- Avalon Waterways
15 Night Best of Switzerland & Romantic Rhine
Zurich to Amsterdam
July 14, 2018
Avalon Waterways Affinity
This fabulous vacation beginning with an in-depth land tour of everything stunning Switzerland has to offer; then a river cruise along the legendary Rhine River—with stops in France, Germany, and Holland—awaits you!
With its stunning mountains, fascinating old towns, and beautiful lakes, Switzerland offers something for everyone. On this tour, experience some of its most interesting cities with overnights in Zürich, St. Moritz, Lugano, Zermatt, Lake Geneva, and Lucerne. And no tour to Switzerland is complete without seeing the stunning scenery, so enjoy a scenic drive following Lake Zürich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. In Täsch, board a mountain train to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the famous Matterhorn. If beautiful lakes are what you desire to see, you'll enjoy Lake Como; Lake Maggiore; Lake Geneva; and Lugano, the popular subtropical resort on the shores of Lake Lugano. To bring Switzerland to life, Globus has arranged some unique experiences for you. Enjoy lunch at a traditional Swiss working farm in Berne and a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus to enjoy heavenly views. Of course, Switzerland is known for its chocolates, so this tour would not be complete without a taste of traditional chocolate pralines.
Embark on your river cruise in Basel, Switzerland, and head for Breisach, Germany, where you’ll find the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. In Strasbourg, France, be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and the fascinating astronomical clock. Stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, towering magnificently over the city, and stop in Mainz for a guided walk and a visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam, offers world-famous museums and an abundance of restaurants amongst the classic architecture and charming canals. See the treasures of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.”
From stunning scenery and vibrant cities to its special experiences, this river cruise and land tour is sure to delight. So grab your camera and get ready for an amazing vacation!
What we are Including
- Your flight to Zurich and return from Amsterdam
- 1-night superior hotel in Amsterdam
- 7-night guided land portion
- 7-night river cruise in a riverview stateroom
- Guided sightseeing
- Taxes & much more!
ARRIVE IN ZÜRICH, SWITZERLANDWelcome to Zurich! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (Dinner)
ZÜRICH–VADUZ, LIECHTENSTEIN–ST. MORITZEnjoy an orientation walk of Zurich’s well-preserved OLD TOWN with its medieval guild houses, and [LF] taste the traditional CHOCOLATE PRALINES at the famous Sprüngli Confectionery. Next, a scenic drive following Lake Zurich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. After a break in its capital, Vaduz, ascend the Rhine Valley into the mountainous Grisons, a canton where three of the country’s four languages are spoken. The 7,504-foot Julier Pass, an important Alpine road since Roman times, leads to the Engadine. This valley is considered by many as the most beautiful mountain area in the world, with deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests that turn golden in the fall, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style. Afternoon arrival in ritzy St. Moritz. (Breakfast, Dinner)
MORITZ–LAKE COMO, ITALY–LUGANO, SWITZERLANDA gradual change of scenery as you descend towards the enchanting shores of Italy’s Lake Como and continue on to the southern tip of Switzerland. The vegetation south of the Alps is Mediterranean: chestnut groves, vineyards, and olive and fig trees make you forget that earlier today you were within walking distance of glaciers. Afternoon arrival in the popular subtropical resort town of Lugano allows time for shopping under the arcades of Via Nassa or an espresso on flower-festooned Piazza Riforma. To truly appreciate splendid Lake Lugano, an exciting optional boat ride is available, followed by dinner at a traditional “grotto” restaurant. (Breakfast)
LUGANO–STRESA, ITALY–TÄSCH, SWITZERLAND–ZERMATTFrom Lake Lugano to the Italian shore of Lake Maggiore for a break in elegant Stresa. An optional boat ride to enchanting Isola Bella can be arranged. Continue over lofty Simplon Pass into the Swiss Valais, an area renowned for its excellent wines and great mountain resorts. To reach the most famous of them, leave the coach behind in Täsch and board a MOUNTAIN TRAIN to climb the last few miles up to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn. (Breakfast)
ZERMATT–LAKE GENEVAThis morning, you can join an exciting optional excursion to Klein Matterhorn for spectacular views of the surrounding Alps. Later, motor through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhône Valley, and arrive at beautiful Lake Geneva for your overnight stay. (Breakfast, Dinner)
LAKE GENEVA–BERNE–LUCERNEIn the stately capital of Berne, your guided tour starts at the BEAR PARK, followed by a panoramic view of the city from the Rose Garden. Next, enjoy a walking tour through the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town. Witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and take pictures of ornate, flower-adorned fountains. The highlight of the day is a [LF] special lunch at a traditional Swiss WORKING FARM, to give you a chance to see how people live in rural Switzerland. Over Brünig Pass to picturesque Lucerne. An optional dinner excursion is available to a folklore party with yodeling for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking. (Breakfast, Lunch)
LUCERNEOn your walking tour this morning, admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Afterwards, another true Swiss experience: [LF] a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus, the “Guard of Lucerne,” where you get a special SOUVENIR CAP to always remember this experience! Tonight, a special farewell dinner awaits you at your hotel for a proper auf Wiedersehen. (Breakfast, Dinner)
LUCERNE–TRANSFER TO BASEL (EMBARKATION)Your Globus tour ends today with a late-morning transfer by coach to Basel, where your Avalon ship is docked for embarkation. Please reconfirm all transfer details directly with your Globus Tour Director while on tour. (Breakfast, Dinner)
BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO THE BLACK FORESTLocated 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. The area got its name because the pine forests are so dense, local residents described them as black. The most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks! You may opt to visit the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Vogtsbauernhof Museum to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
STRASBOURG, FRANCESituated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. 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. Explore 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, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG, GERMANY–MAINZThis morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, which was founded in 1386. Visit the 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, it holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor on top of it! In the afternoon, arrive in Mainz, which today 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 is a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here. During a GUIDED WALK, you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
RÜDESHEIM–RHINE GORGE–KOBLENZThis morning, dock in pretty Rüdesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, and enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT. 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 water. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of 2,000-year-old Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
COLOGNEOne 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. 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! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
AMSTERDAM, HOLLANDWelcome 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
AMSTERDAM (DISEMBARKATION)Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Unhindered and Uninhibited River CruisingAvalon Waterways knows their clientele and they know how their guests enjoy the different perspectives river cruising offers. The unique opportunity that river cruising presents to those that love exploring the world on their own terms is why Avalon has always said “see the world your way” and is why Avalon Waterways has remained one of the world’s premier river cruise lines. River cruising is one of the best ways to visit and explore the waterways that have consistently been some of the most important trade routes of any country and have been instrumental in the success and development of the incredible cities that you’ll be visiting during your journey.
Take the time to discover more about Avalon Waterways and what makes them one of the premier river cruise operators in the world. We guarantee you won’t regret it.
What can you expect with your Avalon Waterways adventure?
Here’s just a small sampling of what an Avalon river cruise might provide on your journey:
- Open-Air Balconies in suites that offer unprecedented views with wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the world
- Suites that are 30% larger than the average stateroom
- Undefinable yet ever present luxury
- Exquisite dining that features local ingredients prepared by world class master chefs
- A variety of dining options that includes special events tailored to your itinerary, a la carte meals and multiple venues aboard the ship
- Incredible itineraries to exciting and exotic locales that will leave you virtually speechless yearning to return for more