Christmastime from Basel to Vienna 2020

16 day River Cruise Basel to Vienna

Cruise WMV

Overview

If you’ve dreamed of the beautiful, time-tested traditions of European Christmas markets, your dream can come true on a Christmas cruise from Switzerland to Austria. Experience the holiday season like never before, from the beauty of the Black Forest to the glistening lights of Strasbourg’s Christmas markets. Discover traditions and tastes that warm the heart. With views like no other, your Avalon Suite Ship® is decked out for the holidays, brimming in holiday spirit. See the shining stalls with crafts, cuisine, and curios come alive with music, peace, and merriment. Visit glowing German Christkindlesmarkt stalls as you cruise on the Rhine and Main Rivers from Heidelberg to Passau—and quaint villages in between. Continue in the holiday glow in Austria to visit the magnificent Benedictine Abbey in Melk, then spectacular Vienna for a culinary tour through the Christmas Markets.
If you’ve dreamed of the beautiful, time-tested traditions of European Christmas markets, your dream can come true on a Christmas cruise from Switzerland to Austria. Experience the holiday season like never before, from the beauty of the Black Forest to the glistening lights of Strasbourg’s Christmas markets. Discover traditions and tastes that warm the heart. With views like no other, your Avalon Suite Ship® is decked out for the holidays, brimming in holiday spirit. See the shining stalls with crafts, cuisine, and curios come alive with music, peace, and merriment. Visit glowing German Christkindlesmarkt stalls as you cruise on the Rhine and Main Rivers from Heidelberg to Passau—and quaint villages in between. Continue in the holiday glow in Austria to visit the magnificent Benedictine Abbey in Melk, then spectacular Vienna for a culinary tour through the Christmas Markets.

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
<p>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.</p>
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

Welcome to Switzerland! Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Zürich must arrive by 3 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Stroll through the city center, enjoy the festive illumination and savor 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.

Visit to Badische Winzerkeller, the largest German wine producer in Europe. Discover Germany’s southernmost wine country in Baden—ideally situated between the hills of the Black Forest and the Rhine River. Learn about the vintners’ process in the vineyards here, and enjoy a wine tasting, 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 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. Alternatively, spend your afternoon leisurely browsing Breisach’s lovely Christmas market to sample bretzels, mulled wine, and Black Forest cake.

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.

Savor 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.

Explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of Speyer Christmas Markets.

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 MAIN RIVER VILLAGE

Day 6 MAIN RIVER VILLAGE

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Hidden Gifts and Holiday Delights

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.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WÜRZBURG

Day 7 WÜRZBURG

  • 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 Traditions Lecture 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.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

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: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 (DISEMBARKATION). EXCURSION TO MUNICH (EMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

This morning disembark the vessel which has brought you to Nuremberg and drive to Munich

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 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.

Return to Nuremberg in the late afternoon and embark on the ship which will take you to Vienna

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG

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

Christmas Magic in 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 morning.

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—entrance to the Castra Regina fortress built in 179 AD.

Take time to browse Regensburg’s sparkling Christmas markets. Enjoy hot-mulled wine, candied almonds, gingerbread, or bratwurst.

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 an onboard Beer Tasting to sample regional German brews.

Enjoy live entertainment as you sail.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU

Day 13 PASSAU

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Saint Stephens, Salzburg, and the Story of Silent Night

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 like to join a Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg, Austria. See the setting of The Sound of Music, and learn the story behind the beloved Christmas hymn, Silent Night.

Spend free time in Passau’s charming Christkindlmarkt near magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Take a brief evening cruise to Linz, and go out for music and dancing or late-night dessert before sailing to Melk.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK

Day 14 MELK, AUSTRIA

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Striking Frescoes and the Breathtaking 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.

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 through the splendid Wachau Valley to Vienna.

VIENNA


Vienna’s Winter Wonderland

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 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.

Take a Guided Tour of Vienna to see the Imperial Palace complex—the winter residence of the Imperial family, 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.

You may join a Guided Optional Tour of Schönbrunn Palace—summer home of the Habsburg dynasty 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.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN VIENNA

Day 16 VIENNA (DISEMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

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