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Explore the inspiring Amsterdam

Rhine & Rhône Revealed

Southbound - Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Avalon Expression
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Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River dotted every mile with ancient castles. Stop in Breisach, Germany, the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest. Lyon is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture.  Continue to the city of Tournon beautifully nestled among vineyards. Join a guided walk of this medieval treasure with Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. In Avignon, visit the Palace of the Popes and take pictures of the bridge in the famous song “Sur le pont d’Avignon.” This remarkable river cruise will take you to Arles, the capital of the Provence region and famous for its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Amsterdam, Holland | Embark
Day 2 : Amsterdam
Day 3 : Cologne
Day 4 : Koblenz | Rhine Gorge
Day 5 : Mainz
Day 6 : Strasbourg
Day 7 : Breisach
Day 8 : Basel | Disembark | St. Jean de Losne | Embark
Day 9 : Mâcon
Days 10-11 : Lyon
Day 12 : Tournon
Day 13 : Avignon
Day 14 : Arles
Day 15 : Port St. Louis | Disembark

Highlights

  • See Heidelberg Castle to see the ruins of the renaissance treasure
  • Experience the Vogtsbauernohf open-air-museum in the magical Black Forest
  • Discover why Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France
  • Take a tour to the fortress city of Avignon visit the Palace of the Popes

Ship

Avalon Expression

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Explore Basel Explore Cologne Cruise the Rhone river in charming Lyon Visit castle ruins in the German countryside Explore the inspiring Amsterdam Arles overview

Day 1 Amsterdam, Holland | Embark

Welcome to Holland. Your suite ship is ready for boarding. Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Your day in Amsterdam is free to explore at your leisure.

During tulip season, you may take a guided optional excursion to Keukenhof gardens—with more than seven million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, as well as other bulbs, planted each year.

Outside of tulip season, join a guided optional excursion to Zaanse Schans to see historic windmills and charming Dutch houses.

Day 2 Amsterdam

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Classic: Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a guided canal cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.”

You may like to join a guided optional excursion to Muiderslot Castle, or a guided optional biking excursion to the Dutch countryside.

Take some free time to explore Amsterdam’s colorful streets and canal houses, galleries, and shops.

Day 3 Cologne

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Classic: Take a guided city walk of Cologne—with its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral, OR:

Discovery: Choose a guided city walk of Cologne’s important Jewish heritage sites.

Don’t miss the chance to enjoy free time over a glass of Kölsch pale lager—locally brewed for over 100 years!

Day 4 Koblenz | Rhine Gorge

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Classic: Enjoy free time in Koblenz this morning before sailing through the Rhine Gorge to Rüdesheim. Sail past the legendary rock of the Lorelei—where the siren of mythology sang songs to lure ill-fated sailors.

RÜDESHEIM
Discovery: Take a guided tour of the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience; based on your departure enjoy a local special treat.

Day 5 Mainz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Classic: Enjoy a guided city walk including a visit to the Gutenberg Museum to see the captivating history of printing, OR:

​Classic: Enjoy a guided tour to Heidelberg Castle to see the ruins of the magnificent renaissance treasure towering above the city, and its famed Great Vat, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel, OR:

Active: Join your Avalon adventure host for a hike up Philosophers’ Way for an inspiring view of the city below.

Day 6 Strasbourg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Classic: Join a city sightseeing tour, including Strasbourg’s gothic, stained-glass cathedral with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petite France District.

You may also choose to join a guided optional excursion to the historic Maginot Line—an impressive installation of pre-WWII defensive fortifications designed to protect the eastern border of France, or visit Alsace’s wine country today.

Alternatively, take some free time in Strasbourg to visit a museum, or stroll across the city center.

Day 7 Breisach

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Discovery: Join a full-day guided tour to the magical Black Forest to experience the Vogtsbauernohf open-air-museum, visit an authentic water mill, and see a traditional butter-making demonstration, OR:

Discovery: Visit to Badische 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.

You may choose to join a guided optional excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar in the morning, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings.
 

Day 8 Basel | Disembark | St. Jean de Losne | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Disembark your ship and drive on to Beaune.

Classic: Visit the Hôtel-Dieu Charity Hospital in Beaune, built-in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgement.

This afternoon, travel to St. Jean de Losne to board your suite ship.

Day 9 Mâcon

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy leisurely cruising en route to Mâcon along the majestic Saône River. Consider a guided optional excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar, or to the Castle of Cormatin.

Discovery: Later, enjoy a delicious cheese tasting on board your ship.

Day 10-11 Lyon

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Classic: Join a guided sightseeing tour to survey Lyon from Fourvière Hill with its numerous churches. You’ll also explore the Old Town with its maze of medieval alleyways, and the lively cafés, monuments, and famed fountain of Place des Terreaux.

Spend free time biking through Lyon’s town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet.

Discovery: Be our guest for a WWII & French Resistance Lecture on board your ship.

On the next day:
Classic: Join a culinary walk through the city to discover why it is known as the gastronomic capital of France.

The rest of your day is free to explore, relax, or shop in France’s third-largest city. Take a bike from the ship and explore local produce markets and parks, or take a leisurely tour of the city’s more than 100 murals.

Day 12 Tournon

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Classic: Take a morning guided walking tour to explore Tournon—one of France’s oldest medieval cities. See its 16th-century castle, and Roman ruins between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage.

VIVIERS
Classic: Explore the pale-stone buildings of Viviers on a late afternoon guided walking tour of this charming village. You’ll see its Romanesque cathedral and Old Town with a mix of historical Christian, Roman, and medieval influences.

Day 13 Avignon

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Classic: Take a guided sightseeing tour of the fortress city of Avignon—with its ramparts encircling the city—and a visit to the amazing Palace of the Popes.

Guided optional excursions include a visit to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard or a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region.

Explore Avignon on your own for the city’s art and culture, theatre, and museums. Be sure to snap photos of the captivating countryside, historic monuments, and the medieval Pont Saint-Bénézet.

Day 14 Arles

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Classic: Enjoy a guided walking tour of Arles—the captivating city of the Provence region. You’ll visit the Roman Amphitheater in this visually stunning city, OR:

Discovery: Attend a painting workshop to learn the style and techniques of Vincent van Gogh. You’ll create your own painting in the style of the classic master who took inspiration from the Provence light and landscape in Arles.

Consider a guided optional excursion to the Carrières de Lumières (Cathedral of Images) to immerse yourself in a truly unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d’Enfer.

Take advantage of any free time remaining with a stop in Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine, to relax and watch the world go by.

Day 15 Port St. Louis | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning. Flights should not leave Marseille airport before 10 am.

Avalon Expression

Deals

Flexible Rebooking Policy
Travelers currently booked on departures from March 14-June 30, 2020 can rebook to any voyage departing before December 31, 2022, with no rebooking fees. Plus, receive a travel credit of $200 per person redeemable for future travel. 
Applies to all departures up to Dec 31, 2020

Flexible New Booking Policy
For new reservations made from March 24, 2020, forward travelers have the option to cancel their trip up to three days prior to departure and normal cancellation penalties will be waived. Deposits remain non-refundable. Some restrictions may apply. Contact us for more details.
Applies to all departures up to Dec 31, 2020

Per person starting at
$6,098
Select a Date
Cat. E
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom: 172 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Complimentary bottled water, Individual climate control, Mirror in the bathroom, Full shower with glass door, Vanity, Memory foam mattress, European-style duvets, Extra blankets, Hairdryer, and Spacious 3-door closets.
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Cat. D
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom: 172 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Complimentary bottled water, Individual climate control, Mirror in the bathroom, Full shower with glass door, Vanity, Luxurious mattress, European-style duvets, Extra blankets, Hairdryer, and Spacious 3-door closets
Select a Date
Cat. B
Panorama Suite: 200 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Telephone, In-room safe, Contemporary design, Marble countertops in the bathroom, 6-person sitting area, Writing desk, Sofa, Memory foam mattress, European-style duvets.
Select a Date
Cat. A
Panorama Suite: 200 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Telephone, In-room safe, contemporary design, Marble countertops in the bathroom, 6-person sitting area, Writing desk, Sofa, Luxurious mattress, European-style duvets.
Select a Date
Cat. P
Panorama Suite: 200 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Telephone, Well-stocked minibar, In-room safe, Contemporary design, Marble countertops in the bathroom, 6-person sitting area, Writing desk, Sofa, Memory foam mattress, European-style duvets
Select a Date
Royal Suite
Royal Suite: 300 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Telephone, Well-stocked minibar, Marble countertops in the bathroom, Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air Balcony, Full shower with glass door, Luxurious mattress toppers, European-style duvets.

Notes

Throughout the Ship:
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Panoramic windows
  • Elegant, contemporary design & decor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Sky Deck with whirlpool, shade awnings, game area, and premium lounges
  • Covered Observation Lounge
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour self-serve beverage station with complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, as well as treats throughout the day
Suites & Staterooms:
  • Comfort Collection Beds with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products
  • Large bathroom featuring a shower with glass door
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with free movie channels
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • USB Ports
  • Complimentary bottled water daily
  • And, much more.
Health & Fitness:
  • Bikes
  • Canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
  • Maps for hiking, biking, and jogging routes
  • Fitness and wellness activities
  • Fitbits®
  • All through your Avalon Adventure Host
Dining:
  • FlexDining for more venue and seating options, including flexible seating times in our Panorama Dining Room
  • Avalon Fresh healthy cuisine options at every meal
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with every lunch and dinner
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast options
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch at Sky Grill on the Sky Deck (weather permitting)
  • Daily Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, sweet treats & sandwiches
  • 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
Notes:
  • 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 designed included activities with a choice of experiences.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Travel Agents
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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