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Romantic Rhine Author Cruise with Diana Gabaldon 2020

8 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Save $300 per couple off this cruise. Click here for eligible departures.

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

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 BASEL, SWITZERLAND (EMBARKATION)
Welcome to Switzerland. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Zürich must arrive by 3 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Enjoy dinner and explore the ship on your first night on board.

EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH (D)

Day 2 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 full-day Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience the Vogtsbauernhof open-air-museum, visit an authentic water mill, and see a traditional butter-making demonstration.

Follow your visit to Badische Winzerkeller with a free afternoon in Breisach.

EVENING CRUISE TO STRASBOURG (B,L,D)

Day 3 STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Gothic Giants, Petite France, and Varietal Vintages

CLASSIC Join a City Sightseeing Tour, including Strasbourg’s 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 the splendid Alsace wine country, or a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings.

Alternatively, enjoy a free afternoon sampling the local cuisine in Place Kléber.

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

Day 4 LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG
Castle Walls, and the World’s Biggest Barrel of Wine

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.

Alternatively enjoy a brief cruise to Mainz this afternoon and join our included tour.

MAINZ

Turning the Pages of History

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

Enjoy live entertainment on board your ship this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MAINZ (B,L,D)

Day 5 RÜDESHEIM—RHINE GORGE
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

DISCOVERY Based on your departure, enjoy either a Coffee Tasting or a Wine Tasting.

DISCOVERY Take a Guided Tour of the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience, OR:

ACTIVE Take a Guided Hike through the vineyards with your Adventure Host, and enjoy the view with a cable car ride back down.

Relax on the Sky Deck for an afternoon cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge to Koblenz. Sail past the legendary rock of The Lorelei—where the siren of mythology sang songs to lure ill-fated sailors.

KOBLENZ

Travel Through 2000 Years Of Monumental History

Enjoy free time in Koblenz before a relaxing evening on board with dinner and live entertainment.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN KOBLENZ (B,L,D)

Day 6 COLOGNE
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!

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

Day 7 AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND
Canals of Colorful Amsterdam

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

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. You may also choose an Optional City Biking Tour to discover the countryside.

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

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM (B,L,D)

Day 8 AMSTERDAM (DISEMBARKATION)
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Day 1 Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Day 2 Breisach: choice of excursion to Black Forest, or visit to Badische Winzerkeller
  • Day 3 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral
  • Day 4 Mainz: choice of guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, or hike up Philosophers’ Way, or visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz
  • Day 5 Rüdesheim—Rhine Gorge—Koblenz: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat; scenic cruise through the Rhine Gorge; free time in Koblenz
  • Day 6 Cologne: choice of “Cologne Highlights” walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tour
  • Day 7 Amsterdam: canal cruise
  • Day 8 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your cruise ends this morning
All This Included
HOOKED ON OUTLANDER? BOOK A CRUISE WITH ITS AUTHOR! A NOVEL VACATION...

Bound to be the most memorable trip of 2020 (or a lifetime), author of the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling OUTLANDER series Diana Gabaldon is exclusively hosting an AUTHOR CRUISE with Avalon Waterways on the Rhine River in 2020. It’s your chance to get insider OUTLANDER insight, with your favorite author… FOR A WEEK! Diana Gabaldon has added to the storytelling tapestry of our lives while also inspiring travel with her literature. In her OUTLANDER series of novels and novellas – now an award-winning series on STARZ – she has brought to life the backdrops of Scotland, North America, France, Germany as well as dozens of destinations across the globe. With 35 million copies of her books in print worldwide, OUTLANDER can be found in 43 countries and 39 languages. On the June 9, 2020 departure of the Romantic Rhine cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, this inspiring storyteller will share an inspired cruise – and daily excursions – with an intimate group of her fans.

A MAGICAL ITINERARY...

From the German Black Forest of fairytales to the historic canals of Amsterdam, disappear in the magic of this Rhine River cruise with Author Diana Gabaldon. This week-long vacation – set onboard the Avalon Expression – delivers you to the heart of Europe to explore all the towns and cities along the Rhine River while enjoying panoramic views and spectacular, castle-lined backdrops days and night. Your 8-day Romantic Rhine river cruise begins in Switzerland where you will board your Suite Ship and home-away-from-home for the week before heading to the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain (on the French-German border) to find your gateway to Germany’s Black Forest. From there, set sail for Strasbourg, France with its ancient murals and astronomical clock, not to mention quaint shops, delightful bistros and waterfront promenade. The journey continues through Germany with a visit to the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, the charming wine town of Rüdesheim and, of course, an awe-inspiring pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge – the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine where dozens of ancient castles tower over the river from cliffs that seem to touch the sky. The last stop in Germany is in the gothic city of Cologne. End this cruise with an exclamation point in the picturesque, canal city of Amsterdam with its world-famous museums and tilting, gabled homes that date back to the “Golden Age.”
  • 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
    • Night Fare served at 10:30 pm
    • 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
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Zürich:
in single room from $198 to $433, in twin room from $129 to $250

Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
in single room from $221 to $401,in twin room from $140 to $237
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades available. 
  • 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.
  • Due to “Sail Amsterdam” departure August 1 will end in Rotterdam instead of Amsterdam with modifications to the itinerary.
  • Gateway city for arrivals is Zürich.
  • Port charges: $182
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only.
  • 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. 
  • 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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