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79 Avalon Waterways Europe Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise initially because we wanted to have at least two days in Vienna. And, because we could not book our cruise until late summer, this was our best option. But what serendipity! It was a wonderful experience on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise initially because we wanted to have at least two days in Vienna. And, because we could not book our cruise until late summer, this was our best option. But what serendipity! It was a wonderful experience on the beautiful Avalon Impression. Our vivacious cruise director Maria was very informative and took excellent care of everyone. We appreciated the multiple included excursion options and took full advantage of them. It was a jam-packed 7+ days with hiking, biking, canoeing, wine and beer tastings, museum tours, and concerts! All experiences were very well-planned, and all guides were extremely knowledgeable. Crew members were always very friendly, pleasant and attentive. And the dining choices were delicious, with emphasis on local cuisine and wines. We had never been on a river cruise before, and we're now huge fans of this smaller ship type sailing! We much prefer this to multi-thousand passenger cruises! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I had cruised with Avalon down the Rhine River 10 years ago, and was very pleased, so I thought I'd stay with the same company down the Danube. I was so lucky to get a double room cabin all to myself, as did my 2 other girlfriends ... Read More
I had cruised with Avalon down the Rhine River 10 years ago, and was very pleased, so I thought I'd stay with the same company down the Danube. I was so lucky to get a double room cabin all to myself, as did my 2 other girlfriends that I was traveling with. The first 5 singles that booked the cruise, did not have to pay the single supplement. Wow, that was a tremendous savings! The cruise was on the Envision, Avalon's brand new ship, and it was gorgeous. It was very quiet, we were midship on the second floor and I never knew anyone was next to, above, or below my cabin. Every single member of the crew, from the bus boy to the captain, were first rate. They went out of their way to make sure you were happy with your cruise. Hendrick, our cruise director, went out of his way to help and guide us 3 ladies, and he seemed to make himself available all the time - when did he sleep? The food was unbelievable - the presentation was amazing and of course it was so delicious - from breakfast to dinner. Wine at lunch and dinner was from the regions we were sailing through. It was a trip to remember - highly recommend it to all! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise because a stateroom on the middle deck was available without the single supplement. The cruise director and staff were all terrific, experienced and patient. This was my first Avalon cruise, having done one last October ... Read More
I chose this cruise because a stateroom on the middle deck was available without the single supplement. The cruise director and staff were all terrific, experienced and patient. This was my first Avalon cruise, having done one last October on a Viking boat. They are comparable in every way for quality. I would try another cruise with Avalon on another river route. Amsterdam is quite busy, so I might recommend that first-time cruisers go southbound from Amsterdam to Basel, which is calm and quiet for the disembarkation. Amsterdam's airport is close to the river (about 40 minutes) while the airport at Basel is more than an hour and fifteen minutes from the dock, but the transfers will work well in either port. There was a nice variety of passengers from Spain, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The cabins were tended three times daily. Meals were just right with lots of variety. I like to spend as much time on the boat as possible and for me the excursions are always optional. Cheers to the entire staff, crew and service team. They were European and Southeast Asian and just wonderful to meet. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Were interested in seeing the heart of central Europe. For our embarkation location, we had the opportunity to visit Luxembourg City and thoroughly enjoyed exploring this enchanting town. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. No ... Read More
Were interested in seeing the heart of central Europe. For our embarkation location, we had the opportunity to visit Luxembourg City and thoroughly enjoyed exploring this enchanting town. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. No issues. Dining rooms were always clean and well maintained. Food was well prepared and choices were plentiful. Servers were accommodating, friendly and always professional. One of our favorite diversions was afternoon tea and snacks. Great selection of drinks, sandwiches and sweets. Ports and shore excursions were well thought out and planned for. The assigned guides were knowledgeable, personable and approachable. Each had a passion for the area they were taking us through and had a talent for pointing out even the smallest (but most interesting) details. They just made you feel comfortable. Cabin design was well laid out and comfortable. Cleaning staff did an awesome job. Cabin cleaning/maintenance was always complete by the time we returned from shore activities or whatever we were doing. We were never in each others way. 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
Delicious food, wonderful service, gorgeous boat and well planned trip from Paris to Normandy! A week in heaven! Each excursion was well Planned .... met a monk in Monastery, Givenchy to see Monet’s gardens, castle of Lionheart, ... Read More
Delicious food, wonderful service, gorgeous boat and well planned trip from Paris to Normandy! A week in heaven! Each excursion was well Planned .... met a monk in Monastery, Givenchy to see Monet’s gardens, castle of Lionheart, Normandy beaches and so much more! The meals were eloquent five course meals. Small boat so we made lots of friends. Sunsets on sky deck was the perfect ending to your busy day! We grew very attached to the staff with lots of ice cream and wine. Beautiful arrangement of fruit waiting for us upon check in. Our suite was throughly cleaned every day. The captain gave my dad a special tour of engine room and wheelhouse with explanation of locks. Cookies and Snacks and coffee 24 / 7. We lacked for nothing and were spoiled royally! The tours had wonderful and knowledgeable guides. We had air conditioned buses filled with water. Head sets and microphones made the tours easy to understand and navigate. We learned so much! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband, son, daughter-in-law and myself all thought the trip was great. My son and his wife had never taken a river cruise and I wasn't sure they would like it. But they found their own enjoyment and had a ball. The food was ... Read More
My husband, son, daughter-in-law and myself all thought the trip was great. My son and his wife had never taken a river cruise and I wasn't sure they would like it. But they found their own enjoyment and had a ball. The food was terrific, the rooms, although not large were very nice. The staff, including the captain and the cruise director were exceptional. We joked that every where you looked the captain was there.He was there greeting you when you left the ship and when you returned. And finally the stops were, especially for someone who appreciates art, top notch. Monet's gardens were beautiful. In Rouen it was great to see the Cathedral that Monet painted multiple times. But of course one of the reasons we selected the trip was the day in Normandy which did not disappoint. It was beautiful, thoughtful and a tribute to the thousands who were buried there. This was our first Avalon cruise, but it won't be our last. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise based on location, dates and then were intrigued by the special itinerary around the Hapsberg Empire. Everything met or exceeded our expectations. The stateroom was beautiful and spacious, and the bed was very ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on location, dates and then were intrigued by the special itinerary around the Hapsberg Empire. Everything met or exceeded our expectations. The stateroom was beautiful and spacious, and the bed was very comfortable. Our favorite part was the panoramic operable windows - we used this multiple times to enjoy our "cruising time." The food, and especially the wine, was delicious. All the staff were knowledgeable, attentive and made us feel like valued passengers. Our cruise director, Tony Williamson, was just terrific - he really made it a special journey. We loved the variety of excursion options and enjoyed every one we did. There were many special activities or excursions that were unique to this itinerary. The daily briefings and the written itineraries were very helpful. My only negative feedback is about the embarkation process. The information provided about the specific docking location was not specific enough and there was no one at the dock to help provide additional information. We had to walk up and down the various docking locations along the Danube, dragging our luggage in extreme heat before finding the ship. Once onboard, everything was terrific and we had wonderful service. Surely, there must be a better way to board in Budapest. Also, while I downloaded the app and looked up some information ahead of time, it was not useful during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We loved Avalon...the wait staff in the kitchen were so awesome!!! We loved Kalinka!!! All of the food very good and fresh...all the staff very helpful, especially the front desk..so nice and helpful.... George the piano player was very ... Read More
We loved Avalon...the wait staff in the kitchen were so awesome!!! We loved Kalinka!!! All of the food very good and fresh...all the staff very helpful, especially the front desk..so nice and helpful.... George the piano player was very nice, and good...wish there was a bit more exciting entertainment although I know that's kind of tough with the size of the lounge...and I think you need to give some more choices in the free included tours..would be nice to offer a few more exciting choices that you don't have to pay too much for. Our cruise director was also great, very organized and to the point!!! She ran a very good ship....I also wish there could have been some massage services or a little bit of pool would have been nice, but again I know with the size of the ship maybe not possible....It was really convenient being so close to all of the restaurants...and lounges...we loved it! Also, the fitness program needs work...a couple of times when our traveling friends were going to do one of the active tours, it would kind of fizzle or it wasn't really done the way it was listed to be...So I think that needs some attention... Otherwise, everything was fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I had experienced three other Avalon Cruises and thoroughly enjoyed every one. I'm hooked! The ship, room, service, food, entertainment, excursions, and crew were all exceptional! Cruise Director, Maria Pascual, made it the best ... Read More
I had experienced three other Avalon Cruises and thoroughly enjoyed every one. I'm hooked! The ship, room, service, food, entertainment, excursions, and crew were all exceptional! Cruise Director, Maria Pascual, made it the best cruise yet! She accommodated the needs and wishes of everyone with her beautiful smile and "will do" attitude! Every excursion was outstanding! Ayu and Monika were so precious with their smiles and great service in the Panorama Lounge. Our waiter/bartender, Radu aimed to please with this wonderful laugh, sense of humor and special service. He remembered my drink choice and made it perfectly. We looked forward to dinner with him every evening! His protege, Alex, worked hard to make the dinner perfect. Loved his smile and genuine desire to please. He's a keeper! The Chef and his crew were incredible! AND they prepared all that exceptionally delicious food in such a short time and small space. The floral arrangements throughout the ship were gorgeous! The entertainment was so much fun! The pianist was so talented and accommodating. I also truly enjoyed the local musicians. Our Captain was a pleasant surprise! He could keep us on course and play music so well. What a treat! The Avalon Artistry II Captain, Crew and Crew Director provided the perfect river cruise. Thank you to all! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
After wanting to try a river cruise for a long time, we finally joined with a group of friends for Avalon's Blue Danube Discovery. Trip began in Budapest where we had two days to explore the city before boarding the ship, trip ended ... Read More
After wanting to try a river cruise for a long time, we finally joined with a group of friends for Avalon's Blue Danube Discovery. Trip began in Budapest where we had two days to explore the city before boarding the ship, trip ended in Prague, where we had about a day and a half. Shortly after arriving we met Monika van der Drift, our Cruise Director, who was terrific and did a wonderful job from that moment until the very end- high praise for her! We cannot say enough good things about her. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth, and the ship's captain and crew were warm, friendly, efficient and professional. The Captain was open and engaging, and several in our group with ship-sailing experience from their military days enjoyed visiting the Bridge, and seeing how things worked, and were very impressed with his knowledge and skill in navigating the Danube. We loved our cabin, with its floor to ceiling windows, and efficient, functional layout- we have been on big cruise ships and this was by far, the most comfortable room and bathroom layout we have ever experienced- bed was also very comfortable. A+ for the room. Food was very good and we liked the option of eating lunch or dinner in main dining room or having a lighter meal on the first deck- this was particularly nice one evening when we cruised and watched the sunset over the Danube.Service was very good, we never had a problem, even when adding more seats to our dining table to accommodate some of our party-very graciously the dining room staff helped with this. Food was especially good for the two "special" dinners, the Chef's Dinner and even better, the Gala Farewell Dinner. Online DJ, Delyan, was great, and responsive to what he noticed passengers enjoying. We so enjoyed listening and dancing each evening. One evening a local ban, The Untouchables, came aboard to entertain, another evening it was The Bavarian Devils- both were terrific. There were also wine and beer tasting events, scheduled at a time that was convenient for those who wished to attend. There was a nice program of fitness activities with Ana, the Activities Director. Bikes are available on board, and many in our group took advantage of this. As for the ports, it was a nice variety of city and small town. I have a list of towns I want to return to. I will say, we were there during the heat wave hitting Europe this summer, which made for some really hot days of walking, but that is weather, and better than rain! We really appreciated the always- available water on those days. As for the excursions, there was a nice variety and you could select from both included and those available for an extra fee. Some of our favorites? Royal Waltz concert in Vienna was outstanding and almost made us forget the heat, trip to Cesky Krumlov, Nuremberg, Regensberg and Prague city tours.The wine pairing tour in Budapest also got rave reviews from those in our group. One unexpected treat was lunch on the tour of Nuremberg- much better than you might expect for a tourist group type meal. One not to repeat? Horse show and lunch in Budapest- this is much more suitable for young children, and not the Hungarian horse show you think you are going to see. We had looked forward to Schonbrunn Palace, but to be honest, it was a bit of a disappointment. We were given time to explore the extensive gardens, but no map to guide us so were worried we would not find our way back in time for the house tour. Lack of air movement in the Palace made things difficult in the heat. We did lose the last day of sailing as another ship (not Avalon!) had hit and damaged a lock, but we felt fortunate that we did not have more disruption because of this. Would we do this again? Absolutely, and we have been looking at options since getting home. It was a wonderful, wonderful vacation, thank you Avalon! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Avalon river cruise is absolutely the way to go. Avalon is a first class river cruise line at very reasonable prices. The ship is beautiful, with glass french door walls that open to give you a view of the river, local towns and castles. ... Read More
Avalon river cruise is absolutely the way to go. Avalon is a first class river cruise line at very reasonable prices. The ship is beautiful, with glass french door walls that open to give you a view of the river, local towns and castles. This was our first river cruise and we traveled with 25 friends and family. Taking a river cruise with friends and family is the way to go, sharing every moment together with members of the group, yet always having the flexibility to wander off on your own. Food on the ship was outstanding, and the crew under the leadership of the Captain felt like an extension of our family. They operated like a well oiled machine.. They were all so cordial, joked, very attentive, and so helpful. Avalon's Cruise Director Monika was so knowledgeable and helpful. She was outstanding and quick to help find out information if needed. All the tours and activities were well organized. What we liked most about the river cruise was the ability to dock next to the town, and go for walks whenever you wanted and wherever you wanted. Avalon also was very considerate of the different type of travelers. If you were older and more limited in walking, they had a gente traveler arrangement and would provide the equivalent of a golf cart in some locations to help ease the touring. Then for those of us that were more active, we could take beautiful hikes, or use the bikes on the ship to go bike riding through the towns and local area. Plus they had the classical tours for the average traveler. Everything was so well thought out. Almost everyone in our group took the top cabin deck and found the views beautiful. At night we would sit on the top ship deck and watch the towns and castles go by all lite up. It was so smooth, like riding on glass. What a change from ocean cruises that are always so crowded and not smooth, plus you have to take tenders to get to the towns your visiting which takes time. If you are thinking about taking a river cruise, everyone in our group highly recommends Avalon. We are already looking at planning another river cruise with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I really wanted to see Vienna and go on a short river cruise. I liked visiting the small towns and enjoyed learning about saffron. I wish we stayed a little longer in Munich . That hotel was fabulous. I have recently been put on a ... Read More
I really wanted to see Vienna and go on a short river cruise. I liked visiting the small towns and enjoyed learning about saffron. I wish we stayed a little longer in Munich . That hotel was fabulous. I have recently been put on a gluten free diet and thought I might have problems with food. No way - they were very organized. On the first day, after the safety drill, they had a meeting with all passengers who had special dietary needs. Both the matri’ d and main chef were there and interviewed each one of us taking notes. In the morning I was greeted by the waiter and asked if I wanted a gf roll or bread. At the buffet, I was told which items contained wheat. One day I ordered some slices of steak without gravy and the chef looked at me and siad to wait a minute. He soon returned with a small bowl of gluten free gravy! It was delicious. The waiters were great and were there to refill coffee mugs or take away dirty plates. On another company’s river cruise, we were sent a list of all the passengers with the name of the city they came from. I thought this was a good idea. I could look for the people that lived near me and write the email next to the name of the people I wanted to keep in touch with. I asked our tour director about this and was told that Avalon does not do this. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
-We were hoping to discover France's culture and French food, but only discovered Avalon's version. -Since we joined this Cruise from another Avalon cruise, there was no welcome aboard, only surprise from the staff ... Read More
-We were hoping to discover France's culture and French food, but only discovered Avalon's version. -Since we joined this Cruise from another Avalon cruise, there was no welcome aboard, only surprise from the staff when we asked for a daily activity sheet.(never did receive one) -Very nice accommodations, loved the large sliding window. -Loved the intimate lite meal options , in the Panorama Lounge. We do not care for the noise of a 'dining hall'. -Liked the option of a top sheet and blanket, instead of a duvet, for the bed. ( not a duvet fan) -Better description of activity levels is needed for excursions, some people on excursions should not have gone due to physical limitations, food restrictions, ect. Staff and or Cruise Director could have resolved these issues and saved some guest embarrassment. -Staff customer service could be improved on. Staff interaction improved as it got closer to the end of the cruse ( tip time) -Disliked the Big ship feel, even though there were only a little more than 120 guests. -Upper deck almost unusable due to height of bridges. -We went with this trip to experience the Seine and experience the 75th Anniversary of D-Day . D-Day remembrance was good, however none of our group had an idea of the plan for the ceremony. Even though we found out that there was a schedule available, Avalon did not supply one. *Probably will not travel with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are avid ocean cruisers and this was our second River Cruise, both on Avalon. The overall experience was fantastic again, with the condition of the ship, the service and the food meeting our expectations. As it turned out, we had the ... Read More
We are avid ocean cruisers and this was our second River Cruise, both on Avalon. The overall experience was fantastic again, with the condition of the ship, the service and the food meeting our expectations. As it turned out, we had the same cruise director (Yeah Valintin!!) as our first cruise and he was, again wonderful in delivering a great week going down the Rhine River. It was so easy getting on and off the boat whenever we wanted to. The wait staff were great, both good service and friendly interaction throughout our week with them. The ports were interesting and Avalon had the excursions extremely well organized with both buses and boats revved and waiting to take us to interesting places. The day we sailed through the Rhine Gorge, our cruise director narrated the experience pointing out the castles and providing context and historic background. Our cabin was on the top deck (category "P") and was extremely comfortable, with a well sized and well appointed bathroom with glass enclosed shower. It is hard to find fault with any aspect of the experience, with maybe a wish for a bit more diversity on food selections at dinner. However, their standard every night steak, chicken or fish options were well prepared if the regular nightly menu didn't meet our tastes. I'm not sure how much difference there is between some of the River Cruise lines (AMA, Uniworld etc) but I am more than pleased with our experiences on Avalon and will book with them again for our next River cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first river cruise, though we've been on a number of ocean cruises, including the Star Clipper and Aranui. Our cruise director was very good, the ship was very good, and our stateroom was very good, though the view of ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, though we've been on a number of ocean cruises, including the Star Clipper and Aranui. Our cruise director was very good, the ship was very good, and our stateroom was very good, though the view of the river from the bed was 50% blocked by a wall (we opted for state room 312, the Royal Suite, and found this aspect of it very disappointing). My criticisms or suggestions would be the following: 1. While the food selection and preparation was excellent, the dining room was very noisy, particularly at dinner time, and seemed understaffed (the staff including 2 trainees . . . .). Avalon should consider 2 seatings and better staffing. 2. The daily bulletin should include the weather forecast for the day ahead. 3. On the "Tastes of Hungary Dinner & Wine Pairing" the gypsy music was overwhelming loud despite our request that it be softer and the music definitely wasn't gypsy (as the gypsys didn't compose My Fair Lady or The Phantom of the Opera . . . .). However, the gentlemen doing the wine pairing did a very good job, it was nice that our group had a room to ourselves, and the food was excellent. 4. Rather than leaving the arrival afternoon in Prague "free time", the city tour ought to have been done then, so that on the final day a full-day tour to the former concentration camp would be available. 5. The Nuremberg tour to the Hitler sites ought to have allowed far more time at the Documentation Museum. 6. The Sconbrunn Palace tour in Vienna ought to have allowed much more time at the site. 7. The City tour of Prague was nothing more than an hour at the Palace and being taken to the Market Square and given free time. Rather than do that, if we did the trip over again, we'd just buy a hop on/hop off bus ticket - see the same places and many more, for much less. 8. The last event we did, which was the Czech Dinner & Folklore Show in Prague, was excellent. The meal, drinks and setting were nice, and the performers 10+. Their music was authentic music from different areas of the country as it has evolved over the years, and they had an excellent ability to get the group excited and have us participate in the fun. While this is a review of the cruise portion of the trip, we also had the pre-cruise and post-cruise experiences in Budapest and Prague. The New York Palace hotel in Budapest was excellent, while the Prague Hilton was so-so. The included and optional excursions in Budapest were good. I've already criticized the included City tour in Prague, but the optional excursion to the concentration camp site was very moving (and far too short). All in all, no serious complaints. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Wanted to go on a relaxing and upscale Riverboat Cruise and this was Not my first one. I was really disappointed in the service and the staff. The food presentation was very nice but the food was not great. The Service from the ... Read More
Wanted to go on a relaxing and upscale Riverboat Cruise and this was Not my first one. I was really disappointed in the service and the staff. The food presentation was very nice but the food was not great. The Service from the dining room was really below par. Not at all what I expected. They were taking our dishes before we were even finished with our food. G-d help you if you were a few minutes later than others at a table. They rushed you out and even told you the others were almost done. What does that have to do with your dining? A majority of the staff, including the Hotel Manager and Dining room manager were wearing so much cologne that the trail followed them all the time. I have an allergy to perfumes and they were asked not wear it and after the request was made, they wore more. They were totally inconsiderate!!!! Made my trip a living hell.! I do not understand why people working in close quarters with the public have to wear fragrances and so much of it. It really is a pollutant. The ship was a new one and was pretty and well laid out. A shame the Customer Relations was So Poor. Also, I thought the included tours were really minimal. I guess thats how they get you to spend more for additional excursions. Avalon , I was told was upscale. I think Not. Last time I went on AMA and thought they did a much better job. The added entertainment on board was pretty bad also. They used the lounge for yoga, so you really could not relax during the classes. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise as it visited many of the major cities we were interested in going to. By taking this cruise it gave us the opportunity to consider which cities we would like to return to and spend more time. We have traveled with ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it visited many of the major cities we were interested in going to. By taking this cruise it gave us the opportunity to consider which cities we would like to return to and spend more time. We have traveled with Avalon in the past and are impressed with the high level of organization and attention to details. From booking the cruise through our disembarkation in Budapest everything was taken care of first class. Our state room was on the second level with a balcony. It was very comfortable and provided adequate room for the 2 weeks. The entire staff was very helpful, pleasant and accommodating. They would go out of their way to make you comfortable. We took advantage of all the shore excursions which were broke down into smaller groups which allowed us a far better experience than some other tour operators we saw in the cities. The knowledge and quality of local guides was very helpful. We will continue to use Avalon as our primary cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise was magical on the Avalon Panorama, thanks to the wonderful, attentive crew, especially our tour director, István. Passengers were mostly Americans and Australians/New Zealanders in their 60s or later. The daily included tours ... Read More
This cruise was magical on the Avalon Panorama, thanks to the wonderful, attentive crew, especially our tour director, István. Passengers were mostly Americans and Australians/New Zealanders in their 60s or later. The daily included tours were usually morning gentle walking tours of the cities within a small radius of where the ship was docked. Optional included hikes up hill to local castles were also available. The extra tours were well priced, I thought, and were unforgettable. Avalon gave us all kinds of happy surprises, like local drinks as we sailed the Middle Rhein, local exclusive concerts, and special tours of sights along the rivers. The chef did an amazing job with local delicacies. This was the best dining I’ve experienced in 40 plus cruises. Quality local wines and beer plentiful at lunch and dinner. We sailed from Budapest after a full day there, and the night trip through the city was fantastic. In fact, the sailing schedule seemed to maximize our time seeing the best parts of the rivers. Our stops included picturesque and historical towns, including Melk, Dürnstein, Regensburg, Bamberg, Bratislava, Vienna, Nuremberg, Miltenberg, Würzburg, Rüdesheim, Cologne and Amsterdam, where we spent 2 days. István did a great job with the local guides, who were very informative and enthusiastic. If you paid attention, you’d have gotten a good course in Central European history. While my wife was on a Sound of Music tour in Austria, I took an optional tour to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic and the guide gave us an extraordinary history of German/Czech relations over the centuries. I checked out their brand new cruiser bikes three times for scenic trips along the many bike paths along the river. Housekeeping was always friendly and punctual. We liked not being “nickel/dimed” into extra expenses. We were happy, however, to pay extra tips for the crew and tour leader at the end. Without describing each tour stop, I’ll just conclude that this is our best river cruise ever. Avalon has become our favorite river tour operator. István is worth his weight in gold. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My wife and I,her brother and sister and brother in law, decided to take this Rhine river cruise (Basel to Amsterdam) to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday. Cruising was not high on my agenda for likes but after this experience, we ... Read More
My wife and I,her brother and sister and brother in law, decided to take this Rhine river cruise (Basel to Amsterdam) to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday. Cruising was not high on my agenda for likes but after this experience, we are both keen to do more. In early April, we flew from Australia to London and then after a few days to Basel where we joined the cruise. Everything was great - the food (excellent), the cruise director (to the point, humourous and informative), the guides (knew their stuff and added wit and humour), rooms were cleaned regularly and quickly, the bar persons knew their stuff and nothing was too much trouble. The cabin (level 3 panorama) was comfortable and being able to put our suitcases under the bed gave a plenty of room. The bed was very comfortable and having a 7ft sliding window that could be opened gave us the opportunity on occasions to lie on the bed and watch the world go by. The excursions were interesting and informative and we got good exercise by walking around the towns and cities. I certainly benefited from this. Brother and sister in law relished the walking. The boat had around 170-190 people on board with no children and this made the whole atmosphere calm and relaxed - as it should be. The age group was generally average age of around 50-55 with predominantly Americans and Canadians and a few Aussies to sweeten the pot. Dinner was in the dining room with plenty of choices of food and an endless supply of wine and beer. For lunch, you could go to the dining room for more substantial fare or in the lounge area for something light. Overall ambience on board was fantastic. The only negative that I can identify was that the WiFi was poor (and perhaps that the cruise was too short). My wife and I are now converts and are already thinking about another river cruise but perhaps a little longer in duration. We would recommend Avalon to any who are considering a river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to try Avalon after experiencing other river cruise operators. Overall, it was a relaxing cruise experience. Beautiful scenary and well organized. Great ship board cuisine. The variety and quality of food at all three ... Read More
We wanted to try Avalon after experiencing other river cruise operators. Overall, it was a relaxing cruise experience. Beautiful scenary and well organized. Great ship board cuisine. The variety and quality of food at all three meals were consistently outstanding. Overall service was very good, but after dinner coffee service was a bit inconsistent. Very smooth sailing, even though little day time cruising. Day tours were just adequate. Should improve embarkation experience - lenthy wait for room availability. Definitely need to improve communication on disembarkation transportation. We booked air travel directly through Globus, which resulted in an extended and inconventient air travel to the city starting the cruise and there was a lack of clarity and inconsistent written communication on disembarkation transportation to departure airport. Globus travel agent support prior to trip was below expectations for the costs for this 'luxury' cruise. We would have booked our own travel and transportation. This should not have been an issue and dampened our enthusiasm to return cruise with Avalon or to recommend them given the highly competitive landscape. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this ship for its itinerary as we wanted to visit the Netherlands to see the tulips, in particular Keukenhof Gardens. This was our first river cruise so we splurged on an upper cabin, Cabin 314. Great room with a very comfortable ... Read More
We chose this ship for its itinerary as we wanted to visit the Netherlands to see the tulips, in particular Keukenhof Gardens. This was our first river cruise so we splurged on an upper cabin, Cabin 314. Great room with a very comfortable bed that faced huge windows overlooking the passing scenery. Plenty of storage but could have had a few more drawers. Ports were good but traffic traveling to and from the Keukenhof, Brussels and Bruges became an issue. They may have been better served to find closer ports, if possible. Ship has a large lounge where they hold light lunches and dinner, entertainment in the evening, yoga and other exercise classes during the day and a very nice bar. There is a smaller lounge at the rear of the ship that had games, books, drinks and cookies & muffins. They could have changed their snacks more frequently as they served the same type daily. Evening entertainment was usually a piano player and select nights they invited a trio who played 50s and 60s and another who played classical music. Evening entertainment was not a draw for us or in general the type of passengers on the ship. They did have a happy hour usually from 5:45 to 6:45 where drinks are half price and then the cruise director gave a brief overview of the next day’s port of call. The ship was immaculate at all times. The main dining room served all three meals as it was too chilly for the upper deck to be open. Breakfast was a buffet with an egg station where you can order omelets or eggs any way. They usually had items that could be ordered directly from the kitchen, such as waffles, pancakes, etc. Lunch was a buffet and was very tasty with a nice selection every day and usually a carving station. Dinner was not as consistent. Portions were unusually small. I ordered a shrimp cocktail which had one shrimp and a few teeny tiny ones. I had a puff pastry ragout but got no puff pastry. The cream soups were very good. Entrees were a total mixed bag. I ordered fish and it was over cooked, another time is was undercooked, the rack of lamb was over seasoned and some days the pasta dish was delicious and another it was watery. Such a shame. Wine and beer were free flowing during dinner which is a nice change from regular cruises. Service was inconsistent as well. It is open seating and dinner is served from 7 to 9. If you sat closer to the kitchen, service was generally quicker and more attentive than sitting towards the entrance. They could use a few more service staff. Dining was very casual and you could wear the same clothes you wore during the day. No one dressed for dinner. I wish I knew in advance and I would have not packed some of my clothes. Staff was great. The captain was very visible and frequently was at the gangway when we were leaving or coming back from excursions. The cruise director, Bram, was all over and did a wonderful job keeping us informed and dealing with questions and resolving issue. The wait staff, housekeeping, front desk could not have been nicer. The fitness center is extremely small - one treadmill, one bike and one weight table. They did have exercise classes early in the morning and throughout the day but we were mostly out on excursions. The weather was chilly so you need to dress in layers and good walking shoes. we frequently did over 10 miles per day but we like to wander. At embarkation, they greeted you and you stayed comfortably in the lounge with piano music, light lunch and an available bar until the rooms were ready. At disembarkation, we were staying an extra day. You requested the day before for a taxi and while you had to be out of your room by 9 AM, you waited comfortably in the lounge until it arrived. All very civilized and you did not have to leave your luggage out the day before, just 1/2 hour before you had to leave or by 9AM. I would recommend this tulip cruise but be aware of dining issues. I would definitely go on another Avalon cruise if they were going to areas of interest. Read Less
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 April 2019
First I should say that I did not want to go on this trip and was dragged to the trip. Now let me say it was the best vacation ever and I can’t wait to go back. Everything was perfect, weather not perfect but it was fine as we dressed ... Read More
First I should say that I did not want to go on this trip and was dragged to the trip. Now let me say it was the best vacation ever and I can’t wait to go back. Everything was perfect, weather not perfect but it was fine as we dressed for it and had planned for it. We went early spring to insure the water levels as the last thing we wanted on our cruise was to be bussed. Liked - food was very good, and my wine glass was never empty even at the two hour dinners. Cruise director was excellent, this person is likely the most important part of a cruise. Ours was clear, direct, and made no excuses...”walking will be hard today”, “food at xx is excellent”, he was really good. Our room was made up twice a day and I don’t think we ever went back after breakfast when it wasn’t done. The excursions were very good as were the guides. No kids and that’s a great thing. It’s so hard to have an adult trip these days, it was very appreciated that they were not here, truth be told imho kids would hate river cruising. No goofy, no slides to the pool, no .........before jumping on my case, I raised two so I know what I speak of. I know your kids act perfectly, mine did ,but honestly they would not like river cruising. Aside from the excursions around the towns, two and three hour 5 course dinners are the evenings entertainment. Dislike- internet is slow, not much on tv. Funny we watched Casablanca every night falling asleep, picking back up where we left the prior evening. we were so tired every night we never did finish the show! My wife did not care for the exercise room, said too small, why bother? We’re walking miles every day. This is not like ocean cruising, no entertainment, except locals came on board a few nights and they were good. But honestly after walking all day, drinking wine and enjoying everyone’s company at dinner, who cares..time for bed! It was a great trip, everything was fine including the first class air tickets, nice way to travel. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise because it was my first cruise ever and was offered on a singles 50+ website. It was a small river ship, and as I was born in Germany (U.S. Army), it as well as Switzerland was at the top of my bucket list. It felt ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was my first cruise ever and was offered on a singles 50+ website. It was a small river ship, and as I was born in Germany (U.S. Army), it as well as Switzerland was at the top of my bucket list. It felt manageable to me, traveling solo as a deaf person. The ship’s crew were wonderful and unforgettable! Madalin in the dining room was my favorite waiter, always taking care of me and making sure I ordered the best meal on the menu. He also never forgot that I hate red wine and always poured the white without me asking. My cabin steward was wonderful, and so were ALL of the crew members! They were all in a line to greet us as we arrived, and there were many hugs upon departure. The food was fantastic, but for some reason, other passengers didn’t agree; they were used to getting tons of food at the buffets any time they wanted on the big ships. With constant port stops, there was no time to be bored. My only regret is that it was winter, so we couldn’t open our sliding glass door and turn out cabin into a balcony. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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