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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Avalon Waterways

4.8 | Excellent
  • 98% Recommend
Service Level
  • Luxury
Type
  • Global Operator
Established
  • 2003
Headquarters
  • Littleton, Colorado, United States
Trips
  • 367

1,268
Avalon Waterways Reviews & Ratings 98% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 1,130 Great 88 Average 30 Disappointing 9 Terrible 11
Value:
4.8 Guide:
4.8 Activities:
4.8 Lodging:
4.8 Transportation:
4.8 Meals:
4.8

Tour Reviews

JD

Does Not Recommend

Avalon transport to hotel April 2019

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
We came at the airport in amsterdam, the driver came to pick us up in a FORD station car, What a Joke. A small simple car. We expect a Mercedes, BMW or Audi, at least a great German car. The driver was friendly, but how Can they send a bad old car like that ? I could better take a Tesla outside the airport
Read more

GK

Recommends

Cancelled Cruise April 2019

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We had booked a Danube River Cruise for April 2019 and we had to cancel due to a family emergency. Our travel agent, Cruise Planners in Charleston and Avalon were absolutely FABULOUS about helping us cancel our reservation and were very understanding and sympathetic to our issue.

If we plan another trip in the future, I will not hesitate to use both companies again.
Read more

M

Does Not Recommend

Thing of a Danube cruise next May...but… December 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Thing of a Danube cruise next May...but VERY concerned now with the reports of low level water and big problems...any advice about a May cruise?

Jf

Does Not Recommend

Jill Bondarchuk Does not care about terrible experience never use avalon November 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Jill Bondarchuk Who is in charge of Avalon waterways did not seem to care about are terrible experience with Avalon romantic reign
Cruise the most important day of the cruise we were crammed on a tour boat hat was way over crowded we could not see any romantic castles
It was terrible I saved up most my life for this and they just did not care I am a hard working man and very rarely get upset but I will not recommend cruise to anyone they seem to not care and for the cost of the cruise which is not cheap gave us 200.00 off for lifetime saving for this special moment got back standard corporate letter from Jill bondarchuck basically saying to bad very disappointed at the uncaring
Of ruining trip of lifetime
Jeff federoff
Read more

KF

Does Not Recommend

Failure to take responsibility for not delivering on promises November 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Had our trip gone according to plan I have no doubt I would be giving Avalon five stars. The five days we cruised, out of fifteen booked, was exceptional. Whilst Avalon cannot be blamed for poor water conditions, they can be blamed for failing to inform us in time to cancel the trip, on failing to offer reasonable compensation, and on exceptionally poor communications from their customer service area.

In short:
We cruised for 5 days out of the advertised 15.
We cruised through part of one country, rather than the advertised five countries.
We were put up in hotels for six nights. Meals, where provided by the hotel at all, were ordinary, at best.
We spent many hours being driven point to point on buses, requiring early morning starts and much packing and repacking. We saw very little in the way of scenery outside of the five days of cruising, spending most of the time on motorways.

The amount of compensation offered was totally inadequate being a small proportion of the total cruise-only cost (nothing for the cost of airfares). When challenged, Avalon just says that is their policy. My requests for a review by a more senior representative seems to have been ignored.

Whilst other cruise companies have suffered similar problems, most seem to be able to transfer passengers relatively small distances to another ship. I suspect this is because most have more ships available.

By all means use Avalon if you can be certain the river conditions will allow one continuous journey - the ship was great, as were the staff on the ship. However where there is any likelihood of problems, it appears Avalon is least likely to be able to minimise the disruption and will not offer fair and reasonable compensation when things go wrong.
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J

Recommends

The most enjoyable cruise I have ever… November 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The most enjoyable cruise I have ever been on!

Stride Review

Part of the Globus family of travel brands since 2003, 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, which don’t cut into cabin space as do normal balconies -- meaning you have more room to move around. Bathrooms are also roomy.

What Makes Avalon Waterways Stand Out?

While global in scale, Avalon Waterways is best known for offering high-end cruises on brand new ships on European rivers. The oldest of the 15 Europe-based ships dates from just 2008, which makes it the youngest fleet of any size on European rivers.

Newer ships generally mean that staterooms are larger and amenities are enhanced.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Avalon Waterways?

While the majority of river cruise travelers are in the 50-plus range, more and more middle aged couples have been enjoying river cruises as well. Avalon is a good place to start, particularly for the more exotic destinations like the Mekong in Asia or the Amazon in South America.

Travelers seeking a luxury minded cruise experience, without an overly pomp and circumstance feel, will love cruising the world’s rivers with Avalon.

If you’re wary of river cruising as an extension of the “floating hotel”, Avalon makes sure that a focus on the region itself is felt onboard as well as through the port excursions. Local ingredients are used to make traditional dishes, and beer, wine, and spirits of the area are also showcased.

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

Travelers who like choice will appreciate Avalon’s numerous options when it comes to port excursion activities. Starting in 2019 and unlike many cruises, a majority of these excursions will be included in the price.  

Top Destinations

Avalon is well known for their Europe cruises, but they travel all over the world as well.  They have five ships in Asia (sailing the Yangtze, Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers), and one ship each in the United States (the American Queen, which sails the Mississippi) and South America (the Aria, which plies the Amazon). Avalon runs small-ship cruises through the Galapagos Islands as well.

Avalon Waterways Travel Style

The comfort of their passengers is top of mind for Avalon. Whether this means the spacious viewing deck or numerous excursions available to satisfy different interests.

There is a sense of casual elegance that Avalon portrays. The culture on board is professional while still friendly, and the furnishings are not overly opulent.

Another thing that makes Avalon stand out is their attention to staying active and healthy. They have been a frontrunner in river cruises providing bikes and other ways to be active in each port stop.

Why Choose a Cruise with Avalon Waterways?

Avalon Cruises are comfortable, fun, and active. This is the perfect choice of cruise company for older affluent travelers seeking top notch river cruise experiences around the world.

Considering the spaciousness and innovativeness of its cabins, the fact that shore excursions and multiple dining options are included in the rates, and a chance to take advantage of some attractive early-booking discounts, Avalon can offer excellent value.

Visit Avalon Waterways site >

From Avalon Waterways

River Cruising from a Unique Point of View...Yours.

You see life differently. While others chase what's popular, you follow your own path. Your own voice has never led you astray. You've arrived, knowing what it’s taken to get here. At Avalon, we share your unique point of view. That's why we've designed a cruise experience that’s just a bit different. Spaces are bigger. Views are more epic. Excursions are more enriching. It's a step beyond the ordinary, but knowing you, we think you'll feel at home here. Welcome aboard.

Whether you'd like a romantic mini-break, an extended exploration, or something in between, with Avalon Waterways, you get to choose the river cruise that reveals the very best of Europe, Asia, South America, or Africa-your way!

On the spectacular ships of Avalon, "included" is one of our favorite words. Spacious outside staterooms with plenty of room to relax-included. Special touches, like regional wines and beer at every onboard dinner-included. Complimentary Wi-Fi access-included. The most shore excursions, led by Certified Local Guides-included. VIP entrance into the must-see sites-included. Unique Local Favoritessm designed to bring your destination to life-included. Expansive panoramic views throughout the ship-included. And in addition to everything that's included, we also give you the freedom of Avalon Choice®, a different approach to river cruising that lets you personalize many elements of your cruise...to make your experience exclusively yours!

We're Looking Out for the Way You Look Out

When your bed faces a wall, the view never changes. Which is precisely why our beds, unlike other cruise lines, face a window.* Because we think letting you see the incredible views that river cruising is famous for, is a darned good idea. And if we put that much attention into a bed, imagine what we’ve done for the rest of your experience.

Better Views Are Just the Beginning

Come see for yourself and read about how Avalon Waterways is different from all other river cruise companies.

Delicious in Every Flavor

From the first bite to the last "Mmmm," Avalon gives you lots of choices when it comes to dining. And because we start with fresh, quality local ingredients, delectable recipes and expert chefs, you’ll look forward to each meal the same way you look forward to each port. You pick the time, the place and the tastes you are craving, and we'll deliver dining perfection every time.

Cruises to Exotic Destinations.

Experience all that Avalon has to offer in exotic locations like Southeast Asia, China, the Galápagos Island, Egypt or the Peruvian Amazon. A journey on one of Asia’s great rivers, Yangtze, Mekong, or Irrawaddy, offers a tapestry of fascinating sights, colorful cultures, and ancient traditions. In South America you may embark down one of the world's vastly unexplored regions, the mighty Amazon, or explore the home of some of the world's most fascinating animal life in theGalápagos Island.

Associations:

United States Tour Operators Association; Cruise Lines International Associations, Inc.

Awards:

Travel Weekly Critics AwardTravel Weekly Magellan Awards 2009 Gold Winner/Cruise Ship: Best Overall River Cruising - Avalon Waterways Travel Weekly Magellan Awards 2011 Silver Winner - Avalon Waterways Conde Nast Top 5 River Cruise Lines - Avalon Waterways Conde Nast Top 5 River Cruise Lines - Avalon Waterways Conde Nast Traveler Top Cruise Ships 2010 - Avalon WaterwaysTravel Age West WAVE Awards Best New River Cruise Ship - Avalon Luminary

11 days
River Cruise
Value - 3 star
Physical :
From: $ 3,499

Highlights

  • Onboard welcome reception
  • Choice of excursion to Black Forest, or guided tour in Colmar
  • Guided tour, visit to La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral
  • Choice of visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, or cable car ride to the Niederwald Monument in Rüdesheim; special treat; scenic cruising through the Rhine Gorge; time at leisure in Boppard
  • Choice of guided tour in Frankfurt, or guided tour in Seligenstadt
  • Guided walking tour
  • Guided tour, visit to the Bishop’s Residenz
  • Guided tour, see the Old Town Hall
  • Guided tour in Nuremberg; transfer to Munich
  • Choice of guided tour of Munich, or full day excursion to Neuschwanstein Castle and the Bavarian village of Oberammergau
  • Your picturesque river cruise begins on the Rhine River in Basel, Switzerland
  • You’ll sail to Breisach, with your choice of a guided tour of charming Colmar, or an excursion to the Black Forest
More

Highlights

  • Onboard welcome reception
  • Excursion to Black Forest; Christmas market
  • Guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market
  • Guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat; Christmas markets

    Day 5 Mainz (Disembarkation):
  • This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France and Germany, with beautiful passing landscapes and quaint villages festively lit and decorated—a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season!

    Board your ship in Basel, Switzerland, then stop in Breisach, considered the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest
  • An area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock
More
16 days
River Cruise
Value - 3 star
Physical :
From: $ 6,498

Highlights

  • Onboard welcome reception
  • Choice of excursion to Black Forest, or guided visit to Badische Winzerkeller
  • Guided tour, visit to La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral
  • Special treat; choice of visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, or cable car ride to the Niederwald Monument in Rüdesheim; scenic cruising through the Rhine Gorge; time at leisure in Boppard
  • Choice of guided tour in Frankfurt, or guided tour in Seligenstadt
  • Guided tour
  • Guided tour, visit to the Bishop’s Residenz
  • Guided tour, see the Old Town Hall
  • Full day guided tour in Munich
  • Choice of Roth guided tour, or Nuremberg guided tour, or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour; lecture on board
  • Guided walk; beer tasting on board
  • Guided walk
  • Guided tour of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; scenic cruising through the Wachau Valley
  • Guided sightseeing
  • Guided tour, see Heroes’ Square
  • Your breathtaking river cruise begins on the Rhine River in Basel, Switzerland
  • You’ll sail to Breisach, your starting point for a Black Forest excursion, and to the city of Strasbourg, France, along the way
More

Highlights

  • Welcome to Switzerland
  • Guided walking tour, with the Lion Monument and Chapel Bridge
  • Excursion to Mount Pilatus (in case of bad weather, visit the Swiss Transport Museum instead; transfer to Basel to join your ship; onboard welcome reception
  • Choice of excursion to Black Forest, or guided tour in Colmar
  • Guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral
  • Guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat; visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz
  • Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat; scenic cruise through the Rhine Gorge; guided walk in Koblenz
  • Choice of “Cologne Highlights” walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tour
  • Canal cruise
  • Travel to Paris by high-speed train (first class)
  • Guided sightseeing, Seine river cruise
  • Travel to London by high-speed Eurostar train (Standard class)
  • : guided sightseeing, visit St. Paul’s Cathedral (except on Sundays)
  • You’ll start your European vacation tour with a visit to Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Your Monograms® Local Host® is on hand to assist you with sightseeing, free-time recommendations, and any other assistance you need during your 2-night stay in Lucerne
More
 

See All Avalon Waterways Trips >

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