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Avalon Waterways Reviews – 12 Day River Cruise Zurich to Prague

Avalon Waterways Reviews – 12 Day River Cruise Zurich to Prague. Christmastime Zurich to Prague.

12 day river cruise Zurich to PragueRiver Cruise Description
Experience the holiday season like never before! Join us on this festive river cruise vacation from Zurich to Prague. Revel in guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg and finally, Prague in the Czech Republic. Other high points: excursions to Germany’s beautiful Black Forest; to Heidelberg for a visit to the red sandstone castle and to Rüdesheim in the heart of Rhine wine tasting country.

You’ll have the opportunity to explore the many Christmas markets, where you can sample some of the most delicious holiday treats, savor the festive aromas of the season, shop for locally crafted Christmas ornaments, and soak up the holiday cheer. This year, celebrate in style on this unforgettable and joyous Christmastime cruise.

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River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Zürich, Switzerland–Transfer to Basel (Embarkation)
Welcome to beautiful majestic Switzerland. (Dinner)
*NOTE: Flights into Zürich must arrive before 3 p.m. and cruise ship guests must be on board by 5 p.m.

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Day 2 Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest
The gateway to Germany’s BLACK FOREST region, located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, is Breisach an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its dense pine forests. The area got its name because the forests are so thick that at one point local residents described them as black. There’s no better setting for this time of year to visit the region. You are greeted with curls of smoke coming from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs, suggesting images of warm, festively decorated interiors. The most popular products from this region are Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. This afternoon there’s free time in Breisach to visit the popular Christmas market – or you may choose to join an exciting excursion to Colmar in France’s beautiful Alsace region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3 Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg is situated on the border of France and Germany, and delightfully blends the cultures of both countries. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is, without a doubt, an extremely important city that manages to retain its historic appeal and charm. In fact, on your GUIDED WALKING TOUR you will discover Europe at its most ultimate. European waterway PragueVisit the enormous red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its outstanding ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the enchanting 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 centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets you can’t help but notice the alluring aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits – a truly extraordinary atmosphere! This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine region is available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4 Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany
Today an excursion takes you to famous Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany – founded in 1386. Visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering majestically over the city and considered among one of 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 more than 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 merchants in the marketplace offer Glühwein, Bratwurst, and other tasty treats. The Christmas market itself is scattered over five town squares, and you’ll find a wide variety of crafts and regional delicacies. There is plenty of free time to shop for festive Christmas decorations and gifts. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Frankfurt. Excursion to Rüdesheim
After breakfast this morning, a comfortable motor coach ride takes you to the quaint little village of Rüdesheim, a perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town. A visit to SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a one-of-a-kind experience! Afterward, we’ll offer you a SPECIAL TREAT and then there’s free time to explore even more of this beautiful place. This time of year, the entire town transforms itself into one large Christmas market. Presentations of products and specialties from a number of nations, will make your shopping spree an adventure all its own. You’ll be amazed at the vast variety of shops offering such an array of Christmas presents and decorations. You will marvel at Europe’s largest nativity scene, with life-size figures taking center stage in the Market Square. In the afternoon, you’ll return to Frankfurt. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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Day 6 Miltenberg
Visit the picturesque Bavarian village of Miltenberg, a cultural gem nestled along the banks of the Main River behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates. This afternoon’s GUIDED WALK will acquaint you with the town’s delightful Marktplatz (market square), which features a Renaissance-era fountain and stunning half-timbered buildings along cobblestone lanes, and Haus zum Riesen (the giant’s house) and one of the oldest inns in Germany. And last, but not least, you’ll enjoy the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall. Later in the day you’ll continue your cruise on the Main River to a “pearl” of a village – Würzburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7 WürzburgEurope waterway Prague
Würzburg, known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” is surrounded by beautiful sloping hills covered with well-manicured grape vineyards. The city will make an eye-opening first impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched high above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the elegant baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. During the afternoon you are free to explore the beautifully decorated streets on your own. You can visit the Christmas markets, or perhaps join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg, where you can try a Schneeball (snowball), a local specialty not at all suitable for a diet! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 Bamberg
Your cruise will stop at medieval Bamberg, known for a former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the intriguing 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, Bamberg is lavishly decorated for Christmas and especially interesting are the many nativity scenes built by local citizens and exhibited throughout the village. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and holiday decorations, you’ll find a large variety of regional delicacies such as gingerbread and nut bread. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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Day 9 Nuremberg

Some 90 percent of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage from devastating bombings and the rages of WWII. This ancient city, however, has since been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. You might choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle). Or you may decide to join a more specialized “NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS” tour. The Old Town, as you might expect, is illuminated with festive lights and decorations, and the Christmas market is one of the most famous in the world. You’ll find some 200 merchant stalls offering traditional wares, including Nuremberg Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), baked goods and sweets, and every kind of Christmas decorations, ornaments you can imagine. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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Day 10 Nuremberg (Disembarkation) – Prague, Czech Republic
After a wonderful breakfast today, you’ll bid the ship’s crew farewell and travel by motor coach to Prague, the “Golden City.” (Breakfast)

European avalon waterway PragueDay 11 Prague
Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time. See its best-known treasures, such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; HRADCANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the oldest bridge in Prague, Charles Bridge. Browse the Christmas markets, where merchants in rows of brightly decorated wooden huts sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. And if you’re up for it, get a little inner warmth with a cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine) and a delicious traditional hot sausage. The beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the Old Town is an impressive sight. (Breakfast)

Day 12 Prague
While your vacation ends with breakfast this morning, please make note of the wonderful experiences you’ve enjoyed on your exciting River Cruise. Hopefully you have numerous personal photos and lasting memories of your journey to take home with you. (Breakfast)

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