Romantic Rhine – Northbound (8 Days)

Cruise Line: Avalon Waterways
Ship: Varies by Departure
Zurich, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
Zurich, Switzerland
Basel, Switzerland

Welcome to Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn and the majestic Alps! Transfer by motorcoach to Basel, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner); Note: Flights into Zürich must arrive before 3 pm. Guests must be onboard ship by 5 pm.

Breisach, Germany
Black Forest, Germany
Breisach, Germany

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. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents described them as black. Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. You may opt for a visit to the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the Black Forest Open Air Museum Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Strasbourg, France

Situated at the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your walking tour you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone Gothic cathedral with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petite France district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of modern printing. This afternoon, optional excursions into the Alsace wine country or to the Black Forest are available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Speyer, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany
Speyer, Germany
Mainz, Germany

This morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany's oldest university, which was founded in 1386. Visit the imposing ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You'll also see the famed Great Vat, the "World's Largest Wine Barrel". At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it! In the afternoon, arrive in Mainz. Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with "civilized" origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany's largest and most important wine market. The Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city's annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here and during a guided walk you'll visit the captivating Gutenberg Museum. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany
Rhine Gorge, Germany
Koblenz, Germany

This morning dock in pretty Rüdesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum, where you'll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, and enjoy a special treat. Downstream from Rüdesheim is the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive equestrian statue of German Emperor William I. Join your local guide for a walking tour of the 2,000-year-old city of Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments, or visit nearby Sayn Castle. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Cologne, Germany

One of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled Gothic cathedral. Choose between an included guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland's sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by canal boat, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's "Golden Age". There's free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Romantic Rhine – Northbound map

About Us

When designing its new ships, Avalon Waterways started with the traveler instead of the ship. This is a river cruise company that invites innovation, imagination and a relentless desire to create a smart use of space be its guide. The result? More space. Bigger views. More comfort … All thanks to one-of-a-kind Panorama SuitesSM on the industry’s only Suite Ships®. The Suite Ships of Avalon are revolutionizing the river cruise industry. For instance, on these signature vessels, Avalon brings an unprecedented level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail to every aspect of the Panorama Suites, providing travelers an oasis to escape to, not escape from. Even better? Avalon doesn’t offer travelers just a few Panorama Suites on each ship. Instead, 80 percent of the guest rooms on Suite Ships are Panorama Suite (they’re 30 percent larger than the average river cruise room). In designing its ships, Avalon has refused to see space as a barrier. That fact couldn’t be truer when looking at the company’s inspired indoor/outdoor space. For instance, Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies®, a completely new concept, make full use of the intended balcony experience – in any weather condition, in any season – without compromising room space. How? Giant wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows with a 7-foot opening. Avalon has considered every detail of the cruise experience. But perhaps it’s what the company hasn’t done that makes it so unique. It hasn’t filled ships to capacity with people. In fact, because the river cruise line made its rooms so spacious, there’s more room for less people. Simply put, Avalon Waterways is built differently

Insider Tip

Step aboard Europe's youngest fleet and you'll find yourself surrounded by the most expansive views, innovative technologies and inspired designs.

Terms & Conditions

Cruise-only fares are per person, based on double occupancy in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. Pricing and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Restrictions may apply.

Cruise-only fares are per person, based on double occupancy in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. Pricing and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Restrictions may apply.

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