Wonderful - the Best River cruise we have done! June 14th - June 28th
We have done several river cruises - this the second with Avalon Waterways. It was the best. The weather wasn't so good on the first part and the scenery not as good from Amsterdam to Koblenz but after that it was really beautiful. So glad we did it with the best part last rather than ending in Amsterdam and having the less interesting stretch of river on the last few days. We did have 3 days in Amsterdam before the cruise and that was also very worth doing. The Mosel River is spectacular - the towns and villages so quaint, those we passed and those we have visited. The Artistry 2 and Avalon staff have been wonderful. The cabins are spacious with full size showers and having the panorama window that opens is fantastic. Food and excellent wines with dinner couldn't be better and tours and talks excellent. The high banks covered in grapevines, many growing on terraces built in Roman times adds something so special. It would be beautiful to travel in their Autumn and see the colours, maybe next time. We had an excellent Cruise Director and that always helps to ensure things go smoothly, and the staff on the whole couldn't have been more helpful and friendly.
The organised tours were very interesting and there was a "slow walkers" group for people with mobility problems which meant the rest of us were not held up. We did purchase a couple of extra optional tours - the only one that was not considered good value was the bicycle ride along the Mosel. Not as well organised as the others. Otherwise we were very happy to add Luxembourg ( why travel so close and not visit? ) we had an excellent guide.
The second part of the Rhine to Basel was really spectacular - very lucky with sunny days - when we sailed through the Rhine Gorge our tour director gave an excellent commentary about each of the castles and towns that we passed. Evenings were enjoyed in the lounge with half-price drinks during happy hour before dinner and excellent wines served during dinner. After dinner, anyone who still had any energy after the very full days were entertained by the on board musician who seemed able to please most dancers with a variety of music. Guest performers gave further variety on a couple of nights. We found the Wi-Fi perfectly satisfactory for emails and looking up details - TV in the cabins allowed us to check up on World News including some of the World Cup Soccer matches - or there were movies for those who could stay awake. Lovely touches like the front office noting any guests celebrating birthdays and providing a cake at dinner and balloons attached to the cabin door. Altogether a wonderful experience that we can certainly recommend. We picked Avalon because the dates suited us but also because the price didn't include alcohol at lunch - with tours in the afternoon we preferred not to drink and get sleepy - but probably would have done " if we were paying for it!". We also enjoyed the "Club" room at the other end of the ship where one could always make a coffee on the coffee machine or tea from a wide selection or enjoy a muffin ( if not already full of food!). Where you could play a game of scrabble or just read any time of the day.