Avalon Imagery II Review

4.5 / 5.0
95 reviews
Avalon Imagery II in Bernkastel-Kues
Chess on Top Deck of Avalon Imagery II
Avalon Imagery II sailing on the Moselle River
Avalon Imagery II docked in Germany
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Editor Rating
4.5
Very Good
Overall
Marilyn Borth
Assistant SEO Editor

Avalon Waterways' Avalon Imagery II first sailed European rivers and waterways in 2016, affording river cruising with a contemporary masterpiece for all to enjoy. The 361-foot-long river ship makes views its epicenter, from those seen from inside the Panoramic Suites to the rolling landscapes witnessed from the main lounge or sun deck (aptly dubbed the "Sky Deck").

Avalon Imagery II prioritizes what can be seen off the ship without sacrificing what can be experienced onboard. Its contemporary decor with splashes of gold emits a luxurious yet at-home feel. Shared spaces vary in size, but all offer up ample seating no matter where you choose to relax; outdoor areas always have shade as well for optimal comfort.

"Community" is a vibe here. At both ends of nearly every deck, there are gathering places for encounters between guests, like the club lounge in the back of the ship and the Panorama Lounge at the front.

Speaking of guests, the ship tends to attract more mature passengers, typically 55 years old and above; 45 years old and older on Active & Discovery sailings that focus on ways to explore Europe through biking and hiking. The friendly and above-and-beyond staff prioritizes individual touches, such as memorizing every guest's name and drink preferences.

Some contradictions are noticeable, however. Interestingly, millions of grape vines roll past outside yet inside, only non-local wines are served with meals. On top of that, there were no wine educational classes onboard, only wine tastings on select shore excursions. Avalon is the best river cruise line for active cruisers, but only had one e-bike amongst its fleet of bicycles aboard Avalon Imagery II. No spa services are onboard, either, which might be a thoughtful -- and welcomed -- addition for a cruise hailing physical excursion.

Aside from a few misses, Avalon Imagery II takes nearly everything else into close consideration, including the "little things." Some of which are the height-adjustable tables in every stateroom, mattress pads with four comfort level options, Panoramic Suite walls being slightly askew to provide more space in the bathrooms (and to make the showers bigger) and L'Occitane premium beauty products are present in every cabin.

Avalon Imagery II Itineraries Sail Along Peaceful European Rivers and Waterways

Avalon Imagery II itineraries frequent the rivers and waterways of Europe, including the Moselle, Danube, Rhine and Rhone.

Itinerary types vary, which include Active & Discovery (the most active itineraries available with Avalon), Tulip cruises in the Netherlands and Belgium, Christmas market cruises, wine-focused cruises and traditional European river cruises. These vary in length as well, ranging anywhere from five to 19 days.

Active & Discovery cruises, which are unique to Avalon Waterways and one of several itinerary options available for Avalon Imagery II, prioritize physical wellness to cater to more active-minded cruisers. Each sailing has more active excursion choices than other sailings, including biking, kayaking, walking and hiking.

The countries Avalon Imagery II visits include Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, France, Switzerland and Slovakia. Ports vary from large, well-known cities like Paris to quaint small towns and villages like Bernkastel-Kues in Germany.

Avalon Imagery II Deck Plans Are Simple to Navigate, Spacious and Relaxation-focused

The Avalon Imagery II deck plan is simple to navigate with its four decks: Indigo Deck (bottom deck), Sapphire Deck, Royal Deck and Sky Deck (sun deck). Access to each deck is easy, as stairs can always be found at the back of the ship and mid-ship; the Royal and Sky Decks also have a staircase at the front of the ship.

Bright and integral with gray and gold -- seamlessly integrating soft, classic backdrops with contemporary fixtures -- the decor both inside and out is calming.

Avalon Imagery II doesn't fall short in cozy places for cruisers to hang out throughout the ship. Sky Deck has multiple open air seating areas, some with shade awnings, along with a deck game area and a mid-deck hot tub (referred to as a "whirlpool" onboard).

Occasionally, most of the top deck is closed off while sailing to cruise comfortably and safely below low-hanging bridges. However, the Sky Lounge at Sky Deck forward is always open both day and night, while going under a low bridge or not, as it's low enough to fit under even the lowest of bridges. So, if you're looking for a spot outdoors to get a view of a bridge's underbelly, this is the place to be.

Royal Deck hosts even more communal spots, including the Club Lounge at the back of the ship along with the Panorama Lounge, the bar and the Observation Lounge. The latter is outside, overlooking the bow. Sapphire Deck only has cabins, the main dining room and the galley.

All cabins are typically quiet inside, due in part to the soundproof separation walls between every stateroom. However, those staying in suites on Royal Deck can occasionally hear footfalls from those walking on the Sky Deck (top deck).

The fitness center, albeit small (typical for river cruise ships), is found on Indigo Deck. It has a treadmill, an elliptical, some dumbbells and a yoga mat.

Pros

Easy to navigate; spacious view-focused suites; pristine decor, food and service

Cons

No hot food available outside meal times; limited dining options

Bottom Line

A laid back, comfortable cruise that celebrates European nature, history and culture

About

Passengers: 128
Crew: 37
Passenger to Crew: 3.5:1
Launched: 2016
Shore Excursions: 135

Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard, including room service

  • Sparkling wine with breakfast; wine and beer with lunch and dinner

  • Shore excursions

  • Onboard active gear (bicycles, binoculars, e-bikes and walking sticks) on certain sailings

  • Wi-Fi (available throughout the ship)

  • All onboard entertainment and lectures

  • 50+ movies in cabin's TV

  • Coffee, tea and flavored seltzers from 24-hour machines; pastries and cookies

  • Fitness center

  • Gratuities (included if paid as part of fare)

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Optional/premium excursions

  • Most alcoholic beverages and soft drinks

  • Additional gratuities for tour guides and drivers

  • Gratuities (not included if not part of fare)

Fellow Passengers

Avalon Imagery II, like all of Avalon's ships, attracts two demographics depending on the itinerary: 45 years in age on Active & Discovery cruises, with the average age increasing to 55 plus on most itineraries. Americans, Brits and Australians comprise the majority of passengers.

Many solo cruisers can be found aboard Avalon Imagery II like other Avalon ships due to their single supplement waiver offer for every departure. In fact, 10% of Avalon's clientele are solo cruisers.

Accessibility on Avalon Imagery II is excellent as well. There are some stairs onboard between decks, but there is an elevator that can take you to every deck except the Sky Deck.

Is Avalon Imagery II Cruise Ship Family Friendly?

Avalon Waterways isn't the most suitable river cruise line for kids. Age limits vary on Avalon Imagery II; some itineraries require guests to be at least 18 years of age while others have an age limit of 8 years. There are no activities or special arrangements for children onboard Avalon ships, including Avalon Imagery II, making it not ideal for families.

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More about Avalon Imagery

Where does Avalon Imagery sail from?

Avalon Imagery departs from Basel, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Prague, Paris, Budapest, and Vienna

How much does it cost to go on Avalon Imagery?

Cruises on Avalon Imagery start from $2,099 per person.

Is Avalon Imagery a good ship to cruise on?

Avalon Imagery won 1 award over the years.
Avalon Imagery Cruiser Reviews

Marvelous Moselle

Like every Avalon ship I’ve had the opportunity to cruise, the Imagery II was comfortably well-appointed in the lounge, upper deck and dining rooms.Read More
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No2nanette

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

LOVED Every Moment on the Imagery II Tulip Time Cruise.

We sailed last week on the Imagery II seven day Tulip Time cruise and it was awesome.Read More
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Sleep7

few6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

Luxury on water

We cruised with Avalon last year on the View on the Danube and were overwhelmed by the quality. This year our cruise on the Rhine on Imagery 2 was just as special.Read More
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Jill1953

many10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Avalon anticipated our every need

We highly recommend Avalon and will likely book again for our next river cruise.Read More
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cpurce11

many10+ Cruises

Age 50s

Avalon Waterways Fleet
Avalon Imagery II
Avalon Panorama

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