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Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Northbound) 2020

Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Northbound) 2020

Operator: Avalon Waterways
Ship: Imagery II
Starts: Basel, Switzerland on Fri, Dec 11, 2020
Ends: Mainz, Germany on Tue, Dec 15, 2020

Overview

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Each time you travel on a Globus family of brands vacation (Cosmos, Globus, Avalon or Monograms) from 2019 onward you can earn up to $250 per person ($500 per couple) Welcome Back Credit to use towards your next vacation, plus as always our AffordableTours.com additional savings. There will be some select exceptions to the credit, including Escapes by Globus, Oberammergau, Monograms City Get-a-ways, Private Touring and any heavily discounted programs like Avalon Suite Rewards. Please see the list below for your potential credit amount listed per person.

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The Welcome Back Credit will be awarded upon completion of Globus family of brands vacations from 2019 onward. Credit amount can only be applied to the land/cruise or cruise only portion of a new Globus family of brands vacation (excluding Escapes by Globus, 2020 Oberammergau, select Cosmos tours, Monograms City Getaways, and Custom/Charter vacations). Credit amount is per person and must be redeemed for a future vacation with a deposit within 2 years from date of credit issue. Bookings can be made by contacting your preferred travel agent. Passenger name or past invoice number is required to redeem the credit. Combinable with all applicable consumer promotions except those with any Globus family of brands special discount programs of the vacation price. Credit is not redeemable for cash, non-refundable deposit, airfare, transfers, travel insurance, prepaid gratuities, pre/post nights, or optional excursions and is non-transferrable. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Valid for all participating Globus family of brands offices. Additional restrictions may apply.


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River Cruise Itinerary

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This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France and Germany, with beautiful passing views and quaint villages festively lit and decorated—a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season! Board your ship in Basel, Switzerland, then stop in Breisach, considered 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. There is no better setting than at this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Strasbourg, France, located on the border with Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. The city is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe—dating back to the 16th century. Take in the aromas of mulled wine, spice cakes, and biscuits. Bask in the holiday atmosphere as you visit Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. You’ll go on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. This time of year, an ice rink can be found at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market is spread over five town squares. Delight in the holiday cheer with Glühwein (hot mulled wine), bratwursts, and other regional delicacies. There’s plenty of time to find just the right Christmas present amongst the array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts before this magical European river cruise ends in Frankfurt, Germany.

  1. Day 1
    BASEL, SWITZERLAND (EMBARKATION)
    Fri, Dec 11, 2020
    Welcome to Switzerland! Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

    Flights into Zürich or Basel must arrive by 3 pm.

    Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

    Stroll through the city center, enjoy the festive illumination and savor Christmas delicacies like waffles, gingerbread, sweets and Swiss raclette.

    EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH


    (D)
  2. Day 2
    BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO THE BLACK FOREST
    Sat, Dec 12, 2020
    History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest

    DISCOVERY Visit to Badische Winzerkeller, the largest German wine producer in Europe. Discover Germany’s southernmost wine country in Baden—ideally situated between the hills of the Black Forest and the Rhine River. Learn about the vintners’ process in the vineyards here, and enjoy a wine tasting, OR:

    DISCOVERY Join a Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience local traditions and the vibrant Christmas mood.


    You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings. Alternatively, spend your afternoon leisurely browsing Breisach’s lovely Christmas market to sample pretzels, mulled wine, and Black Forest cake.

    OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO STRASBOURG

    (B,L,D)
  3. Day 3
    STRASBOURG, FRANCE
    Sun, Dec 13, 2020
    A Gothic Cathedral, Heaven’s Time, and Joyeux Noël

    CLASSIC Come along for City Sightseeing, including the city’s gothic, stained-glass cathedral with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock, as well as the magical La Petite France District.

    You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to beautiful Alsace, for an afternoon in a French wine-country village.

    Savor the warmth and glow of Christmas tradition by spending your free time this afternoon wandering the French winter markets of Strasbourg. Take in the lights, music, and the pleasures of the season.

    EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER


    (B,L,D)
  4. Day 4
    SPEYER, GERMANY. HEIDELBERG EXCURSION
    Mon, Dec 14, 2020
    Winter Wonders and a Wine Barrel Fit for a King

    CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour that includes the magnificent Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat—the world’s largest wine barrel. After the tour, visit the local German Christmas markets in Heidelberg.


    Explore at your own pace to soak up the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of Speyer Christmas markets.

    EVENING/OVERNIGHT TO FRANKFURT


    (B,L,D)
  5. Day 5
    FRANKFURT (DISEMBARKATION)
    Tue, Dec 15, 2020
    Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

    Flights should not leave Frankfurt airport before 10 am.

    (B)

Countries Visited

France, Germany, Switzerland

Rivers Visited

Rhine

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Inclusions

  • 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.

Sightseeing & Activities:

Day 1 Basel (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Breisach: choice of visit to Badische Winzerkeller, or excursion to Black Forest; Christmas market

Day 3 Strasbourg: guided tour, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market

Day 4 Speyer. Excursion to Heidelberg: guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, Christmas markets; Christmas markets in Speyer

Day 5 Frankfurt (Disembarkation): your cruise ends this morning



Accommodation Information

Gateway for arrival is Zürich, Switzerland.

Port charges:
$104

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

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.


Extra nights per person in Zurich:
in single room from $198 to $364, in twin room from $129 to $215

Extra nights per person in Frankfurt:
in single room from $311 to $429, in twin room from $197 to $256

All prices per person based on double occupancy. Cruise price based on Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck. See below for upgrade pricing.

Hygiene and Safety Protocols for Avalon Waterways

Today's world has changed, but what remains certain is Avalon Waterways' commitment to guest safety, comfort and peace-of-mind while traveling with us. To that end, Avalon Waterways has established a worldwide Assurance program, with enhanced on-trip protocols and procedures, to ensure the health – and happiness – of guests throughout their travels with us.

It all starts with Avalon Waterways' Global Health & Safety Team, dedicated to ensuring that cleanliness of all operations exceeds today’s travel standards—from start to finish. The following areas address Avalon Waterways' commitment to providing a safe and clean environment for guests.

WELCOME ABOARD

New embarkation procedures to offer guests a safe start to their journey, including:

  • Social distancing throughout embarkation
  • Mandatory health screening, including touch-free temperature-check, for all guests and crew
  • Luggage disinfection prior to onboarding (with crew wearing gloves and masks)

FRESH AIR, INSIDE AND OUT:

In addition to Avalon Waterways' Open-Air staterooms, the air in the ships is not circulated between staterooms; only within an individual stateroom and mixed with fresh, outside air.

BLENDING CULTURAL PROXIMITY WITH SOCIAL DISTANCE:

New social distancing guidelines for guests throughout their Avalon cruise include:

  • Reducing ship capacity as required for more space on board per guest
  • Introducing more dining venues for more dining space per person
  • Crew wearing masks for the duration of the cruise during any guest interaction
  • Providing masks for guests to wear during any event where social proximity could become an issue, including disembarkation for excursions and safety drills
  • Adjusting ratio of guides and coaches for excursions, as required

NEW TECHNOLOGY TO ENSURE CLEANLINESS:

  • Electrostatic disinfecting systems
  • UV disinfecting systems

TOUCHING HEARTS, NOT HANDS:

Reducing risk with hands-free service, including:

  • More hand-sanitizing stations throughout the ship
  • Required use of hand-sanitizing stations when leaving the ship, returning to the ship and entering dining venues as well as entering each public/common space
  • Self-serve stations, including buffets, drinks, specialty coffees and snacks have been replaced with crew service
  • All buffets (breakfast and lunch) replaced by a full range of á la carte menu choices
  • Hourly (or more frequent) disinfection of all public areas

COMMITMENT TO THE CLEANEST SHIPS:

Enhanced cleaning procedures throughout each ship, including these additional steps that go above-and-beyond Avalon’s already strict procedures:

  • Deep disinfection of each stateroom between cruises, including:
    • Use of disinfectants and cleaning materials that meet the highest standards
    • Soft goods in each stateroom (mattress, sofa, window coverings, chairs, etc.) disinfected between cruises
  • Disinfection of all dining areas between meals
  • Disinfection of all shared items like umbrellas, bicycles and other Adventure Center items
  • Disinfection of all goods prior to loading on the ship
  • Ongoing crew training in protective equipment use and hygiene

FOCUS ON CREW HEALTH:

Ensuring a healthy crew, including:

  • Medical certificate required prior to start of contract
  • Daily temperature checks
  • Social distancing in crew living quarters
  • Regular health screenings

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Ship Information

Imagery II


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Cabins

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Life on Board

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Questions & Answers

Question: Will the day-by-day itinerary change?

Yes, the river cruise itineraries may change due to reasons such as inclement weather or unforeseen events. Your safety is the number one concern aboard and all precautions necessary will be taken in order to ensure passenger safety, including changing itineraries. Please note that when itineraries do change, the ship staff will do their best to substitute any missed port with an alternative destination.

Question: In what language is the river cruise conducted?

The river cruise will be conducted in English only.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.4
Accommodations
4.6
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.6
Repeat with Operator
4.3
Value for Money
4.1

Similar Itineraries Other Travelers Liked

Sail Date Operator Ship Length Price
Dec 11, 2020 Avalon Waterways Imagery II 5 $1,999

Ratings based off 62 reviews - currently showing 13 reviews with comments only

The trip I booked was everything promised. The Paris to Normandy trip was great as was the extension trip to London. I appreciated the ability to upgrade the train trip to first class.

This was our first river cruise. We had taken a motor coach tour before. It is truly advantageous to take your room with. The crew of the ship were great. The cruise director was great. Overall the cruise was a fun trip and a great value.

Everything went as planned and schedules. Excellent tour guide, Isabel was always available and kept us well informed. Two come n on board entertainment groups were a highlight. Very versatile. .

Trip was great and everything went smooth except for getting thru the airports. This of course was not your fault. Will think twice before taking another international flight.

Avalon is a beautiful cruise line - the Imagery II is a beautiful ship, spotless, everything on it in perfect condition. Very large room, the glass wall that opens is great, and a very spacious, lovely bathroom. The service was superb. It was our first river cruise and we loved it!

The Avalon River Cruise was excellent. Had a great time and the cost of the cruise included just about everything.

Avalon Waterways went out of their way to make us have a good time. It was better than I expected.

The entire staff was friendly, courteous, competent, and professional. The meals were superb and the ship was fabulous. We would sail again with Avalon!

Our Avalon river cruise was everything we expected and more. The on-board staff was friendly and courteous, the tour director thorough and knowledgeable, and the ship and accommodations clean and comfortable. The food: superb!!

Overall, we enjoyed our vacation with Avalon Waterways and felt we received excellent customer service from all. Our Cruise Director was good, but not great, seemed a little less than fully engaged at times. This is a minor point and not meant to detract from our Captain and crew, nor the city tour guides we had, who were largely excellent.

This was our fifth river cruise, but first one with Avalon. The room was very nice with a very comfortable bed and large bathroom and shower. The staff was very helpful and friendly with very good food and wine at the meals. There was one day of only river cruising, no port stops, that seemed a little boring. For some, it may have been nice to sleep late and not do anything. We would have liked to have had some onboard options of activities (i.e. demonstrations, lectures, movies, etc.). We love river cruises due to the size of the boat, ease of getting on/off the boat at ports and ability to get to know the staff and fellow passengers due to the smaller number of passengers.

Very professional - wonderful crew and trip!

Everything was great. The motel in Prague was in a great location and the room was nice but for the stained carpet and the lack off air in halls and lobby so so. Thanks


AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Avalon Waterways. Brochure Price is based on the itinerary's highest brochure price. Our price reflects our base price for the same departure as Brochure Price. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time. All prices are USD per person and based on double occupancy. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. All prices change frequently and our website prices are not guaranteed until a deposit has been received by us. The prices on our website are intended to serve as a guide only and may not accurately reflect current prices. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in these prices until a booking has been confirmed by one of our agents. Please call us toll free at 1-800-342-0019 to confirm current prices and availability. Prices listed are per person, cruise only, and based on double occupancy.

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