Avalon Waterways vs Victoria Cruises - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.8
Activities — 4.8
Lodging — 4.8
Transportation — 4.8
Meals — 4.8
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.3
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Recent Reviews

China's Hidden Gem

0.0 July 2016
While China is a very hectic, very overwhelming country, it is also a country filled with incredible natural beauty. For the average tourist, these beautiful sites are largely inaccessible or extremely difficult to access due to a combination of language barriers and lack of public transportation. One of these gorgeous areas is located between Yichang and Chongqing: the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River.

With this in mind, many cruise companies have begun offering multi-day trips down the Yangtze River, making the relatively inaccessible easily accessible. One such cruise company is Victoria Cruises. They have a range of vessels and itineraries to suit one’s needs. We decided to hop aboard their most prestigious boat, the Victoria Jenna, for a five night/four day cruise luxurious cruise through the gorges. Newly renovated this year, the ship exudes class and comfort.

The rooms aboard the Victoria Jenna were clean and quite spacious considering we were on a ship. To compliment the five-star standard within the rooms itself, the Victoria Jenna offered ample facilities for it’s guests. Whether you want to lounge on the rooftop or grab a drink at the lovely Yangtze Club bar, there’s something for everyone. The dining options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner were fantastic; the Victoria Jenna offered an array of food from Asian to Western cuisine.

Of course, one of the main reason people cruise is for the excursions. We were lucky enough to go on all of the included and optional tours offered on the Victoria Jenna, and I’m thrilled that we did. They outsource local guides that are truly knowledgable about each and every site.

Last but not least, I was astounded by the staff; never have I seen a staff so attentive and friendly. A very special shoutout goes to Dick, our Cruise Director, who made sure that everything we needed was taken care of; Steven, our River Guide, who not only knew the in’s and out’s of the Yangtze, but also taught Mahjong and Chinese 101, on top of playing MC for the week; and Maggie, our fantastic waitress for every meal in the Executive Lounge, who not only knew us by name, but knew all of our food and drink preferences as well.

I wouldn't cruise down the river with any company other than Victoria Cruises! It was truly the highlight of my month-long journey in China.

Thanks again!

Founder, The Five Foot Traveler
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Victoria Jenna “an unreservedly positive experience”

0.0 July 2016
Victoria Jenna “an unreservedly positive experience”

Sailed the VICTORIA JENNA , on a 7 nite/8 day cruise Chongqing to Yichang (return), April 2016.

Can easily say, overall was the most outstanding cruise trip ever taken by us.

- the Jenna, was essentially a “new” ship, just on it's second trip out after refurbishing, with everything working to our satisfaction
- we were booked into an Executive Suite on deck 5, a large room with two double beds, new updated bathroom, ample storage, and outside balcony
- room location was very close to Executive Lounge, a large area on deck 6 utilized for all our meals, daily Happy Hour (wine, beer, snacks), and designated as a quiet area to hang out during the day for coffee, tea, and snacks, allowing us to meet new friends ... the Lounge was very popular with us with the attention and service provided second to none
- excellent meals more than met our expectations ... buffet breakfast and lunch served, with an a la carte dinner menu ... a mix of Western and Chinese
- passenger mix was mostly non-Asian with use of English-Mandarin on equal basis
- central to our cruise success was the Jenna”s Cruise Director (Dick Carpentier) who demonstrated time after time that he was a master of his trade. His Jenna staff, youthful and vibrant, was ALWAYS on top of everything, no matter what department
- onboard entertainment was above average – the costumes, traditional music and dance
- the Jenna River Guide (Steven) was very active providing timely and informative commentary as we wound our way thru the Gorges and other areas of interest
- the Yangtze sights, as advertised, provided us with great scenery thru the various gorges and the dam itself. Made three off-ship excursions (two via excursions on smaller vessels plus the dam tour itself) ... our favorite was on a small vessel thru the Gorges of Goddess Stream ... highly scenic and a must see. Overall, the Yangtze scenery was very good and spectacular in many spots ... in certain areas the perpetual mist resonated with some of the Chinese paintings that one comes across
- the Jenna provided us with a relaxed atmosphere. All land excursions were well organized and led by very experienced English speaking guides
- Wifi on the Jenna was great ... both for internet speed and reliability (note: no Google or Facebook access in China)
- special assistance was proactively provided by the Jenna front office to ensure the ease of boarding and that offloading went smoothly, including arrangements for ground transportation back to our Chongqing hotel and even calling the hotel the night before from the Jenna to ensure that the hotel would be ready for our early checkin ... all this was done without asking
- the Jenna team quickly saw upon boarding that I had limited personal mobility (canes) and really stepped up to provide all kinds of additional assistance to ensure I could get to wherever I wanted, literally every step of the way, including the land excursions. Can”t say how much I (and especially my wife) appreciated this
- to top it off, this cruise was very close to our 50th anniversary and Victoria Cruises made sure we would well remember ... a very special dinner was planned and personally prepared and served to us by the Executive Chef (Jack Shapensky) on our last night, including a large anniversary cake that we were pleased to share with others ... this was a big and pleasant surprise to us and totally unexpected

Would I recommend Victoria Cruises and the Victoria Jenna? ... the answer can be said in one word ... ABSOLUTELY! Our experience was 5 Star without question, far exceeding all (high) expectations, with the Jenna being a great complement to some wonderful Yangtze scenery. Special kuddos to Victoria Cruises and the Jenna team under Cruise Director Dick Carpentier. The very high level of service quality provided by a staff who sparkled at all times, the standout ship, the amenities, and the Yangtze itself, made for a most memorable trip

Only wish that Victoria Cruises sailed to more places than the Yangtze ... if/when they do, we will be lined up for

Booked this cruise through Victoria Cruises office in New York
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Overall great experience

0.0 August 2015
I took a Victoria Cruises river cruise down the Yangtze River to tour the Three Gorges Dam in China in 2014. If you are a westerner in China, this is one of your best options. The company really does go the extra mile to try to make their western guests comfortable: They hire a European liaison just to greet and communicate with the western cohorts. Additionally, because the cruise line is very aware that westerners don't always have the same palette as the Chinese, the westerners have the option to eat in a separate dining area where more customized western food is served. At the end of the trip, we got a nice live cultural show from the crew. (Unfortunately, judging by some of their faces, only half of them really wanted to be there but I can't knock them for that). Overall, it was a very pleasant trip, with many wonderful land excursions along the river. I highly recommend Victoria Cruises for a westerner traveling in China.
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Tour Victoria Cruises Company Reviews

Tours 616 Trips 8 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 409 $ 0
Operator Type River Cruise Line River Cruise Line
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Styles
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
Service Level Luxury Luxury
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Asia
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Adventure
    Headquarters Littleton, Colorado, United States 12th Floor Flushing, New York, United States of America
    Year Established 2003 1994
    Solo Friendly N/A N/A
    Tour Languages N/A N/A
    Top Trips
      Similar Companies
        About 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.

        About Victoria Cruises

        The only American cruise line to sail the Yangtze River in China, Victoria Cruises was founded in 1993. They have maintained a standard of excellence ever since, winning numerous awards over the years. Their ships are all designed with modern Asian design, and they offer a fully immersive experience with lectures, classes, and demonstrations on board that highlight the Chinese culture.

        Who Travels With Them? 

        Victoria Cruises are typically taken by those in the 50+ range, however their multiple activities on board and exciting destinations will be attractive to all ages. With multi-lingual cruise directors, they are able to serve a wide audience.

        What Makes Them Stand Out?

        Vessels are between 200 and 400 passengers, and a host of interesting activities and delicious dining options are available on board. These include lectures on Chinese history and culture, Tai Chi lessons, and calligraphy demonstrations, for an immersive, educational experience as you travel down the Yangtze.

        Where Do They Operate?

        Travel along the world’s third largest river, the Yangtze, on a five star, ultra luxury ship, as designated by the Chinese National Tourism Administration.

        How Does it Work?

        Victoria Cruises boasts 7 mid size cruise ships, which are refurbished every year, and have top of the line amenities on board. All cabins are outdoors with private balconies, a private sitting room in luxury suites, and all equipped with bathtub and shower. Departures are scheduled throughout the year.

        Why Travel With Them?

        A cruise is a fantastic way to cover a lot of ground, and see sights in a new way. With Victoria, all rooms are situated to look out over the water, with high quality amenities. They are an excellent way to get a new view of China, and gain a new appreciation of their culture and history. It's also the perfect place to meet others who share similar interests!

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