Viking River Cruises vs Avalon Waterways

By Samantha Scott
April 29, 2016

Researching river cruises? Viking River Cruises and Avalon Waterways are often compared, appealing to a similar age group, within the same budget range, and traveling the same routes.

Our ultimate guide is here to help you decipher the similarities and differences to make the best choice for you and your travel companions.

In a hurry?

See Viking River Crusies vs Avalon Waterways at a glance »

Or search and compare all Viking and Avalon river cruises »  


Read on for our Ultimate Guide comparing Viking River Cruises & Avalon Waterways! 

Viking River Cruises vs Avalon Waterways - Ultimate Guide

Viking River Cruises and Avalon Waterways are two of the leading river cruise operators, and often compared. 

River Cruising is one of the fastest growing travel options, increasingly popular among baby boomers and families. It's a wonderful way to cover a lot of ground while still achieving an intimate feel, as river cruises are small enough to travel where larger cruises cannot.

Travel Styles, Group Size, Age Range

River cruise travel means great convenience and comfort. Only unpacking once and residing in a comfortable stateroom, you can watch the world glide by with a glass of wine in hand. This is a floating hotel but not like a monster cruise ship.

The number of passengers rarely exceeds x - meaning intimate group size for excursions and meals. Even with the small size, river cruise vessels and spacious enough to provide ample privacy and comfortable state-rooms.

Viking River Cruises are premium river cruises primarily in Europe with a luxury feel. They offer a casual and comfortable vibe, (no “dress code” for dinner or strict reservation rules), yet still provide fine dining and high calibur food and wine.

Avalon Waterways is a part of the Globus family of brands. They offer numerous cruises on Europe’s rivers as well as the Irrawaddy, Mekong, and even the Galapagos.

Casual and comfortable, combining a relaxed atmosphere with a fine dining calibur food and wine, Avalon presents a quiet elegance without being stuffy.

Viking River Cruises vs Avalon Waterways: Routes and Destinations

Between the two of them Viking and Avalon cover almost every river in Europe and the most popular destinations around the world.

Of course the beautiful blue Danube is heavily favored among both Viking and Avalon. Fans of the BBC will immediately recognize the sight of a Viking River Cruise sailing past the quintessential Danube sight, the Hungarian parliament building, at sunset.

Viking offers 7 classic Danube river cruises, including a new religious themed cruise to see The Passion Play in Oberammergau. Avalon offers a larger collection of Danube cruises to choose from, covering a wider variety of stretches and durations.

When it comes to world river cruises, outside of Europe, the primary differences are that Viking offers Nile river cruises in Egypt while Avalon is where to go if you’re interested in a South America river cruise. In Asia, both run Mekong river cruises, while only Avalon offers Irrawaddy and Ganges routes and only Viking provides a cruise along the Yangtze river cruise.

The most popular routes for both Viking and Avalon are along Europe’s many rivers. These include westbound and eastbound direction itineraries on the Danube, the Rhine, the Douro, the Elbe, the Main, the Moselle, the Rhone, the Saone, and the Seine.

Viking River Cruises vs Avalon Waterways - At a Glance 


 Viking River Cruises 

 Avalon Waterways


   Number of Tours






   Travel Styles 






   Average Tour Price           






   Average Tour Length             


11 Days 


12 Days 


   Years in Business 










 Viking River Cruises 

 Avalon Waterways 


   Europe Tours






   Africa Tours






   Asia Tours






   North America Tours               






   Middle East Tours






   South America Tours





What Makes Them Stand Out?

Viking River Cruises: Viking’s vessels are sleek, innovative, and freshly minted: the line has added 18 new ships in 2014 alone. They have an established reputation for offering an incredible value - high-quality service, food, and guided shore excursions at competitive prices, all adding up to strong repeat customer loyalty rates. Read More...

Avalon Waterways: Avalon Waterways has proven to be one of the more innovative of the many river cruise companies now in operation. Its newest “Suite” ships feature “open-air balconies” with floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to serve as indoor-outdoor seating areas, and don’t cut into cabin space. Read More... 

Why Travel With Them?

Viking River Cruises: You can be assured to get a polished, well crafted experience. Viking is a leader in river cruises for good reason. Read More...

Avalon Waterways: Avalon Waterways is best known for offering high-end cruises on brand new ships on European rivers, but they travel all over the world as well. Read More...


Ready to go on a River Cruise? Find your perfect expert planned trip »

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