Canals, Vineyards & Paris - Southbound River Cruise (WAR)
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River Cruise Description
You’ll begin this fabulous 10 day Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Paris 2018 vacation in beautiful Holland’s popular and modern capital city. You’ll marvel at the treasures of this 700-year-old city from a unique perspective – on a fascinating canal cruise along the sensational grachten. Then, you’ll start your picturesque European river cruise along the beautiful Rhine River and come to historic Cologne, Germany – a 2,000 year-old city known for its impressive gothic architecture. On an exciting guided city walk, you’ll marvel at the famous elegant twin-spired cathedral and you’ll explore the narrow cobblestone streets of the amazing Old City. You’ll sail through the sensational Rhine Gorge – considered the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River where ancient majestic castles stand high on cliffs some 400 feet above the water below. In the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, you’ll enjoy a walk through its world-famous cobblestone Drosselgasse lined with quaint shops, festive restaurants, and bustling taverns. Along the wonderful Moselle River, you’ll stop at the picturesque town of Cochem where the famous Riesling grape is cultivated. You’ll visit majestic Reichsburg Castle, nestled among lush green grape vineyards and offering awe-inspiring views of the town and river valley below. In quaint Bernkastel, you’ll enjoy an exciting guided walk and taste of some of the region’s most-loved wines. You’ll go on a fascinating excursion to historical Luxembourg City, which offers unique and sensational views as the city sits on two levels – high above on straddling hills and dropping into two river valleys. You’ll ride the high-speed train to romantic Paris, the last stop on this fabulous European river cruise. Expertly guided sightseeing introduces you to the must-see famous sights of the romantic “City of Light:” elegant Notre Dame Cathedral, the iconic Eiffel Tower, and the magnificent Louvre Museum with its elegant glass pyramid contrasting its ancient architecture. There’s free time to casually stroll the boulevards and perhaps try tasting a glass of “rouge” in a popular local bistro. Aside from the excitement each stop has to offer, your elegant Avalon cruise ship has all the amenities you need to be your home away from home during your 10 day Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Paris 2018 vacation.
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)
Welcome to Holland, Amsterdam’s capital, where you can get in touch with brilliant architecture, local cafes buzzing with friendly faces as you gather at the restaurant that serves fresh and authentic cuisine native to Holland. If you arrive early than expected, take advantage of the optional excursions, before you board the cruise vessel for the meet-and-greet at the welcome reception dinner. Get acquainted and mingle with fellow vacationers just as long as you board the ship by 5 p.m.
Day 2 Amsterdam
An adventure awaits you by canal boat as you sail through the serene and magnificent grachten waters and glide by the elegant, charming houses for an awe-inspiring tour. After a while, you will reach your destination in Germany, where you will experience an authentic German breakfast, lunch, and dinner like the natives. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Cologne, Germany
Cologne is one of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, straddling the Rhine River. It’s known for its lofty, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a guided city walk or a Jewish Heritage walk. The Old Town is filled with cafés, shops, and taverns. Why not try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years? (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Rhine George – Rudesheim
Today, you will embark on an adventure through Rhine George, a beautiful river that outstretches a lush landscape with castles that stand 400 feet high above water level. Excitement awaits you by famous Lorelei rock, a historical figure that mirrors a legend of mischief mermaids and crafty sailors, just around the corner. Introduce yourself to the flavorful, local wines at the Rhine Valley wine town that offer brilliant pairings with local meals and guided tours in the history of this beautiful winery. Later on, you will want to unwind with a fascinating tour of the mechanical serenade from Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, where you will be introduced to self-playing 18th-century music boxes and calliopes. A special surprise waits for you after this tour but first gaze upon the vibrant colors of the fresh floral garden that surround the winery. Stop by the Drosselgasse where you can pick up unique souvenirs for the trip homeward. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Cochem
This morning’s cruise will take you through a tranquil glide down the Moselle River, where you will find a long stretch of peaceful terrain that drape the scene for a perfect winery location. Upon arriving in the quaint and artistic city of Cochem, you will be greeted by the tortuous roads and half-timbered houses that have stood tall since the Middle Ages. Join a guided walking tour through Reichsburg Castle, established in 1000 B.C. This rustic castle is still furnished with renaissance charm and sits upon a tapering hill that is dramatically covered in vines to add to its baroque appeal. It overlooks a gorgeous landscape of vines that produce an abundance of grapes, notably where the Riesling grape is produced and known for its sweet, fruitful flavor. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Bernkastel
This beautiful day will start off with a breathtaking tour of the Moselle region. The guide will take you through a sight-seeing walk down the exquisite wine village of Bernkastel’s, as you stroll down winding narrow streets and snap pictures of the historic homes that have stood since the Middle Ages. Savor the sights through the marketplace that is blooming with Renaissance appeal. Still standing since 1416, the famous, timber-framed ‘Pointed House’ with its oriel windows is a favorite among travelers and locals alike. The largest and most sought-after vineyard in Germany, Bernkasteler Doktor, is celebrated as one of the oldest thriving vineyards. In the afternoon, get a taste of this plentiful vineyard and its history at the Wine Museum and sample the region’s very best wines before dinner begins. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Grevenmacher, Luxembourg-Remich. Excursion to Luxembourg City
Germany’s oldest city, the Tier, lies at the top of the Moselle Valley and is thought to be older than Rome. The Porta Nigra, a 20,000 seat amphitheater, still stands to this day and is the original gate of the Roman Settlement. As you browse the street markets in Tier, you will be guided through the towns to view the breathtaking historical masterpieces in old Roman, baroque, and neoclassical styles that grace each gothic building, including the oldest Christian church in Germany. Take a guided sightseeing tour or a historical ‘Roman Tier’ tour guided tour before enjoying the rest of the afternoon exploring the towns on your own. After a while, you will sail to Remich in the Dutchy of Luxembourg and enjoy a respite as you dock for the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Remich, Luxembourg (Disembarkation) – Paris, France
Today, a convenient motorboat will take to Luxembourg City or Metz where you will board a high-speed train to Paris. Later on, enjoy fresh local French cuisine and maybe a glass of fine wine as you explore the sites and culture of the city. (Breakfast)
Day 9 Paris
Paris is one of the most captivating and wistful cities that breathe fashion, fun, and exotic cuisine that will open a whole realm to your senses. A guided sightseeing tour is provided and will introduce you to Paris’ finest hotspots such as the famous Effie tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral, where spectacular architecture gleam from ground to sky. The popular Louvre museum, know for showcasing its brilliant glass pyramid, will have you star struck. You will have some free time to leisurely see your own side of Paris. Take a walk to Montmartre, the largest hill in Paris 18th arrondissement, standing 130 meters tall and full of the brilliant textures and architecture. You will soon find out why so many famous painters used this beautiful landmark as a studio. A night of entertainment awaits you as you experience live cabaret shows and the exciting nightlife but before you get started, indulge in one of the many French restaurants on Paris’ popular strip, Champs-Elysees. (Breakfast)
Day 10 Paris
As your 10-day river cruise comes to an end here, you can look through your photos of the rest of the trip over a scrumptious breakfast fit for royalty. (Breakfast)