WELCOME ON BOARD THE AVALON IMAGERY II®
Tour Host: Linda and Eric Skehor
Date: December 3 – 10, 2016
One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits on this mesmerizing journey along
the Rhine. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Koblenz and Cologne, as well as an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river dotted every mile with castles. Visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, see the legendary Lorelei rock and enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam. Be sure to pack your camera so you can capture the romance and splendor of this magical journey.
This sailing is an exclusive Festive Time Cruise, including special features and visits to Christmas markets at no extra cost. Experience the holiday season the European way! Enjoy the jolly atmosphere on your festively decorated ship as you delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of local customs and traditions.
- Deluxe 7-night cruise from Basel to Amsterdam onboard the brand new for 2016 Avalon Imagery II in an outside stateroom featuring hotel-style beds; including port charges and all tips / gratuities to the ship’s sta , Cruise Director, Local Guides & excursion Drivers.
- Transfers by motorcoach from Zürich to Basel including porterage service.
- Daily comprehensive sightseeing by certifi ed Local Guides with VIP access to the must-see sights (including personal headsets).
- Entertainment: Onboard lectures, activities and nightly piano music.
- Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
- All-Inclusive Dining!
- Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
- Welcome dinner
- Daily afternoon cake and cofee / tea
- Daily night fare
- Farewell dinner
- Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
- Porterage services
- Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
- Non-refundable deposit: $250 per person.
- Balance due: September 2, 2016. Prices do not include Travel Insurance, which is highly recommended.
Day 1: December 3rd, 2016 | Arrive in Zürich, Switzerland | (D)
Transfer to Basel (Embarkation). Welcome to Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn and the majestic Alps! Transfer by motorcoach to Basel, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Meet your crew during a special evening welcome reception. PLEASE NOTE: Flights into Zürich must arrive before 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2: Strasbourg, France | (B/L/D)
Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As the capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your walking tour you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental redsandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. This afternoon, optional excursions ($) into the Alsace wine country or to the Black Forest are available.
Day 3: Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany | (B/L/D)
After a leisurely morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, which was founded in 1386. Visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it!
Day 4: Mainz—Rüdesheim | (B/L/D)
Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with “civilized” origins dating back to around 38BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. The Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here and during a GUIDED WALK, you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. During lunch, depart Mainz and cruise on to pretty Rüdesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colorful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere.
Day 5: Rhine Gorge—Koblenz | (B/L/D)
Downstream from Rüdesheim is the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cli s rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive equestrian statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the 2,000-year-old city of Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments; or visit nearby SAYN MANOR HOUSE, belonging to the counts of the same name.
Day 6: Cologne | (B/L/D)
One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twinsteepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history bu s! The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (B,L,D) DAY 7: Amsterdam, Holland. Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion.
Day 7: Amsterdam, Holland | (B/L/D)
Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion.
Day 8: DECEMBER 10TH, 2016 | Amsterdam (Disembarkation) | (B)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
Please Contact Linda for more information!