Rhine & Rhône Revealed with Aix-en-Provence & Nice - Southbound River Cruise (WAL1)
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River Cruise Description
Your 2019 19 Day Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Nice will embark across the Rhine River and continue to sail along the Saône and Rhône Rivers. Revel in relaxation as your canal cruise takes you through the beautiful Amsterdam and explore Cologne, Koblenz and Strasbourg with a personal tour guide. Enjoy a journey into Germany’s Black Forest and along to Heidelberg—Germany’s most historic and oldest university town with its ominous castle. Then, charge through the waters of the magnificent Rhine Gorge, which boasts romantic green scenery and glittering blue waves, see the astounding Lorelei rock, and stop to tour the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz. An automobile transport is waiting to take you into the Burgundy Region of France to charming Beaune for a visit to Hôtel-Dieu de Paris, the oldest hospital in the city of Paris. Next, board your Avalon Waterways river cruise vessel in the charming St. Jean de Losne and embark to Macon, then on to France’s capital of Lyon, known for its cuisine and gastronomy, and pay a visit to the medieval Tournon, enchanting Viviers, Arles, and Avignon. Before departing your ship in Arles, cruise into the serene Camargue area (daylight permitting).
Depart to Aix en Provence for a two-night stay where you will begin your Monograms extension. Appreciated a guided tour of landmarks with an expert Local Guide, stroll along the 17th-century Cours Mirabeau, an energetic area with elegant homes, fountains, and famous cafés, and make a stop at the Cathedral of the Holy Savior, famous for its collection of differentiating architectural styles. Aix en Provence was home to Paul Cézanne, a well-known French artist and Post-Impressionist painter, so in you down time, it is advised to take a tour of the places he frequented. If you’d like, take a few hours on an included cruise to Cassis where you can indulge in one of Aix-en-Provence’s healing thermal baths, or shop for local treasures such as lavender.
To conclude this incredible European river cruise and land excursion, we’ll transfer you by way of high-speed train to Nice for your final two-night stay in the beautiful country of France. Here, a tour guide is waiting to take you on a walking sightseeing tour through the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais, Nice’s most well-known and boasted boulevard. In your spare time, you have the option to take a trip to Monaco, to St. Tropez, or to Cannes, famous for its “Festival de Cannes,” the world-famous film festival. We offer the services of Local Hosts® in both cities—a tour guide well versed and familiar with the culture and sights to answer all of your questions, enrich you with inside information, assist you in arranging your activities and exploration outings, and suggest the best places to get a taste of the local delicacies. Transportation to and from your hotels and the train stations are included. Hotel reservations that include daily breakfasts are ensured.
Let this 2019 19 Day Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Nice leave you with unforgettable memories of the flittering waters of the Rhine river and the prominence of the treasures of France.
River Cruise Promos
FLY FREE AIR from Select US citiesFly Free from select U.S. cities on select 2020Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.
Book a select 2019 or 2020 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruise to receive free round-trip economy class trans-Atlantic air from ATL, BOS, BWI, CLE, CLT, DEN, DFW, DTW, EWR, IAD, IAH, JFK, LAX, MCI, MIA, MCO, MSP, ORD, PDX, PHL, PHX, PIT, RDU, SAN, SEA, SFO, SLC, STL, TPA. Other gateway cities available from $200 to $1,075/person additional (inclusive of taxes/fees). Free air offer is based on lowest-priced economy class Flex airfare available for booking at time of reservation and scheduled to coincide with cruise itinerary; pre-assigned airline seats are limited and may not be available on all air segments. Alternate schedules may be available at an additional cost. Must be booked & under deposit between May 1 - November 4, 2019
|Departure Date||Ship||Priced From|
|Oct 15, 2019||Avalon Expression, Avalon Poetry II||Waitlist||Call Us!|
|Oct 29, 2019||Avalon Expression, Avalon Poetry II||Waitlist||Call Us!|
River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)
Greetings from the historic and vibrant city of Amsterdam! Your time in this energetic city gives you an opportunity to learn about its humble beginnings as a small fishing village and how it grew into one of the world’s most innovative regions. If architecture and fine art intrigue you, prepare to fall in love with this area’s abundance of museums, with more than 60 located around the city that house treasures from Rembrandt and Van Gogh. If shopping or relaxing in a local cafe interests you, there are plenty of boutiques and restaurants located throughout Amsterdam. Before you join your river cruise ship today, spend the morning on an optional excursion to visit Zaanse Schans. On this trip, you will be transported to the area’s charming housing structures and famed Dutch craft workshops. As the afternoon approaches, the time will come to board your Avalon river cruise vessel. Tonight, take part in a lively meet and greet welcome gala before enjoying dinner.
NOTE: All guests must be onboard the vessel by 5 p.m. (Dinner)
Day 2 Amsterdam, Holland
Enjoy another day exploring the lively city of Amsterdam, except this time via a preferred mode of travel – canal boat. A scenic and relaxing canal boat cruise will let you witness the beauty of this city in a unique fashion. You will travel along the Grachtengorgel, also known as the Amsterdam Canal District, for a close up view of extravagant housing structures and exquisite architecture. Some free time is yours to enjoy after your canal tour. Use this time to explore the city at your own pace, perhaps sampling some local fare or finding trinkets and one-of-a-kind souvenirs for loved ones back home. Soon after, it will be time to say goodbye to breathtaking Amsterdam and cruise towards Germany. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Cologne, Germany
How does a relaxing early morning sail sound on the third day of your Avalon river cruise? After a peaceful morning, it will be time to arrive in Cologne, the fourth largest city in Germany. This stunning city is uniquely located on both sides of the Rhine River and is known for its famous gothic-styled Kölner Dom (the Cologne Cathedral), which houses the Catholic Archbishop. While in Cologne, two exciting excursions are yours to choose from. First, you could take part in a guided city walk where you will get an up-close view of distinctive architecture, picture-perfect landscapes and historical areas. Alternatively, join the Jewish Heritage Walk excursion and learn more about the area’s rich Jewish history, how it was affected by the Holocaust and how it was rebuilt. Once the excursions are over, it will be time to enjoy Cologne’s Old Town area filled with countless boutiques, taverns and restaurants. Here you can chat it up with the locals and enjoy one of the area’s beloved lagers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Koblenz – Rhine Gorge – Rüdesheim
Your day starts off with some time spent in the mesmerizing 2,000-year old city of Koblenz. Here you will find an area filled with high towers, breathtaking castle, fortresses, market squares and an abundance of historical landmarks. Uniquely situated where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet, Koblenz is regarded as being a cultural and businesses epicenter of this Middle Rhine region. Today, join a local guide for a Koblenz Walking Tour that will transport you through some of the city’s most beloved areas. Next, it will be time to return to your Avalon river cruise vessel for a once-in-a-lifetime experience – cruising through the majestic region of the Rhine Gorge. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, the Rhine Gorge is comprised of seductive cliffs that reach over 400 feet above the water. Lined with exquisite castles and numerous structures, the Rhine Gorge presents one unforgettable photo opportunity after another. During your time sailing through this region, don’t miss a chance to hear the story behind the legendary Lorelei Rock and the captivating women who would lure sailors here to their death. Later today, it will be time to explore the charming wine town of Rüdesheim. Stop by the area’s famed Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum where you can witness one of the world’s largest collections of self-playing music boxes and calliopes in all shapes and sizes. If time allows, you might want to stop by the town’s Drosselgasse, a vibrant cobblestoned street consisting of bars, shops and attractions such as live performers. Tonight, a special treat is in store before you return to your Avalon river cruise vessel for dinner. What could it be? You will find out soon enough! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg
Do you consider yourself a wine connoisseur? If so, you will thoroughly enjoy your time spent in Mainz today, the most important and largest wine market in all of Germany. This breathtaking city was originally founded as military post by the Romans and grew into the area’s most critical wine region. Today, join a local guide for an exciting and educational walk through the Altstadt – or The Old Town – filled with vendors, countless shops and the notable Carnival Fountain. Your next stop will be the renowned Gutenberg Museum. Once lunch concludes, prepare for an exciting excursion to Heidelberg located on the Neckar River. This scenic town is home to Germany’s oldest university, constructed in 1386. During your time in this area, you will visit the celebrated red-sandstone Heidelberg Castle and its impressive ruins, considered one of the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. Next, take a fun and quirky adventure over to the Great Vat. Known as the largest wine barrel in the world, this impressive structure holds up to 60,000 gallons of wine and measures 23 feet in height by 28 feet in width. And, if that isn’t incredible enough, this enormous barrel even has a built in dance floor on top! Today is truly a day of majestic landscapes in every direction and abundance of culture and rich history. Throughout this Avalon River cruise and while her in Mainz and Heidelberg, you will surely have a chance to make a lifetime of memories. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Strasbourg, France
On the sixth day of your Avalon river cruise journey, it will be time to explore the intoxicating city of Strasbourg, located on the border of both Germany and France. This area is unique as it perfectly blends the ambiance and culture of both countries. The city is known for highlighting its medieval past while also exhibiting its innovative future. Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine region and comprises many important institutions such as The Council of Europe, The International Institute of Human Rights, and the European Parliament. Today you will join a guided sightseeing excursion that will transport you to numerous beloved destinations such as the renowned Strasbourg Cathedral. Known for its breathtaking stained-glass, visitors will also find exquisite Gothic and Romanesque architecture and astronomical clock in this venue. From there, it will be time to visit the area’s famous La Petite France region, home to charming stores, half-timbered houses, beautiful winding roads and exquisite stained glass. If today’s guided sightseeing tour does not pique your interest, you can choose from an optional excursion into the magnificent Alsace wine country. No matter which tour you decide upon today, it is sure to be an exciting and educational experience. Tonight, after dinner, be entertained by an onboard woodcarving demonstration. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Breach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest
Prepare for a magical adventure into the Black Forest, a region famous for its cuckoo clocks, Black Forest ham and Black Forest cherry cake. First, you will find yourself on the French-German border of the magnificent Kaiserstuhl Mountain. Considered the connection to the Black Forest region, your time here consists of several excursions to choose from. Either join a tour to a local woodcarver’s workshop where clocks and carvings are made, or take part in the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof tour and get an up-close view of what life was like in this area many years ago! With incredible scenery in this Black Forest area, known for its thick pine tree filled forests that give off a black appearance, be sure to have your camera handy today! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation) – Beaune, France – Chalon- sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Tournus
This morning, enjoy a delicious breakfast and then say farewell to your vessel’s crew. Next, you will cross into France and make your way towards Beaune. Situated between Paris and Geneva, Beaune is often referred to as this region’s wine capital. The town is surrounded on all sides by some of the most renowned wine villages in the world. In addition, this area’s financial livelihood is due to the producing and selling of its wines. While wine is often the topic of conversation in this area, the town of Beaune offers visitors much more. Two invigorating excursions are available to choose from today. First, you can join a guided tour to the Hotel-Dieu de Beaune Charity Hospital. This architecture masterpiece was built in 1443 by Chancellor Nicolas Rolin and once ran as a hospital for the poor. Today, the structure is hailed as one of the best examples in the world of French architecture and acts as a museum. Alternatively, you can join a wine tasting tour of the area’s prized wine selections before heading to Chalon-sur-Saône. Once you have arrived, you will join your new Avalon river cruise vessel and take part in another lively meet and greet reception with the ship’s crew. Enjoy a delicious dinner tonight as you cruise towards Tournus. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9 Tournus
Welcome to the delightful commune of Tournus, located in the Bourgogne region of Eastern France. This charming around is comprised of just a small population of 5,000 residents, and is famous for notable landmarks that you can explore while out with your local guide. Your first stop will be to the area’s remarkable Church of St. Philbert, built with Burgundian Romanesque architecture. Then, browse through the region’s endearing streets or pick up a craft or souvenir in the nearby market shopping area. If you are seeking a specific excursion while in Tournus, reach out to your Cruise Director who can tell you about a several distinctive excursions available after lunch is served. For wine lovers, be on the lookout for a journey to a famed local wine cellar. Once back on your Avalon river cruise vessel tonight, enjoy an exciting cheese tasting before sitting down for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Lyon
This morning, relish in some relaxing cruise time before arriving in the remarkable city of Lyon. Known as France’s third largest city, the area is famous among chefs and food enthusiasts because of its exquisite cuisine. Today, you will join a local guide to take in the sights of this incredible city. With Roman artifacts, and renowned museums and architecture, there is plenty to see and do. Be sure to stop by Fourvière Hill and the area’s Old Town that is comprised of abundant shops, cafes, landmarks and the city’s world famous fountain. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Lyon
Today is all about what interests you, as you have a free day of exploration around the vibrant city of Lyon. Rest and relax onboard or venture out for an action-packed day. Consider visiting the local farmers market in the morning, and then stopping by the city’s renowned parks and museums. No trip to Lyon would be complete without sampling the famous cuisine in this region and topping it off with some of the area’s prized wines. If something specific is on your bucket-list, speak to your Cruise Director about excursion suggestions and directions. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers
Have you been longing to explore the enchanting cities of Tourney and Tain l’Hermitage? Today is your chance as you join a local guide who will transport you around these ancient cities that are uniquely situated between the Rhône River and the majestic hills of Hermitage. Visit an impressive castle built in the 16th century and explore treasured Roman ruins during your time in Tournon. Next, arrive in the small, charming walled city of Viviers. Here you can take part in an included guide walk that will transport you to the main landmark of the area, an exquisite Roman Cathedral, where you will learn how the city was built around this structure. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Avignon
Greetings from historic Avignon, nicknamed the “City of Popes,” (as seven successive popes lived in this area). The city’s center is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and visitors often marvel at the area’s exquisite mansions, cobblestone streets, quaint market squares, and picture-perfect scenery. Today, embark on a guided tour while in Avignon which will transport you to the Palace of the Popes. This unforgettable structure is an architectural masterpiece and is considered the largest Gothic-styled palace in all of Europe, occupying an area of 2. 6 acres! If the Palace doesn’t pique your interest, inquire about other optional outings available today such as a famed wine cellar excursion or a trip to Pont du Gard. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Arles
The fourteenth day of your Avalon river cruise journey includes time spent in the beautiful city of Arles. Many treasured destinations are located in this historical city such as the Roman Monuments of Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Join your local guide who will transport you to various spots in this region including the beloved Roman Amphitheater. This remarkable structure is still used today and can hold a whopping 20,000 people, though originally constructed back in the 1st century! After your time in Arles, take a relaxing cruise to the Rhône where, daylight permitting, you can witness the magical scenery of Camargue National Park. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence
Upon conclusion of breakfast this morning you will say farewell to your Avalon river cruise crew and embark for your included transfer to Aix-en-Provence. There it will be time to join and enjoy the exciting Monograms portion of your vacation. (Breakfast)
Day 16 Aix-en-Provence
Begin your day with a morning sightseeing tour in the breathtaking city of Aix-en-Provence. One of your stops on this morning’s journey will be the Cours Mirabeau, a lively city area comprised of beautiful homes, glorious fountains, and endless cafes. After, consider admiring the incredible architecture of the area’s City Hall or its Jewish Quarter. No trip here would be complete without seeing the Aix Cathedral, commonly called The Cathedral of the Holy Savior. Constructed with a mixture of architecture styles spanning from the 5th to 17th centuries, the interior contains a mix of exquisite tapestries, triptychs and other masterpieces. Inquire with your local host here about ways to spend your afternoon such as visiting the famed art studio of Cézanne, being part of a live French cooking lesson, shopping the area’s prized boutiques or enjoying a wine tasting. (Breakfast)
Day 17 Aix-en-Provence–Nice
Today your adventure to Nice begins via a first-class high speed TGV Train. Once you have arrived, you will join a guided sightseeing tour which will transport you to Promenade des Anglais – the walkway of the English – and known as the city’s most famous boulevard. Here you will find residents and tourists out enjoying the incredible weather, beachfront, hotels and more. Next, consider taking a stroll through the area’s Old Town, tour the famed Hotel Negresco, or stop by the renowned botanical gardens at Jardin botanique de la Ville de Nice. (Breakfast)
Day 18 Nice
Enjoy a relaxing day of leisure with free time to spend as you wish in the stunning region of Nice. Speak to your Local Host about joining an optional excursion or exploring the nearby areas of Cannes or Monaco on your own. Alternatively, take your favorite book and enjoy some sunbathing on the city’s world-famous beaches. With over 300 days of sunshine in this area, now is the time to take advantage of Nice’s picturesque scenery and weather. (Breakfast)
Day 19 Nice
Your unforgettable 19-day European river cruise vacation ends this morning in Nice after a delicious breakfast. (Breakfast)
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