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About Our Destination

Holland, Germany and France use the Euro. Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc. Check for current rates.
Swiss, French, German and Dutch, but most people speak English
  • Tuesday, April 14 — Basel, Switzerland
  • Wednesday, April 15 — Breisach/Black Forest, Germany
  • Thursday, April 16 — Strasbourg, France
  • Friday, April 17 — Ludwigshafen/Mainz/Heidelberg, Germany
  • Saturday, April 18 — Koblenz/Rhine Gorge/Rüdesheim, Germany
  • Sunday, April 19 — Cologne, Germany
  • Monday, April 20 — Amsterdam, Hollandy
  • Tuesday, April 21 — Amsterdam, Holland
Vacation Stretchers
We will be offering optional pre-vacation stretchers in Zurich and optiona post-vacation stretchers in Amsterdam. In Zurich, you’ll visit a Cheese Factory for lunch to try local specialties and have the opportunity to make your own delicious swiss chocolate bar at a swiss chocolate factory (tastings included)! You’ll travel to Lucerne where you will take a tram up to Mt. Titlis for a beautiful 360° view of the Alps, and overnight there to enjoy the old town or take a stroll around the beautiful lake. In Amsterdam, the adventure continues as you might enjoy a walking tour of the Red-Light District, the LGBTQ area of Amsterdam, or spend time in Keukenhof Gardens. Information on these will be available approximately 9-11 months in advance of the trip. Please check our Vacation Stretcher tab for more information.
Activity Level
These trips do require a level of mobility, as most of the tours are walking tours for up to 3 hours, which may include walking on cobblestone streets and stairs. A “Gentle Walkers” Group is included on most included walking tours, which accommodates those needing a little extra time and sometimes a shortened version of a tour, keeping in mind as few stairs as possible. If you are bringing a portable wheel chair or collapsible travel scooter, they must be able to collapse and be stored in your cabins. They cannot be used to get around the ship, only to use while off the ship. They may be used on tours that are accessible, but that can be difficult because of the cobblestone streets, stairwells and need to lift them up on curbs. If you do have limited mobility, you are required to travel with someone who can assist you to lift the scooters down the gangways, up and down curbs, and if needed up and down stairs.

Before Your Trip

What's included?
  • Accommodations for 8 days/7 nights on one of the finest river boat cruises in Europe
  • All meals while on board
  • Champagne at breakfast daily
  • Beer, wine, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Coffee, tea, and juices during all meals
  • Olivia entertainment and programming
  • Local entertainment
  • Bottled water replenished in cabin daily
  • Included sightseeing tours in each port
  • Gratuities to ship crew & Avalon Cruise Director, included and optional tour guides/bus drivers (covered in NDAs)
  • Group transfer from the Airport Host Hotel to the ship on April 14
  • Olivia Staff assistance throughout
What’s not included?
  • Transfer from ship to the Amsterdam airport on April 21
  • Optional tours
  • Alcoholic beverages, additional bottled water and soft drinks (except where indicated)
  • Phone/Fax
  • Salon services
Travel documentation and identification
You will need a passport that is valid for six months past the date of the trip. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with both your country’s consulate and the consulates of the countries we will be visiting to make sure that you do not need an entry visa or other additional documentation.
If you are a U.S. Citizen, you DO NOT need to get a visa for travel to Switzerland, France, Germany or the Netherlands. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with both your country’s consulate and the consulates of the countries we will be visiting to make sure that you do not need an entry visa or other additional documentation.
Please check with your local Public Health Department or personal physician regarding immunization requirements for all countries on your itinerary. You may also check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s website at: Click on the Travelers’ Health section, then click on the Destinations link and choose your destination in the “For Travelers” pull-down menu.
Cancellation Policy
Unexpected events can cause you to cancel your vacation. Because we are committed to this charter, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined in our Olivia Terms & Conditions.
TRIP DATE 4/14/2020    
Cancellation Fee 270 days or more prior to trip date   7/19/2019 $500 per person
Cancellation Fee 210-269 days prior to trip date 7/20/2019 9/17/2019 25% of trip cost
Cancellation Fee 150-209 days prior to trip date 9/18/2019 11/16/2019 50% of trip cost
Cancellation Fee 120-149 days prior to trip date 11/17/2019 12/16/2019 75% of trip cost

Cancellation Fee 0-119 days prior to trip date

12/17/2019   100% of trip cost

Travel Insurance
Olivia recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to protect yourself and your trip investment. Now more than ever it’s important to think about the unexpected. We recommend you purchase the travel protection within 15 days of your initial invoice date to receive the most comprehensive coverage, but it is never too late. Consider travel protection for Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.
Please refer to the Policy/Description of Coverage for a summary of the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of the applicable Protection Plan.
For a travel insurance quote, more information or to purchase a protection plan, please call Olivia at 800-631-6277 and select option 1 for a travel consultant.
Olivia’s preferred travel agency

We are pleased to partner with Conlin Travel, one of the “Top 50” Travel Agencies in the country ranked alongside some of the globe’s largest agencies. In business for almost 60 years, Conlin Travel’s core belief is aligned with Olivia in delivering that personal concierge service to each and every traveler, every time. A full-service, LGBTQ-friendly agency with staff located across the country, Conlin Travel looks forward to assisting you with your air travel and hotel reservations for stays outside of Olivia’s pre- and post-trip packages. For air and hotel bookings, a small fee will be applied to your overall cost.
For assistance in making a reservation, please call Conlin Travel: 888-278-1698 (Monday–Friday: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm EST)
If you already have a reservation with Conlin and need emergency after-hours service, please call 800-823-1189.
Joining the and Facebook trip groups
Start meeting new friends right away! If you'd like to chat with people who are going on the trip, sign up for the official Olivia trip group, Olivia’s Zurich to Amsterdam Riverboat Official Trip Group on our connect page or join Olivia’s 2020 Zurich to Amsterdam Riverboat Official Facebook Group.
Olivia Honeymoons and Celebrations
Register at Olivia Honeymoon Wishes for your honeymoon, anniversary or other special celebration; browse through the selections and let your friends know just how easy it is for them to purchase a gift for you.
Olivia Travel Gear Store

To help you get ready for your next vacation, we’ve partnered with New Headings to create Olivia Travel Gear, our own online gear and apparel store, featuring items from leading brands, including Craghoppers, Patagonia, Teva, Outdoor Research, and Eagle Creek. Visit for more information!

Travel and arrival

Air Travel
Where to fly into/out of
You will need to fly into Zurich International Airport (ZRH) and out of Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport (AMS). We encourage all passengers to extend their trip with our pre- and post-trip stretchers to enjoy all Amsterdam and Zurich have to offer, as well as to avoid the stress of unexpected delays.
Suggested arrival/departure times
All flights should arrive into Zurich (ZRH) by 1pm on April 14 to participate in the included group transfer to the ship in Basel. If you choose to make your own way to the ship, you can board the ship anytime on April 14, store your luggage and utilize the lounge to rest before your cabin is ready to occupy at 4 pm. If your flight times are close to these cutoff times, please call 800-631-6277 to confirm that they are okay.
All flights can depart Amsterdam (AMS) at any time on April 21, as the ship will overnight in Amsterdam on April 20.
If your flight times are close to these cutoff times, please call 800-631-6277 to confirm that they are okay.
Airfare discounts
Save up to 15% on your airfare through our partner airlines. Please visit our Airfare Specials tab for the most up-to-date information.
Luggage allowances
The included bus transfer from Zurich airport to the ship limits luggage to one piece per person, plus a carry-on. Airlines often restrict (or charge) for excess baggage. Because each airline is different, and the regulations change over time, please check with your airline for baggage allowances. For travel in Europe, we recommend no more than one large piece and a smaller carry-on for ease of travel.
Transfers and meeting up with Olivia
Getting to your ship
The Zurich Airport is approximately one hour from the ship in Basel.
Port address
The exact docking location is not determined until closer in, and sometimes not until the day of embarkation. We will provide docking information in final documents, and a phone number to call on the day of embarkation in case you need to get directed to the ship.
Official check-in will be available in the afternoon. For early arriving flights, you can board the ship, drop off your luggage and enjoy the lounge with small snacks and coffee/tea/water. You can also venture out on your own to enjoy Zurich. Suites and staterooms will be available to access after 4 pm.

During your trip

Avalon's ms Expression Ship Amenities
The beautifully designed Avalon Expression features sliding glass doors in almost every stateroom. The staterooms and suites are well-appointed and are among the largest on the river. Some of the features and amenities you’ll enjoy on board:
  • An entirely non-smoking interior
  • Lounge
  • Beautiful bar
  • Library
  • Sun deck
  • Air conditioning
  • Laundry service (check pricing on board)
  • Fitness center
  • Panoramic windows throughout the ship
  • Elegant, contemporary design throughout
  • Included shore excursions with Local Guide, and all tipping to guides included
  • Headsets for shore excursions
  • Complimentary WiFi access
  • Space to relax & unwind
  • Premium coffees, cappuccinos, and lattes
  • Coffee self-serve beverage station
  • A lounge serving premium spirits (extra charge)
  • Maintain your routine in the fitness center
  • The Comfort Collection Beds
  • Premium L'Occitane bath amenities
  • Daily early- and late-riser breakfast
  • Full buffet breakfast with sparkling wine, with complimentary juices and made-to-order egg station
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Al fresco lunches on the Sky Bistro
  • Chef-inspired regional recipes
  • Four-course dinners with open seating
  • Complimentary regional wines at dinner
  • Free soft drinks or beer with dinner
  • Light snacks served at 10:30 pm
  • Remarkable service throughout the cruise
  • English-speaking crew
  • Non-smoking interior
Cabin amenities:
  • 172–200 sq. ft. staterooms and suites, some of the largest on the river
  • Most with floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe
  • Large bathrooms—showers w/ glass doors
  • Flat-screen satellite TV with movie channels
  • Spacious 3-door closets for ample storage
  • Non-allergenic duvets & pillows
  • Pillow-top hotel beds
  • Egyptian cotton sheets
  • Bottled water replenished daily
NEW FOR 2019 AND 2020:
  • Gear & ideas: Bikes & Helmets (16 per ship), binoculars, yoga mats, stretch bands, day packs, fit bits, Nordic walking sticks, bike/hike/jog maps, picnic blankets all available for check-out at no charge
  • Avalon Adventure Host—lead fitness activities and active excursions / resource for independent active exploration
Fine dining on board offers European cuisine. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style, and dinner is sit-down menu service.
The cabins have 110- and 220-volt electricity. Adapters should be 2-round prongs.
Entertainment & programming
We will bring two Olivia entertainers to perform on several evenings, as well as utilize some of the local entertainment along the way.
Narration about the Rhine will be given as we sail down the historical areas and go through the many locks, and there will be special talks about the history of the areas we visit.
River-Cruising is about port destinations. Don’t expect the same ship-activity packed schedule you might find on a big ship or resort! A typical day is a walking tour of a new city, lunch on board, and another walking tour, free time or optional tour to explore. Perhaps you’ll enjoy a fun and informative lecture on the history of the area or take that well-deserved nap. It’s your vacation! In the evenings, we are delighted with local entertainment or one of our two Olivia entertainers. After the shows, enjoy our river-ship version of “Club O” with our talented staff taking turns being a “Guest DJ” to provide dancing music in the main lounge. Or you may choose to get to bed early for your next full day!
A walking and/or city tour is included in each of the ports visited. Optional tours are available to book on board that range from approximately €39 to €79. These optional tours do not conflict with the included tours. More information on the optional tours will be available in your final documents. There is no pre-signup needed. All optional tours offer plenty of space for everyone and can only be booked on board. Optional Excursions are paid to the Avalon Cruise Director separately from your ship on board account.
We will designate a group on each included tour whenever possible as a “gentle walkers” group. This is for those who need a little extra time walking, perhaps have scooters, canes and even for photographers who like to stop and take more photos. For those with mobility issues, we suggest purchasing a cane that can also fold out to be a seat so you can rest while the group stops to listen to the guide. A sample of one can be found here, but they have several different styles to choose from.
Gratuities are provided for your Avalon Cruise Director, cabin steward, dining room steward, bus person, maître d’, reception, bar staff and other-behind-the-scenes crew members and are included in the cost of the cruise.
Tipping is now included for the local guides and bus drivers on included tours and optional tours. Should you receive exceptional service and wish to tip more, this is completely at your discretion.
Internet / email / fax
Complimentary WiFi is included on board in public spaces and in your cabins for use on your personal laptops, phones, and tablets. There is an onboard Internet Center with two desktop computers for guest use. Faxes can be sent from the Reception Desk for a charge.
Laundry services
Laundry and pressing service is available. Dry-cleaning or self-service laundry facilities are not available on board. Check on board for pricing.
Medical services
The ship is minutes away from hospitals when we are docked and close to local towns along the river. The ship does not have an onboard doctor.
Money: Paying for things on board
The currency used on board is Euros (€). All purchases made on the ship will be charged to your onboard account, which you create when you first check in. Cash, Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted. Please check with the front office on the ship for further details.
Each cabin has a phone to call cabin-to-cabin and international/local calls. There is an additional fee to use this phone for international or local calls; cost is available on board.
Smoking policy
The Avalon Expression has entirely non-smoking interiors. Smoking is not permitted in your cabins or on your French balconies. A smoking area will be designated on an outdoor deck.
Salon services
There is an onboard beauty salon. Hair appointments and manicures are available for an additional fee. Massage services and pedicures are not available, but we can make recommendations in some of the ports we visit for these services.
We will have a solos program on board led by a solos coordinator who will ensure you have a great time. You can start to meet other solo travelers online in Olivia’s 2020 Zurich to Amsterdam Riverboat Official Facebook Group.
Special Diets and Special Needs
If you have any medical, mobility needs, or specific dietary requirements that you have not already advised your travel consultant about, please visit the travel preferences page to update your personal needs information. Please advise us of this information as soon as possible but no less than 90 days prior to the trip.
Special Occasions
If you have a celebration or birthday that occurs during the trip dates that you have not already advised your travel consultant about, please let us know of this information as soon as possible but no less than 90 days prior to the trip.

After Your Trip

Transfers to the airport
Because the ship will overnight in Amsterdam on April 20, you can arrange for a transfer to the airport at any time. The ship’s reception will be able to assist with arranging a cab. The Amsterdam Airport is about 30-40 minutes from the docking location, and will cost between 40-60 Euros.
Vacation Stretchers
We will be offering pre-cruise extensions in Zurich and post-cruise extensions in Amsterdam, which will be announced 11 months before the scheduled trip. Please visit Vacation Stretchers for more information.

Didn’t find what you are looking for? Check out our Olivia travel FAQ. Or call us at 800-631-6277 (inside the U.S. & Canada) or 415-962-5700 (Outside the U.S. & Canada) and select option 1.

For Reservations Call: (800) 631-6277 M-F 8:30am-5:30pm Pacific
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