Avalon Waterways

average ship rating
41 Reviews

Ships: Avalon has 23 ships, and none date back before 2008.
Routes: In Europe, you can sail the Danube, Rhine, Main, Moselle, Seine, and Rhône rivers. U.S. cruises sail the Mississippi River. In South America, you can cruise the Amazon River or around the Galapagos Islands. And Asia routes sail the Yangtze, Mekong, and Irrawaddy rivers.

Best For:

Those who want to see a region without renting a car and schlepping their own bags from hotel to hotel, as well as those looking for a comfortable, casual way to explore with plenty of hand-holding.

Not For:

Those who’d rather make their own plans and determine every aspect of what they see on their vacation or for those who have the freedom to change their route at whim.

We Love:

avalon waterways netherlands canal ship review

One of Amsterdam's 1,281 bridges.
Photo by Avalon Waterways

  • The line’s Avalon Choice® program gives passengers more control over their vacation plans than they get on most other lines by offering the option of setting up custom tours in advance.
  • Unlike on many river cruise lines, the European ships in this fleet have small gyms and small beauty salons onboard.
  • European ships also have a hot tub on deck and serve a grilled lunch on some afternoons, which is a lovely way to take in the scenery on, say, the Danube.
  • Newer ships have two serve-yourself espresso machines, so you can treat yourself to a jet lag-fighting cappuccino whenever you need one.
  • Cabins are modern and sleek, with marble bathrooms and down-filled duvets.
  • No need to fight for a space on deck when you’re sailing past castles or into, say, Budapest: Newer ships have a whole wall of windows, which open up to let in fresh air and make you feel closer to the scenery.

We Could Live Without

  • The complimentary Wi-Fi is, like on similar lines, slow and unreliable.
  • Large group walking tours are led by guides with colored signs who speak into microphones. Passengers listen through headsets, which, while efficient and considerate of other travelers, don’t diminish the feeling of being herded through a city. Whether or not you’re bothered by this depends on how comfortable you are traveling in a group.
  • While complimentary, these tours don’t always allow time for ample independent exploration.

Avalon Choice is a registered trademark of Avalon Waterways Inc.

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Avalon Affinity

Price: $$$$    Ship Size: S

Avalon Creativity

Price: $$$$    Ship Size: S
Sails to:
River Cruises - Europe
Sails from:
Paris, France

Avalon Expression

Price: $$$$    Ship Size: S

Avalon Poetry II

Price: $$$$    Ship Size: S

Avalon Tapestry II

Price:    Ship Size:
Sails to:
River Cruises - Europe
Sails from:
Paris, France

Destinations and Excursions

90% Loved it!
"Monet's Garden was breathtaking; Normandy was deeply moving; the guides were incredible!" Read More

Cabin / Stateroom

89% Loved it!
"Bed was lovely! Nice that they were willing to give us a top sheet and blanket instead of the comforter, which was too much." Read More

Ship Quality

86% Loved it!
"The ship was beautifully appointed. The rooms were pristine and so nicely decorated; the dining room was spacious; the lounge was comfortable..." Read More

Service and Staff

84% Loved it!
"Everyone was wonderful, but a particular shout-out to Jean Loup, the cruise director." Read More

Embarkation and Disembarkation

83% Loved it!
"We had the unfortunate experience of being on this river cruise when the Seine river flooded (record setting) however, the Avalon company went..." Read More

Food and Dining

81% Loved it!
"Food was wonderful! Every meal. We were especially pleased at how accommodating everyone was for our friend who is lactose intolerant. The..." Read More


63% Loved it!
"The entertainment was understated in that there were no big shows as on an ocean cruise The piano player was fabulous and one night there was..." Read More

Onboard Activities

62% Loved it!
"Would have loved a basic conversational french class offering during the week." Read More

Children's Programs

0% Loved it!

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