Immerse yourself in French and German culture on this fabulous European river cruise vacation along the Rhône, Saône, and Rhine Rivers. The French portion of the cruise focuses on wine and you’ll be joined by our Master of Wine who will share his expertise at lectures and tastings.Your cruise begins on the Rhône River in Arles, famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which hosts plays and concerts to this day. In Avignon, visit the Palace of the Popes; and later the famous Châteauneuf du Pape wine cellars. As you cruise to Viviers, chocoholics will delight in an onboard chocolate and wine tasting! The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are beautifully nestled among vineyards and you’ll go on a guided walk of Tournon, a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. During your stay, enjoy an excursion into the Beaujolais region for a sampling of the wine before preparing your taste buds for an onboard food and wine-pairing dinner hosted by our Master of Wine. And as you cruise to St. Jean de Losne, enjoy a cheese and wine tasting! En route to Basel, Switzerland, visit Beaune and perhaps opt for a tasting of Burgundy wines!First stop on the Rhine River is Breisach, gateway to Germany’s Black Forest, known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. Then stop in Strasbourg, France, on the French-German border, which perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, towering magnificently over the city, and stop in Mainz for a guided walk and a visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Next up is the charming wine town of Rüdesheim before you sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge. Your last stop in Germany is Cologne, where a guided walk shows you the highlights of the city.Holland’s popular, modern capital Amsterdam is the perfect ending to this sensational European river cruise. The best way to see the treasures of the city is on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.”For specific details on this special interest river cruise, please view the day-by-day itinerary.
Cruise: deluxe 14-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSMDay 1 Arles (Embarkation): welcome to France! onboard welcome reception; cruise into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)Day 2 Arles: guided sightseeing, visit the Roman AmphitheaterDay 3 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the Popes and a winery in Châteauneuf du PapeDay 4 Cruising–Viviers: onboard chocolate and wine tasting; guided walk, visit Old Town and the cathedralDay 5 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in VienneDay 6 Lyon: guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard lecture; excursion to Beaujolais; onboard food and wine pairing dinnerDay 7 Cruising–St. Jean de Losne: day at leisure; on board cheese and wine tastingDay 8 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Basel, Switzerland (Embarkation): visit the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune; or wine tasting in Beaune; transfer to Basel; onboard welcome receptionDay 9 Breisach: Excursion to the Black Forest, visit a woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museumDay 10 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedralDay 11 Excursion to Heidelberg–Mainz: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat in Heidelberg; visit the Gutenberg Museum in MainzDay 12 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and enjoy a special treat in Rüdesheim; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; guided walk in KoblenzDay 13 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walkDay 14 Amsterdam: canal cruiseDay 15 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning
In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program. Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.Special Features and day of operation are subject to change.