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A Culinary Experience on Rhine & Rhône Revealed 2020
(Southbound)

15 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Fly for free from select gateways on certain 2020 Europe river cruises. Expires December 16. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save $500 per couple off this cruise. Expires December 16. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save 5% off all trips when you pay with an AMEX Gold or Platinum card . This discount is combinable with all other promotions. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Past guests of Avalon Waterways save $100 to $350 per person off trips. Click here for eligible departures.

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

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND (EMBARKATION) 
Welcome to Holland. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 3:30 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Your day in Amsterdam is free to explore at your leisure.

During tulip season, you may take a Guided Optional Excursion to Keukenhof gardens—with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, as well as other bulbs, planted each year.

Outside of tulip season, join a Guided Optional Excursion to Zaanse Schans to see historic windmills and charming Dutch houses.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM (D)

Day 2 AMSTERDAM
Canals of Colorful Amsterdam

CLASSIC Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” 

You may like to join a Guided Optional Excursion to Muiderslot Castle, or a Guided Optional Biking Excursion to the Dutch countryside.

Take some free time to explore Amsterdam’s colorful streets and canal houses, galleries, and shops.

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

Day 3 COLOGNE, GERMANY 
Prost! Celebrate in the Rhineland

CLASSIC Take a Guided City Walk of Cologne—with its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral, OR: 

DISCOVERY Choose a Guided Walking Tour of Cologne’s important Jewish heritage sites.

Don’t miss the chance to enjoy free time over a glass of Kölsch pale lager—locally brewed for over 100 years!

Later, local musicians will join us on board for live entertainment.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO KOBLENZ (B,L,D)

Day 4 KOBLENZ—RHINE GORGE
Travel Through 2000 Years of Monumental History

CLASSIC Enjoy free time in Koblenz this morning before sailing through the Rhine Gorge to Rüdesheim. Sail past the legendary rock of the Lorelei—where the siren of mythology sang songs to lure ill-fated sailors.

RÜDESHEIM 

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

DISCOVERY Take a Guided Tour of the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience; based on your departure enjoy a local special treat.

Enjoy live entertainment on board your ship this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN RÜDESHEIM (B,L,D)

Day 5 MAINZ. HEIDELBERG EXCURSION
Printing Halls, Castle Walls, and the World’s Biggest Barrel of Wine

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided City Walk including a visit to the Gutenberg Museum to see the captivating history of printing, OR:

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Tour to Heidelberg Castle to see the ruins of the magnificent renaissance treasure towering above the city, and its famed Great Vat, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel,” OR: 

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Hike up Philosophers’ Way for an inspiring view of the city below.

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

Day 6 STRASBOURG, FRANCE 
Gothic Giants, Military Marvels & Varietal Vintages

CLASSIC Join a City Sightseeing Tour, including Strasbourg’s gothic, stained-glass cathedral with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petite France District.

You may also choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the historic Maginot Line—an impressive installation of pre-WWII defensive fortifications designed to protect the eastern border of France, or visit Alsace’s wine country today.

Alternatively, take some free time in Strasbourg to visit a museum, or stroll across the city center.

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

Day 7 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 the Vogtsbauernohf open-air-museum, visit an authentic water mill, and see a traditional butter-making demonstration, OR:

DISCOVERY Visit to Badische Winzerkeller, the largest German wine producer in Europe. Discover Germany’s southernmost wine country in Baden—ideally situated between the hills of the Black Forest and the Rhine River. Learn about the vintners’ process in the vineyards here, and enjoy a wine tasting.

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar in the morning, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings.

EVENING CRUISE TO STRASBOURG (B,L,D)

Day 8 BASEL, SWITZERLAND (DISEMBARKATION) BEAUNE—ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (EMBARKATION)
Disembark your ship and drive on to Beaune.

CLASSIC Visit the Hôtel-Dieu Charity Hospital in Beaune, built in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgement. 

This afternoon, travel to St. Jean de Losne to board your Suite Ship®.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MÂCON (B,D)

Day 9 MÂCON 
Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saône

Enjoy leisurely cruising en route to Mâcon along the majestic Saône River. Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar, or to the Castle of Cormatin.

DISCOVERY Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese and Wine Tasting hosted by your Master of Wine.

Enjoy live entertainment while sailing for Trévoux this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN TRÉVOUX (B,L,D)

Day 10 LYON 
Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France

Sail for lovely Lyon this morning.

CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon from Fourvière Hill with its numerous churches. You’ll also explore the Old Town with its maze of medieval alleyways, and the lively cafés, monuments, and famed fountain of Place des Terreaux. 

Spend free time riding a bike through Lyon’s town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet.

DISCOVERY Enjoy a pastry demonstration hosted by a French chef on board your ship.

Later enjoy live entertainment after dinner.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON (B,L,D)

Day 11 LYON 
French Food and Wine—La Vie En Rose in Lyon

DISCOVERY Join a Culinary Walk through the city to discover why Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France.

The rest of your day is free to explore, relax, or shop in France’s third largest city. Take a bike from the ship and explore local produce markets and parks, or take a leisurely tour of the city’s more than 100 murals.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

EVENING CRUISE TO TOURNON (B,L,D)

Day 12 TOURNON
A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards

CLASSIC Take a morning Guided Walking Tour to explore Tournon—one of France’s oldest medieval cities. See its 16th-century castle, and Roman ruins between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. 

DISCOVERY Enjoy an onboard chocolate and wine tasting hosted by your Master of Wine.

Enjoy a leisurely sail to Viviers after lunch.

VIVIERS 

World History in a Charming French Country Village

DISCOVERY Explore the pale-stone buildings of Viviers on a late afternoon Guided Walking Tour of this charming village. You’ll see its Romanesque cathedral and Old Town with a mix of historical Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. During the tour you will also discover and taste local specialties. 

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

Day 13 AVIGNON
The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence

CLASSIC Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the fortress city of Avignon—with its ramparts encircling the city—and a visit to the amazing Palace of the Popes.

Guided Optional Excursions include a visit to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard, a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region, or a cooking class

Explore Avignon on your own for the city’s art and culture, theatre, and museums. Be sure to snap photos of the captivating countryside, historic monuments, and the medieval Pont Saint-Bénézet.

DISCOVERY This evening, join an onboard food and wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine.

Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.

EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES (B,L,D)

Day 14 ARLES
Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk.

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of Arles—the captivating city of the Provence region. You’ll visit the Roman Amphitheater in this visually stunning city, OR:

DISCOVERY Attend a Painting Workshop to learn the style and techniques of Vincent van Gogh. You’ll create your own painting in the style of the classic master who took inspiration from the Provence light and landscape in Arles.

Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Carrières de Lumières (Cathedral of Images) to immerse yourself in a truly unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d’Enfer.

Take advantage of any free time remaining with a stop in Le Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine, to relax and watch the world go by.

EVENING CRUISE TO PORT ST. LOUIS (B,L,D)

Day 15 PORT ST. LOUIS (DISEMBARKATION) 
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Flights should not leave Marseille airport before 10 am. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Day 2 Amsterdam: canal cruise
  • Day 3 Cologne: choice of Cologne highlights walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tour
  • Day 4 Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: free time in Koblenz; scenic cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim
  • Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: choice of guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, or guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, or hike up Philosophers’ Way
  • Day 6 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral
  • Day 7 Breisach: choice of excursion to Black Forest, or visit to Badische Winzerkeller
  • Day 8 Basel (Disembarkation)–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation): transfer to Beaune, visit Hôtel-Dieu; onboard welcome reception
  • Day 9 Mâcon: leisurely cruising; onboard cheese and wine tasting
  • Day 10 Lyon: guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard pastry demonstration
  • Day 11 Lyon: culinary tour
  • Day 12 Tournon–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon; onboard chocolate and wine tasting; guided walk in Viviers with tasting of local products, visit the Old Town and the cathedral
  • Day 13 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes; onboard food & wine pairing dinner
  • Day 14 Arles: choice of guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheatre, or painting workshop
  • Day 15 Port St. Louis (Disembarkation): your cruise ends this morning.
All This Included
Join a culinary adventure on your European river cruise with unforgettable views along the Rhine and Rhône Rivers. Enjoy special excursions and activities to highlight great regional cuisine and wine. Enjoy the landscapes of Burgundy and Provence to sample the best food and wine in Lyon and Viviers. Your culinary cruise also includes a pastry demonstration; a chocolate, cheese, and wine tasting; and a food-and-wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine on board.

Begin with a guided canal cruise through Amsterdam’s iconic waterways, then cruise on the Rhine River to Cologne—with its gothic cathedral and soaring twin steeples. Take a guided tour of the city or a walking tour of Cologne’s historical Jewish sites. Sail through the spectacular Rhine Gorge on your way to Rüdesheim and visit the marvelous Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum. Continue to Mainz and visit the Gutenberg printing museum or magnificent Heidelberg Castle. Explore La Petite France District in Strasbourg, and sail to Breisach, Germany, gateway to the Black Forest. Visit the largest wine producer in Europe at Badischer Winzerkeller winemakers, and taste wines in the vineyards of Baden. Alternatively, spend a day in the Black Forest.

In France, see Beaune’s Hotel-Dieu Charity Hospital, home of Van der Weyden’s “The Last Judgement.” Sail to the Chardonnay wine region of Mâcon, with cheese tasting on board. Explore Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, and sample local French food on a guided culinary walk. Nestled among vineyards are the twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage. Take a guided walk through the Roman ruins in Tournon. Visit charming Viviers and historical Avignon. See the 1st-century Roman amphitheater still used today in Arles on the Rhône River, and join a painting workshop in the style of Van Gogh whose work was inspired here. Your French river cruise concludes in Port-Saint-Louis.
  • Ship Amenities - Avalon Expression:
    • 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
    • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
    • Sightseeing with Expert Local Guides
    • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
    • Complimentary room service for Continental breakfast
    • Sky Deck whirlpool
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
    • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Durnstein
    • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, Nordic walking sticks, watercraft & maps
    • Casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
    • Choice of Classic, Active or Discovery excursions so that you can experience your cruise your way
    • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
    • Onshore & Onboard experiences with regional customs, cultures & tastings with local artisans, experts & entertainers
    • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
    • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
    • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
    • 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 Expression:
    • 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
    • Spacious, open-seating Panorama Dining Room
    • Daily early-riser breakfast
    • Daily late-riser breakfast
    • Full buffet breakfast with sparkling wine and made-to-order egg station
    • 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
    • Lunch buffet with carving and pasta stations
    • Al fresco lunch in the Sky Grill
    • Cocktails with a view on the Sky Deck
    • 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
    • Complimentary room service for Continental breakfast
    • Panorama Lounge & Bar with premium spirits, cozy seating, panoramic windows & dance floor
    • Healthy meal options
    • Casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • 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
    • Coffee or tea after dinner
    • Light lunch in the Panorama Lounge
    • FlexDining flexible dining times with menu & venue options
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Expression, Avalon Poetry II
Amsterdam: Moevenpick Amsterdam City 
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Amsterdam: 
in single roomfrom $221 to $401, in twin room from $140 to $237
Notes
  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Port charges: $364
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only.
  • 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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