2013: Grand Christmastime Cruise from Vienna to Basel (WXVZ) - Vista
16 days from Vienna to Basel
Discover the best of Central Europe during this exciting Christmastime cruise from Vienna to Basel. Start in magical Vienna, where you will enjoy guided sightseeing, free time to explore the Christmas markets, and will embark your cruise vessel. Sail west, stopping in Durnstein to see the baroque Stiftskirche and in Melk to visit its Benedictine Abbey and sample regional wines. Continue to the busy river port of Linz, delightful Passau, medieval Regensburg, and Nuremberg for guided sightseeing and to experience Germany's most famous Christmas market. Other highlights include the vibrant Bavarian capital of Munich, German beer tasting in Bamberg, a visit of the magnificent Bishop's Residenz in Wurzburg, and an excursion to the walled city of Rothenburg. Also visit Wertheim to see the half-timbered houses and shop for blown-glass ornaments, Miltenberg for a traditional baking demonstration, and enjoy an excursion to the pretty wine village of Rudesheim with its outstanding Christmas market and life-sized nativity scene. In Heidelberg, marvel at the imposing red sandstone castle and bask in the holiday atmosphere; enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, with time to explore one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe; and from Breisach, take an excursion into Germany's legendary Black Forest.
Highlights & Sightseeing
Welcome reception; guided sightseeing
Walking tour, see the Stiftskirche
Guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey; wine tasting
Guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall; beer tasting
Guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop's Residenz
Guided walk; baking demonstration
Excursion to Rudesheim, visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum
Take pictures of the castle
Guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral
Excursion to the Black Forest
B: full buffet breakfast L: lunch D: dinner
Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast, soft drinks with lunch, and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included on board your vessel.
It's about you. You are the reason we've used our 80-plus years of travel expertise to design the very best river cruise experience. Inspired by you, we've taken everything special about river cruising and made it even better. Here are some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.
Day 1 Arrive In Vienna, Austria (Embarkation)
Welcome to Vienna, Austria's romantic capital! This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception at 6 pm. (Dinner)
Day 2 Vienna
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria's capital has much to offer: the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, majestic Ring Boulevard, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral, to name just a few of the sights you will enjoy on your city tour. You do not rush through Vienna-you waltz, taking your time to savor each classic sight and sound. Shop in the Karntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood cafe. Soak up the atmosphere of the Adventszeit (Advent season) and spend some time at the beautiful Christmas markets located throughout the city. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Durnstein-Melk
This morning, enjoy a guided walk around Durnstein, known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue facade. After lunch, visit the magnificent BENEDICTINE ABBEY, which dominates the town of Melk from its commanding hill site and is one of Europe's largest monasteries. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! This evening you'll sample some of the FAMOUS WINES of the region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Linz-Passau, Germany
Linz, Austria's third-largest town, lies on both banks of the Danube and is an important industrial town and busy river port. An optional full-day excursion to Salzburg takes in the popular Sound of Music sights as well as more Christmas cheer-the traditional carols, the sparkling lights, and the smell of candles and gingerbread. Passau, ideally located at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers, is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets. St. Stephen's Cathedral houses one of the world's largest church organs with more than 17,000 pipes. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Regensburg
Regensburg is one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights on your guided tour include the Old Town Hall and the Porta Pretoria-gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. The city is the capital of Upper Palatinate, a bustling university town, and one of Bavaria's cultural centers. The Christmas market is located on the historic market square. Germany is famous for its sausages, and Regensburg is home to the country's oldest restaurant-Historische Wurstkuche (the Old Sausage Kitchen), dating back to the 12th century. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Nuremberg
Although Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it was restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its fabulous gothic churches and elegant patrician houses, all explained by a local expert. Nuremberg hosts Germany's most famous Christmas market, which dates back to 1628; the Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations. The city's traditions include famous Lebkuchen, toy making, and metal working. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Nuremberg. Excursion to Munich
After breakfast, drive to Munich, where a local expert will proudly show you the sights of the Bavarian capital. An inspiring mix of historic buildings and impressive architecture, you'll see the Olympic Stadium, 1,000-foot-high Television Tower, Nymphenburg Palace, MARIENPLATZ in the historic heart of the city with the Old and New Town Halls, and the gothic Frauenkirche. Later, there's free time to explore on your own. The traditional Christmas market is located on the Marienplatz, with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread filling the air and the strains of alpine Christmas music coming from the town hall. At the nearby Rindermarkt, you'll find the Kripperlmarkt, one of the largest markets in Germany to specialize in mangers and other nativity accessories. And don"t leave Munich without paying a visit to the famous Hofbrauhaus for a stein of beer! Return to your ship in the late afternoon. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 8 Nuremberg
A day to relax and enjoy Nuremberg at your own pace. Stroll through the festively lit streets, write those last-minute postcards, or ask your Cruise Director for suggestions of things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 Bamberg
Medieval Bamberg is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour takes in its breathtaking cathedral, the Old Town Hall straddling the Regnitz River, and serpentine streets with charming houses and 18th-century mansions. At this time of year the town is decked out for Christmas. Especially interesting are the many nativity scenes that are built by local citizens and exhibited throughout the town. Today we'll introduce you to some of Germany's FAMOUS BEERS! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Wurzburg
Known as the "Pearl of the Romantic Road," Wurzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The magnificent BISHOP"S RESIDENZ is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This afternoon is free to explore more of the city and wander at your own pace through the beautifully decorated wooden booths of the Christmas market. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Wertheim-Miltenberg
This morning, stop in Wertheim, whose overlapping half-timbered houses are grouped along winding streets. Glassblowers have a long tradition in this town and, especially in winter, they produce ornaments that hang on Christmas trees all over the world. Marvel at the tasteful Christmas decorations in the shop windows and stroll through the charming Christmas market. In Miltenberg, you'll discover a picturesque Bavarian village that thrived on income from river traffic. Its cultural wealth and affluence are reflected in the beautiful medieval and renaissance houses and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall shown to you during your guided walk. The town center is within walking distance of the ship, as is the Christmas market. Before lunch, learn how to bake a local SOFT COOKIE specialty. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Frankfurt. Excursion to Rudesheim
After breakfast this morning a comfortable motorcoach ride takes you to the pretty little town of Rudesheim, a perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town. A visit to SIEGFRIED"S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise! Afterward, there's free time to explore. The entire town transforms itself into one large Christmas market, offering products and specialties from a number of nations, all presented in a distinctive manner. You'll be spoiled by the selection of shops offering a vast variety of Christmas presents and decorations. In the Market Square you'll find Europe's largest nativity scene, with life-size figures. After lunch, return to Frankfurt. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Speyer, Germany. Excursion to Heidelberg
This morning, dock in the ancient imperial city of Speyer on the left bank of the Rhine. From here, an included excursion takes you to Heidelberg, of Student Prince fame and Germany's oldest university town. Take your photos of imposing Heidelberg Castle, built of red sandstone and towering above the city. At this time of year an ice rink is set up at the foot of the castle, and stalls offer Gluhwein, hot punch, Bratwurst, and other tasty treats. The Christmas market itself is scattered over five town squares and you'll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Strasbourg, France
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. A Certified Local Guide shows you the noteworthy sights: the GOTHIC CATHEDRAL, the lovely LA PETITE FRANCE district, Place Kleber, and Place Gutenberg with the statue of the inventor of the printing press. Dating back to 1570, the traditional Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Located around Place de la Cathedrale and Place Broglie, its centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets you'll notice the pleasing aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits-a truly magical atmosphere! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest
Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany's BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. There's no better setting for this time of year than when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs, connoting images of warm and festively decorated interiors. And if there has been a fresh snowfall, this will indeed be a Winter Wonderland! Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 16 Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. Homebound flights should not leave Zurich Airport before 10 am. (Breakfast)
Call (847) 593-6700 for more information or to book today! Mention code 11244041
- Cruise Line
- Avalon Waterways
- Offer valid through 6/30/2013
- 16 Days
- Cruise Ship
Click for more information on this ship.
Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.
Gateway for departure is Zurich, Switzerland.
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
Extra nights per person in Vienna:
in single room $230, in twin room $137
Extra nights per person in Zurich:
in single room $175, in twin room $118
Prices shown above include cruise in Category E in an outside Avalon Deluxe Stateroom on Indigo Deck.
To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:
Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo Deck / $319
B / Sapphire Deck / $1,712
A / Sapphire Deck / $1,819
P / Royal Deck / $2,141
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $3,641
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