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Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Northbound) 2020

Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Northbound) 2020

Operator: Avalon Waterways
Ship: Tranquility II
Starts: Basel, Switzerland on Mon, Nov 30, 2020
Ends: Mainz, Germany on Fri, Dec 04, 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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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)
    Mon, Nov 30, 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
    Tue, Dec 01, 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
    Wed, Dec 02, 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
    Thu, Dec 03, 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)
    Fri, Dec 04, 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.



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

Tranquility 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
4.2
Accommodations
4.2
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.4
Repeat with Operator
4
Value for Money
4.1

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Nov 30, 2020 Avalon Waterways Tranquility II 5 $1,899

Ratings based off 68 reviews - currently showing 21 reviews with comments only

Very enjoyable, relaxing experience. The accommodations, excursions, and service were exceptionally good.

I had a nice surprise of an upgraded cabin on the Avalon Tranquility II, done by the cruise lines. Very enjoyable to have a cabin with full window wall.

Despite the problem of the low water level of the Rhine in parts, Avalon went out of its way to provide us with wonderful shore accommodations and all the excursions we were looking forward to enjoying. They couldn't have been more solicitous of our situation. They are to be highly commended for the way the company handled the situation, and I would recommend this company to anyone looking to book a river cruise. They go above and beyond in caring for their passengers!

Was a great trip. Enjoyed every minute. We saw a lot of beautiful sites and cities.

Alex was very competent and professional. Whenever we had a question she would answer right away . We would definitely recommend her!

Wonderful trip, enjoyed every moment.

Excellent service. Once of a life time experience but wish that there extra days in smaller towns like Miltenberg etc to enjoy the culture of the place.

The entire cruise was wonderful. It was our first experience and it couldn't have been better. The staff was professional, courteous, fun and helpful. All the tours were well organized and very informative.

Avalon Waterways is a great company to travel with. They are efficient and have a variety of tours that you take. Very friendly people. Would highly recommend them.

We had a bad experience in that our room was flooded on the second day, thus we could not stay on the boat. However Avalon put us up in hotels and bussed us each day to the ship. They paid all of the expenses including a refund of our our cruise costs. We were able to do almost all of the same things that the other people on the cruise did. They were very upfront and tried to make the trip acceptable.It was unfortunate but it worked out pretty well for us.

There could have been more flexibility in the off-boat included tours. The trip felt very regimented. Up by 6:30/7:00 for breakfast, off the boat by 8:30 for the morning tour, back to boat for lunch, off the boat by 1:00/1:30 for afternoon tour, back to boat for some minor down time before dinner, then basically off to your stateroom for sleep. If you wanted some time for relaxation you felt like you were going to be missing out on something.

I would book another trip with Avalon but would want a different experience. We are in our mid 50's and the schedule was too early and too scheduled. Would like to have some meals off the boat.

Avalon portion was wonderful! Monogram portion was less than satisfactory!

We were very impressed with Avalon Waterways. It was top-notch, and we plan to travel with them again in the future.

The Avalon Rhine River cruise was phenomenal - first class in all ways. The Tranquility II ship was new and immaculate, and the cruise director and crew were first rate, taking care of our every need! The excursions along the cruise were outstanding with the local guides all very pleasant and knowledgeable. Avalon, as a cruise provider, was on par with the Insight land tour provider, and I expect my wife and I will return to Avalon in the future for another cruise or two in coming years!

Everything about this trip was top notch and definitely met and exceeded our expectations.

It was interesting to visit with the families in Croatia & the extra income helped them,I suspect,as well as helping us learn about the true reality of their lives.

The Avalon Panorama was a beautiful new ship. The captain, crew, restaurant and bar personnel were extremely friendly and made you feel welcome.

I would highly recommend Affordable Tours to anyone and everyone! We had the trip of a lifetime! The local guides at each destination were extremely knowledgeable! Our tour guide was great! He made sure everything went perfectly and everyone's needs were met. The staff on the ship were so friendly and personable. We felt like we were one big family by the end of the trip.

we all had a wonderful time. Our trip went smoothly 

Our Avalon River Cruise was superior . From the cruise director to the wait staff, all was excellent. The staff had fun so the passengers did as well. We can\'t say enough about our cruise director and our Maitre\' D. These individuals went above and beyond to make our vacation very special!


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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