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Cruise Information

Celebrate the festive season in Central Europe with a magnificent 4-night cruise from Frankfurt to Basel! Stops include Mannheim, Germany, for an excursion to Heidelberg, where you visit the red sandstone castle and bask in the holiday atmosphere; Strasbourg, France, for guided sightseeing and time to explore one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe; and Breisach for an included excursion into Germany’s legendary Black Forest. Try some festive Glühwein, smell the aromas of the Christmas markets, shop for local Christmas ornaments, and delight in the holiday cheer. This year, start your holiday season with this joyous and memorable cruise—there is no better way to celebrate the season! Your ship will be decorated and dressed up in Christmas colors.
 

Pricing starts at $1249 per person based on double occupancy. Air and recommended travel insurance are additional. Passports are required. 
 

Tour prices are land only. All tour specials are subject to availability and rates are subject to change. Travel insurance is highly recommended. Not responsible for publishing/printing errors. Additional taxes, surcharges, and luggage fees may apply.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Zürich, Switzerland – Transfer to Basel (Embarkation) 
Welcome to Switzerland. This afternoon, board your ship and meet your crew at an onboard welcome reception.
Meals: Dinner
 

Day 2: Breisach, Germany – Excursion to the 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 with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents once described them as black. There’s no better setting this time of year than when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs. Surely, the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. This afternoon, there’s free time in Breisach to visit the Christmas market—or you may join an optional excursion to Colmar in France’s Alsace region.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
 

Day 3: 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. In fact, on your GUIDED 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 the printing press. Dating back to 1570, the traditional Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Located around Place de la Cathédrale and Place Broglie, its centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets, you’ll notice the pleasing aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits—a truly magical atmosphere! This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine region is available. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
 

Day 4: Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany
Today, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, 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! At this time of year, an ice rink is set up at the foot of the castle, and stalls offer Glühwein, Bratwurst, and other tasty treats. The Christmas market is scattered over five town squares, and you’ll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. There is plenty of free time to shop for Christmas decorations or gifts. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
 

Day 5: Nuremburg
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 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. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
 

Day 6: Wiesbaden (Disembarkation)
Your vacation ends after breakfast today. 
Meals: Breakfast

Ship Information

Ship: Avalon Tranquility

The Avalon Tranquility introduces a new type of ship to cruising. The navigational bridge is located in the stern, behind the passenger section, allowing for a more spacious and gracious interior design. The lounge and restaurant, located in the front of the vessel, give unimpeded views of the passing landscape. In addition, the Sky Deck is vast for sunning, taking pictures, or simply just relaxing.  

 

Avalon Tranquility features the Silent Drive System (SDS) created to enhance guest experiences. SDS features ship engines located at the stern, separating it from the passenger compartment, allowing for a quieter cruise experience than traditional small ships.