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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was an extended "girl's trip" with my best friend and her mom in honor of her mom's 80th birthday. Overall, we three women were well taken care of throughout the cruise and for two days of sightseeing in Prague ... Read More
This was an extended "girl's trip" with my best friend and her mom in honor of her mom's 80th birthday. Overall, we three women were well taken care of throughout the cruise and for two days of sightseeing in Prague beforehand. The Intercontinental Hotel in Prague was very nice. Our staterooms on board the Luminary (310 and 311) were also very nice -- roomy and comfortable. The purser, Sandra, and her assistant, were absolutely delightful, as were most of the crew and staff. My housekeeper, Tri, took very good care of me. But there were certain aspects of the itinerary and the service that could have been better, and I only point these out in hopes that Avalon will take them to heart and offer some improvement in these areas: Three times I asked for laundry service aboard ship. Only the first time was the laundry done correctly. The second time my "cleaned" laundry was returned to me wadded up in the laundry bag -- they hadn't done it at all. The third time, my clothes were returned to me wet - they had forgot to put them in the dryer! The music selections on the in-cabin TV were sorely lacking. Here we are cruising through the classical music capital of the world and only one classical music option was offered en suite. Perhaps additional albums, such as classical guitar or other instrumental music could be added to the onboard listening options. One of the walking tour guides, Ulli in Vienna, was quite rude to one of the passengers, berating the 70-year-old woman publicly (over our earspeakers) for needing to find a restroom before the allotted stopping point and then chastizing her (again publicly) for making the group wait. Most of our walking tours through various cities began with a bus ride. Only once did the tour guides chasten us to wear our seatbelts aboard the bus (European law) or remind us about seatbelts when we re-boarded. Since it is not customary to wear seatbelts on public transportation in the US, I would recommend that tour guides remind passengers every single time a bus is boarded whenever seatbelts are required. Our onboard musician, Valentin Donov, was absolutely wonderful, but except for two occasions, he was the only onboard entertainment offered in the evening. The two special offerings, singer Lindsay Hamilton while we were docked in Passau, and the Quintet Aphrodite in Vienna, were fabulous - absolutely top notch. It would have been nice to have a few more of those kinds of evenings during the cruise. I thought the food was mostly great. The breakfasts, always served buffet-style, were awesome. The dinners, during which we selected courses from a menu, were much more hit-and-miss. I liked that we were treated to regional specialties specific to the ports-of-call we visited, but the execution of most dinners just wasn't very good, and I thought three different days of Hungarian goulash at lunch or dinner was a bit much. As for drinks, it was great that alcoholic beverages were included with meals. But on at least one occasion my table was refused another glass of wine because the Maître'd arbitrarily decided that it was too close to the time we would be moving to the ship's lounge after dinner where we would be expected to pay for our drinks. Considering the price we paid for our cruise, this seemed more than a bit stingy. Personally, I found going through all those locks (24 of them) on the Danube absolutely fascinating. However, I heard several passengers complain that beginning the cruise on the canal portion of the Danube, which required summiting the continental divide, caused "lock overload" for many. We went through a lock every few hours (sometimes more often) for several days and many passengers found the slow-going tedious after awhile. After getting to the actual Danube river, we still had MANY locks to go through as we made our way to Budapest. Several passengers suggested that starting the cruise at Passau instead of Nuremberg might have been a better plan, since most of the locks could have been avoided that way. But the most glaring issue I found with this cruise was our cruise director's open hostility to passengers, including me, on several occasions. I admit a cruise director has a lot on his plate, organizing and ushering up to 138 passengers (we had 118 on our cruise) through a variety of challenging circumstances, and ours did an excellent job. But it might be time for this particular CD to retire. He was not receptive to questions when he wasn't specifically asking for them during port briefings and he certainly didn't have a gentle or generous attitude when speaking to passengers privately. Fellow passengers began to lament that they preferred to wonder in silence rather than approach the CD with questions about anything. This is not the generous, affable professionalism that should define a cruise director, in my opinion. That said, there were many excellent qualities about sailing with Avalon and I want to finish on a positive note: I found Avalon quick on its feet to adapt to circumstances. For instance, a few of our passengers required wheelchairs or canes or were otherwise mobility-challenged. Our cruise director immediately arranged to have a separate group and tour guide (and sometimes even a separate bus) on every walking tour. He dubbed this group the "gentle walkers", and made sure they still got the benefit of an excursion without being too challenged or holding up the rest of us. Also, every single onboard talk and port briefing he gave was interesting and full of important historical information. I was fascinated and in awe of his knowledge and eloquence. Our guides on every walking tour were extremely knowledgeable, funny and interesting to talk to. Although they all spoke with accents, we could understand them perfectly. I especially liked that almost all of them were older, so they had lived through the communist occupation and could give us firsthand insights into what life was like for residents of the towns we visited. The bottom line is that Avalon is a topnotch carrier and I would sail with them again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I would actually rate the ship 3-1/2 stars if that were an option. I chose this cruise because we wanted to do the Moselle and Rhine Rivers in one trip. This was the only line i found that offered that combo in August. We have done ... Read More
I would actually rate the ship 3-1/2 stars if that were an option. I chose this cruise because we wanted to do the Moselle and Rhine Rivers in one trip. This was the only line i found that offered that combo in August. We have done approx. 15 ocean cruises and one River Cruise (danube) 2 years ago on another cruise line which we liked better overall. We loved the overall itinerary--so glad we included the Moselle, which contained some of our favorite stops (Luxembourg City,& Bernkastel, Germany) The ship was pretty "average"--the cabin was smallish, we couldnt both sit by the sliders to watch--there was only one chair in the cabin. Our bed faced Aft, so it was not enjoyable to watch out the window going backwards. The bed itself was very comfortable, but only super soft pillows were available so i had to sleep in my horseshoe "airplane pillow". The ship should offer at least one firm pillow option. This is a very pricey trip and sleep accommodations are critical. The dining room was too warm on several evenings...the lounge furniture was not very comfortable. Food ranged from good to fair. Dinner options needed to be expanded. Breakfast and lunch options were very good. Service in the dining room was quite slow at times. Some crew members, including our favorite maitre'd left during the cruise (without us knowing) and new servers replaced them. This was disappointing. Why not have staff go on holiday at end of a cruise rather than in the middle? Would like to be able to listen to lectures etc from our cabin. According to the info in the cabin, this was supposed to be doable, but it wasn't. We had to go to the lounge or outside deck. Since we couldn't comfortably watch our progress from the sliders (as previously explained), we tried to watch the" front camera" on our TV. Unfortunately, the "front camera" was never viewable from the TV. (We asked at front desk, but the 2nd method didnt work either). Lastly, we took advantage of morning and afternoon tours whenever offered, but timing was very rushed getting back for lunch between the tours--often only 45 minutes to come in, drop off stuff, go to lunch, bathroom, get gear for afternoon tour...would be nice to have at least an hour or hour & 15 minutes betweem end of one tour and start of next. We would recommend the Moselle -Rhine trip to anyone, but would recommend a different cruise line. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
First of all, Avalon does a fabulous job of catering to everyone. I just had seen the ads and was mentally prepared to float down the Danube, gazing romantically at the beautiful scenery along the way. Unfortunately, the Danube was too ... Read More
First of all, Avalon does a fabulous job of catering to everyone. I just had seen the ads and was mentally prepared to float down the Danube, gazing romantically at the beautiful scenery along the way. Unfortunately, the Danube was too low to do much sailing, so we only were able to dock in 3 planned ports and a couple of unintended ports, used for bussing us places. So this fantasy didn't come true and not Avalon's fault at all. If you are planning a trip like this, make sure there has been enough rain for the trip to actually pass through the river. If not, you will spend hours on busses going to the places that way. You may have many more tours than you wanted and hear much more history than you can ever remember. If you are someone who will enjoy this, then no worries. We discovered it wasn't comfortable for us. They feed you well on the ship- I would say not quite the tastiness of the big ocean cruises, but certainly enough to satisfy you. The people are so nice and we made lots of friends. The age group on the ships is approx. 70-80 average, I'd say. If you are handicapped and use a cane, they make provisions with the tours for you, but the countries may not be compliant with this. Lots of cobblestones, so come prepared to strengthen your ankles on those with good shoes. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
We joined the ship in Amsterdam and stayed there the night. passengers that had got into Amsterdam earlier than we did were able to partake in a city tour and a visit to the Rijksmuseum which unfortunately we were not in time for on the ... Read More
We joined the ship in Amsterdam and stayed there the night. passengers that had got into Amsterdam earlier than we did were able to partake in a city tour and a visit to the Rijksmuseum which unfortunately we were not in time for on the day. Day two started with a canal cruise around the Amsterdam canals which was enjoyable. Following the canal cruise we sailed for Cologne. On arrival in Cologne there was a good included city tour which was good. Though we must say having just done an Avalon cruise in France and other European tours if another tour guide tells me the history of ionic columns and windows being followed by romanesque windows followed by Gothic windows followed by new gothic windows there may be another homicide in the world. All these tours seam to include a church or cathedral which is the oldest, best example unique in some way. Whichever city or town you are in theirs is the best in some way. On both cruises there were optional tours that you paid for where you went to olive plantations or did wine tastings etc. In all cases these were to us the best tours but were rarely included. At the port of Breisach there was an include tour to the Black Forrest. Allowing for the return trip this tour spent 3.5 hours on country roads then winding country roads that made some passengers feel a little travel uneasy. With only one stop to take photographs. The highlighted stop was a commercial cuckoo clock company in the Black forest that there were a number of Globus buses visiting at the same time. In the afternoon there was an optional tour to the City of Colmar the passengers paid for and we would highly recommend. A beautiful Alsace city with an area known as little Venice with canals. Other highlights would include the included tour to Heidelberg and the cruise through the Rhine Gorge. The crew ere generally very helpful. There was free Wifi which was patchy but far superior to our earlier ship the Scenery. The cabins were very well kept with plenty of storage. The bathrooms were also good for the size of the ship. The food was of good quality but not much variation. Towards the end of the cruise some items seemed to run short of supply. There is a fair amount of time regimentation on these cruises which is something those people thinking of cruising should take into account in their deliberations. In summary we did enjoy both our cruises but are unlikely to do another as we like to be more active than these are fairly sedentary holidays. Roll calls for river cruises don't appear to be very successful due to the small passenger numbers. We were very fortunate to have contact before hand with Bill and Jane from Long Island New York and had a very enjoyable time in their company. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Was our first river cruise. Chose Avalon because of good reviews, well priced and wanted to see Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Had always heard great things about river cruises and Avalon met all our expectations re meals, tours and ... Read More
Was our first river cruise. Chose Avalon because of good reviews, well priced and wanted to see Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Had always heard great things about river cruises and Avalon met all our expectations re meals, tours and hospitality. Our time in Budapest was well spent with excellent tours. This continued to Vienna where we docked two days. Organized morning excursions and plenty of time on our own in the afternoon. Ship was docked very close to a subway stop. The other stops were full with hikes, biking and excursions. All the ships staff were engaging and provided excellent services. The meals were diverse and featured local cuisine. Beer and wine were included with dinner and evening meals. Drinks were served well after the meals. The wines were also local and excellent quality. We often dined with a former wine salesman who was pleased with the wine quality. We would definitely repeat a river cruise with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The active excursions were very attractive. The two days in Vienna was also attractive. The ship was shabby but the active excursions were GREAT. I was told that the Avalon Luminary is sailing into the sunset after this year so I’m ... Read More
The active excursions were very attractive. The two days in Vienna was also attractive. The ship was shabby but the active excursions were GREAT. I was told that the Avalon Luminary is sailing into the sunset after this year so I’m sure that’s why it looked old & had small cabins. The staff was still friendly and helpful. We liked that we could ride a bike along the Danube one day or hike a beautiful trail in Hungary the next. Then we could tour museums and hear classical music in Vienna. Or visit a violin maker and help shape Viennese rolls. There was a good balance of relaxing cruising and active shore excursions. The add on trip to Salzburg was also very interesting & well organized. The hotels in Budapest, Salzburg & Munich were first class. The cruise director and tour guides were interesting & knowable. Viking boats are nicer & the food is better, but the excursions are all for older folks. I’d gladly take another Active Discovery Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Short cruise with Hotel stays at both start and finish. From the time they picked us up at the airport and dropped uus off at the airprort the logistics were excellent. Great hotels, great ship and great excursions. Budapest was a great ... Read More
Short cruise with Hotel stays at both start and finish. From the time they picked us up at the airport and dropped uus off at the airprort the logistics were excellent. Great hotels, great ship and great excursions. Budapest was a great surprise location and the excursions coverd a lot in 2. Days. The cruise excursions were both informative and fun. Vienna was beautiful and the green spaces were amazing. The entertainment on the ship was good and we had the pleasure of listening to a dup from the Vienna orchestra who traveled with us from Bratslavia to Vienna and pu on a wonderful afternoon show. The small town visit was fun and we tried Apricot is shot glasses and they tastd great. The views to the river in town were picture perfect. The views from the sun deck during the afternoon Castles on the river was a fun relaxing afternoon. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose to sail with Avalon has we have done so twice previously and really enjoyed the ship and service. We like having an included tour in each port, but also having the choice to go off and do our own thing in the afternoons.We do not ... Read More
We chose to sail with Avalon has we have done so twice previously and really enjoyed the ship and service. We like having an included tour in each port, but also having the choice to go off and do our own thing in the afternoons.We do not want to do all the optional tours and would rather pay for what we want to do. Free time is important to us and Avalon gives us that option. We took the train from Zurich airport directly to Lucerne in about an hour and really enjoyed the lake cruise to Weggis that we took. We stayed at the Radisson which is located very close to the train station in Lucerne. The train station was a good place for moderate food costs( for Switzerland). There is an entire mall under the station with all kinds of options for very good take away food( both hot and cold).After 2 nights, we took the direct train to Basel and left our luggage at the station in lockers while we explored Basel for the day. We caught a taxi to the river boat very easily from there. We particularly enjoyed the Moselle section of the cruise as it is by far the prettier River . The Rhine does have lovely sections including the Gorge and castles, but other parts are also very industrial.There were a few places where we would have preferred to dock in the main town in the afternoons rather than moving to a smaller place with less to do. Trier was an example of this. Due to the distances travelled, there is more day time cruising in the afternoons than on other rivers such as the Danube and the Rhone. The staff and crew were wonderful to a person and could not do enough for you. We met many other travellers primarily from the UK, NZ, Australia and Canada. Our cruise director Bart was amazing and had lots of very valuable information and corny jokes to share. Although the Luminary is 4 years old, she has been very well maintained. I was a bit disappointed that the beds did not face the sliding glass doors as they do on the newer ships. If I was choosing a cabin next time, I would either choose mid ship or the front as there was considerable noise from the engine at the back when we docked. We were 4 cabins from the back and were OK., but could hear it on occasion. The food was very good and they tried to include some regional specialties, which was nice. Of course, wine is subjective, but this is one area where I think they could have included some more local white wines which were of a better quality.We did have one local white which was nice -but there could have been more as they are not expensive in the Moselle region. We love river boat cruising as it is such an easy way to travel without hassle.You only unpack once and cruising down the river at dinner time watching the sunset over the vineyards and castles is priceless. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
After many ocean voyages, we decided to give river cruising a try. Although we were concerned about water level, it was all for naught. Our river cruise did not disappoint. Our adventure began with 2 pre-cruise days in Budapest & 4 ... Read More
After many ocean voyages, we decided to give river cruising a try. Although we were concerned about water level, it was all for naught. Our river cruise did not disappoint. Our adventure began with 2 pre-cruise days in Budapest & 4 post cruise days in Prague, with 7 days of accommodations on the Avalon Luminary in between. Upon arrival, there was a signage holding Avalon agent waiting for us right out side the Customs area. After the arrival of other guests within the specific pick up time, we were all transferred in a very comfortable air conditioned coach to our hotel the Corinthia. The trip took approximately 40 minutes, but could vary due to the traffic conditions. Unless you're going back to Hungary, it is just easier to take out Hungarian currencies (Ft), & ONLY the amount you need, from the ATMs which are all over the place. The ATMs there I'd understand & the one I'd used have English as an option. I'd followed the rule where I'd ONLY withdraw monies in the local currency. If you are in the Euro zone, withdraw in Euros, so in Budapest, withdraw in Ft AND do not choose the option where the ATM do the exchange for you. I am lead to believe that you get better a rate that way. For more info on that "google" dynamic currency conversion or DCC. However, take the latter info at your own risk. Upon arriving home, I noted that we were charged a withdrawal fee by our own banking institution, but not by the local ATM operator. The accommodation, food & staff at Corinthia were 2nd to none. The breakfast buffet is magnificent & the staff were friendly, helpful & courteous. Our room was very clean, quiet & comfortable, especially important after a long flight from the west coast. Fully furnished with the comforts of home & free wifi. The only negative, if it is a negative, is that the Corinthia is about a 30 minute walk from the Danube River, where most of the attractions are, however there are cabs & a tram just out of the hotel. If you want a cab, it's best to have the hotel get one for you, as it'll be easier & they can give you a good rough estimate of what the fare should be. We found Budapest to be very safe, although you're warned about & wary of pickpocketings. Fortunately, no one in our group encountered any problems. We did not encounter any problems with the food & water in Budapest. The food & beverages there are very reasonable compared to North America. For all intent & purpose, most of the locals we encountered spoke some English. We had an inclusive 3 hour city tour with a local guide on our 2nd day, with stops at the Fishermen's Bastion & Heroes' Square. This tour gave you a "taste of the city" with narrations from the guide. We found the tour enjoyable & at a comfortable pace especially if you're trying to get over jet lag. We returned to the hotel to freshened up & took a cab (2000 Ft) from the Corinthia to the Central Market. We could have taken the tram, but it would have involved a transfer inbetween & the cost difference was negligible. The tram cost 350 Ft/person, so 2 people would have been 1400 Ft. Why not take a private direct air conditioned ride. This market is for you, if you like visiting farmer type markets. Locals shop there for their meats, vegetables & the such. On the 2nd floor of this huge market are souvenir & street food kiosks. Good local food! From there we meandered to the Chain Bridge, taking in the sights & sounds of the city. It took us an easy 45 minute walk by to the Corinthia. We had to check out on the 3rd day by 11 PM, but the transfer to the ship did not occur until about 3:30 PM. So you have several options, store your luggage with the hotel & explore more on your own or take an inclusive lunch excursion & get dropped off the ship at around 4 PM which we did. The Avalon Luminary is a very nice vessel. It has 3 decks of state rooms, with the sky deck & wheel house on the 4th deck. There are elevators going from the 1st to 3rd deck. The reception & lounge are next to each other at the fore of the ship, while the dining room, also at the fore of the ship, but 1 deck down. There is also a small quiet sitting section on the 3rd deck aft, where there is a coffee/expresso type machine, juices & pastries. The fitness room, albeit small, is on the lower deck, is equipped with a tread mill, 2 bikes & some very light dumbbells. We were on the 2nd deck, portside, midship with a french balcony (sliding patio door if you will) on the Luminary. Although the room is not as large as the ocean vessels, it was suffice & comfortable for the 2 of us. There was ample space for storage, with suitcases fitting under the bed. Our room was furnished with among other things, a king size memory foam bed, flat screen TV, writing table with cushioned chair, safe, iron, hair dryer & stocked mini fridge. The bathroom was just as, if not a bit larger than those on the ocean vessels. The glass shower definitely is larger, sans shower curtain, but with a good sealed door. There are 2 European type outlets to charge your devices in the room, along with a 115 - 240 V outlet for your shaver in the bathroom. I'd used that outlet to charge my batteries with no problems. There is complimentary wifi & bottles of water in the room. Unlike ocean vessels, the wifi & TV signals were always very strong during our time on the river & in port. Our room was very comfortable & quiet. All the breakfasts, lunches & 1/7 dinners (because of a late excursion) were buffet style meals. The other 6 dinners were sit down/order your meal affair. Understandably, the selection of food was not as varied as ocean going vessels, but they were just as good, if not better. The wait staff were very attentive, courteous & helpful. No shorts or tees during dinner sessions. Again & understandably so, the entertainment was not as elaborate, but just as good, with a more intimate atmosphere. We had a wine tasting session, a beer tasting session, a lecture on canals, 2 musical comics, a funny Barvarian musician & of course a show put on by the crew. On our cruise, we had 77/138 guests, as such, you basically had free run of the ship. No rush for anything, very friendly & relaxing atmosphere. All the crew/staff were friendly, helpful and had time to speak & interact with the passengers. Our cruise director was 2nd to none, very experienced, has a wealth of knowledge, well prepared & a pretty good singer. The inclusive & paid excursions are subjective, but in general were good, giving your the flavor & bit of history of the area you're visiting. The disembarkation, like the embarkation was simple, fast & smooth, unlike the ones you experienced on the ocean vessels, but hey, we only had 77 passengers. In any event I don't think another 61 passengers would have made any difference. Upon arrival & disembarkation, we had a 4 hour ride in a comfortable air conditioned bus from Nuremberg to Prague, with a 20 minute pit stop half way. We stayed in Prague for 4 nights at the Hilton Old Town. An Avalon rep was also staying there should we required any info or assistance. Like in Budapest most of the locals we encountered spoke English. We also did not encounter any problems with the food & water in Prague. Food here a little bit more than in Budapest, but still very reasonable compared to North America. The Hilton Old Town was relatively close & within walking distance to most of the attractions, like the iconic Astronomical clock. Prague is also very safe, but again be aware of pickpocketing. Again, fortunately, no one in our group encountered any problems. We had an inclusive city bus/walking tour which was good & informative. Lots of cobblestones, so be careful when walking around. Our room at the Hilton was very large, quiet, comfortable & fully furnished. Their breakfast buffet was good. Hotel staff was very friendly, helpful & courteous. Free wifi for Hilton Honors members. Sign up to become a member is free & get free wifi. ATMs are all over the place & easy to use. If you need a cab, have the hotel order one for you. We had the Avalon rep make arrangements for our private cab from the hotel to the airport. The cost was 550 CZK, better than the ones being advertised. All in all, this was a very enjoyable trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
Fantastic ship . So well fitted out that gave the feeling of a 5 star hotel.library and games available with good choice. Great tours that were well organised and of a very high quality . Teriffic staff in all departments and nothing was ... Read More
Fantastic ship . So well fitted out that gave the feeling of a 5 star hotel.library and games available with good choice. Great tours that were well organised and of a very high quality . Teriffic staff in all departments and nothing was too much trouble. Food excellent with excellent choice of fine wines with meals. .cabin very well appointed and serviced daily. Fresh water bottles daily for taking on tours.There were extra tours to choose from and the selection was difficult to pick from. I do wonder why the bar is not complimentary in the evenings. Spirits are so cheap now but the prices on board were a bit steep. I was disappointed with the strong smell of diesel in the cabin from time to time.this was particularly present in lock maneauvers. However,this was my only criticism. I would certainly go with Avalon again but organise my 3 day stay in Prague,which was part of the cruise,myself. The home pick up service went well and certainly takes the stress out of both ends of the holiday Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our 2nnd cruise with AVALON; and we were not disappointed. The Luminary is a well-appointed ship with all the amenities needed for an upscale cruise experience. Our cabin had ample room for us and storage for our things; while the ... Read More
This was our 2nnd cruise with AVALON; and we were not disappointed. The Luminary is a well-appointed ship with all the amenities needed for an upscale cruise experience. Our cabin had ample room for us and storage for our things; while the French balcony allowed ample views of our progress along the Danube. Robes, slippers, upscale toiletries, etc. all included. The food was excellent for each meal including buffet breakfast with omelet station, buffet or menu lunch with a 5-6-course dinner comparable to a 4-5 star restaurant; and the service by the entire crew both met and exceeded our expectations. Peter, our Cruise Director, did not have no in his vocabulary and met each and every request with a smile and can do! Our arrival point was Budapest, Hungary a city to which I will someday return for an extended stay. Lot’s to see and do, great food with warm and charming people. We happened to be here during St. Stevens day the Hungarian Independence Day celebration and were treated to a spectacular fireworks display. Our Intercontinental Hotel on the Danube was 1st class as were all meals. After boarding the Luminary we sailed to Vienna where we attended an optional musical concert, which was one of the highlights of the trip and should not be missed. Additional stops in small villages and cities included Durnstein and Melk in Austria a sail through the scenic Wachau Valley in Austria; and an unscheduled stop in Linz, Austria due to low water beyond Passau. All had there special charms especially Linz which we would recommend be a scheduled stop in the future for this cruise. As a result of the low water issue (which must have been know to AVALON prior to our trip but was not communicated until we were an our way to Linz) we had to end our cruise in Passau, Germany and complete our itinerary by buses. The 8-hour roundtrip bus ride and tour of Regensburg, Germany was exhausting but it included a great sausage and kraut plate. Passau could be easily skipped and Linz substituted as it only had a cathedral to visit and view. Due again to the low water we were bussed to Nuremberg for dinner and overnight hotel stay; and disappointed in that we saw nothing of Nuremberg which we had looked forward to touring. All in all a great start, enjoyable middle and poor ending. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We returned late Saturday night from our 16 day trip to Germany and Austria which included a cruise from Frankfurt to Vienna on Avalon's Luminary. We were thrilled to have no rain and LOTS of snow and only a few times were the ... Read More
We returned late Saturday night from our 16 day trip to Germany and Austria which included a cruise from Frankfurt to Vienna on Avalon's Luminary. We were thrilled to have no rain and LOTS of snow and only a few times were the conditions icy and/or slushy, making walking unpleasant. The snow covered scenery was magnificent and really added to the ambiance. This was our 4th visit at this exact time of year and the first time we had snow in every city we visited, except for our 4 days in Berlin at the very beginning of our trip. The Luminary is a new ship and she is elegant and understated. The highlight was the outstanding staff who was among the very best we have encountered on any cruise line. Gabriel, the utterly competent Maitre'd, managed a dining staff that was not only professional but also warm and gracious. Stand outs were Charlie (Perdang), Laszlo and Norbett. Our chef, Stefan, had been with us on our Affinity cruise last year and he was delightful, always smiling and very visible at meal times. Timea and Daniel at reception were always helpful and pleasant. Hans lived up to his reputation as an excellent cruise director, handling both the day to day aspects of his position along with the additional issues he faced due to weather challenges. We had about a dozen passengers unable to get to the boat due to weather problems in Frankfurt that disrupted flights and was on the phone constantly working to get them to the boat at the next ports of call. We had 4 in our group delayed and were surprised to learn that even though Avalon had booked their air and transfers as a complete package, Avalon's air department does not track flights at all to let the ship know of any delays. I had to let Hans know what was happening as he was unaware and told me that it is the passenger's responsibility to call him directly with any flight delays. Be aware of this if you expect to have your air issues handled by Avalon. The excellent bar staff of Vladimir, Bibi and Radu made before and after visits to the forward lounge very enjoyable. Rooms were well appointed and beds very comfortable. We had to go to the front desk to request a robe and it would have been nice to have these in the rooms when we checked in. The quality of food was excellent and we enjoyed a galley tour one afternoon with Stefan. The food is freshly prepared and was consistently cooked properly and served hot. There was a special offered each day at breakfast and several menu items that could be ordered at lunch if one did not want the buffet. The variety was very good for a ship of this size. Avalon advertises they offer a variety of low calorie options but this is really not accurate. At both breakfast and lunch, the choices for those choosing to follow a lower fat diet were very limited and the kitchen was not able to accommodate special requests for these meals. Hot soups at lunch were consistently cream based and though there was a small salad bar, there were limited items that were prepared without additional mayonnaise, etc. Veggies were prepared with butter and meats with sauces. This was not an issue at dinner when the two people in our group - including me - that prefer low cal options were well accommodated. Included wines were good. We did want to purchase better wines on a few nights but they were completely out of about 75% of the red wines offered on the wine list, the same situation we had encountered last year on the Affinity. I am not sure why they offer an ala carte list if they are unable to stock for it. We tried to order no less than 7 different reds by the bottle and not a single one was available. We were limited to the German wines and this was disappointing as we would have preferred some variety and were happy to pay the extra. By the next to the last night, they had also run out of vodka and Kahlua, which I found strange as well. There were some negatives on this trip for us: There was lots of sailing time and virtually no in cabin entertainment was available. There were three English channels and this is a cruise line that caters to North American passengers and Aussies so this is something Avalon really needs to address. Often CNN did not even have sound available. Avalon really needs to add some movie options and music channels. One can only watch progress through the locks so many times and after dark which comes very early in winter, there was no scenery to enjoy. Only twice were we docked in any reasonable proximity to the city we were visiting. I consider reasonable a 20 minute walk at a good pace. This mean taxi fares to get us back when we chose not to take the scheduled bus transfer. Walking groups were not grouped by physical ability and this was a hindrance in my opinion. There were most always 4 groups so it would have been easy to designate a group of slow walkers and another for those who wished to walk faster. Internet service was more unavailable than available. I had issues sending but could receive. The people in the cabin next to us to us could send but not receive. On this 11 night cruise, menus were much the same for the second half and more variety would have been welcomed. There was not much in the way of evening entertainment, even for a river cruise. The onboard piano player, Ivan, had a very limited repertoire. We were scheduled to be in port late in Regensburg so looked forward to being off the ship there but the heavy snowfall caused the river to rise very rapidly and instead of leaving at 11pm we had to pull out at 4:30pm. The evening entertainer was unable to get aboard that night. Last year we really enjoyed a Christmas evening put on by the crew but this was missing this year. For a Christmas cruise, there was nothing to distinguish the season in terms of any events or entertainment. A highlight for us was the crew show where about a dozen of the crew put on a series of skits that bordered from amusing to hilarious. Stefan and the gang of Roman bell ringers took top prize judging by passenger reaction. On the night of the 2nd crew show (a repeat of the first) we happened to be docked next to the River Countess and noticed their show taking place at the same times as ours. There was a young lady dressed in traditional Bavarian attire signing which made up the bulk of their entertainment and we noticed a number of their passengers peering over into our lounge where our staff had us bursting out with laughter at some of the antics. We were very happy to be on the Luminary with its very special crew. Overall we enjoyed the cruise but will next year we are booked on AMA for a wine themed cruise since they offer some of the things Avalon is missing, like walking groups organized by capability, bicycles and in room entertainment. The itinerary we chose for 2011 also has 4 of the 7 nights (enough for us we decided on this trip) either as overnight stays or very late in port which will give us the opportunity to spend more time in the cities we visit. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first river cruise and we were lucky to have selected an Active Discovery Cruise. The ship, though one of the oldest in the Avalon fleet, was wonderfully maintained. For the first three days we were puzzling over how old it ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we were lucky to have selected an Active Discovery Cruise. The ship, though one of the oldest in the Avalon fleet, was wonderfully maintained. For the first three days we were puzzling over how old it was, with many guests guessing that it was new! We later learned from the crew that the Luminary would soon be replaced. Our cabin, while small, and the beds did not face the window, was very comfortable and well detailed. I was amazed that with all 120+ guests showering at the same time that the shower pressure and water temp was perfectly regulated. AC worked well, and we loved being able to keep the sliding door open when we were cruising. Staff was amazingly attentive and each and every one of them bid us a good day as we left for excursions and welcomed us back at the end of the day. Exceptionally professional staff. Each meal was served with a "wow" response - fresh ingredients and beautifully presented. We were eager to see the next course, the next meal each day. They provided wonderful alternatives with dining in the lounge, or outdoors when weather permitted. Loved the fact that this was a "come as you are" sort of cruise - no dress codes, very relaxed. The captain greeted us back on board after a day of exploring; they had handcloths and beverage ready to welcome us back. Very nice touches throughout. The excursions left within minutes of departure times. The coaches were clean, new and comfortable. The bicycles were new and well maintained. Everything met or exceeded expectations. Our tour director, Roos Wilner, was exceptional as well Very detail oriented; very prompt; ever present; in complete control. Excellent communicator and she instilled a great deal of confidence. She had total control of all aspects of the tour. I wish i could clone her for any business i might own! The itinerary was varied. Each of the excursions we took was worthwhile. Many were included in the price, and those that were optional were of high quality and worth the extra price. This was the best vacation we have ever had, and we are already researching other Avalon Active Discovery cruises. Very, very well done! I am hard pressed to find any criticisms of our time aboard the Luminary. I wish that all beverages were included in the price (though I was happy for the happy hours on board. Drink prices were expensive otherwise. The main dining hall got very loud during dinner when the room was full. Wish more was done for noise abatement. Some of the chairs in the lounge were showing wear on the fabric. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Our ship, the Avalon Luminary, was beautiful and comfortable. We enjoyed every stop on the Danube cruise, with Budapest being our favorite city. Cesky Krumlov was a gem that we’d love to visit again. Our arrangements for the trip ... Read More
Our ship, the Avalon Luminary, was beautiful and comfortable. We enjoyed every stop on the Danube cruise, with Budapest being our favorite city. Cesky Krumlov was a gem that we’d love to visit again. Our arrangements for the trip and extra days on either end exceeded our expectations. The onboard accommodations and the activities program were excellent. The port city hotels in Prague and Budapest were first rate business hotels. Although we were not traveling with the group, our airport transfers and luggage pickups were flawless. The Active Discovery tour proved to be a perfect choice for us. We enjoyed the city walks, hikes and bike rides and the hands-on excursions. Our local guides always spoke good English and were knowledgeable and interesting. Avalon did a great job of managing change to make our cruise vacation memorable and enjoyable. Upon boarding, we were advised low water conditions would require us to depart immediately and change the itinerary for our first two days. We would visit Bratislava instead of Visegrad and arrive earlier in Vienna. Despite this last minute change, the cruise director had arranged interesting port activities for the next day and the crew carried it off without any problem. Avalon provides an excellent website and app to track each individual’s travel plans. An opportunity for Avalon to improve would be to integrate the customer’s choice of activities on the app, particularly when these are selected and paid for in advance. The onboard dining was a highlight with 4 or 5 entree choices for dinner and delicious lunches and breakfasts. On the nights when everyone decided to eat at the same time, the dining room was unfortunately noisy and uncomfortably warm. The service was good and when the room was not full, it was more pleasant to linger while making new friends over dinner. We thoroughly enjoyed our Avalon cruise and look forward to another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We choose this cruise because of Active Discovery option. The Activities offered were varied and included several types of activities. They were interesting and all were of great quality. We are outdoorsy, living in the Mountains of ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of Active Discovery option. The Activities offered were varied and included several types of activities. They were interesting and all were of great quality. We are outdoorsy, living in the Mountains of Colorado. The hiking and biking was great. The canoeing was much more fun than anticipated with stand up paddle board option. I do wish there was more availability for kayaking. The biking options were terrific with availability of good quality bikes whenever we were in port. Our tour director, Roos, was amazing. She was ever-present, exceptionally detail oriented, an excellent communicator, and she masterfully organized 128 guests. Each morning the excursions left on time with beautiful, clean coaches. The staff bid us well on our daily journeys, and the Captain welcomed us back each afternoon. Nice touch with the hand cloths and drinks in the lobby. The variety and quality of food was excellent, and we enjoyed the options to formal dining by having lighter fare in the lounge, or BBQ on deck. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The ship was beautiful and the staff was great. But what made this river cruise stand out was the active options for the excursions. Guided bike rides and hikes were all great. At some of the ports they could have had more bikes as ... Read More
The ship was beautiful and the staff was great. But what made this river cruise stand out was the active options for the excursions. Guided bike rides and hikes were all great. At some of the ports they could have had more bikes as these tours filled up quickly. One thing I would improve is the wine selection at dinner. I feel they could have provided higher quality wines. And also, it would have been nice to include all beverages in the price even when it wasn't at meal time. The free beer and wine being offered only at the meals didn't work well for me. I like to have a night cap and it would be good if that were included in the price. Also, more snack during the day would be good. The musician was great but the music was too mellow for the active passengers. I also recommend adding more Active Discovery cruises in other destinations. It's a great idea and a terrific way to discover new areas. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We were interested in the Active Cruise that was offered. We went from Budapest to Linz and added Prague. I'd say overall the cruise was awesome. The food was great, the ship was great, our cabin was nice, comfortable bed, and the ... Read More
We were interested in the Active Cruise that was offered. We went from Budapest to Linz and added Prague. I'd say overall the cruise was awesome. The food was great, the ship was great, our cabin was nice, comfortable bed, and the crew were great. Also, all of the activities were very well organized. I'd say our only room for improvement was the following: 1) The 2 hour briefings were way too long. It is hard to focus beyond 30 minutes. 2) We would have loved to have a little more time just relaxing on the boat. That was probably our own fault for signing up for too many things. 3) We would definitely have loved to spend 1 more day in Vienna. 4) We think that the cruise should offer an excursion to Shonbrunn Palace. We went ourselves, and it was absolutely wonderful. 5) It would have been nice if the waiters would come up to the sky deck to take drink orders. With that said, the cruise was absolutely wonderful, and we can't wait to do our next Avalon River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This is a review of the 14 day Avalon cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. We are a 70's couple and the excuse for the cruise was our 50th wedding anniversary, but was actually the fulfillment of the last item on my punch list. The ... Read More
This is a review of the 14 day Avalon cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. We are a 70's couple and the excuse for the cruise was our 50th wedding anniversary, but was actually the fulfillment of the last item on my punch list. The cruises was exactly as described in Avalon's online advertisement. So I will confine this review to a few pleasant surprises, a few negatives, and a commentt. Pleasant surprises 1. Portages Due to low water conditions at 3 points, a cruise on the Avalon Luminary actually comprised 1 hotel, 3 different ships, and 3 portages. First we were put up in a luxury hotel in Budapest and then bused to the Luminary stuck in Komora, Slovakia. Then we were bused from Vilihofen, Germany to Regensburg where we met the Impression which turned around (I presume the Impressions passengers were bused to the luminary). Then we were put on a lower draft tourist boat from Ruedesheim to St. Goar, so as to not miss the most famous part of the Rhine, and then a bus to Koblenz where we swapped with the Visionary's passengers for the remainder of the cruise to Amsterdam. The bus portages ranged from ½ hour to 1 ½ hours. I thought the situation was handled very professionally by Avalon; and none of the program was missed. In addition to receiving 15 Euros cash per person for lunches missed, $1250 was credited to my credit card for the inconvenience of having to pack and repack 3 times. 2. Bicycles Avalon was on my short list of English speaking cruise lines because they advertised that bicycles could be checked out at each port. I had no idea before hand how this would work out. Would the bikes be junkers that needed a lot of tune up before being ride-able, and how accommodating would the staff be when we requested them. The bikes turned out to be almost new, what Europeans call touring bikes, with multi-speeds and well adjusted shocks. The latter were handy over cobblestones yet didn't have that irritating bungee jumper action. The staff couldn't have been more accommodating. You simply told reception when you wanted them and they would be ready on shore. We took advantage of the offer every day but one. We had taken tours of Vienna and Brataslava before and had been to Duernstein and Passau enough times, and wasn't interested in Ruedesheim. We much preferred to strike out on our own via bicycle. During the cruise I came to hate the huge crowds of cruise passenger, other tourists, and locals than hung out near the dock or the old part of town. But since cruise lines and long distance bike routes tend to follow rivers, I found that you could quickly get away from it all on quiet, scenic bike trails along the river. This was especially true in Duernstein and Ruedesheim, places whose only reason for being is catering to hoards of tourists. The Maintal Radweg (Main Valley Bike Path) was my favorite. Even in Amsterdam I found a way to quickly get out into farm country biking along dikes alongside canals. 3. Ice machines The Luminary and Impression had ice machines just like any motel back home. It was surprising because ice is consider immoral, against the natural law, in Europe. They were a god-send because of the 95F heat wave the first 5 days. With all the exercise we did, a drink with two tiny ice cubes just wouldn't cut it.. Disappointments (Disclaimer: most people would put these complaints in the “not applicable” category) 1. Acoustics in dining room and lounge on all 3 ships. It seemed that no attempt to mitigate the noise had been incorporated into ship design. The large number of people shouting to be heard made meal times almost unbearable. I spoke with the cruise director and he said they were aware of the problem and were trying to solve it. If so, the solution is still in the design stage. To be fair, this seems to be a standard feature of our brave, new world. Even upscale restaurants operate under the assumption that the louder and more irritating the environment, the more customers will spend. If I didn't think all cruise lines operate under the same assumption, this would be a “show-stopper” for choosing Avalon again. 2 On board musician The musician in the lounge on all three ships came equipped with a full array of electronic devices which he connected to a sound system. He then cranked up the volume to a level not appropriate to the situation, namely background music in a relatively small area. Playing “cocktail piano hour” music without electronic enhancement would have been more appropriate, allowing passengers to converse easily and add some class to the lounge. What we got was more like a hillbilly honky tonk. Since loud speakers were situated throughout the lounge, you couldn't avoid the noise. Note: I'm not critiquing the musician's ability or selection of tunes, only that it was too loud to enjoy it. 3. Air conditioning Normally, the AC was more than adequate. But during the previously mentioned heat wave, the sun would cause heat to build up between the wall-to-wall window glass and the curtain. Heat would leak through the curtain and the AC could not keep up. My advise is, unless global warming shifts from central Europe to the US Middle West, book a cabin on the right hand side when traveling east to west and visa versa. 4. Local musicians (more a comment than complaint) Sailing from Brataslava a group of 5 young ladies came aboard with 2 violins, cello, piano, and flute. They morphed American pop tunes into a classical style that was very pleasing and classy. But since we were in the heart of the old Austro-Hungarian empire, why not something from that era: Hungarian folk tunes, Viennese waltzes, Franz Lehar operetta tunes, etc Entering Bavaria, it was announced that the onboard musician would do rock music in the lounge that evening. Good grief! Why not Bavarian style blassmusik, better knows as oompah. When I complained (tongue in cheek) to the cruise director, he said that they had tried oompah unsuccessfully; people didn't like it, got bored, and left. The cruise director's credibility with me dropped dramatically. No self-respecting tourist operator taking a group anywhere near Munich would not schedule a night of oompah in the Hofbrau House. His credibility dropped further a few nights later. Departing Wuertzburg it was announced that we would have oompah that evening. Sure enough a five piece group called Volkacher Ratherrn Musikanten (Volkach city council music group) came aboard. They consisted of trumpet, trombone, clarinet, accordion, and tuba. Again, they were excellent, but in no way could it be calledt Bavarian oompah. A trumpet instead of a rotary valve fluegelhorn (not to be confused with an American style fluegelhorn) and a trombone rather than a rotary valve tenorhorn (similar to an American style euphonium) produce a much brassier, less mellow, sound. Although a tuba is the heart of oompah, a tenor horn is indispensable In fact what we heard was the Franconian style of blassmusik. All the tour guides insisted that although we were technically in Bavaria, the people consider them selves Franconians, only annexed to Bavaria by Napoleon. Needless to say, the group was well received and no one left early. Leaving Miltenberg one of the worlds' foremost zither players (talk about a big fish in a small pond) came on board and gave an outstanding concert and demonstration. Again, I thought the timing strange because the zither is associated in everyone's mind with Vienna, probably because of The Third Man movie theme. I'm sure it was logistical, the artist was from Frankfurt, Germany. Finally, in Engers, a suburb of Koblenz, we walked a short distance to a palace where we were presented a classical chamber music program with a piano and violin. No complaints here. A final comment Because I wanted the full meal deal, I selected the two week cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. I enjoyed it so much that I want to do another one. The only problem is our cruise covered almost the whole territory, at least in German speaking lands (Ich spreche etwas Deutsch). The only thing left is the Moselle and the upper Rhine. But Avalon does not seem to offer a Luxembourg to Basel cruise. The Moselle is combined with the Main and Upper Rhine with Amsterdam. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Our family of six, four young adults in their twenties and my husband and I (fifty-somethings), all had a great time on our cruise! There was a wide range of activities, enough to please everyone and keep us all busy (maybe too busy at ... Read More
Our family of six, four young adults in their twenties and my husband and I (fifty-somethings), all had a great time on our cruise! There was a wide range of activities, enough to please everyone and keep us all busy (maybe too busy at times...we had to take some breaks!). The food was outstanding, with many choices at every meal. The dining room staff was professional, yet also comfortable and familiar for our family. The shore excursions were great...each day we thought that the next day couldn't possibly get any better, but it did each day. We loved having the bikes available, to just take off when we had spare time and explore on our own. We really liked the headsets that we used on excursions. They were easy to use, worked well, and allowed us to hear the very informative tour guides. I do have one suggestion. We arrived in the departure city around 10 am and got to the boat about 11AM. We were exhausted from our flights and just wanted a place to rest. Unfortunately our cabins were not ready until 3 PM. We literally slept (uncomfortably) in the ship's lounge as we waited for them to prepare our cabins. I wonder if there isn't a way for Avalon to plan better for this, giving those of us who had traveled immediately before our arrival (as opposed to those who may have spent the previous night in a hotel in the departure city) access to our cabins more quickly. Since our air travel was arranged through Avalon, this might be possible and it would have made our first day more pleasant. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
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
We picked the Danube because we had never been to Vienna or Budapest and liked the idea of sailing on the river. We picked the 'active' cruise and this was the right decision for us. We love bike tours of cities and this cruise ... Read More
We picked the Danube because we had never been to Vienna or Budapest and liked the idea of sailing on the river. We picked the 'active' cruise and this was the right decision for us. We love bike tours of cities and this cruise included four bike tours. We loved the wine with all the meals on board and the food was very good. It's also great to meet most of the passengers and crew by the end of the cruise. We even tried the hot tub on board. Despite the low water level on the river, and the fact that we couldn't reach Budapest by river, Avalon handled the situation professionally and efficiently. Service was very good and entertainment was fun! Well done! Intercontinental in Budapest was very comfortable, central and great views. Not sure will will be able to go back to massive ocean cruises ever again! We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Avalon was recommended by our travel agent, and we are so glad we took her advice. Everything was done with excellence, and it made our first river cruise and time in Europe most memorable! This was as "active cruise", and ... Read More
Avalon was recommended by our travel agent, and we are so glad we took her advice. Everything was done with excellence, and it made our first river cruise and time in Europe most memorable! This was as "active cruise", and lived up to its name! There were always active choices - we hiked, canoed, took bike rides - but these were interspersed with walking and coach tours, sight-seeing and just relaxing. A great mix! We were very impressed with the hotel in Budapest, our overnight there, and the seamless embarkation the following day. Excellent hotel in Salzburg, too. This cruise had a land portion following 7 nights on the Danube - we enjoyed the variety. Dining was not only delicious and varied, but a great social time! We met delightful people who quickly became friends, and we will treasure our memories of this trip. Hoping another adventure with Avalon is in our future! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We wanted a river cruise that was active. This definitely fit the bill. This was so relaxing and pleasurable. The food was great and they accommodated my special dietary needs along with my husbands. The entire staff was wonderful, ... Read More
We wanted a river cruise that was active. This definitely fit the bill. This was so relaxing and pleasurable. The food was great and they accommodated my special dietary needs along with my husbands. The entire staff was wonderful, pleasant, and went above and beyond to make sure all our needs were met. The room was always kept neat and clean and the bed was really comfortable. Our cruise director even kept the boat in Budapest until the lights of the city came on so we could see Budapest at night. That was really awesome. This was not part of the original plan, but he decided to do it since he knew we would all really enjoy it. He hit the mark with that one. The onboard entertainment was suburb. The various options we had in each city provided plenty of opportunities to meet everyone’s needs. The cruise director was very good at keeping us informed about everything that was taking place on the cruise. We started looking for another cruise by Avalon while on this cruise because we enjoyed it so much. Read Less
Avalon Luminary Ratings
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