The Upper Rhine to The City of Music (13 Days)

Cruise Line: Avalon Waterways
Zurich, Switzerland to Vienna, Austria
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
Zurich, Switzerland
Basel, Switzerland

Welcome to Switzerland! Your river cruise vessel is docked on the Rhine River in Basel, where France, Switzerland, and Germany converge. Meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. Note: Flights into Zürich must arrive before 2 pm. Guests must be onboard ship by 5 pm.

Strasbourg, France

Situated on 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 an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your included sightseeing 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 middle of medieval Strasbourg, featuring a statue of the inventor of the printing press. An optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Speyer, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany
Speyer, Germany

This morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, founded in 1386. With a local guide, visit the imposing ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. See the 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! Enjoy the afternoon relaxing onboard as you head for the Main River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Frankfurt, Germany

This morning, you have the choice between guided sightseeing of Frankfurt or joining an excursion to Seligenstadt. Frankfurt on the Main is a city of superlatives: it is the largest financial center in continental Europe, home to the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, one of the world's largest. The city is a center for culture, commerce, and education, and hosts the world's largest motor show as well as the world's largest book fair. It has two major botanical gardens, one of which is Germany's largest. Seligenstadt is one of the oldest towns in Germany. The city's most important building is the Einhardsbasilika, on which Pope Pius XI bestowed the honorary title of "minor basilica" in 1925. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Karlstadt, Germany

Enjoy a leisurely morning of cruising on the gentle Main River before reaching historic Karlstadt. This afternoon, enjoy guided sightseeing of this interesting town, which was once an important player in the wine-growing industry. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Würzburg, Germany

Arrive in Würzburg during breakfast. Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, also known as the "Pearl of the Romantic Road", makes an immediate impression with imposing Marienberg Fortress perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge). On your included guided sightseeing tour, visit the magnificent Baroque Würzburg Residence, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon, you are free to explore on your own, or maybe join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Kitzingen, Germany

Situated on the Main River east of Würzburg, Kitzingen is Bavaria's biggest wine producer. Guided sightseeing shows you the city's best-known sights, such as the Falterturm (Crooked Tower). Your local guide will recount some of the more delightful myths surrounding the founding of the city. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Nürnberg, Germany

Although 90% of Nuremberg's Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. This morning, choose either a guided sightseeing tour and marvel at this thousand-year-old city's medieval fortifications, extraordinary Gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized Nuremberg rally grounds tour. During free time, be sure to make a wish at the beautiful fountain on the Hauptmarkt (Main Square). Legend says your wish will come true if you turn its gold ring three times. Alternatively, join a guided sightseeing of nearby Roth. This delightful Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. Take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Regensburg, Germany

Enjoy another pleasant morning of sailing before arriving in Regensburg, one of Germany's best-preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of historic interest. Architectural highlights of your guided walk include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Praetoria, a gate to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city's lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included snack at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany's oldest restaurants. Here—where the locals congregate—feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Tonight, enjoy a tasting of some of Germany's famous beers! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10
Passau, Germany

Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses and dominated by St. Stephan's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian Baroque architecture. Take in the highlights on the included guided walk, or maybe join the full-day optional excursion to Salzburg to see some of The Sound of Music sights or to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11
Dürnstein, Austria
Vienna, Austria

This morning is dedicated to the beautiful and romantic Wachau Valley, where so much of the excellent Austrian wine is grown and produced. Stop in Dürnstein, whose Baroque blue-and-white Stiftskirche stands right on the river bank. Join a local expert for a guided walk. Rejoin your ship for lunch and enjoy a leisurely cruising afternoon. This evening, arrive in Vienna, Austria's capital. Known as the "City of Music", it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss, An optional concert is available during your stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 12
Vienna, Austria

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Vienna, Austria's magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys' Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions, the Neo-Renaissance Vienna Opera House, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral—to name just a few of the sights your local guide will show you during your included tour. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntner Straße, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a classic Viennese café. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 13
Vienna, Austria

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

The Upper Rhine to The City of Music map

What's Included


  • Services of a professional Cruise Director | Onboard lectures | Complimentary Wi-Fi access | Activities & Nightly piano music | Sightseeing with Local Guides | Headsets for all guided shore excursions | Superb dining with all meals on board daily featuring full breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including a welcome reception, Captain's reception, and farewell dinner | Quality wines from Europe's most famous wine regions with every dinner | One sitting with open seating arrangements

Not Included

  • Airfare | Gratuities | Any items of a personal nature | Anything not specifically noted as included

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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