The Best of Switzerland With Romantic Rhine (15 Days)

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

Welcome to Zurich! At 6 pm, meet your tour director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Luzern, Switzerland
Cruise starts
Basel, Switzerland

Your Globus tour ends today with a late-morning transfer by coach to Basel, where your Avalon ship is docked for embarkation. Please reconfirm all transfer details directly with your Globus tour director while on tour. (Breakfast, 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. The area got its name because the pine forests are so dense, local residents described them as black. The most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks! You may opt to visit the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Vogtsbauernhof Museum to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10
Strasbourg, France

Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. 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. Explore 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. This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11
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 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, it holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor on top of it! In the afternoon, arrive in Mainz, which today 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 is a tribute to the jesters at the city's annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here. During a guided walk, you'll visit the captivating Gutenberg Museum. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 12
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 to 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 water. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive statue of German Emperor William I. Join your local guide for a walking tour of 2,000-year-old Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 13
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. 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)

DAY 14
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)

DAY 15
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

The Best of Switzerland With Romantic Rhine 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.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Avalon Waterways


of 4

Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by