Christmastime in Alsace & Germany - Frankfurt to Basel

Offer

Price per person
from £1,771

Price based on
London Heathrow
12th Dec 2018 departure

Key inclusions

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers

Book any European holiday before 30 November and we will include free airport lounge passes for your party, so you can relax and start your holiday in style.

Book now
  • 5 days

  • Germany

  • River cruise

Celebrate the festive season in Central Europe with a magnificent four-night cruise from Frankfurt to Basel. Stops include Mannheim, Germany, for an excursion to Heidelberg, to visit its red sandstone castle and soak up 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, shop for local Christmas ornaments, and delight in the holiday cheer.

At a glance


Heidelberg – Mannheim Guided visits to the imposing ruins of Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat.
Strasbourg Guided sightseeing to the La Petite France district to visit the gothic cathedral and Christmas market.
Breisach Join a guided excursion to the Black Forest and visit the local Christmas market.

Christmastime in Alsace & Germany - Frankfurt to Zürich map

What's included

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a cruise director
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • Wine & beer with lunch and dinner
  • Excursions
  • Gratuities on cruise
  • All airport and port taxes
VIP home pick-up service

Our VIP home pick-up service is included up to 50 miles to your departure airport. Your driver will happily load and unload your luggage, and drive you to your departure terminal. At the close of your trip, you'll be welcomed by your driver in the arrivals hall and returned home again. A supplement is payable per mile over 50 miles.

Overview

Note: Christmas markets usually operate from late November until the third week in December, depending on location.

Total meals included:

  • 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

Frankfurt - Wiesbaden (Embarkation)

Day
1

Travel to Frankfurt where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your ship in Wiesbaden. Meet your crew at an evening welcome reception before setting sail along the Main.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Mannheim

Day
2

Included today: Excursion to Heidelberg. This morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, which was 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 itself is scattered over five town squares, and you'll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. Rejoin your ship in Mannheim, and the afternoon is yours to do as you please.There is plenty of free time to shop for Christmas decorations or gifts at the Mannheim Christmas market.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Strasbourg

Day
3

Included today: Guided sightseeing. 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. This evening, enjoy an on-board woodcarving demonstration.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Breisach

Day
4

Included today: 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 unrivalled 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 for this time of year than when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs, connoting images of warm and festively decorated interiors. 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 one more Christmas market—or you may join an optional excursion to Colmar in France’s Alsace region.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Basel (Disembarkation)

Day
5

Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Things to note

Note: Christmas markets usually operate from late November until the third week in December, depending on location.

Avalon Expression

Avalon Expression is an innovatively designed Suite Ship which accommodates 166 passengers and offers two full decks of suites, each with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that open to create unique open-air balconies. Designed with superior comfort in mind, Avalon Expression offers upgrades and enhancements throughout, impeccable personal service and attention to detail, as well as elegant dining and sleek, contemporary décor. Every suite provides the very best in size, views and design. Even the placement of the bed allows you to wake up and retire to bed each day facing the magnificent river views.

Ship facts

  • Style: Luxury
  • Class: Suite ship
  • Size: Boutique
  • Number of crew: 47
  • Number of cabins: 83
  • Number of wheelchair cabins: 0
  • Number of large cabins: 0
  • Capacity: 166 passengers
  • Main language on board: en
  • Currency on board: EUR
  • Number of decks: 4
  • Length (m): 135
  • Width (m): 11.45
  • Speed in knots: 13
  • Launch year: 2013

Amenities

  • Smoking
  • Adults only
  • Childrens facilities
  • Nursery

Cabins on this ship

These suites feature a 6-person sitting area, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, double sinks, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, marble countertops in bathroom, nightly turn-down service, soft and firm pillows, vanity, well-stocked minibar, alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, coffee table, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, easy under-bed luggage storage, elegant, contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, make-up mirror, memory foam mattress toppers, a sofa, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, wall-to-wall panoramic window with Open-Air Balcony®, and a writing desk.

Details

  • 300 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

These suites feature a 6-person sitting area, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, easy under-bed luggage storage, elegant, a contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, make-up mirror, memory foam mattress toppers, sofa, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, wall-to-wall panoramic window with Open-Air Balcony®, writing desk, alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, coffee table, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, marble countertops in bathroom, nightly turn-down service, soft and firm pillows, vanity and a well-stocked minibar.

Details

  • 200 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

These staterooms feature an alarm clock, bedside tables with reading lamps, Comfort Collection Beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, easy under-bed luggage storage, an elegant, contemporary design, extra blankets, full shower with glass door, individual climate control, large mirror in bathroom, memory foam mattress toppers, soft and firm pillows, two windows, well-stocked minibar, bathrobes & slippers, choice of bed configuration, complimentary bottled water, direct-dial telephone, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, hairdryer, in-room safe, L'Occitane bath products, nightly turn-down service, spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage, vanity and a writing desk.

Details

  • 172 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

Life on board

Age Restriction

Avalon Waterways do not accept bookings for children under 8. There are no special arrangements or activities on board for children and they cannot accept bookings from unaccompanied children under 18 years of age and any travellers under this age must share the adult’s accommodation.

Dietary Requirements

Avalon Waterways will try their best to accommodate dietary requirements if they are mentioned at the time of booking.

Disabled Facilities

Passengers must report any disability to Avalon before any reservation is made so that Avalon may advise whether they and/or their suppliers for any particular holiday are able to accommodate the passengers. Avalon may rely on the information provided to them by the passengers regarding the details of any disability in order to make a decision as to whether the passengers can be accommodated. Avalon will make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of disabled passengers, in accordance with the applicable laws.Not all sightseeing stops/sites accommodate wheelchairs and some locations and sightseeing activities require extensive standing, sitting or walking. Avalon is not responsible for any missed activities due to a participant’s inability to participate within a group.All of the ships have lifts, however they do not service the SkyDeck. Additionally most stateroom doors and bathrooms are not wide enough to allow access by standard wheelchairs, and bathrooms and other doorways may be fitted with coamings.For safety reasons passengers cannot be carried on ramps in ports when the ship is docked. In certain circumstances, they may ask that a disabled person or person with reduced mobility be accompanied by another person capable of providing any assistance required.

Dress Code

The dress code for dinner is casual and comfortable. The Welcome and Farewell Dinners give you a chance to dress up but are not formal.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is only allowed on the ships outside decks where ash trays are provided.

Deck Games Area

Relax after a long day and play a game with your fellow guests at the game area towards the rear of the deck.

Fitness Centre

The ship is fitted with a fully equipped Fitness Centre for you to release some tension.

Hairdressing Salon

Situated on the Royal Deck you might like to take advantage of the onboard hairdresser to indulge in a manicure or hair styling.

Sky Deck Whirlpool

The Sky Deck has a shade system, with premium loungers for luxurious relation. The warm Whirlpool is situated along side for when guests fancy a quick dip.

Club Lounge

Enjoy a quiet moment in the Club Lounge whilst enjoying a cappuccino.

Library

Guests will find a small Library onboard and guests may check out books from the ship's library free of charge. 

Observation Lounge

The Observation Lounge on the Royal Deck, gives guests a prime view to enjoy the premium spirits.

Sky Lounge

On the Sun deck you will find the Sky Lounge, where you can relax and catch the sun's rays whilst enjoying a drink or snack from the nearby Sky Bistro. 

Internet Centre

Complimentary Wi-Fi access and free use of computers or laptops is available to help you stay in touch with friends and family while you enjoy a coffee at the Internet Cafe. 

Shore Excursions

On shore, Avalon includes a great range of comprehensive sightseeing excursions led by knowledgable Certified Local Guides. They also provide individual personal audio headsets to ensure you still have the freedom to roam through some of Europe's most famous attractions without missing a moment of fascinating commentary.

If you'd like to experience something slightly off the beaten track, they offer unique alternative excursions in select destinations. In many cities they also give you a choice of sightseeing pace: 'Traditional' to see all the major sights, 'Leisurely' available on walking tours when you want to take it slower, and 'Independent' allowing you to explore on your own. Have a chat with your Cruise Director to learn about the available options.

They even provide Nordic walking sticks to put that extra spring in your step!

Dining Room

A spacious, open-seating dining room with elegant dining service and large panoramic windows is situated on the Sapphire deck. With an elegantly simple design, you can enjoy a full buffet breakfast or lunch with special options for those who wish to eat lightly, and delicious four-course dinners in the evening. 

Panorama Bistro & Lounge

The Panorama Lounge & Bistro, with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows for a stunning view, offers a casual atmosphere for guests to enjoy a variety of regional and tapas-style dishes, hand-paired with local wines.

Room Service

Room service is available for Continental breakfast & beverages.

Sky Bistro

On a sunny day, enjoy hand carved meats and expansive buffets including fresh salads and amazing homemade soups, all a view courtesy of the Sky Bistro.

Deck Plans

Deck 1

  • Fitness Centre
  • Deluxe Staterooms

Deck 2

  • Observation Lounge
  • Panorama Bistro & Lounge
  • Bar
  • Internet Corner
  • Reception
  • Hair Salon
  • Club Lounge
  • Panorama Suites 
  • Royal Suites

Deck 3

  • Galley
  • Dining Room
  • Panorama Suites

Deck 4

  • Sky Lounge
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Sky Bistro
  • Whirlpool
  • Premium Lounge Chairs and Shade Awnings
  • Deck Game Area

Why book with us?