake Constance. Next, enter the Bavarian Alps and arrive in the quaint Passion Play village of Oberammergau. (B)

Day 14 Oberammergau. Excursion to Neuschwanstein.
The highlight today is a visit to King Ludwig’s magnificent NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, one of Germany’s most famous castles and inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle at his theme park. Follow your Local Guide through this fairytale castle on its craggy outcrop high above a sparkling lake. Also visit the MUSEUM OF THE BAVARIAN KINGS and enjoy a HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDE. (B,D)

Day 15 Oberammergau–Munich. 
A leisurely morning with the possibility to join an optional excursion to King Ludwig’s Linderhof Castle. This afternoon, you can return to Marienplatz and explore its many enticing shops. Tonight, a special farewell dinner awaits you at one of Munich’s lively restaurants to say auf Wiedersehen! (B,D)

Day 16 Munich.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome reception
  • Amsterdam: canal cruise
  • Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk
  • Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: guided sightseeing in Koblenz; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat
  • Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; excursion to Heidelberg; guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat
  • Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; onboard woodcarving demonstration
  • Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a local woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum
  • Basel (Disembarkation)–Zürich–Munich, Germany: transfer to Zurich for travel to Munich by first-class train, welcome dinner
  • Munich–Regensburg: guided walking tour; enjoy a cruise with the Swarovski Crystal Boat; enjoy a “medieval hot dog” at the Historic Sausage Kitchen
  • Regensburg–Nuremberg: visit the Thurn & Taxis Palace in Regensburg; a walking tour in Nurember
  • Nuremberg–Bayreuth–Bamberg: orientation of Wagner’s city of festival fame in Bayreuth; in Bamberg taste “smoked beer”; guided walking tour
  • Nuremberg–Rothenburg–Stuttgart–Black Forest: Rothenburg walking tour of the walled town; in Stuttgart visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum
  • Black Forest–Lake Constance–Oberammergau Area: a stop at Lake Constance
  • Oberammergau Area: orientation; excursion to King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle including a visit to the Museum of the Bavarian Kings and a horse-drawn carriage ride
  • Oberammergau Area–Munich: return to Munich, farewell dinner
  • Munich: your vacation ends this morning
All This Included
This fabulous vacation begins with a river cruise along the legendary Rhine River that takes you across Germany and touches in Holland, France, and Switzerland; then enjoy an in-depth land tour of everything Germany has to offer!

Begin your river cruise in the ever popular, modern city of Amsterdam, Holland. Here, you’ll find renowned museums and an abundance of restaurants amongst the elegant squares and charming canals. Continue to Cologne, Germany, a 2,000-year-old city, offering its famous twin-spired cathedral and many shops, cafés, and taverns. Pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. And nearby, in the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, visit the unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum to see the impressive collection of historical self-playing instruments. An excursion takes you to Heidelberg to visit the ruins of its red-walled castle towering magnificently over the city. In Strasbourg, France, you’ll be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic 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. Before the end of the river cruise portion of your vacation, stop in Breisach, Germany. Known as the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—an area of unrivaled natural beauty—and home to Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock.

Travel to Munich by first-class train to begin your Germany land tour! Oktoberfest, pretzels, a beautiful Alpine backdrop, excellent beer, and storybook castles…this is Bavaria and on this Germany tour, you’ll experience Bavaria's highlights. In Munich, visit Marienplatz, with its Old and New Town Halls; and in Regensburg, visit the Thurn & Taxis Palace, enjoy a cruise on the Swarovski crystal boat, and be sure to taste a “medieval hot dog.” In Nuremberg, admire the impressive medieval ramparts as you walk through the pedestrian area of the charming Old Town. In picturesque Bamberg, taste "smoked beer," a type of beer with a distinctive smoky flavor. Near Oberammergau, you'll visit Neuschwanstein Castle, the fairytale castle of King Ludwig II nestled in the Bavarian Alps, and well-known as the inspiration for Walt Disney.

With the historical sights, fascinating towns, unique included experiences, and beautiful scenery as a backdrop, this river cruise and land vacation is an adventure of a lifetime!
  • 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
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Affinity or Avalon Felicity
Munich: Sheraton Arabellapark
Regensburg: Best Western Premier
Nuremberg: NH Collection Nuernberg City
Breitnau: Best Western Hofgut Sternen
Oberammergau: Romantik Hotel Boeld
 
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
in single room $235-$305, in twin room $135-$170

Extra nights per person in Munich:
in single room $115-$218, in twin $64-$166
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades available.
  • Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • Port charges of $168 are not included.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only. 
  • 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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