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CHRISTMASTIME BASEL TO BUDAPEST - CATEGORY E - 2019

Begin your Christmas river cruise through France and Germany in Basel, Switzerland. Here, you’ll board your Avalon Suite Ship® to sail for the Bavarian town of Breisach. From here, take a day’s tour of the Black Forest area for the perfect beginning of the Christmas ambience, which you’ll see in town at the marvelous markets.

Next, you’ll see the gothic cathedral and iconic sights of Strasbourg, France, with the warm glow of its Christmas markets adding to the beauty of the city. Your cruise takes you to Speyer, Germany, for an excursion to Heidelberg Castle, with free time to peruse the shining Christmas markets in Heidelberg or Speyer.

Visit a picturesque Main river village, before your next stop in Würzburg, Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road.” Savor the sights, sounds, and confections of Würzburg’s warm Christmas markets before continuing your guided European holiday to enjoy Christmas in the Heart of Germany and hear of the beautiful Christmas traditions of Germany with a lecture on board, and a guided sightseeing tour of the glowing Christkindlesmarkt of Bamberg—complete with dozens of nativity scenes of every size.

Your European Christmas market holiday includes a visit to Nuremberg, with a guided sightseeing tour, free time to enjoy Christmas markets, and an excursion to Rüdesheim. Then sail from Nuremberg to Regensburg, the only German city not bombed during WWII. Take in the breathtaking views before continuing through the picturesque Wachau Valley to the romantic sights of Vienna, the “City of Music.”

Your European river cruise holiday ends in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, with guided sightseeing and free time to explore this vibrant city and its Christmas markets on your own. With Christmas memories of Germany, and the Danube’s legendary beauty, this Christmas river cruise will be cherished for years to come.

Inclusions

16 breakfasts
16 lunches
16 dinners
Tour Provider Avalon Waterways
Number of Days
17
Price From
AUD $8,558
Start Location
Basel, Germany
End Location
Budapest, Germany
Age Range
Min :45
Group Size
20 to 44
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
02 Dec 201918 Dec 2019On RequestAUD $8,558
Itinerary
Day 1: BASEL, SWITZERLAND (EMBARKATION).
Welcome to Switzerland! Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Zurich must arrive by 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm. Stroll through the city centre, enjoy the festive illumination and savour Christmas delicacies like waffles, gingerbread, sweets and Swiss raclette. EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH (D)
Day 2: BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST.
History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest. DISCOVERY - Join a full-day 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. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO STRASBOURG (B,L,D)
Day 3: 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/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER (B,L,D)
Day 4: SPEYER, GERMANY. HEIDELBERG EXCURSION.
Winter Wonders and a Wine Barrel Fit for a King. CLASSIC - Take a half-day Guided Tour that includes the magnificent Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat-the world's largest wine barrel. This afternoon, 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. EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO WIESBADEN (B,L,D)
Day 5: WIESBADEN. 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 6: 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 WURZBURG (B,L,D)
Day 7: 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 BAMBERG (B,L,D)
Day 8: BAMBERG.
Cherished Christmas Customs and Cradle Scenes. DISCOVERY - Enjoy an onboard Christmas Traditions Lecture while sailing. 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. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NUREMBERG (B,L,D)
Day 15: VIENNA.
Royal Collections, Amusing Attractions, and Culinary Confections. CLASSIC - Venture into the Habsburg empire on a Guided City Tour of Vienna's gilded landmarks. See the Imperial Palace complex-the winter residence of the Imperial Family, the historic Vienna Opera House and stunning St. Stephen's Cathedral, OR: DISCOVERY - Join a Guided Culinary Tour of Vienna's magical Christmas Advent Markets to sample Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel. Join a Guided Optional Excursion to Schonbrunn Palace-a Habsburg Empire summer home 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. Later, relax on board with live entertainment as you sail to Budapest. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BUDAPEST (B,L,D)
Day 14: MELK-WACHAU VALLEY.
Striking Frescs and Breathtaking Views of the Wachau Valley. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour of Melk's magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescd ceilings, statues, incredible library, and ornate pipe organ. DISCOVERY - Enjoy an Austrian Cookie Tasting while sailing to Vienna. During lunchtime sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley to Vienna. VIENNA: Vienna Waltzes and the Beautiful Blue Danube. 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. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN VIENNA (B,L,D)
Day 13: PASSAU.
Go for Baroque in Passau-Where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers Meet. CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful "City of Three Rivers," OR: Join a full day Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg-the city of Mozart-or a full day Guided Optional Excursion to the picturesque Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov. Sail to Linz this afternoon, or join your ship after your selected full-day excursion. LINZ, AUSTRIA: The Linzer Torte and a Legendary Love of Art and Music. Enjoy a free afternoon to linger in Linz. Take a bicycle from the ship and cycle along the Danube, or follow one of Linz's many nature trails for a bird's-eye view of the city and river below. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK (B,L,D)
Day 9: 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 browsing the spruce stalls of the Christmas Markets of Nuremberg. Sample Favourite Bavarian fare-bratwurst, gingerbread, mulled blueberry wine, and countless other Christkindlmarkt culinary delights. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN NUREMBERG (B,L,D)
Day 11: 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 REGENSBURG (B,L,D)
Day 10: NUREMBERG. EXCURSION 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. (B,D)
Day 16: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY.
The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe. CLASSIC - Enjoy a Guided City Sightseeing, including the iconic Hers' Square. Take in the beauty of Budapest while enjoying a free afternoon exploring such famous sights as the Chain Bridge. Get to know the city's cafes and pubs, and don't miss the unique Christmas markets that Budapest hosts every year during the Festive season. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BUDAPEST (B,L,D)
Day 12: REGENSBURG.
Magical Regensburg-Bavaria's Medieval Miracle. CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria-built in 179 AD as the entrance to Castra Regina fortress. DISCOVERY - Later, indulge in a Beer Tasting on board. This evening, enjoy live entertainment after dinner as you cruise toward Passau. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU (B,L,D)
Day 17: BUDAPEST (DISEMBARKATION).
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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