Christmastime - Prague to Basel

Offer

Price per person
from £3,884

Price based on
London Gatwick
5th 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
  • 12 days

  • Czech Republic

  • River cruise

Celebrate the holiday season on this delightful cruise from Prague to Basel. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Prague, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Würzburg and Strasbourg. Other highlights include visits to the Bishop's Residence in Würzburg, the red-stoned castle of Heidelberg, and Rüdesheim on the Rhine. Enjoy the festive atmosphere at the many Christmas markets, sample tasty Christmas treats and shop for local Christmas ornaments and crafts. Your ship will be decorated and dressed up in Christmas colours.

At a glance


Prague See the Astronomical Clock and visit the Hradcany Castle Grounds.
Heidelberg Visit the imposing ruins of Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat.
Strasbourg A guided sightseeing tour to the La Petite France district.

Christmastime From Prague to Basel 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

Total meals included:

  • 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners

Prague

Day
1

Welcome to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. This fascinating city straddles the Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires, and pinnacles highlighting its skyline.

No meals included

Prague

Day
2

Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time. See its best-known treasures, such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; Hradcany Castle Grounds; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. Browse the Christmas markets, where rows of brightly decorated wooden huts sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Get a little inner warmth with a cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine) and a traditional hot sausage. The beautifully decorated tree in the Old Town is an impressive sight.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Prague – Nuremberg (Embarkation)

Day
3

After lunch, drive to Nuremberg to embark your cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew for a welcome reception.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Nuremberg

Day
4

Spend a relaxing morning cruising before reaching Nuremberg. Although 90% of its Old Town suffered extensive damage during World War II, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Choose from an included guided sightseeing tour and marvel at the city’s medieval fortifications, gothic churches, and Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a Nuremberg Grounds Tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights, and the Christmas market is one of the biggest in Germany, featuring 200 stalls selling traditional wares and foods.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Bamberg

Day
5

In the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany's most powerful imperial dynasties. Your guided walking tour takes in its historic centre, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, especially interesting are the nativity scenes built by local residents and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, where, in addition to candles and decorations, you'll find many regional delicacies, like gingerbread and nut bread. Be sure not to miss the special gift we have reserved for you in a local brewery. Rejoin your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Würzburg, and attend a fascinating on-board lecture to learn more about the European Christmas traditions.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Wurzburg

Day
6

Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The city makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your included Guided sigthseeing tour, visit the magnificent baroque Bishops's Residenz, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore on your own—maybe visit the Christmas markets or join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg - where you will have the opportunity to visit the Christmas Museum. Be sure to try a Schneeball (snowball), a local speciality not at all suitable for a diet!

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Miltenberg

Day
7

A culinary demonstration will be delivered before lunch and before your arrival in Miltenberg . Tucked away behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates, the picturesque Bavarian village of Miltenberg is a cultural gem on the banks of the Main River. This afternoon’s guided walk will acquaint you with the town’s delightful Marktplatz (market square), which centres around a Renaissance-era fountain and features striking half-timbered buildings, cobblestone lanes, and one of the oldest inns in Germany, Haus zum Riesen (the giant’s house) and the gothic splendour of the Merchant Hall. Depart for Frankfurt before dinner.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Frankfurt

Day
8

After breakfast this morning, a comfortable coach ride takes you to the pretty little town of Rüdesheim, a perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town. A visit to Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum is a real surprise. Afterwards, we’ll offer you a special treat and then there’s free time to explore. The entire town transforms itself into one large Christmas market, offering products and specialities from a number of nations, all presented in a distinctive manner. You’ll be spoiled by the selection of shops offering a vast variety of Christmas presents and decorations. In the Market Square you’ll find Europe’s largest nativity scene, with life-size figures. In the afternoon, return to Frankfurt.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Mannheim

Day
9

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

Breisach

Day
11

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 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

Strasbourg

Day
10

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 discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone Gothic Cathedral with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and 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 centrepiece 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

Basel (Disembarkation)

Day
12

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

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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?