Avalon Waterways Reviews (201)Write a review
AnonymousWritten on December 10th, 2021We had a very good experience with Tour Radar and Avalon Waterways. The inclusion of our airfare made the experience even better. The only only complaint was th…Read more
Romantic Rhine (Northbound) 2020Written on March 10th, 2020Awesome! Our first trip was well beyond our expectations. It was only supposed to be one trip, but it was so great, we booked another, this time a Danube River …Read more
Colorful India & the Ganges River 2020Written on February 17th, 2020The most wonderful experience! The land based element was very full on, so that made having most afternoons free on the river cruise element a nice relaxing ti…Read more
MichaelWritten on January 6th, 2020After a bad start (to do with booking) it exceeded our expectations
IsabelleWritten on January 5th, 2020Very well Organized tour I thoroughly enjoyed it
AnonymousWritten on December 24th, 2019It was a wonderful Cruise and even better than expectations. I could not speak more highly about the staff and service and rooms on the Avalon Passion
MariaWritten on December 22nd, 2019Good organization, nice people, fantastic experience!!!
AnonymousWritten on December 14th, 2019This Christmas cruise went beyond expectations. Lovely ship, lovely crew, great tours. All round a great package.
AnonymousWritten on December 5th, 2019The ship was lovely and the food wonderful. The staff did an excellent job. We did what we set out to do--visit Christmas markets. It was lovely.
Avalon Waterways Tours
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Avalon Waterways Destinations
Avalon Waterways Videos
Wider Windows for Wide-eyed Adventurers
The Open-Air BalconySM is designed with your views in mind. For those who have always looked deeper, we redefined the window of opportunity with river cruising’s only Open-Air Balcony. A Panorama SuiteSM feature on the Suite Ships® of Avalon, these wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows open wider than any other in the industry, blurring the line between outside and in, forming a comfortable and spacious seating area for six, and creating an open invitation to discover and dream. Even if you’re a seasoned traveler, you’ve never seen Europe like this.
Fuel your mind. Feed your soul
antalizing flavors to suit your distinct taste. When you travel for fresh perspectives, shouldn’t every experience feel the same? We think so. Avalon is committed to delivering local flavor - right down to the table. Using fresh and local ingredients, our chefs introduce you to regional delights as well as comfort you with Western favorites in a variety of tasteful settings. From breezy al fresco lunches at the Sky Bistro to elegant four-course dinners in the glass-walled Panorama Dining Room, you can savor fresh fare and the perspectives you crave day and night.
Avalon Fresh® - the perfect pairing of fresh air and fresh fare
Avalon Fresh® is the perfect pairing of fresh air and fresh fare. Brothers Karl and Leo Wrenkh - two of Europe's rising culinary stars – have partnered with Avalon to present the latest concept in "haute cuisine." With Avalon Fresh, travelers can guiltlessly indulge in a mouthwatering menu that combines the freshest ingredients with surprising flavors and a dash of innovation. With the philosophy of procuring ingredients from small farms and local producers, the Wrenkh brothers bring the passing landscape to the plate for an inspiring, fulfilling and healthful dining experience.
Cruises to Exotic Destinations
Experience all that Avalon has to offer in exotic locations like Southeast Asia, the Galápagos Island or the Peruvian Amazon. A journey on the Mekong or on the Ganges in India offers a tapestry of fascinating sights, colorful cultures, and ancient traditions. In South America you may embark down one of the world's vastly unexplored regions, the mighty Amazon, or explore the home of some of the world's most fascinating animal life in the Galápagos Island.
Avalon Shore Excursions
Avalon has designed included excursions and onboard activities for a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. In addition, our selection of optional excursions (not included) allows you to personalize your experience to suit your individual interests, passions, and style. Or, enjoy plenty of free-time opportunities for independent adventures. Your Avalon Adventure HostSM is there to help with suggestions, and our exclusive AvalonGO mobile app brings it all to life.
A local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations and the “must see” sites.
Inspiring and interactive hands-on activities designed to speak to your interests - you spend your day immersing yourself in the destination’s unique culture.
Embark on energetic excursions keeping you in motion and on the go — from a guided jogging tour, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.
Health & Safety with Avalon Waterways
COVID 19 Health & Safety Measures
The following requirements are in place traveling Internationally and domestically beginning Sept. 1, 2021:
- Full vaccination against COVID-19 in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy), in English. Vaccination documentation must include information that identifies the person and vaccination date(s). Proof of full vaccination must show that official vaccination dose(s) were administered at least 14-days prior to the start of your first service purchased from the Globus family of brands. Globus accepts vaccines authorized or recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Travelers may encounter additional requirements if their vaccine is not recognized by the travel destination.
For children who do not qualify for vaccination, one of the two forms of documentation are required to travel:
1) Verifiable negative COVID-19 test result in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy), in English. Testing must be performed by an entity recognized by your government of residence, using a viral test (NAAT/PCR or antigen). The test result documentation must include information that identifies the person, a specimen collection date and the type of test. A negative test result must show the test was done within 72 hours before the start of your first service purchased from the Globus family of brands.
2) If you recovered from COVID-19 in the last three months, and have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with documentation of recovery, which includes a positive test result and a letter from your health care provider that states you have been cleared to end isolation (return to work, travel, etc.) The test result documentation and letter must include information that identifies the person, a specimen collection date and the type of test. A positive test result must show test was done within 3 months of the start of your first service purchased from the Globus family of brands.
A SAFE & WARM WELCOME:
We will enact new tour check-in procedures and pre-trip health screenings to offer guests a safe start to their journey, including adherence to social distancing requirements.
BLENDING CULTURAL PROXIMITY WITH SOCIAL DISTANCE:
We will ensure safe distances for our guests throughout the journey, on coach and during excursions. This includes providing masks for our guests use at any time where social proximity could be an issue as well as the possibility of reducing group sizes, if required. And wireless listening technology—including our Go Beyond Devices in Europe—enables safe distances between our guests and other travelers on excursions.
CRUISING WITH CONFIDENCE
Avalon Waterways invites cruisers to say “hello” to the world’s most fascinating places with unmatched intrigue, curiosity, wonder and joy. Along the way, we’ve discovered the sights to see, encountered the people to meet, engaged in the customs to sample and indulged in the cuisine to savor. And we’ve done this while bundling amazing ports and shore excursions with the industry’s only Suite Ship® fleet to help you greet the globe on a journey where happiness flows.
When you’re ready to travel again, we're here to support you. Your safety, as well as the safety of our employees and partners, has always been our top priority, which is why new physical distancing and cleaning measures have been put in place on all of our tours. Our new Cruising with Confidence policy features new health and safety procedures from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, without taking away from having the time of your life. The policy will evolve as time goes on and as we continue to monitor local public health recommendations, but what won’t change is our commitment to keeping you safe as you explore our big, beautiful world.
With Avalon, big things come in small packages. With fewer than 150 guests per cruise, you can rest assured that every inch of your ship is attended to with our famous attention to detail, including enhanced onboard protocols to help ensure a safe and healthy voyage for all. The lower guest count combined with our spacious ship design means you’ll always find extra room to make yourself comfortable—in your stateroom and around the ship.
COMMITMENT TO THE CLEANEST SHIPS.
We’ve instituted enhanced cleaning procedures throughout each ship in our Suite fleet, with steps that go above-and-beyond Avalon’s already strict procedures. These include deep disinfection of each stateroom between cruises as well as dining areas between each meal service and the inspection and disinfection of all goods prior to loading on the ship.
FRESH AIR, INSIDE AND OUT.
In addition to our unique Open-Air BalconySM stateroom design, promising both fresh air and wide-open perspectives, the air in our ships is not circulated between staterooms; only within an individual stateroom and mixed with clean, fresh, outside air.
A CREW THAT STANDS BY YOU.
With a guest to crew ratio of 3:1, our attention is always on guest comfort, health and safety. And we’ve taken extra measures to ensure a healthy crew, including additional training, medical certificates required prior to start the season, daily temperature checks, regular crew health screenings and social distancing in crew living quarters.
The world has changed, but what remains certain is our commitment to your peace-of-mind while traveling. Not only have we enhanced our on-trip health and safety protocols with our Avalon Assurance program, we are also offering you risk-free, hassle-free and strings-free bookings with a 2021 Peace of Mind Travel Plan.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN CRUISING WITH US
Avalon is dedicated to giving our guests a safe, stress-free getaway. To that end, with help from our Global Health & Safety Team, we’ve established a set of enhanced pre- and on-trip protocols and procedures to ensure health – and happiness – throughout your journey with us.
View Onboard Protocols & Procedures: https://www.avalonwaterways.com/user/images/Avalon_Assurance.pdf
BEFORE YOU GO
We’ll take every step to ensure you and your traveling companions are ready for the journey. Along with a host of pre-trip info to ensure you’re prepared for your cruise, you’ll have access to the AvalonGO App—a great resource for your cruise schedule and details, onboard amenities and services, destination information, and updates related to your cruise.
And as an additional assurance measure, we’re providing guests with a set of health and safety advice and instructions, ensuring that all health considerations have been taken into account before leaving home.
PEACE OF MIND FOR YOUR RESERVATION
And what if you want to change your plans? No problem! Each new booking comes with our 2021 Peace of Mind Travel Plan, enabling you to change your travel plans with us to a new date, destination or even brand up until final payment.
Plus, we’re here for you. Our Vacation Planners are available each day to answer questions and ensure you’re confident in your upcoming journey—we love to hear from you!
You’ll receive a warm welcome by your Avalon crew. They’re ready, willing and able to ensure that you have a healthy and happy journey with us—here’s how:
Cruise Directors, Adventure Hosts, dining, housekeeping and reception staff, drivers and local guides wear face masks when with guests, ensuring the spread of joy, not germs, while also making masks available to guests, as needed, throughout your journey.
Key crew members are trained in First Aid and CPR, as well as our enhanced health and safety protocols
They’re supported 24/7 by our local offices, who are well-equipped to handle on-trip issues
They have extensive local knowledge to help enjoy your destination safely, including information on navigating your shore excursions with confidence, as well as a host of independent exploration options.
ENHANCED WELCOMING PROCEDURES
Onboard health screening, including touch-free temperature-check, for all guests and crew. Guest temperatures will be checked at embarkation and when returning to the ship throughout the cruise. If any guest shows signs of sickness or have a high temperature, your Cruise Director will assist in finding local medical facilities.
Direction and details on social distancing throughout your cruise.
Luggage disinfection prior to boarding the ship (with our team wearing gloves and masks).
Avalon goes the extra mile to ensure your home away from home, your Avalon ship, is clean and safe throughout your voyage. This includes enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols, followed with the utmost diligence, including twice daily stateroom cleaning and hourly cleaning of the ship’s common areas. Lounges and Dining Rooms receive special attention before and after each use.
And cruising with Avalon removes many “touch points” of travel, including luggage handling, checking in and out of hotels, and the purchase of sightseeing tickets. All this ensures only hearts are touched, not hands. We’ve also taken the extra step of removal of many printed items, replaced with easy-to-access information at our interactive kiosks, on screens throughout the ship, and via the AvalonGO App.
And safety extends off the ship, as well. Our shore excursions include expedited entry into must-see attractions, which means no waiting in long, crowded queues of people. For moments when touch is necessary, hand sanitizers are at-the-ready throughout each ship and on our vehicles.
COMMITMENT TO THE CLEANEST SHIPS.
Avalon has put in place enhanced cleaning procedures throughout each ship, such as these additional steps that go above-and-beyond Avalon’s already strict procedures, including:
Use of electrostatic disinfecting systems
Disinfection of all dining areas between meals
Disinfection of all shared items like umbrellas, bicycles and other Adventure Center items
Disinfection of all goods prior to loading on the ship
Ongoing crew training in protective equipment use and hygiene
Deep disinfection of each stateroom between cruises, including:
Use of disinfectants and cleaning materials that meet or exceed the highest CDC standards
Soft goods in each stateroom (mattress, sofa, window coverings, chairs, etc.) sanitized between cruises
EXTRA ROOM TO ROAM.
Avalon’s unique Suite ShipSM design means extra space throughout the ship. With 15% fewer guests than the average river cruise, Avalon assures that each guest has room to stretch out and relax. And we’re reducing ship capacity further, per local requirements, for even more space onboard.
Additional dining areas have been also been established to ensure safe social distancing during meals, and Avalon will adjust the ratio of guides and coaches for excursions, as required, accounting for safe distances while in port.
ENSURING HEALTHY (AND HAPPY) GUESTS.
Guests are asked to keep a close eye on how they’re feeling and report any new symptoms to a crew member so we can make sure they get the help they need. If anyone should become ill while traveling with us, we’ll ask them to isolate until they can be seen by a medical professional. Because we sail in inland waterways, high quality local medical services are always nearby.
ENSURING HEALTHY (AND HAPPY) CREW.
Healthy crews help keep a healthy cruise, and Avalon goes to great lengths to ensure that’s the case. Medical certificates for each crew member are required prior to start of sailing season, and we’ve instituted daily temperature checks along with regular health screenings. Social distancing is enabled in the crew quarters as well as throughout each ship.
And while you enjoy your vacation, we are working behind-the-scenes to ensure safety with hands-free services, as traditional self-services have been replaced by staff service, including buffet meals.
HEADING FOR HOME
Our aim is that your cruise leaves you as healthy as—and happier than—when you left. Efficient and reliable airport transfers are available (and are included when you purchase flights with us), so that’s one less thing to worry about.
As you prepare for the journey home, If you need any assistance or are not feeling 100%, just let your Cruise Director know and we can help find local medical assistance to get you ship-shape before your return.
Avalon Waterways’ health and safety guidelines and protocols (The Avalon Assurance Program) have been developed in partnership with IGI Limited, a company that specializes in travel-related health and safety measures, and long-time industry consultant Ian Greaves. Additionally, Avalon’s team includes two Hygiene & Procedure Officers who’s roles are to ensure the seamless execution of these protocols across our European fleet.
These protocols have received approvals of the World Travel & Tourism Council as well as United States Tour Operator Association.
Avalon Waterways will continue to review and update Assurance initiatives as we make our return to the world, including adhering to – and building upon – the standards set forth by travel and health agencies across the globe, including the European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC), the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).
From our inception, The Globus family of brands has cast a light on the world’s most fascinating places and people – inviting wayfarers and wanderers like you to bask in their glory, intrigue and wonder. Along the way, we’ve helped travelers uncover ancient traditions while meeting the locals dedicated to preserving them; to meander historic hallways while giving back to the societies that safeguard them; and to put down the guidebooks and pick up a greater understanding of the world and its people.
Immersed in enlightening experiences, we naturally gain a deeper appreciation – one that leads to greater compassion, consideration and curiosity as we ask ourselves, what else can we do to protect our planet, preserve our sacred places and help humankind?
Globus Lighthouse Project
Enter the Globus® Lighthouse Project - an illuminating initiative where we can all come together to tread lightly and give generously for the globe's greater good. Globus, along with sister companies Avalon Waterways, Cosmos, and Monograms, invite our travelers and partners to help us in supporting causes that provide for a more sustainable planet and a brighter tomorrow.
This op has the following sustainability certifications:
Sustainable Travel International & One Planet Network
These are the initiatives that this operator has in place to make your adventure more sustainable:
- We host community-building or sustainability projects for tour-goers to partake in
Supporting Destinations and Local Communities
- Hires local guides
- Brings our passengers to locally run restaurants & businesses
- We consciously try to reduce over-tourism by taking travellers outside of the main visitor hubs
- Does not offer any single use plastic on tour
- Has a recycling program for our guests on tour
- Does not offer any tours that include elephant riding
- Does not offer any tours that use animals for entertainment
- We avoid places that sell/eat parts of endangered animals on tour
- Uses local transportation while on tour
- Uses energy-efficient transportation while on tour
- Tours stay in locally run hotels/accommodations
- Selects accommodation providers that have sustainability programs in place
- Most/all of our suppliers have sustainability programs in place
- Hosts community-building or sustainability projects for staff to partake in
- Educates passengers about sustainability while on tour
- Educates people about sustainability through our marketing
Questions & Answers
What is the difference between a Classic Avalon cruise and an Active Discovery cruise?
In 2019, every Avalon cruise will now offer three different types of included excursions: - Classic excursions – for clients that want to enjoy the iconic, “must see” sites (as an example, a canal cruise in Amsterdam) - Discovery excursions – for clients that may have already seen the “must see” sites or that may want to do something more experiential, like do a wine tasting or take a cooking classes (back to Amsterdam, maybe these clients would prefer to take a painting class instead of that canal cruise) - Active excursions – for clients that like to stay in motion - jogging, paddling or biking while onshore (sticking with the Amsterdam example, these clients may want to take a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, with stops along the way for commentary) So, whether you are on a Classic Avalon cruises OR an Active Discovery cruise, you will have your choice of all 3 types of excursions. On a Classic Avalon cruise, the mix of excursions is 80% Classic, and 20% Active and Discovery. On an Active Discovery cruise, the mix of included excursions is 20% Classic and 80% Active and Discovery.
What beverages are included?
Avalon included wine, beer and non-alcoholic alternatives with all onboard dinners. At lunch soft drink is included and in Europe complimentary regional wine and beer are also available. At all other times, alcoholic beverages are available for an additional charge. In Europe and the Mekong and Irrawaddy, regular coffee, tea and iced tea are available free of charge throughout the day from the self service coffee stations. On the Mekong, Irrawaddy and Amazon cruises, local beer, spirits and soft drinks are included. On the Yangtze and Galapagos coffee, tea and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner.
Are staterooms air-conditioned?
All staterooms on the ship are air-conditioned and heated for your own comfort.
What is the electricity power in the staterooms?
Electricity on board the Avalon Waterways ships is 220v which requires a European Adaptor. You will need an adaptor or converter to use in your stateroom.
How do we make purchases on the cruise?
Avalon operates a cashless system 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 or credit cards.
Are laundry facilities available?
A laundry service is available on board for an additional fee with the price list being available in your stateroom. Please note that clothes cannot be dry cleaned onboard, however, an ironing service is available. Unfortunately, laundry facilities are not available on the Galapagos cruise.
Is smoking allowed on the ship?
In Europe and in the Galapagos, all ships have non-smoking interiors. with smoking only permitted on the Sky Deck. On the Avalon Siem Reap, Avalon Myanmar, Century Legend and the Amazon Discovery, smoking is permitted in designated areas only.
Is there a safe in the cabin?
Although Avalon recommended that you leave valuables at home, all staterooms are equipped with a safe and any items that exceed the size of the safe can be checked into the ship's reception desk.
Is there a dress code?
Our goal is to make you feel at home on your Avalon cruise. That’s why the dress code on board is casual and comfortable. Formality is not our style, and you won’t be required to pack dresses or sport coats for your Avalon cruise. Some guests do prefer to dress up for occasions such as the Captain’s Reception and Farewell Dinner. You’re welcome to wear what suits you best. We also like to keep things comfortable for all guests, so we kindly request that shorts not be worn in the Dining Room or Panorama Lounge in the evenings, and that bathing suits are worn only on the Sky Deck. With these small suggestions, your style is fine with us, and your comfort is always our priority.
How much luggage can I bring?
Porterage for one suitcase on tour is included in the cruise cost. However please note that due to limited coach capacity and keeping within the guidelines of Occupation Health and safety, Avalon strongly recommends that this single bag should have dimensions not exceeding 76x53x28cm (30"x 21"x 11") and weight not exceeding 22 kg (50 lbs). Avalon do understand that slight variations to these dimensions will occur and provided the variations are only slight, luggage will be accepted on the coach. 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.
What is the bed configuration in the cabins?
European vessels can be configured as either one bed or two separate beds. Unless advised, the default in the cabin 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 booking with our cruise specialist. Please note triple bedding is not available.
Will I need a passport and visa?
Passports are needed when travelling outside your home country. Your passport should have at least six months validity once your trip concludes. Depending on your nationality, you may need visas to enter certain countries and it is your responsibility to obtain all necessary visas prior to the departure of your tour.
Are prices based on double occupancy?
The prices of the cruise are per person and are based on two persons sharing a room. If you are a single traveller a single room supplement will be required.
Are transfers included?
Transfers from the meeting hotel to the ship are included in the cruise price. However, if you require airport transfers you can purchase these for an additional cost when making your cruise booking with your cruise specialist.
How old does a child have to be to travel with Avalon Waterways?
Avalon does not accept children under the age of 8 and an adult must accompany travellers who are less than 18 years old on the cruise departure date.
What is the staff to guest ratio?
So passengers receive unmatched personal service, the average staff to guest ratio is one Avalon staff member per three guests.
Will I be travelling with people from other nationalities?
As Avalon Waterways is an international company, 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.
Contact our Travel Experts
+1 844 311 8331
Our team of experienced tour specialists have travelled to hundreds of countries around the globe and have decades of first-hand travel experience to share. Contact us now to have all of your tour-related questions answered!