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GRAND CHRISTMASTIME FROM VIENNA TO BASEL - CATEGORY E - 2019

This European Christmastime river cruise will take you across Austria and Germany and along the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers. Enjoy guided sightseeing in several cities along the way and delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of centuries-old Christmas markets.

Begin in musical Vienna, where a guided tour shows you the impressive sights. Perhaps opt for a guided culinary walk through the Christmas markets to taste some Austrian holiday favorites, or explore on your own. Cruise through the winter wonderland of the Wachau Valley and visit Melk with its magnificent abbey. Enjoy a guided sightseeing in Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities. While sailing to Nuremberg, learn about Christmas traditions and sample some German beer. At Nuremberg’s Christmas market, which is one of the oldest in the world, be sure to try Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread). A full-day excursion to Munich shows you the Bavarian capital. The traditional Christmas market on the Marienplatz delights with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread!

Continue your holiday river cruise to Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where many nativity scenes are exhibited throughout the town. In Würzburg, on the River Main, visit the ornate Bishop’s Residenz, then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). See Europe’s largest nativity scene with life-size figures In Rüdesheim on the Rhine; and visit Heidelberg Castle towering magnificently over the city, before cruising to Strasbourg, France. This time of year, the historic charm of the city is mixed with festive aromas, sights, and sounds—creating a truly magical atmosphere! Visit the gothic cathedral with its ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Continue to Breisach, Germany—gateway to the famous Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, before ending this charming Christmastime river cruise adventure in Basel, Switzerland.

Inclusions

15 breakfasts
15 lunches
15 dinners
Tour Provider Avalon Waterways
Number of Days
16
Price From
AUD $8,258
Start Location
Vienna, Austria
End Location
Basel, Austria
Age Range
Avg. 40+
Group Size
20 to 44
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
03 Dec 201918 Dec 2019On RequestAUD $8,258
ItineraryExpand
Day 1: VIENNA, AUSTRIA (EMBARKATION).
Welcome to Austria! Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Vienna must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm. Indulge in traditional holiday fare and hot libations to warm your heart and soul before boarding. (D)
Day 2: VIENNA.
Royal Collections, Amusing Attractions, and Culinary Confections. 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 Schonbrunn 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 cafe this evening. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK (B,L,D)
Day 3: MELK.
Striking Frescs and the Breathtaking Wachau Valley. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour of Melk's magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescd ceilings. This afternoon cruise to Grein, where this evening you will enjoy live entertainment on board. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU (B,L,D)
Day 4: PASSAU.
Saint Stephens, Salzburg, and the Story of Silent Night. CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful "City of Three Rivers." You may like to join a Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg, Austria. See the setting of The Sound of Music, and learn the story behind the beloved Christmas hymn, Silent Night. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG (B,L,D)
Day 5: REGENSBURG.
Christmas Magic in Bavaria's Medieval Miracle. CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria-entrance to the Castra Regina fortress built in 179AD. Take time to browse Regensburg's sparkling Christmas markets. Enjoy hot-mulled wine, candied almonds, gingerbread, or bratwurst. DISCOVERY - Enjoy a Christmas Traditions Lecture on board while sailing this morning. DISCOVERY - Later, indulge in an onboard Beer Tasting to sample regional German brews. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NUREMBERG (B,L,D)
Day 6: NUREMBERG.
Living Heritage and History Lessons. 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 favourite Bavarian fare-from dozens of bratwurst varieties, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other culinary delights of the Christkindlmarkt. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG (B,L,D)
Day 7: NUREMBERG (DISEMBARKATION). EXCURSION TO MUNICH (EMBARKATION).
This morning disembark the vessel which has brought you to Nuremberg and drive to Munich. CLASSIC: Enjoy a Guided City Tour which 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. Take some free time today to stroll this pedestrian and bike-friendly city to see the famous Glockenspiel, outdoor cafes, or a Bavarian Biergarten for authentic brews. Return to Nuremberg in the late afternoon and embark on the ship which will take you to Wiesbaden (B,D)
Day 8: NUREMBERG.
Living Heritage and History Lessons. A day to relax and enjoy Nuremberg at your own pace. Stroll through the festively lit streets, buy those last-minute Christmas gifts, or ask your Cruise Director for suggestions of things to do. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BAMBERG (B,L,D)
Day 9: BAMBERG.
Cherished Christmas Customs and Cradle Scenes. CLASSIC - Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bamberg-medieval home of Germany's Roman Empire dynasties. Stroll through dozens of Bamberg's nativity scenes-from miniature to life-size. Take free time to enjoy the quaint Christmas markets, and warm up with traditional German dumplings, sausage, and a glass of hearty Bavarian ale. DISCOVERY - Enjoy an onboard Christmas Traditions Lecture while sailing. AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WURZBURG (B,L,D)
Day 10: WURZBURG.
Ornaments, Old Saint Nicholas, and Nutcrackers Sweet. 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 Kathe 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. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MAIN RIVER VILLAGE (B,L,D)
Day 11: MAIN RIVER VILLAGE.
Hidden Gifts and Holiday Delights in Beautiful Bavaria. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour of a picturesque village along the Main River. DISCOVERY - Join a Cookie-Baking Demonstration on board your ship while sailing. AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MAINZ (B,L,D)
Day 12: MAINZ. EXCURSION TO RUDESHEIM.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country. DISCOVERY - Tour the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience in Rudesheim. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER (B,D)
Day 13: SPEYER, GERMANY. HEIDELBERG EXCURSION.
Winter Wonders and a Wine Barrel Fit for a King. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour that includes the magnificent Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat-the world's largest wine barrel. After the tour, visit the local German Christmas Markets in Heidelberg, or Speyer. Explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of these sparkling winter wonderlands. This evening, enjoy live entertainment on board EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO STRASBOURG (B,L,D)
Day 14: STRASBOURG, FRANCE.
A Gothic Cathedral, Heaven's Time, and Joyeux Nl. 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. Savour 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. EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH (B,L,D)
Day 15: BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST.
History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest. 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, and enjoy the warmth and glow of the Christmas season. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BASEL (B,L,D)
Day 16: BASEL, SWITZERLAND (DISEMBARKATION).
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. Flights shouldn't leave Zurich airport before 10am. (B)