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  • 12 day river cruise from Prague to Basel
  • Deluxe 9-night cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds.
  • See the Astronomical Clock and visit Hradcany Castle grounds in Prague
  • Nuremberg Trials tour
  • Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by local chefs, entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
  • Attend a German beer tasting, a lively accordion music presentation, and attend a fascinating woodcarving demonstration.

Experience the holiday season on this festive river cruise vacation from Prague to Basel. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Prague, where you’ll visit the famous Hradcany Castle grounds; Nuremberg; Bamberg; Würzburg; the charming Bavarian village of Miltenberg; and Strasbourg, France, where you can explore one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. Other highlights: a beer tasting in Bamberg, a visit to Würzburg’s Bishop’s Residenz, a traditional baking demonstration, an excursion to Rüdesheim in the heart of the Rhine wine country, Germany’s Black Forest, and an excursion to Heidelberg, where you visit the red sandstone castle and bask in the holiday atmosphere. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the many Christmas markets, where you can sample some tasty holiday treats, smell the aromas of the Christmas markets, shop for local Christmas ornaments, and delight in the holiday cheer. This year, celebrate the holiday season in style on this memorable and joyous cruise.

Travel Theme
Flights & Transport
  • Internal airfare and ground transport

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 Prague to Basel - Westbound

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Avalon Waterways .



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 Prague, Czech Republic

Welcome to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. This fascinating city straddles the Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires, and pinnacles highlighting its skyline.

Day 2: Prague

Meals: Breakfast

Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time. See its best-known treasures such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; HRADCANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague, which is guarded on both ends by a tower. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books and stroll through the Christmas markets. Rows of brightly decorated wooden huts sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Get a little inner warmth with a cup of svarene vino (hot mulled wine) and a traditional hot sausage from one of the stalls. The beautifully decorated tree in the Old Town is an impressive sight. Christmas is the most important family holiday of the year in most Eastern European countries, and the Czechs begin their preparations and celebrations on December 4th with the feast of St. Barbara.

Day 3: Prague–Nuremberg, Germany (Embarkation)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After lunch, drive to Nuremberg, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew for a welcome reception.

Day 4: Nuremberg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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. In the afternoon, set sail for Bamberg.

Day 5: 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 residents and exhibited throughout the town. We’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS before you have free time to enjoy the Christmas market. Besides classic Christmas articles such as candles and decorations, there are 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 6: 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 7: 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. 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 8: Frankfurt. Excursion To Rüdesheim

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast this morning a comfortable motorcoach ride takes you to the pretty little town of Rüdesheim, a perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town. A visit to SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise! Afterward, we’ll offer you a SPECIAL TREAT and then there’s free time to explore. The entire town transforms itself into one large Christmas market, offering products and specialties from a number of nations, all presented in a distinctive manner. You’ll be spoiled by the selection of shops offering a vast variety of Christmas presents and decorations. In the Market Square you’ll find Europe’s largest nativity scene, with life-size figures. In the afternoon, return to Frankfurt.

Day 9: Speyer, Germany. Excursion To Heidelberg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early this morning, dock in Speyer. From here, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, 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! At this time of year, an ice rink is set up at the foot of the castle, and stalls offer Glühwein, Bratwurst, and other tasty treats. The Christmas market itself is scattered over five town squares, and you’ll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. There is plenty of free time to shop for Christmas decorations or gifts.

Day 10: Strasbourg, France

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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. Dating back to 1570, the traditional Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Located around Place de la Cathédrale and Place Broglie, its centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets you’ll notice the pleasing aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits—a truly magical atmosphere! This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine region is available. This evening, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration.

Day 11: Breisach, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Excursion to the Black Forest. Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany’s BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that the local residents described them as black. There’s no better setting for this time of year than when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs, connoting images of warm and festively decorated interiors. And if there has been a fresh snowfall, this will indeed be a Winter Wonderland! Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. This afternoon there’s free time in Breisach to visit just one more Christmas market or to join an optional excursion to Colmar.

Day 12: Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)

Meals: Breakfast

Your vacation ends after breakfast today. 

Dates & Pricing

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Price Per Day:

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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.
Trip Includes
  • Accommodation for 11 days
  • Most of the meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Internal transportation
  • Wi-Fi accessibility
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
Trip Excludes
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Alcohol & beverages outside of the contracted menu
  • Additional excursions and activities not listed as 'included' in the itinerary
  • Travel Protection premiums
  • Applicable cruise taxes, fees, fares and port charges
  • Other items of a personal nature
Flights & Transport
Internal airfare and ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Start City
End City

Trip ID#: chrpraava


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