72 Avalon Waterways Avalon Vista Cruise Reviews

It was a chance to see several places within a short amount of time in places I have always wanted to visit. Also, I wanted a short (7days) trip to try out river cruising to see if it was a travel method that I would enjoy. I was ... Read More
It was a chance to see several places within a short amount of time in places I have always wanted to visit. Also, I wanted a short (7days) trip to try out river cruising to see if it was a travel method that I would enjoy. I was impressed on all counts. The stops along the river gave you a good sample of the area. The ship was amazing from well appointed, clean, comfortable rooms, amazing views from the sky deck and common areas that were warm and inviting with plenty of room for all. The land excursions planned and the onboard entertainment we all spot on with amazing guides on land and varied performances and entertainment onboard. And the food was beyond plentiful, varied and expertly cooked. To top it all off, the service from everyone onboard made you feel you were the only traveler and that they were there to meet your every need, which they did. Amazing trip in all ways and can’t wait to go again. Avalon Waterways is truly professional and amazing in the travel industry. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It sounded like a great idea to Cruise the Rhine and we added 3 nights in Zurich to the end. Our room was excellent but the true stars were the staff. There was not one who didn’t go out of they’re way to provide us with a great ... Read More
It sounded like a great idea to Cruise the Rhine and we added 3 nights in Zurich to the end. Our room was excellent but the true stars were the staff. There was not one who didn’t go out of they’re way to provide us with a great experience. With only 168 guests we had a chance to meet just about all of them. The food was fantastic with a lot of choices. We had to skip some of the excursions as they were mostly walking and with bad knees and COPD we couldn’t enjoy. Others we were able to go along and enjoy even though we couldn’t keep up with the group. Headsets provided allowed us to hear our guide from a reasonable distance. Avalon handled all of our travel arrangements as well as before and after hotel arrangements and transfers to and from airport. All went smoothly. Unfortunately we did not realize that Amsterdam was such a huge airport with hardly any accommodations for folks needing assistance walking. Perhaps if we had made requests ahead of time something could have been provided. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I eat Gluten Free for medical reasons and the Chef and his entire staff were very accommodating. This was very appreciated and I had a great dining experience. The dinner menu was marked with all the available gluten free items along ... Read More
I eat Gluten Free for medical reasons and the Chef and his entire staff were very accommodating. This was very appreciated and I had a great dining experience. The dinner menu was marked with all the available gluten free items along with separate choices if these weren't to my liking. I had no trouble choosing from the menu each night. Breakfast and lunch offered enough choices that were gluten free. Most soups were gluten free. The wait staff was very friendly and attentive at all times. The afternoon tea had gluten free options available if I wanted any. We all enjoyed the cocktail hour before the next day briefing and dinner. The briefing for the next day was very helpful for helping us decide what excursions we wanted to particpate in. We felt the excursions gave us a great variety of site seeing for each country. I would definately choose this cruise line again in the future for another vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Arrived in Amsterdam a day early to walk around and adjust to the time change. That worked well, but not enough time to do Amsterdam justice. The cruise far exceeded our expectations. The cabin was comfortable and always clean, the ... Read More
Arrived in Amsterdam a day early to walk around and adjust to the time change. That worked well, but not enough time to do Amsterdam justice. The cruise far exceeded our expectations. The cabin was comfortable and always clean, the cabin arrangement was great and you could wake up in the morning a watch the country-side go by. The staff was always looking to help, whether answering questions, arranging for extra side trips or just getting another drink, they were always very helpful and friendly. The food was wonderful with a varied menu, always including fish, meat, poultry and vegetarian selections everyday. The chef made it very clear that if you wanted another dinner, or more of anything all you had to do was ask, be careful here; even having what was served resulted in a number of pounds by trips end. The off ship excursions were fantastic; the guides were very knowledgeable, informative and personable, with great stories along the way. This was our 1st cruise and we're already planning our next on Avalon! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This is the way to travel. Everything taken care of, great friendly and hard working staff. Amazing crew guiding the ship, excellent tour director and unbelievable chef. Food so good it could have been a foody cruise. Very good ... Read More
This is the way to travel. Everything taken care of, great friendly and hard working staff. Amazing crew guiding the ship, excellent tour director and unbelievable chef. Food so good it could have been a foody cruise. Very good selection of stops and gorgeous scenery. The Vista is a beautiful and clean ship that was a pleasure to be aboard. We are sold on this as as a way to discover a region, and look forward to our next opportunity to do so. Highly recommend Avalon for river cruising. Embarking and disembarking was flawless and removed any stress from the whole experience. Cabins were comfortable and very well maintained. Tour guides arranged by tour direct or were knowledge able and informative. The cruise is so much more than cruising, as you get the scenery, history, culture and a true experience like no other. Only wish it had been longer. Truly a life changing experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally ... Read More
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally closed up all our bags ready to board the Avalon Vista to get settled. We had breakfast and prep for our Amsterdam Canal Cruse plus a walking tour, every day there was tours to a lot of the sights. The meals that were provided were very delicious, for those that didn't want a large meal there was a small were served in the Panorama Lounge, it was also the location for all the briefings for the next day’s activities and music/dancing. Each day was filled with tours provided by the cruise lines or optional fee. There were never wants for service because what you might want it was provided. The ports and shore excursions were very well arranged and informative. We know that it takes a lot of planning but the only disappointment was the day of disembarkment from the ship would we would like a mini tour of Basel. This was our first trip on a long ship but it won't be our last because we truly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
As strange as it sounds, this cruise was actually a late addition to our European trip. We had booked an ocean cruise that started and ended in Amsterdam last year and, since the cost of the flight from Canada was significant, we allowed ... Read More
As strange as it sounds, this cruise was actually a late addition to our European trip. We had booked an ocean cruise that started and ended in Amsterdam last year and, since the cost of the flight from Canada was significant, we allowed ourselves some extra time (two weeks plus) in Europe beforehand to see and do other things. We had previously considered a river cruise and the Rhine itinerary was one of the ones that most appealed to us. When the idea of adding a second cruise to our trip was proposed, we initially balked at the cost but then, reasoning that we would have to pay for hotel and transportation to these sites regardless -- plus this way we got food, tours and entertainment -- we decided it made some sense. We were able to find a sailing with space on dates that not only worked for us but also delivered us back to Amsterdam a day before our other cruise. We enjoyed the cruise very much. The shore excursions were great and we appreciated that they made use of earbuds and transmitters so we didn't have any problem hearing our tour guides. Our room was comfortable, the food onboard was good and the staff was great. We only had limited time the day before embarkation to explore our departure city (Basel, Switzerland) and were glad we took the optional tour of the city. Basel is a lovely city and it would have been a shame not to have seen some of its highlights. Embarkation went smoothly although that was, in part, because I had sent an email inquiry to the ship a day or two ahead and sorted out some confusion around when and where the tour would begin, what to do with our luggage, etc. (The information on the website indicated, in error, that hotel pick-up was part of the tour. Once this misinformation was identified, the Cruise Director agreed to reimburse us for the cost of a cab to the ship where the tour actually began.) Disembarkation was pretty seamless too -- and we were lucky that our trip allowed for some extra time in Amsterdam beyond that included with the cruise. While onboard, we stayed on the first deck, meaning we did not have the huge windows that Avalon prides itself on. We knew that and were fine with it. Although we may have been a tad envious of those on the other two decks who enjoyed that feature, we didn't really miss it and, given how much of the time we were not even in our cabin, I'm not sure the extra expense would have been worth it. In cabin, our TV service included a choice of free movies, which was nice. Free internet was also included with the cruise but the network was quite slow at times. As far as the ship itself goes, we have no complaints. The Vista is not a super fancy ship but it is pleasant and comfortable. The hot tub on the Skydeck was quite small but, as it was a bit on the cool side, I only know of a couple of people that ever used it. A bit later in the season more people might be tempted to use it and I really think it could only accommodate about 4 people comfortably and 6 if on very friendly terms. The ship had a nice little room at the rear on the third floor where coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cookies as well as other snacks could be found. On hand were some books and games, making it a nice quiet spot to relax away from one's cabin or the lounge. Also included with the cruise was wine, beer and pop with lunch and dinner. My husband may have gotten more of our money's worth from that than I, however, for other drinks it was nice to have a true "Happy Hour" each day with half price drinks. We enjoyed every port we visited and found the shore excursions to be very good however it may be worth noting for anyone who thinks a River Cruise is necessarily super relaxing that, unless you opt not to participate in the shore excursions, there can be a LOT of walking (and on cobblestones)! We loved every excursion and would not have missed them but, overall, "restful" does not describe the trip. The only negative I would have regarding the food is that, on embarkation day, some of the offerings for lunch looked to be a bit past their best (wilted lettuce and such). Thankfully, that was not representative of the rest of the trip and the wait staff was very patient and accommodating with special requests during dinner. Standard onboard entertainment through lunch and dinner was a pianist. He was very good if maybe a bit under-appreciated. There were just a few nights (3?) when other entertainers performed but all were excellent. It would have been nice to have had someone special like that more of the nights. Although I know that a few first time River Cruisers (like us) on this trip immediately said they were converts and would only do these now instead of Ocean Cruises, we did not feel that way. Personally, I rather like having some "off" (sea) days included in the mix but the River Cruise is still an experience I enjoyed very much and would gladly repeat if another opportunity presented itself. Avalon itself was very good with all arrangements and tours being handled smoothly and professionally. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The cabins are clean and spacious for a river boat. We had a problem with dinner and the service of one crew member in particular, but the Cruise Director and dining manager went way above and beyond to make it right. The breakfast ... Read More
The cabins are clean and spacious for a river boat. We had a problem with dinner and the service of one crew member in particular, but the Cruise Director and dining manager went way above and beyond to make it right. The breakfast and lunch were great, but we’re not much into the hour and a half dinner every night, though the food was mostly good. We were happy with the value of the excursions, both paid and included. There was an informative port talk the evening before we docked in each port, which was very helpful. There was a cheese tasting on board in the Netherlands, which was interesting. Embarkation and disembarkation was easy and stress free. We got back to the airport at a good time- not too early to have to wait around for hours Overall it was an excellent trip and I’ll definitely travel with Avalon again and recommend to others. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Globus Friends & Family opportunity. Spring was a perfect time for our 1st river cruise. The Avalon Vista was very, very nice. The itinerary was wonderful starting & ending in Amsterdam so we stayed a few extra days both before ... Read More
Globus Friends & Family opportunity. Spring was a perfect time for our 1st river cruise. The Avalon Vista was very, very nice. The itinerary was wonderful starting & ending in Amsterdam so we stayed a few extra days both before & after the cruise. The private organ recital in Willemstad was exceptional. Being behind the Delta Pan Barrage with a local quide was so educational. Every guide was excellent & truly loved their city & history. A wonderful time, great staff, too much (not complaining) really good food. Comfortable accommodations both our cabin & all the public spaces. The staff were very well trained, very helpful, knowledgeable, courteous. The cruise directory, Tibor, made all the varied arrangements look so easy, ie; added guides, added slow walker group. The coach drivers were amazing drivers on the narrow roads, small parking spaces. Always felt very safe. Again the guides answered varied questions, knew the history, had perfect English & loved what they did. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise as I have always loved Christmas markets and have German heritage. My sister and I did this cruise together for a milestone birthday. We spent a few days exploring the glorious city of Vienna, Austria before boarding ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I have always loved Christmas markets and have German heritage. My sister and I did this cruise together for a milestone birthday. We spent a few days exploring the glorious city of Vienna, Austria before boarding our cruise ship there. Avalon took over from there. The Avalon Vista was a beautiful ship. Meals were superb, crew was exceptional and excursions and tours were informative and fun. Our cabin was spacious and generously appointed. Service was great - crew (and especially our cruise director Gusta) were accommodating, friendly and extremely organized. We cruised along the Danube River and enjoyed several ports and port excursions. Ending in the city of Prague, this was a trip of a lifetime and I would highly recommend Avalon river cruises. I have been on several cruises on large cruise ships and this experience was by far superior. Thanks again Avalon for this adventure! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I traveled with another couple for our first European River Cruise. I’d been wanting to do one of these cruises for years, so when the opportunity came up to go with our friends we jumped on it. It was less than three ... Read More
My husband and I traveled with another couple for our first European River Cruise. I’d been wanting to do one of these cruises for years, so when the opportunity came up to go with our friends we jumped on it. It was less than three weeks from the time we made the decision, to the time we were flying to Budapest! We decided to do five days in Budapest before boarding the cruise ship and four days in Paris after disembarking in Amsterdam. We are so glad we added the extra nights on both ends. Budapest is a fantastic city and Paris is more than I could have ever imagined! We were contacted by Avalon the day before we left the U.S. regarding the water levels on the Danube. Apparently, they were having issues and we were not going to be getting on the ship in Budapest, rather we would be transported by bus to Bratislava, Slovakia for our day tour there, and then driven to Austria to board a ship there, where the water levels were higher. They offered us the option to cancel the entire cruise if we wanted, for a refund, but we were already in Los Angeles (we live in Arizona) and the four of us decided to go anyway. We flew out of Los Angeles and on our flight out and on our return, we had a 24-hour layover in Istanbul, Turkey. Both times, we took an overnight bag on the plane (because our luggage was checked through) for one night in a hotel and stayed downtown at the DoublTree by Hilton, Old Town. It’s just a few blocks from the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. It was literally a five-minute walk from the hotel! The location was great – close to shops, restaurants, and sights. On our flight to Europe, we arrived at night so we walked into the city for dinner, visited some shops (everything was open) and got to see the exteriors of the beautiful Hagia Sofia mosque, and The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque). They weren’t open to see the interior, but walking around the area was beautiful and peaceful and there were a lot of people out enjoying the evening. On our return flight to Los Angeles, we had another 24 hours in Istanbul, and because our flight left in the late morning so we visited the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market before we departed. It was a real treat to be able to include this short visit on our trip. When we arrived in Budapest, we checked into the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus for the five days before our cruise. The hotel was GORGEOUS! Located on the Pest side of the Danube, it was convenient to public transportation, shops, restaurants, etc. We did a lot of walking throughout the city, visited many sites on our own, and were thrilled to find so many fantastic restaurants! The tour of the Hungarian Parliament Building was outstanding, I’d definitely recommend adding it to your list of things to see! The ceilings are gold! We walked over the Széchenyi Chain Bridge to the Buda side and took the Buda Hill Funicular to the top of Castle Hill. You get a great view of the city from there! Once on the Buda side we visited Matthias Church, walked around the town and took lots of pictures. On some of our other days we went to the Gellért Thermal Bath (great experience!), walked part of Andrássy út (a boulevard dating back to 1872), shopped and had lunch in the Central Market Hall, my husband and my friend’s husband visited the House of Terror museum and found it extremely interesting and eye-opening!, we saw the Shoes on the Danube memorial, the husbands went to a Ruin Pub (Google it), we took the Budapest Metro (the oldest electrified underground railway system on the European continent!), we had lunch at the famous Gerbeaud Café (we should have skipped the lunch as it was so-so and just should have eaten dessert!). It’s really a great city and we’ll definitely go back. Through EatWith.com we booked a walking tour of a real Hungarian market - Bosnyák téri Vásárcsarnok - a place frequented by the locals, not tourists, and also spent the evening at the home of a local resident who cooked the four of us a meal using recipes passed down through his family. What a fantastic experience! Here are the restaurants we visited while in Budapest: ÉS Bisztró - at our hotel (Kempinski Hotel Corvinus), for dinner Fekete - for breakfast Madal Café - for coffee Börze – for lunch. Wonderful! Antré – for breakfast. Beautiful little place. Urban Betyár – for dinner. Fantastic!!! The night before our bus departure (which would have been the day we were getting on the boat but couldn’t due to the water levels), we changed hotels from the one we were already in (the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus) to the one provided by Avalon Waterways (the Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge). The breakfast was fantastic, the staff was wonderful, and the lobby was nice, but the room was not so great. It was conveniently located near the Chain Bridge, and we were only there for one night, so it worked out just fine, but I would have been disappointed if we had to stay at the Sofitel longer than one night. The next morning, we lined up and got on the buses headed to Bratislava and Vienna. I actually enjoyed the bus trip because I love to see areas outside of the city centers. The buses were modern and comfortable, with experienced drivers. The guides provided narration as we traveled and pointed out sites we might be interested in. Bratislava was great. I would love to go back and explore more of the city. The old walls, the little shops, the cobbled streets. It was great for pictures and we enjoyed hearing the guide give us the history of the city. Make sure to buy some of the honey wine they’re famous for! We arrived in Vienna late afternoon that same day and boarded the ship. The Vista and its staff made a great first impression. The ship was gorgeous, well appointed, with beautiful lounge and dining areas, comfortable rooms, and plenty of places to relax and enjoy the view. The staff was friendly and attentive. Our room was directly across from our friend’s room, located at the very back of the ship. We loved being the last room in the corridor, as we had quick access to the rear lounge, most of the time having it all to ourselves! The 24/7 coffee machine was a big hit with us - lattes at any hour of the day! The tours of each town we stopped at started early, most of them beginning between 8:30 and 10:30 AM. This doesn’t sound early for a tour, but when you have to get up, shower and get ready and have breakfast before taking off, it winds up being a very early start to the day. The tours in all the cities we visited were informative, educational, and worth going on. Even with the walking tours, there was plenty of time to explore on our own once they were over. We did a classical music concert in Vienna, rode bikes (provided by Avalon!) in Dürnstein, Austria, visited the magnificent Benedictine Abbey in Melk (it’s a must see), opted to take the excursion to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic (another fantastic little city), went shopping in Regensburg, Germany, toured the Würzburger Residenz in Würzburg, Germany – a breathtaking 18th century palace boasting one stunning room after another, you will walk through the place with your mouth gaping open – a tour I would highly recommend, a walking tour of Miltenberg (the half-timbered houses are so Bavarian!, visited Siegfried's Mechanical Museum (a showcase of approximately 350 self-playing, mechanical music instruments spanning 3 centuries) in Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany, marveled at the cathedral in Cologne, and then headed to Amsterdam for the final leg of our tour where we took a canal boat cruise, walked through the red light district, visited a diamond factory, saw wooden shoes being made, and toured windmills. After Amsterdam, we spent four nights in Paris and came back to do one last night in Amsterdam before flying back home. What a trip! The only negative thing I can think of regarding the cruise was the fact that most of the sailing was done at night. I understand not wasting cruise days for travel when they can travel at night when everyone’s sleeping and wake up in the next city on your tour the next morning, but the commercials and brochures and videos show couples watching the beautiful European villages go by while sipping wine on their balconies, and that’s just not the case. I would have liked to have more daytime travel. I also want to make a quick comment about the internet on the ship. I'm hopelessly addicted to the internet. I'm a blogger (www.salenalettera.com), I am active on Instagram, I'm a frequent emailer, and I like to read news and Google to my heart's content, no matter where I am in the world. And I have to say, the internet was great. I was able to do everything I needed to, there was only one service interruption, which was promptly fixed, and the front desk even loaned me a laptop computer because the tablet I brought with me was more difficult to blog from than I had anticipated. It was much easier to use the actual keyboard on a laptop. Several people have asked me about the weather this time of year. For me, it was perfect. I hate the heat so the cool temperatures suited me just fine. Some villages were quite cold, 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit, some days it was overcast, and a few days we had drizzly rain, but it didn't affect our experience negatively. My husband brought a fleece vest, several long sleeved shirts, and one of those super-thin but warm puffer jackets and all of that worked well for him. I just had a couple of thin sweaters, a few pashminas, and a long, duster-style sweater "coat" - not really a coat, just a heavier sweater material. I layered when it was cooler and was able to take things off as it warmed up. My only other advice....wear comfortable shoes. There is a TON of walking!!! I am overweight and out of shape, but I still walked an average of 5 miles per day. One day we did 6.7 miles!! The pace of the groups was easy to keep up with and if you're really challenged with walking, or use a cane, or just find it hard to keep up, they do have a "gentle walker" group you can join. It's the same tour, to the same places, just a little slower paced. The upside to all the walking? Even with all the eating I did, the desserts I had, and the lattes I consumed, when I got home, I was 13 pounds lighter! This was a fantastic river cruise and I'd recommend it to anyone. It was a great first-time river cruise experience. Can't wait to do another one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We were interested in trying a river cruise because several of our friends had enjoyed them. Our travel agent recommended Avalon--highly!! And this particular tour included a number of places we had not visited on our previous travels. ... Read More
We were interested in trying a river cruise because several of our friends had enjoyed them. Our travel agent recommended Avalon--highly!! And this particular tour included a number of places we had not visited on our previous travels. The ships we sailed on were both fantastic. They were in excellent condition. Our rooms were actually roomy. The food was superb. The crews were most accommodating, and Christina (our cruise director) did a masterful job making everything happen, despite the challenges of a medical emergency, inclement weather, and the low water levels on the Danube. The optional excursions were well worth the extra expense. All of the tour guides were knowledgeable and personable. The shipboard activities were also well done, and entertaining. We also had a grand time exploring on our own, especially in Prague. We were also very well taken care of during both our arrival in Prague and departure from Budapest, even at 3.30AM!!. Maybe the most lasting impression will be the experience of meeting and getting to know people from all over the world during our cruise. We met many people who we will remember for a very long time. Given all this, and so much more, there is no doubt that we would love to do another river cruise in the future, and if it happens, it will be on a Avalon ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This cruise went along the waterways that my wife and I really wanted to travel on. From the time we checked in, the staff was friendly, professional, and provided attention to detail. All of our needs were met and the staff made it a ... Read More
This cruise went along the waterways that my wife and I really wanted to travel on. From the time we checked in, the staff was friendly, professional, and provided attention to detail. All of our needs were met and the staff made it a point to remember what our choices were so they could better anticipate what would make us happy. The excursions were great and we learned quite a bit about the different towns along the way. I met people on my trip, that I'll never forget and made new friends. The cabin was nice, clean, and quiet. The entire ship was clean and easy to maneuver through. The food throughout the day was delicious and plentiful. The service was excellent. There was live entertainment that kept the fun alive into the night. Overall, the entire cruise was amazing and I'd highly recommend Avalon Waterways to anyone who is considering river cruising. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first river cruise and based on our experience, certainly not the last. Despite record low river levels at both ends of our trip that required more motorcoach time, Avalon went above and beyond to make up for something that ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and based on our experience, certainly not the last. Despite record low river levels at both ends of our trip that required more motorcoach time, Avalon went above and beyond to make up for something that was out of their control. Extra excursions at no charge, partial refunds and their overall willingness to bend over backwards for their guests makes them the go to cruise line in my opinion. Our ship, the Vista, was a pleasure to cruise on. The crew was very attentive at all times. The food and service in the dining room was fantastic. Wine selections were all excellent. Stand outs for us were Lucas the maitre'd and our server Steve. These guys made every meal memorable. Our stateroom was roomy and comfortable. Always clean and well stocked. We even had laundry done and it was finished the same day. Lastly, our time on this trip was virtually flawless primarily due to the tireless work by our cruise director Ana. She was a pro from beginning to end, taking great care of all of us. And still smiled despite taking a "beating" by a few guests over the river levels. Some people just don't get it... All in all it was a marvelous experience. We can't wait to do another river cruise and it will most definitely be with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our travel agent recommended Avalon Cruise Lines, as we had no previous cruise experience. our on board cruise director, Mauro, was the best and completely engaged. All the various shore excursions were well organized and came off without ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended Avalon Cruise Lines, as we had no previous cruise experience. our on board cruise director, Mauro, was the best and completely engaged. All the various shore excursions were well organized and came off without a hitch. All the service crew, including housekeeping and wait staff were superb. Our cabin was spacious and having the wall to wall- floor to ceiling French balcony windows was a real plus. The on board musical entertainment was delightful. The quantity and variety of the food was a plus and the quality never declined. Having open dining seating lead to many happy conversations with different groups of friendly travelers. Everyone involved with Avalon was accommodating to our wishes. It was a memorable cruise. We had many photo opportunities taken from the ship as it passed by the castles on the Rhine River.. We liked the experience of passing through the many locks and remarking on the engineering wonders. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
What a marvelous start, all of the crew treated us as long term good friends, right from the Captain to the room staff. Our Cruise Director Ms. Barbara Bocz proved to be the number one person to handle all requests , solve any problems ... Read More
What a marvelous start, all of the crew treated us as long term good friends, right from the Captain to the room staff. Our Cruise Director Ms. Barbara Bocz proved to be the number one person to handle all requests , solve any problems and in doing so, made us all happy to be onboard! The accommodations, meals, staff services in all areas far exceeded any preconceived expectations. It’s impossible to mention all the staff by name but we do wish to make special comments on the extra efforts made by Lucas, head of dining and two fantastic young ladies Beden and Mimi who were wonderfully enthusiastic and full of fun in making our meals a every enjoyable experience. Charlotte our room (233) daily basis attendant looked after our accommodations expertly and in very friendly manner . News of the required transfer to the second ship came because of river water levels , Barbara stepped up here, professionally handling all customers concerns whether staying with the cruise or going on by bus. Those that took the remainder of the trip by bus were totally refunded the days they missed on the ship and were provided hotels, transportation and food on behalf of Avalon!! We decided to stay with the cruise and received a cash compensation for our trouble. Our Cruise Director Barbara stayed on the Visionary which was fantastic!! We did have a fantastic time on the cruise and look forward to doing it again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I selected this cruise because I wanted to experience a river cruise. I had never been on the Danube, and the towns and the cities on this voyage seemed that they were going to be historic and beautiful. We were not disappointed. ... Read More
I selected this cruise because I wanted to experience a river cruise. I had never been on the Danube, and the towns and the cities on this voyage seemed that they were going to be historic and beautiful. We were not disappointed. Hungary was amazing, (If you have the opportunity to be there and explore at least four days before embarking, I would recommend it highly.) The small towns along the way were completely enchanting and the guides gave us great insight into their past. Although I don't like bus excursions while on a cruise, I have to say that there is an excursion to Cesky Krumlov that must be taken! It's an experience like no other. The ship was pristine and the staff went over and above in order to make us comfortable and meet all of our needs. The food was delicious. There is an attempt to meet the dietary requirements of all (such as those with allergies or those who are vegan). I would suggest that more options be available to vegans, for example: having vegan options in the coffee/snack area. (I must say that the coffee/tea station at the back of the ship was a very nice touch.) There was a lovely piano player on board most afternoon and evenings. I would love to go on another river cruise with Avalon. I was very impressed by the condition of their ship, their menu, their polite and capable staff, and the itinerary offered. I would recommend going in June (or before June) when the river is still at a high level so all ports can be reached. We went in July and the river had lowered considerably. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our first Avalon cruise. We traveled on the Danube aboard the Avalon Vista. The staff on board and our cruise director Nico made this an exceptional vacation. We chose a cabin with a Panorama window and loved the ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our first Avalon cruise. We traveled on the Danube aboard the Avalon Vista. The staff on board and our cruise director Nico made this an exceptional vacation. We chose a cabin with a Panorama window and loved the views we got as we sailed. The bed was very comfortable and all of the amenities included in the room were very nice. We enjoyed the evening happy hour as well as everything the restaurant served- a great variety of choices with special regional dishes that captured the spirit of the areas we were visiting. On board entertainment was very professionally done and enjoyable. The front desk staff were very knowledgeable and the housekeeping staff was superb. The river was low so our embarkation port changed and this caused some changes in the itinerary but we felt like Avalon did everything they could to make up for the changes and we never felt like we missed out on anything. We chose to do several excursions throughout our cruise and were pleased with both the variation of tours offered as well as the professionalism and knowledge of all of our guides. We began our trip with a 3 day visit to Prague and we were thrilled that Avalon offered this extension. As our cruise was ending, we were already planning where we wanted to go next- even asking the Vista staff where they would be if we wanted to come back next year! I don't think that I would enjoy traveling to Europe as much any other way- we saw so much, felt so relaxed and comfortable, and even lost track of our days. Thank you for an amazing adventure! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose the Avalon Waterways version of this Danube River Cruise, because it included a 3-night pre-trip extension in Prague (#1 on my wife's bucket list). We stayed in the Prague Hilton for 3 nights, had several included Local ... Read More
We chose the Avalon Waterways version of this Danube River Cruise, because it included a 3-night pre-trip extension in Prague (#1 on my wife's bucket list). We stayed in the Prague Hilton for 3 nights, had several included Local Tours, and thoroughly enjoyed Prague. A barge was stuck in the section of the Danube below Nuremberg, so instead of busing us to Nuremberg to embark on Avalon Vista, they bused us by way of Cesky Krumlov ( a UNESCO World Heritage Site) at their expense. This village was amazing, and probably one of the highlights of the entire trip. Once we embarked on the Vista, the fun began. Each port included a Local Tour, optional tours, great food and beverages aboard the ship, and entertainment each night. The service was outstanding, our fellow passengers were fun, and the Cruise Director was very organized and responsive. We had Avalon handle the airline tickets (one less detail for us to handle) -- I think we got free airport transfers at the start and finish for them doing this. We saw many really neat old buildings (no wonder they call North America the 'new world'), learned a lot about the history of this region, and truly had a great time. I rated everything with this cruise as excellent, including dining, activities, service, cabin, entertainment, staff, etc. There were no children on our cruise, and taking children would probably not be appropriate on a river cruise. We really loved this river cruise, and would go with Avalon Waterways again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We heard this Danube river cruise is the best in East Europe because it courses through agrarian countrysides, includes tours of interesting towns and has a special East-Euro feel due to the crew also coming from Eastern Europe. It did ... Read More
We heard this Danube river cruise is the best in East Europe because it courses through agrarian countrysides, includes tours of interesting towns and has a special East-Euro feel due to the crew also coming from Eastern Europe. It did not disappoint. Robert Zieminski, the Cruise Director is a calm, humorous, knowledgeable, professional with extensive experience in the region. A great example of first rate service is Florin, our waiter/adviser/friend. He not only humorously catered to our every need, but also offered advice on local foods, customs, and activities. Thank you, Florin. Dining was a wonderful experience. Chef prepared meals and specialties even at breakfast! The food was first class, wines from the region offered previews of shore days in the Wachau valley. We were delighted with every meal. Avalon made even the unexpected seem routine... 3 days before disembarking, a barge grounded up-river. We had to stop at Vilshofen. While there, Avalon provided coach travel to our planned destinations with seamless service. Almost every shore excursion went as planned; an excursion to Melk Abbey was even added to the provided tour list. The hotels were 5 star. Can't say enough about the services both on-board and on-shore! Thanks for a marvelous experience, Avalon! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Overall I really enjoyed my cruise. The service on the ship was excellent, the staff is extremely well trained and went out of their way to make the cruise as smooth and enjoyable as possible. I also really loved the food. I am a ... Read More
Overall I really enjoyed my cruise. The service on the ship was excellent, the staff is extremely well trained and went out of their way to make the cruise as smooth and enjoyable as possible. I also really loved the food. I am a vegatarian and there were plenty of options for me, but if I did not like the options, the chef was more then willing to cook up something just for me. The cabin was excellent as well and the ship overall was very nice. The entertainment they had was excellent, but I wish they had a bit more during our cruise but I understand you can only have so much on a small ship. The only suggestions I would make are as follows: My cabin was on the 2nd deck and when we were docked my window was right at the dock level, so if I had my window all the way open and there was anyone walking or standing on the dock or shore, it was a little too close for comfort. I would recommend a room on the upper deck. On the 14 day cruise there was ALOT of down time and ALOT of locks on the Main river and the canal. If you want to have a good amount of time to just sit and relax and read a book, then this would be for you. There is not that much scenery on these long streches of river and you can spend alot of time waiting to go into the locks and while you are in the locks. I would do the Danube and Rhine separately if I had to do it again. Oh, also, the upper deck was shut down for 7 days of the trip, so you had limited outdoor space to sit out and enjoy. Oh, finally I would start in Budapest instead of Amsterdam if I had to do it over again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was our first river cruise, but it won't be our last. We were busy every day and the tour guides at each port were fabulous. Our Cruise director, Maria, was amazing. She made everyone feel welcome and handled each of our ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, but it won't be our last. We were busy every day and the tour guides at each port were fabulous. Our Cruise director, Maria, was amazing. She made everyone feel welcome and handled each of our different needs and wants like magic. The extra programs on board enriched the excursions and the river experience. The food was delicious, plentiful and varied. I only gained 3 pounds because of walking everyday. Without the boots on the ground tours I would have waddled off the ship. We enjoyed each day, but didn't feel rushed at each port. It was also great to have something to do each day that we didn't have to organize ourselves or find transportation for. My husband was more relaxed since all that planning was done by Maria. All of the hotel staff and crew were friendly, helpful and considerate of our needs. We will definitely travel with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
First river cruise, wanted to experience the smaller ship, more intimate setting and the smaller ports than ocean cruises. Overall, Avalon was a wonderful cruise line, great caring and friendly staff, very good food selection, excellent ... Read More
First river cruise, wanted to experience the smaller ship, more intimate setting and the smaller ports than ocean cruises. Overall, Avalon was a wonderful cruise line, great caring and friendly staff, very good food selection, excellent accommodations. The ship and cabin are excellent. Dining experience was outstanding, with very sufficient self service options. TV entertainment was limited, the movie selections uninteresting however we only watched TV late at night. The onboard entertainment was limited but well done. A suggestion for entertainment and activities would be for the crew to have sign up sheets for on-board activities such as bingo tournaments, card tournaments, or group activities. It tended to be an older crowd, we're not quite there ourselves. It tended to attract a clientele that appreciated wine and drink, we're pretty light drinkers. Ports and shore excursions were a great mix of selections that added great value to the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, without any issues whatsoever. Downside that was not clear in advance was the number of locks going east and the impact on the ship from those locks. Locks extend the time on the river, reducing time in some ports. They also impact some sleeping ability as they are bumpy in the night. Lastly, they impact all cruise ships by shutting down the top deck for days, limiting ability to recreate there. This is true for all ships going eastbound on the Rhine, so not necessarily related to Avalon. We would take an Avalon trip any time, would probably avoid the Rhine with the number of locks. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
A European river cruise has been on our "bucket list" ever since visiting Europe a few years ago. We thoroughly enjoyed restful travels without having to unpack every other day, fabulous culinary experiences, eventful tours and ... Read More
A European river cruise has been on our "bucket list" ever since visiting Europe a few years ago. We thoroughly enjoyed restful travels without having to unpack every other day, fabulous culinary experiences, eventful tours and sites, and making so many international friends. Our staff and crew treated us like royalty; everyone was so kind and gracious. We especially enjoyed the guided tours at our different shore excursions along the rivers and the ability to explore on our own many afternoons and evenings. Our housekeeper who cared for our room was so helpful not only in keeping our room intact, but also answering many questions for us. My husband and I enjoyed being able to visit and explore additional sites and areas on our own, such as hiking up to the fortress at Durnstein, biking in Amsterdam, exploring the catacombs in Salzburg, and enjoying an Austiran meal with friends in Vienna. We would most certainly travel with Avalon Waterways again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Our travel agent recommended this cruise which most closely matched our desires and price range. It was very high quality (we got to compare when we walked thru others that double docked with us in ports), the crew were top notch and ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended this cruise which most closely matched our desires and price range. It was very high quality (we got to compare when we walked thru others that double docked with us in ports), the crew were top notch and always going out of their way to ensure each passenger’s happiness, the food was 5 star quality at every meal using produce, herbs, wine and beer from all the areas we traveled through. There were so many choices of meal items to choose from at breakfast and lunch and then dinner was a 4-5 course meal every night. There was also a lighter choice option meal served in the upstairs lounge area for most meals as well. Loved the always open coffee bar area with snacks that were available in the lounge area at the back of the boat 24/7. Cabins were kept impeccably accommodating at all times. Our cabin maid, Katie, even decorated our cabin for my birthday which fell during trip time as well as the chefs preparing a special birthday cake for dinner and crew and passengers sang Happy Birthday! I loved that the whole wall of windows in our cabin slid completely open. Since there was not a porch area it made the cabin room much larger but you could still enjoy the feel of being outside in the room. The cruise director, Niko, was most knowledgeable about all aspects of every town and castle along the way and presented information in informative but humorous stories every day as we were cruising. The shore excursions were always led by guides who actually lived in the areas we were visiting and could actually present history mixed with present every day experience. We did all of the included shore excursions in the bigger cites but what we Really enjoyed were the bicycles that were available to check out from the ship at certain smaller ports. We took off on several biking excursions on our own in some of the smaller ports and went for miles on the trail along the river’s edge through multiple towns. We did abandon the shore excursion in Vienna when we found out during the excursion there were tickets available to purchase for the Viennese Lipizzaner Stallion show! There was so much history presented about the castles and Catholic cathedrals in every town plus of course adventuring out on our own. You could do as much or as little as you wanted to on this cruise. There is even a very small gym (cabin size) with a couple of treadmills, stationary bikes and free weights. We met and made so many new friends from around the world on this cruise. You don’t have assigned seating at meals so you are able to meet as many people as you want. Some of the in port times were short but the overall European river cruise experience allows you to explore as many towns/areas as possible and decide where you might like to come back and spend more time. Overall an equally high quality experience at more affordable price as some of the other advertised river cruise ships. We had included embarkation/disembarking in the trip so the whole trip was a great experience-no problems. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Avalon Vista Ratings
Category Editor Member

Find an Avalon Vista Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click