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Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I,her brother and sister and brother in law, decided to take this Rhine river cruise (Basel to Amsterdam) to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday. Cruising was not high on my agenda for likes but after this experience, we ... Read More
My wife and I,her brother and sister and brother in law, decided to take this Rhine river cruise (Basel to Amsterdam) to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday. Cruising was not high on my agenda for likes but after this experience, we are both keen to do more. In early April, we flew from Australia to London and then after a few days to Basel where we joined the cruise. Everything was great - the food (excellent), the cruise director (to the point, humourous and informative), the guides (knew their stuff and added wit and humour), rooms were cleaned regularly and quickly, the bar persons knew their stuff and nothing was too much trouble. The cabin (level 3 panorama) was comfortable and being able to put our suitcases under the bed gave a plenty of room. The bed was very comfortable and having a 7ft sliding window that could be opened gave us the opportunity on occasions to lie on the bed and watch the world go by. The excursions were interesting and informative and we got good exercise by walking around the towns and cities. I certainly benefited from this. Brother and sister in law relished the walking. The boat had around 170-190 people on board with no children and this made the whole atmosphere calm and relaxed - as it should be. The age group was generally average age of around 50-55 with predominantly Americans and Canadians and a few Aussies to sweeten the pot. Dinner was in the dining room with plenty of choices of food and an endless supply of wine and beer. For lunch, you could go to the dining room for more substantial fare or in the lounge area for something light. Overall ambience on board was fantastic. The only negative that I can identify was that the WiFi was poor (and perhaps that the cruise was too short). My wife and I are now converts and are already thinking about another river cruise but perhaps a little longer in duration. We would recommend Avalon to any who are considering a river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise because it was my first cruise ever and was offered on a singles 50+ website. It was a small river ship, and as I was born in Germany (U.S. Army), it as well as Switzerland was at the top of my bucket list. It felt ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was my first cruise ever and was offered on a singles 50+ website. It was a small river ship, and as I was born in Germany (U.S. Army), it as well as Switzerland was at the top of my bucket list. It felt manageable to me, traveling solo as a deaf person. The ship’s crew were wonderful and unforgettable! Madalin in the dining room was my favorite waiter, always taking care of me and making sure I ordered the best meal on the menu. He also never forgot that I hate red wine and always poured the white without me asking. My cabin steward was wonderful, and so were ALL of the crew members! They were all in a line to greet us as we arrived, and there were many hugs upon departure. The food was fantastic, but for some reason, other passengers didn’t agree; they were used to getting tons of food at the buffets any time they wanted on the big ships. With constant port stops, there was no time to be bored. My only regret is that it was winter, so we couldn’t open our sliding glass door and turn out cabin into a balcony. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was the best I have ever taken. The staff called you by name and was there for all your needs, The food and wine were gourmet and the waiters were awesome. Our room was big and the bathrooms were big. The woman who took care of ... Read More
This cruise was the best I have ever taken. The staff called you by name and was there for all your needs, The food and wine were gourmet and the waiters were awesome. Our room was big and the bathrooms were big. The woman who took care of our stateroom was great. The entertainment was small and cozy but the artists were very professional. We had a French singer with a guitar player one night and another night were 2 concert violinist with pianio. On the other nights we had a piano player and we would request songs. In the lounge you could go and get a cappuccino and pastry. We were late for our first excursion to the Black Forrest but they brought us back Black Forest cake from it, The excursions with the tour guides were small with electronic ear pieces so we did not miss any thing they said. We traveled in December and hit all of the Christmas markets. I would do another cruise with Avalon again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
In July, 2018 my friend and I chose Avalon and the Rhine River itinerary in large part because we wanted to travel in Europe in the fall of 2018 but only if each of us could get a cabin where the single supplement was waived entirely. We ... Read More
In July, 2018 my friend and I chose Avalon and the Rhine River itinerary in large part because we wanted to travel in Europe in the fall of 2018 but only if each of us could get a cabin where the single supplement was waived entirely. We made our own flight arrangements and hotel reservations for an extra day going (in Zurich) and returning (in Amsterdam). The trip started a bit shaky when we received the news while waiting in line to board our connecting flight to Zurich that a portion of the Rhine River had been closed to cruise lines because of low water level. Although we were offered the opportunity to cancel for a full refund, our luggage was in the hold of the airplane destined for Europe so we were committed to continue with the altered itinerary involving two days of land transportation by bus before boarding a sister ship beyond the low water for the balance of the trip. We experienced the same land excursions, were put up in two lovely hotels, and were fed wonderful meals, all at the expense of Avalon. Another salute to Avalon is for the generous refund that we were given as well as a nice credit toward another Avalon cruise. We are delighted with the way things turned out. Imagery II and the sister ship Tranquility II are fabulous. Both ships are beautifully appointed and spotlessly clean. We found ourselves calling our guest quarters "staterooms" instead of "cabins" because of how spacious they are. Even the bathrooms are spacious. When not out on guided excursions or enjoying free time to explore on land, we found ourselves in the lounge during happy hour and after dinner, enjoying beverages, the company of fellow travelers and piano music. Except for one lunch served in the lounge, we dined in the main dining room where the choices were varied and many. Several items each meal stood out as above average. Avalon's arrangement for reaching the embarkation destination (Basel) and assistance with disembarkation eliminated potential stressful situations. My friend and I agree that the service staffs of the ships (particularly on the Imagery II) contributed greatly to making this a memorable trip. We enjoyed their camaraderie in the lounge and their playful interaction with us as guests. The cruise director was committed to turning the disappointment of the closed river into pleasure with the alternative arrangements. He succeeded. We had to admit that we were surprised at how interesting all of the shore excursions turned out to be - even those we were somewhat skeptical about. The guides were knowledgeable and personable. We absolutely would take another river cruise with Avalon. The fact that we did not get to see the castles while sailing through the Rhine gorge was not the fault of Avalon. Their guest recovery over that disappointment was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Honestly, I chose this cruise because of the Viking commercials. I knew the Rhine River cruise appealed to me but when it came down to choosing the cruise line I selected Avalon because of their panorama suites and their ships are newer. ... Read More
Honestly, I chose this cruise because of the Viking commercials. I knew the Rhine River cruise appealed to me but when it came down to choosing the cruise line I selected Avalon because of their panorama suites and their ships are newer. I have no regrets in going with Avalon. We flew in to Zurich a day ahead of schedule so that we would have some time to see a bit of Zurich. We were brave and took the tram to the Aldstadt (Old Town). The next day we joined fellow travelers for the bus trip to Basel for embarkation. When we arrived at the ship our panorama suite was ready and our bags already in the room. The cabin was bigger than we anticipated and of course the panorama window was marvelous. The crew was most professional and friendly and went out of their way to help in any way that they could. We had some glitches on the way due to the low levels of the Rhine but they could not have been handled any better. We had to change ships from the Tranquility II to the Imagery II at one point due to the low water levels. We packed our bags and set them outside of our rooms on the morning of ship change and the crew seamlessly handled everything. When we got to the new ship (Imagery II) we were in the same suite that we were in on the Tranquility II. We even had some excitement - due to the low water levels of the Rhine an unexploded American bomb from WWII was found in the river. It had to be detonated before the ships could resume travel on the river. It did not keep us from reaching our destination on time. Our cruise director, Tony, was amazing! He was very flexible with all the challenges that nature and WWII threw at him and we never felt like we missed out on anything. The food throughout the cruise was excellent and the selections at every meal were plentiful. We enjoyed the local menus that the chef prepared and the local wines. Each night a pianist played in the lounge but we were too tired to stay up much past dinner. The excursions were enjoyable although some were a bit touristy. We did not feel that the departure times for the excursions were unreasonably early. The best part of the cruise was getting to meet so many wonderful fellow travelers. If you are looking to experience what you might see in a Viking Commercial (an aerial view of a glistening river with fairytale castles on each shore as you glide past) then you might be disappointed. But this was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose Avalon because of the good recommendations from friends. We had never been on a river cruise, but had been on several Caribbean cruises. We chose this one because our German friends joined us for the trip and after we spent ... Read More
We chose Avalon because of the good recommendations from friends. We had never been on a river cruise, but had been on several Caribbean cruises. We chose this one because our German friends joined us for the trip and after we spent another week with them in Germany. Although we had been to some of the cities on the itinerary, we didn't mind going again. The guides for the tours were all excellent, well prepared, and spoke good English. The food on board was the best we have ever had. They served local cuisine when possible. The service was excellent also. Our only complaint was the day we spent at the Black Forest and then to Colmar. Doing both tours was too much in one day. The bus ride to the Black Forest open air museum was 1 1/2 hours one way with only 1 hour at the sight. We could have spent double that or more. I would recommend this kind of trip with the small ship, intimate atmosphere, and relaxing sailing. (No worries about wind and waves!) Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The excursion guides were excellent and provided a huge amount of historical information and fun tidbits about the places visited. Every guide provided explicit information for where to meet after we were on our own for free time. I would ... Read More
The excursion guides were excellent and provided a huge amount of historical information and fun tidbits about the places visited. Every guide provided explicit information for where to meet after we were on our own for free time. I would have liked a little more free time in each city in order to take in the sights and do a little more shopping. The other thing I will say is that it would be nice to have a larger gift shop on the ship. I think that if the ship promoted their gift shop and stocked it with some local nonperishable food products and local souvenir gifts it would be a nice amenity. Also, another suggestion would be for each guest to have the ability to fill out a card with their names and address to share with people they meet on the ship. Of course this would be voluntary - but we met some wonderful people and we kept saying to each other that we would keep in touch and we both forgot to exchange contact information. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this particular cruise because it fit in with our travel time to Europe. We were in Basel, Switzerland for business and ended our trip with the river cruise. We had always wanted to try a river cruise, because I am prone to ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because it fit in with our travel time to Europe. We were in Basel, Switzerland for business and ended our trip with the river cruise. We had always wanted to try a river cruise, because I am prone to sea-sickness and never wanted to take an ocean cruise. We thought river cruising would be a great way to see this area of Europe and it was. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Avalon Tranquility II. From the time we boarded the ship, we had a wonderful time. Our stateroom was lovely - with plenty of room for unpacking our clothes and storing our luggage. What a great idea to have under-bed storage room for suitcases! The bathroom had a roomy shower, deluxe granite countertops and lovely toiletries. Our room and bathroom were cleaned a couple of times a day! The housekeeping staff was courteous and helpful. The meals were outstanding. We enjoyed the bountiful buffets for breakfast and lunch. Every night dinner was an occasion with wonderful choices for each course. The service was great. We enjoyed meeting and visiting with other passengers. It was nice to have the freedom to sit where and with whom we wanted. We enjoyed the tours at the various ports. The guides were all entertaining and knowledgeable. It was nice to be so close to the city centers in many of the ports. We appreciated the bikes being available for a short bike ride along the Rhine which has many bike paths along the shore. The daily "port talks" with the Tour Director, Nico, were a highlight of the afternoon and a great lead-in to dinner. His guided tour of the Rhine River Gorge and description of all the castles was enhanced by the lovely weather we had that day. It was sad to leave our beautiful floating home when we disembarked in Amsterdam. We were very pleased with our Avalon cruise and look forward to taking another some day. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise because the ports and excursions sounded like a part of Europe we would enjoy seeing. We heard that the scenery along the Rhine was very beautiful, and with this being our first river cruise, we thought ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because the ports and excursions sounded like a part of Europe we would enjoy seeing. We heard that the scenery along the Rhine was very beautiful, and with this being our first river cruise, we thought it would be a good area to start with. I was very satisfied with the ship, the staff and their knowledge, kindness and how accommodating everyone was. They were very professional and organized which was very much appreciated. The service was great!!! I felt very much at ease with the cleanliness of our cabin and the entire ship. I liked how they expressed the importance of hygiene to keep everyone healthy. I enjoyed the beautiful buffet breakfasts and lunches with such an assortment of dishes to choose from and always a change each day. I also enjoyed the upscale dining experiences and the variety of selections each night that we had. It made you feel like you were in a high-end restaurant. Desserts were always a treat. It was also amazing how hot everything was served with that large of group. I was very impressed about that. The violinist show was absolutely REMARKABLE!!!!! There are no words to describe how much I enjoyed that. I felt the ports and shore excursions were very enjoyable. I loved the history and beauty of everywhere we went and everything we had the privilege of seeing. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour guides and the amazing knowledge they expressed to us. I want to say I really appreciated our tour director, Dominic. He was so organized and knowledgeable. He was prepared each evening with our schedule for the next day which I was grateful for. Direction is very important to me. His sense of humor and his caring ways were very satisfying. We did not explore our departure city which I very much regret. We had an extension at the end is why we didn't arrive early. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly which was appreciated!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We were looking for something we had not done before and friends recommend a river cruise. We were thinking of going to Paris and London and this cruise gave us that option as a add on.So it was like going on two vacations at one time. ... Read More
We were looking for something we had not done before and friends recommend a river cruise. We were thinking of going to Paris and London and this cruise gave us that option as a add on.So it was like going on two vacations at one time. Just worked out for us at the right time. Our cabin being at the back of the ship had the advantage of being next to the snack lounge but then again you had to walk the length of the ship to get to the main lounge for your meals. That was no big deal for us but could be for some older person . The food was good I thought and I tried alot of the choices. But I did notice alot of people ordering the optional choices which were more the standard foods like steak and salmon. On the last day of the cruise portion of our travels my wife fell at the windmills. We were taking by ambulance to the locaL hospital. From there we had to get taxi to a second hospital for treatment and from there a taxi back to the ship. It all worked out but what an experience. We were able to continue our travels and did complete our trip. But we were glad to get home and recover. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We started our trip in Zurich, Switzerland and had the day we arrived and part of the next day to explore. We opted to visit Mt. Pilatus on our own which was a great adventure of taking trains, buses, and boats. The views were incredible ... Read More
We started our trip in Zurich, Switzerland and had the day we arrived and part of the next day to explore. We opted to visit Mt. Pilatus on our own which was a great adventure of taking trains, buses, and boats. The views were incredible and really worth seeing. We had a little time to explore Zurich before we left but probably would have enjoyed more. Our embarkation the next day was very smooth, our bus from the hotel in Zurich to the port in Basel was brand new and very comfortable. No time was wasted in leaving the port, as we were the last group to arrive, the ship embarked within about 10 minutes. Our room was fantastic, with a very comfortable bed, great views out of the sliding glass window/wall. The bathroom was larger than I expected and had all the amenities. I could have spent more time than I did in the room but there were too many things to do and see. The food on board was fantastic with many options for me ( gluten and dairy free) and my husband (gluten free). The wait staff and/or chef took the time to go over the menu every night and were glad to make any changes needed. Breakfast always had a lot of great choices, especially the fresh honeycomb and house made kefir. We never had a bad meal! Evenings on the ship were very pleasant, with most people winding down from a busy day of touring. There was always a piano player and one evening we had a trio of musicians from Belgium who were amazing. Most of the time we went up on the sky deck with some drinks and enjoyed the night breeze before bed. The outside spaces were never crowded at all. We had one afternoon where the ship was sailing to another port and spent it on the sky deck with maybe six other people. Every tour we went on was informative, the groups were very small and the headphones that allowed us to hear the tour leader worked great. I noticed that the Avalon groups were much smaller than the other cruise lines there. We saw some small villages and cottages along the canals in Amsterdam and grapes waiting to be harvested in Germany on our guided bike rides. We even took bikes out on our own in Strasbourg, France, got lost, and found a great restaurant. All of the included guided tours were informative and entertaining although I have to admit we skipped one to have a Rudesheim coffee instead! Because the Rhine had gotten so low, midway through the trip we had to make a switch to Avalon's ship coming from the other direction. We were all extremely happy that we didn't have to end the cruise early. The switch was seamless, and were in the same room from one ship to the other. The staff on both ships were amazingly efficient, friendly and made every effort to make sure no one was inconvenienced. Having never been on any kind of cruise before I was very pleasantly surprised at how spacious the ship was and how there was always room in the lounges and outdoor areas. Disembarkation was easily handled with an included transfer to the airport. We arrived in plenty of time for our flight. We loved this trip so much we are planning another river cruise on the Danube in May! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
The cruise I was booked on was a Budapest-Luxembourg with land portions in Budapest and Paris included. Due to low water, numerous changes had to be made in the itinerary. The first was that we had to travel by coach from Budapest to ... Read More
The cruise I was booked on was a Budapest-Luxembourg with land portions in Budapest and Paris included. Due to low water, numerous changes had to be made in the itinerary. The first was that we had to travel by coach from Budapest to Vienna to board the Artistry II, as the ship we were supposed to take could not sail upstream from Budapest. Other changes included different docking locations, some dicey low-water cruising in Upper Austria, and an overnight hotel stay in Nuremberg while the ship worked to catch up to the schedule through the canal. All the changes were communicated promptly and thoroughly by Sabine, our outstanding cruise director, and all of us in the full length tour got an automatic refund for the night in the Nuremberg hotel instead of on the ship. As well, we were given free additional excursions in Vienna and in Rothenburg, as compensation for the issues. Avalon won my future business hands-down just by the way they handled all these technical problems. All parts of the ship were spotlessly clean at all times, both cabins and public areas. My cabin was particularly nice as I spent more time in it than many people would, with my writing. The internet service was excellent, with only rare delays or dropouts -- much better than most ocean cruises I've taken. Housekeeping service was outstanding. No matter what time I headed out for breakfast, I would come back half an hour later and my room would be completely and immaculately made up. Meals were wonderful. Breakfast and lunch buffets were plentiful and nicely varied, with an eggs-and-omelettes station at breakfast and a carvery at lunch. Dinners were four-course meals, and the servings were nicely sized so you didn't stuff yourself if you got all four. Wine and beer were available free of charge -- by request at lunchtime, and with the wine flowing like water at dinner. I was told by one of the bar servers that the rule was to pour once for each course, but I'm pretty sure she went above and beyond. The wines were different every night, always local to the region where we were moored or sailing. Service at all meals was awesome. The teamwork was excellent, even the maitre d' taking trips around the room to collect dishes that we'd finished. If you needed a between-meals snack, coffee, tea and cookies were available at all times -- but inconveniently located in the small lounge at the stern end of the upper deck. Bit of a long hike from my cabin which was one deck down and a bit farther forward, since I had to walk all the way to the centre of the ship, upstairs, and all the way back. The outdoor bistro lunch or grill lunch on the sundeck was only available 3 times in over 2 weeks. It's limited by the weather, and by the times when the top deck is closed due to low bridges. Even up top, the servers would circulate to see if you needed a drink refill or had dishes to carry away. The stairs are pretty steep and pose a bit of a problem for guests with mobility issues. There is a tiny 1-person elevator serving only the 3 indoor decks. The standard entertainment throughout the trip was the onboard cocktail pianist, but local musicians and other entertainers came aboard for evening shows 3 or 4 times during the trip and all were great performances. Each port featured an included walking tour. The guides were all fluent in English to some degree, more in some places than others. The quality of the tours varied, too -- some of the guides stood and talked too long, while one moved so quickly that I had to trot to keep up. At each port, a special walking tour was set for people who needed to walk more slowly. Numerous additional excursions at a cost were available throughout the trip. The ones that I took were all excellent. Bicycles were available on a first-come-first serve basis. The land portion hotels were all rated 5-star, but the Budapest and Nuremberg hotels were older buildings with issues like hard-to-reach outlets, cramped bathrooms, and such. The Paris hotel was outstanding in every way. This was my first river cruise, but I'm already planning my next trip with Avalon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We wish this cruise was longer than a wk. We took this cruise to tie into a Celebrity Eclipse cruise from Amsterdam (that's another review). Our Avalon cabin was # 309. This was our 1st time on a small ship (# of passengers) & ... Read More
We wish this cruise was longer than a wk. We took this cruise to tie into a Celebrity Eclipse cruise from Amsterdam (that's another review). Our Avalon cabin was # 309. This was our 1st time on a small ship (# of passengers) & enjoyed the uncrowded dining room, lounges & gangway. The crew was phenomenal, from our cabin attendant, front desk mgr., the wine sommeliers to our dining room staff, especially Florin who was always friendly, smiling & offering suggestions if we weren't sure what to order for dinner. Christine, Cruise Director, was smiling, pleasant & helpful. The excursions was interesting & informative. The Hotel Mgr, I forget his name, always had a smile on his face, a friendly hello & was quite helpful, esp. since Delta/Air France lost our luggage for 5 days. The food was good & served @ the right temperature. There was a nice selection of food with one afternoon high tea & a daily early risers breakfast. Happy hr. was a way to relax after a busy day. Drinks were 1/2 price & were as good as when they were full price. We never had to ask for beverage refills that were served @ lunch & dinner (wine, beer, soft drinks). The executive chef would always go into town to purchase baked goods from the local bakeries & the bread was excellent. The chef was always available for questions or suggestions & was truly interested in the passengers. The only negative is that we upgraded to the top floor (extra $2600.00 USD) to have a french balcony (couldn't sit outside) & sliding doors that opened. When we were docked, there were quite a few times that another ship was next to us & we couldn't open our doors or curtains. When we were docked in the towns, we were on the land side & couldn't keep our doors or curtains open because of pedestrian traffic & they could look into our cabin. After the 1st night, we closed the curtains because of the lights from the towns or when we would pass into the locks. WHEN we DO this cruise again, I would stay on the 1st floor & have windows rather than doors. We HIGHLY recommend this cruise line & can't wait to take another Avalon cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We have been thinking about a river cruise since retirement 5 years ago. Long time friends called and asked if we wanted to join them on Avalon Visionary for the Rhine and Moselle. So glad we did. It was our first cruise. The cruise ... Read More
We have been thinking about a river cruise since retirement 5 years ago. Long time friends called and asked if we wanted to join them on Avalon Visionary for the Rhine and Moselle. So glad we did. It was our first cruise. The cruise was a total delight. Great scenery, comfortable, wonderful food. The entertainment was well chosen, including the on-board piano player. Service both in the cabin and in the restaurant was always efficient and friendly. The ship was kept spotless. Ports were well chosen and docking convenient to interesting sights. Day tours on shore were interesting with English speaking local guides. Joust, the cruise director, was always informative and herded the "cats" well in a friendly manner. Our friends have an extensive wine collection and brought wine for dinners each night. The staff didn't mind a bit and were very accommodating with extra glasses. Avalon was an excellent value and provided us with all the information we needed to book, arrive, sail, and enjoy the experience. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My husband has never been to Europe, our travel agent reccommended a River boat cruise so we decided on Avalon. We looked into both Viking and Avalon and came to conclusion Avalon would be better and they did not dissappoint!!! We enjoyed ... Read More
My husband has never been to Europe, our travel agent reccommended a River boat cruise so we decided on Avalon. We looked into both Viking and Avalon and came to conclusion Avalon would be better and they did not dissappoint!!! We enjoyed the cabin of being able to lie on bed and look right out to river, we could relax with doors wide open and watch the beautiful scenery. Food was extradinary, every city we went into the chef had local foods prepared for lunch and dinner and all the local wines. If you didn't like what was on the menu you could order a Filet Mignon, chicken or a fish dish everything amazing!! Excursions were just long enough and to all the right places. As for the staff, would do the same cruise just to be with all of them again, they were all fantastic!!! From Edourd, the head bartender, to Alex, the Maitre'd,Joost the cruise director.. Daniel and Max bar waiters and Jana to name a few that were all execellent Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because being from Canada we wanted a cruise over a week long and introduce us to Europe and river cruising. We have been on ocean cruises 4 times and wanted to try something different. We had a direct flight from ... Read More
We chose this cruise because being from Canada we wanted a cruise over a week long and introduce us to Europe and river cruising. We have been on ocean cruises 4 times and wanted to try something different. We had a direct flight from Toronto to Zurich which was great not having to deal with connecting flights. We liked everything about Avalon and its all inclusiveness with meals, drinks and excursions. All stops had included excursions and/or optional extra ones that you had to pay for- there were also bicycles and walking sticks available. The guides all spoke English and were very informative of the history of the area. The atmosphere on board is very relaxed and friendly. Jost our cruise director was amazing, very helpful and made you feel at home. The average age of guests was in their 60s and 70s- we are in our early 60s. We even had an extraordinary 99 year old from Australia on our ship. The breakfast and lunch are buffet and supper is sit down with server and four courses but you could also have supper buffet style in the upstairs lounge. We enjoyed all of our meals and the selection was more than adequate. I found that everything I tried was very tasteful and always lots of choices. We enjoyed the open sitting style as you could meet and talk to everyone through the 2 weeks. Staff is very friendly and helpful and if you have a problem they do their best to help. Several nights there were entertainers that came on board from the local area and they were all great. Our cabin was on the second level with French balcony which was nice to have as you could sit or lie in bed with the doors open and watch the world go by- if you fell asleep you didn't have to worry about falling out of a chair. Room was a good size and had adequate storage areas for clothes. What is great is that nothing is far from any room and your not walking miles to get to the restaurant or lounge areas like on the larger cruise ships. There is a hot tub on top level but no pool. There are canopies over the lounge chairs which is nice for shade on the really hot days. We loved our introduction to Europe and went on as many tours as we could. The stops are all interesting and we learned so much. The excursions appeal to people interested in culture and history. We would definitely go on another Avalon cruise, even the same one in the future because then we could do different excursions and learn more of the areas we visited. We also enjoyed the more friendly atmosphere among the guests and staff as compared to the larger cruise ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Awesome scenery, people, crew, tour guides, and food! We felt very well taken care of the whole time. We would have liked to spend more time in a couple places (some of the quaint little towns, for example) and could have spent less in a ... Read More
Awesome scenery, people, crew, tour guides, and food! We felt very well taken care of the whole time. We would have liked to spend more time in a couple places (some of the quaint little towns, for example) and could have spent less in a couple, but no complaints other than the weather. It was really hot! But we were lucky because we were the last boat to make it up the Rhine before the water got too low. We only went on the scheduled tours, not the extras, and every one of the tour guides was terrific. The food at all the meals was uniformly excellent, and the wine was pretty good too. We also enjoyed happy hour in the bar a lot! (Half-price drinks) We highly recommend river cruises over ocean cruises, and Avalon in particular. A bit smaller boat than other river cruise lines (about 120 passengers), which made for a more intimate experience, but the crew and amenities didn't suffer for it at all. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose the cruise for our 20"th anniversary and specifically this one which ended in Amsterdam. We added a couple extra days at the end to see more of Amsterdam and to visit my ancestral town of Buer, Germany. The cruise was very ... Read More
We chose the cruise for our 20"th anniversary and specifically this one which ended in Amsterdam. We added a couple extra days at the end to see more of Amsterdam and to visit my ancestral town of Buer, Germany. The cruise was very good and met and often exceeded our expectations. The cabin was well designed and was kept immaculate by the staff. Boarding and disembarking went smoothly. Food was very good with both regional dishes and options for more typical American food. Service was also great. The daily tours were well run, but the schedule frequently didn't allow ample time for shopping or exploring on your own. The ship was fairly new and was in excellent condition. There was always a program before each dinner which explained the next days agenda--these sometimes seemed a bit long. There wa a happy hour each day prior to the dinner which was nice, but seemed understaffed and waits for a beverage could be lengthy. The group of 115 passengers was about 80% American with the balance being Canadian, Australian and New Zealand, largely 55 plus. Overall, a very good experience. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because we have an ancestral and current relationship with Germany. All travel procedures from embarkation to shore excursions to disembarkation went smoothly. We enjoyed participating in the included shore excursions ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have an ancestral and current relationship with Germany. All travel procedures from embarkation to shore excursions to disembarkation went smoothly. We enjoyed participating in the included shore excursions as well as participation in some of the optional excursions. While not needed, it is nice that the cruise line offered a "gentle walker" option for guests who may have more difficulty with mobility. The guides were very knowledgeable and gave wonderful information and insight during the walking tours that would occur had we been left to explore each stop on our own. It would have been nice to have had the excursions in Amsterdam divided offering the Windmill tour or the Foodie tour in the morning/afternoon so that we could have experienced both, very hard to have to choose between the three offerings at the end of our trip. The room and bathroom were large enough for two people to move about without difficulty and provided enough space to easily stow unpacked clothing and luggage. Dining options, happy hour, and evening itinerary discussions were very helpful to planning each day. Personally, I will never take another cruise on a vessel any larger than the one taken on the Rhine River Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We picked beause of itinerary. Have been on bus trip to area before and wanted to try something different. We took an Avalon river cruise a couple years earlier and the entertinment was better along with talks about upcoming areas (this ... Read More
We picked beause of itinerary. Have been on bus trip to area before and wanted to try something different. We took an Avalon river cruise a couple years earlier and the entertinment was better along with talks about upcoming areas (this is not meant to mean cruise port talk for the next day). What I mean is a history talk. Also the speed of dining service decreased as the second week began. Being seatd at 7:00 and not being served until 9:00 seemed slow. Also the food choice was much better on the two week cruise in France. They need to keep the dining closed until the proper time. After sitting at the same table every day for a week, some people must have liked it and were going into the dining room 20 minutes before opening to get the table we always sat at. One person would leave the port talk early and hold or reserve the entire table for six. I at least thought it was open seating and when trying to sit with the one person they became nasty. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We were invited to join this cruise with our friends who were celebrating their wedding anniversary. We had wanted to do a river cruise so this was a good opportunity. There was tasty food and enough opportunities to eat. The cities at ... Read More
We were invited to join this cruise with our friends who were celebrating their wedding anniversary. We had wanted to do a river cruise so this was a good opportunity. There was tasty food and enough opportunities to eat. The cities at the beginning and end were easily accessed . There could have been a more welcoming waiting environment at the hotel where we caught the bus to take us to the ship. The guides were top notch and made both the included and the extra tours well worth the time to participate. The additional Vienna tour that included a concert was fabulous. Even though we had some low water along the way, the cruise director took care to provide the best options for the cruise to continue. The resident ship musician was well worth sitting and listening to for awhile each day. The bicycles that were available were in really good condition and there were good opportunities to use them. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The ship, the cruise director and the crew were all AMAZING! We felt completely pampered by the Imagery II crew. We had everything we needed and more. Our captain and his staff were friendly and professional. We felt very safe in the ... Read More
The ship, the cruise director and the crew were all AMAZING! We felt completely pampered by the Imagery II crew. We had everything we needed and more. Our captain and his staff were friendly and professional. We felt very safe in the water. They were always there to greet us as cane aboard too! Our cruise director, Bram, was attentive, personable and knowledgeable. We were rookie river cruisers and he was always there for us! The housekeeping staff were friendly, courteous and professional. Our room was taken care of twice a day while while maintaining an environmentally friendly attitude. The food was amazing and the kitchen staff top notch! The wait staff were our favorite though. We had so much fun getting to know them. They were excellent at their jobs and seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. We especially enjoyed Mariya and Richard. Wonderful, hard working young people! Thank you Avalon, we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise both for the itinerary and the timing. Two of us had traveled with Avalon before, on a cruise of the Danube. Four of us traveled together, two adult couples, two staterooms. We enjoyed this cruise immensely. For ... Read More
We chose this cruise both for the itinerary and the timing. Two of us had traveled with Avalon before, on a cruise of the Danube. Four of us traveled together, two adult couples, two staterooms. We enjoyed this cruise immensely. For us, highlights included Colmar, Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Cologne, the Rhine Gorge, and Amsterdam. We joined almost all the included excursions and added 4-5 of the optional ones. We enjoyed all of the excursions, but be forewarned that some of them include fairly lengthy bus travel. The ship, the Imagery II, was excellent, as was the crew. We particularly appreciated the cruise director and the dining room staff. The staterooms were spacious and comfortable. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. (We joined the optional excursion from Zurich to Basel via Mount Pilatus prior to embarkation -- it was another highlight.) One of our couples enjoyed an anniversary during the trip. The dining room staff recognized them in the evening; we were also able to arrange a welcome floral arrangement and gift in their cabin upon arrival. Highly recommended, we would do this again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We just returned from an absolutely AMAZING week onboard Avalons Imagery II cruise from Zurich (Basel) to Amsterdam. The boat was fantastic and the Panorama Suites, featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows was spacious and well appointed. ... Read More
We just returned from an absolutely AMAZING week onboard Avalons Imagery II cruise from Zurich (Basel) to Amsterdam. The boat was fantastic and the Panorama Suites, featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows was spacious and well appointed. The crew really made the trip special. Katy our cruise coordinator was the best; always avail to answer any questions, a wealth of knowledge and what a great sense of humor. The dining room staff had great personalities and couldn't do enough for you. The chef, Joseph, always went above and beyond especially traveling with someone that had a dietary restrictions. He always created something special and even delivered personally when he could. Alex our cabin steward was fantastic and so was the staff at the reception desk. The ship is so intimate that you really got to know everyone working there and made the journey that much more pleasant. This was our first river cruise after being on 30+ ocean cruises and we loved the experience. Docking in the center and being able to walk or bike where we want. We loved having the bikes on board and took advantage of that. Another surprise was how many excursions were included in the price and they were really good. We opted to some optional tours and glad we were able to have several options for these wonderful excursions. No crowds of people at dinner or getting on or off the boat, another plus!! This was a great trip with fantastic stops and we were lucky to have a week that the weather was perfect, in the 70s with sunny skies! The only thing we disliked was when we were docked sometimes there was another boat docked up right up next to us. After a day out you want to return and relax back at your stateroom and enjoy the view, not look into another boat. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I always wanted to do a Europe river cruise and I’m so happy we used Avalon. The whole experience was outstanding. From the moment we stepped onto the ship we were treated royally. The staff was very professional and friendly. Our ... Read More
I always wanted to do a Europe river cruise and I’m so happy we used Avalon. The whole experience was outstanding. From the moment we stepped onto the ship we were treated royally. The staff was very professional and friendly. Our cruise director was always available for questions. I loved that every evening before dinner, we all met in the lounge for drinks and an informational talk from the director on what to expect the next day, reminding us what tours were available and what to expect in the next country or region. The rooms were beautiful and spacious. The floor to ceiling windows/door let you see the breathtaking European countryside as we cruised the beautiful Rhine River. Every tour was exceptional as were the guides. Each excursion would have a knowledgeable tour guide who came from that region and explained so much of the region’s history. Oh yeah, the food was was in abundance and delicious! All the food, wine and beer was from the region we were visiting. The wine and beer was flowing throughout lunch and dinner. We had a phenomenal experience and can’t wait for the next Avalon Cruise! Read Less
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