Avalon River Cruises vs Uniworld

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

The Low Down

 
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.
 
If you are looking for 5-star luxury with 6-star service then Uniworld river cruises should be at the top of your wish list. Uniworld's ships (while not the newest) are one-of-a-kind, exquisitely appointed, boutique floating hotels. Part of the Travel Corporation (which includes the sister brands of Trafalgar and Insight Vacations), Uniworld ships are slightly smaller with an average of about 130 guests, and are constantly being refurbished in their distinctive style. Half of the team at Global Journeys have embarked on a voyage with Uniworld and some us a few times!

Uniworld pricing is now dynamic so can vary day by day, and the cruises aren't cheap, however you wont need to dip into your wallet once your trip begins and further savings are available if you were a past passenger on any of the aforementioned sister brands.

Reviews

Reviews rated out of 5

 
4.7 out of 5
422 Reviews
Value
4.4
Ship
4.8
Cabin
4.7
Shore Excursions
4.3
Food
4.7
Entertainment
4
 
4.6 out of 5
77 Reviews
Value
4.3
Ship
4.7
Cabin
4.3
Shore Excursions
4.3
Food
4.7
Entertainment
3.5

Operator Details

 
No. of Trips
161
 
Departures
1,186
 
Avg. Length
12
 
Avg.
$560
 
170
This Month
River Cruises
Trip Type
River Cruises
Trip Budget
Budget
Premium
Beverages
Beverages
Included with meals
Max. Group Size
Balconies
French (Sliding)

Regions Explored:

Asia, Europe
 
No. of Trips
70
 
Departures
882
 
Avg. Length
11
 
Avg.
$737
 
69
This Month
River Cruises
Trip Type
River Cruises
Trip Budget
Budget
Luxury / Boutique
Beverages
Beverages
Included
Max. Group Size
Balconies
French (Sliding)

Regions Explored:

Amazon, Asia, Europe, Nile

In Their Own Words

We asked the travel companies themselves why you should travel with them.

 

Gai Tyrrell, Managing Director - 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.
 

Fiona Dalton, Uniworld & U River Cruises Managing Director - Uniworld

Once you step onboard the world’s finest and most awarded river cruise line for the first time, we are quite sure the refined luxury onboard our fleet will sweep you off your feet.

We draw our inspiration for the design philosophy of every one of the 17 ships in our fleet directly from the destination in which they sail. The craftsmanship, the attention to detail, the art onboard, the handcrafted furniture and intricacy of the fabrics are lovingly assembled to be a masterpiece in and of itself. Stepping onboard is to step into a world of beautiful colours and one-of-a-kind details that truly bring your destination to life.

Crafting experiences you can’t find anywhere else, means continuing to elevate Uniworld to new heights year after year. From the addition of four new Super Ships in Egypt, Vietnam, Portugal and Italy, to the award winning service that comes from the heart, we’re putting even more emphasis on what’s onboard to enhancing several itineraries to accommodate guest’s diverse tastes for the future. We truly look forward to welcoming our Australian guests onboard.

Recent Reviews

 
Romantic Rhine
5 Star Review from Janice.

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.
Burgundy & Provence
4 Star Review from May May.

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 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.
Romantic Rhine
5 Star Review from Don & Judith.

We were so lucky with the weather, being so late in the season, the water levels were kind to us. We really enjoyed the cruise, the food was amazing.
Romantic Rhine
5 Star Review from Anne.

Travelling the Rhine with Avalon as a single provides the best of everything. Great accommodation, ease of travel, lovely accommodation, lots of interesting included tours and above all, a great opportunity to meet like minded travellers.
Canals, Vineyards & Castles
4 Star Review from Tony & Jean.

Exceptional cruise, well looked after, room, excursions, meals and staff excellent. Probably would go in a warmer time of year next trip. Met many new friends, atmosphere provided by staff and entertainer was very pleasant, looking forward to our next trip.
 
Splendours of Egypt & the Nile
4 Star Review from Kate & John.

What an amazing country Egypt is! We travelled in November, temperature averaged around 25C and no humidity, perfect for touring the temples, low crowds. The River Tosca is a beautiful older ship with lots of timber and a relaxed atmosphere. Staff were absolutely amazing, as with all Uniworld cruise staff, remembering drink preferences and names after the first day. The food fresh and lots of choice, including local flavours. Plenty of fresh bottled water each day. With only 60 guests on board (mainly American, 2 Brits and 4 Aussies; ages 17-70s) we were split into groups of 20 each with our own Egyptologist, Sabaa, and own full sized coach. Wonderful stories and explanation of everything we visited was given, we never felt rushed. Luxor and Aswan were beautiful and clean after crazy polluted Cairo. Hotel in Cairo was excellent. Very busy tour schedule with some early starts and long days. Highlights were balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings/Queens at sunrise, high tea at sunset at Old Cataract Hotel, bird watching on the Nile in a small boat, flying to Abu Simbel temples and of course the Pyramids. The locals were very friendly and welcoming, we didn’t feel uncomfortable in any situation, except for very zealous stall holders in the markets! Excellent security on board and everywhere we visited. If Egypt is on your bucket list, don’t hesitate! Amazing to be able to touch history thousands of years old.
Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley
5 Star Review from Sandra & Hugh.

Had an amazing time. Beautiful scenery along the Douro River. Global Journeys our travel agent Hannah Campbell did an amazing job organising our tour. Thank you Hannah. Uniworld who we travelled with were fabulous, staff were so obliging and friendly. Accommodation at hotel and on board were 1st class. Met some very friendly people. Overall a wonderful experience.
Remarkable Rhine & Historic Holland
4 Star Review from Kaye & Russell.

Fantastic crew with outstanding service. Great food and already looking at a follow up cruise. Very informative tours. Extensive variety of drinks and the embarkation was very relaxed. Definitely recommended.
Brilliant Bordeaux
5 Star Review from Roger & Mary.

This was a bit of an unusual trip compared to other river cruises we have undertaken. Most go from A to B (and maybe back again) along a river but this one seemed to go around in circles due to the nature of the river estuary being explored. This meant that even though we seemed to move a long way, in essence it was only ever a short distance from Bordeaux, and time and time again we passed the same landmarks. Despite that, it was still an excellent experience with several shore trips to visit small and very picturesque villages and wineries. We have been on several UniWorld cruises previously and all have been exceptional. My sense is that Uniworld is slowly reducing their level of service and included options that made them a standout amongst river cruise operators. This may be a trend across all operators, which reflects the tough times they are going through. However, if you want to taste the wine growing region of France in a leisurely relaxed fashion then this is a great way to do it.
Highlights of Eastern Europe
4 Star Review from Geoff & Norma.

Should you be interested in visiting a less frequented part of Europe this is the one. The Uniworld experience was excellent. The crew was great, the food first class and the ship top rate. But watch cabin sizes as the SS Beatrice cabins come in two sizes. The French Balcony doors do not open very wide. This part of the Danube is now starting to be busy, so you are likely to find another ship docked alongside at most ports eliminating any views - a problem as this area becomes more popular. We had two full days off ship touring into Croatia and Bulgaria and interesting excursions at other stops such as Belgrade with lectures on the history of the region including the genesis of the Balkan conflict in the 1990's. Bucharest was a pleasant surprise, an attractive city with its own interesting history. If you have an interest in learning more about this region and its history, this is a most pleasant way to do it.

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