Festive Markets on the Rhine

  • Tour Overview

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this delightful winter journey along the Rhine River.  Which takes you across Germany – and touches Holland, France and Switzerland!

Before the end of your European river cruise, stop in Breisach, Germany, located on the French-German border, the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—an area of unrivalled natural beauty—best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. At every stop, you’ll experience the magical charm of this time of year, with the towns decked out in festive lights and décor, and the Christmas markets waiting to be explored.

  • SAVE UP TO $2,525 PER PERSON** If booked and deposited by 30 Jan 2020
  • Inclusions
  • Return International airfares with Singapore Airlines
  • Return Airport transfers in Amsterdam and Zurich
  • 8 Day Avalon Waterways luxury River Cruise
  • 2 nights’ accommodation, Zurich
  • Explore the Canals of Amsterdam
  • Locally Guided walking tour of Cologne
  • Tour the incredible Mechanical Music Museum
  • Experience Heidelberg and its famed castle
  • Sightseeing in Strasbourg
  • Visit the Black Forest
  • Services of a Cruise Director
  • Escorted by a Signature Journeys representative
  • Itinerary

DAY 1: Depart Sydney
Today, board your international flight to Amsterdam!

DAY 2: Arrive Amsterdam, Holland
Welcome to Holland! On arrival you will be met by a representative who will transfer you to your Avalon Suite Ship at its docking location.  With a free day to explore before your cruise, take time to enjoy the warmth and glow of Christmas Tradition or join a guided optional excursion to Zaanse Schans to see historic windmills and charming Dutch houses.  This evening come together for your first sumptuous meal and meet your fellow travellers. (D)

DAY 3: Amsterdam, Holland
After a wonderful breakfast explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” This afternoon and this evening you will cruise toward Cologne.  (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Cologne, Germany
Prost! Welcome to Germany! Take a guided city walking tour of Cologne, with it’s soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral.  Spend free time enjoying the festive, warm glow of Cologne’s Christmas Markets, later, enjoy the live entertainment provided on board.  Tonight you will cruise overnight to Rudesheim.  (B,L,D)

DAY 5: Rhine Gorge – Rudesheim, Germany
Eat, Drink and be merry in stunning wine country! Sail through the beauty that is the Rhine Gorge to Rudesheim past the legendary rock of The Lorelie – where the siren of mythology sang songs to lure ill-fated sailors.  You may wish to take a guided tour of the incredible Mechanical Museum for a one of a kind instrumental experience; based on your departure enjoy a local special treat.  Don’t miss the tantalizing treats and seasonal handiwork of sparkling winter wonderlands in the city. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.  This evening we dock in Rudesheim.  (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Mainz – Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany
Printing Halls, Castle Walls and the Worlds Biggest Barrel of Wine! Enjoy a guided city walk of Mainz including a visit to the Gutenberg Museum to see the captivating history of printing.  After take an enjoyable guided tour to Heidelberg Castle to see the ruin of the magnificent renaissance treasure towering above the city, and it’s famed Great Vat. “The world’s largest Wine Barrel”.  In your free time you may like to visit the local Christmas Market, explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds.  This evening and overnight you will cruise to Strasbourg, France. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Strasbourg, France
Gothic Giants, Military Marvels and Varietal Vintages.  Enjoy a city sightseeing tour, including Strasbourg’s gothic, stained -glass cathedral with it’s celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petit France District.  Savour the warmth and glow of Christmas tradition by spending your free time wandering the French winter markets if Strasbourg.  Take in the lights, music and the pleasures of the season.  You may also choose to join a guided optional excursion to visit Alsace’s wine country today.  This evening and overnight you will cruise to Breisach, Germany.  (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Breisach, Germany
History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest,  Take a visit to Badische Winzerkeller, the largest German wine producer in Europe. Discover Germany’s southernmost wine country in Baden and learn about the vintners’ process in the vineyards here, and enjoy a wine tasting, OR: Join a full-day Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience local traditions and the vibrant Christmas mood. You may choose to follow your visit to Badische Winzerkeller with a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar in the morning, with its half timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings. This evening and overnight you will cruise to Basel, Switzerland.  (B,L,D)

DAY 9: Basel – Zurich, Switzerland
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.  You will transfer from Basel to Zurich where on arrival you will check into your accommodation.  The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to discover this wonderful city.  (B)

DAY 10: Zurich, Switzerland
One of the most beautiful traditions of Christmas in Zurich has to be the sparkling Swarovski Christmas Tree at Zurich main station, or HB as it is often referred to, comes alive at Christmas time as the hall is filed with the bustle of Christkindlemarkt.  It is full of bright colours, lights and stall holders eager to show you their wares.  The pinnacle of this experience is the 50ft tall Swarovski tree.  Bedecked with over 6,000 shimmering Swarovski pieces, the elegant structure dominates the skyline.  The tree that is covered with tiny lights which change colour intermittently and the sparkles can be seen from all corners of the station.  This really will be one of the absolute highlights of your Christmas markets experience. (B)

DAY 11: Zurich, Switzerland
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home to Australia.  Taking with you incredible memories. (B)

  • Add-Ons

Excluded from the package price:

  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tipping
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Optional activities/cruise shore excursions
  • Personal expenses
  • Port Charges at $177 per person
  • Terms & Conditions

The following terms and conditions are an agreement between you, our company and tour operator. Our tour operator for Christmas Rhine River Cruise is Avalon Waterways. When you make a deposit payment you thereby agree to accept the terms and conditions of this contract. This agreement should be read in conjunction with the full tour operator booking conditions.  These can be located at www.avalonwaterways.com.au

Price: the advertised price is in Australian dollars. No surcharges regarding cost or currency fluctuations will be made once deposit is received. This guarantee excludes fuel surcharges and does not apply to any taxes, charges or levies imposed by any government or its agencies. Price includes Return Economy Air Fares, 8 Day Avalon Waterways Cruise, all transfers as per the package, accommodation in Zurich, entrance fees & sightseeing as per itinerary, plus services of a Cruise Director, Escort and meals as specified.

Booking, Deposit & Final Payment: A non-refundable deposit of $750 per person is due within 7 Days or by 30th January 2020, whichever comes sooner. Final Balance is due 100 days prior to departure, 19th August 2020.

Cancellations: For cancellations received in writing the following will apply:

Between 90-60 Days prior to departure: 50% of total price
Between 59-30 Days prior to departure: 80% of total price
Between 29- departure date: 100% of total price

Group Conditions: A minimum number of passengers are required to operate this group tour package.  Should minimum passengers numbers not be met we will review the operation of this tour package and additional costs may apply.  Escort attendance is subject to reaching minimum numbers.

Included Air: All tour prices include airfares and taxes.  Flight details will be confirmed at time of booking.  Please note airport taxes are subject to change and will be confirmed at time of booking.

Tour Itinerary Adjustments:  We reserve the right to alter the itinerary including sightseeing, schedules, hotels and other tour inclusions to accommodate unforeseen circumstances or events beyond our control.

Travel Insurance:  We strongly encourage all customers to purchase travel insurance at the time of booking.  Signature Journeys will not be held liable for expenses incurred as a result of failure to obtain adequate insurance, including but not limited to medical expenses, loss of luggage, additional transportation due to cruise or airline schedule changes or the impossibility of delivering components of the package in its entirety. 

Tipping and gratuities: While not prevalent in Australia, tipping is an important custom in many parts of the world and may or may not be included in your package. Where tipping is not included, any amount paid is entirely at your discretion. However, in recognition of great service and about local traditions, we recommend you partake in this practice. Guidelines will be provided prior to departure. Where tipping is included in the package, no refund will be available.

Signature Journeys a division of Hunter Travel Group Pty Ltd ABN 86 089 025 696. A11468.

Departure Date

Tour Price

All prices are per person twin share

**Advertised Price inclusive of the $2,525 saving based on lead in category D cabin. Valid on deposited bookings made by 30 Jan 2020**

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