Christmastime - Basel to Budapest 2019

17 day River Cruise Basel to Budapest

Cruise WMB

Overview

Begin your Christmas river cruise through France and Germany in Basel, Switzerland. Here, you’ll board your Avalon Suite Ship to sail for the Bavarian town of Breisach. From here, take a day’s tour of the Black Forest area for the perfect beginning of the Christmas ambience, which you’ll see in town at the marvelous markets.

Next, you’ll see the gothic cathedral and iconic sights of Strasbourg, France, with the warm glow of its Christmas markets adding to the beauty of the city. Your cruise takes you to Speyer, Germany, for an excursion to Heidelberg Castle, with free time to peruse the shining Christmas markets in Heidelberg or Speyer. Visit a picturesque Main river village, before your next stop in Würzburg, Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road.” Savor the sights, sounds, and confections of Würzburg’s warm Christmas markets before continuing your guided European holiday to enjoy Christmas in the Heart of Germany and hear of the beautiful Christmas traditions of Germany with a lecture on board, and a guided sightseeing tour of the glowing Christkindlesmarkt of Bamberg - complete with dozens of nativity scenes of every size.

Your European Christmas market cruise includes a visit to Nuremberg, with a guided sightseeing tour, free time to enjoy Christmas markets and an excursion to Rüdesheim. Then sail from Nuremberg to Regensburg, the only German city not bombed during WWII. Take in the breathtaking views before continuing through the picturesque Wachau Valley to the romantic sights of Vienna, the “City of Music.”

Your European river cruise ends in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, with guided sightseeing and free time to explore this vibrant city and its Christmas markets on your own. With Christmas memories of Germany and the Danube’s legendary beauty, this Christmas river cruise will be cherished for years to come.

Begin your Christmas river cruise through France and Germany in Basel, Switzerland. Here, you’ll board your Avalon Suite Ship to sail for the Bavarian town of Breisach. From here, take a day’s tour of the Black Forest area for the perfect beginning of the Christmas ambience, which you’ll see in town at the marvelous markets.

Next, you’ll see the gothic cathedral and iconic sights of Strasbourg, France, with the warm glow of its Christmas markets adding to the beauty of the city. Your cruise takes you to Speyer, Germany, for an excursion to Heidelberg Castle, with free time to peruse the shining Christmas markets in Heidelberg or Speyer. Visit a picturesque Main river village, before your next stop in Würzburg, Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road.” Savor the sights, sounds, and confections of Würzburg’s warm Christmas markets before continuing your guided European holiday to enjoy Christmas in the Heart of Germany and hear of the beautiful Christmas traditions of Germany with a lecture on board, and a guided sightseeing tour of the glowing Christkindlesmarkt of Bamberg - complete with dozens of nativity scenes of every size.

Your European Christmas market cruise includes a visit to Nuremberg, with a guided sightseeing tour, free time to enjoy Christmas markets and an excursion to Rüdesheim. Then sail from Nuremberg to Regensburg, the only German city not bombed during WWII. Take in the breathtaking views before continuing through the picturesque Wachau Valley to the romantic sights of Vienna, the “City of Music.”

Your European river cruise ends in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, with guided sightseeing and free time to explore this vibrant city and its Christmas markets on your own. With Christmas memories of Germany and the Danube’s legendary beauty, this Christmas river cruise will be cherished for years to come.

Itinerary

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Classic

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Day 1 Basel, Switzerland (Embarkation)

  • Meals included:
  • Dinner

Stroll through the city centre, enjoy the festive illumination and savour Christmas delicacies like waffles, gingerbread, sweets and Swiss raclette.

EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH

Day 2 Breisach, Germany. Excursion to Black Forest

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

History, Artistry and the Beautiful Black Forest

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Join a guided tour to the magical Black Forest to experience local traditions and the vibrant Christmas mood.

You may choose to join a guided optional excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings and enjoy the warmth and glow of the Christmas season.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO STRASBOURG

Day 3 Strasbourg, France

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

A Gothic Cathedral, Heaven’s Time and Joyeux Noël

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Come along for city sightseeing, including the city’s gothic, stained-glass cathedral with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petite France district.

You may choose to join a guided optional excursion to beautiful Alsace, for an afternoon in a French wine-country village. Savour the warmth and glow of Christmas tradition by spending your free time this afternoon wandering the French winter markets of Strasbourg. Take in the lights, music and the pleasures of the season.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER

Day 4 Speyer, Germany. Heidelberg Excursion

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Winter Wonders and a Wine Barrel Fit for a King

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a guided tour that includes the magnificent Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat - the world’s largest wine barrel.

After the tour, visit the local German Christmas markets in Heidelberg, or Speyer. Explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats and seasonal handiwork of these sparkling winter wonderlands.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO MAINZ

Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Rudesheim

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Eat, Drink and Be Merry in Wine Country

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Tour the incredible Mechanical Music museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience in Rüdesheim.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER

Day 6 Main River Village

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Hidden Gifts and Holiday Delights in Beautiful Bavaria

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a guided tour of a picturesque village along the Main River.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Join a cookie-baking demonstration on board your ship while sailing.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WÜRZBURG

Day 7 Wurzburg

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Ornaments, Old Saint Nicholas and Nutcrackers Sweet

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a guided sightseeing tour of the “Pearl of the Romantic Road” with its Old Main Bridge, towering fortress and baroque Bishop’s residence.

You may choose to join a guided optional excursion to the beautiful Bavarian town of Rothenburg. Visit the Käthe Wohlfahrt German Christmas museum - the world’s most extensive collection of traditional German Christmas decorations.

Spend free time enjoying the festive, warm glow of Wurzburg’s Christmas markets.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BAMBERG

Day 8 Bamberg

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cherished Christmas Customs and Cradle Scenes

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Enjoy an onboard Christmas traditionslLecture while sailing.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a guided sightseeing tour of Bamberg - medieval home of Germany’s Roman Empire dynasties. Stroll through dozens of Bamberg’s nativity scenes - from miniature to life-size.

Take free time to enjoy the quaint Christmas markets, and warm up with traditional German dumplings, sausage and a glass of hearty Bavarian ale.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NUREMBERG

Day 9 Nuremberg

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Living Heritage and History Lessons

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Choose a guided tour of Nuremberg’s medieval architecture, gilded fountain, Gothic cathedral and Kaiserburg Castle, OR:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a guided tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally grounds - used by the Third Reich.

Spend free time browsing the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample favorite Bavarian fare - bratwurst, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine and countless other Christkindlmarkt culinary delights.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG

Day 10 Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Enjoy a guided city tour which will show you the highlights of fascinating Munich. See Nymphenburg Palace - a former residence of Bavarian monarchs, along with the Old and New Town Halls of Marienplatz.

Day 11 Nuremberg

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Living Heritage and History Lessons

A day to relax and enjoy Nuremberg at your own pace. Stroll through the festively lit streets, buy those last-minute Christmas gifts, or ask your cruise director for suggestions of things to do.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG

Day 12 Regensburg

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Magical Regensburg - Bavaria’s Medieval Miracle

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this afternoon.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a guided city walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria - built in 179 AD as the entrance to Castra Regina fortress.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Later, indulge in a beer tasting on board. This evening, enjoy live entertainment after dinner before sailing to Passau.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU

Day 13 Passau

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Go for Baroque in Passau - Where the Danube, Inn and Ilz Rivers meet

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a guided city walk to learn more about this beautiful “City of Three Rivers,” 

You may join a full day guided optional excursion to Salzburg - the city of Mozart and learn how Austrians celebrate Christmas.

Sail to Linz this afternoon, or join your ship after your selected full-day excursion.

Linz, Austria

The Linzer Torte and a Legendary Love of Art and Music

Enjoy a free afternoon to linger in Linz. Take a chance to get off your feet and warm up in one of the many pastry shops and cafes.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK

Day 14 Melk - Wachau Valley

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Striking Frescoes and Breathtaking Views of the Wachau Valley

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a guided tour of Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings, statues, incredible library and ornate pipe organ.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Enjoy an Austrian cookie tasting while sailing to Vienna.

During lunchtime sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley to Vienna.

Vienna

Vienna Waltzes and the Beautiful Blue Danube.

This evening, you may choose to attend an Optional Excursion to a Royal Waltz Concert for an unforgettable evening of music in an elegant hall.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN VIENNA

Day 15 Vienna

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Royal Collections, Amusing Attractions and Culinary Confections

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Venture into the Habsburg empire on a guided city tour of Vienna’s gilded landmarks. See the Imperial Palace complex - the winter residence of the Imperial Family, the historic Vienna Opera House and stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral, OR:

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Join a guided culinary tour of Vienna’s magical Christmas Advent Markets to sample Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel.

Join a guided optional excursion to Schönbrunn Palace - a Habsburg Empire summer home for 300 years.

Spend free time on your own to enjoy the Christkindlesmarkt, or relax by the fire’s glow in a Viennese café this evening.

Later, relax on board with live entertainment as you sail to Budapest.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BUDAPEST

Day 16 Budapest, Hungary

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Enjoy a guided city sightseeing, including the iconic Heroes’ Square. Take in the beauty of Budapest while enjoying a free afternoon exploring such famous sights as the Chain Bridge. Get to know the city’s cafés and pubs, and don’t miss the unique Christmas markets that Budapest hosts every year during the festive season.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BUDAPEST

Day 17 Budapest (Disembarkation)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.

Questions? Our travel specialists can help with any queries, quotes or special requirements.  Request a callback or email us.

Discover more cruises