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Avalon River Cruise - Windmill, Vineyards And Paris

2015 Season

From $4,189

        



Length:  10 days from Amsterdam to Paris

Overview

Experience Holland, Germany, Luxembourg, and France on this fantastic river cruise vacation. Begin in Amsterdam with an exciting cruise through its intricate network of canals. Then, visit a windmill near the little fishing village of Volendam, and enjoy guided sightseeing in Cologne and Trier, where you’ll see the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement. Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in pretty Rüdesheim, cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, enjoy the magnificent views from Reichsburg Castle above the charming town of Cochem, and visit a local wine cellar in Bernkastel. From Metz, travel via high-speed train to Paris for guided sightseeing, two overnights, and the conclusion of your amazing vacation.

Duration:  10 Days



Ships Serving this Tour:   Affinity    Artistry II    Visionary      

Start Date End Date
18 April, 2015 27 April, 2015
21 May, 2015 30 May, 2015
17 June, 2015 26 June, 2015
25 July, 2015 03 August, 2015
10 September, 2015 19 September, 2015
23 October, 2015 01 November, 2015




Day 1   Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation). Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, restaurants, and lively marketplace has a distinct ambiance. If your flight arrives early enough, you might like to visit the Van Gogh Museum or take an optional excursion to nearby Zaanse Schans. Then, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (D)

NOTE:
Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2   Amsterdam–Volendam. After breakfast, set out to discover the treasures of this city by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” At lunchtime, sail out of Amsterdam, heading for the Ijsselmeer and Volendam, a picturesque fishing town with a unique open harbor and a small, timbered church dating back to 1658. Well known for its old fishing boats, distinctive small houses, drawbridges, and canals, Volendam offers a romantic and friendly atmosphere. Outside the small town, visit a WINDMILL and learn how these played such an important role in the development of the country as to become a symbol of Holland. Late this afternoon, cruise out of Volendam and head for Germany. (B,L,D)

Day 3   Cologne, Germany. Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne in the early afternoon. 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 COLOGNE.” 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 and shop for a bottle of “4711,” the original eau de cologne. (B,L,D)

Day 4   Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge. Pretty Rüdesheim is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town, and SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise! Here 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. 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. This evening, arrive in Koblenz and dock overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 5   Cochem. This morning, as you cruise the wide, peaceful curves of the Moselle River, it quickly becomes obvious why the Moselle Valley is famous for its beautiful and tranquil scenery, and that this is an important wine-growing area. Simply relax or attend an interesting ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about the region. After lunch, arrive in Cochem, a charming, picturesque town with half-timbered houses and winding streets full of history and legends that will be brought to life during your GUIDED WALK. Visit REICHSBURG CASTLE, built in 1000 AD and furnished with renaissance and baroque furniture. Sitting dramatically atop a conical hill covered in vines, this castle offers splendid views of the little town nestled down below and of the river valley. Cochem is at the heart of the Moselle wine trade and, most notably, the Riesling grape is cultivated, producing a dry to sweet, floral white wine. (B,L,D)

Day 6   Bernkastel. In the middle of the Moselle region is the charming wine village of Bernkastel with its fascinating narrow streets and half-timbered houses that have stood since the Middle Ages. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK that includes the beautiful MARKETPLACE with its renaissance-style Town Hall and the “pointed house,” built in 1416. Wine growers in this area look after Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards, the most celebrated of the vintages being the Bernkasteler Doktor. This afternoon you might like to participate in an optional bicycle outing (weather permitting) or perhaps visit the Wine Museum to learn more about the history of the region’s wine. Before dinner, enjoy a pleasant included TASTING of several of the region’s varietals at the Moselle Vinoteque. (B,L,D)

Day 7   Trier, Germany. At the head of the Moselle Valley is Trier, Germany’s oldest city. Some say Trier is even older than Rome and that it was populated over a thousand years before the Romans arrived. Many Roman remains have survived, including a 20,000-seat amphitheater; the Porta Nigra, the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement, which still gives access to the town’s center; imperial baths; and the Roman bridge, Germany’s oldest bridge, with stone pilings dating from 144-152 AD—all evidence of this once grand Roman city. Trier also offers pleasant market squares, Germany’s oldest Christian church, and a cornucopia of architectural styles—Roman, baroque, neo-classicism, renaissance, and gothic. Choose between the included GUIDED CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR or the more history-focused “ROMAN TRIER” guided tour, followed by some free time, giving you the opportunity to really explore this magnificent town. Later, sail to Remich in the Dutchy of Luxembourg, where you dock overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 8   Remich, Luxembourg (Disembarkation)–Metz–Paris, France. Today, travel by motorcoach to Metz to board a HIGH-SPEED TRAIN for a swift and comfortable journey to Paris. (B)

Day 9   Paris. Known as one of the world’s most passionate and lively cities, Paris is a delight for your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent must-see sights, including Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacre Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colorful nightlife that includes some of the world’s most famous cabaret shows. All of this awaits your discovery! (B)

Day 10   Paris. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Meals:  Buffet breakfast (B) in Paris; superb dining with meals on board featuring full breakfast (B) with complimentary sparkling wine, lunch (L) with complimentary soft drinks, and dinner (D) including complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks; a welcome reception, Captain’s reception, and farewell dinner; one sitting with open seating arrangements

Hotel Information:  Hotels will be as shown, or similar. Final hotel names will be available in April 2013.

Paris Hotel du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe Paris (SF)
Terms and Conditions
Note: Flights are NOT included with the cruises and unless otherwise stated above transfers are also NOT included.
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