Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Northbound)

5 Day River Cruise Basel to Frankfurt

Cruise WZF

From

£1,505pp

Prices shown exclude flights and transfers

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Overview

This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France and Germany, with beautiful passing views and quaint villages festively lit and decorated—a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season! Board your ship in Basel, Switzerland, then stop in 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 at this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Strasbourg, France, located on the border with Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. The city 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 atmosphere as you visit Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. You’ll go on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. 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. There’s plenty of time to find just the right Christmas present amongst the array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts before this magical European river cruise ends in Frankfurt, Germany.
This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France and Germany, with beautiful passing views and quaint villages festively lit and decorated—a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season! Board your ship in Basel, Switzerland, then stop in 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 at this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Strasbourg, France, located on the border with Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. The city 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 atmosphere as you visit Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. You’ll go on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. 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. There’s plenty of time to find just the right Christmas present amongst the array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts before this magical European river cruise ends in Frankfurt, Germany.

Book your cruise with or without flights

Cruise prices are shown without flights included in case you wish to book them separately, or aren't ready to return home when you disembark! Or we can book your flights for you from most UK airports, with overseas transfers and ATOL protection included. The choice is yours!

Book your cruise with or without flights

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 or Basel 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 THE 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. Alternatively, spend your afternoon leisurely browsing Breisach’s lovely Christmas market to sample pretzels, 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 FRANKFURT


Day 5 FRANKFURT (DISEMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.
Flights should not leave Frankfurt 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.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

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 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.

Royal Suite (Suite)
300 - sq.ft - (Royal)
Royal Suite  (Suite) - floorplan
Picture of Royal Suite
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Sofa
  • Coffee table
  • Double sinks
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Make-up mirror
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P)
200 - sq.ft - (Royal,Sapphire)
Panorama Suite  (Cat. A, B, P) - floorplan
Picture of Panorama Suite
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Sofa
  • Coffee table
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Make-up mirror
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. E, D)
172 - sq.ft - (Indigo)
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom  (Cat. E, D) - floorplan
Picture of Avalon Deluxe Stateroom
  • Two windows
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Deck Plans
Avalon Tranquility II deck plan

Avalon Imagery II

One of 2016's two new additions to the youngest fleet on Europe's waterways, the Imagery II continues all of Avalon's outstanding Suite Ship traditions. Passengers can 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. At a spacious 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording the incomparable opportunity to awaken each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi access, an expanded Fitness Center, 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.

Royal Suite (Suite)
300 - sq.ft - (Royal)
Royal Suite  (Suite) - floorplan
Picture of Royal Suite
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Sofa
  • Coffee table
  • Double sinks
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Make-up mirror
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P)
200 - sq.ft - (Royal,Sapphire)
Panorama Suite  (Cat. A, B, P) - floorplan
Picture of Panorama Suite
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Sofa
  • Coffee table
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Make-up mirror
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. E, D)
172 - sq.ft - (Indigo)
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom  (Cat. E, D) - floorplan
Picture of Avalon Deluxe Stateroom
  • Two windows
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • European-style duvets
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Hairdryer
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • USB Ports
Deck Plans
Avalon Imagery II deck plan

Hotels

It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative, similar standard, hotels to those shown