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Christmastime from Vienna to Basel 2020

16 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Save $1,500 per couple off this cruise. Expires November 4. 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.
  • Travel with Avalon Waterways and receive a Welcome Back Credit of $100 to $250 per person after your trip. The credit can be applied toward a subsequent trip with Avalon Waterways or its sister brands Globus, Cosmos and Monograms. 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 Austria! Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Vienna must arrive by 3:30 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Indulge in traditional holiday fare and hot libations to warm your heart and soul before boarding. (D)

Day 2 VIENNA
Royal Collections 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 CRUISE TO MELK. (B,L,D)

Day 3 MELK
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.

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

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

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

Day 6 NUREMBERG
Living Heritage and History Lessons

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

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 on your own to browse the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample favorite Bavarian fare—from dozens of bratwurst varieties, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other culinary delights of the Christkindlmarkt.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG. (B,L,D)

Day 7 NUREMBERG. EXCURSION TO MUNICH
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.

Transfer back to Munich to embark on the vessel which will bring you to Basel.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG. (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. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MAIN RIVER VILLAGE. (B,L,D)

Day 11 MAIN RIVER VILLAGE
Hidden Gifts and Holiday Delights

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 MAINZ. (B,L,D)

Day 12 MAINZ. EXCURSION TO RUDESHEIM
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

CLASSIC 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 HEIDELBERG EXCURSION. SPEYER
Winter Wonders and a Wine Barrel Fit for a King

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour that includes the magnificent Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat—the world’s largest wine barrel.

After the tour, 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 CRUISE TO BREISACH. (B,L,D)

Day 15 BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST
History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest

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, OR:

DISCOVERY Join a 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 cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Flights shouldn’t leave Zürich airport before 10 am. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Day 1 Vienna (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Day 2 Vienna: choice of sightseeing, or culinary tour at Christmas market
  • Day 3 Wachau Valley—Melk—Grein: scenic cruising through the Wachau Valley; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; onboard cookie tasting
  • Day 4 Passau: guided tour; Christmas market
  • Day 5 Regensburg: guided tour; Christmas market; beer tasting on board
  • Day 6 Nuremberg: Christmas Traditions lecture; choice of guided tour or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; Christmas market
  • Day 7 Nuremberg (Disembarkation). Excursion to Munich (Embarkation): guided sightseeing, see the Marienplatz
  • Day 8 Nuremberg: day at leisure to visit Christmas market
  • Day 9 Bamberg: guided tour, see the Old Town Hall; onboard Christmas Traditions lecture
  • Day 10 Würzburg: guided tour, visit the Bishop’s Residenz; Christmas market
  • Day 11 Main river village: cookie-baking demonstration on board; guided tour
  • Day 12 Mainz. Excursion to Rüdesheim: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat
  • Day 13 Heidelberg—Speyer: guided visit of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, Christmas markets; Christmas markets in Speyer
  • Day 14 Strasbourg: guided tour, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market
  • Day 15 Breisach: choice of visit to Badische Winzerkeller, or excursion the Black Forest; Christmas market
  • Day 16 Basel (Disembarkation): your cruise ends this morning
All This Included
Open a gift wrapped in glowing lights and sights of the inviting beauty of Christmas markets on the Danube River. Embark on special departures for the festive season in Europe’s most beautiful Christmas markets and festivities. Enjoy the jolly atmosphere on our decorated Suite Ships® as you delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of local Christmas traditions along your Danube River cruise. Enjoy stunning winter views on the Danube with the warm glow of Christmas markets, beautifully adorned with ageless traditions.

Savor the special views of the season by embarking in Vienna with a culinary tour in the Christmas markets of the City of Music. Sail through the wonderful Wachau Valley with visits to Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey perched above the Danube. In Passau, browse through the shining Christmas markets in the “City of Three Rivers.” On to Regensburg for Christkindlesmarkt shopping and beer tasting on board, and a visit to Nuremberg with your choice of a city tour or the WWII Rally Grounds. Spend a day exploring the Christmas markets here for traditional keepsakes and delicious specialties. Take an excursion from Nuremberg to Munich for to see the historic home of monarchs at Nymphenburg Palace.

In Bamberg, tour the city of seven hills of the Imperial Dynasties, and enjoy onboard Christmas Traditions lecture as you sail to Würzburg—the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”—with Christmas markets brimming with holiday cheer. Visit a quaint Bavarian Main River village and enjoy a cookie-baking demonstration on board your ship. Take an excursion to Rüdesheim in the Rhine Valley wine region to experience the joyful Mechanical Music Museum. Enjoy Christmas market lights and delights through Heidelberg and Speyer before sailing to Strasbourg for the La Petite France district and shimmering Christmas markets. Continue on to the Black Forest for a traditional Bavarian Christmas atmosphere or visit the largest wine producer in Europe at Badischer Winzerkeller winemakers. Your European Christmas cruise concludes in Basel, Switzerland.
  • Ship Amenities - Avalon Passion:
    • 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 Passion:
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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 Passion, Avalon Tranquility II

Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Vienna:
in single room from $218 to $237, in twin room from $130 to $149
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.
  • 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.
  • Port charges: $390
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
  • Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability). Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • Extra nights per person in Zurich: in single room $225,in twin room $152
  • 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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