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10 Avalon Waterways Avalon Tranquility II Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Europe - River Cruise from Amsterdam

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
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 September 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
Sail Date July 2018
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
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date July 2017
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
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
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date August 2016
Avalon Tranquility II Ratings
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