Romantic Rhine Southbound 8 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this exciting journey along the Rhine River, which takes you across Germany—and touches in Holland, France, and Switzerland!

This magnificent river cruise begins in the ever popular, modern city of Amsterdam, Holland. There is much to do with the renowned museums and abundance of restaurants amongst the elegant squares and charming canals. The best way to see the treasures of this 700-year-old city is on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.” Cologne, Germany—a 2,000 year-old city known for its gothic architecture—will be an exciting stop with its famous twin-spired cathedral and Old Town with many shops, cafés, and taverns. While you’re there, why not try a locally-brewed Kölsch beer? Pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. And nearby, in the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, visit the unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum to see the impressive collection of historical self-playing instruments. Continue your Rhine river cruise to Mainz for a guided walk and visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. An excursion takes you to Heidelberg to visit the ruins of its red-walled castle towering magnificently over the city. In Strasbourg, France, you’ll be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Also, stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade.

August 4 2018

Avalon:Offering a Unique Point of View


  • Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome reception
  • Day 2 Amsterdam: canal cruise
  • Day 3 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk
  • Day 4 Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: guided sightseeing in Koblenz; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat
  • Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; excursion to Heidelberg; guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat
  • Day 6 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; onboard woodcarving demonstration
  • Day 7 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a local woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum
  • Day 8 Basel (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning


  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Farewell dinner
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck
  • Daily four-course à la carte dinner in the main dining room
  • Alternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vesse

From morning breakfast to late-night snacks, Avalon frees your taste buds from the ordinary. Using the freshest local ingredients, our talented chefs prepare mouthwatering recipes from the region through which you’re traveling and present them in a variety of inspiring settings. Whether you choose a breezy al fresco lunch at the Sky Bistro, an elegant four-course dinner in the glass-walled dining room, or a petite plate at the Panorama Bistro, you’ll savor local flavors (and Western favorites should you crave them), as well as our Avalon FreshSM menu offerings, throughout your vacation.

River Cruise Vacation Excursions

Avalon's inspired, 360-degree, engaging cruise experiences afford travelers the chance to immerse themselves into a destination and culture thanks to award-winning land programs and world-class guides. Our Naturalists (in the Galápagos and the Amazon), Cruise Directors (in Europe and Southeast Asia) and special guest lecturers also offer them a vast onboard educational program, giving cruisers the chance to soak in the history and culture of a region as they drift from village to village or island to island. We transform tourists into travelers and storytellers and help them truly experience each destination with guided sightseeing in every port (complete with headsets), daily port lectures, VIP access into key destinations, no waiting in lines and great cultural immersion and storytelling thanks to highly skilled Cruise and Tour Directors.

Sightseeing at Just the Right Pace

Sightseeing should never be a one-size-fits-all proposition. Travelers like to see the sights in different ways, so we've developed three sightseeing pace options to choose from:

Leisurely Sightseeing: A Certified Local Guide shows you the destination's highlights in a relaxed and unhurried way.

Traditional Sightseeing: Led by a Certified Local Guide, you'll explore a wide range of sights at a moderate pace.

Independent Sightseeing: This allows you to explore on your own...see just what you want and at your own pace.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(Your cruise itinerary is new for 2017/18 and doesn't specifically follow the itinerary as lined out in the above video however, most of the high points are mentioned)

Day 1 Amsterdam - Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm

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)


Day 2 Amsterdam

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)

Canal Boat

Day 3 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)

Kölsch Pale Lager

Day 4 Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim

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 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. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT before returning to your ship for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Rhine Gorge

Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg

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)


Day 6 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)

La Petite

Day 7 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 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 open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Should you be returning home today, Departure flights should not leave Zürich Airport before 10:00am.

You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind—offering expansive views and wider perspectives. That's why we've used our 89 years to design a cruise experience that's just a bit different. Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.

  • Panoramic windows throughout the ship
  • Elegant, contemporary design & decor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship
  • Avalon FreshSM healthy cuisine options
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch & dinner
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Included sightseeing with headsets by Certified Local Guides
  • Complimentary Nordic walking sticks
  • Complimentary bicycles available for time on shore
  • Local FavoritesSM - onboard cultural & artisan experiences
  • Sky Deck shade system & premium lounge chairs
  • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and games
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products & hairdryer
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with free movie channels
  • Individual climate control
  • Complimentary bottled water daily
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour, self-serve beverage station
  • Premium coffees, cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate & teas
  • Cookies & fresh fruit available throughout the day
  • And, much more




Ship: Imagery II

One of 2016's two new additions to the youngest fleet on Europe's waterways, the Imagery II continues all of Avalon's outstanding Suite Ship traditions. Passengers can choose from two full decks of Panorama Suites, featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony. At a spacious 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording the incomparable opportunity to awaken each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi access, an expanded Fitness Center, hair salon, an elevator, alternative light dining options in the Panorama Bistro or al fresco grill lunch at the Sky Bistro, and an expansive Sky Deck with whirlpool, premium lounge chairs, a shade system, and deck games.

Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) - 200 sq. ft.


Per your email, 1 pre and 2 post nights have been added

Royal Deck Cabin 'P' - Green Cabins

Sapphire Deck Cabin 'A' - Navy Cabins

Sapphire Deck Cabin 'B' - Cornflower Blue Cabins Aft

*Book a select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruise to receive $500 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price. Offer available on select dates in 2018 and on select cruises ONLY. Booking must be made, under deposit and discount applied between February 8 and June 6, 2017 for travel at select times in 2018. Not applicable to custom tours. Not applicable on TBA space. Combinable with all applicable offers except single supplement waiver. Applies to new 2018 bookings only and will not be applied to pre-existing bookings. Offer reliant on space availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn at any time. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details. Offer applies to participating GFOB offices only. PRMW0425

You may confirm this reservation with a $500 non-refundable deposit.

Final payment due on 27-April-2018.

The Vacation Calculator price might not reflect the final reservation price for one or more of the following reasons:

  • For Air Inclusive package reservations for which we are currently conducting an offline flight search, the confirmed air itinerary and updated air inclusive package pricing will be sent once air schedule is confirmed. Note flights can only be confirmed within 330 days of last flight date. All others are on request and will be confirmed once air schedules are available.
  • Document fees might be adjusted for reservations made within 15 days of vacation departure and for special requests including sending documents to multiple addresses and for sending documents to addresses requiring special handling or air delivery.
  • Please review Advisements for information on additional pricing variations.
  • Guaranteed share discount, if applicable has not been included in the Vacation Estimate, but will be applied in the Vacation Summary.
  • Promotions must be validated for applicability and combinability and may be adjusted.
  • For land packages with Intra Vacation air for which we are currently conducting an offline flight search, the confirmed air itinerary and updated land package pricing will be sent once air schedule is confirmed. Note flights can only be confirmed within 330 days of last flight date. All others are on request.

In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.

Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.


Air is currently not available at this time but may be added later in the year.

Airport / Hotel Transfers

Transfers are not included at this time but may be added when air is secured.


*2018 Excursion Pricing is not yet available. Pricing below is based on 2017 pricing and is subject to change for 2018.





Travel Protection May Be Added

We offer our clients peace of mind with a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan at an affordable rate. Your trip investment is considerable and valuable. Make sure to protect yourself and your investment by adding Travel Protection to every booking.


  • Coverage if you have to cancel for any reason
  • Reimbursement of airfare booked with us or on your own when cancelling for a covered reason
  • Coverage for vacation interruption when modifying for a covered reason
  • Lost or damaged baggage protection. Plus, Baggage Track to help get your luggage back if it goes missing by an airline
  • 24-hour worldwide emergency phone support
  • Pre-existing medical condition covered when purchasing Travel Protection within 14 days of initial payment/deposit

Not Included In Your Vacation Price (Land-Only or Cruise-Only Vacation)

The following charges are not included in the land/cruise vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; intra-vacation air, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $10 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $3.70 per segment, and U.S. and international arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature.

Your First European Avalon Waterways River Cruise Experience Courtesy Of Teri at:

Teri at

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