9 Days of Medieval Marvels

On this mesmerizing journey, cruise ancient trade routes along the scenic shores of Germany and France, dotted with wonderful small villages and fascinating historic towns like Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Cologne, and Amsterdam

Join us as we sail south along the Rhine to some of Europe’s most romantic destinations. Begin in cultural Amsterdam, look skyward at the Kölner Dom in Cologne, and embrace enchanting Rüdesheim; then on to Heidelberg and its castle, the French countryside, and the legendary Black Forest.

Date Information

Dates: 
Friday, August 25, 2017 - Saturday, September 2, 2017
Sold Out?: 
No

Itinerary

Day 1-2: En Route from US / Arrive in Amsterdam (Embarkation)

Welcome to Amsterdam, a 700-year-old city filled with classic architecture, elegant cafés and restaurants, and a lively atmosphere. This afternoon, board the Avalon Tranquility II and meet your traveling companions and crew at a welcome reception.

Overnight: Avalon Tranquility II (D)

 

 

Day 3: Amsterdam

Discover the rich history of modern-day Holland. See the city by boat on the grachten, lined with houseboats and stately homes that date back to the city’s “Golden Age.” Enjoy an Orbridge-included excursion to the Rijksmuseum, renowned for its magnificent collection of 17th-century Dutch paintings. Afterward, your vessel sets sail for Cologne.

Overnight: Avalon Tranquility II (B,L,D)

 

 

Day 4: Cologne

Stand in awe as you look skyward at the magnificent spires of the Kölner Dom. 600 years in the making, it is the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe and claims the world’s largest church façade. Admire its 515-foot towers, stained glass windows, and shrine of the Three Holy Kings. Then, perhaps try the favorite local beer, Kölsch, at a nearby tavern in Cologne’s Old Town, or sip coffee at one of its many cafés.

Overnight: Avalon Tranquility II (B,L,D)

 

 

Day 5: Koblenz / Rüdesheim

Begin today’s journey in Koblenz, the 2,000-year-old cultural center of the Middle Rhine region. Pass by Lorelei Rock, a geological formation with a mysterious murmuring echo that has inspired various tales. End your day in Rüdesheim, where the German expression, Gemütlichkeit—describing a cheerful state of mind embracing wine, dance, and romance—is often associated. Step inside Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, the first museum collection of automated musical instruments in Germany; and enjoy some free time to explore the Drosselgasse, browsing its charming boutiques.

Overnight: Avalon Tranquility II (B,L,D)

 

 

Day 6: Mainz / Heidelberg

Our first stop this morning is in Mainz, home of Germany’s largest and most important wine market. Check out the tea rooms, shops, and restaurants while in Old Town; and don’t forget to stop by the fountain on the Schillerplatz decorated with scenes of the famous carnival held here each year. Visit the Gutenberg Museum, one of the oldest museums of printing in the world and where you can see the first printed Bible, produced in 1455. Enjoy some time on the Sky Deck as you head northward. After lunch, spend the afternoon in one of the oldest university towns in Germany—Heidelberg. Make sure to photograph Heidelberg Castle, towering above the city with its red sandstone walls. Perhaps shop along the Hauptstrasse or visit the Church of the Holy Spirit, which used to be shared by both Catholics and Protestants from 1720 to 1936. Other notable sites include the hotel Zum Ritter, built in 1592, and City Hall.

Overnight: Avalon Tranquility II (B,L,D)

Day 7: Strasbourg

Dock in picturesque Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region and influenced by the cultures of both France and Germany. Meet a local guide for some sightseeing, including the Gothic Cathedral, the lovely “La Petite France” district, Place Kléber, and the statue of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. Next, take the included Orbridge excursion through the region’s picturesque countryside alongside a local guide. Pass by charming half- timbered houses, quaint villages, and vineyards that produce the region’s famous Riesling, Pinot Noir, Tokay- Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat and Pinot Blanc. Stop at a winery and taste some of these renowned varietals.

Overnight: Avalon Tranquility II (B,L,D)

 

 

Day 8: Breisach / Black Forest

Breisach is the gateway to the Black Forest region. Characterized by its high hills, thick forests, ravines, waterfalls, and caves, the beauty of its landscape is unforgettable. Try local delicacies, and be sure to sample the range of excellent beer poured here: not only pilsner-type lagers but also regional specialties like malty dark Dunkel beers, the effervescent pale wheat Weissbeer ale, and strong dark doppelbock. If you like, visit the Open-Air Museum, where farmhouses from the 16th to the 18th centuries have been reassembled in their original form, or peer into the workshop of a local woodcarver where cuckoo clocks are made.

Overnight: Avalon Tranquility II (B,L,D)

 

 

Day 9: Basel (Disembarkation) / Depart Zürich

After breakfast, disembark the vessel in Basel, Switzerland, and take your complimentary transfer to the Zürich airport for your flight home. (B)

 

LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND
Dates: 
Sunday, September 3, 2017 - Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Extend your stay to discover lovely Lucerne, a picturesque lake town nestled within Switzerland’s famous alpine peaks.
Day 9: (Continued from Main Program) Basel / Lucerne (B)
After breakfast, disembark the vessel and enjoy the drive from Basel to Lucerne. Once you arrive at your hotel, meet a local host for ideas on how to spend your free time in this idyllic Swiss city. Perhaps venture out this evening for some regional favorites, such as Rösti or Älplermagrone, at a nearby restaurant. Overnight: Hotel Monopol (B)
Day 10: Lucerne (B)
This morning, learn about the history of Lucerne and the everyday life of its residents from an expert local guide while walking through the city. Visit world-famous sites such as the Chapel Bridge, the Jesuit Church, and the KKL Luzern (Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne). Discover hidden alleys, visit town squares teeming with activity, and even catch a glimpse of the city’s “crown,” the Musegg Wall. The remainder of the day is yours. Overnight: Hotel Monopol (B)
Day 11: Depart Lucerne (B)
After breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)
Cost and Inclusions: 
Stateroom Category Tour Price
Category E $2,995.00
Category D $3,395.00
Category B $4,695.00
Category A $4,995.00
Category P $5,795.00
Suite $6,495.00
Single (Category E) $4,493.00
Single (Category B) $7,043.00

 

 

Program  Highlights:

  •   Unpack just once, settle in, and unwind for a 7-night cruise through the Rhine’s historic cities. The leadership of   an Orbridge Travel Director and engaging onboard lectures will ensure an unforgettable voyage.
  •   Enjoy added benefits on this special departure, with a dedicated Orbridge Travel Director, an included visit to see some of Europe’s historic treasures at the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, an included visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim, and more.
  •   Join Orbridge on special included excursions.
  •   Choose from optional excursions in Amsterdam and Breisach. Perhaps travel to the fishing villages of Volendam and Edam, or visit the Open-Air Museum in the Black Forest region.

What's included:

  • the services of an Orbridge Travel Director, the ship's Cruise Director, and local experts;
  • quality educational experiences at each stop; onboard lectures and activities;
  • all onboard meals with wine and beer with dinner;
  • transportation including transfers for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times and all excursions; all gratuities, and more.

What’s Included:

  • A 7-night cruise aboard the Avalon Tranquility II
  •   7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 7 dinners served with wine and beer—including special welcome and farewell dinners
  •   Full services of a dedicated Orbridge Travel Director in addition to the ship's Cruise Director and expert local guides
  •   Onboard lectures, activities, and nightly entertainment
  •   Guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Koblenz, and Heidelberg
  •   Visits to La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral in Strasbourg, the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, and Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rudesheim
  •   Airport transfers for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times
  •   All port charges, excursion transportation, entrance fees to included sites, and gratuities to ship crew, Orbridge Travel Director, Cruise Director, local guides, drivers, and porters