Grand Christmastime Cruise from Vienna to Zurich

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Introduction

Celebrate the holiday season on this magnificent cruise from Vienna to Basel. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Vienna, Nuremberg, Munich, Bamberg, Würzburg, Munich and Strasbourg as well as guided walks in the small town of Dürnstein, medieval Regensburg, and charming Miltenberg. Other highlights: visit the Bishop's Residence in Würzburg and the spectacular Benedictine Abbey in Melk, enjoy a beer tasting in Bamberg, and a wine tasting in Austria's Wachau Valley. Visit Heidelberg with its famed red-s...

“I would give the overall experience 10 out of 10”

I would give the overall experience 10 out of 10
I would give the overall experience 10 out of 10
Dawn Ball and Christine Mallard

The Avalon experience

Included Highlights

  • Vienna On board welcome reception; Guided sightseeing, Christmas market
  • Dürnstein-MelkGuided walk; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; wine tasting
  • PassauGuided walk; Christmas market
  • Regensburg Guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting; Christmas market
  • NurembergChoice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; Christmas market, Excursion to Munich
  • Bamberg Guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall; on-board lecture
  • Wurzburgguided sightseeing, visit the Bishop's Residenz; Christmas market
  • MiltenbergGuided walk
  • Frankfurt Excursion to Rüdesheim: visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; enjoy a special treat
  • Heidelberg - Mannheim Guided visit of the castle; see the Great Vat, Christmas markets; time at leisure for Christmas markets in Mannheim
  • Strasbourg Guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; onboard woodcarving demonstration
  • Breisach Excursion to the Black Forest; Christmas market
  • BaselYour holiday ends this morning

Included in the price

  • Your personal Avalon chauffeur service by executive car for you and your travelling companions to and from your UK airport (limit 100 miles each way)

  • Flights Prices are based on 2 people sharing a Category E Deluxe Stateroom flying from London. In addition a wide range of flights from UK regional airports are also available.

  • 15 nights deluxe accommodation in a spacious stateroom with Avalon's exclusive Comfort Collection® style beds, ensuite facilities and river views. Floor to ceiling sliding glass doors and a French balcony in most staterooms.

  • All meals on board including full breakfast , buffet lunch and waiter service evening meal; afternoon tea with cakes and sweet treats; midnight snack, choice of premium teas and coffees & soft drinks throughout the day. Wine and beer is included with lunch and dinner.

  • Included excursions and sightseeing trips with Local Guides and a choice of optional tours; headsets provided on excursions

  • Services of an experienced Cruise Director

  • Gratuities for Cruise Director and crew

  • On board lectures, activities and nightly piano music

  • Captain's Welcome Reception, Welcome Dinner and Farewell Gala Dinner

  • A choice of pre- or post- holiday extensions

  • All transfers, local port charges and airport taxes

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Day 1 Arrive in Vienna, Austria (Embarkation)

Vienna, Austria’s capital, is known as the “City of Music” and inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. This afternoon, board your cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. NOTE: Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm. (D)

Day 2 Vienna

Once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire, this is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys' Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you'll see on your GUIDED TOUR. Visit the delightful Christmas market and savour the sounds and smells of holiday cheer. Be sure to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! An optional concert is available tonight. (B, L, D)

Day 3 Dürnstein–Melk

This morning, arrive in Dürnstein in the heart of the Wachau valley. Standing on the banks of the Danube, the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade is without a doubt the landmark of this small town. A Local Guide will take you on a WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. Then, sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk in the early afternoon. The magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY dominates the town and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You’ll be captivated by the splendour of the church with its frescoed ceilings. This evening you’ll be able to sample some of the FAMOUS WINES of this region. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Passau, Germany

This morning, you may wish to join an optional full-day excursion to Salzburg to see some of the popular Sound of Music sites, find out how mice caused the composition of the famous Silent Night carol, and learn how Austrians celebrate Christmas. Rejoin your ship in Passau in the early evening or stay on board and relax as you cruise to Passau, located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of cobblestone streets, lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Regensburg

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. The only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights included on your GUIDED WALK are the 13th-century Old Town Hall and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. The afternoon is free to visit the Regensburg Christmas market. The tempting aromas of mulled wine, sausage, roasted almonds, and gingerbread create a memorable atmosphere. Before dinner tonight we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (B, L, D)

Day 6 Nuremberg

Spend a relaxing morning cruising before reaching Nuremberg. Although 90% of its Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Choose from an included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at the city’s medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights, and the Christmas market is one of the biggest in Germany, featuring 200 stalls selling traditional wares and foods. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Nuremberg. (Disembarkation) Excursion to Munich. (Embarkation).

After breakfast, disembark the vessel which has brought you to Nuremberg and drive to Munich, where a local expert will proudly show you the sights of the Bavarian capital. An inspiring mix of historic buildings and impressive architecture, you’ll see the Olympic Stadium, 1,000-foot-high Television Tower, Nymphenburg Palace, MARIENPLATZ in the historic heart of the city with the Old and New Town Halls, and the gothic Frauenkirche. Later, there’s free time to explore on your own. The traditional Christmas market is located on the Marienplatz, with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread filling the air and the strains of alpine Christmas music coming from the town hall. At the nearby Rindermarkt, you’ll find the Kripperlmarkt, one of the largest markets in Germany to specialize in mangers and other nativity accessories. And don’t leave Munich without paying a visit to the famous Hofbräuhaus for a stein of beer! Return to Nuremberg in the late afternoon and embark on the ship which will take you to Basel. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Nuremberg

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. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Bamberg

In the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, especially interesting are the nativity scenes built by local residents and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you’ll find many regional delicacies, like gingerbread and nut bread. Rejoin your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Würzburg, and attend a fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about the European Christmas traditionsIn the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, especially interesting are the nativity scenes built by local residents and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you’ll find many regional delicacies, like gingerbread and nut bread. Rejoin your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Würzburg, and attend a fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about the European Christmas traditionsIn the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, especially interesting are the nativity scenes built by local residents and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you’ll find many regional delicacies, like gingerbread and nut bread. Rejoin your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Würzburg, and attend a fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about the European Christmas traditionsIn the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, especially interesting are the nativity scenes built by local residents and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you’ll find many regional delicacies, like gingerbread and nut bread. Rejoin your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Würzburg, and attend a fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about the European Christmas traditionsIn the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, especially interesting are the nativity scenes built by local residents and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you’ll find many regional delicacies, like gingerbread and nut bread. Rejoin your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Würzburg, and attend a fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about the European Christmas traditionsIn the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, especially interesting are the nativity scenes built by local residents and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you’ll find many regional delicacies, like gingerbread and nut bread. Rejoin your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Würzburg, and attend a fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about the European Christmas traditions (B, L, D)

Day 10 Wurzburg

Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The city makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore on your own—maybe visit the Christmas markets or join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. Be sure to try a Schneeball (snowball), a local speciality not at all suitable for a diet! (B, L, D)

Day 11 Frankfurt. Excursion to Rüdesheim

After breakfast this morning, a comfortable coach ride takes you to the pretty little town of Rüdesheim, a perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town. A visit to SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise! Afterwards, we’ll offer you a SPECIAL TREAT and then there’s free time to explore. The entire town transforms itself into one large Christmas market, offering products and specialities 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. In the afternoon, return to Frankfurt. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Miltenberg

Tucked away behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates, the picturesque Bavarian village of Miltenberg is a cultural gem on the banks of the Main River. This afternoon’s GUIDED WALK will acquaint you with the town’s delightful Marktplatz (market square), which centres around a Renaissance-era fountain and features striking half-timbered buildings, cobblestone lanes, and one of the oldest inns in Germany, Haus zum Riesen (the giant’s house) and the gothic splendour of the Merchant Hall. Depart for Frankfurt before dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Excursion to Heidelberg - Mannheim

This morning an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, which was founded in 1386. 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! At this time of year, an ice rink is set up at the foot of the castle, and stalls offer Glühwein, Bratwurst, and other tasty treats. The Christmas market itself is scattered over five town squares, and you’ll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. Rejoin your ship in Mannheim, and the afternoon is yours to do as you please.There is plenty of free time to shop for Christmas decorations or gifts at the Mannheim Christmas market. (B, L, D)

Day 14 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. In fact, on your GUIDED 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. 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. Dating back to 1570, the traditional Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Located around Place de la Cathédrale and Place Broglie, its centrepiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets you’ll notice the pleasing aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits—a truly magical atmosphere! This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine region is available. This evening, enjoy an on-board WOODCARVING demonstration. (B, L, D)

Day 15 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 once described them as black. There’s no better setting for this time of year than when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs, connoting images of warm and festively decorated interiors. Surely, the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. This afternoon there’s free time in Breisach to visit one more Christmas market—or you may join an optional excursion to Colmar in France’s Alsace region. (B, L, D)

Day 16 16 Basel Switzerland (Disembarkation)

Your holiday ends after breakfast. (B)

 

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Availability and Guide price

We regularly update our guide prices however frequent airline fare changes means prices can go up or down. Prices are based on two sharing a lead in Deluxe Stateroom. Please refer to the Change Departure point box below to choose your preferred departure airport or Eurostar station.

All prices shown include the latest savings. Offer is subject to availability.

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We'll usually arrange your flights from an airport close to you. If you don't see your preferred airport when you come to book online, give us a call on 0800 668 1843. Don't forget - your Personal Avalon Chauffeur will pick you up from your home on departure and collect you from the airport on your return.

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Number Of Passengers : 2 Change Departure Point
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December Prices per person based on two sharing
Departure Information Cabin Category
3rd Dec 2017 (Sun)
London Heathrow Airport
Vista/Tranquility lli
(E)
Sold Out
(D)
Sold Out
(B)
Sold Out
(A)
Sold Out
(P)
Sold Out
(Suite)
Sold Out
Dec
Avalon Vista/Avalon Tranquility ll
Cabin Information
CATEGORY
E
CATEGORY
D
CATEGORY
B
CATEGORY
A
CATEGORY
P
CATEGORY
Suite
DECK Indigo - Forward Indigo - Aft Saphire - Aft Saphire - Forward Royal Deck Royal Deck
SIZE 172 sq ft 172 sq ft 200 sq ft 200 sq ft 200 sq ft 300 sq ft
WINDOW Window Window Panoramic window with open air French balcony Panoramic window with open air French balcony Panoramic window with open air French balcony Panoramic window with open air French balcony
BEDS Two twins or a queen size bed Two twins or a queen size bed Two twins or a queen size bed facing open air French balcony Two twins or a queen size bed facing open air French balcony Two twins or a queen size bed facing open air French balcony Two twins or a queen size bed facing open air French balcony
BATHROOM En-suite bathroom with full shower En-suite bathroom with full shower Larger en-suite bathroom with full shower Larger en-suite bathroom with full shower Larger en-suite bathroom with full shower Larger en-suite bathroom with full shower and separate toilet
SEATING AREA Seating area Seating area Seating area Larger seating area
Ship Information
Deck plans
Staterooms
Category D
Deluxe Stateroom - Indigo Deck Aft
Category E
Deluxe stateroom - Indigo Deck Forward
Category P
Panorama Suite - Royal Deck
Category B
Panorama Suite - Sapphire Deck Aft
Category A
Panorama Suite - Sapphire Deck Forward
Royal Suite
Royal Deck
Deck Plan Key:
  1. Sky Lounge
  2. Navigation Bridge
  3. Sky Bistro
  4. Whirlpool
  5. Premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  6. Deck Game area
  7. Observation Lounge
  8. Panorama Bistro
  9. Panorama Lounge
  10. Bar
  11. Internet centre
  12. Reception/Guest services
  13. Lift
  14. Atrium
  15. Hair Salon
  16. Club Lounge
  17. Kitchen
  18. Dining room
  19. Fitness centre

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