Avalon Waterways River Cruises

Avalon Waterways
  • Overview

Avalon Waterways 

Since 2004, US-born Avalon Waterways has taken it upon itself to revolutionise the idea of luxury river cruising. Its can-do attitude and innovative engineering has helped to launch a contemporary, young fleet of vessels on Europe’s rivers. Plus, with itineraries that also cover more exotic corners of the world as well, including the Peruvian Amazon, Egypt, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Galapagos Islands, the Avalon scope is broad, and its friendly service never falters. 
Recognised as one of the world’s finest river cruise lines, travellers choosing Avalon Waterways for their river cruise adventure can expect impeccable service, bespoke itineraries, regional entertainment, and an air of luxury at every step - you know you’re in for a treat with Avalon. 


The Avalon fleet currently contains 23 ships, with its main focus on Europe but with others in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America. Every ship, whether sailing along the Rhine or the Irrawaddy, boasts modern, sleek décor with spacious rooms and views of the beautiful landscapes everywhere you go. 
Newer ships, since the Avalon Panorama in 2011, are ‘Suite Ships’, which offer a revolutionary river cruise experience, down to the finest details. The ten Suite Ships found on the European waterways, including the most recent Tranquillity II and Tapestry II, and the brand new Siem Reap and Myanmar in Southeast Asia, offer two full decks of Suite Ship staterooms. Two more European-based Suite Ships – the Imagery II and the Passion - are also in the pipeline, debuting in 2016.  


The maximum capacity of the ships within the Avalon fleet varies. Choose from the super-intimate river cruises through Southeast Asia, South America or the Galapagos with between 32 and 42 passengers, explore Europe on a ship with 166 passengers or less, or share your adventure with almost 400 others along the Yangtze.
All Avalon river cruises are English-speaking, so there’s no need to struggle with translation. As such, they appeal to upscale, well-travelled cruisers from the UK, USA and Australia. There’s a staff to passenger ratio of 1:3 on newer ships, ensuring service is exceptional and personal. The dress code is smart casual, but smarter dress may be required if attending Captain’s Welcome and Farewell dinners. 


The fleet’s flexible dining approach allows travellers to enjoy a menu that suits their tastes and appetite; whether it’s a continental breakfast, alfresco lunch on the sky deck, lighter fare in the Panoramic Bistro (onboard Suite Ships) or a four-course elegant meal is up to you. Typically, you’ll find one main dining room an all ships fleet-wide, as well as outdoor bistros and lounges on newer vessels. 
Unique ‘Local Favourites’ are an aspect of all Avalon’s river cruises, enriching the experience through the palate as well as through the excursions. Professional sommeliers ensure wine pairings are regional and perfectly matched, and accomplished chefs use top quality local produce. A local chef is also brought onboard to prepare a special, signature dinner during every cruise, too. 
The Avalon Choice option on Suite Ships allows you to choose where and when you wish to enjoy your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fleet-wide, complimentary wine, local beers and soft drinks are available with evening meals, and tea and coffee can be enjoyed throughout the day, free of charge. 


As part of the ‘Local Favourites’ programme, Avalon’s entertainment is often based on what region you are travelling through, and ensures local culture and customs are brought to life, both onboard and off. You will find varied entertainment, including movie nights, local musicians and piano music in the lounge. Think class, elegance and sophistication and that is what you can expect from Avalon’s entertainment line-up. 


From onboard lectures and presentations, to expertly guided shore excursions, Avalon’s enrichment programme complements the region you’re travelling through perfectly. Embrace the local customs and cultures with educational commentaries, and learn a new skill that the area specialises in - from Tai Chi on the Yangtze to a culinary masterclass on the Rhone.
You will also find a complimentary internet corner and Wi-Fi access on all Avalon ships, so that you can stay connected with loved ones back home. A well-stocked library will keep bookworms happy, while the onboard fitness centre will appeal to those who love to stay active. Deck games are also available on newer ships. 


On Avalon’s Suite Ships, you can expect a luxurious stay in spacious and comfortable staterooms. Panoramic Suites, boasting 200sqft of space (and up to 245sqft on Southeast Asia Suite Ships), include panoramic views and open air balconies on which to enjoy a glass of wine at sunset, or a cup of coffee and the morning paper at sunrise. Over half of beds on the Avalon Europe fleet face the window for that perfect wake-up view, and all staterooms offer contemporary décor that is elegant and sophisticated. 
In the majority of staterooms, you will find twin beds that can be pushed together to create a queen (or even king), together with amenities including a TV, Egyptian cotton sheets, mini bar and L’Occitane bath products, to ensure your stay onboard is as comfortable and luxurious as possible. You can even cosy up in a plush bathrobe and slippers! 


On newer ships, you will find the Sky Deck shade system to allow you to enjoy the beautiful weather, including premium lounge chairs and whirlpool (all European ships). Other facilities include a fitness centre and hair salon (which also offers manicures). Ship-specific facilities including spas offering a range of massages and treatments, indoor swimming pools (Century ships), biking excursions and the use of Nordic walking sticks are also available. 


Stay close to home with a cruise along one of Europe’s majestic rivers – the Danube, Seine, Rhine…you name it, Avalon cruises it. Alternatively, embark on a more exotic river cruise, as far away as Southeast Asia, taking in breathtaking Myanmar, Vietnam or Cambodia. Avalon also offers some unforgettable itineraries that can include China, Egypt, the mighty Peruvian Amazon or sensational Galapagos Islands. Itineraries tend to be for between 1 and 2 weeks, with some exceptions – especially in Southeast Asia, where you can enjoy a river cruise for up to 3 weeks. 
Avalon Special Interest Cruises are also available, and can cater to specific interests perfectly. Meet likeminded individuals and enjoy specialist activities and onboard lectures, at no extra cost to you. Beer tasting, jazz, wine, golf, history – the choice is never-ending with Avalon river cruises. 

Cruise guides & features

Top Avalon Waterways River Cruises deals 2016, 2017

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Destinations visited by Avalon Waterways River Cruises