Grand Christmastime Cruise - Vienna to Basel

This European Christmastime river cruise will take you across Austria and Germany and along the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers. Enjoy guided sightseeing in several cities along the way and delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of centuries-old Christmas markets.

Begin in musical Vienna, where a guided tour shows you the impressive sights. Perhaps opt for a guided culinary walk through the Christmas markets to taste some Austrian holiday favourites, or explore on your own. Cruise through the winter wonderland of the Wachau Valley and visit Melk with its magnificent abbey. Enjoy a guided sightseeing in Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities. While sailing to Nuremberg, learn about Christmas traditions and sample some German beer. At Nuremberg’s Christmas market, which is one of the oldest in the world, be sure to try Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread).A full-day excursion to Munich shows you the Bavarian capital. The traditional Christmas market on the Marienplatz delights with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread!

Continue your holiday river cruise to Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where many nativity scenes are exhibited throughout the town. In Würzburg, on the River Main, visit the ornate Bishop’s Residenz, then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). See Europe’s largest nativity scene with life-size figures In Rüdesheim on the Rhine; and visit Heidelberg Castle towering magnificently over the city, before cruising to Strasbourg, France. This time of year, the historic charm of the city is mixed with festive aromas, sights, and sounds—creating a truly magical atmosphere! Visit the gothic cathedral with its ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Continue to Breisach, Germany—gateway to the famous Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, before ending this charming Christmastime river cruise adventure in Basel, Switzerland.

Your cruise at a glance

  • Melk
    • Guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey, Austrian cookie-baking demonstration.
  • Miltenberg
    • Walking tour, time to browse the market, on-board culinary demonstration, introduction to the legend of St Nicholas.
  • Strasbourg
    • Guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district, the Gothic cathedral and the Christmas market.

Christmas markets

Itinerary

Day 1 UK - Vienna, Austria (Embarkation)

  • Meals included:
  • Dinner

Travel to Vienna where you will be met and transferred to your ship.

Your Suite Ship® is ready for boarding. Indulge in traditional holiday fare and hot libations to warm your heart and soul before boarding your Avalon Suite Ship®

Day 2 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.

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 MELK

Day 3 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.

This afternoon cruise to Grein, where this evening you will enjoy live entertainment on board.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN PASSAU 

See dates and prices

CHOICE

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.

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.

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.

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