15 Day Avalon River Cruise from Arles to Amsterdam 2019

15 Day Avalon River Cruise from Côte d’Azur to Amsterdam

Rhine & Rhône Revealed - Cruise Only Northbound River Cruise (WLA0)

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Avalon Waterways

River Cruise Description

Welcome to picturesque Europe! You’ll find it is easy to immerse yourself in the fascinating French and German cultures on this fabulous Avalon Waterways European river cruise vacation along the majestic Rhône and Rhine Rivers. The breathtaking landscape views will be astounding, so be sure you haven’t forgotten to have your camera so you can capture the fascination and grandeur of this magnificent 2019 15 day Avalon river cruise from Arles to Amsterdam adventure.

Your river cruise vacation gets underway in charming Arles, France – famous for inspiring the world-famous paintings of renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh, and Arles’ ancient 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which is still hosting world-class plays and concerts. Then you’ll tour the charming twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, snuggly nestled amongst the lush green grape vineyards and you’ll marvel as you enjoy a wonderful guided stroll through quaint Tournon, considered a historic medieval treasure with a plethora of ancient Roman ruins and a magnificent 16th-century castle. A tour of charming Lyon will highlight the impressive medieval and Renaissance architecture.

Your Avalon Waterways cruise ship will stop in beautiful Breisach, known as the fascinating gateway to Germany’s world-famous Black Forest, also well known for popular Black Forest ham, delicious cherry cake, and iconic cuckoo clocks. In charming Strasbourg, France, you’ll enjoy a stroll through the impressive La Petite France district. You’ll tour the ancient ruins of once majestic Heidelberg’s castle, and stop in quaint Mainz for a fantastic expert guided walk including a tour of the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Your luxurious cruise ship will set sail through the sensational Rhine Gorge, considered by many travelers to be the most magnificent stretch of the picturesque Rhine River. Your final stop in historic Germany is charming Cologne, where an amazing guided stroll introduces you to all the must-see sights in this ancient 2,000-year-old city.

As your sensational European river cruise vacation draws to an end, you’ll enjoy the perfect conclusion with a wonderful stay in Holland’s fashionable, modern capital city of Amsterdam. You’ll discover that the best way to see the terrific treasures of this 700-year-old city is on a fascinating tranquil canal cruise along the exquisite Grachten lined with fabulous homes dating back to the city’s amazing “Golden Age.” This 2019 15 day Avalon river cruise from Arles to Amsterdam has a wonderful mix of adventure, culture, architecture, and amazing European sights.

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Departure DateShipPriced From
(per person)
Oct 15, 2019Avalon Poetry II, Avalon ExpressionWaitlistCall Us!
Oct 29, 2019Avalon Poetry II, Avalon ExpressionWaitlistCall Us!

River Cruise Itinerary

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Day 1 Arles (Embarkation)

Welcome to romantic France! This afternoon, you’ll board your luxurious river cruise ship docked in charming Arles, situated in the beautiful Provence region. Before dinner, you’ll meet your friendly crew at a casual welcome reception, then (daylight permitting) you’ll cruise toward the mouth of the fabulous Rhône River, with a unique opportunity to experience the peaceful vistas of the amazing Camargue National Park. (Dinner)

Day 2 Arles

In quaint Arles, capital of the Provence, you’ll join your friendly LOCAL GUIDE for a tour of this beautiful city. See the elegant church of St. Trophime, dating from the 12th century, and visit the ancient ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, the amphitheater dates to the 1st century, and was constructed to hold more than 20,000 spectators. World-famous artist Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by the special light of the Provence and spent a very productive year in Arles pursuing his craft. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3 Avignon

While you were sleeping through the night, your ship sailed for Avignon, where you’ll arrive this morning during breakfast. On your GUIDED TOUR you may choose to join an included visit of the extravagant PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ fascinating residence. With a living space equal to four elegant gothic cathedrals, it is the largest gothic fortress in the world. Or, you may choose for only city sightseeing and more free time to explore this fabulous city on your own, or you might decide to join an optional outing to impressive Pont du Gard or to the alluring wine cellars of the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4 Cruising–Viviers

You’ll enjoy a relaxing morning cruising onboard ship as you pass one picturesque landscape after another. After a great lunch, you’ll join your friendly LOCAL GUIDE for a stroll around the charming town of Viviers, which developed around its elegant ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The fascinating OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne

The fabulous twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are situated, nestled among lush grape vineyards between the scenic Rhône River and the magnificent granite slopes of the Hermitage. You’ll enjoy a wonderful GUIDED WALK of Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its impressive 16th-century castle and ancient Roman ruins. You’ll arrive in charming Vienne in the late afternoon, a GUIDED WALK will feature the fascinating little town surrounded by steep sloping hills. You’ll explore the bustling town center to see the ancient Roman Theater, which once held 13,000 spectators, and the extravagant Augustus and Livia Temple, built around 20 BC and converted into an elegant church in the Middle Ages. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Lyon

Bustling Lyon is France’s third-largest city and is considered its culinary capital. Founded by the ancient Romans in 43 BC, the city’s economic prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is due to successful commercial, industrial, and banking activities. Ancient Roman remains, many extravagant museums, and impressive renaissance architecture delight visitors. You’ll be joined by a LOCAL GUIDE as you enjoy the city from the vantage point of scenic Fourvière Hill – with its splendid views overlooking the city –and you’ll explore quaint Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its maze of narrow medieval alleyways and festive Place des Terreaux, a popular area with bustling cafés, stately monuments, and the famous fountain often depicted on postcards. Be sure to sample Beaujolais, one of the favorite wines of the region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7 Cruising-St. Jean de Losne

Today is a leisurely day of cruising! You’ll have a choice of several optional excursions, including a visit to a popular wine cellar, is available, or simply relax onboard you cruise ship. While sailing to charming St. Jean de Losne, you’ll be able to enjoy a fabulous onboard CHEESE TASTING. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Basel, Switzerland (Embarkation)

After a wonderful breakfast, you’ll disembark the luxurious Avalon Poetry II and head by motor coach to beautiful Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area and Burgundy’s fine wine capital. Although life here centers around wine, Beaune offers much more with its ramparts, historic medieval houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and stately monuments. You’ll visit the impressive HÔTEL-DIEU charity hospital, built in 1443 and paid for by the chancellor of Burgundy after the exhausting Hundred Years’ War left many of the town’s population destitute. Today, it houses the world-famous painting of Van der Weyden’s – “The Last Judgment” – and is one of France’s architectural highlights. After a great lunch, you’ll continue to beautiful Basel, and this evening, meet the friendly crew of the fascinating Avalon Tranquility II at a casual welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 9 Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest

Breisach, situated at the foot of majestic Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, is the gateway to Germany’s famous BLACK FOREST region, an area of unequaled natural beauty with its thick pine tree forests. The area got its name from the local residents because the forests are so dense that they described them as black. Surely the most well known products from this region are good tasting Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and intricate cuckoo clocks. You may decide to choose a visit the workshop of a local craftsman, a woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or choose to visit the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this region centuries ago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10 Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, situated on the border of France and Germany, blends the cultures of both countries in fascinating ways. As capital of the famous Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your walking tour you’ll discover Europe at its quintessential best. Visit the enormous red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its amazing ancient murals, beautiful stained-glass windows, and fantastic astronomical clock, as well as the enchanting LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to beautiful half-timbered houses, charming shops, alluring bistros, and an exciting waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring bustling 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 famous inventor of the printing press. This afternoon, optional excursions into the charming Alsace wine country or to the iconic Black Forest are available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11 Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany–Mainz

Today an excursion takes you to historic Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, which was founded in 1386. Visit the impressive ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and considered among the most historically important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the world-famous 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! In the afternoon, you’ll arrive in bustling Mainz, which is strategically located where the Rhine and Main Rivers meet. Historic Mainz, has “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. The busy Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the amusing Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz – a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here and during a GUIDED WALK you’ll visit the mesmerizing GUTENBERG MUSEUM. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz

This morning your ship will dock in beautiful Rüdesheim, a quintessential Rhine Valley wine town. You’ll visit the fascinating SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll 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 Rüdesheim is the sensational RHINE GORGE, considered one of, if not THE MOST beautiful stretch of river. Cruising here, you’ll see ancient castles standing sentry on magnificent cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. You’ll cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unsuspecting sailors to their doom. Then, you’ll arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet – the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive equestrian statue of German Emperor William I. You’ll join your friendly Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the 2,000-year-old city of Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its majestic castles, imposing fortress walls, impressive towers, bustling squares, and historic monuments. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13 Cologne

Charming Cologne, one of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, straddles both sides of the scenic Rhine, and is known for its soaring, elegant twin-steepled gothic cathedral. You’ll choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during your free time, perhaps you’ll look in on the fascinating Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of historic artifacts from the ancient Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built – a must-see for serious history buffs! The Old Town bustles with festive cafés, charming shops, and taverns where friendly locals gather. Be sure to try a popular Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for more than a hundred years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 14 Amsterdam, Holland

You’ll arrive in beautiful Amsterdam today! You’ll marvel at Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital, which boasts a rich and fascinating history. This marvelous 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, bustling cafés, and popular local restaurants, enjoys a distinct ambiance. And 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.” You’ll have some free time this afternoon to enjoy more of the city or perhaps you’ll prefer to join a biking optional excursion (weather permitting). (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15 Amsterdam (Disembarkation)

Although your vacation ends this morning with a wonderful breakfast, we hope this fabulous 15-day cruise experience leaves you with a wealth of great memories and some amazing photographs of your amazing journey to share with loved ones back home. (Breakfast)


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