16 Day Avalon Waterways River Cruise from Vienna to Basel 2024

Avalon Waterways River Cruise - Vienna to Basel

Christmastime from Vienna to Basel

Starting from $7,897
Ship(s): Avalon Illumination
Avalon Waterways
16 Day Avalon Waterways River Cruise from Vienna to Basel 2024

River Cruise Description

This holiday river cruise takes you to many beautiful and historical cities of Germany and Austria. And the views along the way can't be outdone-towns and villages decorated for the holidays and beautiful views as you cruise along the Danube and Main Rivers, and the Main Danube Canal. Your Christmastime river cruise begins in Vienna, the capital and treasure of Austria, and ends in Frankfurt, Germany. In Vienna, see the sights with a Local Guide and enjoy a walk through the Christmas markets to taste some of the traditional fare. Cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley to Melk, and visit the Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe's most architecturally-breathtaking monasteries-sure to be truly magnificent during the holiday season. In Regensburg, one of Germany's best-preserved medieval cities, see the sights with a Local Guide and savor local sausages and beer at one of Germany's oldest restaurants, Historiche Wurstkuche (Old Sausage Kitchen). On to Nuremberg where, after your guided tour, you are free to visit the Christmas market, one of the most famous in the world. A full-day excursion to Munich shows you the Bavarian capital. The traditional Christmas market is located on the Marienplatz, with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread filling the air! Continue your Christmastime river cruise to Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the many nativity scenes exhibited throughout the town are sure to delight. In Würzburg, on the River Main, visit the ornate Bishop's Residence-home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted, then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). Your next stop is at one of the charming small towns dotted along the river-sure to be even more appealing illuminated with Christmas lights and decorations. 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 Your delightful festive cruise ends in Basel.



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Departure DateShipPriced From
(per person)
 
Dec 8, 2024Avalon Illumination$7,897Call Us!
Avalon Choice

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are 3 types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic
Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.
Discovery
We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests — from cooking classes, to painting workshops — to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.
Active
Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go — from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.
  • Plus independent exploration options and use of Avalon's exclusive AvalonGO APP.

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
Discovery
Explore the Habsburg empire this morning on a Guided City Tour of Vienna’s gilded landmarks. See the Imperial Palace complex—the winter residence of the Imperial Family, the iconic Vienna Opera House and stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
Spend free time on your own to enjoy the Christkindlesmarkt, or relax by the fire’s glow in a Viennese café.
You may join a Guided Optional Tour of Schönbrunn Palace—summer home of the Habsburg dynasty for 300 years.
This evening, you may choose to attend an Optional Excursion to a Royal Waltz Concert for an unforgettable evening of music in an elegant hall.
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK
(B,L,D)

Day 3 MELK—GREIN

Frescoes above the Wachau Valley
Classic
Take a Guided Tour of Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings.
Discovery
Enjoy an Austrian Cookie Tasting onboard while sailing to Grein.
Classic
Take a Guided Walk of Grein, including its historic theater, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances.
Enjoy live entertainment on board.
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU
(B,L,D)

Day 4 PASSAU

Saint Stephen’s, Salzburg, and the Story of Silent Night
Classic
Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful “City of Three Rivers.”
Later spend some free time in Passau’s charming Christkindlmarkt near magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
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
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
You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming Thurn and Taxis Palace—one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Bavaria.
Enjoy live entertainment on board.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROTH
(B,L,D)

Day 6 NUREMBERG

Legends 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

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.
Spend some free time on your own to browse Munich Christkindlmarkt and enjoy countless of their culinary delights, gingerbread or hot-mulled wine.
Return to your ship in Nuremberg in the late afternoon.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG
(B,D)

Day 8 NUREMBERG

Living Heritage
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. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BAMBERG
(B,L,D)

Day 9 BAMBERG

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.
AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WÜRZBURG
(B,L,D)

Day 10 WÜRZBURG

Old Saint Nick 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 Bavarian village along the Main River.
AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO FRANKFURT
(B,L,D)

Day 12 FRANKFURT. EXCURSION TO RUDESHEIM

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country
Discovery
Tour the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience in Rüdesheim
(B,D)

Day 13 SPEYER. EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG

Winter Wonders and a Wine Barrel Fit for a King
Discovery
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.
Alternatively, enjoy a relaxing sailing morning and explore the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of Speyer Christmas markets.
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/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BREISACH
(B,L,D)

Day 15 BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST

German Winemaking and the Beautiful Black Forest
DISCOVERY Visit to a local winery in Breisach, where you will learn about German winemaking and enjoy a wine tasting.
Discovery
Join a Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience local traditions and the vibrant Christmas mood.
After your visit to Badischer Winzerkeller, 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.
EVENING/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 or Basel airport before 8 am.
(B)
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