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Avalon River Cruises vs Scenic

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

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 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.

Launching in 2018 and with another ship in 2020, the Scenic Eclipse is Scenic's first foray into luxury all inclusive ocean cruising. From the Arctic to Antarctica and everywhere in between, these Discovery Yachts, are all inclusive with shore excursions involving Zodiacs, kayaks and e-bikes as well as the option (for an additional charge) to adventure out by helicopter and submarine!

Stats

No. of Trips
144
No. of Departures
1,645
Avg. Trip Length
11 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
$505
Fleet Size
18 Ships
Known For
Panorama Suites
Ship Styles River Cruises
Regions Explored AsiaEuropeNile
No. of Trips
684
No. of Departures
2,914
Avg. Trip Length
17 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
$890
Accommodation
4 - 5 Star
Budget
Premium & Luxury

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
Scenic is proudly an Australian founded company setting the global standard for all inclusive luxury travel. We have delighted guests for more than 36 years with memorable journeys to fascinating locations across the world, delivering unsurpassed excellence in service, product quality and exclusive experiences. The guest is at the heart of everything we do, as we strive to provide continual innovation to enhance the guest experience in luxury river cruising, land tours and our state of the art expedition ocean cruising with Scenic Eclipse.

The Scenic difference is the details, the unwavering commitment to anticipate our guests every need, from butler services, quality dining, wellness, Scenic Enrich and Scenic FreeChoice experiences. That is why so many of our past guests choose to travel with Scenic many times, to destinations around the globe with family and friends, trusting Scenic to create memories that will last a lifetime. We welcome you to enjoy the portfolio of Scenic luxury products and feel the difference of Scenic’s dedicated staff, who will look after you to the nth degree.

Recent Reviews

Danube Discovery with Budapest   0 , QLD, Australia, Jul 2022
We had a really great time from the very beginning with excellent service from Rachael in organizing our trip at relatively short notice. The boat looked new and was very clean, the crew were all fabulous and Daniella the Cruise Director was outstanding and always available to give advice and or support the passengers. The only downside was of course ...read more the low water levels in the upper parts of the Danube which prevented us from completing the journey in Nuremburg. This impacted every cruise company. Having said this, Avalon did an outstanding job adjusting the cruise by adding a few more stops along the way and through offering free excursions to compensate for the inconvenience - which in my view was minimal.

The food was excellent and we really enjoyed just sitting on the deck or in the cabin, and taking in the beautiful sites as we sailed along the Danube. We are not cruise junkies, but this exceeded our expectations and if we do take another trip, it will certainly be with Avalon.
Great river cruise - Amsterdam to Budapest with Avalon   1 , NSW, Australia, Jul 2022
We went on this river cruise last month and it was amazing. We had previously booked a shorter Basel-Amsterdam cruise with Hannah for May 2020, but alas it was cancelled along with everyone else's! She was so helpful at that time we decided to re-book this longer cruise with her as well, now that covid restrictions had eased. Although we had to have ...read more some itinerary variations and a ship change due low river levels, the whole trip didn’t disappoint.

Avalon were fantastic in the circumstances, especially due to the hard work of our awesome Cruise Director Tony Jenkins. He showed such care and concern for the guests and even danced and sang in Welsh for us! A true treasure. Seeing the castles along the Rhine Gorge and our tours of Rudesheim, Rothenburg and Regensburg were highlights for us. We have done a lot of ocean cruises, but this was our first river cruise. After this experience it won't be our last!
Great time on the rivers and cities   0 , NC, United States, May 2022
Thanks Georgie. You guided me through the booking process, and we ended up with a wonderful trip. Saw lots of beautiful places and met great people on the ship. The Crew went absolutely out on their way to ensure we were satisfied all the way. Hopefully we'll soon be able to book with go with Global Journeys again. Thanks again.
Travel Alive again     0 , VIC, Australia, May 2022
We recently completed a wonderful Amsterdam to Budapest cruise with Avalon along the Rhine, Maine and Danube rivers. Like many, this trip had been deferred, with credit, for two or more years. We soon began to realise how much we were again enjoying our experience of travel. A sense of normality returned and we gained a renewed love of such scenic and ...read more historic beauty as the castles along the Rhine and later in the Wachau Valley on the Danube.

The cities in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary were alive and well with tourists beginning to return in numbers. A bubble of joy and happiness radiated on the faces of travellers and locals from the various cultures seemed delighted to welcome us to their environs. Covid precautions were sensibly in place but did not hamper the joie-de-vivre in our hearts. It felt so good to be ‘travel-alive‘ again.
Romantic Rhine river cruise   3 , QLD, Australia, Oct 2019
Absolutely brilliant, the cabins were spacious with plenty of storage space to unpack. The staff were amazing, the food was excellent. There were onshore activities that you could participate in or you could just sit back and relax on board. Would recommend to anyone.
Relaxing but limited cruising time   0 , WA, Australia, Oct 2019
Unfortunately for us, we were not able to board the Suite Ship on day 3 as per itinerary due to the unsuitable water level. We were transported by coach from Dijon to Lyon to board the Suite Ship which was docked till day 6. Hence, we missed out on a lot of cruising. When we did cruise, it was in the evening. The extra we paid for the cabin with balcony ...read more was wasted. In the day time we could only see the river bank or another ship docked next to ours from the balcony. We were, however, compensated with one free optional tour in Lyon. We did make good of our time by enjoying the land tours (free and optional ones), food and company of fellow cruisers. Overall, the trip was relaxing and enjoyable.
Ultimate New Zealand   0 , SA, Australia, Sep 2022
Booking with Global Journeys was a very good experience, Georgie was always happy to help with queries and assist with changes to flights or itinerary due to events outside of her control. Scenic is a company we have done a lot trips with and the quality of hotel accommodation is always excellent. The coach driver we had in New Zealand was amazing, ...read more as well as being an excellent driver he knew the country backwards and gave us plenty of information. Due to COVID and staff shortages there were several changes to the itinerary. Our Tour Director was Australian, new to the job and not familiar with New Zealand, not the standard we have been used to from Scenic! We would travel with Scenic again.
Nice cruise but Scenic is not the same post COVID   0 , SA, Australia, Sep 2022
We have cruised with Scenic twice before (pre COVID) and they were very good. The same cannot be said for Scenic post COVID. On the positive side, the cruise is very good, particularly the Moselle. The room was good and well serviced. The ship (Scenic Jewel) is in good condition but the lounge furniture is showing signs of wear and could do with an ...read more upgrade. The tour director was excellent and the staff were all very friendly and worked hard. Overall the cruise went off very well.

On the negative side, it is apparent that Scenic has cut the budget for food. Breakfast and lunch were OK but dinners are no longer gourmet and 5 star. Dinner is reduced to 3 courses and portion sizes are small. Bread rolls (strictly 1 per person) were the size and shape of my index finger and could barely be cut and buttered. The service was slow and confused on most nights and they appeared to be under staffed. The Chef must have got some feedback from the end of cruise reviews as he went table to table on the last night apologising for the food. A bit of a cringe moment.

As for Scenic's COVID protocols, other than having to prove that we were vaccinated when we boarded, the word COVID was never mentioned for the entire cruise. The staff do not wear masks and there is no requirement for passengers to wear masks but some did. The piano player has been sacked and replaced by an Enrichment Manager who is basically an assistant Tour Director and ran some quiz nights which were actually pretty good. Onboard evening entertainment was mostly not to our taste and we only stayed up for one. We enjoyed the cruise and the destinations we visited but many past Scenic customers were very disgruntled. Scenic has definitely lost its gloss.
Gems of South Australia   3 , WA, Australia, Aug 2022
Wonderful Tour leader and coach drivers. A mix of ages from 38 plus. All Australian this time around. I am not really a wine drinker and maybe had one too many wineries for my liking. Kangaroo Island was amazing and favourite among most of us. Adelaide, wineries and Victoria Habour all beautiful Scenes and as we drove around. Accommodation was of a ...read more mixed rating, Remembering Kangaroo Island is still recovering from fires was of a lower standard but still quite good and the staff their were more than helpful, Walking distance to small amount of places to get a coffee or a place to eat. Advice if you go in August - layers, coats, beanies, raincoat. Really cold most days but still a wonderful holiday.
Amazing Canada and Alaska Trip   0 , NSW, Australia, Aug 2022
Definitely would travel with Scenic again had fun and stress free trip to Canada with an Alaska cruise . Highlight was a helicopter ride in Whistler and landing on a glacier (which was extra $ but well worth it) spectacular! Accommodation was good although it would have been nice to stay in rooms with a view as you are paying top dollar, only one hotel ...read more we had a view was Lake Louise which was amazing!

We had a wonderful tour guide Benjamin who really looked after us and made the trip enjoyable ! Alaska cruise with Holland America was excellent ,and we were lucky to have perfect weather August perfect time of the year to see both Rockies and Alaska. Thank you Georgie at Global Journeys for organizing a wonderful and stress free holiday.
Scenic's Icons of Western Canada and Alaskan Cruise     1 , SA, Australia, Aug 2022
I would highly recommend this Scenic Package. We travelled in August 2022 and had perfect weather the entire trip. Our tour director on the land package was Ben Frances and our driver was Nick - they were both the best tour Director and driver we have ever had any any of our previous 7 bus holidays. The 2-day stays in Victoria, Whistler, Jasper, ...read more Lake Louise and Banff and Vancouver were wonderful and the Fairmont hotels and location were perfect. The Gold Leaf Rocky Mountaineer between Banff and Vancouver was a once in a life time experience and the scenery, particularly the first day was magical. Our entire group remained COVID free so we could all enjoy the Holland America seven night Inside passage cruise. The cruise cabin selection on the Koningsdam that Scenic provided us was perfect - we couldn't fault anything during either the entire land and cruise packages.

We particularly, like the selection of included activities in Victoria, Whistler, Jasper and Banff. We chose the whale watching in Victoria; Zip Lining in Whistler; Rafting in Jasper and the helicopter ride in Banff. We also did the Peak-2-Peak Gondola ride in Whistler. We paid for this ourselves and had plenty of time to fully explore the peaks in the afternoon as we did the Zip lining in the morning. The zip lining is suitable for all ages it is very comfortable and easy to do.

The Holland America Cruise was fantastic - great entertainment at night time - particularly the One Step Dance company, the BB King All Stars Blues band, the two comedians and the BBC Planet Earth shows.

This was our second holiday we have booked through Global Journeys and once again it was hassle free and everything was so easy - despite COVID. I would highly recommend them. Our previous tour was an Albatross tour throughout Ireland which like the Scenic tour had a number of 2 and some 3 nights stays and lots of inclusions. We chose Scenic for this holiday only because Albatross don't offer any packages for Canada and Alaska. It was our first time with Scenic and we were very impressed with them. Overall Global Journeys, Scenic and Holland America all provided quality products and service that made it a superb holiday.
Egypt is a not to miss experience   1 , WA, Australia, Jan 2020
We finally undertook our dream holiday to Egypt. The sheer beauty of this timeless country exceeded all of our expectations. We were initially apprehensive about travelling to Egypt in regard to our safety but it was unfounded. Egypt is as safe as anywhere in Europe. We travelled with Scenic who provided a never to forget experience. The professionalism ...read more of the Scenic staff could not be faulted and their attention to detail was excellent. Our cruise down the Nile was exceptional. My wife and her sister are gluten intolerant and the Chef's on the boat specially prepared separate and exquisite meals, for both of them. We could not praise them enough. As for Cairo, Luxor and Aswan with their museums, temples, tombs and Pyramids you cannot appreciate their beauty and intrigue unless you are there. Their photos in glossy magazines and on the internet do not do them justice. So if you have the opportunity do not miss this once in a lifetime experience.

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