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Avalon Tapestry II Review

Avalon Tapestry II
Avalon Tapestry II
2019 Best River

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Avalon Tapestry II
4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
to book


Clever design of river-facing beds and panoramic windows


Limited evening entertainment; some drinks are not included in the fare

Bottom Line

Good value and a relaxing way to see France


Passengers 128
Crew 37
Passenger to Crew 3.46:1
Launched 2015
Shore Excursions 35

Louise Goldsbury
Cruise Critic Australia Managing Editor

Avalon Tapestry II Overview

Launched in 2015, the 128-passenger Avalon Tapestry II is one of Avalon Waterways' "Suite Ships," a term that reflects the company's pride in its all-suite accommodation.

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In truth, most of Avalon's suites combine the sleeping and living area in one room, but they are indeed larger than the average river ship cabin. And it really does feel much bigger because the limited space is not compromised by a balcony. Instead, the lovely views and fresh air are enabled by wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, slide-open windows.

But Avalon's main claim to fame is its river-facing beds, which is what truly sets it apart from the rest. Rather than looking at a wall, passengers can watch the passing scenery from under the covers. This small but significant difference can have a huge impact if you like to sleep in or relax in the comfort of your own room. It's enough of a reason to book the ship.

The overall decor is contemporary and elegant, much like a modern four- or five-star hotel. The onboard experience includes dining from a nightly menu, club and main lounges with indoor and outdoor seating, a bar, fitness room and beauty salon. Ideal for summer sailing, the Sun Deck has a whirlpool and a barbecue for alfresco lunches.

Fares include WiFi, beer, wine and soda/soft drinks at onboard dinners, 24-hour tea and coffee, sparkling wine at breakfast and most shore excursions. Additional tours can be purchased separately; these are often more special experiences, such as a visit to the Palace of Versailles. Avalon offers an option to book flights with your cruise, but "cruise only" options are also available for passengers who want to make their own travel arrangements.

Based in France, Avalon Tapestry II attracts travellers who share a fondness for French food, wine, culture and history. Paris, as the embarkation and disembarkation port for its Seine River cruises, adds a touch of glamour to the experience, but there's a casual vibe on the ship. The Normandy sailings appeal to people with an interest in World War II, sometimes including returning veterans or their families who want to see the famous landing beaches; however, the itinerary is varied enough to suit a wide range of tastes.

Fellow Passengers

Although it's an American company, Avalon Waterways sees passengers from Canada, Australia, the U.K. and other English-speaking countries. On longer itineraries, such as the 16-day Grand France, Australians make up 25 percent of the mix. The majority of passengers are couples aged 60-plus with an increasing number of younger cruisers. Avalon suits those who like to socialize, as the restaurant is set up to encourage table-sharing and the bar is busy an hour before and after dinner.

Passengers should be fit and mobile enough to walk along the gangway and for shore excursions, which sometimes traipse across uneven ground, cobblestones and steps. On coach tours, you may be getting on and off the bus at several stops. Onboard, the ship has an elevator but it does not go up to the sun deck, which is only accessible by stairs; therefore, people with a disability or mobility issues should consult Avalon before booking.

Avalon Tapestry II Dress Code

Dress is casual and relaxed onboard and ashore. After a day of exploring on land, many people change into something smarter for dinner, but jeans and shorts can be worn in the restaurant. For the gala dinner and captain's cocktail evening, ladies usually wear a dress or black pants with a sparkly top, and men may opt for trousers and collared shirt but not necessarily a jacket or tie. There are no formal nights.

In Normandy, warmer clothes and a rain jacket are advisable, as this region in northern France is notorious for its changeable weather. A cloudy morning can turn wet or warm within minutes. In the south of France, pack light, summer clothing, a hat and sunglasses, and your swimwear for a dip in the whirlpool. A jacket is always recommended for breezy days on the Sun Deck as it can get windy when the ship is sailing.

Avalon Tapestry II Gratuity

The euro is the currency onboard, and payments can be settled in cash or by credit card. Fares do not include gratuities for the cruise director or ship's crew; however, there is the option to pre-pay these gratuities. Suggested amounts are €4 per passenger, per day, for the cruise director and €12 per passenger, per day, for the ship's crew. Passengers can give discretionary tips to individual members of staff, local guides and drivers. During a land stay purchased through Avalon Waterways, gratuities are included for services such as waitstaff at meals, hospitality staff at hotels and porterage for one suitcase per person.

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Indigo Deck
Sapphire Deck
Royal Deck
Sky Deck

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More about Avalon Tapestry II

Where does Avalon Tapestry II sail from?
Avalon Tapestry II departs from Paris.
Where does Avalon Tapestry II sail to?
Avalon Tapestry II cruises to Rouen, Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Arles, Avignon, Vernon and Tournon.
How much does it cost to go on Avalon Tapestry II?
Cruises on Avalon Tapestry II start from $2,089 per person.
Is Avalon Tapestry II a good ship to cruise on?
Avalon Tapestry II won 1 award over the years, including Best River in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best River

Avalon Tapestry II Member Reviews

Avalon Tapestry II
Sail Date: Aug 2018
The crew on on this ship (Avalon Tapestry II) are extra-special. The atmosphere is so welcoming and relaxing. Food and drink all excellent. Our cabin was spacious including the bathroom....Read More
Avalon Tapestry II
Sail Date: Sep 2018
Our latest trip on the Avalon Tapestry II has been the best ever. The route is Paris to Normandy with many charming and informative stops....Read More
Avalon Tapestry II
Sail Date: Jul 2018
The Avalon Tapestry II was the perfect size. Super clean with very comfortable public spaces both inside and outside the ship. Our cabin was clean and spacious with great storage....Read More
Avalon Tapestry II
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Our group of eight senior citizens arrived in Paris on the day before the cruise started. This gave us time to see a bit of the city, enjoy a relaxing dinner near our hotel, and get a little rest before we left on...Read More

Avalon Waterways Fleet