Avalon River Cruises

Avalon River Cruises
Choose from 120 Avalon river cruises and read 356 in-depth Avalon reviews from past clients of Global Journeys. When you book your Avalon river cruise with us you'll enjoy exclusive online savings, a dedicated travel consultant to look after your booking and the best price guaranteed!
Avalon Reviews: (356)
River Cruises on Sale: 120
Gratuities: Onboard Included Only
Airport Transfers: Available, Not Included
Balconies: French & Private Balcony
Shore Excursions: Included
Drinks: Wine & Beer Included with Meals
Destinations: Asia & Europe

Latest Releases

Exclusive online deals and the latest releases from Avalon in September

Avalon Destinations

Book your Avalon river cruise with Global Journeys and enjoy exclusive online deals and award winning service from our team in Australia
Avalon Asia River Cruises
Asia (59 Trips)
Avalon Europe River Cruises
Europe (61 Trips)

356 Avalon River Cruise Reviews

Read the reviews for Avalon from Global Journeys' past Aussie & Kiwi clients

Summary

Average 4.6 out of 5 based on 356 user reviews.

Overall Rating
Value For Money
Cruise Ship
Cabin
Tour Guide
Shore Excursions
Food & Dining
Onboard Entertainment
Global Journeys
Reviewer

Australia
  “Very pleasant river cruise with Avalon ”
Trip:    Trip Date: 04/09/2017    Overall Rating: 4/5
Avalon probably exceeded our expectations, as we had cruised with Uniworld last year from Istanbul to Amsterdam which was spectacular in every sense. However cruising on the Affinity from Arles to St. Jean De Losne was lovely. Although an older ship it was extremely comfortable, well maintained and the cabins though not their new design were immaculate, quite spacious with lots of storage and L'occitane products in the bathroom. Food in the dining room was very good and plentiful and they were very generous with the free wine, beer and soft drinks served with meals. Tea, coffee and delicious biscuits were available in the lounge at the "back" of the ship 24 hours. The staff on board were amazing, well trained and couldn't do enough for guests, always smiling and nothing was too much trouble. A special mention for Laura and Thomas for excellent service in the dining room, but all a great team.

Included shore excursions were interesting with well informed local guides. The general feeling was that the cruise director could have been better, perhaps more friendly and approachable although the nightly run down or the next days events was adequate and also posted on the board in the foyer. She made a proper stuff up of organising the train journey from Dijon to Paris.

A couple of suggestions about the hotels before and after the cruise. The Meridien Beach Plaza in Monte Carlo, though an impressive hotel on the beach, it was quite impersonal, and food and drinks were very expensive and the location of the hotel was a long way from any outside restaurants, only a couple of beach bars serving burgers etc. In fact I'm think that it would be much better to start the tour in Nice and have an optional tour to Monte Carlo for those who wanted to see this overcrowded, over rated rich man's playground.

The journey from Monaco to Arles was a four hour coach journey on the freeway nowhere near the deep blue Mediterranean Sea which is a spectacular coast drive or train ride. The hotel in Paris Hotel Du Collectionneur, although an impressive entrance and a large comfortable bedroom had so many short comings, it would bore you to list them all, but the reception staff and Avalon Rep did their best to apologise and address the issues, which became amusing really. Overall we enjoyed the holiday very much and met nice fun people on board. Of course can't forget the excellent, efficient and knowledgeable service from Georgie at Global Journeys which we've come to rely on for a few years now. Thanks again Georgie.
Show Ratings
Reviewer

Australia
  “Wonderfull trip excellent service”
Trip:    Trip Date: 26/08/2017    Overall Rating: 5/5
It was an excellent time of year to travel, got on well with all passengers and ships personnel. Made some wonderful friends. Included excursions plus added trips were great.
Show Ratings
Reviewer

Australia
  “”
Trip:    Trip Date: 22/08/2017    Overall Rating: 5/5
A high standard of guided tours were provided at every port of call, with usually the provision for slower/elderly walkers; plus interesting on-board lectures and plenty of on board entertainment - some very good. So in that regard the cruise offered excellent value for money. The meals were of a very high standard and the service excellent. The staff/crew were all efficient and some were smiling and friendly too. The cruise director was very efficient and experienced. At one point, Passau, the river was too low to proceed, so we all disembarked and boarded the ship again down river later that day. This complex manoeuvre was seamlessly performed.

We opted for two of the "extra cost" excursions. The one to Salzburg was excellent with a brilliant guide who travelled hundreds of km (back and forth) that day to perform this task. The other extra was the concert in Vienna. The concert itself was very good however the venue, though grand was a touch gloomy with rather hard seats. (On a previous visit to Vienna I had attended a similar concert at the Kursalon which was a far more sparkling, audience-friendly venue).

Our cabin was on the lowest deck with a window just above water level. It was luxuriously appointed but definitely on the small side for a two week stay. Calling it a stateroom was a little over the top, I thought. Most of the passengers were in the over 50 age group from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and UK. One couple was from Taiwan and one couple from Brazil. We found most passengers friendly. My overall comment is that if you want a full-on cruise that teaches you a lot about this part of Europe then this is the cruise for you. But if you want a really laid back cruise to completely unwind and veg-out then this is probably not for you.

The booking with Global Journeys was fine and Georgie always most helpful. I think the arrangements for actually joining the ship at Amsterdam could have been made clearer. An email confirming final details about exactly when and where to go to join the ship in Amsterdam would have been handy ie confirming the actual hotel where we were to meet.
Show Ratings
Frank & Marilyn's Trip

Australia
  “Enjoyable River Cruising”
Trip:    Trip Date: 21/08/2017    Overall Rating: 4/5
We had previously travelled with Avalon some years ago and, while that tour was very good, we believe that the Avalon network has improved in quality since that time. The rooms are very efficiently designed and even though they are not large (about the size of a standard Paris hotel room - and that's not large) the amount of storage is amazing. The ships (back to back cruises here) were in excellent condition and kept immaculately. Anybody who has been on a river cruise knows that, by the end of the cruise, you are begging for no more food please! Breakfast, lunch and dinner are varied and of high quality.

The staff on the ships were outstanding - well trained, efficient, welcoming and very friendly. The excursions were OK and starting the tour in Monte Carlo, whilst a bit of a gimmick, was probably worth it for fun value. Although Monte Carlo is more difficult to get to than, say, Nice or Marseilles, it is probably a place most people would avoid. A room on the very front row of the Fairmont Hotel looking out over the billionaires boats and sitting directly over the F1 circuit at the Fairmont Hairpin is a bit of fun.

The on-board entertainment was not a strong feature but it was adequate. In summary, I was impressed by the commitment of Avalon to quality improvement.
Show Ratings
Reviewer

Australia
  “Amazing Avalon”
Trip:    Trip Date: 18/08/2017    Overall Rating: 5/5
We had a fantastic river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. It is a great way to travel - so relaxing and somewhere different to see everyday. The staff on board Illumination were just terrific - always smiling and always so helpful. The food and wines were sooo good. We'll definitely be looking at doing other cruises with Avalon.
Show Ratings
Reviewer

Australia
  “Pleasant trip down the Rhone”
Trip:    Trip Date: 13/08/2017    Overall Rating: 3/5
The cruise was very enjoyable in many respects, but we were probably spoilt back in 2014 when we did the trip from Amsterdam to Basel which is prettier and had better tour highlights. No complaints with the crew, food and comforts but the other cruise was hard to top.

Cruise director could have done more with onboard commentary and was very dismissive about one query about flamingos in the Camargue. He said you'd never see one. We caught a local bus to the site from Arles and saw hundreds.
Show Ratings
Reviewer

New Zealand
  “Fantastic trip through Europe”
Trip:    Trip Date: 04/08/2017    Overall Rating: 5/5
This was our first River Cruise and we had a really great time. From when we boarded in Budapest until we got off in Amsterdam the time seemed to fly. Every day was eventful and fun with some great included tours and also some alternative ones for which we paid extra. The Cruise director Andrejzs was extremely experienced, professional and well organised and was always available for advice and gave some great running commentaries as we travelled.

All the guides we had on our excursions were extremely knowledgeable and professional and several were also quite funny and entertaining. We had a couple of lectures onboard about Locks and the EU which were very informative and filled up some spare time while transiting. All the crew from Captain Peter down were courteous and accommodating and went out of their way to be of service. Some of the young crew members even joined us on excursions.

The food and wine was high quality and plentiful! We all put on weight! Service was excellent! The onboard entertainment was very good with several small groups coming on between stops as well as the resident pianist/singer Albert who was extremely good. Our cabin was as expected with a very nice bathroom and the housekeeping was excellent! I think that although the trip seemed relatively expensive , we jammed the maximum adventure into the time available and I am already recommending this trip to friends as a great way to travel. Some of the sights like the Wachau valley probably couldn't be seen as well any other way!
Show Ratings
Reviewer

New Zealand
  “Worry free week.”
Trip:    Trip Date: 21/07/2017    Overall Rating: 5/5
Once again a fabulous week with Avalon, there is not one second, of our time we regretted. The meals outstanding, the staff wonderful and courteous. Yes we are considering a third cruise.
Show Ratings
Dorothy & John's Trip

New Zealand
  “Wonderful journey through central Europe”
Trip:    Trip Date: 21/07/2017    Overall Rating: 5/5
We loved visiting the little medieval towns along the Danube and Rhine Rivers and learning more of their histories and modern lives.
Show Ratings
Reviewer

New Zealand
  “European River Cruise”
Trip:    Trip Date: 18/07/2017    Overall Rating: 5/5
The Hotel in Amsterdam (Room Mate Aitana) was well situated for the start of the cruise, being about 150 metres from the hotel. It was also very close to the railway station that we arrived at. Room very comfortable and spacious. Restaurant very good.

The cruise was not completely full. We were quite disappointed with our Avalon Cruise Director half way through the cruise when we asked for an upgrade cabin since the noise in our cabin was keeping us awake (water slapping against side of ship, some engine noise and vibrations). They had a cabin available but insisted that we pay full price for the rest of the cruise (week) of 2400 Euros. Many other passengers tried to upgrade and got the same response. I would have thought that some leeway for them to get some extra money in the bank. Even a lottery at a cheaper price for those wishing to upgrade would have gone gown well.

When advising customers (particularly older ones) I would recommend you explain the dangers on board due to the stairs. Some of the stairs have a narrow side and a wide side. The narrow side does not provide enough foot space to be safe and a fall could have disastrous consequences. Many older people, particular carrying extra weight struggled with the stairs. Three accidents occurred on the trip requiring urgent hospitalisation (one fall in a cabin and one from the stairs). One other slip on the stairs didn't (fortunately) require immediate attention.

It was obvious that the levels of cabin got different service eg we had to ask for the sheets on the beds to be changed after the first week. This was automatic for the upper deck passengers who had their sheets changed very regularly. The two upper decks had uniformed staff assigned. Our lower floor didn't. Talking to some passengers who have done many cruises in upper decks, all agreed that the difference in price between the lower and upper decks was not value for money. One passenger had booked the lower level cabin for that reason. Overall the experience was one in a lifetime and we saw towns and beautiful countryside. We will have many fond memories of the trip for many years ahead. If you would like to have a further conversation by phone please ask Global Journeys and they'll send my number so you can give me a call.
Show Ratings
View All 356 Avalon River Cruise Reviews

About Avalon

Why you should choose to travel with Avalon on your next holiday
The Youngest, Most Innovative River Cruise Fleet
The Youngest, Most Innovative River Cruise Fleet

Avalon Waterways operates the most modern river cruise fleet in Europe, averaging less than three years compared to the industry average of seven. We pride ourselves on delivering innovative ship designs and the highest quality of features and services. Our unique fleet of Suite Ships include Staterooms are that are 15% larger than the industry standard. Our Panorama Suites are 30% larger. We offer floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, French balconies and luxurious living spaces. Plus our clever design allows room for a large private bathroom with full shower. With our new Suite Ship designs, we've taken everything special about river cruising and made it even better – right down to the last detail.

Included Luxury
Included Luxury

From meticulous millwork to hand applied finishes, Avalon's ships are thoughtfully designed and appointed with quality materials. Each Avalon Suite Ship wascreated with customer comfort as a priority. Every well-appointed Deluxe Stateroom or Suite is a spacious refuge of inviting home-away-from-home features. Delight in a large private bathroom with full shower with glass door and premium L'Occitane bath products; quality robes and slippers; luxurious Comfort Collection Beds with premium mattress covers, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets; soft or firm pillows; ample closet space and under-bed storage; fully stocked minibars with complimentary bottled water; and flatscreen televisions with a movie channel and selection of films. In addition, we boast countless amenities like complimentary access to Wi-Fi, local specialty dishes, regional wines and beers, a fitness centre, hair salon and more. Read more>

Freedom To Customise Your Voyage
Freedom To Customise Your Voyage

At Avalon, we've designed our river cruises to offer you choices so you have the freedom to personalize your holiday. Choose where and when you'd like to dine, bed configuration, select soft or firm pillows, choose your preferred pace and type of sightseeing, plus you can pre-arrange additional optional excursions. Read more>

Over 85 years In Travel
Over 85 years In Travel

Avalon Waterways is one of the most reputable cruise operators on the waterways today. Family owned, the Globus Family have more than 85 years of experience planning itineraries and guiding holidays around the world. You can book with confidence knowing that we have a 97% customer satisfaction rating and international recognition for our ships and service offerings. In 2004, excited by the promise of river cruising that (at the time) was characterized by older ships, limited space and land excursions that operated as an afterthought, Avalon Waterways was established to create a different kind of river cruise experience - one that would embrace and celebrate everything special about the travel style.

Avalon River Cruise Fleet

Click on the links below to view more information & the deckplan of each of Avalon's river cruise ships.
  Avalon European River Ships
  Avalon Asia River Ships

Avalon FAQ's

Some of the frequently asked questions Avalon receive from their clients
Can I book directly with Avalon Waterways?

Yes you can, or you can book directly with Global Journeys, and save on the brochured price with our exclusive discounts, as well as receiving the best advice on all of your travel plans from your dedicated award winning tour consultant!

When can I expect to get my travel documents & itinerary?

Travel documents, including your paper tickets or e-ticket itineraries and other information, are posted by Global Journeys approximately two to three weeks prior to departure from Australia , provided full payment has been received.

Will I be travelling with people from other countries?

Avalon Waterways is an international company. As such, you will be travelling with like-minded cruise enthusiasts from countries as diverse as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as Europe and Asia regions.

Do you accept travellers who need special assistance?

Any disability requiring special attention should be reported to Global Journeys at the time the reservation is made. Avalon Waterways will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the special needs of disabled tour participants, but is not responsible in the event it is unable to do so, nor is it responsible for any denial of services by carriers, hotels, restaurants, or other independent suppliers. We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to a tour member for walking, dining, and getting on and off motorcoaches and other transportation vehicles, or other personal needs. A qualified companion must accompany travellers who need such assistance.

On river cruises we do not have elevators that go to every level of the ship. Most doors to cabins, staterooms and restrooms are not wide enough to allow access by standard wheelchairs and other doorways may be fitted with coamings. For safety reasons travelers in wheelchairs cannot be carried on ramps in ports.

How old does a child have to be to travel with Avalon Waterways?

An adult must accompany travellers who are less than 18 years old on the tour departure date. We do not accept children under the age of 8.

What is SafetyNet Protection?

Avalon Waterways is dedicated to ensuring your trip is worry and hassle free, even when booking. Should you be uncertain what your commitments will be leading up to your departure, Avalon Waterways offer an optional SafetyNet Protection policy for an additional fee. Read more here.

How much luggage can I bring?

Porterage for one suitcase on tour is included in the tour price. Due to limited coach capacity and keeping within the guidelines of Occupation Health and safety, we strongly recommend that this single bag should have dimensions not exceeding 76x53x28cm (30"x 21"x 11") and weight not exceeding 22 kg (50 lbs). We do understand that slight variations to these dimensions will occur and provided the variations are only slight, luggage will be accepted.

Due to limited space on luggage racks in the coach, carry-on bags should not exceed the dimensions of 30x28x14cm (12"x11"x6"). For safety reasons, wheeled carry-on bags are not suitable as hand luggage on motorcoaches and minibuses as these bags can cause damage to persons and property if it falls from the overhead compartments for any reason. A carry-on bag and a handbag will be suitable inside the coach

Optional Excursions?

You can pre purchase selected optional excursions for your river cruise between 90 and 10 days prior to departure, on departures which have been placed onto a 'Guaranteed Departure' status. Details will be provided by your Global JOurneys Tour Consultant.

What is the bed configuration on an Avalon river cruise?

European vessels can be configured as either one bed or two separate beds. Unless specified, the default will be two separate beds pushed together with separate bedding. If your preference is for one bed or two separate beds apart, please request this at time of enquiry. Triple bedding is not available.

Am I expected to pay gratuities?

Gratuities to the Cruise Director and crew onboard are included in the cruise price. Tips to your Local Guides on optional excursions are not inlcuded in the cruise price. Tipping is a way to show your satisfaction for good service and is always appreciated but not expected. If you were to tip your Local Guides it is recommended that tips be paid in cash.

Do I need to bring an electricity adaptor?

Electricity on board our Avalon Waterways ships is 220v which requires a European Adaptor. You will need an adaptor or converter to use in your stateroom.

How do I make purchases on the cruise?

A cashless system operates on the ships so all purchases and shipboard services are credited to your account. At the end of the cruise you will receive your account which can be paid with cash, credit cards or paid in traveller's cheques (there is a processing fee). Traveller's cheques are not accepted on the Nile, on Lake Nasser nor in Southeast Asia. Personal cheques are not accepted. On the Mekong only cash, Visa and Mastercard are accepted for payment.

What beverages are included?

Wine and beer are included with all onboard dinners. Non-alcoholic alternatives are also available. Soft drinks are included with lunch. At other times, alcoholic beverages are available for an additional charge. In Europe and on the Mekong, regular coffee, tea and iced tea are available free of charge throughout the day from the self service coffee stations. On the Yangtze and Galapagos coffee, tea and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner.

What meals should I expect?

All meals on board are prepared by accomplished chefs and consist of local food adjusted to suit the tastes of international passengers. There is a full buffet breakfast, and in Europe a buffet lunch including choice of soups and main courses with appetizer, salad or sandwich, and dessert. On the Yangtze, Mekong and Irrawaddy, a mix of Western and local dishes are offered; in the Galápagos, you'll be able to taste some Ecuadorian specialties.

Are laundry facilities available?

Laundry service is available on board for a modest fee. Price lists will be available in your stateroom. Please note that clothes cannot be dry cleaned on board. For safety reasons, we ask that you do not iron clothing in your cabin. For a small fee, the onboard laundry service is available to iron clothing. Laundry facilities are not available on the Galapagos cruise.

Is there a dress code?

Dress aboard and on shore is casual. Please bring comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing. Dinner attire is casual - open-neck shirts, pants, dresses. Coats and ties may be worn. The Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinners are dressy, but not formal. On the Mekong and Irrawaddy coats and ties are not recommended due to the warm humid climate.

Why is my contact information collected when I book?

There may be times when unforeseen events beyond our control impacttravel schedules and potentially disrupt cruises, tours, or packages. These include, but are not limited to, severe weather conditions, acts of nature, and government travel advisories. Under such circumstances, it is critical that Avalon be able to contact you immediately and reliably - including nights, weekends, and holidays - to make sure we've informed you of any possible changes to your travel.

Arrival & Departure Information

What happens when you arrive at your destination, including information on airport transfers with Avalon
Pre & Post Accommodation

You can add pre/post tour accommodation to your reservation inconjunction with Avalon. This price will include breakfast. Please note that hotels are subject to change but by booking your pre accommodation with Avalon this ensures that if the meeting location changes Avalon we will try to change your pre accommodation to the same hotel. On the rare occasion that there is no availability then alternative accommodation will be reserved at a hotel of equivalent standard. If this does occur than the transfer between the hotels will be at Avalon's expense.

Transfers

Transfers from the meeting location to the ship on embarkation day is included in the river cruise price. Airport transfers can be added your reservation as long as they link in with the start/end dates of your tour or with pre/post tour accommodation booked with us. Avalon's Airport transfer service is from $49 per person one way.

Terms & Conditons

Yep, all the boring small print! We still recommend you read it though, as no one likes surprises!
Travel Industry Associations & Awards

Back to top