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Sail Date: April 2019
I have always wanted to see the tulip fields of Holland in bloom so for our 40th anniversary we chose this cruise. It was even better that we had hoped. We loved the cabin and waking up each morning watching the sites go by even before ... Read More
I have always wanted to see the tulip fields of Holland in bloom so for our 40th anniversary we chose this cruise. It was even better that we had hoped. We loved the cabin and waking up each morning watching the sites go by even before we got out of bed! It was also nice having a choice if included excursions at each port. Everything was so well organized and the port talks during cocktail hour each evening were very helpful to get us prepared for our adventures the next day. We were amazed at how quickly and efficiently the meals were served to so many in the dining room. The service in every area of the ship was phenomenal as well because it was clear that each member of the staff really enjoyed their job and bent over backwards to make our journey exceptional. We will be back for more Avalon cruises in the future I am sure. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first river cruise. It was great! We had been to European cities several times in the past, always on our own (driving or taking trains, etc.) with few pre-planned tours, so we were a little anxious about a totally ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. It was great! We had been to European cities several times in the past, always on our own (driving or taking trains, etc.) with few pre-planned tours, so we were a little anxious about a totally pre-planned, boat-based itinerary. We arrived 2 full days early to enjoy Amsterdam before cruise departure, and we recommend this to everyone, if just to adjust to the time zone. A single day in such a city is not enough. But even though before we boarded in Amsterdam we had to swap boats from the Tranquility II to the virtually identical Imagery II (due to low water on the river preventing our assigned craft to meet us in Amsterdam), this all turned out great. We pre-chose their smallest cabin, which though cozy was adequate in size and amenities for us with excellent storage and bathroom space. Since we were rarely in the room except at night to sleep, we did not need the luxury of the panorama windows of the upper decks at perhaps double the price. I'm sure they are a bonus for elbow room and amenities, but if we wanted a daytime or evening view of our passage, especially when going through one of the many locks, we just went up to the top deck or one of the two lounges with great views, which were always open. Our boat (the Imagery II) was like new (2 years old, I believe), pristine and beautifully maintained. Every crew member—apparently all from Eastern Europe with excellent English speaking skills—was clearly proud of their work and delightfully friendly, regardless of position and duties (and I mean from the Captain to the waitstaff and our room attendant—all really quite impressive). Dining on board was not a religious experience for us, but we must say every meal was an overall excellent experience with very, very good food and superb, personable service. Our only negative dining critique was for the fish courses, which regardless of declared type of fish, seemed to be prepared in the same way and thus had similar taste and were of average/good restaurant quality. All other dining options we chose, which varied delightfully every day including the wine selections, were really very fine to excellent quality. Our talented resident keyboard artist in the main lounge provided a soothing and professional variety of tunes, clearly targeted to our mostly "senior" age group, but that was really nice for easy listening. We had a couple evenings with added in-port guest artists that were wonderful, too. The "La Strada" trio was particularly delightful. This itinerary is packed with daily excursion options (some included, some for extra fees), and we took advantage of nearly all of them. Perhaps that was too many for us, as we never seemed to have day or afternoon to just chill out and read a book. Nevertheless, as we are easily mobile, no excursions were stressful and the logistics were smoothly arranged by the Tour Director. The local tour guides were always excellent and made the descriptions personal and entertaining. (Those passengers who were less mobile always had an option for shorter excursions, too.) We did realize that you can only get a "taste" of the place on a quick guided tour, and a couple times we abandoned the guide after a while to run off on our own for a bit and meet them later to get back to the boat. This was alway an option on the walking tours. But now we have some more cities for which we know a return visit at length is needed, and a couple not. After the cruise ended, we also added a couple days on our own in Switzerland. That was fun, too. Overall: Loved Avalon; their planning, the personnel, service, value and the boat. It was easy to meet other passengers daily and generate some new friends. When we disembarked, one could not help but notice that along with all the other staff and crew members helping unload the luggage to the waiting buses, the Captain was pitching in and carrying some luggage too! That's the kind of dedication to service that reflects so well on Avalon and perhaps the Imagery II boat crew in particular. We think we'll do another Avalon voyage soon, but a longer one to ensure we have some more time to just relax. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We were traveling with 3 adult children (in their 20's) and selected Avalon because of the general itinerary and the fact there was not a single supplement add-on for single rooms (which each of our kids had). On this itinerary, there ... Read More
We were traveling with 3 adult children (in their 20's) and selected Avalon because of the general itinerary and the fact there was not a single supplement add-on for single rooms (which each of our kids had). On this itinerary, there were 3 nights where we could be "in town" to explore for dinner and bars (Amsterdam, Cologne and Rudesheim)- which as great. The shore excursions were good - though I wish the walking tours were 45 minutes (instead of 1+ hours) and we that were given more free time. We would often peel off from the walking tour so that we could have more free time on our own. (You really don't feel like you have been someplace until you have wandered on your own - and 0-45 minutes of free time just is not enough). We did a few of the add-on excursions - biking, Maginot Line, Alsace Wine Tour, Colmar. We also did the add-on of Luzern, Zurich and Como - which was a wonderful way to enhance this trip. Monograms got us to the locations, then lots of free time to spend as we please. Our kids were certainly a curiosity on this trip (there was 1 couple in their 40's, then everyone was 60+) but they loved the flow of wine and beer at all meals, the underutilized fitness room, snoozing and reading on the sky deck, and all the cities and towns they got to see. This trip offered a wonderful, stress-free and fun-filled way to spend time as a family. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband chose the Romantic Rhine voyage. I had traveled to many of the stops efire but welcomed the chance to return. We actually have zero complaints about ay part of the trip from pick up at Amsterdam to farewell in Zurich. Well ... Read More
My husband chose the Romantic Rhine voyage. I had traveled to many of the stops efire but welcomed the chance to return. We actually have zero complaints about ay part of the trip from pick up at Amsterdam to farewell in Zurich. Well organized, efficient, super pleasant. And this is after a freak accident where a deck chair blew into my deck chair, bruising my left foot! Even that can’t diminish how pleased we were with the cruise, the crew( wow to the crew!), the tour guides! the bus drivers and our cruise director, Nico. One caveat or suggestion, though. We flew Icelandic Air booked thru the cruise site. Most uncomfortable flight both coming and returning. The airport in Iceland is poorly designed, too small and too crowded. I mean hardly any seats in the airport! I strongly suggest offering people a choice of fares. We would gladly have paid more for a trip that included food and more space. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the size of the vessel, small number of passengers, and itinerary. Our cabin was on the top floor, was quite large with a wall of windows - very bright with lovely views most of the time. I was glad we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the size of the vessel, small number of passengers, and itinerary. Our cabin was on the top floor, was quite large with a wall of windows - very bright with lovely views most of the time. I was glad we were in the centre of the ship away from the engines during the night and the noise of the locks. It was nice to be docked in the towns and able to to walk or cycle into the towns or along the Rhine. The extra tours had too much bus-time for my liking. It was unfortunate the river was so low that we had to pack up, drive around the low parts of the Rhine, and board another, identical ship on the other side of the low patch and continue with our cruise. Avalon was very organized about the transfer, but it resulted in a very long bus ride - 5 hours in total. I was anticipating more entertainment in the evenings. There was a classical trio one night, and the woodcarving demonstration was very informative. The meals were ok -much better on the second ship. The ship was very clean, but the hot-tubs on both ships didn’t work. The first ship the water was quite cool, but on the second ship it was broken completely. The local guides for the tours were excellent. It was interesting, but I wouldn’t do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My husband and I booked this trip with Avalon based on the reviews found on line. We also watch several YouTube videos of past travelers comparing Avalon to Viking. The size of the rooms where very comfortable, the day trips that where ... Read More
My husband and I booked this trip with Avalon based on the reviews found on line. We also watch several YouTube videos of past travelers comparing Avalon to Viking. The size of the rooms where very comfortable, the day trips that where included in the cruise were what my husband and I where looking for in a vacation to Europe. They also had additional day trips of you where interested. Avalon made all of the arrangements from flights to hotel for the days we went earlier to explore Amsterdam to transport from the airport and back to the airport. During the cruise the activities where well organized and the guides where very knowledgeable about thier city. The ship was very elegant and comfortable. The crew were helpful and attentive to all of you needs. The cruise director was very easy to work with and made sure everyone was happy. The food was good with lots of choices. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We explored Amsterdam for two days before embarking on our cruise. The check in process was seamless on the Avalon Tranquility II. Our ship was put into service in 2015, so fairly new. It was very clean and comfortable. The Crew was ... Read More
We explored Amsterdam for two days before embarking on our cruise. The check in process was seamless on the Avalon Tranquility II. Our ship was put into service in 2015, so fairly new. It was very clean and comfortable. The Crew was very nice and the kitchen was able to handle my restrictive diet with no problems. Our Cruise Director, Mauro, was amazing and we had a great time on all of the shore excursions. We loved learning about the history in each City we toured and were amazed at all of the restrictions involved with Wine growing / making in France. We enjoyed Happy Hour on the ship every evening and partook in some of the onboard Entertainment. We had a wonderful time. Not as relaxing as our usual vacations, due to all the excursion. Yet we wanted to see as much of the Countryside as possible. Can't wait to take our next river cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Everything about our week on Ms. Tranquility ll was Amazing. The ship was incredible, clean, comfortable A++++. It felt like a hotel room, with a wonderful view of the landscape as we sailed along. We stayed in Suite 307 which was ... Read More
Everything about our week on Ms. Tranquility ll was Amazing. The ship was incredible, clean, comfortable A++++. It felt like a hotel room, with a wonderful view of the landscape as we sailed along. We stayed in Suite 307 which was delightful. The staff made our experience the best ever, always smiling and willing to make ourstay feel like home. The cruise director did a wonderful job, keeping everyone informed and happy. He cared for everyone and made it a point to meet everyone's needs. The excursions were well planned out and organized. The city tours in Germany were very informative with kowledgeable guides that were local people that had a love for their homeland. The food was delightful, always fresh and so very tasty. The dinner menu changed dailywith a lot of variety. The chef did an amazing job! We made some new friends and enjoyed sharing our experience with them. I would highly recommend a river cruise with Avalon. Thank You !! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
From the planning stage to the end of the cruise this has been a great experience. Planning was a breeze on the website and staff was very helpful when we had questions or needed to make changes. My husband has lived abroad in the ... Read More
From the planning stage to the end of the cruise this has been a great experience. Planning was a breeze on the website and staff was very helpful when we had questions or needed to make changes. My husband has lived abroad in the past but this was my first trip to Europe. And what a way to be introduced! We scheduled extra days before and after the cruise so we spent those days in the Movenpick hotels - very nice! Very well organized at the hotel for travel to embarkation port. Once we arrived at the ship, everyone was well organized and had our luggage to our rooms very quickly and in good order. The ship was beautiful, clean, and well appointed in every way. Our cabin was wonderful - very modern and up to date - granite countertops in the bath area and the L'Occitane toiletries were so nice. The staff could not have been more helpful - they were all friendly, courteous, and polite. The dining was excellent - so many choices and such good food!! Every meal was fresh and delicious. There were always some little tidbits out if you wanted a snack as well as coffee, tea, or juice. And don't forget tea time - oh my goodness - try not to miss afternoon tea. We did eat off of the ship a couple of times and also brought back some sweets from several bakeries - that was also a feast for the taste buds! Don't miss some of the local bakeries - you will be truly sorry if you do. The on board entertainment was well worth the time in the evening if you are not out wandering the streets of some of the quaintest little cities in the country. The evening meetings with our cruise director, Tony, were very informative but also a lot of fun. He was so helpful when we had questions about excursions or what to do and see in our spare time. And speaking of excursions - there were quite a few choices and it was very hard to make a decision when it came time to sign up. Once we hit port we were off and running with our guides! Every guide that we had was very knowledgeable of the local history and fun things do. They were also very personable and pleasant to spend time with. When we had spare time they were able to give us pointers on some places to see and how to get there. The history, the shopping, the people were amazing and the fall colors in the countryside were just breathtaking. The rivers, mountains, industry, museums, castles, churches and cathedrals are so beautiful and full of history - how can you go wrong with a trip like this?! Leaving was really a sad day - had to say goodbye to new friends and great crew! All was so organized and went so smoothly - I was amazed at the ease of departure - they arranged for shuttle to our hotel even though it was just a short distance away. It was raining that morning so I was thankful for the ride. It was such a great trip - I would do it again tomorrow!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted our first time in Europe to be a unique experience. We really enjoyed the overall cruise atmosphere. The walking tours were enlightening and allowed us time to do other things too. The ship was very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted our first time in Europe to be a unique experience. We really enjoyed the overall cruise atmosphere. The walking tours were enlightening and allowed us time to do other things too. The ship was very comfortable and it was nice to get to know new friends. The crew members were very polite and helpful in many ways. The ship was easy to navigate and the ride on the river was very smooth. The cabin was plenty roomy and the bed comfortable. Dining was very enjoyable as we were able to connect with new friends and enjoy some great food. I especially enjoyed some of the local cuisine. The scenery was amazing. I especially liked the many castles that were located on both sides of the Rhine River.The people we met in each port along the way were friendly and glad to see us. The cathedrals were spectacular. One of the best excursions was the trip to the museum where automated musical instruments had been reconditioned to perform as they were originally intended. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Avalon did an outstanding job of making sure we were comfortable and well-fed on the ship. The service was impeccable, and cheerful waitstaff and housekeepers made us feel welcome every day. Food was 5-star....delicious, plentiful, and ... Read More
Avalon did an outstanding job of making sure we were comfortable and well-fed on the ship. The service was impeccable, and cheerful waitstaff and housekeepers made us feel welcome every day. Food was 5-star....delicious, plentiful, and well-presented. Home-baked goods and desserts were great, and the food was always hot. One complaint was the long bus rides to the excursions. We spent many hours on the bus, which couldn't be avoided, given the itinerary. We also were taken to several "very touristy" locations (wine-tasting, music-box factory, for example.) I would have preferred to have had the time to wander thru the towns or shop. The organizational skills of our tour director, Katy, were phenomenal. Everything seemed to be seamless, including disembarkation. I will go again, but will research the distances between the river and the points of interest. As an aside: late October is very cold and damp in this part of Europe! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
After sailing on the Siene on Avalon Creativity we couldn't wait to get back on board. The staff again, from the captain down were friendly and helpful, even Ingrid on reception printed off our boarding cards for our return journey ... Read More
After sailing on the Siene on Avalon Creativity we couldn't wait to get back on board. The staff again, from the captain down were friendly and helpful, even Ingrid on reception printed off our boarding cards for our return journey home. The excursions and guides are very good and well organised by the Cruise Director. Excursions start around 8.30am returning for lunch at 12 noon, again afternoon excursions start at 1.15/1.30pm and can return anytime up to 6pm, or depending on what time the ship is sailing that evening. We found that a late return meant a bit of a rush to get ready for dinner at 7pm, as every night Monica, the Cruise Director, gave a talk each evening about the next day at 6.45pm. There is a happy hour each day when most guests take advantage of this, as drinks can be quite pricey. Meals on board were very good and wine was readily topped up at both lunch and dinner. Entertainment is a guy playing an electric organ; we did have a woodcarver giving a demonstration one night and also a trio playing. There is a small lounge at the back of the ship where you can get tea/coffee, muffins and biscuits 24/7. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Avalon's Tranquility II Cruise on the Rhine River was great. We were on the Southbound Romantic Rhine Cruise with Zurich, Mt Pilatus, and Lake Como.My husband and I arrived a day early before our cruise in Amsterdam. Our Travel agent, ... Read More
Avalon's Tranquility II Cruise on the Rhine River was great. We were on the Southbound Romantic Rhine Cruise with Zurich, Mt Pilatus, and Lake Como.My husband and I arrived a day early before our cruise in Amsterdam. Our Travel agent, Nan, at Avoya Travel was able to get a room for us a day ahead of time in the same hotel that the Avalon Tranquility II Cruise Director was meeting everyone to begin the cruise. Our Travel Agent thought of everything and double checked that everything was as she said it would be. The day we went to the ship, a bus picked us up at the hotel to transfer us to the ship. The crew was on hand to greet us with smiles when we boarded the ship the first time. There was a lovely reception before dinner for all the passengers. Dinner was wonderful. The chef presented delicious food every day, and not just standard fare. There were also special dishes representative of the areas we visited. Coffee and tea were available in the main lounge as well as the smaller lounge a the back of the ship, where there were also cookies and pastries available at all times. Wine was served at each meal and often was a specialty of the area we were visiting. There was a continental breakfast available for early birds, a full buffet breakfast with an omelet chef was available at the regular breakfast hour, and a limited breakfast for those who chose to sleep in later. A baby grand piano was played with skill by a pianist in the evenings, and in the evenings there were also musical groups who performed in the lounge, as well as regional presentations such as a demonstration by the Black Forest Woodworker. Tours were available every day and sometimes twice a day depending on the port. You could opt out of the tours if you wished, and just relax onboard. They also had a "gentle walker" group for those who had difficulty walking. The tour guides for each tour had a microphone, so that when you put the provided earbuds on, you had no trouble hearing what was being said. Housekeeping was there bright and early each morning, so that when you went for breakfast, the room was cleaned and ready when you got back. We were on the Saphire deck, and our room had a window the size of the wall, which opened for a wonderful breeze. The bed was very comfortable, and we slept well. They accepted laundry to be cleaned and had it back the next day. We loved the chocolates on the pillows of an evening, and the cute towel animals. There were always two new bottles of water on the table in our room each day. Also when we left the ship to go on a tour, the crew handed out bottled water to take with us. When we returned from a tour, there was a nice cold drink waiting for us when we turned our shore passes in, as well as wet cloth to wash our hands. A hand sanitizer unit was available also when reboarding the ship, and everyone was encouraged to use it. We prepaid gratuities, and it was well worth it, because we didn't have to continually reward the great service we received aboard the ship. The tour guides at each port were very knowledgeable and able to answer questions. An elevator was available for those who needed it, as well as walking sticks for the tours if needed. The cruise director was readily available and encouraged the travelers to come to her if there were any problems. We had no problems. The crew members worked well together to ensure that this was a wonderful experience. The transfer from the ship to Monograms bus at Basel was seamless, and went well for the trip to Mt. Pilatus, Lucerne, Zurich, and Como. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We loved our first river cruise. Our stateroom was spacious and we loved the comfortable chairs and table overlooking the river as well as the river facing bed. I hadn't expected as much cruising at night but it was fine. We could not ... Read More
We loved our first river cruise. Our stateroom was spacious and we loved the comfortable chairs and table overlooking the river as well as the river facing bed. I hadn't expected as much cruising at night but it was fine. We could not fault the hospitality of the crew, the focus on cleanliness whenever we arrived from outside the ship as well as on entering the restaurant. We loved the meals and service and the waiters and waitresses we wonderful and sociable. The meals seemed to be just the right portions and always good quality and we now will always look for a non-buffet style a la carte dinner. We also booked the tasting menu which was excellent (see photos). The quieter venue for this meal made chatting easier. We met some great people and friends on this trip - many from USA and Australia and those from the UK/Scotland in the minority - but for us this was unexpected but great and we really enjoyed the friendliness of everyone. There was a full range of ages on this trip. The excursions were well managed and the cruise director so professional and helpful. We took all the trips included but relaxed at other times and decided not to go on the optional excursions and never felt we were missing out - although always interested in others' experiences. We are still in touch with some of those we met on this trip. The rooms were serviced regularly during the day and towels changed. Everywhere was spotless - I just couldn't fault the boat. Coffee and tea and cakes available 24/7. We found afternoon tea half way through the week and that was the end of our resolve to be healthy - with tempting cakes. The beginning of our trip was colder than normal for July and this was disappointing but it soon improved. I cannot recommend Avalon enough - and to prove this we booked another as soon as we returned home. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The cruise was good overall. I gave it 4 stars, as the food was just OK. We thought that the portions were smaller then expected, certainly any fish being served was minute! Also, having to be in the restaurant at a specific time was ... Read More
The cruise was good overall. I gave it 4 stars, as the food was just OK. We thought that the portions were smaller then expected, certainly any fish being served was minute! Also, having to be in the restaurant at a specific time was very different to the flexibility offered on ocean cruises. The ship was nicely decorated, very comfortable public lounges. Strongly suggest watching for the drinks receipts are correct, as we were charged for other passengers drinks, and the Avalon staff would not credit us, which was surprising. The top of the ship was very comfortable, with nice loungers to lay out. The best part of the cruise, other than visiting interesting towns, was the very pleasant ships staff, always smiling and looking like they were happy with the job. The cruise director deserves special mention, Thomas, he was in complete control of all activities and tours, and did a fantastic job. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We wanted to tour Europe without transportation hassles, This was our first river cruise after attending several ocean cruises. The cruise director was charming and excellent at explaining all options available to us. All of the service ... Read More
We wanted to tour Europe without transportation hassles, This was our first river cruise after attending several ocean cruises. The cruise director was charming and excellent at explaining all options available to us. All of the service personnel were pleasant and professional. They remembered our names and cabin number which indicated to us how much they enjoyed their jobs. The talent night that they presented was great and very entertaining. The cabin felt more like a hotel than a cruise ship. The food and service was excellent and the small size of passengers made it easy to get to know new people during the week long vacation. We liked the variety of going to several different cities along the Rhine and the view of the castles from the deck along with the panoramic windows within the cabin was very unique and appealing. In the future we look forward to attending similar cruises in other parts of Europe. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Fantastic way to see the cities along the Rhine. Something was always planned so it was our choice if we just wanted to take an afternoon off. Every aspect of the ship exceeded our expectations. The crew was first class, food was great and ... Read More
Fantastic way to see the cities along the Rhine. Something was always planned so it was our choice if we just wanted to take an afternoon off. Every aspect of the ship exceeded our expectations. The crew was first class, food was great and the rooms were even better than the pictures. Even on a cold November day we still would open the sliding door a bit. This is a great way to experience the cities of Europe in a intimate setting. Not crowded at all. Dining room seating was your choice so we got to meet new people at every meal. With a limited amount of passengers you got to know the crew and they got to know you very quickly. We plan on river cruising again but along the Danube. My first choice would be Avalon Waterways. Everything was professionally handled from the time they met us in Amsterdam until our departure in Zurich. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Love European river cruising and had traveled with Grand Circle previously on the Danube, Everything was great -- the food, the rooms, the service and passengers. Valentin (Tranquility II, cruise director) was awesome!! He has a way to ... Read More
Love European river cruising and had traveled with Grand Circle previously on the Danube, Everything was great -- the food, the rooms, the service and passengers. Valentin (Tranquility II, cruise director) was awesome!! He has a way to make everyone feel welcome and special and a great sense of humor. Georgi and Alexandria (Tranquility II, bar service) were also awesome. Always service with a smile, friendly and extremely helpful. Wonderful people. The excursions - both the included and optional excursions were exceptional and the guides were knowledgeable and interesting. Best cruise ever!! Poetry II Great themed cruise -- loved the wine tasting excursions. Each winery/area was unique and I learned soooo much about wine. Petru (Poetry II, dining service) was GREAT!! He makes everyone's day! Would have liked more time at the Pont du Gard excursion -- seemed rushed. Also would have liked more time to discover St. Paul de Vence. Very interesting but dark by the time we arrived. Again, great cruise. Would recommend this to anyone. We look forward to another cruise with Avalon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Never did a river cruise and thought this one was best suited for a first time. Love the idea of wall length view which opens to outside for lovely breeze while cruising down the river. Excellent crew and the service was superb. Food was ... Read More
Never did a river cruise and thought this one was best suited for a first time. Love the idea of wall length view which opens to outside for lovely breeze while cruising down the river. Excellent crew and the service was superb. Food was delicious and good variety. Loved the small public space at back of boat on our level which I only think the folks on our level knew about. Great to have fresh coffee, cocoa and hot tea available 24 hrs a day not to mention great sweets like fresh donuts and muffins too! Really like the arrangement of rooms with beds facing the windows/sliding doors allowing you to lay in the bed and still see all the view. Enjoyed excursions and the guides knowledge of area and great food and pubs to stop at outside the ship/boat. Will do again, but need to save up some money first, thanks. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Our travel agent selected it for us. She liked the company. We sailed on the most beautiful, new ship, the Tranquility II. Every detail was sparkling and clean. The ship was beautifully appointed and there was attention to every ... Read More
Our travel agent selected it for us. She liked the company. We sailed on the most beautiful, new ship, the Tranquility II. Every detail was sparkling and clean. The ship was beautifully appointed and there was attention to every detail. From candies on the front desk to refreshing face towels and juice to greet us upon our return to the ship from an excursion. The meals were course after course of appealing and country-oriented flavors. Breakfasts included made-to-order eggs and omelettes, lunches were also buffet style and offered a huge array of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and breads. Dinners were multiple courses with plenty of options. The wait staff were efficient and friendly, quick to refill our wines and sodas, and eager to get something special for us if it was our wish. We were always treated by the captain when we returned from an excursion. The organization of all 122 passengers was smooth and friendly. With a group of this size, it was easy to meet people more than once and actually refer to them as friends. Best experience EVER! Why would anyone want to go on a traveling city of thousands when there is this amazing, personable experience available? Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We have just returned from a Rhine Cruise on Tranquility II- Northbound from Zurich to Amsterdam and loved it.There was a problem with the river being closed due to too high water but Avalon could'nt help have done any more to a ... Read More
We have just returned from a Rhine Cruise on Tranquility II- Northbound from Zurich to Amsterdam and loved it.There was a problem with the river being closed due to too high water but Avalon could'nt help have done any more to a situation out of their control. We were bussed from Zurich to Strasbourg, and spent 2 nights mored there, but it was no hardship as they bussed everyone the Heildelberg Castle from Strasbourg, so nothing was missed other than the cruise from Basle to Strasbourg (we stayed onbaord and enjoyed a lovely Bebeque on the sundeck). The guests were a nice mix of English speaking nations from New Zealand, Austrailia, Canada, USA and Brits, all who got on very well (despite the conversation always revolving about the UK referendum/Brexit! LOL) the ship is well equipped very clean (only a year old) and the cabins are very nice with 3 sliding glass windows to give you a great view of the countryside and a full size bathroom with a great shower. The crew were all excellent, and could'nt be more friendlier and helpful. The food was the best we have had on the 3 river cruises we have been on, and wine/beer included with your evening meal was great and very generous . There was a resident pianist who played every evening, with local artists coming on board when mored overnight to entertain, however the Crew show stole the limelight and was brilliant. Hendrick the cruise Director was excellent and very informative and helpful. We really enjoyed cruising through the Rhine Gorge and the destinations particulally Rhudesheim which is lovely. In all a lovely ship, cruise and I wouldn't hesitate recommening Avalon to anyone Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This cruise was a gift from my wife's parents, however i would say i would it again and already looking to when my wife and I will be going on the next trip!!! on this trip we were never in need of want, as a person with Gluten ... Read More
This cruise was a gift from my wife's parents, however i would say i would it again and already looking to when my wife and I will be going on the next trip!!! on this trip we were never in need of want, as a person with Gluten allergies and my wife with Sea food allergies we could not have some of the meals however, the Chef (Chef Thomas) heard this and made sure we had a choice every meal to make sure I had the best experience with the food he was creating! right down to the fresh home made breads. All the excursions were very will done and gave not just the history as one would think or except but also the local information. The Crew....in a word?! Wow!! it was like wanting for nothing as Ravi was there every time you needed him, this goes with all of the Crew. Everyone was very attentive to what ever your need might be. I would give the Boat, Crew, and every part of this trip 110 % score!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
In June, my husband and I traveled with Avalon on the Romantic Rhine cruise. It was fabulous. We were on the Tranquility II where the staff was courteous, friendly, and helpful and the food was delicious. Our cabin was roomy, clean, and ... Read More
In June, my husband and I traveled with Avalon on the Romantic Rhine cruise. It was fabulous. We were on the Tranquility II where the staff was courteous, friendly, and helpful and the food was delicious. Our cabin was roomy, clean, and comfortable to the point that Avalon has spoiled us. I’m not sure any other line has the room set up the way Avalon does. The whole outside wall is all glass and opens up 2/3 of the way to make your room the balcony. So you can sit in comfort on your sofa and watch the scenery pass by. It also doesn’t take space away from the room for a balcony, as other cruise lines do. Having the bed face the outside wall also helped to make the room more spacious. There was comfortable space on either side of the bed to move around. By placing the bed facing that way, the bathroom is extended so that was roomy and we could easily turn around or bend down in the shower, something else that other cruise lines don’t allow. The daily tours were well planned and covered a lot of ground and the local guides were very knowledgeable and pleasant. We were pleased that a walking tour was included in Amsterdam, which was not listed in the itinerary. Germany had a lot of rain this spring so the rivers overflowed their banks. As a result, the ship was not able to go further than Mannheim but Avalon did a wonderful job of making sure that we got to the places that were included on the itinerary. They got us to Strasbourg by motor coach and included the optional wine tasting tour if we wanted to take it. I opted to stay in Strasbourg. We had pre-booked the optional tour to Colmar. It had to be canceled and our money was refunded. We went by motor coach through the Black Forest to Zurich and substituted two wonderful stops in place of the options listed on the itinerary. Lake Titisee and the Rhine Falls were gorgeous. Our tour director, Hendrik, worked very hard to make sure that everyone was taken care of with stays at the hotel in Zurich, transportation to the airport, and, for us, travel to Basel to the train station. Amidst all the upheaval, he remained pleasant and calm. We were so pleased with our tour and with Avalon that we look forward to cruising with them again soon. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We sailed on the Avalon Tranquility II from Amsterdam on Saturday June 4, 2016. By we, I mean my wife and two sons, ages 27 and 25. We wondered about the weather as it had been raining like crazy in Europe as we arrived. Paris and ... Read More
We sailed on the Avalon Tranquility II from Amsterdam on Saturday June 4, 2016. By we, I mean my wife and two sons, ages 27 and 25. We wondered about the weather as it had been raining like crazy in Europe as we arrived. Paris and Bavaria were flooding. The Louvre was closed! But for us, as we boarded, it was warm and sunny. In fact, it would be that way pretty much the entire time. It seemed we had avoided any high water problems—but more on that later. We had arrived in Amsterdam two days earlier, and had stayed at the Ibis, which was located right next to the Central Station. Our first Avalon activity was a tour of Zaanse Schans, a traditional windmill village (optional tour). This took place before boarding, and we were to be at the Movenpick hotel by 1 pm. To get there, we had to walk along the river with our wheelie bags in tow. As we walked along, we realized that we were walking right by the boat. Would they let us on (it was hours early) to drop off our bags (and change into shorts as it was suddenly hot)? Yes! Our first interaction was one of relaxed flexibility—and this is how it was the whole time. Zaanse Schanse was interesting—windmills, wooden shoe making, cheese making. I mean, windmills and Holland go together, right? The bus took us back to the ship and we moved into our rooms. Our rooms were in the lower level (submarine class), and were quite nice. Little tidbits are that the towels come in two colors (for us—white for her, brown for me), and there were robes and slippers, perfect for heading up to the (seldom used by others) hot tub. There were always two big bottles of water in the room for our use at no additional cost. The TV had a few channels of regular TV and like ten different fireplace channels! The bed was comfortable. The next day was still an Amsterdam day, beginning with the included tour of a canal cruise followed by a guided walk back to the boat (or, you could choose a bus back, or a tour of a diamond facility with a bus back). That afternoon we explored Amsterdam on our own some more and set sail around 5 pm. The next day (Monday) we sailed until around 3 pm. It was a nice little “sea day.” We docked in Cologne where we had a choice of included tours: a regular walking tour, or a walking tour of Jewish Cologne. Pro tip: The tour of Jewish Cologne includes everything the regular tour includes, and is just 30 minutes longer. While the tour of the town was interesting, the fact is that most of it was destroyed in WWII, so much of what is described are things that are no longer there. Except, of course, the main reason to go to Cologne—the magnificent cathedral. The tours all end there, leaving us free to explore it, and for us, to climb the tower (cost is extra)! 533 steps up a narrow winding staircase on a hot and humid day. My sons scampered up and I followed, a few minutes behind. Great views, nice to see the upper reaches up close, and a small sense of middle aged accomplishment. Tuesday morning we had a walking tour of Koblenz. A cute little town, but all we could do was take the tour and get back on the boat for what was for us the highlight of the cruise: sailing the Rhine Gorge and looking at all the castles. We lucked into a warm sunny day and enjoyed the sights and the narration. Later that afternoon we docked at Rudesheim, where the included tour took us to the Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. I have to admit that the whole thing seemed hokey at first, but by the end I was completely fascinated. After dinner the four of us hit town with two others (a mother and her 29 year old daughter—so all of the under 30’s were out with us) for an evening in the local bars. Wednesday morning we had a tour of Mainz that included a tour of the Gutenberg Museum—which was very interesting and you could also see some original Gutenberg Bibles. After lunch we were off to Heidleberg and a tour of the castle and of the town, with some time in town on our own before getting on the bus back to the boat. The castle there was another highlight for us. Remaining on the schedule were stops in Strasbourg, Breisach and an end in Basel. Wednesday night we learned that all of the rain in Europe (but not on us) had finally caught up to us and that the locks upstream were no longer passable. So, the cruising part of our cruise would end in Strasbourg. We would stay on the boat each night, but no more sailing. Avalon handled this very smoothly, and all tours went off as planned except for those that had purchased the optional biking tours in Breisach. Thursday in Strasbourg included a canal cruise, a walking tour and some town time on our own, during which we climbed another cathedral tower (only about 300 steps this time—piece of cake!). Strasbourg is a very nice town. That afternoon we took the optional tour to the Maginot line, which was also a very interesting and fascinating tour. It is a tour through one of the bunkers. Friday was the included tour of the Black Forest. The bus simply picked us up in Strasbourg instead of Breisach. We chose the Cuckoo Clock option and frankly, this trip was a waste of time. The description led us to believe we would at least have a demonstration. Instead, we had a long bus ride to a cuckoo clock store where they spent an hour selling clocks, and then a ride back. Oh, and they threw in a piece of cake. The highlight was the bus ride, which provided interesting scenery. I spent the afternoon lying on the deck reading with one son, while my wife and other son walked around Strasbourg. Saturday morning Avalon provided a bus from Strasbourg to the Central Station in Basel, and we were on our own for four very nice days in Switzerland. Avalon was excellent. The ship was very nice, and the staff was terrific. It was all very relaxed, and they handled the high water problems with grace and skill. The only place for improvement is that my wife and sons are vegetarians, and the vegetarian food, while tasty and well-presented, often lacked a protein. They worked with us on this and there was improvement as the trip went along, but this is an area that needs some work. We had a great family vacation on the Avalon Tranquility II. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
My wife and I have always wanted to go to Europe and thought that a Rhine River cruise would get us a good sampling of the main countries of northern Europe. We sailed out of Amsterdam and ended up the cruise in Basel, Switzerland with a ... Read More
My wife and I have always wanted to go to Europe and thought that a Rhine River cruise would get us a good sampling of the main countries of northern Europe. We sailed out of Amsterdam and ended up the cruise in Basel, Switzerland with a bus ride to Zurich for our flight home. The ship was beautiful, clean, and very comfortable. The food was outstanding and the service excellent. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with a great selection. Supper was a served meal by congenial and courteous staff. The choices for the supper meal were numerous and included a nice variety. Wine and beer was available with the supper meal at no charge. This experience was much better than our large ocean going cruise a few years ago where all meals were prepared ahead of time and we felt like we were being herded to feed. Of course, the number of passengers on this cruise were a lot, lot less. Our cabin was lovely with doors that opened up for a panoramic view of the shore line. The cruise activities and shore excursions were fantastic. Shore excursions included canal tours, walking tours, and some bus tours that were included. Other excursions cost additional money, such as a visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, or visits to Heidelberg, Germany and Colmar, France, or the Black Forest in Germany. Erik, our cruise director did and outstanding job, keeping us all on time and organized. Evening entertainment was very good with a variety of types from piano solos to wood carving demonstrations. Overall, the trip was fantastic, very well organized with a good selection of tours and options for all customers. Read Less
Avalon Tranquility II Ratings
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