Join WBAY TV-2 news anchor Bill Jartz on a river cruise aboard the beautiful Avalon Imagery II for one night in Amsterdam before exploring one of Europe’s most legendary rivers. This mesmerizing journey along the Rhine will include guided sightseeing in Cologne, Koblenz, and Strasbourg. Delight in excursions to Germany’s Black Forest and to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town with its imposing castle. Also, sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz.
Motor coach transportation is included from various pick up points to Chicago O’Hare airport for the overnight flight to Amsterdam if you purchase air-inclusive package.
Arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport where you’ll be transferred to the hotel.
Welcome to Amsterdam, Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital. This delightful city has elegant and classic architecture, many cafés, and restaurants and has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, canals, and bike paths throughout the city make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Afternoon and evening at leisure.
Hotel: Aitana Hotel (or similar)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing on a half day city tour of Amsterdam. You’ll meet your English speaking guide and begin your city tour of Amsterdam. Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, with its 700-year-old story and the famous canals with more than 1000 bridges, is called the Venice of the north. The excursion takes you past the historic city center with the dam square and the royal palace, the canals with the famous 'lean bridge 'and the museum quarter with its various famous museums.
This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception and dinner.
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 in the city this afternoon—you might like to join an optional biking tour (weather permitting). Later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne in the afternoon. One 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!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. Here, join a Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the city that reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters.
Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. In Rüdesheim, the quintessential 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. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT before returning to your ship for dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. Join your Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK through the Altstadt (Old Town) with its many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration.
Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here, and you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. After lunch, travel to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany. With a LOCAL GUIDE, 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!
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 that manages to retain its historic charm. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, 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-timber 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. An optional excursion into Alsace wine country is available today. After dinner, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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 local residents described them as black. Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. You may opt for a visit to the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning and then a transfer to the Zurich Airport and your flight home to Chicago. Upon arrival in Chicago, your motor coach will be waiting to return you to your original point of pick up. (Breakfast)
- Group motorcoach transfer to and from Chicago O’Hare from select pick-up points
- Round trip flights from Chicago O’Hare to Amsterdam and return from Zurich, Switzerland
- Motorcoach transfers between the airport, and hotel
Host and Services
- Join WBAY TV-2 news anchor Bill Jartz on a river cruise aboard the beautiful Avalon Imagery II!
- Hotel accommodations in Amsterdam for one night at the centrally located 4-star Aitana Hotel including breakfast daily
- Amsterdam half-day sightseeing tour
- Deluxe seven-night Avalon river cruise in a river view stateroom from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland
- Professional tour manager from Fox World Travel*
- Customized informative travel documents containing all trip details and helpful packing and planning information
River Cruise Highlights
- Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
- All meals onboard the ship with chef-inspired regional recipes to include:
- Welcome and Farewell Dinner
- Daily Afternoon Tea, Daily Night Fare
- Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily
- Shore excursions, hosted by English-speaking local experts, with a choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Essential sightseeing pace options
- Captivating onboard local entertainment
- Luxuriously appointed river view staterooms with hotel beds, hair dryer, safe and flat-screen TV with satellite for complimentary movie and entertainment options
- Remarkable service from your English-speaking crew and on-board Cruise Director
- Amsterdam: canal cruise
- Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk
- Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: guided sightseeing in Koblenz; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat
- Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; excursion to Heidelberg; guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat
- Strasbourg: visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; onboard woodcarving demonstration
- Breisach ~ Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a local woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum
Not Included: Meals, unless noted; medical services; airline imposed baggage fees; airport gratuities to baggage handlers, gratuities to motorcoach drivers, guides and shipboard staff; or any other items of a personal nature. A valid passport is required. Travel insurance protection is not included. Ask your travel consultant about our reasonable options.
* Minimum group required for Fox World Travel tour manager to participate. In the unlikely event the minimum number is not reached, an experienced local tour manager is still included. Unlimited beverages do not include premium wine and premium spirits.
Itinerary is subject to change.
Air-Inclusive from Chicago O’Hare
- Early Booking Discount: $250.00 off per person through February 20, 2017. (subject to change)
- Journey’s Club Past Passenger Discount: Past passengers of Avalon River Cruises, Globus, Monograms and Cosmos Vacations receive an additional $130.00 off per person (combinable with above promotions on single and double cabins!)
Raised in Clintonville, Wisconsin, Bill Jartz earned All-State recognition as a high school football player, which took him to Northwestern University on an athletic scholarship. Graduating with a degree in journalism, Bill began his career as a sports anchor in Wausau, then came to WBAY in 1983. After receiving various accolades for sports broadcasting, he became a news anchor in 1998. In addition to anchoring Action 2 News weeknights at 5, 6, and 10, Bill is also the Voice of Lambeau Field at Green Bay Packers home games, joining them as public address announcer in 2005. Bill is very involved in a number of charities and has been married to his wife, Mary, since 1984.
Departing from Chicago O’Hare
Depart June 22
Lufthansa #431 – Depart Chicago O’Hare at 4:05 p.m. and arrive in Frankfurt at 7:20 a.m. on June 23
Lufthansa #988- Depart Frankfurt at 9:15 a.m. and arrive in Amsterdam at 10:25 a.m.
Return July 1
Lufthansa #1191 – Depart Zurich at 2:40 p.m. and arrive in Frankfurt at 3:45 p.m.
Lufthansa #432- Depart Frankfurt at 5:15 p.m. and arrive in Chicago O’Hare at 7:15 p.m.
Please note: Flight schedules are subject to change and FWT has no control over flight changes, delays or cancellations.Tickets will be non-refundable once issued. Changes will be subject to a fee plus any fare difference. Additional restrictions may apply. Flight schedules are subject to change. Fox World Travel has no control over flight or equipment changes, seat assignments, delays or cancellations. A minimum of 10 passengers is needed for the group air. Checked baggage fees may apply.
Pricing and flight options from other cities available upon request.
Avalon Imagery II
One of 2016’s two new additions to the youngest fleet on Europe’s waterways, the Imagery II continues all of Avalon’s outstanding Suite Ship traditions. Passengers can choose from two full decks of Panorama Suites, featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony. At a spacious 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording the incomparable opportunity to awaken each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi access, an expanded Fitness Center, hair salon, an elevator, alternative light dining options in the Panorama Bistro or al fresco grill lunch at the Sky Bistro, and an expansive Sky Deck with whirlpool, premium lounge chairs, a shade system, and deck games.
Cancellation and travel protection is strongly recommended. Fox World Travel offers several plans with Travel Guard Insurance. Details and rates can be obtained from your travel consultant.
- From date of deposit to March 17, 2017: Initial deposit of $400.00 per person
- March 18 to April 21, 2017: 50% package price cancellation fee + applicable airline fees
- April 22 to May 22, 2017: 75% package price cancellation fee + applicable airline fees
- May 23, 2017 to departure: No refund
Airline tickets are non-refundable once ticketed.
A valid passport is required with a validity of at least six months beyond the return date of the trip.
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