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  • 12 day river cruise from Vienna to Frankfurt
  • Deluxe 11-night cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
  • Guided sightseeing in Vienna, Nuremberg, Munich, Bamberg, and Würzburg
  • Visits the Bishop’s Residence in Würzburg
  • Beer tasting in Bamberg, a wine tasting in Austria’s Wachau Valley
  • Visit several Christmas markets and shop for local Christmas ornaments and crafts

Celebrate the holiday season on this magnificent cruise from Vienna to Frankfurt. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Vienna, Nuremberg, Munich, Bamberg, and Würzburg as well as guided walks in the small town of Dürnstein, medieval Regensburg, and charming Miltenberg. Other highlights: visit the Bishop’s Residence in Würzburg and the spectacular Benedictine Abbey in Melk, enjoy a beer tasting in Bamberg, a wine tasting in Austria’s Wachau Valley, and a baking demonstration of a local soft cookie. Marvel at the traditional Christmas decorations and delight in the festive atmosphere of this special time of year. Wander through the many Christmas markets while you listen to local Christmas music, sample tasty Christmas treats, smell the aromas of the season, and shop for local Christmas ornaments and crafts. What a wonderful way to celebrate the season.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport
Rivers & Seas
  • Danube River
Ship Name
  • Vista

Avalon Waterways Travel Reviews & Ratings
99% Recommend

4.9 out of 5
Excellent 497 Great 23 Average 5 Disappointing 2 Terrible 3
4.9 Guide
4.9 Activities
4.9 Lodging
4.9 Transportation
4.9 Meals
Christmastime in Germany and Austria- Westbound

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Avalon comes through January 2015

  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I had heard that Avalon had mostly new ships and that the newest river boats usually had bigger cabins, so decided to give them a try when we sailed the Danube last year. My wife and I were very happy with the choice -- the room had big windows and we enjoyed being able to eat outside, which is something you don't find on some of the older river ships, The shore excursions were good, too, and we didn't have to pay extra for them, which made it more affordable all arouind.
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Operator Avalon Waterways



Budapest to Prague - Wine Cruise Nov 2017 November 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
To sum it up.....Excellent!!!!! Service, food and accommodation were all excellent. This Danube wine cruise experience was first class. I will return to Avalon again for another river cruise.

Operator Avalon Waterways



The river cruise in France via Avalon … November 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The river cruise in France via Avalon Waterways was amazing, the most wonderful trip I have ever been on. Every detail was spectacular. But the best part was all of the people on the boat. They were kind, funny, friendly, and their customer service was top notch. I don't know that I will ever have an experience like this again in my travels. I would 100% recommend Avalon Waterways to anyone. Thank you.
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Operator Avalon Waterways



I would like to highly recommend Avalon … November 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I would like to highly recommend Avalon Waterways River Cruises.
I have enjoyed 2 of their river cruises already and have a 3rd planned in 2018.
I have cruised the Danube and Rhine and my next is the Seine River, with a 3 day extension on each cruise through Monogram Vacations.
I especially appreciate their spacious cabins which are 200 square feet.
This is smartly accomplished by eliminating the walkout balcony, which
instead is incorporated into the cabin, utilizing ceiling to floor and wall to wall glass doors. These sliding doors can open to enjoy the beautiful passing scenery from your king sized bed.
All the tours have been very well organized, and we have also enjoyed the exceptional food on each of the cruises.
Avalon Waterways Cruises will continue to be my first choice for exploring Europe in luxury.
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Operator Avalon Waterways


Does Not Recommend

Bad practice. November 2017

  • Value 2.0
  • Guide 2.0
  • Activities 2.0
  • Lodging 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 2.0
The crew were very nice, the problem was the docking of the boat, always hooked up 1 foot next to another or sandwiched between two boats. We paid a lot of money to be on the top floor for a panorama view at night or morning. We only got to see a view of another room or almost nude people staring back at us. We opened our door at night for a breeze and received smoke blown in our faces from the other boat. The shoreline was empty but we had to hookup against another boat every night and day.
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Operator Avalon Waterways


Day 1: Arrive In Vienna, Austria (Embarkation)

Meals: Dinner

Vienna, Austria’s capital, is known as the “City of Music” and inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception.

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

Day 2: Vienna

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boy’s Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see on your GUIDED TOUR. Visit the delightful Christmas markets and savor the sounds and smells of holiday cheer. Be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! An optional concert is available tonight.

Day 3: Dürnstein–Melk

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

During breakfast this morning arrive in Dürnstein, situated right in the heart of the Wachau wine region, and known for the magnificent baroque, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s. The main street of this small town—with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century residences and charming cobblestone streets. A Local Guide will take you on a WALKING TOUR, and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. Then sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk in the early afternoon. The magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY dominates the town and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. In fact, with all its glory and splendor, it’s hard to believe the abbey was originally built as a retreat for monks sworn to a life of poverty and simplicity This evening, you’ll be able to sample some of the FAMOUS WINES of this region.

Day 4: Linz–Passau, Germany

Linz, Austria’s third-largest city, lies on both banks of the Danube and is an important industrial town and busy river port. Depart from here for an optional full-day excursion to Salzburg to see the popular Sound of Music sites, find out how mice caused the composition of the famous “Silent Night” Christmas carol, and learn how the Austrians celebrate Christmas. Rejoin your ship in Passau, located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK.

Day 5: Regensburg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights included on your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR are the Old Town Hall, built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy a SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. This afternoon is free to explore on your own or to visit the Regensburg Christmas market. The tempting aromas of mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, sausages and gingerbread create an unforgettable atmosphere. Before dinner tonight we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS.

Day 6: Nuremberg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, spend a relaxing morning of cruising, and before lunch, attend an ONBOARD LECTURE about the engineering marvel that is the Main Danube Canal. The afternoon is dedicated to Nuremberg. Although 90% of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Today, choose either a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized “NUREMBERG TRIALS” tour. The Old Town is illuminated with festive lights and decorations, and the Christmas market is one of the biggest in Germany—and one of the most famous in the world. The market has 200 stalls offering traditional wares, including Nuremberg spicy gingerbread (Lebkuchen), fruit loaves, baked goods and sweets, typical Christmas decorations, and Christmas tree ornaments.

Day 7: Nuremberg. Excursion To Munich

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, drive to Munich, where a local expert will proudly show you the sights of the Bavarian capital. An inspiring mix of historic buildings and impressive architecture, you’ll see the Olympic Stadium, 1,000-foot-high Television Tower, Nymphenburg Palace, MARIENPLATZ in the historic heart of the city with the Old and New Town Halls, and the gothic Frauenkirche. Later, there’s free time to explore on your own. The traditional Christmas market is located on the Marienplatz, with aromas of toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread filling the air and the strains of alpine Christmas music coming from the town hall. At the nearby Rindermarkt, you’ll find the Kripperlmarkt, one of the largest markets in Germany to specialize in mangers and other nativity accessories. And don’t leave Munich without paying a visit to the famous Hofbräuhaus for a stein of beer! Return to your ship in the late afternoon.

Day 8: Nuremberg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A day to relax and enjoy Nuremberg at your own pace. Stroll through the festively lit streets, buy those last-minute Christmas gifts, or ask your Cruise Director for suggestions of things to do.

Day 9: Bamberg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In the early morning hours, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! At this time of year, the town is decked out for Christmas and especially interesting are the many nativity scenes built by local citizens and exhibited throughout the town. Enjoy the Christmas market, which sells classic Christmas articles such as candles and decorations, as well as many regional delicacies such as gingerbread and nut bread. Rejoin your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon cruise gently along the Main River as you head for Würzburg, and attend an ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about the European Union.

Day 10: Würzburg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The city makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore the beautifully decorated streets on your own, visit the Christmas markets, or perhaps join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. Here, try a Schneeball (snowball), a local specialty not at all suitable for a diet!

Day 11: Wertheim–Miltenberg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early this morning, arrive in Wertheim, situated at the confluence of the Tauber and Main Rivers. If you are up for an early breakfast, take a stroll afterward through the beautifully decorated medieval center, whose overlapping half-timbered houses are grouped along winding streets. Glassblowers have a long tradition in this town and, especially in wintertime, they produce decorations that hang on Christmas trees all over the world. Reboard your ship and enjoy an onboard BAKING DEMONSTRATION before arriving in Miltenberg after lunch. Tucked away behind medieval defensive walls and towered gates, the picturesque Bavarian village of Miltenberg is a cultural gem on the banks of the Main River. This afternoon’s GUIDED WALK will acquaint you with the town’s delightful Marktplatz (market square), which centers around a Renaissance-era fountain and features striking half-timbered buildings, cobblestone lanes, and one of the oldest inns in Germany, Haus zum Riesen (the giant’s house) and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall. Depart for Frankfurt before dinner.

Day 12: Frankfurt (Disembarkation)

Meals: Breakfast

Your vacation ends after breakfast today. 

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 3,599

Price Per Day:

$ 300 per person
  • Deposit Price: $ 250
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Ship Name


Ship Stats
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Sky Deck with shade awnings
  • Non-smoking interior
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for all guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Internet Corner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Durnstein
  • Avalon Choice cruising experience
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing options
  • Local Favorites onboard experiences with local chefs, entertainers, artisans & experts
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library
  • Selection of Local Favorites to bring the customs, cultures, and tastes of your destination to life
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs
  • Expanded Fitness Center
  • Elevator
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew
  • Cruise Director
  • Revolutionary engineering
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Hair salon (manicures available)
  • Onboard movie nights
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Behind-the-scenes ship tour
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks
  • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
  • Panorama Bistro
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day
Ship Description

It didn't take us long to expand Europe's youngest fleet! The Avalon Vista set sail in 2012, adding to our unique offering of Suite Ships®. The Vista's two full decks of suites feature Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony®. Enjoy fresh breezes and enchanting scenery from the comfort of your suite. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording you the incomparable opportunity to wake each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include an expanded Fitness Center, complimentary Internet Corner and Wi-Fi access, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, shade system, whirlpool, and the delightful Sky Bistro.

Deck & Cabin Plans

Deck Plan

Cat. D,E

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E)

Trip Includes
  • Accommodation
  • Most of the meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Internal transportation
  • Wi-Fi accessibility
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
Trip Excludes
  • Transfers
  • Alcohol & beverages outside of the contracted menu
  • Additional excursions and activities not listed as 'included' in the itinerary
  • Travel Protection premiums
  • Other items of a personal nature.
Meals Included:

11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches and 11 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Start City
End City
Cancellation Policy:

If a booking cancellation is received by Avalon prior to the final payment date of your vacation, your non-refundable land deposit and Travel Protection payments will be retained in addition to your Flex-Air deposit, Instant Purchase Air payment and service fee, and/or intra-vacation air deposit. For individual reservations, the following per person cancellation fees apply. Total price does not include discounts, promotions, or special incentives. (For group reservations, refer to the Group Policy.)

Standard Cancellation Fees:

90-60 days prior to commencement of services: 35% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

59-30 days prior to commencement of services: 50% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

29-1 days prior to commencement of services: 80% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

On departure day and later: 100% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

Additional Information:

Air-Inclusive Vacations — Applicable Taxes & Fees

Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.

Trip ID#: chringava

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