Begin this journey on Vienna with a culinary tour in the Christmas markets of the City of Music. Sail through the wonderful Wachau Valley with visits to Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey. Browse through the shining Christmas markets in Passau then sail to Regensburg for Christkindlesmarkt shopping and a visit to Nuremberg. Tour the city of seven hills of the Imperial Dynasties. Visit a quaint Bavarian Main River village and take an excursion to Rüdesheim in the Rhine Valley wine region to experience the joyful Mechanical Music Museum. Enjoy Christmas market lights and delights through Heidelberg and Speyer before sailing to Strasbourg for the La Petite France district and shimmering Christmas markets. Continue on to the Black Forest for a traditional Bavarian Christmas atmosphere.
Join a culinary tour of Vienna’s magical Christmas Advent Markets
Marvel at the Benedictine Abbey on a tour in Melk
Experience local Christmas traditions of the magical Black Forest
Visit the Käthe Wohlfahrt German Christmas museum in Rothenburg
Visit the Altes Rathaus and Porta Pretoria in Regensburg
strong>Classic: Take a guided tour of Vienna to see the Imperial Palace complex, the winter residence of the Imperial family, OR:
Discovery: Join a guided culinary Tour of Vienna’s magical Christmas advent markets to sample Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel.
You may join a guided optional tour of Schönbrunn Palace—summer home of the Habsburg dynasty for 300 years. Spend free time on your own to enjoy the Christkindlesmarkt, or relax by the fire’s glow in a Viennese café this evening.
Alternatively, this evening, you may choose to attend an optional excursion to a Royal Waltz concert for an unforgettable evening of music in an elegant hall.
strong>Discovery: Enjoy a Christmas traditions lecture on board while sailing this morning.
Classic: Choose a guided tour of Nuremberg’s medieval architecture, gilded fountain, Gothic cathedral, and Kaiserburg Castle, OR:
Classic: Join a guided tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally Grounds used by the Third Reich.
Spend free time on your own to browse the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample favorite Bavarian fare—from dozens of bratwurst varieties, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other culinary delights of the Christkindlmarkt.
strong>Classic: Enjoy a guided city tour that will show you the highlights of fascinating Munich. See Nymphenburg Palace—a former residence of Bavarian monarchs, along with the Old and New Town Halls of Marienplatz.
Return to your ship in Nuremberg in the late afternoon.
strong>Classic: Take a guided sightseeing tour of the “Pearl of the Romantic Road” with its Old Main Bridge, towering fortress, and baroque Bishop’s Residence
You may choose to join a guided optional excursion to the beautiful Bavarian town of Rothenburg. Visit the Käthe Wohlfahrt German Christmas museum, the world’s most extensive collection of traditional German Christmas decorations.
Spend free time enjoying the festive, warm glow of Wurzburg’s Christmas markets.
strong>Classic: 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.
strong>Discovery: 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: 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.
Day 16: Basel, Switzerland | Disembark
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning. Flights should not leave Zürich airport before 10 am or Basel airport before 8 am.
Daily four-course a la carte dinner in the Panorama Dining Room with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and desserts. Includes selections of regional recipes, Western dishes, and vegetarian options.
Enjoy a tasting menu with a view in the Panorama Bistro - a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere while lingering over several satisfying selections
Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions and dinners with sparkling wine and canapés
Panorama Lounge featuring premium spirits and Avalon specialty cocktails, along with local entertainment special guests
Cocktails available on the Sky Deck
Fresh fruit available throughout the day
In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
Avalon has designedincluded activitieswith a choice of experiences.
Initial deposit is $450, and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card.
Final payment is due 100 days prior to departure by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover/Novus, and American Express. All final payments by credit card may be subject to a surcharge and maximum of $20,000 charge
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.