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Grand Christmastime Cruise 2019
(Vienna to Basel)

16 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. Expires June 5. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save $2,000 per couple off this cruise. Expires June 5. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Limited-time offer! Save an additional $200 per couple off this cruise. Expires May 31. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement in certain cabin categories on select 2019 river cruises. Expires June 5. Click here for eligible departures.

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

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 VIENNA, AUSTRIA (EMBARKATION)
Welcome to Vienna! Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Indulge in traditional holiday fare and hot libations to warm your heart and soul before boarding your Avalon Suite Ship® (D)

Day 2 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.

You may join a Guided Optional Tour of Schönbrunn Palace—summer home of the Habsburg dynasty 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.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MELK (B,L,D)

Day 3 MELK, AUSTRIA
Striking Frescoes and the Breathtaking Wachau Valley

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings.

This afternoon cruise to Grein, where this evening you will enjoy live entertainment on board

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN PASSAU (B,L,D)

Day 4 PASSAU
Saint Stephens, Salzburg, and the Story of Silent Night

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

You may like to join a Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg, Austria. See the setting of The Sound of Music, and learn the story behind the beloved Christmas hymn, Silent Night (included for departure 25 November only).

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

Day 5 REGENSBURG
Christmas Magic in Bavaria’s Medieval Miracle

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

Take time to browse Regensburg’s sparkling Christmas markets. Enjoy hot-mulled wine, candied almonds, gingerbread, or bratwurst.

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

DISCOVERY Later, indulge in an onboard Beer Tasting to sample regional German brews.

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

Day 6 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 7 NUREMBERG (DISEMBARKATION). EXCURSION TO MUNICH (EMBARKATION)
This morning disembark the vessel which has brought you to Nuremberg and drive 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.

Take some free time today to stroll this pedestrian and bike-friendly city to see the famous Glockenspiel, outdoor cafés, or a Bavarian Biergärten for authentic brews.

Return to Nuremberg in the late afternoon and embark on the ship which will take you to Vienna (B,D)

Day 8 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 9 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.

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

Day 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 BREISACH (B,L,D)

Day 15 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 BASEL  (B,L,D)

Day 16 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
  • Vienna (Embarkation): welcome reception on board
  • Vienna: choice of guided sightseeing, or culinary tour at Christmas market
  • Wachau Valley–Melk–Grein: scenic cruising through the Wachau Valley; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk
  • Passau: guided walk; Christmas market
  • Regensburg: guided walk; Christmas market; Christmas Traditions lecture; beer tasting on board
  • Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; Christmas market
  • Nuremberg (Disembarkation). Excursion to Munich (Embarkation): guided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz
  • Nuremberg: day at leisure to visit Christmas market
  • 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
This European Christmastime river cruise will take you across Austria and Germany and along the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers. Enjoy guided sightseeing in several cities along the way and delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of centuries-old Christmas markets.

Begin in musical Vienna, where a guided tour shows you the impressive sights. Perhaps opt for a guided culinary walk through the Christmas markets to taste some Austrian holiday favorites, or explore on your own. Cruise through the winter wonderland of the Wachau Valley and visit Melk with its magnificent abbey. Enjoy a guided sightseeing in Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities. While sailing to Nuremberg, learn about Christmas traditions and sample some German beer. At Nuremberg’s Christmas market, which is one of the oldest in the world, be sure to try Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread). A full-day excursion to Munich shows you the Bavarian capital. The traditional Christmas market on the Marienplatz delights with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread!

Continue your holiday river cruise to Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where many nativity scenes are exhibited throughout the town. In Würzburg, on the River Main, visit the ornate Bishop’s Residenz, then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). See Europe’s largest nativity scene with life-size figures In Rüdesheim on the Rhine; and visit Heidelberg Castle towering magnificently over the city, before cruising to Strasbourg, France. This time of year, the historic charm of the city is mixed with festive aromas, sights, and sounds—creating a truly magical atmosphere! Visit the gothic cathedral with its ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Continue to Breisach, Germany—gateway to the famous Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, before ending this charming Christmastime river cruise adventure in Basel, Switzerland.
  • Ship Amenities - Avalon Passion:
    • 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 Durnstein
    • Bicycles available onboard for complimentary check-out
    • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • 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 Passion:
    • 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 Passion, Avalon Visionary
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Vienna:
in single room $217, in twin room from $130 to $139

Extra nights per person in Zurich:
in single room $215, in twin room $146
Notes
  • 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.
  • Gateway city for departure is Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Port charges: $390
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
  • Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • All prices per person based on double occupancy. Cruise price based on Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck. Cabin upgrades are 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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