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Festive Season on the Romantic Rhine with 1 Night Lucerne, Mount Pilatus & 3 Nights Lake Como

12 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

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 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim. 
The dramatic RHINE GORGE is 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 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. The entire town transforms itself into one large Christmas market, offering products and specialties from a number of nations, all presented in a distinctive manner. You’ll be spoiled by the selection of shops offering a vast variety of Christmas presents and decorations. In the Market Square, you’ll find Europe’s largest nativity scene with life-size figures. 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-timbered 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 (Disembarkation)–Mount 
Pilatus, Lucerne–Zürich. 
Disembark your Avalon ship and join the Monograms portion of your vacation, where you will travel to Lucerne for a special highlight excursion to MOUNT PILATUS. Journey almost 7,000 ft. (2,132 m) up for spectacular views over central Switzerland (in the event of adverse weather conditions, visit the Swiss Transport Museum instead). There’s free time to explore beautiful Lucerne, then transfer to your Zürich hotel. Your Monograms Local Host can help you with suggestions for the evening. (B)

Day 9 Zürich–Lake Como, Italy.
Travel by HIGH-SPEED TRAIN (first class) to Como, the city on the lake that bears its name. Your Local Host will be waiting to greet you and offer recommendations so you can make the most of your time in this well-known city. Enjoy a guided walking tour that includes the charming historic center; the Broletto (Town Hall) with its fascinating gothic façade; and the imposing, marble-clad DUOMO, built between the 14th and 18th centuries, and crowned by a high octagonal dome. (B)

Day 10 Lake Como.
Experience a relaxing BOAT RIDE ON LAKE COMO for panoramas of stunning mountain scenery and luxury lakeside villas. You may wish to disembark at picturesque Bellagio with its century-old buildings, stone lanes, and quaint cobblestone stairways lined with shops, where you will have free time for exploration on your own before catching the boat for the return trip to Como. Your Local Host will give you all the details, as well as suggestions for your evening in this delightful town. (B)

Day 11 Lake Como. 
Today, you might choose to travel to fashionable Milan; take the funicular to the residential village of Brunate, situated at 2,362 ft. (720 m); shop for silk products; or visit the Volta Temple, dedicated to Como’s native son, Alessandro Volta, inventor of the electrical battery. Your Local Host can help you plan your day. (B)

Day 12 Lake Como.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome reception
  • Day 2 Amsterdam: canal cruise
  • Day 3 Cologne: guided city walk; Christmas market
  • Day 4 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat; Christmas market
  • Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; excursion to Heidelberg, guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat; Christmas market
  • Day 6 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market; onboard woodcarving demonstration
  • Day 7 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a local woodcarver’s workshop; Christmas market
  • Zürich–Lake Como. 4 nights hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast (B); Monograms Local Host service & Destination Guides with city maps; guided sightseeing, inside visits & special features are shown in UPPERCASE; high-speed train (first class) Zürich-Como; transfers to/from train stations; round-trip boat ride Como–Bellagio.
All This Included
One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this mesmerizing river cruise along the Rhine River. Enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam, as well as guided sightseeing in Cologne, Koblenz, and Strasbourg. Delight in excursions to Germany’s Black Forest and to Heidelberg—Germany’s oldest university town with its imposing castle. Also sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz. Disembark your river cruise ship in Basel and join the Monograms portion of your vacation starting with a special excursion up Mount Pilatus for spectacular Alpine panoramas and some free time to explore lovely Lucerne. Transfer to vibrant Zürich for an overnight before your included first-class, high-speed train ride to Como. An included guided walking tour features the charming historic district, the gothic Town Hall, and the imposing Duomo. The next day enjoy a relaxing boat ride on Lake Como to renowned Bellagio with its centuries-old buildings, cobblestone lanes, and charming shops. In your free time, you might like to travel to fashionable Milan, Italy; or take the funicular to the village of Brunate—your Local Host® can help you decide how to make this fabulous vacation just perfect for you!
For specific details on this special interest river cruise, please view the day-by-day itinerary.
  • Ship Amenities - Avalon Tranquility II:
    • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
    • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, shade awnings, & outdoor deck game area
    • State-of-the-art fitness center
    • Non-smoking staterooms & ship interior
    • Convenient Elevator Service
    • Elegant, contemporary design
    • Outside viewing deck
    • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
    • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
    • Sightseeing with Expert Local Guides
    • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
    • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
    • Sky Deck whirlpool
    • Complimentary computer use in public areas
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
    • Additional biking excursions available in Amsterdam, Breisach and Bernkastel
    • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, Nordic walking sticks, watercraft & maps
    • Sky Deck game area
    • Light lunch & casual 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
    • Onshore & Onboard experiences with regional customs, cultures & tastings with local artisans, experts & entertainers
    • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
    • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and board games
    • Complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit, and cookies available throughout the day
    • Full-size closet mirror
  • Ship Dining - Avalon Tranquility II:
    • Avalon FreshSM healthy cuisine options at every meal
    • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
    • Welcome & farewell cocktails 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
    • Al fresco lunch in the Sky Grill
    • 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
    • Chef-prepared onboard meals with regional cuisine and familiar favorites
    • 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)
    • Panorama Lounge & Bar with premium spirits, cozy seating, panoramic windows & dance floor
    • Night Fare served at 10:30 pm
    • Healthy meal options
    • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
    • Tastings - sample the destination's famous delicacies
    • Light lunch & casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Coffee or tea after dinner
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Tranquility II
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Amsterdam 
in single room from $185 to $355, in twin room from $115 to $245

Extra nights per person in Lake Como 
in single room from $175 to $388, in twin room from $110 to $217
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 becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • 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.
  • Additional Price Details: Port charges: $168.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & excursion drivers are included on Avalon portion only.
  • 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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