2018 : Romantic Rhine - Northbound (WZA) - Affinity
8 Day River Cruise from Zurich to Amsterdam
One of Europe's most legendary rivers awaits you on this exciting journey along the Rhine River, which begins in Switzerland and stops in France, Germany, and Holland!
Board your vessel in Basel, Switzerland, then head for Breisach, Germany, located at the foot of the Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border. Here you'll find the gateway to Germany's Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. Continue your river cruise to Strasbourg, France, where you'll be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and the fascinating astronomical clock. Also, stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg's castle, towering magnificently over the city, and stop in Mainz for a guided walk and a visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Next up is the charming wine town of Rudesheim, and a visit to the unique Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum to see the impressive collection of historical self-playing instruments. You'll pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge-the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. Last stop in Germany is Cologne-a 2,000-year-old city known for its gothic architecture and famous twin-spired cathedral.
As an exclamation point to this wonderful Rhine river cruise, you'll spend time in Holland's popular, modern capital of Amsterdam. There is much to do with the world-famous museums and abundance of restaurants amongst the classic architecture and charming canals. The best way to see the treasures of this 700-year-old city is on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city's "Golden Age."
You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind-offering expansive views and wider perspectives. That's why we've used our 89 years to design a cruise experience that's just a bit different. Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.Panoramic windows throughout the shipElegant, contemporary design & decorFriendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise DirectorComplimentary Wi-Fi throughout the shipAvalon FreshSM healthy cuisine optionsComplimentary wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch & dinnerAvalon Choice® cruising experienceIncluded sightseeing with headsets by Certified Local GuidesComplimentary Nordic walking sticksComplimentary bicycles available for time on shoreLocal FavoritesSM - onboard cultural & artisan experiencesSky Deck shade system & premium lounge chairsWell-stocked library with books, cards, and gamesComfort Collection BedsSMEgyptian super-combed cotton linensBathrobes & slippersPremium L'Occitane bath products & hairdryerLarge bathroom featuring shower with glass doorFlatscreen satellite TV with free movie channelsIndividual climate controlComplimentary bottled water dailyClub Lounge with 24-hour, self-serve beverage stationPremium coffees, cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate & teasCookies & fresh fruit available throughout the dayAnd, much more
Highlights & Sightseeing
Day 1 Zurich-Transfer to Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
Day 2 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a woodcarver's workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum
Day 3 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral
Day 4 Excursion to Heidelberg-Mainz: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat in Heidelberg; visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz
Day 5 Rudesheim-Rhine Gorge-Koblenz: visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rudesheim and enjoy a special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; guided walk in Koblenz
Day 6 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk
Day 7 Amsterdam: canal cruise
Day 8 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning
MealsCaptain's welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapésWelcome dinnerFarewell dinnerDaily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu itemsEarly and Late Riser breakfastDaily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stationsAlternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky DeckDaily four-course à la carte dinner in the main dining roomAlternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama BistroDaily Afternoon TeaDaily Night FareComplimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel
NotesDepartures December 1 & 15 are offered as exclusive Festive Time Cruises, including special features and visits to Christmas markets at no additional cost. Experience the holiday season the European way! Enjoy the jolly atmosphere on your festively decorated ship as you delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of local customs and traditions.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.
Arrive in Zurich, Switzerland. Transfer to Basel (Embarkation)
Welcome to Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn and the majestic Alps! Transfer by motorcoach to Basel, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner)
Flights into Zurich must arrive before 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
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. The area got its name because the pine forests are so dense, local residents described them as black. The most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks! You may opt to visit the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Vogtsbauernhof Museum to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. On your walking tour, you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. 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. Explore 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. This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany-Mainz
This morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany's oldest university, which was founded in 1386. Visit the 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, it holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor on top of it! In the afternoon, arrive in Mainz, which today is Germany's largest and most important wine market. The Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz is a tribute to the jesters at the city's annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here. During a GUIDED WALK, you'll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, dock in pretty Rudesheim, a typical 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, and enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT. Downstream from Rudesheim is the dramatic RHINE GORGE, 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 sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet-the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of 2,000-year-old Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland's sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. 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 this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
|Offer valid through 6/30/2018|
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Port charges:Departures December 1 & 15 are offered as exclusive Festive Time Cruises, including special features and visits to Christmas markets at no additional cost. Experience the holiday season the European way! Enjoy the jolly atmosphere on your festively decorated ship as you delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of local customs and traditions.
Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
Extra nights per person in Zurich:
in single room $210, in twin room $120
Extra nights per person in Amsterdam:
in single room from $235 to $305, in twin room from $135 to $170
Prices shown include cruise in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck.
To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:
Category / Decks / Price
B / Sapphire Deck / $649
A / Sapphire Deck / $699
P / Royal Deck / $799
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $1,499
Tranquility II/Imagery II
Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo / Deck / $199
B / Sapphire Deck / $1,149
A / Sapphire Deck / $1,199
P / Royal Deck / $1,299
Avalon Suite / Royal Deck / $1,999
Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.
Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.
View full Terms & Conditions
Important NotesVacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you. View Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions.The following charges are not included in the land/cruise vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; intra-vacation air, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $11.20 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $4.10 per segment, and U.S. and international arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature. Additional airline-imposed fees for seat assignments may apply and are not included in your total package cost. Please refer to carrier websites for seat assignment policies and applicable pricing.
Booking your Vacation with Air
Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Early Airfare Price Guarantee locks in a price that is guaranteed not to increase. Air pricing and schedules are available approximately 330 days prior to last travel date in the itinerary. At that time the best air price will be utilized and a new invoice with the air cost and confirmed schedule will be sent. The identity of the carrier, which may include the carrier's codeshare partner, will be assigned and disclosed at this time. If the guaranteed price is the lowest, the schedule with the lowest fare per contracted classes of service will be booked. Any voluntary change to the confirmed flights negates the guaranteed price and is subject to air pricing at the time of the change.
Guaranteed air-inclusive prices - air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional non-refundable air deposit of $300 per person is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus a non-refundable per person service fee of $30 (North/Central America), $50 (Europe/Middle East) or $80 (all other international destinations). Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.
Air-Inclusive Vacations - Applicable Taxes & Fees
Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.