30 Amsterdam Avalon Waterways Avalon Vista Cruise Reviews

It was a chance to see several places within a short amount of time in places I have always wanted to visit. Also, I wanted a short (7days) trip to try out river cruising to see if it was a travel method that I would enjoy. I was ... Read More
It was a chance to see several places within a short amount of time in places I have always wanted to visit. Also, I wanted a short (7days) trip to try out river cruising to see if it was a travel method that I would enjoy. I was impressed on all counts. The stops along the river gave you a good sample of the area. The ship was amazing from well appointed, clean, comfortable rooms, amazing views from the sky deck and common areas that were warm and inviting with plenty of room for all. The land excursions planned and the onboard entertainment we all spot on with amazing guides on land and varied performances and entertainment onboard. And the food was beyond plentiful, varied and expertly cooked. To top it all off, the service from everyone onboard made you feel you were the only traveler and that they were there to meet your every need, which they did. Amazing trip in all ways and can’t wait to go again. Avalon Waterways is truly professional and amazing in the travel industry. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It sounded like a great idea to Cruise the Rhine and we added 3 nights in Zurich to the end. Our room was excellent but the true stars were the staff. There was not one who didn’t go out of they’re way to provide us with a great ... Read More
It sounded like a great idea to Cruise the Rhine and we added 3 nights in Zurich to the end. Our room was excellent but the true stars were the staff. There was not one who didn’t go out of they’re way to provide us with a great experience. With only 168 guests we had a chance to meet just about all of them. The food was fantastic with a lot of choices. We had to skip some of the excursions as they were mostly walking and with bad knees and COPD we couldn’t enjoy. Others we were able to go along and enjoy even though we couldn’t keep up with the group. Headsets provided allowed us to hear our guide from a reasonable distance. Avalon handled all of our travel arrangements as well as before and after hotel arrangements and transfers to and from airport. All went smoothly. Unfortunately we did not realize that Amsterdam was such a huge airport with hardly any accommodations for folks needing assistance walking. Perhaps if we had made requests ahead of time something could have been provided. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Arrived in Amsterdam a day early to walk around and adjust to the time change. That worked well, but not enough time to do Amsterdam justice. The cruise far exceeded our expectations. The cabin was comfortable and always clean, the ... Read More
Arrived in Amsterdam a day early to walk around and adjust to the time change. That worked well, but not enough time to do Amsterdam justice. The cruise far exceeded our expectations. The cabin was comfortable and always clean, the cabin arrangement was great and you could wake up in the morning a watch the country-side go by. The staff was always looking to help, whether answering questions, arranging for extra side trips or just getting another drink, they were always very helpful and friendly. The food was wonderful with a varied menu, always including fish, meat, poultry and vegetarian selections everyday. The chef made it very clear that if you wanted another dinner, or more of anything all you had to do was ask, be careful here; even having what was served resulted in a number of pounds by trips end. The off ship excursions were fantastic; the guides were very knowledgeable, informative and personable, with great stories along the way. This was our 1st cruise and we're already planning our next on Avalon! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This is the way to travel. Everything taken care of, great friendly and hard working staff. Amazing crew guiding the ship, excellent tour director and unbelievable chef. Food so good it could have been a foody cruise. Very good ... Read More
This is the way to travel. Everything taken care of, great friendly and hard working staff. Amazing crew guiding the ship, excellent tour director and unbelievable chef. Food so good it could have been a foody cruise. Very good selection of stops and gorgeous scenery. The Vista is a beautiful and clean ship that was a pleasure to be aboard. We are sold on this as as a way to discover a region, and look forward to our next opportunity to do so. Highly recommend Avalon for river cruising. Embarking and disembarking was flawless and removed any stress from the whole experience. Cabins were comfortable and very well maintained. Tour guides arranged by tour direct or were knowledge able and informative. The cruise is so much more than cruising, as you get the scenery, history, culture and a true experience like no other. Only wish it had been longer. Truly a life changing experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally ... Read More
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally closed up all our bags ready to board the Avalon Vista to get settled. We had breakfast and prep for our Amsterdam Canal Cruse plus a walking tour, every day there was tours to a lot of the sights. The meals that were provided were very delicious, for those that didn't want a large meal there was a small were served in the Panorama Lounge, it was also the location for all the briefings for the next day’s activities and music/dancing. Each day was filled with tours provided by the cruise lines or optional fee. There were never wants for service because what you might want it was provided. The ports and shore excursions were very well arranged and informative. We know that it takes a lot of planning but the only disappointment was the day of disembarkment from the ship would we would like a mini tour of Basel. This was our first trip on a long ship but it won't be our last because we truly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted to visit Amsterdam and try a river cruise. The room on the ship were spacious,' comfortable and clean. The crew and staff were very helpful and friendly. The highlights were Keuknhof Gardens and spending a day in Bruges. The ... Read More
We wanted to visit Amsterdam and try a river cruise. The room on the ship were spacious,' comfortable and clean. The crew and staff were very helpful and friendly. The highlights were Keuknhof Gardens and spending a day in Bruges. The entertainment on the ship was good and the local guides for the excursions off the ship were excellent. The only negative was the food, sometimes it was cold and 2 hours for dinner every night is just takes up too much time. I would also recommend arriving into Amsterdam 1 or 2 days earlier to explore the city more. As this cruise does not give you enough time to visit the city's museums and other points of interest like the Anne Frank Museum and their fine restaurants. I would recommend this particular cruise to someone who wanted to visit the Netherlands and Belgium and also recommend Avalon for a cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted a quick short get away and cruise on a river that we've never been on. The Avalon Vista has a capacity of 164 passengers & is 7 years young. It appeared well kept, was very clean & comfortable. The buffet ... Read More
We wanted a quick short get away and cruise on a river that we've never been on. The Avalon Vista has a capacity of 164 passengers & is 7 years young. It appeared well kept, was very clean & comfortable. The buffet breakfast & lunch, along with the sit down dinner was varied & very good. As this was Avalons first sailing of the season, we were able to check into our rooms upon embarkation. The disembarkation was timely & orderly. The pick up & transportation to/from airport/ship went smoothly. Although it did take us a few minutes to find the Avalon meeting location upon arrival at the airport. The staff & crew on board were friendly & helpful. The wait staff in the restaurant were 2nd to none. Entertainment was a little lacking & not to our liking, but may have been suffice for others. One night was classical music & the other was a couple of local singers which we did not attend, and of course the nightly piano player. We also had an afternoon of cheese tasting. We always enjoyed exploring Amsterdam, especially the canals, but this time we wanted to visit the Keukenhof Gardens (tulip garden), the worlds' largest flower garden, also known as the Garden of Europe. Keukenhof Gardens is in Lisse, South Holland near Rotterdam, where our ship docked & offered an excursion to. Although it was early in the season, it was still an amazing sight to see. While in Rotterdam, we also visited the town of Gouda with its well kept interesting architectual buildings from yesteryears. We then went onto Antwerp, Belgium where the weather was quite windy, but we still manage to enjoy the area. The Belgium city hall & train station are a few places to visit if you like to take pictures of the well kept buildings. Unfortunately the city hall was under renovation with a "picture" meshed cover of what the city hall would have looked like. We also stopped along the way to visit the beautiful architecture & canals in Ghent & Middleburg, along with the historic town of Willemstad, before sailing back to Amsterdam. In summary, we had an enjoyable trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The cabins are clean and spacious for a river boat. We had a problem with dinner and the service of one crew member in particular, but the Cruise Director and dining manager went way above and beyond to make it right. The breakfast ... Read More
The cabins are clean and spacious for a river boat. We had a problem with dinner and the service of one crew member in particular, but the Cruise Director and dining manager went way above and beyond to make it right. The breakfast and lunch were great, but we’re not much into the hour and a half dinner every night, though the food was mostly good. We were happy with the value of the excursions, both paid and included. There was an informative port talk the evening before we docked in each port, which was very helpful. There was a cheese tasting on board in the Netherlands, which was interesting. Embarkation and disembarkation was easy and stress free. We got back to the airport at a good time- not too early to have to wait around for hours Overall it was an excellent trip and I’ll definitely travel with Avalon again and recommend to others. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Globus Friends & Family opportunity. Spring was a perfect time for our 1st river cruise. The Avalon Vista was very, very nice. The itinerary was wonderful starting & ending in Amsterdam so we stayed a few extra days both before ... Read More
Globus Friends & Family opportunity. Spring was a perfect time for our 1st river cruise. The Avalon Vista was very, very nice. The itinerary was wonderful starting & ending in Amsterdam so we stayed a few extra days both before & after the cruise. The private organ recital in Willemstad was exceptional. Being behind the Delta Pan Barrage with a local quide was so educational. Every guide was excellent & truly loved their city & history. A wonderful time, great staff, too much (not complaining) really good food. Comfortable accommodations both our cabin & all the public spaces. The staff were very well trained, very helpful, knowledgeable, courteous. The cruise directory, Tibor, made all the varied arrangements look so easy, ie; added guides, added slow walker group. The coach drivers were amazing drivers on the narrow roads, small parking spaces. Always felt very safe. Again the guides answered varied questions, knew the history, had perfect English & loved what they did. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Our travel agent recommended Avalon Cruise Lines, as we had no previous cruise experience. our on board cruise director, Mauro, was the best and completely engaged. All the various shore excursions were well organized and came off without ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended Avalon Cruise Lines, as we had no previous cruise experience. our on board cruise director, Mauro, was the best and completely engaged. All the various shore excursions were well organized and came off without a hitch. All the service crew, including housekeeping and wait staff were superb. Our cabin was spacious and having the wall to wall- floor to ceiling French balcony windows was a real plus. The on board musical entertainment was delightful. The quantity and variety of the food was a plus and the quality never declined. Having open dining seating lead to many happy conversations with different groups of friendly travelers. Everyone involved with Avalon was accommodating to our wishes. It was a memorable cruise. We had many photo opportunities taken from the ship as it passed by the castles on the Rhine River.. We liked the experience of passing through the many locks and remarking on the engineering wonders. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had never been on a river cruise and since "Travel With Alan" offered a special, we thought we'd try river cruising. First we were notified that the ship could not make it into Amsterdam due to low water so we'd ... Read More
We had never been on a river cruise and since "Travel With Alan" offered a special, we thought we'd try river cruising. First we were notified that the ship could not make it into Amsterdam due to low water so we'd stay in a hotel for 2 days and bus into Cologne. Since it was only a 3 hour bus ride, we thought ok, no problem. The hotel was called The Room Mate. Upon arrival we were to be greeted by a cruise rep. and taken to our hotel. That's sort of what happened. The Rep was there but we had to walk our luggage to another location, wait for a couple, who never arrived. Then a driver showed up and we had to walk to another location. I'm a slow walker.....after being told this, he grabbed my bags and expected all of us to keep up. That's 5 people cause the van wouldn't hold more.....rest of the people had to stay at the second location and wait. He didn't drive to the door, we had to go all the way to the back of the parking garage. It was cheaper than to park near the door. We arrived at 2:30 and our room wasn't ready....after 14 hours on planes and in airports, that's the last thing we wanted to hear. After 1 1/2 hours our room was ready. I had to ASK them to carry my luggage to my room. The room was clean, I'll give it that. Keep in mind we're expecting to be on a cruise ship not a hotel. We were bused to a river boat the second day to take a tour of the Canals. The tour guide could not be bothered with questions.....just told us the history of Amsterdam. Getting back to the hotel, I went downstairs to see about a Windmill Tour only to be told it was only offered the first day not the second. Day 2 found us on a bus to Cologne. It was hot, Cathedral was beautiful but we chose not to do a walking tour. Found out later that was wise. Back onto the bus to get to the ship. We got there around 4:30 or so. The ship was a pleasant surprise. The rooms were nice with full ceiling to floor windows. We could open them to bring the outdoors in but it wasn't a balcony that I thought we had. River Cruising was wonderful, you're right there on the shore almost. I could talk to the people who were on the shore fishing or camping or just watching. Bathrooms were much nicer than on a cruise ship with a glass door shower. I didn't find the food for dinner as appetizing as I thought it should be. My husband had steak almost every night because he could find anything he liked. One night we were offered Prawns but it was 1....albeit large but 1 Prawn. Entertainment was lecturers or a bit out of our taste. There was an Oompa pa band one night and a singer (we didn't enjoy) and another singer (we didn't bother to go hear) Service....they cleaned the rooms daily, we ask for breakfast to our room 3 times and got nothing. The boats didn't dock near much of anything and if the cruise company didn't provide it, there was a lot of walking to get to anything to see. a couple of times they did bus us into town because it was docked miles away. Shore excursions were a joke......walking tours and if you saw something you liked the tour guides would say, well you can come back once the tour is over. Why, I'm right here but if I didn't stay with the tour, I'd have to find my way back to the ship. The upper deck was not available most of the time because the ship needed the rails lowered to get under the bridges...this was kind of a bummer....would have been nice to sit on the upper deck as we sailed. Then came the bombshell......we'd get to Regansburg and no further due to low water. Europe was in the midst of a drought that was 3 months old. Now, I ask you, 3 months??? IMO they should have cancelled the entire cruise but NO, they chose to BUS us everywhere and put us up in hotels. I'd always wanted to do a land sea cruise but NO MORE. The buses caused us to rise EARLY and have breakfast (who eats at 6:30) then get on a bus with EMERGENCY bathrooms only. Some of the tour guides on the bus were very nice and told us a bit, then let us view the scenery or sleep. Others wouldn't shut up. We'd bus somewhere, get out and walk places and back on the bus. The first hotel was the Marriott in Passau..clean rooms with a bathtub so deep a lot of the cruisers wouldn't attempt to get in. My 6'1" husband found it difficult...I had him help me in and out. We stopped at Melk and saw the Abbey and had a wonderful lunch. The Abbey is beautiful and worth seeing. Back on the bus to Vienna where we stayed at the Hilton. Very clean and nice hotel. Both the Marriott and the Hilton delivered our luggage to our room in a very timely manner. We chose to see the Lipizzenar Stallions instead of a walking tour. The Concierge got us the tickets and taxi as well as other helpful information They were marvelous. Upon arrival back at the hotel, we ask about a couple more things to do only to find they were MILES away from where we were. This time we ask the Avalon Rep who didn't know much about Vienna except where things were. She couldn't help much at all. We chose to go to the City Park across the street walk a bit and then people watch. We did have a piece of Sacher Torte and it was everything we thought it would be. 2 nights in Vienna which was nice....no unpacking and packing. Next we bussed to Budapest. This hotel was the Intercontinental and I can't say enough good about this hotel. We enjoyed the room, the location and the Concierge. The tour in Budapest was very nice and we had a great guide in Lazlo..I know I spelled that wrong. The food in most of these places was Buffet and you can't expect a lot from that type of dining. We didn't get lunch money (we were told they were going to do this) until the first day in Budapest..in Euro....guess who's not on the Euro. Avalon has said they are going to refund 100 per cent of the cruise portion for 5 days...….guess we'll see if they really do. One positive note our cruise director Tony, worked his butt off and tried to be every where at once. He was a shining moment in an otherwise difficult time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We have cruised several times, but this was our first river cruise (sort of). A friend had highly recommended taking a river cruise and when we saw the dates and itinerary for this cruise, we booked within 30 minutes (which is how we ended ... Read More
We have cruised several times, but this was our first river cruise (sort of). A friend had highly recommended taking a river cruise and when we saw the dates and itinerary for this cruise, we booked within 30 minutes (which is how we ended up with Cabin P319). My ancestry is 94% European so a trip to Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary was exciting. We flew out on Monday, July 30, and landed in Amsterdam on Tuesday, July 31. We were warned 3 days prior that we would not be able to board the Vista in Amsterdam as planned due to low river conditions but they would motor coach us to Cologne, the second stop on our trip, and we would embark at that point. It was a little disappointing at first, but it gave us an extra night in Amsterdam and we enjoyed our time there. Tony, our cruise director, was fantastic and kept us well-informed all along the way. Wednesday night at dinner, he let us know that we would not be boarding the Vista in Cologne, but would be motor coaching all day on Thursday between our next two stops (Amsterdam to Cologne to Rudesheim) and we would now be boarding in Rudesheim. It ended up being a VERY LONG day on buses and we finally boarded our ship just before dinner on Thursday evening. The staff greeted us as we boarded the ship. Our cabins were in perfect condition, complete with a welcoming towel animal on the bed. We were afraid that we would now be missing our tour of the Rhine Gorge but Tony made sure that we were chartered for Friday on a public tour boat that took us up the Rhine Gorge and our buses met us at the stopping point to take us back to the Vista awaiting us in Rudesheim. That evening, we sailed to Miltenberg. Monday night we were told that there was a big possibility that we would not be able to cruise the entire way to Budapest. In fact, we would probably not be able to sail past Passau at all. We were informed at Tuesday night's Port Talk that unfortunately, we would be having our Captain's Farewell Message and Gala Dinner on Wednesday night and getting off the ship on Thursday morning in Regensberg. Tony had to break the news that we would be motor coaching across Europe for the remaining 4 travel days. We ended up getting two nights at the Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest (just across from the Chain Bridge), which was a great way to end the trip. Out of our 15-day "cruise", we actually got to spend 7 nights on the ship, but only cruised for 5 days due to low river conditions. As a first-time experience, it was very disappointing to say the least. We didn't complain and tried our best to "go with the flow" (pun intended). After all, the weather is not controlled by Avalon. I want to make sure everyone understands that Avalon went out of their way to make this trip as nice as possible considering the conditions. They made sure we not only were able to make all of our planned stops and excursions, but they even added a few along the way to break up the bus trips. All hotels and meals were included, and Avalon (and Tony) exceptionally handled the trip interruptions. With all that being said, the biggest disappointment to me was my Cabin Steward. She was very nice and polite and did a great job at making sure the bed was made and the towels were folded. After the first night's towel animal, and not getting one on the second or third nights, I asked her to make me animals each day. I know it's not an ocean cruise but I like putting the pictures in my scrapbook, and she told me that wouldn't be a problem. My husband gave me $50 euros to put on the bed as a tip for the two weeks of towel animals. I received TWO towel animals for the $50 euros. Since we were having to disembark early, I was expecting one on the last night of my cruise, but when I went to my cabin that night, there was no animal. I asked Katy about it the next morning as we were disembarking and all she had to say was, "So sorry, Darling, I was busy." WHAT??? $50 euros and you were too "busy" to provide one more animal??? I know that may seem like such a small thing, but I felt like she was paid very well for three nights, but she knew I couldn't do anything about it. The biggest disappointment to my husband was that the crew only opened up the top deck on the last day when we were docked in Regensberg. That was one of the things my friend had raved about was cruising on the top deck and being able to see the 360 degree view. We were never allowed that opportunity. All-in-all, Avalon took care of us and I was glad we had chosen them over another cruise line. IF (and that's a big "IF") I ever choose to do another river cruise, I would either book a spring trip or one of the famous "Christmas Market" itineraries that we kept hearing about along the way. I do NOT recommend a summer river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Overall I really enjoyed my cruise. The service on the ship was excellent, the staff is extremely well trained and went out of their way to make the cruise as smooth and enjoyable as possible. I also really loved the food. I am a ... Read More
Overall I really enjoyed my cruise. The service on the ship was excellent, the staff is extremely well trained and went out of their way to make the cruise as smooth and enjoyable as possible. I also really loved the food. I am a vegatarian and there were plenty of options for me, but if I did not like the options, the chef was more then willing to cook up something just for me. The cabin was excellent as well and the ship overall was very nice. The entertainment they had was excellent, but I wish they had a bit more during our cruise but I understand you can only have so much on a small ship. The only suggestions I would make are as follows: My cabin was on the 2nd deck and when we were docked my window was right at the dock level, so if I had my window all the way open and there was anyone walking or standing on the dock or shore, it was a little too close for comfort. I would recommend a room on the upper deck. On the 14 day cruise there was ALOT of down time and ALOT of locks on the Main river and the canal. If you want to have a good amount of time to just sit and relax and read a book, then this would be for you. There is not that much scenery on these long streches of river and you can spend alot of time waiting to go into the locks and while you are in the locks. I would do the Danube and Rhine separately if I had to do it again. Oh, also, the upper deck was shut down for 7 days of the trip, so you had limited outdoor space to sit out and enjoy. Oh, finally I would start in Budapest instead of Amsterdam if I had to do it over again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
First river cruise, wanted to experience the smaller ship, more intimate setting and the smaller ports than ocean cruises. Overall, Avalon was a wonderful cruise line, great caring and friendly staff, very good food selection, excellent ... Read More
First river cruise, wanted to experience the smaller ship, more intimate setting and the smaller ports than ocean cruises. Overall, Avalon was a wonderful cruise line, great caring and friendly staff, very good food selection, excellent accommodations. The ship and cabin are excellent. Dining experience was outstanding, with very sufficient self service options. TV entertainment was limited, the movie selections uninteresting however we only watched TV late at night. The onboard entertainment was limited but well done. A suggestion for entertainment and activities would be for the crew to have sign up sheets for on-board activities such as bingo tournaments, card tournaments, or group activities. It tended to be an older crowd, we're not quite there ourselves. It tended to attract a clientele that appreciated wine and drink, we're pretty light drinkers. Ports and shore excursions were a great mix of selections that added great value to the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, without any issues whatsoever. Downside that was not clear in advance was the number of locks going east and the impact on the ship from those locks. Locks extend the time on the river, reducing time in some ports. They also impact some sleeping ability as they are bumpy in the night. Lastly, they impact all cruise ships by shutting down the top deck for days, limiting ability to recreate there. This is true for all ships going eastbound on the Rhine, so not necessarily related to Avalon. We would take an Avalon trip any time, would probably avoid the Rhine with the number of locks. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
A European river cruise has been on our "bucket list" ever since visiting Europe a few years ago. We thoroughly enjoyed restful travels without having to unpack every other day, fabulous culinary experiences, eventful tours and ... Read More
A European river cruise has been on our "bucket list" ever since visiting Europe a few years ago. We thoroughly enjoyed restful travels without having to unpack every other day, fabulous culinary experiences, eventful tours and sites, and making so many international friends. Our staff and crew treated us like royalty; everyone was so kind and gracious. We especially enjoyed the guided tours at our different shore excursions along the rivers and the ability to explore on our own many afternoons and evenings. Our housekeeper who cared for our room was so helpful not only in keeping our room intact, but also answering many questions for us. My husband and I enjoyed being able to visit and explore additional sites and areas on our own, such as hiking up to the fortress at Durnstein, biking in Amsterdam, exploring the catacombs in Salzburg, and enjoying an Austiran meal with friends in Vienna. We would most certainly travel with Avalon Waterways again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Our travel agent recommended this cruise which most closely matched our desires and price range. It was very high quality (we got to compare when we walked thru others that double docked with us in ports), the crew were top notch and ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended this cruise which most closely matched our desires and price range. It was very high quality (we got to compare when we walked thru others that double docked with us in ports), the crew were top notch and always going out of their way to ensure each passenger’s happiness, the food was 5 star quality at every meal using produce, herbs, wine and beer from all the areas we traveled through. There were so many choices of meal items to choose from at breakfast and lunch and then dinner was a 4-5 course meal every night. There was also a lighter choice option meal served in the upstairs lounge area for most meals as well. Loved the always open coffee bar area with snacks that were available in the lounge area at the back of the boat 24/7. Cabins were kept impeccably accommodating at all times. Our cabin maid, Katie, even decorated our cabin for my birthday which fell during trip time as well as the chefs preparing a special birthday cake for dinner and crew and passengers sang Happy Birthday! I loved that the whole wall of windows in our cabin slid completely open. Since there was not a porch area it made the cabin room much larger but you could still enjoy the feel of being outside in the room. The cruise director, Niko, was most knowledgeable about all aspects of every town and castle along the way and presented information in informative but humorous stories every day as we were cruising. The shore excursions were always led by guides who actually lived in the areas we were visiting and could actually present history mixed with present every day experience. We did all of the included shore excursions in the bigger cites but what we Really enjoyed were the bicycles that were available to check out from the ship at certain smaller ports. We took off on several biking excursions on our own in some of the smaller ports and went for miles on the trail along the river’s edge through multiple towns. We did abandon the shore excursion in Vienna when we found out during the excursion there were tickets available to purchase for the Viennese Lipizzaner Stallion show! There was so much history presented about the castles and Catholic cathedrals in every town plus of course adventuring out on our own. You could do as much or as little as you wanted to on this cruise. There is even a very small gym (cabin size) with a couple of treadmills, stationary bikes and free weights. We met and made so many new friends from around the world on this cruise. You don’t have assigned seating at meals so you are able to meet as many people as you want. Some of the in port times were short but the overall European river cruise experience allows you to explore as many towns/areas as possible and decide where you might like to come back and spend more time. Overall an equally high quality experience at more affordable price as some of the other advertised river cruise ships. We had included embarkation/disembarking in the trip so the whole trip was a great experience-no problems. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Correct time of year to avoid summer congestion Limited duration for our first river cruise experience. Our thoughts: Transportation to/from airport was well organized We thought the overall experience was excellent. Ship ... Read More
Correct time of year to avoid summer congestion Limited duration for our first river cruise experience. Our thoughts: Transportation to/from airport was well organized We thought the overall experience was excellent. Ship was great - very clean and had all amenities we would require. Staff were excellent, especially housekeeping and dining room. Food was up scale but not gourmet. One issue is that we felt rushed at times in dining room. Need to slow down a little. Also, servers need to avoid serving a second course to one diner when dinner partner is not yet finished with first course. Should always be served together. Itinerary was great. Ports were good and interesting. The included tours were very informative but sometime left too little "free time" to explore on our own. Overall a very good experience and we fully intent to do another river cruise in the near future. Hopefully with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We considered several cruise lines when preparing to book this trip through our travel agent. And we chose Avalon Waterways for several reasons. First of all, we really like the large 3-panel window which contains two sliding doors which ... Read More
We considered several cruise lines when preparing to book this trip through our travel agent. And we chose Avalon Waterways for several reasons. First of all, we really like the large 3-panel window which contains two sliding doors which open to reveal a 7-foot wide opening. The second reason is the fact the beds face the windows, allowing for a beautiful view while lying in bed. The third reason we chose Avalon is they are owned by Globus, a company known for their exceptional land tours. And indeed the land excursions were incredible with exceptional guides. We were met at the airport by the Avalon employees and soon taken by motor coach to the ship. The rooms weren't available until later that afternoon, so we enjoyed about 4 hours exploring Amsterdam (our city of disembarkation) before returning to the ship for the initial 17:00 cruise time. Our luggage was taken at the airport and magically appeared in our state room later that afternoon. Our state room was lovely and in perfect condition, and all the amenities were in the room. Each meal was delicious, and there were many food options available. Breakfast and lunch meals were buffet style with a wide assortment appropriate to the respective meal. Dinner was a four-course dinner served by very friendly staff members. It was fun sitting at various tables each meal and getting to know other passengers with each seating. There were other options for dinner, more casual options such as single-serving options in the lounge area. We enjoyed the formal dinner each evening. There were several very interesting entertainment experiences during the cruise. The on-board musician was in the lounge each evening performing very nice music. One evening there was a trio (cello, violin, and guitar) of local musicians who performed a one-hour concert of music from the region. There were also a few other entertainment events offered as special events. The service was extraordinary, including not only the meal preparation and service, but also the house-keeping staff keeping our room clean and fresh feeling. We visited the following cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brugge, Ghent, Gouda, Veere, Middleburg, Willemstad, and back to Amsterdam. Each excursion was lead by a very informative, friendly, and entertaining guide. When the ship was not docked near enough to walk to each city, tour busses were there to provide transportation into each city center. We will certainly take another Avalon Waterways cruise without having to consider any other cruise lines. Our cruise was a thoroughly enjoyable trip. We even received discounted airfare options to get to Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chosen because I knew my wife would love the flowers, our first Dutch trip exceeded our expectations. Aboard the Avalon Vista in our port side A type cabin, we could not have been more comfortable. The ship staff and cruise director were ... Read More
Chosen because I knew my wife would love the flowers, our first Dutch trip exceeded our expectations. Aboard the Avalon Vista in our port side A type cabin, we could not have been more comfortable. The ship staff and cruise director were genuinely friendly and professional. The food was excellent, always fresh and delicious. The weather proved to be unseasonably but pleasantly warm so we were treated twice with outside barbecue on the Sky Deck at lunchtime. The ports were selected well, close to local sightseeing and flavor. You always remember a local guide who can draw you in, leaving you with memories of not only the sights but how lively and true it was presented. We had such a guide on our Sunday walking tour through quaint and lovely Willemstat. We were afforded time there also to try out the bicycles the Vista provided. We highly recommend the Brussels and Bruges excursions. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We wanted a springtime tulip cruise and this was it. We had not been on a river cruise before and enjoyed the experience immensely. The food was excellent and the accommodations were very nice. We enjoyed all of the side trips and liked ... Read More
We wanted a springtime tulip cruise and this was it. We had not been on a river cruise before and enjoyed the experience immensely. The food was excellent and the accommodations were very nice. We enjoyed all of the side trips and liked that many of them were included. We have been asked by many of our friends how it compares to the large ship ocean cruises we have been on. It is like comparing apples and oranges. I love them both. The smal more intimate group of the river cruise is a totally amazing experience. The crew was very friendly and made us feel welcome from the first moment we stepped on the ship. Two of the days were very nice and warm so we had cook outs on the top deck at lunch time. That was a nice unexpected surprise. We have already booked our next Avalon cruise for next year. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
A European river cruise was on my bucket list for a long time. My ancestors are from The Netherlands so I loved that I could start in Amsterdam (where I spent a couple extra days before the ship departed). Most of the trip was through ... Read More
A European river cruise was on my bucket list for a long time. My ancestors are from The Netherlands so I loved that I could start in Amsterdam (where I spent a couple extra days before the ship departed). Most of the trip was through Germany, where I've never been, and it was a great way to sample several small towns and a couple larger ones. And it was a sampling--I often wished we could spend more time in each place, but I knew ahead of time that it would be a smorgasbord trip and that maybe I could return someday to my favorite spots. It was luxurious to be in a floating hotel with an amazing restaurant that kept us full and happy. Not having to find lodging and restaurants while covering that much distance was a definite perk. I splurged for a stateroom with balcony doors and absolutely loved lying on my bed at times looking out at the banks and passing ships. I'm not big on shipboard entertainment, preferring quiet time to read, but my fellow passengers raved about the events on board. The service on the ship was excellent--very friendly and efficient staff. Our cruise director took some time to warm up but was available for the most part (he always seemed a bit flustered and busy). Some of his jokes were insensitive. The captain was aloof and he became annoyed at some of the passengers when we boarded at the time we were told to (and the sign stated), claiming that we were 15 minutes late. (The communication between cruise director, who informed the passengers, and the captain may have been less than perfect.) Overall, it was a comfortable trip. (Nice and cool in the north and very hot in the south.) Excursions were well planned and executed. Most local guides were excellent, full of interesting stories and taking good care of their groups. The small number of passengers was great, and unassigned seating at meals made it easy to meet people. If I could, I would definitely take another river cruise, maybe adding more time to explore favorite spots before heading home. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My wife and I have wanted to do a river cruise for a few years and this one was an outstanding choice. Avalon Waterways is totally dedicated to customer satisfaction, from the beautiful, sparkling clean ship to the five-star meals to the ... Read More
My wife and I have wanted to do a river cruise for a few years and this one was an outstanding choice. Avalon Waterways is totally dedicated to customer satisfaction, from the beautiful, sparkling clean ship to the five-star meals to the well-organized excursions and entertainment each day. We were happy that there was a "gentle walkers" group for each excursion for those of us slower due to age or handicap or just preference. For my wife we used a "TravelScoot" which folded up each day and fit under the bed, and fit assembled on the buses in the baggage compartment along with others' walkers. Each evening before dinner we had a "Port Talk" addressing the day's activities as well as plans for the next day. We cannot say enough about our Captain, who got the ship through a couple of low water situations, and our tireless cruise director, who attended to everyone's needs. I don't know when either one of them had a chance to sleep. We highly rate Avalon Waterways for including, in our opinion, an appropriate mix of shore excursions, on-board entertainment, and free time. The mix of entertainment was great, with local musicians and comedians, to lecturers, beer and sausage tasting. We did not need to spend more money on extra meals or drinks or excursions, although we did take advantage of a visit to Salzburg and a concert in Vienna due to our high interest in music. We highly recommend Avalon Waterways and river cruising. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had seen so many advertisements and promos for the European River Cruises our expectations were set really high and I have to say that our cruise on the Vista certainly delivered on all fronts. We joined the ship in Amsterdam and ... Read More
We had seen so many advertisements and promos for the European River Cruises our expectations were set really high and I have to say that our cruise on the Vista certainly delivered on all fronts. We joined the ship in Amsterdam and the arrival and check in process was all pretty seamless. We were escorted to our stateroom shortly after embarkation which was roomy with plenty of storage space. We settled into daily routine very quickly and the crew were very friendly and always at hand. The food was divine - be prepared to gain a few kilos - and a trip to the galley makes you appreciate the selection even more. Perhaps our only misgiving is that we would have done a bit more Investigation about the various towns to decide whether to go on the "daily city tours" on offer. Be warned each city tour includes a visit to the town square/historical centre, town hall and cathedral - which after awhile becomes rather tedious. Other than that we could not fault the ship, the crew or anything about the cruise. We selected Cesky Krumlov as our full day tour and were absolutely enthralled with our choice. Those on the cruise that selected the Sound of Music tour were thoroughly disappointed and the complaints were long and many. The other full day option to the Lakes District was another popular choice. Would happily recommend Avalon to anyone wanting to experience the personal service you get on a river cruise as opposed to ocean cruising. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our first cruise with Avalon and we were absolutely delighted with every aspect of our experience with them. The ship was tastefully decorated; the lounge was spacious; the exercise facilities were more than adequate; the dining ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Avalon and we were absolutely delighted with every aspect of our experience with them. The ship was tastefully decorated; the lounge was spacious; the exercise facilities were more than adequate; the dining room gave us plenty of space between tables and no long buffet lines. And our cabin was top notch, with a small seating area and a luxurious bathroom. Dining options were numerous and varied and the food was excellent. We generally took advantage of the "light lunch" option offered in the lounge and enjoyed the "bistro" dinner on three separate occasions. We were delighted with the quality of the wines on offer every evening at dinner and were amazed that our glasses never seemed to become empty. The entire staff was friendly and helpful, providing outstanding service. The Captain was frequently on hand and often said a few words to everyone, which we thought was a very nice touch. We particularly appreciated the Cruise Director, Robert, for his remarkable sense of humor and his masterful organization of our daily outings and on board entertainment. Most outings were included in the price of the cruise, with some optional outings available at what we thought were very reasonable rates. We couldn't have been more pleased.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Avalon Vista Ratings
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