Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Southbound) 2020

5 day River Cruise Mainz to Basel

Cruise WFZ

From 

£1,311  pp

Cruise only

Departing 14 December 2020

From 

£1,734  pp

Cruise with flights & transfers

From London Heathrow

Showing 2020 information. Switch to 2019

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Overview

This Christmastime river cruise is a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season! Board your Avalon Suite Ship® in Mainz, Germany, then sail up the Rhine River to Basel, Switzerland, passing beautiful views and quaint villages festively lit and decorated. This one-of-a-kind Christmas river cruise through France and Germany takes you on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. At this time of year, an ice rink can be found at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market is spread over five town squares. Delight in the holiday cheer with Glühwein (hot mulled wine), bratwursts, and other regional delicacies. You’ll also find an array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts. Strasbourg, located on the border of France and Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe—dating back to the 16th century. Take in the aromas of mulled wine, spice cakes, and biscuits. Bask in the holiday atmos-phere as you visit the Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing an-cient murals and fascinating astronomical clock.

Your Christmas river cruise along the Rhine River takes you to Breisach, considered the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—an area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. There is no better setting than this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Your delightful holiday cruise ends in Basel, Switzerland. Don’t miss this ex-perience to savor the holiday season in traditional and beautiful Christmas traditions of European winter markets and festivities!
This Christmastime river cruise is a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season! Board your Avalon Suite Ship® in Mainz, Germany, then sail up the Rhine River to Basel, Switzerland, passing beautiful views and quaint villages festively lit and decorated. This one-of-a-kind Christmas river cruise through France and Germany takes you on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. At this time of year, an ice rink can be found at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market is spread over five town squares. Delight in the holiday cheer with Glühwein (hot mulled wine), bratwursts, and other regional delicacies. You’ll also find an array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts. Strasbourg, located on the border of France and Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe—dating back to the 16th century. Take in the aromas of mulled wine, spice cakes, and biscuits. Bask in the holiday atmos-phere as you visit the Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing an-cient murals and fascinating astronomical clock.

Your Christmas river cruise along the Rhine River takes you to Breisach, considered the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—an area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. There is no better setting than this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Your delightful holiday cruise ends in Basel, Switzerland. Don’t miss this ex-perience to savor the holiday season in traditional and beautiful Christmas traditions of European winter markets and festivities!

Save up to £1,500 per couple

Book your 2020 river cruise by 30 Apr and you could save up to £1,500 per couple.

About this offer

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 MAINZ, GERMANY (EMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Dinner

Welcome to Germany. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding

Flights into Frankfurt must arrive by 3 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER

Day 2 HEIDELBERG EXCURSION. 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 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.

CRUISE TO BREISACH

Day 4 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.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BASEL

Day 5 BASEL, SWITZERLAND (DISEMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

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

Notes

Note: Christmas markets usually operate from late November until the third week in December, depending on location.

Ship details

Onboard every one of our Suite Ships you'll find the same exacting standards and attention to detail. They all feature our one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites, with the widest opening windows in river cruising, and beds facing the incredible views. This cruise operates on the following ships.

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

Avalon Tranquility II

Another exciting Suite Ship® graces the rivers of Europe in 2015. The intimate setting of the Avalon Tranquility II features two full decks of Panorama Suites with Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony®. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard-perfect for stretching out and relaxing-or even throwing a private cocktail party for up to six adults in the spacious sitting area. Onboard amenities and services include complimentary computer use in public areas and free Wi-Fi access, a Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, an elevator, and a spacious Sky Deck with shade system, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al-fresco lunches of light grill fare.

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 Tranquility 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

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