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AVALON WATERWAYS
14 Days | Romantic Rhine with Paris & London
Northbound (WZAM)


ZURICH TO LONDON

Day 1 | Arrive in Zürich, Switzerland. Transfer to Basel. Embark. Welcome to Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn and the majestic Alps! Transfer by motorcoach to Basel, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (D) NOTE: Flights into Zürich must arrive before 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2 | Strasbourg, France. Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your walking tour you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. This afternoon, optional excursions into the Alsace wine country or to the Black Forest are available. (B,L,D)

Day 3 | Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany. After a leisurely morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, which was founded in 1386. Visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it! (B,L,D)

Day 4 | Mainz. Rüdesheim. Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. The Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here and during a GUIDED WALK you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. During lunch, depart Mainz and cruise on to pretty Rüdesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colorful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | Rhine Gorge. Koblenz. Downstream from Rüdesheim is the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive equestrian statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the 2,000-year-old city of Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments; or visit nearby SAYN MANOR HOUSE, belonging to the counts of the same name. (B,L,D)

Day 6 | Cologne. One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (B,L,D)

Day 7 | Amsterdam, Holland. Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | Amsterdam. Paris, France. Disembark your Avalon ship for your included transfer to the train station, where you will travel via HIGH-SPEED THALYS TRAIN (first-class) to join the Monograms portion of your vacation. (B)

Day 9 | Paris. Morning guided sightseeing takes you to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL, where Napoleon was crowned emperor in 1804, to admire its amazing 13th-century stained-glass Rose Window. Pass the Latin Quarter, Les Invalides, the Opéra, Place de la Concorde, and Arc de Triomphe. Drive by the Seine River with its beautiful bridges, and along the fashionable Champs-Elysées. Stop to take photos of the iconic Eiffel Tower from one of the best panoramic viewing points. Also enter the world’s most visited museum, THE LOUVRE, with its modern glass pyramid, to see Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and other treasures (on Tuesdays, take a Seine cruise instead). (B)

Day 10 | Paris. Your Local Host can suggest options, like an excursion to Monet’s Giverny or Versailles Palace, a visit to Musée d’Orsay, where to try French onion soup, a walking route through the fashion district, and many other possibilities. (B)

Day 11 | Paris. London, England. Travel to London by HIGH-SPEED EUROSTAR TRAIN. (B)

Day 12 | London. Morning guided sightseeing includes all of London’s famous landmarks. Drive past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben; Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married; Whitehall’s mounted horseguards; the Prime Minister’s Downing Street; and Piccadilly Circus. Take photos of the London Eye, the giant Ferris wheel on the river bank, and the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. Then, visit ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL (except on Sundays). Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece with its world-famous dome is an iconic feature of London’s skyline, and the awe-inspiring interior holds fascinating stories about its history. The final highlight is the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard (if held). (B)

Day 13 | London. Your Local Hosts will be pleased to give you some interesting suggestions for the day—perhaps a visit to the blood-curdling London Dungeon or Madame Tussauds’ celebrity wax figure exhibition, and an acclaimed West End show with pre-theater dinner at a London restaurant. (B)

Day 14 | London. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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NORTHBOUND ITINERARY (WZAM)
14 DAYS | ZURICH TO LONDON

Click HERE to view 19-day SOUTHBOUND (WALM) itinerary.
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