Rhine & Rhône Revealed with Jewish Heritage (Northbound)

15 Day River Cruise Port-Saint-Louis to Amsterdam

Vacation Overview

Your Rhine River cruise sails across Germany—with touches of Switzerland, France, and Holland along the way as you experience important and meaningful Jewish Heritage historic and cultural sites. Joining us on board is renowned author and speaker Salo Muller joining us as a special guest on the Rhine portion of our cruise. Orphaned at five years old and forced into hiding after the Nazis seized his parents, Mr. Muller shares his moving story of loss and triumph. He recounts his mother’s last words to him, which became the title of his moving Holocaust memoir, “See You Tonight and Promise to be a Good Boy!” Just hours later, his parents would be arrested and put on a train from Westerbork to Auschwitz. Learn of his experiences during the war, his life after as a young orphan, and of how he overcame immeasurable tragedy to achieve much in life, including an esteemed career as physiotherapist for Amsterdam’s Ajax soccer team. Mr. Muller will accompany you on the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam to explore Jewish culture and heritage.

Your river cruise vacation begins in Port St. Louis, France, from where you’ll set sail to Arles—famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater. The city of Tournon is beautifully nestled among vineyards and you’ll go on a guided walk of this medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. Lyon is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Transfer to Basel to explore the legendary Rhine River and its Jewish culture and heritage. You’ll stop in Breisach, the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest, well known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. In Strasbourg, France, stroll through the picturesque La Petite France district and the old streets of the Jewish quarter. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, or stop in Mainz, one of the ShUM cities, for a guided walk and a visit to the Synagogue and the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Enjoy the opportunity to take a Jewish history tour in this fascinating city. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River. Your last stop in Germany is Cologne, where a guided walk shows you the highlights of this 2,000-year-old city. A stay in Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam is the perfect way to conclude this sensational European river cruise. And to make your cruise even more exclusive, join a private visit to the Anne Frank house, followed by a canal cruise along the elegant Grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age" and the Jewish Quarter. While sailing, join onboard lectures to learn more about the European Jewish culture, history and traditions.

Itinerary

 

Day 1 PORT ST. LOUIS, FRANCE (EMBARKATION)

Welcome to France. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding

Flights into Marseille must arrive by 3 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES

DinnerDinner

Day 2 ARLES

Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of Arles—the captivating city of the Provence region. You’ll visit the Roman Amphitheater in this visually stunning city, OR:

Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Carrières de Lumières (Cathedral of Images) to immerse yourself in a truly unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d’Enfer.

Take advantage of any free time remaining with a stop in Le Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine, to relax and watch the world go by, before sailing to Avignon.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AVIGNON

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Day 3 AVIGNON

The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence

CLASSIC Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the fortress city of Avignon—with its ramparts encircling the city—and a visit to the amazing Palace of the Popes.

Guided Optional Excursions include a visit to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard, or a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region.

Explore Avignon on your own for the city’s art and culture, theatre, and museums. Be sure to snap photos of the captivating countryside, historic monuments, and the medieval Pont Saint-Bénézet.

Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AVIGNON

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Day 4 VIVIERS

World History in a Charming French Country Village

Enjoy a leisurely morning sail to Viviers.

CLASSIC Explore the pale-stone buildings of Viviers on a late afternoon Guided Walking Tour of this charming village. You’ll see its Romanesque cathedral and Old Town with a mix of historical Christian, Roman, and medieval influences.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO TOURNON

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Day 5 TOURNON

A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards

CLASSIC Take a morning Guided Walking Tour to explore Tournon—one of France’s oldest medieval cities. See its 16th-century castle, and Roman ruins between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage.

In the late morning cruise to Vienne

VIENNE

Roman and Middle Age History

CLASSIC Join a Guided Walking Tour of Vienne and discover this charming little town surrounded by steep hills.

Enjoy live entertainment while sailing to Lyon.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON

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Day 6 LYON

Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France

CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon from Fourvière Hill with its numerous churches. You’ll also explore the Old Town with its maze of medieval alleyways, and the lively cafés, monuments, and famed fountain of Place des Terreaux.

Spend free time riding a bike through Lyon’s town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO TOURNUS

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Day 7 TOURNUS—ST. JEAN DE LOSNE

Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saône

Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar, or to the Castle of Cormatin. Alternatively enjoy a leisurely cruising morning along the majestic Saône River on your way to St. Jean de Losne.

DISCOVERY Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese Tasting on board your ship.

Enjoy live entertainment on board this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ST. JEAN DE LOSNE

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Day 8 ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (DISEMBARKATION) BEAUNE— BASEL, SWITZERLAND (EMBARKATION)

Drive to Beaune and transfer to Basel

CLASSIC Visit the Hôtel-Dieu Charity Hospital in Beaune, built in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgment and is one of France’s architectural highlights

This afternoon, travel by motorcoach to Basel to board your Rhine river cruise.

EVENING CRUISE TO BREISACH

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Day 9 BREISACH, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO BLACK FOREST

History, Artistry, and the Beautiful Black Forest

DISCOVERY Join a full-day Guided Tour to the magical Black Forest to experience the Vogtsbauernohf open-air-museum, visit an authentic water mill, and see a traditional butter-making demonstration, OR:

DISCOVERY Visit to Badische Winzerkeller, the largest German wine producer in Europe. Discover Germany’s southernmost wine country in Baden—ideally situated between the hills of the Black Forest and the Rhine River. Learn about the vintners’ process in the vineyards here, and enjoy a wine tasting.


You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the charming village of Colmar in the morning, with its half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings.

EVENING CRUISE TO STRASBOURG

Breakfast Breakfast
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Day 10 STRASBOURG, FRANCE

Gothic Giants, Petite France, and Varietal Vintages

DISCOVERY Join a City Sightseeing Tour, including Strasbourg’s s gothic, stained-glass cathedral with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock or the Synagogue, as well as the magical La Petite France District and the Jewish quarter with its streets which are among the oldest in France.

You may also choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the historic Maginot Line—an impressive installation of pre-WWII defensive fortifications designed to protect the eastern border of France, or visit Alsace’s wine country today.

Alternatively, take some free time in Strasbourg to visit a museum, or stroll across the city center.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO LUDWIGSHAFEN

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Day 11 LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY. EXCURSION TO HEIDELBERG

Castle Walls, and the World’s Biggest Barrel of Wine

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Tour to Heidelberg Castle to see the ruins of the magnificent renaissance treasure towering above the city, and its famed Great Vat, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel,” OR:

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Hike up Philosophers’ Way for an inspiring view of the city below.

Alternatively enjoy a brief cruise to Mainz this afternoon and join our included tour.

MAINZ

Turning the Pages of History

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided City Walk including a visit to the Gutenberg Museum to see the captivating history of printing.

Enjoy live entertainment on board your ship this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MAINZ

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Day 12 RÜDESHEIM—RHINE GORGE

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

DISCOVERY Take a Guided Tour of the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience; based on your departure enjoy a local special treat, OR:

ACTIVE Enjoy a hike with your Avalon Adventure Host through the picturesque vineyards of Rüdesheim.

Relax on the Sky Deck for an afternoon cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge to Koblenz. Sail past the legendary rock of The Lorelei—where the siren of mythology sang songs to lure ill-fated sailors.

KOBLENZ

Travel Through 2000 Years Of Monumental History

Enjoy free time in Koblenz before a relaxing evening on board with dinner and live entertainment.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN KOBLENZ

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Day 13 COLOGNE

Prost! Celebrate in the Rhineland

CLASSIC Take a Guided City Walk of Cologne—with its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral, OR:

DISCOVERY Choose a Guided Walking Tour of Cologne’s important Jewish heritage sites.

Don’t miss the chance to enjoy free time over a glass of Kölsch pale lager—locally brewed for over 100 years!

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AMSTERDAM

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Day 14 AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND

Canals of Colorful Amsterdam

DISCOVERY Join an exclusive private visit to the house where Anne Frank and her family lived for more than 2 years before being betrayed and turned in to the Nazis.

CLASSIC Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam on a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age”. Learn more about the Jewish culture while exploring the Jewish quarter.

You may join a Guided Optional Excursion to Zaanse Schans to see historic windmills and charming Dutch houses or an Optional Biking Tour to discover the countryside.

Take some free time to explore Amsterdam’s colorful streets and canal houses, galleries, and shops.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
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Day 15 AMSTERDAM (DISEMBARKATION)

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

Vacation Highlights

Day 1 Port St. Louis (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Arles: choice of guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheater, or painting workshop

Day 3 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the Popes

Day 4 Viviers: guided walk, visit Old Town and the cathedral

Day 5 Tournon–Vienne: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Vienne

Day 6 Lyon: guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière Hill

Day 7 St. Jean de Losne: cheese tasting on board

Day 8 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Basel (Embarkation): visit the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune; transfer to Basel; onboard welcome reception

Day 9 Breisach: choice of excursion to Black Forest, or visit to Badische Winzerkeller

Day 10 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district, the gothic cathedral or the Synagogue and the Jewish quarter

Day 11 Mainz: choice of guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, or hike up Philosophers’ Way, or visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz

Day 12 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; scenic cruise through the Rhine Gorge; free time in Koblenz

Day 13 Cologne: choice of “Cologne Highlights” walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tour

Day 14 Amsterdam: private visit to Anne Frank House canal cruise, see the Jewish quarter

Day 15 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your cruise ends this morning

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Hotels

Amsterdam

Moevenpick Amsterdam City

Superior First-Class

A stylish 408-room hotel in the perfect location, this waterfront property offers Free Wi-Fi internet access throughout. The chic restaurant serves creative international cuisine and there is a fabulous bar serving drinks and light snacks which is also a great spot for a nightcap. For relaxation there is a Lifestyle Studio featuring a gym, Finnish sauna, bio sauna & ice fountain.

Dates and Prices

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Important Notes

  • Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
  • A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $250 per person per vacation is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you. View full Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions.
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