October 12-21st, 2018 | 12 Days

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Overview
Itinerary
Accommodations
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Trip Overview

 

October 12-21, 2018

Included Features Highlights & Places You’ll Visit
  • Minneapolis-Zurich/Amsterdam Airfare
  • 1 Pre-night Lucerne, Superior First Class Hotel
  • Breakfast in Lucerne
  • Deluxe Motor Coach Transportation
  • 8-Day Deluxe River Cruise; Avalon Affinity
  • Professional Tour Director & Local Guides
  • All Meals Onboard River Cruise
  • Complimentary Sparkling Wine with Breakfast
  • Regional Beer, Wine and Soft Drinks with Lunch and Dinner
  • Personalized Headset System
  • Complimentary Bicycles Onshore
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi Onboard
  • Zurich: Welcome Reception & Guided Sightseeing
  • Mt. Pilates: Cogwheel Railway
  • Lucerne: City Tour
  • Breisach: Black Forest Tour
  • Strasbourg: Guided Sightseeing, La Petite France District and the Gothic Cathedral
  • Heidelberg: Guided Castle Tour
  • Mainz: Visit the Gutenberg Museum
  • Rüdesheim: Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum
  • Rhine Gorge: Cruise through the Gorge
  • Koblenz: Guided Sightseeing
  • Cologne: Guided Walking Tour
  • Amsterdam: Guided Sightseeing & Canal Cruise

 

Itinerary

Day 1-2

OVERNIGHT FLIGHT TO MINNEAPOLIS TO ZURICH

Day 2

ARRIVE IN ZURICH, SWITZERLAND

Welcome to Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn and majestic Alps. Upon arrival in Zurich you’ll travel along the elegant boutique shops of Bahnhofstrasse to one of Zurich’s many churches. See the world-famous masterpiece by Marc Chagall, a five-part stained-glass window series; guaranteed to thrill any visitor. Later this afternoon you’ll transfer to picturesque Lucerne and your overnight stay on the banks of Lake Lucerne surrounded by Swiss Alps. The balance of the evening is at your leisure to rest or explore this magnificent city.

Day 3

LUCERNE, MT. PILATUS-BASEL

After breakfast at your hotel this morning you’ll join a local guide for a walking tour of Lucerne. See the impressive Lion Monument and walk across the famous Chapel Bridge. After lunch you’ll travel along the majestic Alps through Switzerland to Mount Pilatus. Mount Pilatus presents its visitors with a thrilling ascent by cable car for spectacular summit views of the 10,000 ft. Bernese Alps to the south and Lake Lucerne to the north. Descend by the steepest cog-wheel in the world to the base of the mountain and Lucerne. Later this afternoon you’ll transfer to Basel, Switzerland where your river cruise is docked. Meet your crew and fellow guests for an evening welcome reception and dinner. (B, D)

Day 4

BREISACH, GERMANY-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. 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. (B, L, D)

Day 5

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. Noteworthy sights are the Gothic Cathedral, the lovely La Petite France district, Place Kléber, and Place Gutenberg, with the statue of the inventor of the printing press. An optional excursion to the Alsace wine region is available today. (B, L, D)

Day 6

HEIDELBERG-MAINZ, GERMANY

Early this morning, dock in Speyer. From here you can choose to spend either a full or a half day in Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, 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, 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, and during a guided walking tour you’ll visit the captivating Gutenberg Museum. (B,L,D)

Day 7

RUDESHEIM-RHINE GORGE-KOBLENZ

This morning, dock in pretty Rudesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum to see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. 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 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. (B,L,D)

Day 8

COLOGNE

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! (B, L,D)

Day 9

AMSTERDAM

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. (B, L,D)

Day 13

AMSTERDAM-HOME

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

(B)= Breakfast

(L)= Lunch

(D)= Dinner

 

Accommodations

 

Avalon Affinity Staterooms & Suites
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Elevator
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Fitness Center
  • Hair salon
  • Lounges and upscale bar serving premium spirits
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. E) – 172 sq. ft.
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. A, B, P) – 172 sq. ft.

Avalon Suite – 258 sq. ft.

 

Gallery

 

Interested in booking? Get in contact with us here or at 1-800-709-0734.