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The Best of Switzerland with Romantic Rhine

15 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Save an additional $200 per couple off this cruise. This offer is combinable with select promotions. Expires July 31. Click here for eligible departures.
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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 Zürich, Switzerland.
Welcome to Zurich! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)

Day 2 Zürich–Vaduz, Liechtenstein–St. Moritz.
Enjoy an orientation walk of Zurich’s well-preserved OLD TOWN with its medieval guild houses, and [LF] taste the traditional CHOCOLATE PRALINES at the famous Sprüngli Confectionery. Next, a scenic drive following Lake Zurich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. After a break in its capital, Vaduz, ascend the Rhine Valley into the mountainous Grisons, a canton where three of the country’s four languages are spoken. The 7,504-foot Julier Pass, an important Alpine road since Roman times, leads to the Engadine. This valley is considered by many as the most beautiful mountain area in the world, with deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests that turn golden in the fall, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style. Afternoon arrival in ritzy St. Moritz. (B,D)

Day 3 St. Moritz–Lake Como, Italy–Lugano, Switzerland. 
A gradual change of scenery as you descend towards the enchanting shores of Italy’s Lake Como and continue on to the southern tip of Switzerland. The vegetation south of the Alps is Mediterranean: chestnut groves, vineyards, and olive and fig trees make you forget that earlier today you were within walking distance of glaciers. Afternoon arrival in the popular subtropical resort town of Lugano allows time for shopping under the arcades of Via Nassa or an espresso on flower-festooned Piazza Riforma. To truly appreciate splendid Lake Lugano, an exciting optional boat ride is available, followed by dinner at a traditional “grotto” restaurant. (B)

Day 4 Lugano–Stresa, Italy–Täsch, Switzerland–Zermatt.
From Lake Lugano to the Italian shore of Lake Maggiore for a break in elegant Stresa. An optional boat ride to enchanting Isola Bella can be arranged. Continue over lofty Simplon Pass into the Swiss Valais, an area renowned for its excellent wines and great mountain resorts. To reach the most famous of them, leave the coach behind in Täsch and board a MOUNTAIN TRAIN to climb the last few miles up to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn. (B)

Day 5 Zermatt–Lake Geneva.
This morning, you can join an exciting optional excursion to Klein Matterhorn for spectacular views of the surrounding Alps. Later, motor through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhône Valley, and arrive at beautiful Lake Geneva for your overnight stay. (B,D)

Day 6 Lake Geneva–Berne–Lucerne.
In the stately capital of Berne, your guided tour starts at the BEAR PARK, followed by a panoramic view of the city from the Rose Garden. Next, enjoy a walking tour through the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town. Witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and take pictures of ornate, flower-adorned fountains. The highlight of the day is a [LF] special lunch at a traditional Swiss WORKING FARM, to give you a chance to see how people live in rural Switzerland. Over Brünig Pass to picturesque Lucerne. An optional dinner excursion is available to a folklore party with yodeling for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking. (B,L)

Day 7 Lucerne. 
On your walking tour 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. Afterwards, another true Swiss experience: [LF] a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus, the “Guard of Lucerne,” where you get a special SOUVENIR CAP to always remember this experience! Tonight, a special farewell dinner awaits you at your hotel for a proper auf Wiedersehen. (B,D)

Day 8 Lucerne–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation).
Your Globus tour ends today with a late-morning transfer by coach to Basel, where your Avalon ship is docked for embarkation. Please reconfirm all transfer details directly with your Globus Tour Director while on tour. (B,D)

Day 9 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! You may opt to visit the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Vogtsbauernhof Museum to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (B,L,D)

Day 10 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. This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available. (B,L,D)

Day 11 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. (B,L,D)

Day 12 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz. 
This morning, dock in pretty Rüdesheim, 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. 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. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of 2,000-year-old Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. (B,L,D)

Day 13 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. 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 14 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. (B,L,D)

Day 15 Amsterdam (Disembarkation).
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Zürich: arrive in Zürich, welcome dinner
  • Zürich–Vaduz, Liechtenstein–St. Moritz: orientation walk of the Old Town; taste Sprüngli chocolate pralines; visit the capital of Liechtenstein
  • St. Moritz–Lake Como, Italy–Lugano, Switzerland: picture stop in Lake Como
  • Lugano–Stresa, Italy–Täsch, Switzerland–Zermatt: a stop in Stresa at Lake Maggiore; drive to Zermatt
  • Zermatt–Lake Geneva: drive through the Rhône Valley to Lake Geneva
  • Lake Geneva–Berne–Interlaken–Lucerne: guided walking tour, stop at the Bear Park and enjoy a panoramic view from the Rose Garden; lunch at a working farm; at Interlaken take pictures of the Jungfrau massif
  • Lucerne: walking tour including the Lion Monument and Capel Bridge; Mount Pilatus excursion receive a souvenir cap; farewell dinner
  • Lucerne–Zürich–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation): transfer to Zurich and Basel to join your Avalon Ship; onboard welcome reception
  • Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum
  • Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral
  • Excursion to Heidelberg–Mainz: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat in Heidelberg; visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz
  • Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim and enjoy a special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; guided walk in Koblenz
  • Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk
  • Amsterdam: canal cruise
  • Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning
All This Included
This fabulous vacation begins with an in-depth land tour of everything stunning Switzerland has to offer; then a river cruise along the legendary Rhine River—with stops in France, Germany, and Holland—awaits you!

With its stunning mountains, fascinating old towns, and beautiful lakes, Switzerland offers something for everyone. On this tour, experience some of its most beautiful scenery and interesting cities with overnights in Zürich, St. Moritz, Lugano, Zermatt, Lake Geneva, and Lucerne. And no tour to Switzerland is complete without seeing the stunning scenery, so enjoy a scenic drive following Lake Zürich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. In Täsch, board a mountain train to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the famous Matterhorn. If beautiful lakes are what you desire to see, you'll enjoy Lake Como; Lake Maggiore; Lake Geneva; and Lugano, the popular subtropical resort on the shores of Lake Lugano. To bring Switzerland to life, Globus has arranged some unique experiences for you. Enjoy lunch at a traditional Swiss working farm in Berne and a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus to enjoy heavenly views and an alphorn demonstration. Of course, Switzerland is known for its chocolates, so this tour would not be complete without a taste of traditional chocolate pralines.

Embark on your river cruise in Basel, Switzerland, and head for Breisach, Germany, where you’ll find the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. In Strasbourg, France, be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and the fascinating astronomical clock. Stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, towering magnificently over the city, and stop in Mainz for a guided walk and a visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam, offers world-famous museums and an abundance of restaurants amongst the classic architecture and charming canals. See the treasures of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.”

From stunning scenery and vibrant cities to its special experiences, this river cruise and land tour is sure to delight. So grab your camera and get ready for an amazing 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
Zurich: Moevenpick Zurich Airport
St. Moritz: Laudinella
Lugano-Paradiso: De La Paix
Zermatt: Pollux 
Lake Geneva: Eurotel Riviera
Lucerne: Romantik Hotel Wilden Mann
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Affinity or Avalon Felicity
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Zurich:
in single room $149, in twin $100

Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
in single room $235-$305, in twin room $135-$170
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 becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • In the event that a high-speed train is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the route will be altered or operated by motorcoach.
  • 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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