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Avalon Waterways The Best of Austria & Switzerland with Romantic Rhine (XZC5)

18 Day River Cruise Vienna to Amsterdam 
This amazing European vacation offers the best of both worlds: a land tour of Austria and Switzerland—two of Europe's most scenic countries—and a river cruise on the legendary Rhine River with stops in France, Germany, and Holland!

See the true definitions of palaces and castles while visiting Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace—former home to the long-reigning Habsburg dynasty. In Switzerland, enjoy a visit to romantic Chillon Castle, a well-preserved, medieval castle on the shores of Lake Geneva. Pass through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery with a ride on the world-famous Glacier Express train. Travel first class with panoramic windows to admire the thundering waterfalls, impressive peaks, glacial ice fields, and tiny villages on your way to Zermatt, Switzerland. Other scenic highlights include a Danube cruise along the prettiest part of the river on your way to Salzburg; a private boat cruise on the fjord-lake in Lucerne; a scenic drive into the Swiss Engadine, considered the most beautiful mountain area in the world; and more. Some sightseeing highlights include the Basilika St. Michael in Mondsee (of The Sound of Music fame), a walk through the Old Town in Innsbruck, and the Lion Monument and Chapel Bridge in Lucerne.

Embark your Avalon Suite Ship® in Basel, Switzerland, to begin your Rhine River cruise! Visit Breisach, Germany, the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest, and an area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. In Strasbourg, France, be amazed by the red-sandstone Gothic cathedral with ancient murals and the fascinating astronomical clock. Stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, towering magnificently over the city, or sail to Mainz for a guided walk and visit the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful view of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. In the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, visit the Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, and explore Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam, with its world-famous museums, wealth of eateries, iconic architecture, and charming canals. See the treasures of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.” A perfect ending to this fabulous land and river cruise adventure!

Ships: Vista - Panorama

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Vienna: Welcome to Austria

Day 2 Vienna: Guided sightseeing, see the Ringstrasse, Heldenplatz, and visit Schönbrunn Palace

Day 3 Vienna–Melk–Salzburg: Danube cruise and visit to The Sound of Music Parish Church in Mondsee; guided walking tour and dinner at a local restaurant in Salzburg

Day 4 Salzburg: Day at leisure

Day 5 Salzburg–Innsbruck–St. Moritz: Walk through the Old Town, see the Golden Roof in Innsbruck; travel to St. Moritz

Day 6 St. Moritz–Chur–Täsch–Zermatt: Panoramic trip onboard of the Glacier Express train to Zermatt

Day 7 Zermatt: Day at leisure

Day 8 Zermatt–Berne: Visit Chillon Castle; travel to Berne

Day 9 Berne–Interlaken–Lucerne: Guided walking tour in Berne, see the Bear Park and enjoy the panoramic view from the Rose Garden; travel to Lucerne

Day 10 Lucerne: Morning walking tour, see the Lion Monument and the Chapel Bridge; private boat cruise and farewell dinner at a local restaurant

Day 11 Lucerne–Basel (Embarkation): Travel to Basel; onboard welcome reception

Day 12 Breisach: Choice of excursion to Black Forest or visit to a local winery in Breisach or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 13 Strasbourg: Choice of guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the Gothic cathedral or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 14 Mainz: Choice of guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, or hike up Philosophers' Way, or visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz

Day 15 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz: Visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim or hike in the vineyards with your Adventure Host; cruise through the scenic Rhine Gorge with breathtaking views of ancient castles, towering cliffs, and the legendary Rock of the Lorelei; free time in Koblenz

Day 16 Cologne: Choice of "Cologne Highlights" walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tour or bike with your Adventure Host

Day 17 Amsterdam: Choice of canal cruise or walk with your Adventure Host

Day 18 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): Your vacation ends this morning

Itinerary (2024)

Day 1WELCOME TO VIENNA, AUSTRIA
 Welcome to Vienna! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travel companions for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

(D)
Day 2VIENNA
 City of Dreams VIENNA Guided sightseeing includes Schönbrunn Palace and Heldenplatz. Free time this afternoon.

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
CULTURAL GEMS Vienna’s spectacular Schönbrunn Palace served as the summer home of the Habsburg dynasty. This UNESCO World Heritage Site preserves the imperial home and glittering life of Austrian royalty in Vienna and the extravagant gardens surrounding the palace.

(B)
Day 3VIENNA–KREMS–MONDSEE–SALZBURG
 The Blue Danube KREMS Take a delightful Danube River cruise.
MONDSEE Visit the Parish Church.
SALZBURG Guided walking tour includes Mirabell Gardens, the Great Festival Hall, and Residenz Square.
193 mi / 310 km

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
EPIC RIDE Sit back and relax and watch the world go by during a leisurely cruise along one of the most scenic sections of the Danube, Europe’s second largest river. Wunderbar!

(B)
Day 4SALZBURG
 The Birthplace of Mozart SALZBURG Enjoy a free day to explore Salzburg.

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
CULTURAL GEMS The birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg, will put a song in your heart as you explore its charmingly splendid gardens, and medieval and Baroque architecture along the pedestrian Altstadt (Old Town). Salzburg’s scenic Alpine landscape and architectural treasures has earned this Austrian jewel the reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

(B)
Day 5SALZBURG–INNSBRUCK–ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND
 Heavenly Hills of Switzerland INNSBRUCK Walk through the Old Town to the Golden Roof. Free time to browse. before driving into the Swiss Engadine en route to St. Moritz.
236 mi / 380 km

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
NATURAL WONDERS Pass through the spectacular beauty of Swiss Engadine on your way to St. Moritz. Take in the alpine vistas surrounding this paradise of deep blue lakes and rolling green meadows, forests, snow-capped summits, and endless sky in one of Switzerland’s most stunning valleys.

(B,D)
Day 6ST. MORITZ–CHUR–TÄSCH–ZERMATT
 All Aboard in the Alps CHUR Take the [LF] Glacier Express train to Zermatt with lunch served on board.
149 mi / 240 km

LOCAL FAVORITE
EPIC RIDE Don’t let the name fool you. While its speed won’t take your breath away, the Glacier Express train from St. Moritz to Zermatt delivers a slow, breathtaking ride through some of Switzerland’s most stunning scenery. Traveling the rails over 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels, you’ll take in each passing postcard scene while reaching an altitude of 6,670 feet above sea level.

(B,L)
Day 7ZERMATT
 Peak Perfection ZERMATT Enjoy a free day.

FREE TIME TIPS
EXPLORE MORE Spend the day leisurely strolling around car-free Zermatt or join an excursion to the Matterhorn Glacier, an Alpine paradise of sky slopes, panoramic vistas, ice carvings and unique views. An amazing experience you do not want to miss.

(B,D)
Day 8ZERMATT–BERNE
 Poetry in Motion ZERMATT Mountain train ride to Täsch.
CHILLON Take a [LF] guided visit of the castle and enjoy a wine tasting.
155 mi / 250 km

LOCAL FAVORITE
CULTURAL GEMS Poised on a diminutive island on Lake Geneva and protected by a natural moat is the striking site of Chillon Castle. Discover the Castle’s secrets as you stroll through it on your guided tour. What better way to complete your visit than with a wine tasting for good measure!

(B)
Day 9BERNE–INTERLAKEN–LUCERNE
 Coming up Roses in Berne BERNE Guided walking tour. includes a stop at Bear Park, panoramic views of the city from the Rose Garden and the Old Town.
INTERLAKEN Free time for lunch en route to Lucerne.
75 mi / 120 km

TOUR HIGHLIGHT
CITY SIGHTS Explore the “City of Fountains” Berne - the capital city of Switzerland, dating back to the 12th century. Take in the medieval architecture in the Altstadt (Old Town) with its 6 kilometres of arcades and animated clock tower, and panoramic views of the city from the Rose Garden and Bear Park.

(B)
Day 10LUCERNE
 Lion Hearts in Lucerne LUCERNE Walking tour includes the Lion monument, the Old Town, and the Chapel Bridge. [LF] Private boat cruise this evening followed by farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

LOCAL FAVORITE
EPIC RIDE Lucerne looks on top of the stunning lake Vierwaldstättersee, the “lake of the four forested Cantons.” This evening a private panoramic cruise on the lake will highlight the sheer beauty of Lucerne and its surroundings. To top off the evening and the tour, enjoy a farewell dinner with your travel companions.

(B,D)
Day 11LUCERNE–BASEL (EMBARKATION)
 Transfer from Lucerne to Basel. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Enjoy dinner and explore the ship on your first night on board.

EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH

(B,D)
Day 12BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST
 German winemaking and the Beautiful Black Forest

Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.

ACTIVE Enjoy the view on a relaxing bike ride along the Rhine with your Adventure Host, OR:

DISCOVERY Join a full-day Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience the Vogtsbauernohf open-air-museum, visit an authentic water mill, and see a traditional butter-making demonstration, OR:

DISCOVERY Visit to a local winery in Breisach, where you will learn about German winemaking and enjoy a wine tasting.

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar in the morning, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings.

EVENING CRUISE TO STRASBOURG

(B,L,D)
Day 13STRASBOURG, FRANCE
 A Grand Cathedral and La Petite France

ACTIVE Discover Strasbourg by bike with your Adventure Host, OR:

CLASSIC Join a City Sightseeing Tour, including the Strasbourg’s Gothic, stained-glass cathedral with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petite France District.

You may also choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the historic Maginot Line—the pre-WWII fortifications designed to protect the eastern border of France, or visit Alsace’s wine country today.

Alternatively, take some free time in Strasbourg to visit a museum, or stroll across the city center.

EVENING CRUISE TO MAINZ

(B,L,D)
Day 14MAINZ, GERMANY–EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG
 Castle Walls and the World’s Biggest Wine Barrel

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Hike up Philosophers’ Way for an inspiring view of the city below, OR:

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Tour to Heidelberg Castle to see the ruins of the magnificent renaissance treasure towering above the city, and its famed Great Vat, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel,” OR:

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided City Walk in Mainz including a visit to the Gutenberg Museum to see the captivating history of printing.

Enjoy live entertainment on board your ship this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MAINZ

(B,L,D)
Day 15RÜDESHEIM–RHINE GORGE
 Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

ACTIVE Enjoy a hike with your Avalon Adventure Host through the picturesque vineyards of Rüdesheim, OR:

DISCOVERY Take a Guided Tour of the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience; based on your departure enjoy a local special treat.

En route to Koblenz, sail through the Rhine Gorge (a UNESCO World Heritage site). Take in the breathtaking views of ancient castles perched on cliffs 400 feet above the water, and pass the legendary Rock of the Lorelei—where the mythological siren’s songs lured ill-fated sailors.

KOBLENZ

Travel Through 2000 Years Of Monumental History

Enjoy free time in Koblenz before a relaxing evening on board with dinner and live entertainment.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN KOBLENZ

(B,L,D)
Day 16COLOGNE
 Prost! Celebrate in the Rhineland

ACTIVE Enjoy a bike ride like the locals in Cologne with your Adventure Host, OR:

DISCOVERY Choose a Guided Walking Tour of Cologne’s important Jewish heritage sites, OR:

CLASSIC Take a Guided City Walk of Cologne—with its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral.

Spend free time over a glass of Kölsch pale lager—locally brewed for over 100 years!

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AMSTERDAM

(B,L,D)
Day 17AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND
 Canals of Colorful Amsterdam

ACTIVE Start your day joining your Adventure Host on an early morning walk in Amsterdam, OR:

CLASSIC Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.”

During tulip season, you may take a Guided Optional Excursion to Keukenhof gardens—with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, as well as other bulbs, planted each year. Outside of tulip season, join a Guided Optional Excursion to Zaanse Schans to see historic windmills and charming Dutch houses. You may also choose an Optional Biking Tour to discover the countryside.

Take some free time to explore Amsterdam’s colorful streets and canal houses, galleries, and shops.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM

(B,L,D)
Day 18AMSTERDAM (DISEMBARKATION)
 Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

(B)

Avalon Pricing Details

Port charges:
$196

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only.

Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability).

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Avalon Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Avalon Waterways Fleet

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Avalon Tour Dates

Tour Land StartAvalon RetailRequest Quote
*04/30/2025 $9,098.00
*05/07/2025 $8,678.00
*05/14/2025 $8,678.00
*05/21/2025 $8,678.00
*05/28/2025 $8,678.00
06/11/2025 $8,698.00
06/18/2025 $9,208.00
*06/25/2025 $8,698.00
07/02/2025 $8,698.00
07/09/2025 $8,698.00
07/16/2025 $8,798.00
*07/23/2025 $9,318.00
07/30/2025 $8,798.00
08/06/2025 $9,418.00
08/20/2025 $9,098.00
*08/27/2025 $9,098.00
09/03/2025 $9,098.00
*09/10/2025 $9,098.00
09/17/2025 $9,018.00
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