1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Avalon Waterways
  4. Avalon Panorama Review
  5. Avalon Panorama Cruise Reviews

79 Avalon Waterways Avalon Panorama Cruise Reviews

Our family decided that this was a very different way for us to spend the Christmas Holiday and we had never been on a river cruise before. We have been to Europe with Globus tours and were very happy with their services then and they ... Read More
Our family decided that this was a very different way for us to spend the Christmas Holiday and we had never been on a river cruise before. We have been to Europe with Globus tours and were very happy with their services then and they lived up to our expectations again. The crew was absolutely wonderful. We have a family member with a gluten issue and the dining staff was at her side each night to advise her of choices on the menu. We loved the choices on the menu at any meal. The cruise director was very informative about every stop we made on the cruise. Our room steward always met us with a warm welcoming smile and kept the room well stocked and clean. Embarking and disembarking were well organized and it was so nice to have a nice hot drink waiting for us when we returned from our tours which were so informative. The only thing that I would have liked to do was actually walk into the Black Forest rather than view it from afar. The ship was very comfortable and easy to navigate around. We especially liked the room at the rear of the ship that had coffee, tea, and always a variety of cookies and chocolates and doughnuts. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We enjoyed the Avalon Romantic Rhine Cruise for our anniversary four year ago and tried the Christmas Market cruise on the Danube two years ago. We enjoyed both so much we did the Avalon Rhine Christmas Market cruise in December 2019. ... Read More
We enjoyed the Avalon Romantic Rhine Cruise for our anniversary four year ago and tried the Christmas Market cruise on the Danube two years ago. We enjoyed both so much we did the Avalon Rhine Christmas Market cruise in December 2019. The ship itself is beautiful. The crew was very professional and nice. We reserve the same cabin category on each cruise so we know what we are getting and are never let down, The food was wonderful and , as usual, would reflect the local cuisine. Even though it was December we still had excursions and enjoyed them. Having done some of them in the summer and then again in the winter gave them a whole new experience. We were pleasantly surprised to have one of our excursion guides again from prior trips. We would definitely cruise on Avalon again.We look forward to taking another cruise next year if not sooner. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had a wonderful time with Ama Waterways for my wife's 50th. birthday going from Budapest to Nuremberg, so thought we would try a river cruise again, this time with Avalon Waterways for her 60th. from Amsterdam to Basel. The best ... Read More
We had a wonderful time with Ama Waterways for my wife's 50th. birthday going from Budapest to Nuremberg, so thought we would try a river cruise again, this time with Avalon Waterways for her 60th. from Amsterdam to Basel. The best thing about this cruise was the food - when we travelled with AMA previously, the food was somewhat bland, but, other than the last night when presumably the chef was off and the option was mainly pasta which came missing some of the ingredients and barely warm, the food on the Avalon Panorama was excellent. Having said that, there was an advert on the Avalon web-site for a tapas/tasting menu option which we had planned to take for the 60th. birthday evening - when we checked in however, we were told that this was no longer being offered - the only option being a reduced menu buffet in the lounge. TIP: On the welcome evening drinks, trays of hors d'oeuvres were offered, but we only managed to get one each, as the waiters seemed to be encouraging the larger groups to take as many as they wanted so that they could clear the trays and get down to the dining room, so if you want more than one, we suggest that you take a handful! Now on to the difference between AMA for Christmas Markets cruises and Avalon - when we travelled with AMA, the Christmas theme was everywhere, from the decorations, to an evening decorating the tree, meeting Santa, chocolates being left in your shoes if you left them outside your cabin door at night and mulled wine being available when you returned form each trip - with AMA it really felt like Christmas. With Avalon however, there was a half-hearted attempt at decoration, instead of mulled wine we had tepid herbal tea awaiting us on our return, and whereas the Cruise Director with AMA was always there helping out and offering suggestions, the Cruise Director on Avalon Panorama was rarely available - preferring instead to spend most of his time sitting looking at his lap-top and, even if you asked a question, he would answer it and then go straight back to his lap-top - we wondered if his linguistic limitations (he is French and clearly struggled with English) were the issue, although he announced later in the cruise that he was leaving for another job. The difference between the two cruise lines was made even more evident, as frequently we were moored alongside the Ama Magna which really was lit up like a Christmas Tree, whereas on some nights when coming back to the Avalon Panorama, we had difficulty seeing the way on slippery decks and stairs. Now on to other issues with the Avalon Panorama:- Check-in: For some reason the cabin which we had booked in the Summer through Avalon's U.K. company was not allocated to us and we were asked to switch to another cabin - we refused, and after some delay were advised that the cabin was now ours and without warning a bottle of Sekt awaited us in our cabin after Dinner. Excursions - all of the Dutch and German guides were excellent, providing well-informed tours which involved just the right mix of fact and humour and with plenty of time to "do our own thing" - unfortunately the same cannot be said of the French guides (Heidelberg and Colmar) - my apologies if we seem to be anti-French, but it is just the way the guides were (we have lived and worked in Paris, so there is no anti-French feeling - France is a place that we truly love and visit each Summer) - anyway, back to the French guides - the first, older, woman seemed slightly scatty, flitting from one idea to the next, so we rarely actually learnt anything. The younger woman (Colmar) seemed to think that she was handling a group of school-kids - taking us to the toilets just after we got off the bus and pushing us to use them and then insisting that we lined up two by two to make it easier for her to count us - we almost expected to get detention if we said the wrong thing - maybe she should apply for a job as a school-mistress/stewardess on British Airways! N.B.: We didn't go on the Black Forest trip, preferring the shorter trip to Colmar, but those that did go, came back complaining that not all of the promised stops were possible due to some of the guests being too slow - maybe there is a need to separate the group between those who are more mobile and those who are not and adapt the stops accordingly? As for the excursions, the best was to Rudesheim, particularly the mechanical organ museum - not normally our thing, but the guide was outstanding (a member of the family that owns the museum) and a talented singer. Entertainment - the resident musician was excellent on all of the instruments that he played, however after listening to him on the first night, on the next night it became clear that he could only play a limited range of music, as he only had backing tracks for one evening of music - we suggest that these be extended to provide a degree of variety - I'm sad to say that, whereas we would have been more than happy to spend each evening in the lounge/bar, after a couple of evenings we moved to the coffee-lounge - AMA Waterways had a disco which, in hindsight, was better, as the music changed each night (with a few regular favourites of course) and made for a more relaxing atmosphere. Check-out: When we left the AMA waterways vessel, there was a line of people helping guests with their luggage (the Captain took ours! - by the way the Captain on the Avalon Panorama was rarely seen and no Captain's Table). By contrast, there was only one person handling a coach-load of guests disembarking, so we had to carry our own bags off the boat to the waiting taxi. Summary: It was good to try a different cruise-line and the dining was truly memorable (other than that last night when standards plummeted), but if we go on a Christmas Markets cruise, we want to feel Christmassy, so next time we travel (probably the reverse of our original cruise with AMA Waterways), we will definitely use AMA waterways. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Our Avalon Rhine River cruise from Basel to Amsterdam was taken in late October 2019. The cruise was pleasant with no real negatives, but also without any exceptional experiences or excursions. The cruise is marketed as an 8 day ... Read More
Our Avalon Rhine River cruise from Basel to Amsterdam was taken in late October 2019. The cruise was pleasant with no real negatives, but also without any exceptional experiences or excursions. The cruise is marketed as an 8 day cruise, but there are 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 7 dinners included, so its a 7 day cruise at best. The last 24 hours are spent docked in Amsterdam, so you are effectively paying $1000 for one night in a small Amsterdam hotel room with a meal plan for two people. By comparison, we spent $250 a night for an entire floor of a canal house in a 9.8 out of 10 rated location for our other four nights in Amsterdam, and that includes a large breakfast We didn't spend close to $750 a day on meals or canal cruises on any of the other 4 days. We probably spent that collectively for the entire 4 days, and that includes $230 for two I Am City Cards for "free" admission to the most popular Amsterdam museums (except Anne Frank House bought two months in advance) and "free" public transportation and canal cruises. Our Category A cabin was excellent and is reviewed separately. We went with Avalon instead of Viking because the meals were supposedly better. The meals were good, but definitely not a culinary experience, so don't expect to be wowed. Across the entire staff, the onboard service was excellent. Embarkation was also a breeze. I would recommend going downstream from Basel to Amsterdam as you get between points quicker (17 hours Cologne to Amsterdam vs. 24 hours the other direction) and with less engine noise. On ship entertainment was limited to the same lounge singer every night, plus one night with three classical musicians (very enjoyable), and another night with a local band (average). Included excursions with local guides were informative, sometimes humorous, but not exceptional in any way. My expectation is that the Avalon river cruise experience is on par with cruises provided by other comparably priced cruise lines. But I think they are all expensive relative to a land tour option covering comparable sites. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
A European river cruise has been on the bucket list for years and we (7 family members) finally made IT happen! Several of us have taken numerous ocean cruises in the past and enjoyed them so we have something to compare this cruise to. ... Read More
A European river cruise has been on the bucket list for years and we (7 family members) finally made IT happen! Several of us have taken numerous ocean cruises in the past and enjoyed them so we have something to compare this cruise to. Without a doubt, our Avalon Panorama cruise was special! Everything was so well-organized and the ease of shore excursions (without lengthy queuing) was so appreciated. We were delighted with the "extra" dinner concert at Engers and the nighttime tour of the Rheinstein Castle. Actually, all the excursions were top notch - guides were so knowledgeable and being able to select our tours not only based on interest but physical ability was greatly appreciated. BUT, the most enjoyable excursions were those in the dining room. Our tour guides, Rado, Gabriel, Emil and the delightful Maitre'd, Zjolt, made our evenings as pleasant as the day excursions. We were fortunate to have been able to dine at the same table (except one night) and were treated to an amazingly pleasant and efficient staff! The food was excellent - especially the "German" night! Breakfast and lunch buffets were fantastic - such a variety each day made the meals memorable! We crossed off "A European river cruise" from our bucket lists but added it back on to specify an Avalon Danube cruise next! Oh, yes! We will be back! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The active cruise interested us as we are both avid walkers and enjoy biking and hiking. We were disappointed in the Avalon service compared to our experience on a Uniworld River Cruise on the Danube River. We enjoyed the option of the ... Read More
The active cruise interested us as we are both avid walkers and enjoy biking and hiking. We were disappointed in the Avalon service compared to our experience on a Uniworld River Cruise on the Danube River. We enjoyed the option of the flexible dining that Avalon Cruise provided, but found the food being removed an hour earlier than advertised e.g. 8:00 PM instead of 9 PM. Then when we tried to go to the main dining room because the lounge/bistro dining had been removed an hour early, we were scolded for arriving late and discouraged by the head waiter from getting the full menu in order to catch up with the rest of the dining room. We loved the panoramic room and the cabin steward was friendly and did a great job. The cruise director and the main receptionist were not as friendly as we would have expected. The cruise director was knowledgeable but seemed a little aloof and disconnected. The concert with the band that come on the ship and castle tour were great and would have liked more of that type of entertainment. The onboard entertainment would have been better with more variety such as DJ, second musician, etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first river cruise.  We have taken cruises before on Oceania (London to Copenhagen), Royal Caribbean (Caribbean), Disney (3- Day), Celebrity (3 - Day), and  Norwegian (Alaska).   Embarkation and debarkation was very ... Read More
This was our first river cruise.  We have taken cruises before on Oceania (London to Copenhagen), Royal Caribbean (Caribbean), Disney (3- Day), Celebrity (3 - Day), and  Norwegian (Alaska).   Embarkation and debarkation was very easy - even though we had not booked the Movenpick through Avalon, the man in charge of the concierge desk had our luggage delivered to the ship.  Embarkation and debarkation was much easier than our previous ocean cruises.  The ship also cleared each port with immigration, customs, etc. very easily - we were able to go ashore virtually immediately.   They even told us to put our passports away - that we would not need them when going on the excursions - that surprised me - much different than other cruises we have been on where in one case they even kept the passports for the entire cruise.  Getting on and off the ship at each port was very easy as well - we just scanned our card they gave us and walked off or on - there was no one standing there to verify our identity, thereby slowing things down considerably, as was the case in the past ocean cruises we have been on. We really enjoyed this cruise - Avalon is experimenting with the format (Active Discovery), doing it only twice a year.  We chose it because:   (1) It was 7 days (2) It ended in Frankfurt (we have relatives near there), and (3) Because of the format - 3 choices of activities, some more active than others - my sister is 10 years younger and she and her husband could choose more active activities.   We, and I believe several others, were surprised by the amount of walking (several miles) and walking pace (some of the older individuals had canes) for even the less strenuous of the included 3 excursion choices each morning (afternoon tours were extra).  Although surprised by the walking of several miles a day we really enjoyed it as compared to past cruise line tours where we have been on where we spent most of the time on a bus - you got to see things up close as opposed to outside a bus window.  The tour guides were excellent. The amount of walking did provide a pretty significant problem for the tour guides as some of the other older people had trouble keeping up leaving the tour guides in a "catch 22," either see less or leave people behind - both occurred - obviously causing irritation.  Bottomline - no one should go on this if they have any trouble walking several miles at a decent pace.   If you also participated in the afternoon tours, as we did (extra cost), you had about an hour to an hour and a half back on the ship before the afternoon tour - getting back from the morning tour which generally started around 8:30 - 9:00 AM and ended around noon until the afternoon tour, starting at around 1:30 and returning around 5:00.  On several evenings there was also the opportunity to engage in another type of activity in the evening - one was a visit to castle that was marvelous. Those on the cruise were, by-and-large, younger than on other cruises we have been on (other than Disney) and while for the most part upper middle class - were probably not of the somewhat more elite social status that we experienced on Oceania. The meals were very good, although probably not quite up to the level of Oceania or Disney.   There was an alternative for lunch everyday where they offered a lighter portion small buffet of what was being served in the main dining room inside on the front of the ship.  You could also take this lunch up to the upper deck and sit outside.   We chose to do this most of the time as it was less crowded and faster (given our afternoon tours) and we enjoyed sitting on the front with all the windows or on the upper deck.  Avalon indicated that those with dietary restrictions should confer with them on arrival on board - my sister is gluten free and did so, but they were not very helpful - simple indicating she should talk to the waiter - that said, the waiter was very helpful.  The staterooms were somewhat smaller than on the other cruises we have been on, but were adequate and nicely appointed - I did notice that the Viking ships docked next to us had a true balcony - we had no balcony - the doors just slide open and there is a railing.  Although Avalon's pre-cruise instructions purport to limit luggage to one large piece each, we brought 3 large pieces of luggage plus 2 carry on luggage pieces and had no problem storing the luggage under the bed. Finally, cruising through the Rhine Gorge with all the castles was magnificent and the crew director provided an excellent commentary, including explaining why in some cases the water is too shallow to get through, causing a transfer of passengers from one ship to another - and you could see why.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose a river cruise as it would be a first for us and I had gotten seasick on the one and only time we went on an ocean cruise. We chose the Rhine river cruise due to the start/end cities and length of cruise. I looked at several ... Read More
We chose a river cruise as it would be a first for us and I had gotten seasick on the one and only time we went on an ocean cruise. We chose the Rhine river cruise due to the start/end cities and length of cruise. I looked at several cruise lines until it came down to two- Avalon and AmaWaterways. Chose Avalon due to schedule/direction. With the intimacy of small boats and smooth sailing on rivers, I'll never go on an ocean cruise again. Fellow passengers were very nice, no one was disruptive onboard. Staff was for the most part excellent. I'd give our cruise 8 out of 10 stars. I subtracted points for lack of varied night time entertainment, communication issue with a cook, staff not being overly attentive in refilling wine and coffee during meals, and one optional excursion that we took that was unsatisfactory. Due to my rating the next time I go on a river cruise I'll look at other cruise lines. If I had rated it 9 or 10 stars I would definitely repeat with Avalon. Kudos to the excellent breakfasts, lunches, and dinners onboard, cabin/service, and the tours that were included with no charge. It would have been great if they had a karaoke night or maybe hire a dance instructor for one night. As a fitness buff I would've liked the fitness center to have dumbells weighing more than 10kg, but I liked that I was mostly to myself whenever I went (5 out of 7 days). Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have taken several ocean liner type cruises, so we didn't know how this would differ. Now, I can say EVERYTHING was wonderful and went so smoothly. The transfers to / from airport, the availability of information, the excursions, ... Read More
We have taken several ocean liner type cruises, so we didn't know how this would differ. Now, I can say EVERYTHING was wonderful and went so smoothly. The transfers to / from airport, the availability of information, the excursions, the food choices, the staff...everything was great. We love that the excursions ran ON TIME. Our cruise director urged everyone to be early, because they don't wait for you if you're late. We've been on bigger cruises that have waited for stragglers (and then you end up losing time exploring) AND also experienced some very unorganized excursions. Not so on Avalon. Communication is clear, organized, and punctual. Food was spectacular, loved all the wine choices with meals. Lots of choices for all kinds of eaters. Staff attentive and good at what they do. I think those servers have some of the hardest jobs anywhere. Our cabin steward noticed that I had a CPAP machine and offered to deliver some distilled water, which is needed for the best functioning of the machine. That was impressive. Cruise director was amazing...so knowledgeable, and gave clear, honest advice about various excursions. There were a few children on the cruise, and they seemed to have a good time. We also noticed several teens traveling with families and they appeared bored. (But is that what teens do?? :) ) There is NOTHING on the ship for children, but if they are enjoying the company of family and have some activities they bring with them, it could be an option. I'm not suggesting that Avalon provide this; you just have know this is what it is, if you're considering bringing children. There is NO DOUBT we will do this again. Hopefully sooner than later. We have nothing but glowing words for Avalon. Now if you could only control the weather... LOL P.S. I tried adding photos from my computer and it would not work. I clicked "add photos from your computer" and nothing happened. P.P.S. I have no idea what kind of room we had. It was the Avalon Panorama, cabin 233. It was definitely a panorama suite, but A? B? P? Who knows. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Wonderful cruise. Food was excellent, wine and beer with lunch and dinner was a nice touch. The boat was big enough to not feel confined and small enough to be able to get to use it all. The excursions that came along with the tour were ... Read More
Wonderful cruise. Food was excellent, wine and beer with lunch and dinner was a nice touch. The boat was big enough to not feel confined and small enough to be able to get to use it all. The excursions that came along with the tour were interesting and run by locals. The cruise director worked hard go give us unique experiences. The only bad point - our room repeatedly smelled like cigarettes. Not sure how or why this happened but the room service crew were reluctant to address it. Our sons had their own room on a lower floor. Both were nicely decorated and kept clean throughout the day. Getting on and off the boat was easy. A simple swipe of your room key. Only one day we were the second boat in the harbor and had to walk over and through a different boat to get to shore. The only suggestion, many of the excursions were rushed. It would have been nicer to spend more time at each site. One tip - no need to bring fancy clothes for dinner. As long as you are clean and dressed, things are good. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first river cruise and we had the most fantastic cruise on the Rhine! The crew and all of the people who work for Avalon were amazing! We cannot think of a single thing that would have made the cruise any better. The cabin ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we had the most fantastic cruise on the Rhine! The crew and all of the people who work for Avalon were amazing! We cannot think of a single thing that would have made the cruise any better. The cabin was always kept immaculate by the staff. The food was above and beyond expectations. You always had a great variety of wine to choose from. The Cruise Director was incredible! She was always working very hard to make the experience first class. The entertainment was excellent and enjoyed the variety that was scheduled. We especially enjoyed the Classical that was scheduled for us. The extracurricular activities were spot on and gave us a good feel for the countryside and the people. The Captain was a man of few words but that is okay because he was a phenomenal pilot! Thank you to all of you for a dream vacation! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are avid ocean cruisers and this was our second River Cruise, both on Avalon. The overall experience was fantastic again, with the condition of the ship, the service and the food meeting our expectations. As it turned out, we had the ... Read More
We are avid ocean cruisers and this was our second River Cruise, both on Avalon. The overall experience was fantastic again, with the condition of the ship, the service and the food meeting our expectations. As it turned out, we had the same cruise director (Yeah Valintin!!) as our first cruise and he was, again wonderful in delivering a great week going down the Rhine River. It was so easy getting on and off the boat whenever we wanted to. The wait staff were great, both good service and friendly interaction throughout our week with them. The ports were interesting and Avalon had the excursions extremely well organized with both buses and boats revved and waiting to take us to interesting places. The day we sailed through the Rhine Gorge, our cruise director narrated the experience pointing out the castles and providing context and historic background. Our cabin was on the top deck (category "P") and was extremely comfortable, with a well sized and well appointed bathroom with glass enclosed shower. It is hard to find fault with any aspect of the experience, with maybe a wish for a bit more diversity on food selections at dinner. However, their standard every night steak, chicken or fish options were well prepared if the regular nightly menu didn't meet our tastes. I'm not sure how much difference there is between some of the River Cruise lines (AMA, Uniworld etc) but I am more than pleased with our experiences on Avalon and will book with them again for our next River cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife's grandparents were from Amsterdam and it was a trip she thought would be enjoyable. As it turned out it was way better than that. The cruise was perfect from the basic(fabulous) food service to trips off the boat all was well ... Read More
My wife's grandparents were from Amsterdam and it was a trip she thought would be enjoyable. As it turned out it was way better than that. The cruise was perfect from the basic(fabulous) food service to trips off the boat all was well orchestrated too perfection. I can't say enough about the wonderful and helpful staff from the cruise director to the Captain and especially the dining staff and room staff.All were friendly and courteous and helpful in any way they could. The food was exceptional along with quantity there was definite quality. The coffee and cookies on the aft deck was a particular hang out for me as well. The sky deck was great for viewing the beautiful countryside and views of the cities as we entered or departed. We also loved the grill out day on the sky deck and did I mention the food was great. The sky deck area to the aft was great for walking off some of the food as well. We would definitely take another trip with Avalon after this wonderful trip! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise was magical on the Avalon Panorama, thanks to the wonderful, attentive crew, especially our tour director, István. Passengers were mostly Americans and Australians/New Zealanders in their 60s or later. The daily included tours ... Read More
This cruise was magical on the Avalon Panorama, thanks to the wonderful, attentive crew, especially our tour director, István. Passengers were mostly Americans and Australians/New Zealanders in their 60s or later. The daily included tours were usually morning gentle walking tours of the cities within a small radius of where the ship was docked. Optional included hikes up hill to local castles were also available. The extra tours were well priced, I thought, and were unforgettable. Avalon gave us all kinds of happy surprises, like local drinks as we sailed the Middle Rhein, local exclusive concerts, and special tours of sights along the rivers. The chef did an amazing job with local delicacies. This was the best dining I’ve experienced in 40 plus cruises. Quality local wines and beer plentiful at lunch and dinner. We sailed from Budapest after a full day there, and the night trip through the city was fantastic. In fact, the sailing schedule seemed to maximize our time seeing the best parts of the rivers. Our stops included picturesque and historical towns, including Melk, Dürnstein, Regensburg, Bamberg, Bratislava, Vienna, Nuremberg, Miltenberg, Würzburg, Rüdesheim, Cologne and Amsterdam, where we spent 2 days. István did a great job with the local guides, who were very informative and enthusiastic. If you paid attention, you’d have gotten a good course in Central European history. While my wife was on a Sound of Music tour in Austria, I took an optional tour to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic and the guide gave us an extraordinary history of German/Czech relations over the centuries. I checked out their brand new cruiser bikes three times for scenic trips along the many bike paths along the river. Housekeeping was always friendly and punctual. We liked not being “nickel/dimed” into extra expenses. We were happy, however, to pay extra tips for the crew and tour leader at the end. Without describing each tour stop, I’ll just conclude that this is our best river cruise ever. Avalon has become our favorite river tour operator. István is worth his weight in gold. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First the Danube River Cruise with Avalon Exceeded our expectations. The crew and accommodations were first class and professional making us feel at home and welcome. The shore excursion's were not only educational but just the ... Read More
First the Danube River Cruise with Avalon Exceeded our expectations. The crew and accommodations were first class and professional making us feel at home and welcome. The shore excursion's were not only educational but just the right length so that you have plenty of free time to just explore. The guides all being local offered particular insights to the local history and culture. The dining options were numerous to accommodate everyone's particular likes and offered some unusual local choices that make experimenting someth9ing you just should do. A special thanks to the crew and management of Avalon as some adjustments had to n=be made due to the level of the Danube. They all handled and managed the unfortunate situation with great caring for their guests. We just went with the flow and really didn't miss a thing otherwise. Would definitely use Avalon again and have referred numerous friends to Avalon from our experience. Special thanks to Kaye Huyskens our cruise director. She anaged a difficult situation with the cange in plans the highest degree of professionalism Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I had never been on a river cruise, and had never been to eastern Europe, so this cruise ticked all the boxes for a new adventure. Avalon did not disappoint. The boat was meticulous, I loved that my bed faced the river and I could open ... Read More
I had never been on a river cruise, and had never been to eastern Europe, so this cruise ticked all the boxes for a new adventure. Avalon did not disappoint. The boat was meticulous, I loved that my bed faced the river and I could open my sliding glass door fully, the bathroom was surprisingly big and the marble tile was an unexpected nice feature, the staff were exceptionally friendly, attentive, engaging, and helpful, the food and wine were outstanding (the soups, I'd book another cruise just for the soups! They should seriously make a recipe book just with the soups alone.), our cruise director Tony was delightfully funny and insightful, and our captain made the best of a very low river. No rain in Europe this year did cause our cruise to be adjusted as we went farther North, but Avalon went out of its way to make the adjustments equal or better to the original itinerary, including offering free excursions. Those travelling with me all agreed that the adjustments to our itinerary were better than the original and we were very appreciative at the effort Avalon took to make sure our river cruise experience was exceptional. The guides on the excursions were all very knowledgeable and friendly. The pace of some of the excursions was a tad slow, but as I was the youngest person on the cruise (40s), I understood the pace was designed for the overall group demographic (60s-80s). Would definitely book another Avalon cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was a Danube cruise, Budapest to Nuremburg. Due to low water on the river, the ship discharged passengers just beyond Regensburg, busing those who were departing from Nuremburg and to Prague for those who had signed up for it. At ... Read More
This was a Danube cruise, Budapest to Nuremburg. Due to low water on the river, the ship discharged passengers just beyond Regensburg, busing those who were departing from Nuremburg and to Prague for those who had signed up for it. At this, we considered ourselves fortunate, because we heard that some other cruise captains refused to go on past Vienna. Ours did go on, although it was disconcerting to hear the cruise director offhandedly characterize our situation as "precarious." The Wachau valley, through which the Danube flows, is beautiful, and we had practically cloudless skies to appreciate it. The several little towns visited along the way bear enough resemblance to each other that they ultimately became indistinguishable and of marginal interest. The ship is comfortable and the staff outstanding. Embarkation and dis-embarkation were a breeze as were the excursion arrangments; Avalon's approach to organization leaves nothing to be desired. That cannot be said for life on board. Like most river cruises, there is little to do except to drink and socialize. Entertainment was practically non-existent, consisting of beer and wine presentations/sales and a talented local musical duo on one night. The fitness facility boasted perhaps three machines and some free weights. Surprisingly, we found the food to be quite ordinary--perhaps a bit better than one would receive on Royal Caribbean or Princess. Then again most travelers have learned to discount the poetry most lines summon to describe their usually pedestrian fare. Perhaps a third of the cruise passengers did go on to Prague, and here unpleasantness awaited. The cruise materials had promised lodging in one of two 4-star hotels located in the city's renowned center. Some weeks before sailing, we were advised by email that we would be lodged in a third hotel, which a quick glance at a city map revealed to be across the River Vistula in a working-class neighborhood perhaps an hour's walk from anything a tourist would wish to visit, with a rack rate of about $100 per night less than the downtown accommodations. Questioned about this, and how the arrangement met the company's contractual promise to provide "comparable" accommodations in the event that a hotel change became necessary, its representative offered the standard "nothing can be done" explanation. Upon arrival, our preconceptions were borne out. The hotel itself was fine, but entirely out of the way. The hotel does run a shuttle to the downtown, but it runs infrequently and only into the early evening. We and our fellow passengers became quite irate when, after a half-hour ride downtown, the shuttle deposited us in front of one of hotels that had originally been designated as our lodging. I brought this matter to Avalon's attention in a detailed email upon returning home and the company promised a full review. Six weeks later, it delivered a perfunctory response with a vague apology that explained absolutely nothing. Be advised. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had friends that had taken the same cruise on Avalon and another cruise line. We heard so many great things about it that we thought we would try it. We were not disappointed. 3 days in Budapest, 7 days on the ship with all the stops ... Read More
We had friends that had taken the same cruise on Avalon and another cruise line. We heard so many great things about it that we thought we would try it. We were not disappointed. 3 days in Budapest, 7 days on the ship with all the stops along the way and 3 days in Prague led to a fantastic experience. Tour director, Tony, was outstanding as well as the entire crew. Friendly, helpful and extremely efficient. Even though our last stop was cancelled due to low water level on the river, the alternative change in the itinerary was mare than made up for the cancellation. The excursion and side trips we took were excellent and informative. The local guides were extremely knowledgeable. I highly recommend this trip and this cruise line. We have been on several ocean cruises and have enjoyed them, but if someone gave me a choice today....it would definitely be a river cruise. We can’t wait to sail again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose it because of the single supplement was a good price! My cabin was very comfortable! It had a lovely view, but because the wTer level on the Danube was so low that often the view was another ship! I know the water level is an act ... Read More
I chose it because of the single supplement was a good price! My cabin was very comfortable! It had a lovely view, but because the wTer level on the Danube was so low that often the view was another ship! I know the water level is an act of God, but I feel we should have been informed before sailing and given the opportunity to cancel because several of the locations we were supposed to visit had to be cancelled because of the water level! The main Restuarant was very hot making it extremely difficult to enjoy a meal! There should have been some fans to circulate the air so that it would have been more comfortable to enjoy a meal! The meals that were served in the main room were so much better because the room was cooler! I don’t think I would go again because I was not sufficiently told about the water levels ahead of time! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I chose this cruise because of positive feedback from other reviewers. The ship was smaller with fewer passengers. which was a plus for me. I also liked the fact that the rooms were larger. The staff and crew were very professional and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of positive feedback from other reviewers. The ship was smaller with fewer passengers. which was a plus for me. I also liked the fact that the rooms were larger. The staff and crew were very professional and did everything to make the cruise enjoyable. The food was wonderful and there was a large variety of food in which to choose. Tours, accommodations, entertainment, everything was well thought out and very organized. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. My group had to disembark very early in the morning (4:30 a.m.). Our luggage was taken care of and a cab was waiting to take us to the airport. The staff prepared a boxed breakfast for us that had a wonderful sandwich, pastries, fruit, and a bottle of water. I was so impressed as to how everyone went out of their way to make sure that all our needs were met and that our vacation was enjoyable. This definitely will not be my last river cruise and I will book with Avalon for my next vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Three friends and I chose Avalon for our first-time river cruise because we had read wonderful reviews by others. We wanted a cruise that was educational, fun, appropriate for older travelers, and relaxing. Avalon's 15-day ... Read More
Three friends and I chose Avalon for our first-time river cruise because we had read wonderful reviews by others. We wanted a cruise that was educational, fun, appropriate for older travelers, and relaxing. Avalon's 15-day Magnificent Europe eastbound was all this and more. An included tour for each town we visited gave us an opportunity to explore areas we might have overlooked otherwise. Every local guide was informed, friendly, and helpful. Due to low water, we had to stay at a hotel in Amsterdam for the first two nights of our trip, but Avalon made sure we were in great accommodations with a terrific restaurant. We were compensated with a partial refund for those two nights even though the company had no control over the river levels. The extra time in Amsterdam gave us a chance to explore even more. I hope to travel with Avalon again. I cannot imagine a better cruise experience. I have only two regrets: 1. I wish I had taken this cruise years ago instead of waiting; and 2. I don't think I'll find ocean cruises as enchanting as I once did because a river cruise provides so much more of an educational and personal experience. Well done, Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We wanted something more interactive and small. Meeting almost everyone was one of the more surprising positives. The food was high quality, local style cuisines for each area and standard foods if you chose. On a 14 day cruise, we were ... Read More
We wanted something more interactive and small. Meeting almost everyone was one of the more surprising positives. The food was high quality, local style cuisines for each area and standard foods if you chose. On a 14 day cruise, we were able to do 17 different excursions. All but two of these were included. Having everything included was burden free. Flights, transfers, tips - even for the excursions. The ship was beautiful, the room spacious with surprising space for all our clothes and a great bathroom/ shower. We especially loved the floor to ceiling windows that opened for a balcony feel that was perfection while keeping added space in the room. Staff and crew were informative courteous and hardworking. The guides in the excursions were very informative and knowledgeable about the areas. Even though we lost two nights in the ship because of river (no rain) all in Amsterdam at beginning and Avalon handle it with perfection. We WILL be going again Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I had traveled with two other couples who have cruised on other riverboat lines and hands down said that Avalon was a cut above the others. I have to say that the staff/crew of the Panama were so great and fun to be around. Service, ... Read More
I had traveled with two other couples who have cruised on other riverboat lines and hands down said that Avalon was a cut above the others. I have to say that the staff/crew of the Panama were so great and fun to be around. Service, attention and the food was what we had expected. The guides were upbeat and so knowledgable it was a pleasure. The bed the first night was too soft and within a couple of hours the mattress was changed out. Nice response to our comfort. The staterooms were well thought out and we didn't have any space shortage to putting away our things. The bathroom was large, roomy and with nice appointments. We stayed a few days in Prague, and the attention to us was as perfect. The hotel they booked for us was the Four Seasons. This was a wonderful hotel to be in after time spent on the boat. On the front end of the trip they had us in the Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest. It was a bit worn and needed some updating, but adequate. We would certainly considering future travel with Avalon Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
While most people were notified before they left home, we were not, that our cruise would not be sailing as planned. I had no idea the river levels were too low in places until I arrived in Prague for the land portion of the cruise. The ... Read More
While most people were notified before they left home, we were not, that our cruise would not be sailing as planned. I had no idea the river levels were too low in places until I arrived in Prague for the land portion of the cruise. The theme of this so called river cruise was how many hours can we put you on a bus instead of enjoying your relaxing river cruise? This cruise has been a joke from day 1 and when they finally announced mid-cruise that not only were we going to miss the first 2 days of our cruise, but also the last 2 days, most of the people onboard pitched a fit. The cruise director who is an independent contractor, said hey, don't blame me, call Avalon. She wanted everyone to smile and just take it apparently. So what that we spent a fortune to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I get it, they don't control the weather HOWEVER, if you can't deliver what you promised to people you should, at a minimum, give them a big discount. And how about throwing in some free drinks or shore excursions. Something to say we are sorry we cannot provide you with the experience you shelled out $10,000 for. I could have bused/trained myself around the area for far less money. What a rip off. I will never book a river cruise again. They don't even compare with ocean cruises. The service is lousy and the food is pretty pathetic. This was the biggest vacation disappointment ever. DON'T BOOK AVALON. They don't care what your experience is as long as they have already cashed the check. It's going to be hard for them to stay in business when it gets around that they don't take care of their customers and won't do the right thing by them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
After 40 trips and cruises over seas, this 15 day Budapest to Amsterdam was our first river cruise. The record low water levels throughout Europe required us to take 3 bus trips to get around low water sections. The biggest problem is ... Read More
After 40 trips and cruises over seas, this 15 day Budapest to Amsterdam was our first river cruise. The record low water levels throughout Europe required us to take 3 bus trips to get around low water sections. The biggest problem is that we missed most of the Rhine River cruise up to Cologne and then on to Amsterdam. We each got compensated $200 and 50% off the daily cruise rate for each of the 3 days we needed to stay in hotels off the boat. A friend of ours took the identical trip 5 days later on the Viking Cruise Line and they were able to get their boat through the low water on the Rhine (they scraped bottom 4 times)! Viking only gave them a 25% off certificate for a future cruise as compensation. They food, service and entertainment were very good and the champagne flowed freely. No limit on lunch and dinner wine or beer. The ship's construction and maintenance were excellent, it looked brand new even though it is 5 - 6 years old. There were only about 3 guests under 40 years of age, and no kids. We appreciated not being steered to very many "factory" shops by our tour guides. If you take the side trip to Salzburg, be sure to watch the movie "The Sound Of Music" before the cruise. The WiFi was adequate but poor for streaming video. Avalon Cruise line doesn't advertise much in America so most of the guests are from Commonwealth English speaking countries. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Avalon Panorama Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 2.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 4.0 4.0
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 3.0 4.1

Find an Avalon Panorama Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click