Spectacular Switzerland with Romantic Rhine River Cruise (XZH5)
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River Cruise Description
Embark on your 2019 16 day Avalon river cruise from Zürich to Amsterdam in the luxurious country of Switzerland. This incredible vacation will take you on a tour of this gorgeous Swedish country as you relax on a European river cruise on the famous Rhine River through France, Germany, and Holland.
Your adventure will begin in the incredible Switzerland, with overnight stays in Zürich, the Gruyère area, Geneva, the Interlaken area, and Lucerne, where you will revel in the beauty of the country’s green mountainsides and deep blue lakes. The greatest feature of this leg of the tour is the time you will spend in the Interlaken area—a town elegantly tucked between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, framed by three towering mountains: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Globus has organized a memorable rack railway trip from Interlaken to the “Top of Europe,” an elevated alpine playground of ice and snow. Here at Europe’s highest railway station of 11,332 feet, knowns as the outstanding Jungfraujoch, you will go on an audiovisual exploration through the winter wonderland of this alpine world. You will have the opportunity to get a better look at the glaciers from an observation platform deck and also be able to get a vivid unforgettable panoramic look of France, Germany, and Italy—a once in a lifetime experience! Stroll through eight hundred years of history, culture, and architecture as you take a guided tour of the glorious castle in Gruyères. Then, relax alongside a vibrant lakeside landscape and vivid panoramic views of the alluring Alps in Switzerland’s second-largest and most international city of Geneva. Here, take a guided sightseeing tour of the city and enjoy a visit to Reformation Park. Relish in a tasting of some of Switzerland’s finest chocolate at the famous Maison Cailler in Broc before making a stop in the city of Gstaad, one of Switzerland’s most popular skiing resorts and a destination frequented by international celebrities. Delight in a guided walkthrough tour of the Chapel Bridge and Lion Monument in beautiful Lucerne.
End your Avalon Waterways river cruise in Basel, Switzerland and depart for Breisach, Germany, where you will experience the stretch of unmatched mountainous glory and vivid span of evergreens that is the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—said to inspire the fairy tales written by the Brothers Grimm, and famous for its namesake of Black Forest Ham, cuckoo clock, and its cherry cake. As you continue your journey, you’ll gasp in amazement at the sight of the towering red-sandstone gothic cathedral in Strasbourg, France, with its historic murals and brilliant astronomical clock. Take a walk through the gorgeous district of La Petite France with its elegant shops, delicious bistros, and relaxing waterfront promenade. Make sure to pack your best camera to capture the picturesque ruins of the castle of Heidelberg standing powerfully over the city, and stop in Mainz on your Rhine River cruise for a guided walking tour where you will get a look at the genius of the Gutenberg Museum, one of the most historic museums of the printing world, named after the brilliant inventor, Johannes Gutenberg.
To end your perfect vacation on this luxurious Rhine river cruise, you will disembark in the famous metropolitan city of Amsterdam in Holland, recognized for its artistic mix of contemporary and historic architecture. Be entertained on a canal cruise across the marvelous Grachten, dotted with historic homes built during the city’s “Golden Age,”—one of the best ways to get a look at the significant riches this 700-year-old city has to offer. There are plenty of opportunities for more exploration and thrilling adventure in this energetic city that celebrates its world-famous museums, landmarks, cafés, and restaurants. Enjoy a perfect ending to your 2019 16 day Avalon river cruise from Zürich to Amsterdam.
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Zürich, Switzerland
Welcome captivating Zürich, Switzerland. You’ll enjoy a great dinner at your comfortable hotel to start your 16 day Avalon river cruise from Zürich to Amsterdam adventure.(Dinner)
Day 2 Zürich–Biel/Bienne–Neuchâtel–Geneva
After a wonderful breakfast, you’ll be thankful for an informative orientation walk of Zürich’s historic Old Town. You’ll have a stop in charming Biel/Bienne and explore the historic center, and in quaint lakeside Neuchâtel, before arriving in fascinating Geneva. (Breakfast)
Day 3 Geneva
Enjoy a great breakfast and then join an exciting Guided sightseeing tour, which features a visit to the impressive Reformation Park and a stroll through the historic Old Town. (Breakfast)
Day 4 Geneva–Évian-les-Bains, France–Broc–Gruyère Area, Switzerland
You’ll stop magnificent Évian-les-Bains, a world-famous spa town, and marvel at the lush green Rhône wine grape vineyards. You’ll arrive in quaint Gruyère and visit the magnificent castle, followed by a great lunch. Then, you’ll visit world-renowned Maison Cailler chocolate factory in charming Broc. You’ll enjoy an exciting overnight stay in neighboring Charmey. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Gruyère Area–Gstaad–Interlaken Area
After a wonderful breakfast, you’ll enjoy an informative orientation of one of beautiful Switzerland’s most popular ski resorts, quaint Gstaad, before you arrive in the charming Interlaken area. You’ll have a restful overnight stay in Grindelwald. (Breakfast)
Day 6 Interlaken Area. Excursion to the Jungfrau Massif
You’ll experience a remarkable trip to Europe’s highest railway station, the lofty Jungfraujoch. You’ll marvel at the stunning Alpine Sensation, the fabulous Panorama 360° Experience, the impressive Ice Palace, and you’ll receive your own Jungfrau Passport. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 7 Interlaken Area–Berne–Lucerne
In beautiful Berne, you’ll tour fascinating Bear Park, the historic Old Town, and enjoy a picturesque panoramic view of this amazing city from the beautiful Rose Garden. You’ll continue on to lovely Lucerne. (Breakfast)
Day 8 Lucerne
After a wonderful breakfast, you’ll join a morning walking tour, which includes the famous Lion Monument and the iconic Chapel Bridge, and you’ll enjoy a fabulous farewell dinner at a popular local restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9 Lucerne–Zürich. Transfer to Basel (Embarkation)
You’ll get a morning transfer to bustling Zürich and charming Basel to join your luxurious Avalon river cruise ship after breakfast. (Breakfast)
Day 10 Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest
Continue the “water” portion of your European Avalon river cruise trip to really take in some amazing sights. Today is featured by an exciting excursion to the world-famous Black Forest. Breisach, situated as the gateway to Germany’s BLACK FOREST region is nestled at the foot of majestic Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border. You’ll discover this region boasts unparalleled natural beauty. The area earned its name because the massive pine forests were so dense that longtime local residents described them as black. Most travelers probably recognize the well-known products from this region more than the forest itself. Those popular products include delicious Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and iconic hand carved cuckoo clocks! You may choose to visit the busy workshop of a talented local woodcarver who produces clocks and other fascinating carvings, or you might decide you would prefer touring the impressive open-air Vogtsbauernhof Museum to see how life was actually lived in this area several centuries ago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Strasbourg, France
Charming Strasbourg, located on the border of France and Germany, blends the rich cultures of the two nations together in a wonderful way. On your exciting walking tour, you’ll discover Europe at its most ultimate. You’ll visit the stunningly gigantic red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its magnificent ancient murals, colorful stained-glass windows, and the world-renowned astronomical clock, as well as the enchanting LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to charming half-timbered houses, bustling shops, alluring bistros, and a fascinating waterfront promenade. You’ll explore Place Kléber, a huge historic square situated in the heart of the city, and wonderful Place Gutenberg located in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a stately statue of the famous inventor of the printing press. This afternoon, an optional excursion is available on your Avalon river cruise that takes you into the picturesque Alsace wine country. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany–Mainz
This morning, after a wonderful breakfast, you’ll enjoy an exciting excursion to historic Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, which was founded in 1386. You’ll visit the ruins of once majestic HEIDELBERG CASTLE, soaring magnificently over the city and considered among the most critical Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the world-famous GREAT VAT, known as the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At almost 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, it holds more than 58,000 gallons of fine wine and if that wasn’t enough, it also has an amazing dance floor on top of it! During the afternoon, you’ll arrive in charming Mainz, situated at the junction of the beautiful Rhine and Main Rivers, with origins of civilization dating back to around 38 BC. This is Germany’s biggest and most economically crucial wine market. A visit to the historic Altstadt (Old Town) has many alluring shops and you don’t want to miss seeing the eccentric Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the bustling Schillerplatz, a tribute to the comedians at the city’s yearly Carnival festivity. World-famous Gutenberg, known as the father of modern printing, was born here in Mainz – and you’ll marvel at the captivating experience you have visiting the fascinating GUTENBERG MUSEUM during an exciting GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz
This morning, your luxurious Avalon Waterways river cruise ship will dock in beautiful Rüdesheim, a ultimate Rhine Valley wine town. You’ll visit the impressive museum featuring SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. You’ll hear and observe an amazingly large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes dating back from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. You’ll also enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT. As you cruise downstream from Rüdesheim you’ll see the breathtaking RHINE GORGE, considered by many as the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, you’ll marvel at the ancient castles that seem to stand sentry on towering cliffs rising some 400 feet above the water. You’ll cruise past the world-famous and fabled rock of the Lorelei, where it is said that echoes of enchanted siren song lured unsuspecting sailors to their doom. Then, you’ll arrive at the place where the beautiful Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet – known as the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its stately statue of German Emperor William I. Then you may choose to join your friendly Local Guide for an exciting WALKING TOUR of fascinating 2,000-year-old Koblenz, which exposes an eventful past through its majestic castles, imposing fortress walls, soaring towers, stately squares, and historic monuments. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Cologne
Cologne, one of Germany’s largest metropolises, serves as the capital of the picturesque Rhineland. This fabulous city straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is world-famous for the towering elegance of the twin-steepled gothic cathedral. You’ll have a choice between an exciting included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Charming Old Town is filled with bustling cafés, quaint shops, and festive taverns. Be sure you don’t miss the opportunity to try a popular Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for more than 100 years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Amsterdam, Holland
Welcome to sophisticated Amsterdam, Holland’s beautiful modern capital city with a rich history. This fascinating 700-year-old metropolis with its stunning and classic architecture, bustling cafés, and restaurants certainly has created a distinct atmosphere of its own. A veteran travel expert will tell you there is no better way to tour this fabulous city than by the traditional CANAL BOAT, as you cruise through the sensational grachten lined with magnificent homes, which date back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” You’ll enjoy plenty of free time to enjoy more of the city on your own, or perhaps you may choose to join an optional excursion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 16 Amsterdam (Disembarkation)
While your fabulous 16 day Avalon river cruise from Zürich to Amsterdam ends with a wonderful breakfast this morning, you’ll surely take many amazing memories, and great photographs home with you to share with family and friends. (Breakfast)
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