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Christmastime in Alsace & Germany (Northbound) 2025

From Zurich, Switzerland to Frankfurt, Germany
Length: 5 Days - Departs: Sat, Nov 29, 2025
Operator
Ship
Departure
Nov 29, 2025
Arrival
Dec 03, 2025

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Special Offers

LOW UNPUBLISHED PRICES ON AVALON WATERWAYS (GLOBUS) CRUISES
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Up to $500 Welcome Back Credit for Repeat Travelers

Mention Promo Code: PT2504
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Up to $500 Welcome Back Credit for Repeat Travelers

Up to $500 Welcome Back Credit for Repeat Travelers

Promotion Details
With the Welcome Back Credit, the more you travel, the more credit you earn toward future vacations. You can easily redeem your Welcome Back Credit towards a future Globus or Cosmos tour, or use your credit to experience a Monograms package or Avalon Waterways river cruise. In addition to the Welcome Back Credit program, if your plans changed, you could also be holding onto additional travel credits through a Letter of Credit and Peace of Mind Bonus Credit. The credit amount is based on the overall value of your vacation, from a $100 - $250 credit per person.
Must Book By Tue, Dec 31, 2024
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The Welcome Back Credit is awarded upon completion of Globus family of brands vacations. Credit amount can only be applied to the land/cruise or cruise only portion of a new Globus family of brands vacation (excluding 2022 Oberammergau, 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 calling the Globus family of brands, online, or by contacting your preferred travel advisor. Passenger must activate redemption credit prior to redemption. Combinable with all applicable consumer promotions except those with any Globus family of brands special discount programs. Credit must be applied before final payment on a future booking. 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.


River Cruise Itinerary

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)
    Sat, Nov 29, 2025
    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)BASEL-FESTIVE-MARKET.jpg
  2. Day 2
    BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST
    Sun, Nov 30, 2025
    German Winemaking and the Beautiful Black ForestCLASSIC Join A Guided Tour to explore Freiburg’s medieval city center, sheltered by the Black Forest amid vineyards and gardens of the Upper Rhine Valley, OR:DISCOVERY Join a Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience local traditions and the vibrant Christmas mood.In the afternoon 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)BLACK-FOREST-CLOCK.jpg
  3. Day 3
    STRASBOURG, FRANCE
    Mon, Dec 01, 2025
    Joyeux Noël in Strasbourg 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 in a wine country village in beautiful Alsace. Spend free time this afternoon strolling through the glowing winter markets of Strasbourg.EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO SPEYER(B,L,D)STRASBOURG-FESTIVE-CHRISTMAS-MARKET.jpg
  4. Day 4
    SPEYER, GERMANY. HEIDELBERG EXCURSION
    Tue, Dec 02, 2025
    Winter Wonders Fit for a King DISCOVERY 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.Alternatively, enjoy a relaxing sailing morning and explore the sights and sounds, tantalizing treats, and seasonal handiwork of Speyer Christmas markets.EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO FRANKFURT(B,L,D)HEIDELBERG-FESTIVE-CHRISTMAS-MARKET.jpg
  5. Day 5
    FRANKFURT (DISEMBARKATION)
    Wed, Dec 03, 2025
    Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.Flights should not leave Frankfurt airport before 10 am.(B)FRANKFURT-FESTIVE-CHRISTMAS-MARKET.jpg

Countries Visited

Switzerland, France, Germany

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.
  • Christmas markets generally operate from late November until the third week of December.


Accommodation Information

Gateway city for arrivals is Zürich

Port charges:
$120

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.

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Ship Information

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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
4.3
Accommodations
4.3
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.6
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
4

Ratings based off 86 reviews - currently showing 22 reviews with comments only

This was our second Avalon cruise and we recommend them to everyone!

Wonderful river cruise on the Rhine. Superb crew and service. Excellent food. Excellent tours.

Phil.... is THE REASON I took this trip and had a marvelous time! HE is THE ONLY help I need from now on in booking trips ANYWHERE! 

This was our first trip on a river boat. The Avalon staff was exceptional! We were treated like kings and queens.

Very well organized - from the arrival to departure there was never an issue. Everything was clearly explained daily. Basel to Amsterdam is the better direction to travel.

This river cruise exceeded expectations. It was A+ from start to finish. The ship room size was excellent, the crew was awesome, and the food was very good and varied.Our local guide experts provded a bonus level of expertise, were witty and interesting. Gusta was an excellent tour director, keeping everything on time, providing tips and insights to various places we were visiting. Our waitress in the dining room was Elena and she was always pleasant, on task and provided a very good level of service for our meals.

Our Avalon cruise was an absolutely wonderful and unforgettable experience, and a dream vacation. Our cruise director Bart was outstanding and enhanced our cruise experience. We enjoyed the laid back atmosphere onboard, and the beautiful scenic cruising itinerary and interesting ports. All included tours and excursions were well organized with knowledgeable and great tour guides. The crew provided excellent services. We were however disappointed with the dinner menus, with regards quality of food and preparation. Breakfast and lunches were good. We also would have liked more flexibile times or buffet options for dinners at overnight ports,

We enjoyed the Danube Tour, but preferred the previous Avalon tour in France. This tour focused more on cities whereas the France tour from Nice to Paris stopped at smaller towns.

GREAT CRUISE -WONDERFUL BOAT AND ACCOMMODATIONS ; WISH A FEW LAND TOURS SLIGHTLY LONGER-IE ENOUGH TIME TO STOPIN QUICKLY SEE SAY THE SYNAGOGUE OR THE CATHEDRAL--EXAMPLE BUDAPEST LAND TOUR.

The guides for the most part were excellent some the stops were an added joy. Duration , Bratislovia and Linz were surprisingly wonderful the entertainment was beyond my expectations I had a wonderful trip.to top it off we had exceptional weather

My only criticism of Avalon is that the company does not take into account the dining experience for groups. Dining tables are on a "first come-first-serve" basis. This means rushing to get a table nightly so that 5 couples can eat together, leaving our mportant port talks early to secure a table . A luxury cruise experience should not require one to do this.

The trip was spectacular. Met all expectations. The only negative comment would be related to the Avalon Rep in Prague due to lack of assistance and presence.

I thought our leading tour guide did a terrific job. She started every event, every talk right on time. She said that was part of her German upbringing. She was concerned about every passenger and dealt with one issue we had promptly and professionally. The local tour guides were routinely well informed, personable, and helpful.

Avalon Waterways does a great job. The ships are in very good shape, nicely appointed and offer great itineraries and excursions.

This was a wonderful trip. We are thankful to our agent at Affordable Tours for recommending this Avalon Danube trip. Our cruise director was excellent and humorous. Food and wine was excellent. Staff provided superb service.

This cruise was great and all the details we received about everything was all correct. Thank you.

I talked to a lot of the other passengers and learn that they got a lot of perks that my wife and I did not receive. If I book another trip through Avalon, I will wait until the "last minute" and look for a lower price and perks like free airfare. We also talked to people on other cruise lines and saw that there was a lot of competition for our travel dollars.

Avalon Waterways Panorama was a beautiful ship. The food was great, and the afternoon and evening programs were interesting. The crew director was excellent: he was very knowledgeable and helpful and his talks about the various sights we were visiting were very instructive. His concern for and accessibility to the passengers set the tone for the crew members; they provided uniformly excellent service with a smile. All in all, a wonderful experience!

The river cruise exceeded our expectations! The vessel and staff were wonderful. The itinerary was all-encompassing and the tours interesting. We had absolutely no complaints about any aspect of the cruise, other than we didn't want to leave the boat. We returned home weary but very happy.

Our river cruise was fabulous. Ship & staff were excellent. Food very good. Tours were excellent. Everything was very organized. Can't wait to go on another Avalon river cruise. The agent at Affordable Tours did a great job for us. I have already recommended him to friends. Thanks for everything.

This was a great trip. excellent job in supplying all details and assistance that "older people" like my wife and I need.

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