THE RHINE & MOSELLE16 days incl. air, or 15 days Amsterdam/Basel
This 16-day vacation begins in Holland’s colorful capital, Amsterdam. Enjoy a canal boat tour past the city’s stately homes and 16th-century merchant houses, then cruise to Cologne for guided sightseeing. Stop for a visit of Coblenz, situated on the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, and a guided walking tour of Bernkastel. Continue up the Moselle as far as Trier, then enjoy a visit to Reichsburg Castle, towering high above Cochem. Sail past the famous rock of the Lorelei and through the dramatic Rhine Gorge to Rüdesheim for a visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and a chance to try the region’s famous Riesling wines. Explore Mainz with its Gutenberg Museum, enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, as well as excursions to Heidelberg to visit the red-walled castle of Student Prince fame and to Germany’s Black Forest before ending your cruise in Basel, Switzerland.
Day 1(Sat.) Depart US Day 2 Amsterdam, Holland. (Embarkation)
(Sun.) Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. The works of famous Dutch masters can be seen in world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh. This afternoon, the crew of your vessel waits to welcome you aboard. (D)
Day 3 Amsterdam
(Mon.) There is no better way to see the city than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There is plenty of free time to explore on your own. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions of how to make the most of your stay. (FB,L,D)
Day 4 Dordrecht–Rotterdam. Excursion to Delft
(Tue.) Sitting between two branches of the Rhine, charming Dordrecht inspired many painters in the 17th and 18th centuries. Nearby is KINDERDIJK with its picturesque row of windmills. Rotterdam is a bustling city that was leveled by German bombs in WWII but now boasts the world’s busiest port. Traditionally a city of weavers and brewers, Delft is now best known for its distinctive blue and white porcelain. (FB,L,D)
Day 5 Arnhem
(Wed.) One of the major tragedies of World War II was the Battle of Arnhem, featured vividly in the AIRBORNE MUSEUM HARTENSTEIN and the inspiration for the movie A Bridge Too Far. (FB,L,D)
Day 6 Cologne, Germany
(Thu.) Cologne is the capital of the Rhineland and one of Germany’s largest cities. The soaring twin steeples of the magnificent Gothic cathedral
Story about Cologne Cathedral
"When a resident of Cologne returns after even a short stay outside the city, it just isn’t home until they’ve seen the black towers of the “Dom” against the sky. Germany’s largest gothic cathedral can’t be described with the usual words – monumental, awe-inspiring, beautiful, and majestic. It’s more than that. It’s been known to perplex visitors about what makes this cathedral so visually overwhelming. Its height has something to do with it – 515 feet of sandstone blackened by time and exhaust fumes. Or maybe it’s the Dom’s location, the feeling that a massive 13th Century gothic church was dropped out of the sky into the center of modern Cologne, a stone’s throw from the central train station and the shops on Hohestrasse."
dominate the river skyline. The Germano-Roman Museum, located next to the cathedral, is a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with taverns, cafés, and shops. Try a Kölsch, the favorite local beer, and shop for a bottle of 4711, the original “eau de cologne.” (FB,L,D)
Day 7 Coblenz
(Fri.) Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Coblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. The Deutsches Eck, located on a tongue of land where the two rivers converge, holds an impressive equestrian statue of Wilhelm I. The Moselle River is some 312 miles long, rising in the Vosges Mountains of northeastern France and entering Germany at Trier. The entire Moselle Valley is famous for its beautiful and tranquil scenery. (FB,L,D)
Day 8 Bernkastel
(Sat.) In the middle of the Moselle region is the charming wine village of Bernkastel with its well preserved half-timbered houses surrounding the beautiful MARKET PLACE. Wine growers in this area look after Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards, the most celebrated of the vintages being the Bernkasteler Doktor. (FB,L,D)
Day 9 Trier
(Sun.) The venerable Episcopal city of Trier is the oldest in Germany—and some claim even older than Rome! A house on the marketplace bears the inscription, “Trier was standing 1,300 years before Rome.” The famous PORTA NIGRA is the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement and still gives access to the town center. Trier’s most famous son was socialist revolutionary Karl Marx. (FB,L,D)
Day 10 Cochem
(Mon.) REICHSBURG CASTLE, towering above the river at Cochem, can be seen from afar and sits atop a conical hill covered in vines. Views of the little town of Cochem nestled below and of the river valley are splendid. Cruising the wide, peaceful curves of the river, it quickly becomes obvious that the Moselle is an important wine-growing region. Most notably, Riesling grapes are cultivated, producing a dry to sweet, floral white wine. (FB,L,D)
Day 11 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim-Mainz
(Tue.) The dramatic Rhine Gorge is the most beautiful stretch of river. Pass the legendary Rock of the Lorelei, where sweet songs lured enchanted sailors to their doom. Rüdesheim is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town and SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise! Explore the Drosselgasse and be sure to try one of the vintages in any of the wine taverns. Situated on the left bank of the Rhine, opposite the mouth of the Main River, Mainz is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. (FB,L,D)
Day 12 Mainz
(Wed.) Charming Old Town in Mainz is waiting to be explored. A curiosity is the fountain on Schillerplatz decorated with scenes of the famous annual carnival. Gutenberg, the father of modern printing, was born here and the GUTENBERG MUSEUM is well worth a visit. (FB,L,D)
Day 13 Excursion to Heidelberg
(Thu.) Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest university town. The ruins of the imposing red sandstone CASTLE tower above the city. Of particular interest is the GIANT VAT, an 18th-century wine cask holding 49,000 gallons! (FB,L,D)
Day 14 Strasbourg, France
(Fri.) Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg is influenced by the culture of both countries and is the capital of the Alsace region. It is the seat of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. Noteworthy sights are the GOTHIC CATHEDRAL, the lovely LA PETITE FRANCE district, Place Kleber, and Place Gutenberg with its statue of the inventor of the printing press. An optional excursion to the Alsace wine region is available today. (FB,L,D)
Day 15 Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest
(Sat.) Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is a charming medieval town. Once surrounded by city walls, the gates to the city still stand today. Breisach is the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham and Black Forest cherry cake. (FB,L,D)
Day 16 Basel, Switzerland. (Disembarkation)
(Sun.) Homebound flights should not leave Zurich Airport before 10 a.m. (FB)
Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.
Gateway for departure is Zürich, Switzerland.
Port charges: $182
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
Extra nights per person in Amsterdam: in single room $315, in twin room $190
Extra nights per person in Zürich: in single room $130, in twin room $88
Prices shown above include cruise in Category E in an outside Avalon Deluxe Stateroom on Indigo Deck.
To upgrade to a higher category (all staterooms Twin/Queen), add per person: Category / Decks / Price B / Sapphire Deck / $927 A / Sapphire Deck / $1,020 P / Royal Deck / $1,205 Suite / Royal Deck / $2,227
Our Volume Buying Power Saves You Money! -We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. -Additional accommodations before or after your vacation may be available at our low prices.
Additional Information: -Departure/arrival taxes and fares from other cities will be advised at the time of booking. -Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
Guaranteed air-inclusive prices: Air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional $250 non-refundable deposit is required for air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e., air-inclusive vacation.) However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon Waterways has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.
We also accept your reservation on a land-only basis: While booking your vacation air-inclusive gives you various advantages, you can also choose the land-only option. But remember, airlines’ special fares generally apply to very brief periods. (Our low air-inclusive fares apply throughout the year.) Plus, to get these “deals” you often are required to pay full fare at the time of booking.
Taxes & fees Taxes and fees are subject to change and are not guaranteed until full land and air deposit are received.
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With the decrease in the value of the dollar and the high price of fuel the cost of hotels and meals have doubled in European during the last three years. Savy travelers have come to understand that a river cruise offers the best value for a European Vacation. Accommodations, all meals on board and shore excursions are included in the price and some companies even include wine with dinner. Because of this, you do not have to live in fear of the $300 per night hotel bill, the $100 not so wonderful restaurant meal and the $10 cup of coffee with no free refills. Many people believe that by dealing directly with the cruise line, they cut out the expense of a middleman. But when it comes to cruising, this is never the case. The cruise lines depend on travel agents to sell their product, and so it is the cruise lines who pay the agent's commission, not the customer. The lines also offer agents various extra incentives, bonus commissions and value-added perks, giving the travel agents more pricing leverage and the ability for us to offer you lower rates: There are many superb and well-trained travel agents, but there are not many who know as much as we do about river cruising.