Active & Discovery on the Rhine - Northbound River Cruise (WWA)
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River Cruise Description
This new 2019 8 day Avalon river cruise from Wiesbaden to Amsterdam vacation will provide opportunities to actively discover a wide variety of treasures as you float along the beautiful tranquil Rhine River. As with all our Active Discovery cruises, you’ll be able to choose your activity at each stop along the Rhine. If exercise is what you desire, you can opt for an active outing, discover a fascinating but perhaps lesser-known site, or opt for a more traditional sightseeing activity. As always, remember that the choice is yours!
Your fabulous river cruise vacation gets underway in quaint Wiesbaden, Germany, near fascinating Frankfurt, and ends in beautiful Amsterdam, Holland’s bustling capital city. Those onboard your Avalon Waterways cruise ship who desire some exercise, might choose an active hike near charming Eltville, and in the picturesque landscape around Duisburg, or climb the numerous steps up to fantastic Marksburg Castle for an expertly guided tour with some breathtaking views. For something different you might join in a fascinating reenactment of ancient Roman Games in Xanten, or work up a sweat as you peddle your bike along the sensational Rhine River, or you can opt to join a running tour in beautiful Amsterdam.
If you happen to love fine wines, this European river cruise vacation will introduce you to the wonderful wines of the region at a fantastic tasting in charming Eltville. You’ll learn about the fine art of chocolate making as you enjoy a visit at the popular Chocolate Museum in Cologne, and you’ll marvel at the many delicious German delicacies during an exciting culinary tour in quaint Duisburg. If you are still looking for more adventure, you can stroll through the fantastic mining corridors of an age-old volcano where hard-working miners once extracted valuable basalt from the mine and you’ll enjoy a visit the Zollverein Coal Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If mining isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps you’d rather attend a fascinating Roman Clothes Workshop, or you might like to test your skills with a paintbrush at a fabulous painting class in Amsterdam. If you’re a movie buff, you’ll probably enjoy a visit to the stunning Eberbach Monastery whose elegant church provided the backdrop to the popular movie, “The Name of the Rose.” You might decide to join a wonderful expertly guided walk in beautiful Cologne, or take a cable car to majestic Ehrenbreitstein Castle in quaint Koblenz, and cruise the tranquil canals of Amsterdam.
All these fascinating activities and many more are yours for the asking – and if that isn’t enough excitement for you – you’ll experience the breathtaking cruise through the sensational and picturesque Rhine Gorge, also a fantastic UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll also enjoy amazing popular regional dinners served onboard especially for you during this 2019 8 day Avalon river cruise from Wiesbaden to Amsterdam. Avalon Waterways provides some of the most magnificent river cruise experiences that offers something special for every traveler!
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Frankfurt, Germany. Transfer to Wiesbaden (Embarkation)
Welcome to alluring Frankfurt, known as Germany’s financial capital! This afternoon, you’ll transfer by motor coach to charming Wiesbaden where the AVALON FELICITY is docked and waiting your arrival. After a mandatory safety exercise, meet your friendly captain and crew and your fellow travelers at a casual WELCOME RECEPTION. NOTE: Flights into Frankfurt must arrive before 3 pm. Guests must be onboard your Avalon cruise ship by 5 pm.
Day 2 Wiesbaden, Excursion to Eltville–Rüdesheim
This morning, you’ll start your day with a wonderful buffet breakfast, after which an exciting excursion takes you to nearby Eltville. Here, you’ll CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: You may choose a visit to the elegant EBERBACH MONASTERY, where you’ll savor the simple beauty of the Monastery’s extravagant Romanesque church, and discover this fascinating backdrop to the popular movie, “The Name of the Rose,” that brought the ancient Middle Ages back to life here in this monastery. Or; Eltville am Rhein is scenically situated amid beautiful forest, lush green grape vineyards, and the impressive Rhine River and is world-renowned as “the City of Wine, Sekt (sparkling wine), and Roses.” This is an ideal city for a wonderful GUIDED WALK through the historic Old Town, and time to enjoy TASTING of some of the popular local wines. Or, if you would prefer some exercise before lunch, you can HIKE around on a first-class hiking trail, “Rheinsteig.” Stroll through Eltville’s bucolic forest or explore the many scenic trails through the lush green wine grape vineyards. This afternoon is free to relax onboard, explore on your own, or perhaps you’ll choose to join a local expert for an optional guided walk of fascinating Frankfurton- the-Main. Before dinner, your cruise ship will set sail for charming Rüdesheim, and this evening, you’ll enjoy a fabulous dinner of Rhineland specialties, such as Sauerbraten (slow-cooked beef roast marinated in wine), delicious Reibekuchen (potato pancakes), and more. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Boppard–Koblenz – Engers
Prepare yourself for a day of picturesque scenery! This morning, you are on your own to explore charming Rüdesheim – the ultimate Rhine Valley wine town. Or, if you are up for some good exercise, one of our optional excursions may be just right for you. During a wonderful lunch, you’ll marvel at today’s SCENIC HIGHLIGHT as you sail through the sensational Rhine Gorge, considered by many as the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine river. Here, you’ll see ancient majestic castles standing as sentinels on the lofty cliffs that rise some 400 feet above the water. You’ll cruise past the world-famous legendary rock of the Lorelei, where it is said that echoes of an enchanted siren song lured unsuspecting sailors to their disaster. This afternoon, we make a stop in quaint Boppard, and here you’ll CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: If you are able to climb steps, you might choose to join an excursion to charming MARKSBURG, the only fortunate castle on the Middle Rhine to escape destruction or ruin. You’ll be able to tour the impressive kitchens and dining area, along the bastions overlooking the Rhine, to the fascinating bedrooms and horrific torture room, and to the awe-inspiring chapel. Fabulous Marksburg Castle is one of the primary sites of the WORLD HERITAGE Rhine Gorge. Or, you’ll enjoy exploring the ancient city of Koblenz on an exciting GUIDED WALK with a friendly expert guide. Then, you may take a relaxing cable car ride up to the majestic and historic EHRENBREITSTEIN CASTLE and marvel at the picturesque panoramic view from high above the banks of the Rhine. Or, you may choose to participate in a unique VOLCANO EXPERIENCE! A short coach transfer from your ship takes you to the impressive “LAVA CITY” of charming Mendig, where basalt, cold lava, was mined. You’ll enjoy touring this maze of mining corridors, which, in the early 19th century, became the perfect beer storage cellars. You’ll rejoin your luxurious cruise ship and spend some free time in fascinating Koblenz late this afternoon. Situated where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet, this amazing 2,000-year-old city is both the cultural and business center of the wonderful Middle Rhine region. During a fabulous dinner, you’ll enjoy cruising to quaint Engers where your ship will dock overnight and you’ll enjoy a special CONCERT performance at alluring CastleEngers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Bonn–Cologne
You’ll enjoy a relaxing start to your morning as you sail for bustling Bonn, Germany’s seat of Government before the country was reunified. The rest of the morning is yours to explore on your own, or you may choose to participate in an exciting optional excursion. Charming Cologne is just a short sail away as you enjoy a wonderful lunch. Cologne is one of Germany’s largest cities and the capital of the Rhineland. The city straddles the Rhine and is known for its towering, twin-steeples on the elegant gothic cathedral. You’ll step ashore and CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY in Cologne, which is home to numerous extraordinary museums that offer a rare perspective on German’s history, daily life, and death. COLOGNE OFF THE BEATEN TRACK diverts from the normal hubbub of well-traveled tourist attractions to explore bizarre sites, including a cemetery, and intriguing museums featuring the Olympics, tolerance, and wonderful European handicrafts. And you’ll be introduced to the Kölsch lifestyle and attitude, or, if you happen to be a chocaholic you may desire a visit at the delightful CHOCOLATE MUSEUM and learn about the historic role of chocolate in old South American cultures, such as the Mayas and the Aztecs, and the European elite. You’ll be taken through the entire process of chocolate production from out on the farm to the candy store. You’ll stroll through a greenhouse where two different species of cacao trees are grown and then on through the industrialization of chocolate production, even including early classic advertising campaigns. Or, for the more traditionally minded, a CITY WALK turns into a fascinating journey of discovery, taking you through the area immediately surrounding the elegant Cathedral and the quaint narrow alleyways of the Old Town. The dynamic walk passes by the impressive Romano-Germanic Museum with its world-famous Dionysus mosaic, the stately Town Hall, the bustling Alter Markt (the old market) and Gross St. Martin (Great St. Martin). Your cruise ship remains docked in Cologne until late tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Düsseldorf–Duisburg
This morning, you’ll wake up in charming Düsseldorf where after a wonderful breakfast you might enjoy joining an optional biking tour, or you might rather visit some popular microbreweries where you can try a variety of Altbiers. You’ll rejoin your luxurious cruise ship for a wonderful lunch and then enjoy leisurely sailing to quaint Duisburg. Situated on the western edge of the Ruhr industrial area, renowned Duisburg is known for its fine steel industry and its huge inland harbor (one of the largest in the world), and is therefore a critical venue for successful international commerce. Here again is where you can CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY! You’ll have the option to visit the fascinating ZOLLVEREIN COAL MINE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are hundreds of coal mines producing coal in the industrial Ruhr area, but only one holds the distinction of being a famous World Heritage Site – with good reason: the historic Zollverein Coal Mine is considered a masterpiece of industrial architecture. Or, for a more active excursion option, you’ll discover the most picturesque landscapes and forests around charming Duisburg on an exciting GUIDED HIKE. Or, checkout the vast culinary spectrum of the multicultural Metropolis of Ruhr, it is huge. You’ll find extremely popular local cuisine, with both hearty and refined creations, which spoils its customers. You’ll join us on a fantastic CULINARY WALK and see the real life of German Essen (food) on a behind-the-scenes look at this fascinating city. You’ll sail away from Duisburg in the early evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Xanten
Today you are in quaint Xanten, a historic Roman city in the beautiful German region of North Rhine Westphalia. The city is known for its amazing archaeological park and is altogether a treasure for archaeologists as it is the only ancient Roman town north of the Alps, which has not been built over since the historic collapse of the once mighty Roman Empire. This afternoon, CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: you are invited to participate in the ROMAN GAMES at the Archaeological Park, where you will learn first-hand the experience of daily life during the ancient Roman Empire, or you can take part in a impressive ROMAN CLOTHES WORKSHOP. The course provides you an opportunity to dress up in genuine Roman attire – even in those early times it was said, “You are what you wear!” Or, enjoy a beautiful BIKE TOUR along the banks of the stunning Rhine River. This evening, be prepared for a wonderful GALA FAREWELL DINNER featuring amazing dishes that were similar to those served in ancient Roman times. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Amsterdam, Holland
Welcome to beautiful Amsterdam, Holland’s bustling and sophisticated capital city that carries a rich 700-year history and exudes a definite atmosphere about it, where there is always a profusion of things you must see and do. After a wonderful breakfast this morning, CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: You’ll find your inner artist by joining a creative PAINTING CLASS and discover some of the secrets of world-famous artists like Van Gogh, Rembrandt, or Warhol! A warm and heart-felt welcome with hot coffee and tea, and petit fours sets the tone for this fascinating and artistic workshop, which is sure to inspire your natural creativity. You’ll get to work at painting like Van Gogh, or paint a self-portrait like the amazing Rembrandt! Of course, your “work of art” is yours to take home with you. Or, perhaps a more energetic choice is more to your liking. It could be a splendid RUNNING TOUR in Amsterdam, which is actually a great way to explore a city more closely! You’ll enjoy the fantastic beauty of Amsterdam while burning off a few calories! And there’s no need to worry about the pace – we’ll take it easy with regular stops at the major must-see sights. The distance of the run is about 7.5 Kms (4.6 miles) and an entertaining “running commentary” is provided by experienced runners, all native “Amsterdammers.” Or, you can take a traditional tour of the city’s grachten on a relaxing and peaceful CANAL CRUISE. Besides providing a stunning backdrop to the city’s historic center, slowly floating down Amsterdam’s canals is one of the most remarkable and unforgettable ways to discover the city’s fantastic sights and entertaining attractions. After the canal cruise, you’ll explore some of the off-the-beaten-track parts of the city with your expert guide leading the way. You’ll return to your cruise ship – your home away from home – for an excellent buffet lunch and then decide how to spend the rest of your afternoon. Perhaps you want to venture out and explore more of the city on your own (but be aware and watch for the bicycles!), or stay busy by joining one of our popular optional excursions, such as biking in the picturesque Dutch countryside? Your last fantastic dinner onboard reminds you that you are in Holland and introduces you to some favorite Dutch specialties. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
While your fabulous Avalon river cruise ends with a wonderful breakfast this morning, you will also take home many fascinating memories and photographs as reminders of this captivating vacation experience. (Breakfast)
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