My travelling companion looked forward so much to this trip, as we had heard so many positive things about it. And I have to say for the period we were on the Avalon Expression it lived up to every comment we had heard. The Avalon service and organisation was second to none. We always looked forward to meal times.... sublime! What a great team of waiters & chefs, always obliging and happy to make your experience special.
I honestly can't say what was my highlight, but I did love the Bavarian region, with its magical castles and well preserved historic villages. Looked forward every morning to another new destination with excellent local guides showing us around our port of call. Of course this is inclusive in your trip costs. We had a good mix of travellers, but it would of been nice to have known where everyone had travelled from. Not sure if this is Avalon's policy not to introduce everyone. I never did find out.
Our room although compact was excellent, it seemed to be serviced twice a day. We were on the 2nd level, with its lovely wall to wall windows including sliding doors. However on reflection I would not hesitate next time to take a lower level cabin. Reason being, one is hardly ever in their cabin as the itinerary is full and a high percentage of the time when berthed you have another boat tied up along beside you blocking any view.
Sadly our trip was short lived as six days into our 15 day cruise we had to leave the boat and travel the remainder of the journey by coach, staying in different hotels mostly every night. The reason being that the Danube river was too low for the boat to pass through. This affected all boat companies travelling this route. As very sad as it was Avalon did an amazing job to move and accommodate 130 people every night. They still maintained our original itinerary along the way. Hats off to Avalon for their slick and seamless organisational skills. Also for their generous refund to make up for our disappointment. At no time along the coach route were were we out of pocket.
I am hoping to book another trip with Avalon through Global Journeys, they were great organisations to deal with. Would highly recommend a river cruise as the passenger list is about 145, such a complete contrast to most ocean cruising.