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

73 Avalon Waterways Avalon Visionary Cruise Reviews

The short cruise & itinerary fit our schedule. We’ve been on 35+ ocean cruises. This was our first river cruise. Very expensive. But it included everything, unlimited bottled water in room, fresh orchid in room, fruit delivery, free ... Read More
The short cruise & itinerary fit our schedule. We’ve been on 35+ ocean cruises. This was our first river cruise. Very expensive. But it included everything, unlimited bottled water in room, fresh orchid in room, fruit delivery, free excursions at every port, free fleet of bikes to use at every port, hot tub on the top deck, panoramic view sliding glass doors in room, small gymnasium, unlimited alcohol and soft drinks during all meals, mimosas for breakfast, free WiFi, etc. The ship, glass, windows, chrome were all super clean, as well as the tour buses used. One of the waiters hesitated when I asked for second appetizer and dessert during dinner but others didn’t blink an eye. One of the excursions led to just a lone gift shop but the long drive there and back was scenic, it would have been better if they drove us to an actual village in the Black Forest instead. Yes we would river cruise with Avalon again if we decided to go on another river cruise, but I think price & itinerary are more important than the actual cruise line especially since it seems all cruise lines are decent enough these days. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our very first cruise and chose it because it was short (time wise) and the boat small (people wise). We would definitely sign up for another cruise as it is a great way to see multiple places that we probably wouldn’t see if ... Read More
This was our very first cruise and chose it because it was short (time wise) and the boat small (people wise). We would definitely sign up for another cruise as it is a great way to see multiple places that we probably wouldn’t see if traveling by land. Regarding this cruise in particular, Basel, Colmar, Strasbourg, Heidelberg & Speyer were absolutely beautiful! We are considering a Danube cruise next and can only hope the staff is as on point as on the Visionary. They were AWESOME!! I was not sure how the food was going to be....and had set my expectations low.....but was pleasantly surprised by both the quality and quantity. The only downfall is those big panoramic windows become somewhat useless as all the sailing is done at night. But if you want to see the Christmas markets along the Rhine (and so much more) in style, then this is the cruise for you!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had a great time on our brief cruise of the Rhine for the Christmas in Alsace tour. To save money and time, we booked our own flights and we ended up adding a night before and after the cruise on our own. I'm glad we did because ... Read More
We had a great time on our brief cruise of the Rhine for the Christmas in Alsace tour. To save money and time, we booked our own flights and we ended up adding a night before and after the cruise on our own. I'm glad we did because we had the opportunity to tour the Christmas markets of Zurich and Frankfurt as an extra bonus. The Visionary ship was nicely appointed and the crew was very available and helpful. The room was nice, the bathroom large and there was plenty of space for storage. We enjoyed most of the cruise line's excursions but we made a few deviations that really made our trip. In Strasbourg, we did not return to the ship with the last bus so we could get to see the Christmas markets after dark, which was truly magical. It was a little bit of a challenge finding a cab but so worth the extra effort and mild anxiety. We also hung back after the Heidelberg tour. Our well-meaning castle tour guide took far too long talking about all the intricacies of the castle -- so much so that we didn't even get to enter the actual castle. We were then late getting to the the old town and had less than one hour to take it all in. Once again, we did not return with the group and found our own way back to the ship, thus getting an opportunity to enjoy Heidelberg at a comfortable pace. Since this was our first river cruise, a few things surprised me, both positive and negative. On the positive end, you really feel like a VIP since the ship is so small. You get to know people better and the staff seems extra helpful. Another good surprise, I didn't feel like the ship was moving at all, ever. We floated quietly and smoothly. This wasn't a bad thing, but it did surprise me that all travel happened in the dark. In commercials, you see river ships floating past cute villages, hilltop castles and hillside vineyards in the daylight. We didn't see any of that because we cruised at night. When we could see anything, it was largely industrial ports and locks. A native Floridian, my husband was fascinated by the locks so I did enjoy watching him marvel at how they worked. Not surprisingly, the weather was cold, so we were always happy to return to our floating home and snuggle at night. I don't recall any of the nighttime entertainment, but that wasn't really my thing. We did attend all port talks before dinner, which was helpful. I would recommend this cruise up, down and sideways for the following reasons: if you want to get a sample of the Christmas markets of Europe and/or if you've never cruised -- or never cruised on a river and want to see if it's for you. If you go though, please don't miss Strasbourg after dark, Zurich's train station Christmas market with the Swarovski tree or Frankfurt's main Christmas market with the cutest booths of any of the Christmas markets. Also, make sure to get a ceramic mug from each market you visit; they make great souvenirs of your visit. Of course, you'll have to suck down some gluhwein or cocoa in order to get them but you'll need it to shake off the cold. Have a wonderful time! We did! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had never been on a river cruise. Yes, we had done multiple ocean cruises in the Caribbean and even Alaska, but never a river cruise. So we thought we would splurge and do it! We booked airline arrangements through Avalon and ... Read More
We had never been on a river cruise. Yes, we had done multiple ocean cruises in the Caribbean and even Alaska, but never a river cruise. So we thought we would splurge and do it! We booked airline arrangements through Avalon and planned for an extra day in case of airline problems - a good decision. We arrived in Zurich at 8:30pm and walked to the hotel at the airport where arrangements had been made. Raddisson Blu is a great place to stay. We were picked up the next morning by an Avalon representative and taken to the ship to check in and start our first excursion. The Visionary was spotless and there was a nice lunch buffet ready for us when we arrived. For every excursion there were receivers (we were given headsets and a lavaliere for the receiver at check in) that were color-coded for each excursion so that you could hear the guide. Avalon also had bottles of water available (at no extra charge). Upon return from the excursion they took the receivers in exchange for a warm, damp washcloth and a glass of juice or flavored water. Our cabin, which had the floor to ceiling glass sliding doors, was wonderful. There was so much storage space - cabinets, closet - and twenty clothes hangers in the closet! It was easy to unpack and settle in. The bathrooms had color coded towels - brown and white - so you didn't have to worry about who used which towel. (Even the room keys were color coded - blue and white.) Our room also had a potted orchid! A really nice touch, as well as two large bottles of water with glasses and the water was replenished as often as necessary (again, no extra charge). The dining room was nice and well laid out. Fresh flowers were on each table. There was wine and beer available for lunch and dinner - again, no charge, unless you desired a mixed drink or beer or wine that was not on the menu for the meal. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with a variety of foods available. Always two soups to choose from, various greens and salads, assorted breads, and a wide variety of main dishes/meats. Special note regarding the meals: The first day on board the chef met with anybody who had special dietary needs (such as gluten-free, whatever) and they insured that you were served what was on your diet on the cruise. There were options for less formal dining in the main lounge for lunch and dinner - same menu but less options. We did not partake of that except on the first day at lunch, since that was all that was available. There was also a tea every afternoon at 4 with tea, of course, coffee, and cookies and pastries. Every morning there was a stretching/exercising class and I participated in most of them. Very few passengers did, however. Of the 138 passengers less than 10 showed up on any day. There was also a small gym on the lower level with weights, mats, a treadmill, two exercise bikes, available for use. Towels and bottles of water were also available there. My husband and I did not go to any of the entertainment or shows as we are early to bed types and the shows generally started about 9pm or later. There was a pianist in the main lounge that played during lunch and happy hour. He was quite good with a range from classical to modern. Service on board was excellent. The community rooms were always clean and the lounge on the third deck had a coffee maker with 8 or 9 choices and hot water with assorted teas as well as a stash of pastries and cookies to munch on when you were hungry (three good meals a day - how could you be hungry?). Most of the shore excursions were included in the cost of the cruise. We paid for three that were reasonably priced. The excursions had good English-speaking guides who were quite knowledgeable about their tour. The guides were personable and gave more than just a cursory explanation or description. The ports were ports! Some were "downtown" and some were a little out of the way but transportation was provided. Some of the excursions were biking trips (with a sack lunch included) and hiking trips. Bikes and Nordic trekking poles were provided. We are already planning our next cruise in 2021 or 2022. Again we will do Avalon. The ships are smaller (we parked next to a Viking Cruise ship and it was quite bigger), and with smaller ships you get to know the staff on a more personal level. We had our favorite servers in the dining room and tried to make sure we sat where they served. On a side note: The Visionary has an elevator for those who have limited mobility. They also make arrangements for those who are slow walkers to have a special tour that goes at a slower pace. There were no passengers in wheelchairs on the cruise, but there were several who used walkers or who were slower in walking than the majority. Age range for this cruise I would guess would be mid-fifties and up. There may have been a couple that were younger, but not many. Most seemed to be retirement age, or at least near retirement age. Overall, we were exceedingly pleased with our Avalon cruise, and are looking forward to our next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our Cruise was the best fall trip I could Imagine. Lovely location, great Hotel, wonderful people. Very well organized. Lots to do or not do, you choose what it is that you wan to so. Everyone made sure you had what you wanted or needed. I ... Read More
Our Cruise was the best fall trip I could Imagine. Lovely location, great Hotel, wonderful people. Very well organized. Lots to do or not do, you choose what it is that you wan to so. Everyone made sure you had what you wanted or needed. I can't say enough good about the whole trip. Oh the food and wine!! Great, wonderful, the chief and staff gave their all to give us anything. The side trips were lovely. Guides were so enjoyable with so much knowledge and ease of telling their stories. In Budapest we went to the horse farms for a ride and show and Dinner. True local beverages and food. Oh dear did I say food. They out did themselves. The Horses were so beautiful and well trained. The favorite words of everyone were OF COURSE. No matter what you ask that is the answer. Everything was very clean and first class. Can't wait to go on another one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Ship was beautiful but we didn’t get to open drapes or sliding door because we were always triple docked at every port. Also would wake up at 3 a.m. because of diesel exhaust in our room. Excursions were not exactly as published. ... Read More
Ship was beautiful but we didn’t get to open drapes or sliding door because we were always triple docked at every port. Also would wake up at 3 a.m. because of diesel exhaust in our room. Excursions were not exactly as published. Cruise director was personable. Dining room was nice. Breakfast and lunch were buffets. Dinner had nice menu with wine. Wine / champagne at breakfast and lunch were scarce if non existent. My main problem was the inability to sleep at night because I had to leave room to breathe. Diesel exhaust could not be managed. If anyone had asthma they would definitely struggle to breathe. I think Avalon knows what the problem is but doesn’t have a solutions. There could be serious health issues. Glad we only had 3 nights on the ship. Hotel accommodations were ok in Vienna and very nice in Budapest. This survey requires 150 words minimum. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Bucket list trip to see Budapest & Prague for my wife & I, we have taken 4 ocean liner cruises but this was our first river cruise. We arrived in Budapest the day before the cruise started & we arranged for Avalon to transfer ... Read More
Bucket list trip to see Budapest & Prague for my wife & I, we have taken 4 ocean liner cruises but this was our first river cruise. We arrived in Budapest the day before the cruise started & we arranged for Avalon to transfer us from the airport to the hotel. The morning of our trip departure Avalon had a bus shuttle us & many other passengers from the hotel to the Visionary ship. Check in went smooth and we were very pleased with the cleanliness of the ship & our cabin. The daily Happy Hour (HR) was great with drinks 1/2 off, & the service during HR was excellent & since there's only (1) bar we were able to meet new people & make friends. Overall the dining was pretty good & the service was outstanding, the entire staff went out of their way to accommodate you. I loved the sauerkraut soup but that was the only soup I liked, if I had to give a bad grade out it would be for the soups, they all tasted like potato water, & the couple of nights we had seafood it was nothing special & the desserts could have been better. We tried different wines every night and most of them were very good. Shore Excursions were very good, of course some of the guides were better than others. It was a very busy day doing the included shore excursions in the morning & then going out on (3) of the optional afternoon excursions. It was so nice that Avalon had a "gentle walkers" excursion group for those that moved slower. It seemed like we stayed very busy getting up early for the morning excursions, attending the nightly next day info meetings during HR, then dinner was 7-9, so every day we felt like we were on a schedule. I would have liked more down time cruising on the river taking in the sites and I didn't like it that we couldn't sleep with the patio door open at night due to the bright lights from going thru the river locks & waking up docked to another ship right outside our window blocking any potential view. Unfortunately several people (12 that I know of) caught the chest respiratory bug that was going around, including myself and several people we met including my wife had to seek medical treatment & were bed ridden for a few days. Maybe adding another hand sanitizer station after you walked into the dining would have helped, but this is always a concern when you have 120 people plus staff contained on a boat. We stayed in Prague an extra day & also arranged for Avalon to transfer us from our hotel to the airport & again the driver was friendly & prompt. In summary it was a nice vacation and I would do another river cruise with Avalon now that I know what they’re about, they are very accommodating & much more personable than the ocean liner cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I really wanted to see Vienna and go on a short river cruise. I liked visiting the small towns and enjoyed learning about saffron. I wish we stayed a little longer in Munich . That hotel was fabulous. I have recently been put on a ... Read More
I really wanted to see Vienna and go on a short river cruise. I liked visiting the small towns and enjoyed learning about saffron. I wish we stayed a little longer in Munich . That hotel was fabulous. I have recently been put on a gluten free diet and thought I might have problems with food. No way - they were very organized. On the first day, after the safety drill, they had a meeting with all passengers who had special dietary needs. Both the matri’ d and main chef were there and interviewed each one of us taking notes. In the morning I was greeted by the waiter and asked if I wanted a gf roll or bread. At the buffet, I was told which items contained wheat. One day I ordered some slices of steak without gravy and the chef looked at me and siad to wait a minute. He soon returned with a small bowl of gluten free gravy! It was delicious. The waiters were great and were there to refill coffee mugs or take away dirty plates. On another company’s river cruise, we were sent a list of all the passengers with the name of the city they came from. I thought this was a good idea. I could look for the people that lived near me and write the email next to the name of the people I wanted to keep in touch with. I asked our tour director about this and was told that Avalon does not do this. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The main purpose of this trip was to see the tulips at the Keukenhof. We wanted to try a river cruise since big cruises are not as appealing to us. Usually, river cruises are marketed for older people. We are in our 30s, but wanted to try ... Read More
The main purpose of this trip was to see the tulips at the Keukenhof. We wanted to try a river cruise since big cruises are not as appealing to us. Usually, river cruises are marketed for older people. We are in our 30s, but wanted to try it anyway. It doesn't disappoint! We arrived a day before to explore the city (Amsterdam) and the hotel provided was great. Transfers were included and were smooth, without complications. The ship is built like a hotel, very comfortable and everything is accessible. Food was excellent, even during the breakfast and lunch buffets. The flexibility on the activities for the trip was what I liked the most. You can go on the included excursions, add additional excursions, go on your own or stay and chill on the ship. The service was 5-stars and we were treated with courtesy and respect by everyone from the crew. I would recommend this trip to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Of course I was disappointed that we were only able to be onboard for 6 days of our 13, but Avalon and every crew member, especially our cruise director, went above and beyond to assure that our experience was a wonderful time! ... Read More
Of course I was disappointed that we were only able to be onboard for 6 days of our 13, but Avalon and every crew member, especially our cruise director, went above and beyond to assure that our experience was a wonderful time! Unprecedented drought in the Rhine Region this year halted river traffic and left many ships grounded. Somehow, Avalon was able to arrange alternate transportation, hotels, and meals so that we were able to enjoy almost all of the activities and excursions of the itinerary! The absolute highlight for me was the days we spent on board cruising the Mosel. The lovely scenery, quaint medieval villages, amazing castles, cathedrals, ancient architecture and beautiful vinyards made this one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The shore excursions were excellent, the food and service were top notch, and the accommodations arranged for us off ship were amazing! This was my first river cruise, but it will not be my last! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The cruise went to area in Europe we wanted to see. Traveled to 7 countries in 21 days. First cruise with Avalon but it will not be our last. Everyone was very accommodating. The dining was exceptional. The hotels were all 5 star, ... Read More
The cruise went to area in Europe we wanted to see. Traveled to 7 countries in 21 days. First cruise with Avalon but it will not be our last. Everyone was very accommodating. The dining was exceptional. The hotels were all 5 star, could not have been more enjoyable. The overall trip was a once in a life time experience. Every day was a new adventure. Our only concern was the low water levels and the inability of the ship to complete the trip. We had to spend 1 night off the ship but Avalon compensated us very generously with a credit for the night after they paid for the hotel cost. Can not think of anything we would change or do differently. The side trips were a lot of fun and very interesting. We will recommend Avalon to all our friends. We have traveled on many different cruise lines and Avalon ranks near the top. The only recommendation we would make is to offer Business class air travel as an option. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The Avalon Visionary had the best itinerary and offered it at the perfect time for our travel party. We started out with two wonderful days in Paris. Then a high speed train to Luxembourg where we boarded the Visionary. My favorite part ... Read More
The Avalon Visionary had the best itinerary and offered it at the perfect time for our travel party. We started out with two wonderful days in Paris. Then a high speed train to Luxembourg where we boarded the Visionary. My favorite part of the Mosel cruising was the stop in Bernkastel. It is the most beautiful town in Germany. Due to low water levels on the middle Rhein, We had to disembark the Visionary at Koblenz. We were transported half way down the middle Rhein on a Koln-Dusseldorf ship the Loreley. It was crowded and uncomfortable. At St. Goarshausen we were loaded on to buses for the rest of the trip to Rudesheim where we boarded the Avalon Impression after a spectacular German dinner at the Rudesheimer Schloss. Cruise Director Nico did a marvelous job under some unusual conditions. The Main river and the Main-Danube canal are both loaded with locks. At times it seemed like there was another lock each hour. The food and the service on both Avalon ships was exceptional. The Maitre'd and the Executive Chef aboard the Impression went out of their way to provide a special anniversary dinner surprise for one couple in our travel party. Thanks to everyone at Avalon. You will see us again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My husband has never been to Europe, our travel agent reccommended a River boat cruise so we decided on Avalon. We looked into both Viking and Avalon and came to conclusion Avalon would be better and they did not dissappoint!!! We enjoyed ... Read More
My husband has never been to Europe, our travel agent reccommended a River boat cruise so we decided on Avalon. We looked into both Viking and Avalon and came to conclusion Avalon would be better and they did not dissappoint!!! We enjoyed the cabin of being able to lie on bed and look right out to river, we could relax with doors wide open and watch the beautiful scenery. Food was extradinary, every city we went into the chef had local foods prepared for lunch and dinner and all the local wines. If you didn't like what was on the menu you could order a Filet Mignon, chicken or a fish dish everything amazing!! Excursions were just long enough and to all the right places. As for the staff, would do the same cruise just to be with all of them again, they were all fantastic!!! From Edourd, the head bartender, to Alex, the Maitre'd,Joost the cruise director.. Daniel and Max bar waiters and Jana to name a few that were all execellent Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Awesome scenery, people, crew, tour guides, and food! We felt very well taken care of the whole time. We would have liked to spend more time in a couple places (some of the quaint little towns, for example) and could have spent less in a ... Read More
Awesome scenery, people, crew, tour guides, and food! We felt very well taken care of the whole time. We would have liked to spend more time in a couple places (some of the quaint little towns, for example) and could have spent less in a couple, but no complaints other than the weather. It was really hot! But we were lucky because we were the last boat to make it up the Rhine before the water got too low. We only went on the scheduled tours, not the extras, and every one of the tour guides was terrific. The food at all the meals was uniformly excellent, and the wine was pretty good too. We also enjoyed happy hour in the bar a lot! (Half-price drinks) We highly recommend river cruises over ocean cruises, and Avalon in particular. A bit smaller boat than other river cruise lines (about 120 passengers), which made for a more intimate experience, but the crew and amenities didn't suffer for it at all. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We have been thinking about a river cruise since retirement 5 years ago. Long time friends called and asked if we wanted to join them on Avalon Visionary for the Rhine and Moselle. So glad we did. It was our first cruise. The cruise ... Read More
We have been thinking about a river cruise since retirement 5 years ago. Long time friends called and asked if we wanted to join them on Avalon Visionary for the Rhine and Moselle. So glad we did. It was our first cruise. The cruise was a total delight. Great scenery, comfortable, wonderful food. The entertainment was well chosen, including the on-board piano player. Service both in the cabin and in the restaurant was always efficient and friendly. The ship was kept spotless. Ports were well chosen and docking convenient to interesting sights. Day tours on shore were interesting with English speaking local guides. Joust, the cruise director, was always informative and herded the "cats" well in a friendly manner. Our friends have an extensive wine collection and brought wine for dinners each night. The staff didn't mind a bit and were very accommodating with extra glasses. Avalon was an excellent value and provided us with all the information we needed to book, arrive, sail, and enjoy the experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because being from Canada we wanted a cruise over a week long and introduce us to Europe and river cruising. We have been on ocean cruises 4 times and wanted to try something different. We had a direct flight from ... Read More
We chose this cruise because being from Canada we wanted a cruise over a week long and introduce us to Europe and river cruising. We have been on ocean cruises 4 times and wanted to try something different. We had a direct flight from Toronto to Zurich which was great not having to deal with connecting flights. We liked everything about Avalon and its all inclusiveness with meals, drinks and excursions. All stops had included excursions and/or optional extra ones that you had to pay for- there were also bicycles and walking sticks available. The guides all spoke English and were very informative of the history of the area. The atmosphere on board is very relaxed and friendly. Jost our cruise director was amazing, very helpful and made you feel at home. The average age of guests was in their 60s and 70s- we are in our early 60s. We even had an extraordinary 99 year old from Australia on our ship. The breakfast and lunch are buffet and supper is sit down with server and four courses but you could also have supper buffet style in the upstairs lounge. We enjoyed all of our meals and the selection was more than adequate. I found that everything I tried was very tasteful and always lots of choices. We enjoyed the open sitting style as you could meet and talk to everyone through the 2 weeks. Staff is very friendly and helpful and if you have a problem they do their best to help. Several nights there were entertainers that came on board from the local area and they were all great. Our cabin was on the second level with French balcony which was nice to have as you could sit or lie in bed with the doors open and watch the world go by- if you fell asleep you didn't have to worry about falling out of a chair. Room was a good size and had adequate storage areas for clothes. What is great is that nothing is far from any room and your not walking miles to get to the restaurant or lounge areas like on the larger cruise ships. There is a hot tub on top level but no pool. There are canopies over the lounge chairs which is nice for shade on the really hot days. We loved our introduction to Europe and went on as many tours as we could. The stops are all interesting and we learned so much. The excursions appeal to people interested in culture and history. We would definitely go on another Avalon cruise, even the same one in the future because then we could do different excursions and learn more of the areas we visited. We also enjoyed the more friendly atmosphere among the guests and staff as compared to the larger cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first time on a river cruise. I loved loved loved it! My husband liked it very much but the jury is still out on river vs ocean for him. We both thought the ship (Avalon Visionary) was lovely. While the cabins were nicely ... Read More
This was our first time on a river cruise. I loved loved loved it! My husband liked it very much but the jury is still out on river vs ocean for him. We both thought the ship (Avalon Visionary) was lovely. While the cabins were nicely appointed and the beds extremely comfortable, I would not get the basic cabin again. We had a long narrow window up at the ceiling that I could not see out of. My husband thought it was fine but I like a better view....live and learn. It was a small cabin and people we met assured us the cabins on deck 2 and 3 were much more spacious ...205 sq ft. as opposed to 135 sq ft. All in all there was a lot of storage space and closet space anyway. The food was excellent and the service in the dining room wonderful. You barely took a sip of wine when it was being refilled. There wasn't anything the waitstaff wouldn't do for you or try to get for you. We dined with someone with a special dietary need and the waiter was constantly checking to make sure she got what she needed. The stops were great. I'm a history buff so I enjoyed that all of the walking tours were historical in nature. We were off the ship by 8:15 - 8:30 every day so this is not a cruise for people who like to sleep late. Some days there were 2 stops and 2 included tours. We only felt the need to book 2 optional excursions and they were very reasonably priced at 45-49 Euros each. All of the staff was so helpful. We were booked into pre and post hotels by Avalon and couldn't have asked for better. We were provided with private transfers to the airport at the end of our stay. Getting on and off the ship was simplicity itself. A rep from Avalon came to our hotel in Amsterdam and collected all the luggage and just told us when to be at the ship so we had an entire extra day to explore the city. Nights are a bit quiet and the entertainment such as it was was adequate. You're fairly exhausted after a full day of touring and really...getting into bed to get up early the next day was great. I'd recommend this trip to anyone!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first river cruise. We chose the 8-day cruise for length of time & German concentration. We did extend our cruise arriving 1 1/2 days early in Amsterdam & explored on our own. We also stayed in Zurich for 1 1/2 ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We chose the 8-day cruise for length of time & German concentration. We did extend our cruise arriving 1 1/2 days early in Amsterdam & explored on our own. We also stayed in Zurich for 1 1/2 days before flying back to Amsterdam, then home the next day. We did have several issues with the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Zurich, but got them resolved. Roos was an excellent cruise director. She was always upbeat & answered all of our questions. I felt the meals were great & liked having beer/wine included with our meals. We liked both 3 piece band/string entertainment nights & were glad these were included. I thought they were both excellent choices. Also enjoyed having the wood carving demonstration. We wish the Heidelberg day trip to the Cuckoo Clock shop/cake had been longer. I think the 2 could be combined on that day with a later lunch or picnic lunch would be nice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I took this cruise with my folks (87 and 82) after talking about it for years. This was the first river cruise by any of us. It more than surpassed our expectations. The shuttle picked us up at the airport and delivered us to the boat ... Read More
I took this cruise with my folks (87 and 82) after talking about it for years. This was the first river cruise by any of us. It more than surpassed our expectations. The shuttle picked us up at the airport and delivered us to the boat around 11:30 am. While we couldn't access our rooms until 4:30, all of our luggage was taken care of for us and we were allowed to hang out on the boat in some of the common areas. They even provided a small buffet lunch in the lobby. The ship felt like the perfect size...large enough to not feel crowded but small enough to allow getting to know your fellow passengers if wanted. There was always a good variety of food with different options. There were lighter breakfasts and lunches in the lobby and buffet style in the restaurant. Dinner was a 4 course served in the restaurant, Seating was first come first serve and we always tried to mix it up to have different servers and meet new passengers. It was all very casual and comfortable, No ties necessary! The wait staff was excellent....funny, attentive, and hard working. (Jana, KC, Robert, Kimmie, Max just to name a few). I don't think they ever stopped! The rest of the staff was just as hard working, always cleaning the boat or ready to help with anything we asked. My mom had just recovered from foot surgery and after the plane ride and the first excursion, it was quite swollen. They were more than happy to provide us with bags of ice after every excursion to help the swelling and keep her ready for the next day. Roos, the cruise director, was awesome. Always a pleasure and entertaining. Every night before dinner she gave an overview of the next days activities in the lobby. Every day was as full of activities as you wanted with one and sometimes two excursions per day. Of course if you wanted to stay behind and explore the towns on your own, that was perfectly fine too. I think there were folks that just stayed behind and hung out on the sky deck enjoying the sun as well! The one issue with the excursions I had was the trip to the Black Forest wood carver. While it was a nice scenic bus ride, it was 1.5 hrs each way and we only had about a half hour at what turned out to be a large gift shop. Slightly disappointing. If I had known that ahead of time, I would have chosen the other excursion or stayed in town to explore on my own. Over all, this was an excellent trip! One I would do again in a heart beat! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My wife and I have been on 15 prior ocean cruises, and had not tried a river cruise until this on. I would certainly go on one again. The Panorama Suite was just as advertised. The sliding door opened completely, turning the ... Read More
My wife and I have been on 15 prior ocean cruises, and had not tried a river cruise until this on. I would certainly go on one again. The Panorama Suite was just as advertised. The sliding door opened completely, turning the cabin into a balcony, with the bed facing the river. It was spacious enough, and the bathroom was clean and attractive as well, with upscale soaps and shampoos adding to the luxury. The food was very good. I would like to have seen more local specialties along the way for more variety. But the quality of the cuisine was fine. We were very happy with the included shore walking tours/excursions. The towns along the way were very quaint and interesting. We also visited a castle or two. The scenery from the sky deck was certainly more picturesque that anything we would see on an ocean liner, especially on the Moselle as it joins up with the Rhine. Beautiful scenery, with many more castles along the way. Also, the staff knocked themselves out to make everyone comfortable. The entertainment was not much, but we did not expect too much from that. It was fine and met our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my first river cruise. We began in Paris with a city tour, then embarked from Remich, Germany to cruise the Mosel River, then cruised down the Rhine to Amsterdam. We stopped at many scenic towns, had time to tour, shop, and check ... Read More
This was my first river cruise. We began in Paris with a city tour, then embarked from Remich, Germany to cruise the Mosel River, then cruised down the Rhine to Amsterdam. We stopped at many scenic towns, had time to tour, shop, and check out local restaurants. The staff was very professional, the boat was clean, comfortable, and beautiful, and the scenery was amazing. The excursions were fun, informative, and while many were included, the ones that were extra were well worth it. The food on the boat was excellent. Our budget room far exceeded my expectations--much more space than I expected, both in the living area and bathroom. Most of the people on this cruise were 60-80, but there were several adult children traveling with their parents, and teen grandchildren traveling with their grandparents--it made for a nice variety. I felt like the staff really anticipated what would make for smooth, worry-free trip for all of the guests. I would definitely take an Avalon cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We wanted to take a European cruise that saw as many parts of Europe as possible. This didn’t disappoint. We saw many beautiful sites and would highly recommend this cruise. The crew was wonderful. They attended to our every need. ... Read More
We wanted to take a European cruise that saw as many parts of Europe as possible. This didn’t disappoint. We saw many beautiful sites and would highly recommend this cruise. The crew was wonderful. They attended to our every need. KC took exceptional care of us during meals. She laughed with us and was spot on with recommendtions. She worked endless hours and you never knew she was tired. Adrienne took care of all our excursions and she was wonderful and very knowledgeable. The bar was a fun place and sit and meet new friends. We met people from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The weather was perfect. Sitting on the deck in the evening was spectacular. We traveled thru many locks, saw endless vineyards and picturesque castles. The wines were delicious from the region were awesome. The land portion in Prague and Paris were wonderful. The hotels we stayed in were top notch. We had to come home to rest but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
What a fabulous trip! Ship and crew were great. I was disappointed that the top deck was closed for so long as I was planning/hoping to spend most of my time up there. I understand WHY (height of the bridges & locks) but would ... Read More
What a fabulous trip! Ship and crew were great. I was disappointed that the top deck was closed for so long as I was planning/hoping to spend most of my time up there. I understand WHY (height of the bridges & locks) but would suggest starting the cruise in Bamberg maybe? The canal from N'berg to Bamberg was less than spectacular. That would allow for more time in the cities which were all AMAZING! Bamberg, Wurzberg, Miltenberg, Rudeshiem, Bernkastel, Trier, etc....it's hard to pick a favorite! ALL picture-postcard perfect cities. Would have loved to have more time in each. Miltenberg & Bernkastel were probably my personnal favorites. Wish we could have stopped in Koblenz; looked like a neat town from the ship. Rhine river gorge was spectacular and definitely the highlight of the actual time spent sailing/cruising the river. The top deck was a great place to be in the evenings after dinner. The service was good overall, a bit slow at times when clearing the tables but we had a few newbies. Lubo, the server/bartender was the best! Great sense of humor and very fast service. Jana, our waitress most times when we could get to her section, was very good as well and adorable. The food was fabulous! Great choices and variety. I couldn't fathom people ordering cheeseburgers and fries! Americans, geez!!! Chef was awesome with a great personality. I really enjoyed the galley tour. We found it ironic that most of the free/included tours/excursions was as good, if not better, than the paid ones. We enjoyed them all but thought that some of the excursions were over priced. The free visit to the wine cellar was exceptional! We bought numerous bottles which I think is/was the point of offering it free to the entire boat. I was shocked so many people left so soon. The in-cabin TV offerings were good; really liked the GPS map w/ ship's location and front facing camera; more camera options /angles would be cool, too. A few more stations would be nice but we obviously aren't there to watch TV. Miko, the pianist, was talented and knew a wide variety of tunes. The special guest entertainers were fun, too. I really enjoyed the guy who talked about the history, state of & future of the EU, Brexit, etc. Extremely interesting to an American. He was very gracious in answering what were probably dumb questions. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze; very nice to have our giants bags lugged around for us and waiting for us when we got to our rooms! Nothing was broke or damaged!!Teach the airlines how to do it! LOL We hope to do another river cruise! It would be great if they could offer packages airfare and/or all-inclusive options. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We wanted to see the architecture in Germany along with the castles on the Rhine river. Every town in Germany on the cruise had its own style, and with nearly 30 castles to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We wanted to see the architecture in Germany along with the castles on the Rhine river. Every town in Germany on the cruise had its own style, and with nearly 30 castles to view, it was amazing to see. The guides that walked us through each town were locals and very knowledgeable with the town's history. The food was very delicious. We did not have one bad meal and there were many choices at all 3 meals every day on the ship. The ship was always clean and the cabin was just the right size, since you don't spend much time there. There were about 113 passengers, and the lounge is a little small for that many people, but that was the only negative since we did have a meeting in there every night right before dinner. This was everything we were hoping for, as a first time river cruiser, and would definitely take another river cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The Avalon Visionary is much nicer than other ships to which we had access due to the double and sometimes triple docking at ports along the way. The clean, Scandinavian aesthetics most evident in the salon were reminiscent of a large ... Read More
The Avalon Visionary is much nicer than other ships to which we had access due to the double and sometimes triple docking at ports along the way. The clean, Scandinavian aesthetics most evident in the salon were reminiscent of a large living room compared to the overly decorated, glam interiors of the other ships. The crew was delightful, the cruise director capable and the excursions and tour guides engaged were excellent. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably chose a different itinerary, though. This particular route's German ports were disappointing - it seemed as though the restaurants and shops (the small percentage that were open) were merely going through the paces and rather indifferent as compared to Budapest and Austrian ports. I wondered if those cities weren't regretting becoming ports? The locks system throughout the river are really interesting and somehow made our 'passage' more adventurous. The rooftop deck was nicely furnished with tents to shade the sun and open-air seating, and the interior gathering spots were perfect for the small-ish number of passengers. The ship had a nice selection of novels, but could benefit from Mahjong & Cribbage sets! There was a coffee station accessible 24/7 where juice and iced tea were also available (and cookies!) Unfortunately they closed the sky deck from Regensburg on through Nuremberg, which was awful. Not being able to be outside (especially in great weather) felt like a punishment! We couldn't figure out why they wouldn't put the chunky heavy outdoor seating up on the sky deck since it wouldn’t have to be removed for bridges & locks (since it wouldn’t blow away and isn’t higher than the wheelhouse) so that passengers could be outdoors ALL of the days of their cruise?! We chose our itinerary based on destinations: Budapest and PRAGUE being the two main attractions. Had we known that the cruise essentially ended in terms of amenities in Regensburg (what with no sky deck access and only the aft deck which could be dubbed “exhaust central” or a very crowded, small and ill-furnished outdoor seating area at the bow) it’s likely we would have chosen a different cruise or itinerary. Well appointed rooms and efficient bathrooms, both with plenty of storage space, feature the “panoramic” sliding glass doors with fence balcony. Though lovely, the “Panoramic” feature is only as good as the breeze outside which is all too often none, so exhaust fumes come in the room (removing the benefit of the panoramic sliding glass doors). Paying for a ship with a step out balcony (which we contemplated) would be a waste of money given the likely absence of sufficient air movement to prevent exhaust fumes from invading. Oh, and bugs. Seemed like the ship and many of its staff stopped trying on the next to last day of our cruise ... the hallways were sweaty, the food - which wasn’t much to crow about in the first place, but wasn’t bad, either - fell into the "re-tread" category. The 3 1/2 hour tour from Nuremberg to Prague recommends a vehicle with a bathroom rather than a bus used for city touring. The comfort of reclining seats, curtains to shade sun, seat-back tables and A/C vents is lost if you’re unable to relax awaiting the “comfort stop” at 1 1/2 hours. Those few criticisms aside, we had a wonderful time, Budapest being the highlight with Austrian ports equally enchanting. I would definitely cruise with Avalon again … and hope to do so in future! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Avalon Visionary Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family N/A 3.7
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.9
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

Find an Avalon Visionary Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click