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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
THE ACTUAL TRIP AND COMMENTS: AVALON CRUISE - COTE D,AZUR TO PARIS - day 1. Monaco and the Fairmont, fine. - day 2. Monaco and transfers to Arles fine, in the late afternoon during dinner they cruised down the Rhone into the ... Read More
THE ACTUAL TRIP AND COMMENTS: AVALON CRUISE - COTE D,AZUR TO PARIS - day 1. Monaco and the Fairmont, fine. - day 2. Monaco and transfers to Arles fine, in the late afternoon during dinner they cruised down the Rhone into the Comague area for a couple of hours. - day 3. Arles fine - day 4. fine - 2 hours cruising to Avignon during dinner - day 5. Avignon fine - day 6. we are told on the evening of the 5th day that the river is to high and we cannot sail up river to Viviers, so buses are required - day 7. up very early, bags out the door and on buses to Lyon - accommodation is the Warwick Hotel Lyon - 3 nights in total. - day 8. Lyon as above. - day 9. Lyon as above. - day 10. up at 6.00am bags out 7.00am buses 7.45am to Paris - day 11. Paris trip concluded ISSUES: 1. we purchased a cruise not a bus tourer, if i had any idea that this would have turned into a bus tourer we would never had booked - i have a total dislike/distaste for bus tours. 2. in Lyon we had to be bused to the Metropole Hotel (were the balance of the party was staying) for meals, the meal in the evening for the first night was inedible, we i didn't eat a thing and after returning to the our hotel by bus we went out for dinner. The second night we didn't even bother going back to the same hotel (Metropole) as the previous night and instead went out for dinner. Food for me is a big issue. 3. we purchased a cabin on level 3. on the boat for a better view etc. with the exception of one night on the boat in Avignon and the night in Arles we has another boat parked immediately adjacent to our cabin and had to keep all the blinds pulled for the entire time. 4. the Warwick Hotel in Lyon was very average, certainly not to the standard of what i would have expected nor to the standard of the Fairmont, its location was not conducive to tourists and there was very little in the way of restaurants etc in the area, with a long walk or taxi to the "old town" area. 5. The cruise party was completely split in Lyon as Avalon could not get accommodation in the same hotel for the group travelling. 6. in all we had 2 hours cruising from Arles to Avignon and goodness knows how many hours siting in a bus!!!!!. WHAT AVALON HAVE OFFERED: at the time this all went pear shaped Avalon said we can: 1.Jump ship now and get a pro-rata refund on the days remaining. 2. they would give us a 50% discount for the three days in Lyon - on what this is calculated on we are unsure. 3. they cancelled most of the option excursions and included some in the remaining days of the tour. 4. They paid each passenger 15 Euro each per day for lunches (for 3 days whilst in Lyon) - this buys a sub-way, noticeably different to the lunches on the boat which were included in the cruise price. WHAT WE WANT GOT FROM AVALON We understand that the river levels are out of there control, we also accept that the Euro Soccer 2016 is being played in France at the same time, however at the end of the day they are still responsible for ensuring that they take all reasonable steps to ensure the best results for there clients. in this case i don't believe that they did - the accommodation was inferior, the food was very poor and busing is no alternative to cruising. What finally rubbed a number of us up the wrong way was there was quiet a contingent of Brit,s on the trip - there ticket as an equivalent of yours cost them 3500 pounds for two in total including a room upgrade. we paid the equivalent of 6400 pounds, why was this not offered to us/you by Avalon most of them booked around the same time as we did, clearly Avalon runs specials, but the poor old Aussie,s and kiwi,s get screwed again. A summary of the reply from Avalon (Globus), - "based on Avalon Waterways global compensation policy, we are unable to make any offer of compensation". ADVICE TO OTHER WOULD BE AVALON RIVER CRUISERS We have travelled with a number of other operator in Europe and Asia on river cruises - the best by far was Uniworld. If you choose Avalon BE AWARE OF THERE SHORT-COMINGS. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This was my first River cruise but it was such an excellent experience I will certainly do another one and go with Avalon. Firstly the location through the south of France was great with beautiful scenery and amazing history. Using the ... Read More
This was my first River cruise but it was such an excellent experience I will certainly do another one and go with Avalon. Firstly the location through the south of France was great with beautiful scenery and amazing history. Using the river cruise and with the aid of local guides we were able to explore the towns and villages on the river. The crew on the Avalon were wonderful. Very friendly, helpful and efficient. The perfect combination in my view. The cruise was quite informal. While there was some dressing up for dinner it was also ok to stay in the same clothes from the day, as long as they were not shorts. We had an excellent tour director who was knowledgable and articulate. My cabin was comfortable and the food on board was outstanding. We also had a number of regionally based food tastings which were interesting and delicious. The included tours were very good and were well complemented by the additional tours which at €40 -50 each were reasonably priced. To really get the advantage of the cruise you need to be prepared to do a fair amount of walking, which is a good thing light of the amount of excellent food we consumed. We had around 100 passengers on our cruise compared to the boats capacity of 130. I did find the cruise stating in Monaco odd and was told it was because closer hotels did not cope well with the volume. I was not a big fan of Monaco and thought Nice was be a better starting point and give a shorter coach ride to connect with the boat. Read Less

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