Board your Avalon Suite Ship® in Basel, Switzerland.
This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France, Germany, Austria and Hungary, 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. Strasbourg, France, 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. 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.
Stop in Frankfurt and then sail to visit a picturesque Main River Village before stopping in Würzburg to savour the sights, sounds, and confections of its warm Christmas markets. Continue your festive European holiday to enjoy Christmas in the heart of Europe with a guided sightseeing tour of the glowing Christkindlesmarkt of Bamberg—complete with dozens of nativity scenes of every size. While sailing, you’ll hear an onboard lecture about Christmas traditions in Europe and choose from two guided excursions—a classic sightseeing tour of Nuremberg, or a tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally Grounds of WWII notoriety. Board your second Avalon Suite Ship in Nuremberg. Your Danube River cruise continues to Melk, where you’ll see its magnificent Benedictine Abbey, with fantastic frescoes, statures, library, and ornate pipe organ. Sail on your European river cruise to visit Vienna and through beautiful views of the rich wine-growing region of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Your Main and Danube River cruise holiday concludes Budapest, called the “Pearl of the Danube,” with wonderful experiences and memories of Christmas markets, scenic splendours, and inspiring discoveries to treasure always.
Christmas markets generally operate from late November until the third week of December.