1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Europe River Cruises
  4. Europe River Cruise Reviews

12 Linz (Salzburg) to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it was a great way to see eastern European destinations that we wanted to see. Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. We enjoyed the range of excursions from active to more sedentary.The river cruise offered the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a great way to see eastern European destinations that we wanted to see. Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. We enjoyed the range of excursions from active to more sedentary.The river cruise offered the opportunity to unpack once and be in one room for 7 days as opposed to a different hotel every night. Finally, we felt well cared for by cruise staff who gave us guidance and help in visiting sites on our own or in excursions if we chose. The captain was very accommodating in answering questions about the ship's operations. The cruise director was knowledgeable and always ready to help. The dining room staff tried very hard to please, and were friendly and enjoyable to converse with. I did not feel that the hot tub was well cared for. It was unattractive and did not promote the use of the facility. Also the deck furniture was very uncomfortable. It was hard to operate for lounging positions and did not contour well to one's back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We sailed on the Impression, but our Journey started several days earlier with an extension in Salzburg. Tamas was our guide on the ship, and was also our guide in Salzburg. I cannot say enough about how incredible he was. Everything ... Read More
We sailed on the Impression, but our Journey started several days earlier with an extension in Salzburg. Tamas was our guide on the ship, and was also our guide in Salzburg. I cannot say enough about how incredible he was. Everything was taken care of for us, and he was always available to answer questions. Our cabin was wonderful for the most part....the last night on board a shorter boat docked next to our boat, and as we had the last cabin, the other boat's exhaust pumped into our cabin. That was disconcerting and a bit concerning, but was the only negative thing I can say. The food was wonderful, and I loved that we had so many locally sourced foods. The entertainment was very enjoyable, the ship piano player was fantastic. The duo that got on the boat in Vienna and rode with us for a little while was great! All those that served on the ship were always relaxed and smiling, and served with great skill. The excursions were as advertised, and very enjoyable. The guides were knowledgeable and for the most part, very good at keeping those on the tour interested. The one poor guide was a lady in Grein who told us the same things over and over again interspersed with 'I don't know what else to tell you." I am not sure if she is inexperienced, or if she was uninterested. Overall, this was one of the best vacations of our lives, and a great way to celebrate our 30th anniversary! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my second cruise with Avalon. I loved the first one (Rhine River) so much I booked this one just a few weeks after getting back! I was interested in the Active Discovery concept, because I wanted a little more than just the ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Avalon. I loved the first one (Rhine River) so much I booked this one just a few weeks after getting back! I was interested in the Active Discovery concept, because I wanted a little more than just the standard walking city tour at each stop. I was definitely not disappointed! I absolutely loved the variety of unique excursions (both included and optional) available on this cruise. I took full advantage of the excursions and tried to choose things that were a bit off the beaten path. I did several tastings (beer, wine, and absinthe), took two different cooking classes (one was part of the 'insiders tour' and the second was its own excursion), canoed in the Danube Bend, toured old WWII tunnels, experienced a concentration camp, among many, many other awesome adventures! Each excursion included a friendly and knowledgeable local guide. I did the three-day add on in Prague before the ship embarkation in Linz. I always enjoy a day or two prior to the sailing to get acclimated with the environment and reset my internal clock. This add-on was great - several different choices of things to do in Prague and a day in Cesky Krumlov. The hotel was great - right in the heart of Old Town Prague so it was very convenient to just about everything, very clean, comfortable, and a very helpful staff. The time onboard the ship was good as well. Unfortunately the Luminary is one of the oldest ships in Avalon's fleet, and it does not have the newer staterooms that are a bit larger and laid out a bit better. My first cruise was on one of their newer ships and I definitely prefer the newer ones! However, even though it didn't have a small seating area, the French balcony windows were smaller, and the bed did not face the windows, the stateroom on the Luminary was very clean, comfortable, and well laid out. There is plenty of storage space, and the bed is super comfortable! But the best part about being onboard is always the staff. Everyone from the front desk team to the hotel staff to the kitchen staff was very friendly and helpful. Everyone always greeted me with a smile. My stateroom attendant was very helpful - she ensured my bed was set at the best firmness for me, and she got me a different duvet when I requested it. The cruise director, Stefano, was superb. He was friendly and knowledgeable and helpful. He went above and beyond to ensure everything was perfect. Our last two days had to be rearranged a bit (due to low water levels in and around Budapest), but he worked tirelessly to ensure that most excursions could still happen (we only had one afternoon where scheduled excursions had to be cancelled) and arranged all additional transportation and meals as needed. The highlight of Avalon service on this trip, though, was one afternoon in Vienna. I was the only person to sign up for one of the optional excursions (the absinthe tasting). To my utter surprise and delight, they did not cancel due to low participation. On the contrary - they arranged for a guide and a driver for me. The car was a Tesla, no less! My guide was wonderful - since I did not do the city tour that morning, she offered to give me a private city tour and had the driver drive around so I could see all the key spots in the city. He even stopped at a couple so I could get out and take pictures. My guide and I were the only ones at the tasting and museum visit, so we had the place to ourselves and got a private tour there as well (and all of the schnapps, absinthe, and other liqueurs I wanted to taste!). It truly speaks to Avalon's customer service that they went ahead with that excursion just for me. Definitely the highlight of my trip! Dining onboard the Luminary was top-notch. There are a variety of options at every meal, and all were delicious. I also enjoyed having the 'Avalon Fresh' options, which were lighter and more healthy than the standard fare. Breakfast and lunch were both buffets with an endless variety of hot and cold choices. Dinner was a 4- or 5-course sit down meal with delicious local wines and beers available. Throughout the day, snacks and fresh fruit are always available. I prefer to travel solo, and this was my second sailing as a solo traveler on Avalon. They make it easy for solo travelers by offering reduced/waived single supplements. I never felt alone or lonely at any time - I made tons of new friends of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities on the trip. I absolutely recommend Avalon. Their service is superb, the cabins are comfortable, and their excursions are excellent! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My wife and I first met the Cruise Director when we went to the hospitality desk and asked for assistance in locating my wife’s delayed check bag and hopefully redirection of it to our room onboard. My wife and I booked our own air ... Read More
My wife and I first met the Cruise Director when we went to the hospitality desk and asked for assistance in locating my wife’s delayed check bag and hopefully redirection of it to our room onboard. My wife and I booked our own air transportation to Europe with the airline we historically fly from Dallas to Europe. Our flight to Europe could not have been more eventful. As a result, we had in a tight connection in London and a bag was missing when we arrived in Austria. The Cruise Director was personally responsible for working with airline personnel and rerouting the bag to a very small town near the border of Austria and Germany that was our first stop after the cruise began. Without Barbara’s (Cruise Director) efforts the bag would have never been reunited with my wife until our return to Dallas. Our cruise was considered an Active cruise. We enjoyed each and every stop and felt that the excursions offered were very appealing to us. We didn’t want a cruise where the excursions were city tours by bus. We wanted to bike and hike during our tours. The weather could have been better but to enjoy the cruise in spite of the weather goes a long way in showing how appealing the excursions were and how enjoyable the other cruisers were to be around. The active nature of the cruise attracted cruisers that were approaching retirement instead of 20 years past retirement. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We're new to river-cruising; this cruise was our very first one. We those this cruise both because of its itinerary (down the Danube from Linz to Budapest, with two nights in Vienna), and its activities (e.g. guided hikes, guided ... Read More
We're new to river-cruising; this cruise was our very first one. We those this cruise both because of its itinerary (down the Danube from Linz to Budapest, with two nights in Vienna), and its activities (e.g. guided hikes, guided bike tours, canoeing on the river). We LOVED it! Some specifics: * the ship: The Luminary is small; there were only about 140 passengers on our cruise. So by the third day, we were recognizing and chatting with people on and off the ship. The atmosphere was casual and friendly. * our cabin: We chose a cabin on the middle deck with a French veranda (floor to ceiling sliding glass door). That made the cabin feel open and airy, even though we kept the door closed most of the time because of cool and rainy weather. Our cabin was the size of a medium hotel room, and had good storage. We felt comfortable and not crowded. In other reviews, I've read about people who were disappointed that in some ports, ships tied up next to one another and blocked their view. That did happen to us several times, usually overnight. We didn't plan to spend much time in our cabin anyway, so it wasn't a problem for us. * dining: The food was good (not gourmet, but good) and PLENTIFUL! On the second night, the head chef came around to every table during dinner, introduced himself, and inquired about our dietary preferences. He wanted to make sure the cuisine was to our liking. Later during the cruise, I saw him make or adapt certain dishes for particular passengers, to fit their preferences. He also gave a tour of the kitchen one afternoon, and that was really interesting. It's amazing how they manage to produce all those meals in such a small space! Our only difficulty was the noise in the dining room on evenings when everyone had dinner on the ship. There was only one seating at dinnertime, and because of the "hard-surfaces" decor in the dining room, it was pretty noisy. * activities/excursions: We chose this specific cruise because of the onshore activities, and they were GREAT! We took two guided bike tours (one down the Wachau Valley, the other in Vienna), two guided hikes (one up above the Schlogen Oxbow, the other in the Danube-Ipoly National Forest above Visegrad), and an early-morning walking tour in Vienna. We were signed up for the canoeing on the Danube as well, but the weather that morning was bad so the vendor cancelled the activity. Our cruise director, Barbara, did an EXCELLENT job of coming up with alternate activities based on weather. She also made accommodations for people who'd over-estimated their physical abilities. (For example, she set up less strenuous "gentle walks" for people who weren't able to handle the regular walks.) * service: The crew were REALLY friendly and helpful -- most of them seemed genuinely caring. We'd signed up for pre-paid gratuities, but gave our dining-room server an extra tip because she was so great. * would we go again? DEFINITELY! In fact, on the fourth day my husband started talking about where he wants to go next! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First time cruiser, got talked into it by friends and was skeptic. Was surprised at the size of the cabin. Easy to move around, well laid out, good use of space, lots of storage space. Well above the water line, sliding door, no balcony. ... Read More
First time cruiser, got talked into it by friends and was skeptic. Was surprised at the size of the cabin. Easy to move around, well laid out, good use of space, lots of storage space. Well above the water line, sliding door, no balcony. The toilet was well ventilated and again well laid out. We are not large people which probably helps. The storage space for toiletries was sufficient. The beds were normal size, the mattresses were fine (for our taste), and we slept well. Food was simply great. The choices for breakfast and lunch were myriad, served buffet style and, perhaps due to the fact that seating was informal, not all guests arrived at the same time, so it was easy to get around the buffet. Dinner was served by waiters and usually had at least two choices of appetizers, main course and desserts. Wine flowed freely and was included in the price. Seating was again informal, starting at 7:00PM, lasting until 9:00PM. There was a lounge, serving afternoon tea with cookies and some entertainment in the evening. There was a bar attached to the lounge serving cocktails and drinks, for which you had to pay. One thing I appreciated particularly were activities offered by the company. There were walks offered, both easy and strenuous, trips to monasteries and wineries by bus, bicycle tours through the Wachau Valley and the city of Vienna, wine tasting, beer tasting, canoeing on the Danube, (although that got rained out this trip), and even a cooking class in Vienna. There were activities for just about every taste and ability. Guides were always local people who knew the local customs and history. We had a very good tour coordinator in Barbara, a lady who can juggle many things at one time. If you so chose, you could also lounge on the upper deck with many deck chairs but it got mainly rained out on this trip. There is a small exercise room with about 3 machines. The service was truly superb, both in the dining room and in the cabin. We were so impressed that (although we had pre-paid gratuities), we tipped our waitress and maid again, separately. It is true that I had not cruised before and, perhaps, have no great frame of reference, but the wife and I were really pleased and can recommend this company and ship highly. We both believe in value and we think we found it in the price we paid and the product we received. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
accidently by available dates and final destination but what a fabulous accident!! The active cruise fit our abilities and interests perfectly allowing so many choices for different abilities. cruise director and staff were so great, ... Read More
accidently by available dates and final destination but what a fabulous accident!! The active cruise fit our abilities and interests perfectly allowing so many choices for different abilities. cruise director and staff were so great, friendly informative, individualized to each of us. food on board excellent. cabin service very good. Visiting entertainment good except for the musician who was on board the longest. we will sail with avalon again!! we have had email communication from new friends made on the cruise and will hopefully have them join us on a next cruise. We are seriously considering southern France and hope the active cruises continue.One recommendation would be to have a few more bar staff at cocktail/briefing hour as we tended to really enjoy this get together! I guess active folks dont like to wait! The excursion guides were all spectacular. Combining beautiful country, gorgeous architecture, knowlegable history, inimate glimpses of local culture from passionate locals was a treat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was my first cruise. My daughter and I started on the Viking ATLA in Nurnberg, Germany on June 18 2018. The cruise took us to Nurnberg, Danube Canal, Reggensburg, Salzburg. Everything was lovely on this ship. We had to change ships ... Read More
This was my first cruise. My daughter and I started on the Viking ATLA in Nurnberg, Germany on June 18 2018. The cruise took us to Nurnberg, Danube Canal, Reggensburg, Salzburg. Everything was lovely on this ship. We had to change ships because of the low river level. The whole process was amazing and I was so impressed with how everything was handled. The cruise director Maya is a machine...TOP NOTCH. I was fortunate to finish out my cruise on the JARL. The crew made the remaining of our cruise awesome. We rejoined them in Linz and we were all greeted with lovely cocktails and hors devours. The dining staff Robert and his twin Robert took such good care of my daughter and I and beautiful Szilvia who worked in the dining room and the lounge. These three were THE BEST!!! The food was delicious, the cities we visited were beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our first ever cruise, to celebrate our 50th birthday this year, as my wife was always afraid of motion sickness. During our 12 day Danube cruise she was never sick and never felt any discomfort. In fact I can say that unless you ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, to celebrate our 50th birthday this year, as my wife was always afraid of motion sickness. During our 12 day Danube cruise she was never sick and never felt any discomfort. In fact I can say that unless you have the curtains open you do not even realize whether the ship is moving or not. Our adventure started in Linz. It was a pleasant experience from the word go. We arrived early, at around 13 00hrs. One of the entertainment organizers, Lilla, met us to help us with our luggage. Even though we insisted that we were OK, she insisted to help us. Our luggage was kept on board until it was time to check in. This whole ship and especially our cabin were kept tidy and spotlessly clean throughout the cruise. An upper deck cabin is recommended as it gives you the option to open the huge sliding window while in the cabin, both for fresh air as well as to take some memorable photos and video. Dining was always a pleasure experience. The quantity was adequate, especially since we were eating three times a day, something we do not usually do at home. French cuisine was promised and French cuisine we got, both in the quality and taste, and in the presentation. The staff in the dining room gave us excellent, personal service; always with a smile. Entertainment and excursions where prepared in detail and professionally carried out. Although we formed part of a small English speaking group, we never felt left out and every announcement or commentary was always promptly translated to us. To be balanced, I would like to mention two things which can be improved. The WiFi service left a bit to be desired and should be improved, both in its connectivity and also in its availability across the ship. During the excursions we would have liked to have some more free time for private exploring and shopping. To conclude, this was a dream holiday. The service was personal and outstanding. We managed to enjoy every minute of our experience. Finally we would like to say a big THANK YOU and a big WELL DONE to all the crew, both those seen as well as those unseen. A special mention and extra thank you goes to Anna, Andrea and Sophie for all the personal attention and pleasant surprises they prepared for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
A silver wedding anniversary with a french company promising high quality french cuisine. Completely underwhelming. the food was more like autoroute fayre. Vegatables soggy. Pastry undercooked. Meats difficult to identify. Thefood was ... Read More
A silver wedding anniversary with a french company promising high quality french cuisine. Completely underwhelming. the food was more like autoroute fayre. Vegatables soggy. Pastry undercooked. Meats difficult to identify. Thefood was tasteless and bland.The only french aspect to the food was breakfast. even the wines were not great. I am sure that the company has very little involvement in the quality control of its cruises. the staff who are 99% non french were as good as they could be under the circumstances. The entertainment in the evenings was okay. Some of the excursions were okay but I would be choosy and not take them all. overall I don't think it was real value for money and was in my opinion mis-sold. Perhaps i expect more than their usual clients. if you are travelling from Strasburg be aware that the company charge for parking at their car-park facility. €8 per day. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click