Avalon Waterways are redefining river cruising with their luxury 5* hotel style cruise ships. Their main travel focus is on European destinations and it’s where they really shine. Their newest ships are all suite ships, with a unique layout where your bed is angled to face the view out your window! It’s easy to see why European rivers are full of happy Avalon passengers.
But they also travel to exclusive locations in Asia and the Amazon! What’s more, the cruise line has a whopping 98% satisfaction rate and once you read this introduction to you’ll understand why people are choosing to cruise with Avalon, again and again…
Meet the Fleet
With multiple ships all sailing to the most breath-taking locations around the world, the ships are smaller in size but definitely not lacking luxury!
Europe Ships: There are currently 16 ships Europe ships including brand new Avalon Imagery II and Avalon Passion, which were launched in April this year. These ships are the latest additions to the cruise line, featuring panorama suites that are 200 square feet with an 11′ wall-to-wall panoramic window (that’s 50% wider than the industry standard!) The affect is breathtaking and makes your stateroom feel like an open air balcony.
Asia Ships: To travel to unforgettable Asian locations, hop on one of Avalon’s 4 Asia ships! They’re environmentally friendly with propulsion systems that reduces emissions and vibrations, so it helps the environment and gives you a smoother ride.
Amazon Discovery – Accommodating just 44 passengers, the Amazon discovery oozes luxury. Featuring air conditioning in all rooms, so you can sit back, relax, and watch the awe inspiring views of the amazon rain-forest pass you by in maximum comfort.
Avalon cruises are mainly marketed at the English speaking market, including those from America, Canada and Britain. You’ll find a selection of seasoned and first time cruisers on board, but one thing’s for sure, they’ll share a passion of discovering new things! Whether it be history, locations, different cultures, etc. Each passenger on board will be itching to learn about the location you’re travelling to!
Campbell from Newport Pagnell told us “Passengers on Avalon ships tend to be mainly American, Canadian, Australian and a minority of British. We had 12 British couples on our trip. We met many interesting people and will keep in touch with some.” Read more here.
Décor and Atmosphere
Boasting an incredibly relaxed atmosphere, clean crisp décor, contemporary spaces, cosy seating areas and panoramic windows all through the ship. Avalon cruises have stylish yet, simple décor, giving their ships a light and airy feel, that will genuinely feel like a breath of fresh air. The suites on board their European vessels will give you luxury like you’ve never known with huge panoramic windows and open air balconies. Not to mention there’s Egyptian cotton linens, large private bathrooms and tonnes of storage space in all suites and staterooms. Now how’s that for luxurious treatment?
The experience on board an Avalon ship is all about the culture and history of the place you’re cruising to. On board you’ll be serenaded by local musicians, taste the regions finest wines and sample the best food from the area.
The unique enrichment program will immerse you into the rich culture of the region, with commentary from experienced tour directors available on headsets when you go through areas of interest. There’s even lectures and activities so you can feel like an expert when you arrive!
If you fancy kicking back and relaxing, Avalon have film nights and piano music in the lavish lounges. Or if you feel like treating yourself you can have your hair and nails done in the salon!
For the fitness freaks there’s an on board fitness centre with treadmills and weights so you can keep in shape throughout your voyage! After you can even head on up to the sky deck and unwind in the Jacuzzi, or lie back and relax in one of the lounge chairs.
The excursions are really the highlight to an Avalon cruise, with unique opportunities for everyone. There’s guided sightseeing, and daily lectures in every port! With Avalon you’ll also get VIP access to the best sights and landmarks. If you’d rather see the sights, you can check out one of the ships bicycles and delve into the region. If you’re not confident enough to branch out on your own you can try a bicycle tour of Europe, where the experts will show you the best spots!
If you want something more than your average sightseeing tour the cruise line now offers myAvalon, which gives you the opportunity to choose your excursions or package to suit your wants and needs.
MyAvalon enables you to select optional extras online before you board, you can purchase any additional excursions/tours such as: classical music in Vienna, or wine tasting in a French vineyard, you can even select your bed configuration, so everything is exactly how you want it by the time you arrive! Sounds perfect right?
For those that have a specific hobby or passion, you may find that Avalon offer a themed cruise for you. Love jazz music? Is it your dream to visit a Jazz festival in Vienna, whilst experiencing live music and lectures on board? Or maybe you have a passion for wine and it’s your biggest wish to go on excursions to vineyards, sample fine wine and discover how it’s made? Then your wish is Avalon’s command! There’s numerous themes on offer so why not give one a try?
When it comes to dining on an Avalon cruise, the experience really is unrivalled. Spoil yourself with dishes from the region you’re travelling in, with 4 course dinners, continental breakfasts, al fresco lunches in the sky bistro, and that’s only just the start!
There are several food times throughout the day, for those who prefer an early start at 6am there’s the early riser breakfast with self-serve coffee, croissants and finger foods. Standard breakfast is served at 7am – 8:30am with a delicious spread of breads, cereals, fruits, pastries, juices and loads more to tuck into! If you hit it a touch too hard at the bar the night before and need a bit of a lie in, there’s a late riser breakfast served between 8:30am and 9:30am, where the options are the same as the early breakfast. Lunch is served at precisely 12:30pm and often includes soups, an option of hot dishes and salads.
The Brits will be able to appreciate afternoon tea or coffee with a slice of cake in the lounge or on the top deck (weather permitting). The main dining event is dinner, at 7:30pm sharp. The cuisine is a 4 course selection of gourmet dishes, with an option of the best regional wines carefully selected for you (drinks are included with lunch and dinner). If after all that you’re still feeling peckish later, a night fare is offered at 10:30pm. We don’t know about you, but that sounds good to us!
Lyne from Brockenhurst said “the restaurant – excellent! There was a good choice for breakfast. At lunch there was the option of a lighter selection in the lounge. At dinner the portions were just right and the service was spot on. The soups, in particular, were first rate.” Click here to read the rest of Lyne’s review!
Stay tuned because Avalon’s dining experience is getting a revamp in 2017, with Avalon fresh being added! Top chefs The Wrenkh Brothers will be crafting a new healthy menu made with the freshest local ingredients!
Everything’s included on your Avalon cruise: all your shore excursions, drinks with lunch and dinner, food, Wi-Fi, tips and on board activities are in your package price. Also included are home to airport chauffeur transfers within 100 miles of the port! Not to mention there’s a flat screen in your stateroom, L’Occtaine products in your en-suite and unlimited tea and coffee making facilities. So you can relax knowing that you won’t get any nasty extra charges! All reading material from the on board library is free as well, so you can grab yourself a paperback and chill out on one of the loungers on the deck!
Staff, Gratuities & Dress Code
On an Avalon cruise you can rest assured knowing that the crew put you first, there’s one crew member to every three guests, so all your needs can be catered to in an instant. Our favourite part? There’s a personal chauffer service included in your fare to transport you to and from the airport! They even load your luggage for you, leaving you to start your holiday in style.
Tunley from Wirral said “every aspect was excellent. The friendly crew, the excellent tour leader (Sylvia) and all the local guides were instrumental in making life on the boat very comfortable and enjoyable.” Click here to read more!
All gratuities are included for your cruise director, crew, transfers and port charges! Phew. So you don’t have to spend your precious holiday time stressing about how much to pay who!
The dress code on board is considered casual, with a more formal attire suggested for the welcome and farewell dinners. In the dining room a dress code of open neck shirts, trousers, dresses, coats and ties is appropriate, the only thing that you can’t wear is shorts, but that’s only at dinner! Avalon also suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes for the excursions.