7 nights onboard Avalon Vista

Festive Time on the Romantic Rhine (Southbound)

Winners 2021 Best River Cruise Line

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this delightful winter cruise on 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. 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. In the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, visit the unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. Continue your Rhine river cruise to Mainz for a guided walk and visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum, or take an excursion 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. The city’s Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Stop in Breisach, Germany, located on the French-German border, the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—an area of unrivaled natural beauty—best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. At every stop, you’ll experience the magical charm of this time of year, with the towns decked out in festive lights and décor, and the Christmas markets waiting to be explored.

Leaving from: Amsterdam
Cruise ship: Avalon Vista
Visiting: Amsterdam Amsterdam Cologne Mainz
Avalon Waterways Logo
Avalon Waterways

Avalon's suite ships in Europe and Southeast Asia boast wall-to-wall windows that transform cabins into open-air balconies, and there are also river-facing beds to make the most of passing views.

The line’s Active & Discovery sailings have optional action-packed experiences alongside traditional shore tours.

Avalon Waterways also offers short-break cruises of three and four nights.

166
Passengers
47
Crew
2012
Launched
2775t
Tonnage
135m
Length
12m
Width
13kts
Speed
4
Decks
EUR
Currency
Cruise Itinerary
Days 1 - 2
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Day 3
Cologne, Germany
Day 4
River travel
Day 5
Mainz, Germany
Day 6
Strasbourg, France
Day 7
Breisach, Germany
Day 8
Basel, Switzerland
Amsterdam, Netherlands image
Days 1 - 2
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam combines the unrivaled beauty of the 17th-century Golden Age city center with plenty of museums and art of the highest order, not to mention a remarkably laid-back atmosphere. It all comes together to make this one of the world's most appealing and offbeat metropolises in the world. Built on a latticework of concentric canals like an aquatic rainbow, Amsterdam is known as the City of Canals—but it's no Venice, content to live on moonlight serenades and former glory. Quite the contrary: on nearly every street here you'll find old and new side by side—quiet corners where time seems to be holding its breath next to streets like neon-lit Kalverstraat, and Red Light ladies strutting by the city's oldest church. Indeed, Amsterdam has as many lovely facets as a 40-carat diamond polished by one of the city's gem cutters. It's certainly a metropolis, but a rather small and very accessible one. Locals tend to refer to it as a big village, albeit one that happens to pack the cultural wallop of a major world destination. There are scores of concerts every day, numerous museums, summertime festivals, and, of course, a legendary year-round party scene. It's pretty much impossible to resist Amsterdam's charms. With 7,000 registered monuments, most of which began as the residences and warehouses of humble merchants, set on 160 man-made canals, and traversed by 1,500 or so bridges, Amsterdam has the largest historical inner city in Europe. Its famous circle of waterways, the grachtengordel, was a 17th-century urban expansion plan for the rich and is a lasting testament to the city’s Golden Age. This town is endearing because of its kinder, gentler nature—but a reputation for championing sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll does not alone account for Amsterdam's being one of the most popular destinations in Europe: consider that within a single square mile the city harbors some of the greatest achievements in Western art, from Rembrandt to Van Gogh. Not to mention that this is one of Europe's great walking cities, with so many of its treasures in the untouted details: tiny alleyways barely visible on the map, hidden garden courtyards, shop windows, floating houseboats, hidden hofjes(courtyards with almshouses), sudden vistas of church spires, and gabled roofs that look like so many unframed paintings. And don’t forget that the joy lies in details: elaborate gables and witty gable stones denoting the trade of a previous owner. Keep in mind that those XXX symbols you see all over town are not a mark of the city's triple-X reputation. They're part of Amsterdam's official coat of arms—three St. Andrew's crosses, believed to represent the three dangers that have traditionally plagued the city: flood, fire, and pestilence. The coat's motto ("Valiant, determined, compassionate") was introduced in 1947 by Queen Wilhelmina in remembrance of the 1941 February Strike in Amsterdam—the first time in Europe that non-Jewish people protested against the persecution of Jews by the Nazi regime.

Cologne, Germany image
Day 3
Cologne, Germany
Cologne is a city in western Germany located across the Rhine river. It is the oldest in Germany, dating back 2000 years and is considered the region’s cultural hub. The city is known for its iconic landmark of the twin-spired Cologne Cathedral set against the reconstructed Old Town buildings. When in Old Town, visit the historic Old Town Hall and the Roman Church Great St Martin, or take time out and sit at one of the traditional breweries and enjoy the scenery around you. Historical sites such as the Roman Dionysus mosaic and the medieval Overstolzenhaus are worth a visit too. Another iconic sight in Cologne is at Hohenzollern Bridge. Here, local and tourist couples affix padlocks to the railings of the bridge and swear their loyalty to each other, they then throw the key into the Rhein to ensure everlasting love. Cologne is home to over 30 stages providing cabaret, free ensembles, theatre and dance and also celebrates its openly gay culture.
River travel image
Day 4
River travel
Mainz, Germany image
Day 5
Mainz, Germany
Strasbourg, France image
Day 6
Strasbourg, France
Breisach, Germany image
Day 7
Breisach, Germany
Breisach is a town located in Southwest Germany on the French border. The town is situated in the Rhine Valley on the banks of the river Rhine and dates back over four thousand years. Breisach and its history can be experienced through the City History Museum, which houses a permanent exhibition taking you from Stone Age through the Celtic, to the Romans and Middle Ages, right up to modern day. St Stephen's Cathedral is home to the city’s famous art treasures, the wheel wells, which are housed in the neighbouring Radbrunnenturm with the forty one metre deep water well. The cathedral is also home to many other treasures including the High Altar of Master HL and wall paintings by Martin Schongauer as well as High Gothic and Roman architecture. A visit to the Blue House, the former Jewish Community Centre, is highly recommended. Now owned by the Friends of Former Jewish Community House Breisach it exhibits memorials to Breisach’s Jewish heritage.
Basel, Switzerland image
Day 8
Basel, Switzerland
Basel is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the Swiss, French and German borders. It is located on the bend of the River Rhine and benefits from a Mediterranean climate. It is the third most populated city in Switzerland and has been the commercial hub for Swiss arts and culture since the Renaissance. In 1967 the people of Basel voted to acquire two paintings by Picasso, who was so moved by the Basel people that he donated 3 paintings and a study to the city's Kunstmuseum (Museum of Fine Arts). Visit the Augusta Raurica, one of the largest Roman archaeology parks in Switzerland, and enjoy a river crossings over the River Rhine by non-motorised ferries. During the summer months, time is spent outdoors, either swimming in the River Rhine, dining al fresco, enjoying open air concerts, cinema, street parties and festivals. Basel is home to over 20 restaurants that have won GaultMillau or Michelin awards, and boasts Switzerland's largest collection of theatre shows, including modern contemporary dance, touring and puppetry theatre.
Ship Details
Avalon Waterways
Avalon Vista

Experience European river views unlike any other ship can offer. The Avalon Vista's two full decks of suites feature two full decks of Panorama Suites with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows that transform the living space into river cruising's only Open-Air Balcony.

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