Romantic Rhine With The Best of Switzerland (15 Days)

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

Welcome to Amsterdam, Holland's sophisticated modern capital. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, canals, and bike paths throughout the city make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Perhaps you would like to take an optional excursion to Zaanse Schans with its traditional houses and Dutch craft workshops. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner); Note: Guests must be onboard ship by 5 pm.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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 in the city this afternoon to explore on your own. Later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Cologne, Germany

Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne in the afternoon. 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. 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)

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

Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. Here, join a local guide for a walking tour of the city that reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. The dramatic Rhine Gorge is 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. In Rüdesheim, the quintessential Rhine Valley wine town, visit Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum to see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a special treat before returning to your ship for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Mainz, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany
Mainz, Germany

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. Join your local guide for a guided walk through the Altstadt (Old Town) with its 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 you'll visit the captivating Gutenberg Museum. After lunch, travel to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany. 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. 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! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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 without a doubt an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. On your guided sightseeing tour, 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-timber 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 the printing press. An optional excursion into Alsace wine country is available today. After dinner, enjoy an onboard woodcarving demonstration. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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)

Basel, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland

Your Avalon cruise ends this morning after disembarkation. To join your Globus tour a coach transfer from Basel to Zürich has been arranged. All transfer details will be provided by your Avalon cruise director during the cruise. At 6 pm meet your Globus tour director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Zurich, Switzerland
Vaduz, Liechtenstein
St. Moritz, Switzerland

Enjoy an orientation walk of Zürich's well-preserved Old Town with its medieval guild houses, and taste the traditional chocolate pralines at the famous Sprüngli Confectionery. Next, a scenic drive following Lake Zurich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. After a break in its capital, Vaduz, ascend the Rhine Valley into the mountainous Grisons, a canton where three of the country's four languages are spoken. The 7,504-foot Julier Pass, an important Alpine road since Roman times, leads to the Engadine. This valley is considered by many as the most beautiful mountain area in the world, with deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests that turn golden in the fall, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style. Afternoon arrival in ritzy St. Moritz. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 10
St. Moritz, Switzerland
Lake Como , Italy
Lugano, Switzerland

A gradual change of scenery as you descend towards the enchanting shores of Italy's Lake Como and continue on to the southern tip of Switzerland. The vegetation south of the Alps is Mediterranean: chestnut groves, vineyards, and olive and fig trees make you forget that earlier today you were within walking distance of glaciers. Afternoon arrival in the popular subtropical resort town of Lugano allows time for shopping under the arcades of Via Nassa or an espresso on flower-festooned Piazza Riforma. To truly appreciate splendid Lake Lugano, an exciting optional boat ride is available, followed by dinner at a traditional "grotto" restaurant. (Breakfast)

DAY 11
Lugano, Switzerland
Stresa, Italy
Simplon Pass, Switzerland
Täsch, Switzerland
Zermatt, Switzerland

From Lake Lugano to the Italian shore of Lake Maggiore for a break in elegant Stresa. An optional boat ride to enchanting Isola Bella can be arranged. Continue over lofty Simplon Pass into the Swiss Valais, an area renowned for its excellent wines and great mountain resorts. To reach the most famous of them, leave the coach behind in Täsch and board a mountain train to climb the last few miles up to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn. (Breakfast)

DAY 12
Zermatt, Switzerland
Täsch, Switzerland
Lake Geneva, Switzerland

This morning, you can join an exciting optional excursion to Klein Matterhorn for spectacular views of the surrounding Alps. Later, motor through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhône Valley, and arrive at beautiful Lake Geneva for your overnight stay. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 13
Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Bern, Switzerland
Luzern, Switzerland

In the stately capital of Berne, your guided tour starts at the Bear Park, followed by a panoramic view of the city from the Rose Garden. Next, enjoy a walking tour through the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town. Witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and take pictures of ornate, flower-adorned fountains. The highlight of the day is a special lunch at a traditional Swiss working farm, to give you a chance to see how people live in rural Switzerland. Continue over Brünig Pass to picturesque Lucerne. An optional dinner excursion is available to a folklore party with yodeling for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking. (Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 14
Luzern, Switzerland

On your walking tour this morning, admire Thorvaldsen's impressive Lion Monument, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered Chapel Bridge to the Jesuit Church. Afterwards, another true Swiss experience: a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus, the "Guard of Lucerne", where you get a special souvenir cap to always remember this experience! Tonight, a special farewell dinner awaits you at your hotel for a proper auf Wiedersehen. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 15
Luzern, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland

Morning transfer to Zürich Airport in time for homebound flights leaving no earlier than 10 am. Extra nights are available in Zürich. (Breakfast)

Romantic Rhine With The Best of Switzerland 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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