Your 11-day winter wonderland river cruise vacation includes stays in Holland, Germany, France, and Switzerland—all beginning with a one-night stay in Amsterdam before embarking your Suite Ship. Each town is festively lit and decorated and strains of Christmas carols fill the air. Before sailing down the Rhine River, you’ll enjoy a off-the-beaten-path guided walking tour and a guided canal cruise through the colourful capital of Holland.
Next, you’ll cruise to Cologne, Germany—a 2,000 year-old city known for its Gothic architecture—an exciting stop with its famous twin-spired cathedral and Old Town with many shops, cafés, and taverns. Here, wander through the Christmas market, try some traditional Lebkuchen and get some inner warmth with a cup of Glühwein. Later, relax on the Sky Deck of your ship as you pass through the spectacular Rhine Gorge. Next up is the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, and unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. You’re sure to be enthralled by the life-size figures of Europe’s largest nativity scene on the Market Square.
Sail into Mainz and choose between a visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, towering magnificently over the city, and watch the skaters on the ice rink below or a a guided walk in Mainz with a visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Continue your river cruise to Strasbourg, France to see its gothic cathedral with stunning murals and stained-glass and home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe and its centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. Then, stop in Breisach, Germany, 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. Cruise to Basel, Switzerland, to disembark from your Avalon Suite Ship and continue your holiday with a visit to Mt. Pilatus and a walking tour in Lucerne. Your Rhine River cruise and holiday in Switzerland are the perfect combination to unlock a guided European holiday of a lifetime.