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Avalon Waterways

4.8 Excellent
This operator is an Active Member in good standing in the United States Tour Operator Association and part of the $1 million traveler insurance program
# of trips 655 Trips
Type Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Trip prices $ 1,099 - $ 12,997
No Additional Savings. This tour operator does not provide any additional savings. Read more

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Avalon Waterways Reviews & Ratings

98% Recommend
4.8 Excellent
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
Traveling alone can be fun!!
I was a solo traveler on the Ms Farah, a Nile River Cruise. The crew was wonderful, the meals were ample snd creative and the tours through MISR Travel were excellent.

Egypt was safe, enjoyable and inspiring.
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Sam Anderson
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
Great service
Great service, thank you guys!
Betty Groesbeck
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
Great customer service!
I really wanted to take the Magnificent Europe River cruise, so registered for, and put a downpayment on a trip that was scheduled for August 2020. Of course Covid intervened. Avalon Waterways graciously gave me a cabin upgrade, and a $ bonus to move my reservation to July of 2021. And again Covid stopped that plan. By now, I'm older and don't trust my health, so I called about cancelling my reservation. I have to say that "Susan" my account rep was so kind and understanding, and in the end Avalon is going to reimburse me for the total I put down on the trip. I can't say enough about the personal service I received all along the way. If I'm able in a year, I'll try again for that trip. I'm very impressed with this organization!
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Brian Sneed
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
We took a small group on the Paris to…
We took a small group on the Paris to Normandy tour recently as my wife Regina is an independent travel agent. It was, in a word, 'awesome'! The professional service that we received from the captain and Avalon crew was wonderful. The food and wine onboard was consistently superb. The onshore excursions were fascinating and very well done. Our favorite part was the tour of Monet's gardens in Giverny - 'tre fantastique'! Also seeing the American War Memorial in Normandy was deeply moving. Can't say enough about this tour!! Many thanks to the Avalon crew and excellent guides for making it a trip of a lifetime!! Merci beaucoup!!
Brian & Regina Sneed
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Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
Always Amazing
This was our second cruise with Avalon. We absolutely loved it. The staff is amazing. I think that is what makes the trip such a good experience. The food is always great although I thought our first cruise was a shade more creative and exciting. Still wonderful though.
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Cecilia Cygnar
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
Best trip ever?
I have traveled quiet a bit in the past 20 years or so can I can say without hesitation that my Avalon cruise is one of my best trips ever, if not THE best! Yes, they are a little pricey, but you really do get what you pay for. From the service, to the food, to the excursions ...everything was fabulous and could not have been better. Once I save my pennies, I will most definitely take another cruise with Avalon!
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Editorial review of Avalon Waterways

Part of the Globus family of travel brands since 2003, Avalon Waterways has proven to be one of the more innovative of the many river cruise companies now in operation.

Its newest “Suite” ships feature “open-air balconies” with floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to serve as indoor-outdoor seating areas, which don’t cut into cabin space as do normal balconies -- meaning you have more room to move around. Bathrooms are also roomy.

What Makes Avalon Waterways Stand Out?

While global in scale, Avalon Waterways is best known for offering high-end cruises on brand new ships on European rivers. The oldest of the 15 Europe-based ships dates from just 2008, which makes it the youngest fleet of any size on European rivers.

Newer ships generally mean that staterooms are larger and amenities are enhanced.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Avalon Waterways?

While the majority of river cruise travelers are in the 50-plus range, more and more middle aged couples have been enjoying river cruises as well. Avalon is a good place to start, particularly for the more exotic destinations like the Mekong in Asia or the Amazon in South America.

Travelers seeking a luxury minded cruise experience, without an overly pomp and circumstance feel, will love cruising the world’s rivers with Avalon.

If you’re wary of river cruising as an extension of the “floating hotel”, Avalon makes sure that a focus on the region itself is felt onboard as well as through the port excursions. Local ingredients are used to make traditional dishes, and beer, wine, and spirits of the area are also showcased.

Casual and comfortable, combining a relaxed atmosphere with a fine dining calibur food and wine, Avalon presents a quiet elegance without being stuffy.

Travelers who like choice will appreciate Avalon’s numerous options when it comes to port excursion activities. Starting in 2019 and unlike many cruises, a majority of these excursions will be included in the price.  

Top Destinations

Avalon is well known for their Europe cruises, but they travel all over the world as well.  They have five ships in Asia (sailing the Yangtze, Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers), and one ship each in the United States (the American Queen, which sails the Mississippi) and South America (the Aria, which plies the Amazon). Avalon runs small-ship cruises through the Galapagos Islands as well.

Avalon Waterways Travel Style

The comfort of their passengers is top of mind for Avalon. Whether this means the spacious viewing deck or numerous excursions available to satisfy different interests.

There is a sense of casual elegance that Avalon portrays. The culture on board is professional while still friendly, and the furnishings are not overly opulent.

Another thing that makes Avalon stand out is their attention to staying active and healthy. They have been a frontrunner in river cruises providing bikes and other ways to be active in each port stop.

Why Choose a Cruise with Avalon Waterways?

Avalon Cruises are comfortable, fun, and active. This is the perfect choice of cruise company for older affluent travelers seeking top notch river cruise experiences around the world.

Considering the spaciousness and innovativeness of its cabins, the fact that shore excursions and multiple dining options are included in the rates, and a chance to take advantage of some attractive early-booking discounts, Avalon can offer excellent value.

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More details

Activities 50+ 18-35 Adventure

Travel wisely

COVID-19 is still affecting travel around the world but more countries continue to reopen and adjust travel restrictions and requirements. We recommend reviewing the full list of Covid-19 travel resources - all updated regularly given the fast-changing environment.

And check out everything you need to know about how vaccines are affecting travel, including which countries are open to fully vaccinated travelers.

Ready to travel? 

Take a look at our interactive travel restrictions map or see the countries reopening for tourism list to find your next destination.

Consider booking a Custom or Private Trip for the peace of mind that comes from working directly with a travel expert. They can plan ahead for safety and assist you during the trip if any complications develop, plus give you more freedom and flexibility with your itinerary.

About the company

From Avalon Waterways

River Cruising from a Unique Point of View...Yours.

You see life differently. While others chase what's popular, you follow your own path. Your own voice has never led you astray. You've arrived, knowing what it’s taken to get here. At Avalon, we share your unique point of view. That's why we've designed a cruise experience that’s just a bit different. Spaces are bigger. Views are more epic. Excursions are more enriching. It's a step beyond the ordinary, but knowing you, we think you'll feel at home here. Welcome aboard.

Whether you'd like a romantic mini-break, an extended exploration, or something in between, with Avalon Waterways, you get to choose the river cruise that reveals the very best of Europe, Asia, South America, or Africa-your way!

On the spectacular ships of Avalon, "included" is one of our favorite words. Spacious outside staterooms with plenty of room to relax-included. Special touches, like regional wines and beer at every onboard dinner-included. Complimentary Wi-Fi access-included. The most shore excursions, led by Certified Local Guides-included. VIP entrance into the must-see sites-included. Unique Local Favoritessm designed to bring your destination to life-included. Expansive panoramic views throughout the ship-included. And in addition to everything that's included, we also give you the freedom of Avalon Choice®, a different approach to river cruising that lets you personalize many elements of your cruise...to make your experience exclusively yours!

We're Looking Out for the Way You Look Out

When your bed faces a wall, the view never changes. Which is precisely why our beds, unlike other cruise lines, face a window.* Because we think letting you see the incredible views that river cruising is famous for, is a darned good idea. And if we put that much attention into a bed, imagine what we’ve done for the rest of your experience.

Better Views Are Just the Beginning

Come see for yourself and read about how Avalon Waterways is different from all other river cruise companies.

Delicious in Every Flavor

From the first bite to the last "Mmmm," Avalon gives you lots of choices when it comes to dining. And because we start with fresh, quality local ingredients, delectable recipes and expert chefs, you’ll look forward to each meal the same way you look forward to each port. You pick the time, the place and the tastes you are craving, and we'll deliver dining perfection every time.

Cruises to Exotic Destinations.

Experience all that Avalon has to offer in exotic locations like Southeast Asia, China, the Galápagos Island, Egypt or the Peruvian Amazon. A journey on one of Asia’s great rivers, Yangtze, Mekong, or Irrawaddy, 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 theGalápagos Island.

Trips & Specials See all 655 trips

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Avalon Waterways Company Ranking by Category


Travel Weekly Critics AwardTravel Weekly Magellan Awards 2009 Gold Winner/Cruise Ship: Best Overall River Cruising - Avalon Waterways Travel Weekly Magellan Awards 2011 Silver Winner - Avalon Waterways Conde Nast Top 5 River Cruise Lines - Avalon Waterways Conde Nast Top 5 River Cruise Lines - Avalon Waterways Conde Nast Traveler Top Cruise Ships 2010 - Avalon WaterwaysTravel Age West WAVE Awards Best New River Cruise Ship - Avalon Luminary


United States Tour Operators Association; Cruise Lines International Associations, Inc.

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