Christmastime from Budapest to Basel 2020

17 day River Cruise Budapest to Basel

Cruise WBM

From 

£4,257  pp

Cruise only

Departing 25 November 2020

From 

£6,705  pp

Cruise with flights & transfers

From London Gatwick

Overview

Your Danube River cruise embarks from Budapest—Hungary’s “Pearl of the Danube”—with an overnight cruise to Vienna. You’ll also see the historic Vienna Opera House and stunningly beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Continue to Nuremberg, and Bamberg with its glowing Christkindlesmarkt—complete with dozens of nativity scenes of every size. Würzburg is the next stop on your Christmas river cruise through Germany. Savor the sights, sounds, and confections of Würzburg’s warm Christmas markets before sailing to visit a picturesque Main River village. You’ll continue your scenic river cruise on the Rhine River to see the shining Christmas markets of Germany, France, and Switzerland. Enjoy Heidelberg’s sparkling Christmas markets during your stay, before sailing for Strasbourg, France. City sightseeing includes Strasbourg’s stained-glass, gothic cathedral, astronomical clock, and La Petite France district. Take time to browse the French winter markets with festive lights. On to Breisach and the Black Forest of Bavaria to experience generations of warm and festive Christmas traditions. From Bavarian bretzels to Black Forest Cake and mulled wine, you’ll feel the Christmas spirit in the idyllic setting of the Black Forest. Your Christmastime river cruise will conclude in Basel, Switzerland. With Christmas celebration and special traditions large and small, and panoramic views, you’ll keep the visions of your scenic European river cruise in your memory for many Christmases to come.

Your Danube River cruise embarks from Budapest—Hungary’s “Pearl of the Danube”—with an overnight cruise to Vienna. You’ll also see the historic Vienna Opera House and stunningly beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Continue to Nuremberg, and Bamberg with its glowing Christkindlesmarkt—complete with dozens of nativity scenes of every size. Würzburg is the next stop on your Christmas river cruise through Germany. Savor the sights, sounds, and confections of Würzburg’s warm Christmas markets before sailing to visit a picturesque Main River village. You’ll continue your scenic river cruise on the Rhine River to see the shining Christmas markets of Germany, France, and Switzerland. Enjoy Heidelberg’s sparkling Christmas markets during your stay, before sailing for Strasbourg, France. City sightseeing includes Strasbourg’s stained-glass, gothic cathedral, astronomical clock, and La Petite France district. Take time to browse the French winter markets with festive lights. On to Breisach and the Black Forest of Bavaria to experience generations of warm and festive Christmas traditions. From Bavarian bretzels to Black Forest Cake and mulled wine, you’ll feel the Christmas spirit in the idyllic setting of the Black Forest. Your Christmastime river cruise will conclude in Basel, Switzerland. With Christmas celebration and special traditions large and small, and panoramic views, you’ll keep the visions of your scenic European river cruise in your memory for many Christmases 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 BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (EMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Dinner

Time for Coffee, and Confections

Flights into Budapest must arrive by 2 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

With a free day to explore before your cruise, take time to take photographs on the Royal Palace grounds in this treasure trove of historical architecture. Enjoy the warmth and glow of Christmas tradition before boarding your Suite Ship®.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIENNA

Day 2 VIENNA, AUSTRIA

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Vienna Waltzes and the Beautiful Blue Danube

Enjoy sailing the Danube, which shares dozens of miles with Hungary and Slovakia. Relax on the Sky Deck to see the rolling landscape and red-rooftops of the Slovakian capital of Bratislava come into view.

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.

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


OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN VIENNA

Day 3 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.

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.

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.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO KREMS

Day 4 KREMS

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Christmas Markets in Austria’s Wine Country

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 Walk to explore this small valley town, seemingly untouched by the new world.

In your free time perhaps try some roasted chestnuts, one of the most popular treats at the Christmas market.


During lunchtime sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley to Melk.

MELK

Ornate Architecture and Scenic Splendors

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.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU

Day 5 PASSAU, GERMANY

  • 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”.

Alternatively, join a full day Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg—the city of Mozart and learn how Austrians celebrate Christmas.

Meet your ship back in Passau after your selected activities for sailing.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG.

Day 6 REGENSBURG

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Magical Regensburg—Bavaria’s Medieval Miracle

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.

Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this afternoon. Later, indulge in a Beer Tasting on board.

This evening, enjoy live entertainment after dinner as you cruise toward Nuremberg.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NUREMBERG

Day 7 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 Sightseeing of Nuremberg—with its 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.

Take a Guided Tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally Grounds—used by the Third Reich.

Spend free time on your own to browse the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample favorite Bavarian fare—from dozens of bratwurst varieties, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other culinary delights of the Christkindlmarkt.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG

Day 8 NUREMBERG. EXCURSION TO MUNICH

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG

Day 9 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. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BAMBERG

Day 10 BAMBERG

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cherished Christmas Customs and Cradle Scenes

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.

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.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WÜRZBURG

Day 11 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.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MAIN RIVER VILLAGE

Day 12 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.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MAINZ


Day 13 MAINZ. EXCURSION TO RUDESHEIM

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

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.

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

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER


Day 14 EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG. SPEYER

  • 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.

This evening, enjoy live entertainment on board

EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO STRASBOURG

Day 15 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 CRUISE TO BREISACH

Day 16 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: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.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BASEL

Day 17 BASEL, SWITZERLAND (DISEMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Flights shouldn’t leave Zürich airport before 10 am.

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

Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Christmas markets generally operate from late November until the third week of December.

Cruise options

Start sooner, stay longer. Start your vacation earlier or stay longer with destination options before or after your Avalon cruise.

Christmastime from Budapest to Basel 2020

Ship details

Avalon Imagery II

One of 2016's two new additions to the youngest fleet on Europe's waterways, the Imagery II accommodates 128 passengers and continues all of Avalon's excellent Suite Ship traditions. Choose from two full decks of Panorama Suites, featuring wall-to-wall panoramic windows that transform the living space into a unique open-air balcony. Wake each morning with a view of the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi access, an expanded fitness centre, hair salon, an elevator, alternative light dining options in the Panorama Bistro or al fresco grill lunch at the Sky Bistro, and an expansive Sky Deck with whirlpool, premium lounge chairs, a shade system and deck games.

Deluxe Stateroom (D,E)
172 sq.ft., Indigo Deck
Deluxe Stateroom - Indigo Deck Forward - floorplan
Picture of Deluxe Stateroom - Indigo Deck Forward (172sq ft)
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium memory foam mattress toppers with special construction for increased air flow and ventilation
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, blankets & European-style duvets
  • Choice of soft or firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twins or one queen
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium bath products
  • Spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels & built in alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies)
Panorama Suite (A,B,P)
200 sq.ft, Sapphire and Royal Decks
Panorama Suite - Sapphire Deck Aft - floorplan
Picture of Panorama Suite with floor-to-ceiling windows - Sapphire Deck Aft (200sq ft)
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window measuring 11ft — 50% wider than the industry standard
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window opens to create a large Open-Air Balcony®
  • Open-Air Balcony with spacious seating area
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium memory foam mattress toppers with special construction for increased air flow and ventilation
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, blankets & European-style duvets
  • Choice of soft or firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twins or one queen
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium bath products
  • Spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels & built in alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies)
Royal Suite (S)
300 sq.ft., Royal Deck
Royal Suite - Royal Deck - floorplan
Picture of Royal Suite with floor-to-ceiling windows - Royal Deck (300sq ft)
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window measuring 11ft — 50% wider than the industry standard
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window opens to create a large Open-Air Balcony®
  • Open-Air Balcony with spacious seating area
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium memory foam mattress toppers with special construction for increased air flow and ventilation
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, blankets & European-style duvets
  • Choice of soft or firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twins or one queen or one king
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium bath products
  • Spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels & built in alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies)
Deck Plans
Avalon Imagery II deck plan

Deck plan key

  • Sky Lounge
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Sky Bistro
  • Whirlpool
  • Premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  • Deck Game area
  • Observation Lounge
  • Panorama Bistro
  • Panorama Lounge
  • Bar
  • Reception/Guest sevices
  • Lift
  • Atrium
  • Club Lounge
  • Kitchen
  • Dining room
  • Fitness centre

Stateroom categories

  • Royal Suite
  • Royal Deck
  • Category P
  • Royal Deck
  • Category A
  • Sapphire Deck Forward
  • Category B
  • Sapphire Deck Aft
  • Category D
  • Indigo Deck Aft
  • Category E
  • Indigo Deck Forward

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