Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Southbound)

5 Day River Cruise Frankfurt to Basel

Cruise WFZ

Was from

£1,513pp

Now from

£1,263pp

Prices shown exclude flights and transfers

Showing 2021 information
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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 Frankfurt, 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 atmosphere as you visit the Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient 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 experience 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 Frankfurt, 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 atmosphere as you visit the Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient 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 experience to savor the holiday season in traditional and beautiful Christmas traditions of European winter markets and festivities!

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

EVENING 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 Badischer 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

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.
Flights should not leave Zürich airport before 10 am or Basel airport before 8 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 Envision

The Avalon Envision is the newest addition to the 2019 Avalon Suite Ship fleet. With the youngest fleet of ships on Europe's waterways, Avalon continues our outstanding commitment to comfortable luxury and excellence with the Envision. Passengers can choose from two full decks of award-winning Panorama Suites, featuring wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling Panoramic Windows that transform your living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony. The 200-square-foot Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, with Avalon's incomparable window-facing "Beds with a View". Onboard amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi access, a state-of-the-art Fitness Center, an Adventure Center for bikes and active gear, and an Avalon Adventure Host to assist with active excursions and activities. Enjoy exceptional onboard cuisine, including Avalon Fresh menu options, premium coffee and spirits, and versatile FlexDining venues, including the casual Panorama Bistro, al fresco Sky Grill, or elegant glass-walled Dining Room. Library books, cards, and board games are favorites in the Club Lounge, and our Observation Lounge affords the perfect vantage point to watch the world go by. The expansive Sky Deck beckons with a whirlpool, premium lounge chairs, shade system, and deck games-against a backdrop of Europe's most spectacular scenery.

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 Envision deck plan

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 Impression

Part of Avalon's cutting-edge fleet of Suite Ships®, the Avalon Impression came onto the river cruising scene with a bang. This gorgeous ship features two full decks of Panorama SuitesSM with Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air BalconySM. With 200 square feet, Panorama SuitesSM are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording you the incomparable opportunity to wake each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include an alternative light dining option in the Panorama Bistro, a Fitness Center, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, and light al fresco lunches at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck.

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 Impression deck plan

Hotels

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