Festive Markets on the Rhine

11 Days

4 Countries

Style: River Cruise

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.

  • ESCORTED BY A SIGNATURE JOURNEYS REPRESENTATIVE

Departure Date: 27 November 2020

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Highlights & 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)

Important Notes

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

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