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Young couple enjoying Avalon Waterways cruise

Avalon Waterways

4.8 Excellent
98%
Premier
USTOA
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 649 Trips
Type Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Trip prices $ 1,099 - $ 13,097
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
Excellent
1,284
Great
114
Average
40
Disappointing
12
Terrible
24
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8
Henry Goetze
·
2022-05-10
5.0
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
Amsterdam Active Discovery was Amazing
We just returned (5/8/22) from the Avalon Tranquility II cruise from Amsterdam, to Rotterdam, to Antwerp and back to Amsterdam. This is our second Avalon tour and we were thrilled with all aspects of the cruise. The ship is beautiful and wonderfully maintained. The cruise director, Simone T. was charming, smart, organized and in control of all aspects of a perfect trip. The sailors, servers, housekeeping were all professional, personable and as helpful as could be. The excursions, food, and logistics were outstanding. This trip was about the cities and not so much about the countryside, so there was much more exposure to the industrial ports than on other European river excursions.
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Trisha Lichty
·
2022-02-13
5.0
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
Grand France River Cruise Truly Grand
I took the Grand France River Cruise and loved every minute of it. Lots of choices for excursions and the flexibility to make changes when needed. Both Cruise Directors on each ship (Jean-Loup on Poetry II and Gayle on Tapestry II) were very helpful, friendly and informative. In fact, all of the staff on each ship seemed to go out of their way to make sure I was enjoying myself.
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Joan Stevens
·
2022-01-22
5.0
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
We traveled before the Omicron…
We traveled before the Omicron outbreak. We were only the third cruise at that point after the initial outbreak of Covid. We felt very safe. Everyone was vaccinated, wore masks and our temperature was randomly taken on a regular basis. The crew was amazing ! Accommodations and food were excellent and I would highly recommend Avalon to anyone considering a river cruise.
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Mark Williams
·
2022-01-22
5.0
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
Bucket List Trip A Success! Almost two years in the making because…
Almost two years in the making because of Covid delays, my wife and I were blessed to be able to take our Romantic Rhine River cruise in October. It was amazing; everything that we had hoped for, and more. We loved our ship and crew, our cabin was airy and spacious, the food was great and the excursions were first class. We are already saving up for next trip, which we will arrange with Kat, our Avalon planner!
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Deborah Moret
·
2022-01-22
5.0
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
Paris to Normandy October 2021
My husband and I celebrated our 30th anniversary on the Avalon Paris to Normandy sailing in late October. We had a fabulous time and were well cared for during the sailing. The crew was very excited to be back at sea! The excursions were well organized and Covid protocols were followed. Can’t wait to sail with Avalon again!
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Torben Jensen
·
2022-01-22
5.0
Avalon Waterways Company Reviews by Avalon Waterways
Wonderful trip
Wonderful trip
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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 649 trips

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Avalon Waterways Company Ranking by Category

Awards

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

Associations

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

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