What a way to see the highlights of the French countryside! Pampered by the crew who attend to your every need. Relaxing in style, whether it be your room, the lounge or the dining room. The food was delicious! The tours were fantastic and went very smoothly as everything was so well organised! Highlights were Versailles, the French countryside and of course the Eiffel Tower. Would highly recommend this river cruise.
Our expectations were reasonably high but this trip exceeded them all. Jemma at Global Journeys made the booking process a breeze and Avalon delivered on all occasions. The staff were exceptional, Nico, the Tour Manager, couldn't have been more accommodating or well organised. I have no problem in recommending this cruise.
The booking process was so easy with Jemma, nothing was too much trouble. The river cruise was fantastic, the staff on the Avalon Impression were amazing. It was very tiring but very rewarding as we saw so much. It's hard to name one highlight as there were many.
A delightful journey through the waterways of Europe from Amsterdam to Budapest. Well looked after by the crew, meals superb and we enjoyed the various excursions. The cruise director was very knowledgeable and kept us informed daily. The local guides were all very knowledgeable and most helpful throughout. Fellow passengers were a good mix and we made many friends. Service staff were exceptional - I would employ them all tomorrow. The ship was well appointed and very comfortable. Our Captain went above and beyond to ensure we got to our destination. Even though the water levels did not cooperate we were well looked after in the alternative accommodation provided. Have recommended this trip to friends and colleagues.
We recently took a river cruise on the Danube with Avalon & Global Journeys. Our much needed break away was everything and more we had hoped for. From beginning to end, we enjoyed professional service in every area, from booking with Global Journeys through to the experienced captain and crew on our cruise. Our Cruise Director, Tony was exceptional and obviously very experienced.
Every detail was attended to above and beyond our expectations. The meals were delicious, with the menu changing daily including local cultural delicacies. There were many 'extras' included in our daily tours and there simply isn't any better way to travel than watching the villages and local landmarks pass before your eyes, sipping on a glass of something special in the warmth of the sunshine as you cruise along the riverways. We can warmly recommend Avalon and Global Journeys river cruises.
We booked our long awaited Rhine River Cruise from Basel to Amsterdam with Global Journeys. It was a stress free booking experience and we felt well taken care of. The travel along the Rhine was an amazing experience, the day to day optional tours and set tours were fantastic, we learnt so much - there is just so much history to absorb and fabulous photos to take.
The crew were just incredible, as the river boat only took 120 guests it was a personal experience. We also met some lovely fellow travellers and formed some great friendships. The meals were superb, well thought out with catering for all dietary requirements. Mum and I had been looking forward to this trip for over a year so you can imagine once we boarded the boat how excited we were, well that excitement never left us. Thank you to all involved.
For me this tour can be divided into two different experiences. The section from Ho Chi Minh city to Siem Reap which included the river cruise was amazing. The cruise director and local guides were wonderful, the food was great and the cabin/lounge etc very comfortable. There was a great group of people on the cruise and we all seem to get on well. I really have no complaints about this part of the tour. The programme devised by Avalon was extremely varied and interesting.
However, it was not until towards the end of the cruise that I learnt that only two of those fellow passengers were moving on to Hanoi/Ha long Bay and after that I was to be completely on my own with guide and driver. The HaLong Bay Cruise was lovely (beautiful weather) and I was grateful for the company of the other couple as most of the other passengers did not have English as their first language. I chose this tour on the assumption that I would be traveling with a number of fellow passengers (except perhaps the Sapa extension). I was not told by Avalon or Global journeys that this was not the case or even that this might occur - it was certainly advertised as a 24 day tour.
If I had known this I might have considered a different tour. I did still enjoy the programme, but there were times when it was quite uncomfortable eg for the “included lunches” in Hue and Danang I sat in an empty restaurant on my own being watched by waiters and waitressers while the guide and driver had lunch elsewhere. And when taken to the silk embroidery house and silk shop being the only person with the guide, I was hounded to buy something wherever I went. My recommendation here is that I should have told I was to be on my own, and more importantly that the guide should have been allowed to dine with me for the included lunches.
On a positive note, the accommodation was most luxurious and the food great. Avalon had made a great effort to prewarn restaurants etc that as a Coeliac, I needed to avoid gluten. Everyone was very accommodating and I am most grateful for that. I would certainly love to take another Avalon river cruise some day.
Absolutely wonderful cruise. Our first cruise and it certainly lived up to our expectations. Great food, really good cabin size and superb bed. The tours were full of history and the guides were first class and local.
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.
I have just returned from my trip on the Danube. From arriving in Bucharest to leaving Budapest I could not fault this wonderful journey. I chose to do the Transylvania Extension - and the cruise that had the Danube Delta excursion (photo). Both one of the many highlights for me. All hotels Athenee Palace Hilton (Bucharest), Kronwell (Brasov) and Intercontinental (Budapest) exceeded my expectations. The local guides were all so friendly and knowledgeable and I learnt so much - in particular Juliana who joined us in Bucharest for the Transylvania Extension and left after the day trip to Constanta. I have travelled extensively and she was one of the best, a great young lady. I was a solo passenger and the cruise and airfares were organised by Madeline at Global Journeys. I have rated all aspects of this river cruise 10/10!
Took the 8 day cruise from Bucharest to Budapest via the Danube Delta. More remote than the western part of the Danube with few towns on the river, hence there were some long coach trips for sightseeing. However all worthwhile as there are many interesting places to visit. Highlights were the bird life on the Danube Delta, the river mouth at the Black Sea, the town of Constanta, passage through the Iron Gates and Veliko Tarnovo and Belogradchik in Bulgaria. Also took the pre-cruise extension to Transylvania which was worthwhile. Avalon Passion is a near new ship and pleasantly fitted out. Food was excellent with many local specialties available. Entertainment other than the resident pianist was only two shows before dinner, much less than previous cruises with Avalon and other operators.
My husband and I really enjoyed our Romantic Rhine river cruise in August this year. The weather was good and the places we visited were very interesting and we saw some very quaint towns with their timbered houses. We found Avalon to be a very organised and enjoyable cruise line. The quality of the ships and their cabins was excellent. The food was delicious as well. Was a bit disappointed that somehow we ended up with 2 single beds in our cabin and my sister who was travelling alone had a nice queen in her room. I think I was offered the stateroom with 2 singles and never queried it which I guess I should have.
As they have had a very warm summer in Europe the water levels on the Rhine have dropped considerably, there was one section of the Rhine that our ship could not get through. Consequently we had to change ships and bus it between the two ships. Unfortunately it was the section of the Rhine Gorge where all the castles are but Avalon organised for us to see it on a smaller boat so we didn't miss out on that section entirely. Considering the problems, Avalon handled the change of plans very well with very little inconvenience to us. This was our second cruise with them and I would definitely recommend them and would travel with them again.
This was our fourth cruise with Avalon Waterways and it's hard to fault them. It was a very pleasant week cruising to Normandy and back to Paris. The Avalon ships are very comfortable and very well appointed. The lounge at the back of the ship where you can relax while cruising (with coffee and cookies / muffins all day) is a very good feature. The cruise was very well organised, the staff on board were very helpful, efficient and friendly and the stops along the way were all very interesting. The one thing to point out is that 95% of the passengers were American, probably because of the tour to the WW2 Normandy Beaches so if you don't like that mix then this is not the cruise for you. Our other cruises have not been so prominently American and have been more of an even distribution of Australians, Canadians, Americans and British. Nevertheless all the people we met were very pleasant. We would definitely recommend Avalon Waterways.
It was our first ever river cruise and we had medium expectations. Well, we simply loved the whole experience. Everything was perfect. The food was exceptional, the cabin was large with a balcony which we enjoyed and we were surprised how well the bathroom was designed. The cruise manager, Hendrick, was confident, humorous, organised and left us with no doubt that we were in good hands. We have been back home for five days and tonight we are already planning our next Avalon river cruise.
We enjoyed our holiday. The food was excellent and the activities we did were very good. We thought that some of the free excursions could be more explained in detail for particularly the two that went through the Black Forest. It was a pity the boat had to dock on the last night in the middle of a major city party as many passengers really got concerned about it and especially when 7 policemen came to guard the boat from the revellers. Waking up in the morning to a dock full of empty bottles and rubbish was not nice.
We've recently returned from the 13 Day Blue Danube Discovery with Avalon Cruises. All in all the cruise was a great experience even though the waters of the Danube were very low in parts and our ship and itinerary had to be changed. We were unable to visit Nuremburg at all and stayed overnight in Linz and two nights in Passau which differed from the itinerary. Avalon were very kind in offering the Vienna concert to all passengers free of charge due to the changes.
However we still had our 7 nights on the ship which was very pleasant. Food was great; company was excellent and the wine and beer tastings were also fun. We had a singer aboard one evening who was also very good. Our tour director, Robert was very efficient and made us all laugh with his very dry wit! Global Journeys were excellent to deal with and I would certainly book through them again.
I have used Global Journeys previously for booking holidays and have found their consultants very efficient. This was my second trip with Avalon and it was excellent. Could not fault any aspect of accommodation, food, guided tours etc. We had to leave the ship just before Budapest due to low water levels but Avalon quickly sorted out alternative arrangements for those travelling on to Amsterdam. Would recommend both companies for any holiday destination. Had a great time.
Global Journeys made the booking simple and looked after all the necessary things. The cruise did not live up to expectations with only about 3 days where the scenery was spectacular. The balance was ordinary, with the locks being monotonous. The shore excursions of the smaller towns were excellent. It was more of a shame that we ran out of water and had to be bused on several occasions. When we finally got there, Budapest was the highlight and a must see city.
A great disappointment is the 24 hr notice that Avalon gave us to choose from cancelling the cruise due to the lack of water in the Rhine River. Apparently Avalon is aware of the river conditions for quite some time. More warning would be appreciated for an alternative plan to be put in place. Whilst we appreciate the problems with Avalon we have chosen the hassle free for packing and unpacking of land travels.