Home > Compare River Cruise Companies > Avalon River Cruises vs Scenic River Cruises

Avalon River Cruises vs Scenic River Cruises

Compare the travel styles, pricing, destinations and popularity of Avalon River Cruises and Scenic River Cruises.

The Low Down

Avalon River Cruises Not as well known locally as APT or Scenic, Avalon Waterways have nevertheless been cruising the rivers of Europe and Asia since 2004. Featuring modern luxury ships, with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, our clients love Avalon, and some of their river itineraries are our biggest sellers. Avalon don't usually include Fly Offers, so you'll need to book flights separately, but consequently their cruise prices are cheaper than the other luxury Operators and they offer some great Earlybird discounts. Part of the Globus Family group of Brands, means you can secure further discounts the next time you decide to travel by coach with either Globus or Cosmos.
Scenic River Cruises Scenic's 5 star luxury river cruises are well known and popular in Australia (not so much in NZ). Scenic were the first to introduce balconies on their Scenic Space-Ships, which many clients love, but this comes at a cost to interior cabin space. Like many of the other premium river cruise Operators, look out for their great Fly Free offers, and Earlybird Savings. All inclusive, with Freechoice activities that allow you to choose what you want to do in each port, Scenic also offer a range of luxury additions (like your own Butler) depending on the cabin type select.


No. of Trips
No. of Departures
Avg. Trip Length
12 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
Fleet Size
18 Ships
Known For
Panorama Suites
Ship Styles River Cruises
Regions Explored AsiaEuropeNile
No. of Trips
No. of Departures
Avg. Trip Length
14 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
Fleet Size
14 Ships
Known For
Luxury Cruising
Ship Styles River Cruises

In Their Own Words We asked the travel companies themselves why you should travel with them

Avalon River Cruises
One of our favourite sayings that describes Avalon Waterways is ‘the possibilities are as wide open as the views’. From Europe to the Galapagos and Asia, you can cruise in relaxed luxury with Avalon Waterways, with choices as unique as you. Avalon offers you a range of choices from excursions, dining options, activities that help you tailor your experience.

Just imagine gliding away down the world’s most spectacular rivers, all while enjoying a unique vantage point from your own private oasis. Our floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows in our suites blur the line between where the world ends, and your suite begins; allowing you to experience the world less seen from the comfort of your bed. This is river cruising from a unique point of view.
Scenic River Cruises
With Scenic, it’s more than a 5-star river cruise...it’s a seamless journey from start to finish that places you, our guest, at the heart of everything we do. It’s taking you to extraordinary regions and immersing you in meaningful and enriching experiences. It’s exquisite cuisine, indulgent wellness, and a world-class team who will anticipate your every need. You'll find the difference is in the details with Scenic: the innovative ship design, expertly trained crew, immersive journey, and an unrivalled focus on health and safety protocols.

Recent Reviews

Avalon cruise from Basel to Nuremberg was perfect for first-time cruisers   0 , NSW, Australia, Sep 2023
Although my husband and I have already been on previous Rhine cruise, it is still enjoyable and more appreciated the second time. We travelled with 6 other friends/family who are all first-time river cruisers and they all enjoyed and wowed by the river cruise, especially the food and services on board. The only thing which stopped me from rating this ...read more a 5-star is the lack of self-service laundry which other river cruise companies have.
Booking with our Avalon cruise with Hannah   0 , WA, Australia, Aug 2023
Thanks Hannah, everything went great. Despite Emirates delay into Amsterdam. The booked pickup waited an extra thirty minutes for us. We made the boat with 45 minutes to spare. Cabin 312 was excellent as was the whole cruise. See you sometime 2024. Thanks.
Wonderful tour through the south of France   0 , Australia, Jul 2023
The cruise exceeded our expectations. Beautiful scenery and wonderful towns to explore. Would highly recommend Avalon cruises.
Excellent service with friendly staff and the best cruise director we have ever had Tony Jenkins. And thank you Global Journeys for an easy and hassle free booking. Will certainly book with you again.
Romantic Reine     2 , New Zealand, Jul 2023
Absolutely loved the 8 day/ 7 night river cruise from Basel in Switzerland up to Amsterdam. The crew were amazing. The service and food was like being in a five star hotel throughout the whole time. Excursions were organized for us every day. We will definitely do another river cruise with Avalon.
Avalon Waterways Rhine cruise   0 , New Zealand, Jul 2023
We can't recommend Avalon Waterways cruise enough - it was brilliant from start to finish. The facilities were well maintained, modern and spacious (the bed was extremely comfortable). The staff went out of their way to make you feel welcomed. The excursions were very well run and informative. The food was delicious and plentiful, and the free drinks ...read more were also generous. Entertainment was great. With only 100 guests onboard we felt we were valued guests. Will definitely be returning to do another Avalon cruise.
My first River cruise won't be my last     0 , SA, Australia, Jul 2023
Being a single passenger, I only booked this Avalon cruise since they sometimes have a few cabins available with no single supplement. I had never been on a river cruise and this one had 106 passengers out of a maximum possible 168. I went for the "dungeon" lower deck with 2 small top of the room windows looking out at river level since it was the ...read more cheapest. Not really a problem as it was only used for sleeping and I was out on excursions every day and one could sit on the viewing decks if necessary.

Having been on over 30 coach tours of Europe, this provided a different experience, with visits to places I had not been to. My personal highlights were Strasbourg, cycling the Dutch countryside, and cruising past the castles one afternoon. The staff were excellent and friendly even though English was not their first language; the food, of course, was superb, and the range of tours at every location was impressive, to the extent that one could repeat the tour but end up seeing different attractions at each venue. There are just a couple of points I wish to make. One, is that the internet signal was variable, and sometimes non-existent. Secondly, the cruise is called 'Romantic Rhine'. For the most part, all one saw on the banks were factories, warehouses, nuclear plants and unkempt river banks. It was only one afternoon when the cruise passed a host of castles. I thank Hannah at GJ for organising the tour for me, and have booked on another Avalon cruise in 2024.
Great Cruise     1 , QLD, Australia, Aug 2023
This was our first river cruise with Scenic and we found it enjoyable but a bit crowded. The food and service are amazing and the tours were great. Scenic's attention to detail is outstanding. The cruise director was absolutely awesome and went out of his way to make everything run like clockwork. We have done 2 Scenic Eclipse trips prior to this and ...read more found this trip to be not as good though.

The cabins are VERY small and the public spaces are limited and crowded. Dinner is at a set time and the usual stampede occurs to get there. We thought we would make more use of the sunroof area but did not as it was either pulled down to get under low bridges or the weather was not good. As we had to be disembarked due to weather we got to experience two different boats and were surprised to find the service levels not as good on the 2nd boat. If you can, get on the Scenic Crystal not the Scenic Ruby. Overall still a great experience though.
Gabriel Gate made the cruise extra special!   0 , ACT, Australia, Jun 2023
Tastes of Southern France river cruise was excellent, and the presence of Gabriel Gate as host made a huge difference. He not only entertained us but educated us about French culture, food and wine. We enjoyed all the daily tours and appreciated the fact that they were all short bus trips or walking distance from the boat. Staff were all lovely, ...read more efficient and friendly. Our cruise director Andreaa was super organized and efficient. She was very aware of the limitations of the older guests and described tours in detail so people were well informed of walking conditions, toilets availability, weather. Highly recommended.
Luxury cruise on the Duoro   0 , Auckland, New Zealand, Jun 2023
We would definitely cruise with Scenic again - this cruise went beyond our expectations of luxury and service - the quality of the food and wine was amazing. We had the 11 day cruise and were pleased to have chosen this, could not imagine spending any less time to be able to discover all the sights and experiences of the Duoro River Valley. Global Journeys ...read more handled our bookings well and we were pleased with their helpful service in sorting our touring details.
The Best Scenic River Cruise We Have Done   1 , SA, Australia, Jun 2023
If you only ever do one European river cruise, this is the one. Our ship, Scenic Opal, was in very good condition, both inside and outside. The cabin was very comfortable and clean and in excellent condition. The Scenic Crew were exceptional and could not be faulted. Nothing was a problem for them. The Tour Director was also exceptional, extremely organised ...read more and provided useful information with good humour throughout the cruise.

The food was very good but serves are on the small side. They did however make the point a few times that if you wanted more, just ask. Either way you won't leave this cruise hungry. The drinks were free flowing both in the dining room and the lounge. The cruise itinerary is very good with lots of options when it comes to tours or the opportunity to do your own thing in many parts as we did because we had been to most of the towns / cities before.

There was about 144 passengers on board and the nationality mix was about 80 Australians and the rest were mainly Canadians and British with a handful of Americans and New Zealanders. This was our fourth Scenic Cruise and the nationality mix has been different on each cruise.

Our cruise started in early June and the weather was quite good, ranging from around 22 C with some showers at the beginning to 28 C and sunny at the end. The river water levels were OK and we had no problems but there was speculation that later cruises may encounter lower levels which could impact their cruise. Our advise for cabin choice is to get as far forward as you can so you can to avoid engine noise and vibration. It's also a long walk to the back of the ship if you just want to pop back to your cabin for something. Our Cabin 208 was very quiet. We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and highly recommend it.
Jewels of Europe River Cruise     0 , SA, Australia, Jun 2023
Booking through Georgie at Global Journeys made our holiday seamless. Georgie was available to answer any of our questions in a timely and professional manner. Scenic were a great company to travel with. Accommodation on board the ship was really good. Staff and food were amazing. Other passengers were lovely. There were a number of excursions to choose ...read more from to suit most needs. The only negative we have is that there was information overload. Would highly recommend a river cruise. 15 days was perfect length for us. Well done Georgie and Scenic.
Wonderful Christmas Markets     1 , NSW, Australia, Nov 2022
We recently returned from the Scenic Christmas Markets River cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. The cruise was excellent with visits to many Christmas markets along the route. The markets usually opened around 11.00am until later that evening. Due to the short daylight hours the markets were twinkling with Christmas lights and many stalls to buy your ...read more Christmas decorations. The excursions were also educational and entertaining. Scenic also provided entertainment locally sourced, these were themed on what we had seen or visited that day.

If you are willing to endure the cold temperatures, the highest temperature was a maximum of 7 degrees while the coldest day was maximum 1 degree, this is a cruise that is well worth while especially if you would like to experience how Christmas is celebrated in Europe.

We would like also to send many thanks to Hannah at Global Journeys for her detail to attention, help and support as this trip was booked pre-COVID and Hannah was able to keep us up to date and repeatedly rebooked for us when the cruise between 2019 to 2021 were cancelled. Thanks Hannah and your fellow colleagues. We will definitely book with Global again as we used them for our overseas trips before onset of COVID too.

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