Avalon Waterways vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.8
Activities — 4.8
Lodging — 4.8
Transportation — 4.8
Meals — 4.8
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Recent Reviews

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

1.0 December 2018
M
Does Not Recommend
  • 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?

Tour Avalon Waterways Company Reviews

Jill Bondarchuk Does not care about terrible experience never use avalon

1.0 November 2018
Jf
Does Not Recommend
  • 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
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Tour Avalon Waterways Company Reviews

Failure to take responsibility for not delivering on promises

1.0 November 2018
KF
Does Not Recommend
  • 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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Tour Avalon Waterways Company Reviews

Meaningful beyond words!

5.0 April 2019
Toal
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We experimented Tanzania through Discover Corps! Our trip included service and safari. We adored working with the children, being with the people and seeing animals on Safari. This trip was one of the best things we’ve ever done for ourselves!!!
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Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews

Fun in Japan

5.0 November 2018
JCO
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We really enjoyed our Discover Corps tour and can't wait to return to Japan. My wife and I took the Discover Corps cultural trip to Japan (Started in Tokyo-then a bullet train to Kyoto & more local trains to Osaka). The transportation system works well and no cars were ever needed. We were completely taken care of from booking and then thru the process. Adrienne did a great job of informing us of all the details-no planning required. Our guides in Japan, Aki and Miwa, were very knowledgeable local people & made sure we were having a unforgettable time! The cultural experience in Japan was terrific. Great mix of excitement; watching Sumo and participating in Kendo. The food was wonderful plus we were able to participate in sushi making!
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Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews

Excellent

5.0 July 2018
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We lived in the African bush for 10 days. Accommodations were wonderful - tents with nice furniture and attached bathrooms. Plenty of hot water! Food was delicious and quite sophisticated. But the best were the wildlife experiences led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. All the staff were kind and professional.
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Tours 246 Trips 28 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 378 $ 399
Operator Type River Cruise Line Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
Service Level Luxury Standard
Regions
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Volunteering
Headquarters Littleton, Colorado, United States San Diego, California
Year Established 2003 2004
Solo Friendly N/A No single supplement
Tour Languages N/A English
Top Trips
Similar Companies
Countries
About Avalon Waterways

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.

About Discover Corps

San Diego based tour company Discover Corps is a leader in the rapidly growing field of volunteer vacations. Operating since 2004, Discovery Corps trips average one to two weeks and focus on volunteering either with children and schools or with animals and wildlife conservation.

What Makes Discover Corps Stand Out?

They are focused on providing travel experiences with a wider humanitarian purpose - and help you put your tourism dollars to good use on the ground. The world of “voluntourism” is a sticky area, and has been met with some criticism over the years, so traveling with a reputable and transparent company has become super important.

With Discover Corps, volunteering, responsible tourism, and giving back to local communities is their entire brand - not just a buzzword on the “about us” page. So for those travelers who truly want to make their vacation about volunteering first and tourism second, Discover Corps is a great choice.

Discover Corps trips are all inclusive, and while volunteering is the primary focus, sightseeing and cultural activities are also included. Their trips are very popular among families, friend groups, and solo travelers.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Discover Corps?

These tours are best suited to travelers who want to have a humanitarian focus on their next trip. And if this idea is new to you, but you are interested in getting involved, Discover Corp is a great way to start.

The average age on a Discover Corps trip is 45-65 except in summer, when families with children as young as 10 are welcome on “family friendly” trips.

Wildlife lovers as well will love the opportunities available on Discover Corps Nature & Wildlife conservation tours. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some amazing species, learn about their habitats, and get to participate in various initiatives designed to protect these habitats.

Top Destinations

Discover Corp travels around the world, in rural villages, beach locations, and rainforests. Popular destinations are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Discover Corps Travel Style

Their all-inclusive trips combine light volunteer projects with sightseeing and cultural immersion. They also offer support while you’re on site – from building classrooms to improving water systems to creating eco-friendly homes. The ideas come from the local communities themselves, and local staff plan everything in advance.

Why Choose a Tour With Discover Corps?

If you’re the kind of person who likes being actionable and getting involved with protecting threatened cultures, wildlife, and contributing to growing communities in need of schools and homes, then Discover Corps would be a great choice.

Volunteer vacations are one of the best ways to get to know the local people on a different level than many tour companies provide. Rather than simply enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, you’re out in the neighborhoods meeting everyday people.

“Traveling with a purpose” might seem like a thrown around phrase these days, but it is the entire philosophy around every Discovery Corps trips. So when you join one of their tours, you’ll be surrounded by guides and other travelers for whom this isn’t a buzzword - it’s an important and meaningful mission.

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