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AVALON WATERWAYS RIVER CRUISES
Enjoy Avalon's "Suite Ships" and the best river cruise values.
Premier has SPECIAL prices for all Avalon Waterways river cruises.



 


2017 Brochure

An Avalon Waterways river cruise may be one of the best values you can enjoy on a premium European river cruise! Having enjoyed an Avalon river cruise and reading our ongoing surveys from Premier's returning Avalon guests, there are two words that appear to resonate from everyone. Those two words are: "outstanding" and "value," and we would very much agree. Avalon has dramatically elevated the quality of its product while keeping their focus on providing guests with a unique premium product at a value price point.

We think you'lll find all of Avalon's ships, truly delightful and a cut above most other premium river ships.  In Europe, all but the Luminary, Felicity and Affinity are classified as "Suite" ships and while all cabins are not suites, all of the balcony staterooms are at least, 200sf in size. And, when you reserve your balcony suite, you can enjoy Avalon's, "bed with a view."  It's only available on Avalon and what they have done is really cool.  They have designed these rooms so that the bed faces out toward the river and that provides you with some truly spectacular views as you sail the rivers of Europe.  Imagine enjoying an early morning cup of coffee in your plush bathrobe, while lounging in your bed with a view... sound pretty nice, dosen't it?

Beyond this unique "bed with a view," the wives of most of our Premier team feel that Avalon staterooms have the absolute best marble bathrooms of any river cruise line, and they may be right.  You can enjoy one of the incredible river ships of Avalon Waterways in Europe, Vietnam (By the way, check out our Destination Overview of Vietnam's Ha Long Bay!), China, the Galapagos Islands, and in the mystical land of  Myanmar (Burma).

Another truly innovative way Avalon is differentiating itself from other Premium lines is with the Active Discovery Cruises."  If you've not taken a river cruise, you may feel they are for the "older" crowd, but you would be a bit off in your assumption.  Yes, river crusing is not for Millennials (that's good thing), but those of us in our 50's or a bit older really and truly don't like to be classified as "old!"  Avalon is the first river cruise line to understand this and that's why they introduced Active Discovery cruising on the Rhine and Danube.  You can now hike, bike, and explore your way through some of the most historic areas of the world.  You'll also spend more time with the locals and learn about local traditions and the culture with hands-on activities.  If you like a slower pace, don't worry, that's there as well as are bicycles on every ship which allow you to free-lance or enjoy a guided bike tour along the river banks and through some of the tiny villages and towns.  No matter what your speed, you'll find touring with Avalon a cut above.

Any review of Avalon Waterways should start with one of the least known, but most important facts: Avalon is owned by the Globus Family of Brands, a well-established, family-owned 80-plus year old worldwide tour operator. This relationship allows for a seamless integration of the cruise and land portions of your vacation and trust us, there’s a big difference when your vacation provider, in this case a river cruise company, takes care of all the details from arrival to departure and everything in between.

Avalon’s river cruise fleet is now one of the newest of all major river cruise lines in Europe with the most spacious cabins of any premium river ship. All of Avalon's "Suite Ships" feature elegant interiors with abundant glass, polished metal, vibrant colors, modern designs with remarkable appointments, and state-of the-art technology. At the heart of an Avalon river cruise is a warm and friendly crew offering personalized service in a relaxed and fun environment. The spacious suites and staterooms can only be aptly described when the word, "remarkable" is used in the same sentence.

The Avalon fleet just keeps expanding with the introduction of more incedible "Suite Ships," the Passion and Imagery II which hit the river in 2016.  These two new ships allow Avalon to offer some of the newest ships sailing in France and along the Rhine and Danube Rivers.  Premier has some truly remarkable offers on almost all Avalon sailings, so take a look at some of our specials and be sure to book early.

After reading this review, why not take a few minutes to enjoy the Avalon Waterways' videos? Just click the "Videos" button in left column to begin. Click HERE to continue reading the review below.

Book early for BEST PRICES.
Price displayed is brochure price for a window cabin based on double occupancy.
For best available price
or balcony prices, call or use the "Get Quote" button.

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Date From/To NTS Type Itinerary
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Ship
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Jun 16
2017
Hanoi
Siem Reap
15Cruise & LandFascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & Mekong
Avalon
Siem Reap
SOLD OUTGetQuote
Jun 16
2017
Cote d'Azur
Paris
10Cruise & LandBurgundy & Provence
Avalon
Poetry II
$4349GetQuote
Jun 16
2017
Cote d'Azur
Paris
15Cruise & LandGrand France
Avalon
Poetry II
$6909GetQuote
Jun 16
2017
Cote d'Azur
Amsterdam
15Cruise & LandRhine & Rhone Revealed
Avalon
Poetry II
$7156GetQuote
Jun 16
2017
Basel
Vienna
12Cruise OnlyUpper Rhine to City of Music
Avalon
Luminary
$4349GetQuote
Jun 17
2017
Arles
St. Jean de Losne
7Cruise OnlyBurgundy & Provence
SAVE $1000 + Ship Board Tips
Avalon
Poetry II
$3399GetQuote
Jun 17
2017
Arles
Paris
14Cruise OnlyGrand France
Avalon
Poetry II
$6649GetQuote
Jun 17
2017
Paris
Arles
14Cruise OnlyGrand France
Avalon
Tapestry II
$6649GetQuote
Jun 17
2017
Paris
Cote d'Azur
15Cruise & LandGrand France
Avalon
Tapestry II
$6909GetQuote
Jun 17
2017
Paris
Paris
7Cruise OnlyParis & Normandy
Avalon
Tapestry II
$3399GetQuote
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NOTE: Prices displayed in the cruisGENIE charts are per person, based on double occupancy, and are for a minimum riverview window cabin.


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Aboard an Avalon river cruise, you can also enjoy the world's most beautiful landscapes from the privacy of your luxury stateroom. That's because on Avalon river cruise ships, all staterooms enjoy an outside location and are designed to enhance your river cruising experience. Their beautifully appointed staterooms feature a minimum of 172 square feet of space with "Suite Ship" balcony staterooms at 200sf, and suites at a whopping 300sf (larger than most ocean cruise ships); these are among the largest on the European rivers today.


In addition to boasting 17 award-winning Avalon deluxe staterooms on the lower deck, each "Suite Ship" features 64 of these uniquely designed suites on the top two decks. This new suite category showcases a full, 200-square feet of living space, 30% larger than the industry standard. In addition to the really cool location of the bed, these suites come complete with a large seating area adjacent to the wall-to-wall panoramic window. When opened, this floor-to-ceiling window is nearly 11' x 7', and transforms the entire suite into an open-air balcony. At Premier, we feel one of the best features of the "Suite Ships" is that they represent great value. While Avalon calls them suites, these large staterooms are really not priced as suites, but more like standard staterooms of other lines. What that means to you is that they provide possibly the best value of any new ships sailing along the Rhine and Danube, and in France as well.

For those new to river cruising, you may not know that on the main European rivers, most ships are the same length and height as those demensions are controlled by the length of the locks and height of the bridges. While some new river ships carry upwards of 190 passengers, Avalon's new "Suite Ships" only carry a maximum of 168 which translates to more space and better service for you. 

While size is important for a European-based river ship, it may be an actual hinderance in other parts of the world such as Vietnam or Myanmar (Burma). In Vietnam, Avalon offers a remarkable, shallow draft 36-passenger ship called the Siem Reap. The name is important because it denotes something that no other major river cruise line can do — sail directly from Siem Reap, as well as into Saigon. While this may not seem important, IT IS! For other lines you have to take a 2+ hour drive to meet the ship outside of Siem Reap and about an hour drive from the port into Saigon... time you could enjoy touring. The ship is marvelous and features monsterous 245sf standard balcony staterooms with the most incredible view (again, the beds face out) you can imagine... and a crew so cool and polite you'll want to take them home with you. One of the other features that sets the Avalon Siem Reap apart from larger ships is the positioning of their "open air" observation lounge in the front of the ship. This is the absolute best place in the world to view the impressive Mekong and the many floating markets and villages you'll sail by. And, there's plenty of room for everyone at the same time.

In the event you encounter a rain shower or two, there's also the enclosed Panorama Lounge just next to the Observation Lounge. Don't fret, as this beauty, too, has floor to ceiling windows for an air-conditioned, panoramic view of the sights and sounds of the fabulous Mekong. CLICK here to read more about this fascinating destination.
Although young in age, Avalon Waterways has already garnered numerous industry awards, including Travel & Leisure's award for Top River Cruise Line in 2013, numerous Magellan Awards, and Cruise Critic's Best River Cruise Line for 2013. 

The balance of their impeccable European fleet accommodates between 138-178 pampered guests. All the beautifully appointed staterooms enjoy river views and are equipped with individual climate controls, flat-screen TVs, radios, telephones, mini-bars, safes, hair dryers, and wi-fi access. Approximately 80% of all cabins have French balconies with sliding glass doors while the remaining cabins feature large picture windows. Their elegant staterooms and suites are further enhanced by the use of deluxe woven carpets, L’Occitane toiletries, and Avalon-branded premium bedding, including European-style duvets and Egyptian super-combed linens. All ships follow an English language only policy.

Avalon travelers come home with more than photographs and curios, they come home with exciting stories and a new perspective on their travels. Avalon says that they, “transform tourists into travelers by bringing the world’s stories to life.” They can do this because their highly skilled cruise directors — whether it is an Egyptologist on the Nile or a Naturalist in the Galapagos — all deliver historical and cultural commentary as the ships glide down the rivers or serenely sail from one island to the next. And of course, all your eye-opening and very interactive shore excursions are INCLUDED in your value-packed price as is your own personal headset for easy listening. 

Because Avalon’s parent has been operating tours in Europe and throughout the world for so many years, they are well connected and we believe truly embrace the fact that many American’s really do like to learn and experience as much as they can during their destination vacation. Avalon does an exceptional job with their complimentary shore excursions and don’t be surprised if, when you are berthed in some of the smaller medieval towns and villages you will actually see (or go with) the crew as they purchase local food items for the ship. In a recent trip within France on the Seine River, crew members and guests went into the beautiful town of Honfleur to buy local cheeses for the ship’s cheese tasting night; the next day, it was an incredible selection of French pastries (OMG — they were over the top!). On Avalon, you can do as much or as little as you prefer, but no matter how much you choose to participate, you'll come home knowing you got the most out of your brief visit.

In addition to their very comprehensive “included” shore excursion program, Avalon also provides guests with a number of “Enriching Theme” cruises that allow one to discover more about a destination and its culture. These theme cruises include wine cruises through the wine regions of France and Germany, as well as music lover and art cruises within France and Germany. Local entertainment also plays a large part on every Avalon itinerary. Guests will enjoy a local folkloric group on the Rhine, lessons in Tai Chi or calligraphy while on the Yangtze, or daily talks on the wildlife found throughout the Galapagos.

Because so many folks are new to river cruising, our focus in this review of Avalon Waterways has been Europe. That said, the quality that we talk about on the European river cruise product is matched in every aspect when you select one of the other exciting destinations serviced by Avalon including Egypt and a Nile River cruise, China and the awe-inspiring Yangtze River cruises and, of course, one of our favorites — a small ship cruise to Darwin’s immortal Galapagos Islands.

So we’ve told you about Avalon’s sensational fleet of newer ships, their very detailed and exciting included shore excursion program — so what’s left you ask? Ah… could it be their “inspired” and creative dining program? YES!

When the Premier Team looks at Avalon, we see a company who fully grasps the constantly changing tastes of today’s discriminating and experienced vacation traveler. On all their river cruises, Avalon employs 5-star chefs who are experts at crafting local ingredients into culinary masterpieces. To make your dinner even more unforgettable, you’ll enjoy complimentary regional wines and beers paired specially with the chefs’ fresh creations. We’re not talking limited selection here, but rather 4-6 nightly entrée choices plus a full grill just in case you cannot find that perfect choice on the menu. While they cannot accommodate kosher meals, almost all other preferences can be accommodated given the incredible selection and array of soups, salads, entrées and desserts that are offered up each day.

We really enjoy one of Avalon's newest dining innovations which again says they are really listening to their guests. In Europe, many of us prefer to enjoy a long day of touring and probably a great local lunch while ashore. With that in mind, you might not have a large appetite for a sumptous 5-course evening meal. Thus, Avalon has introduced a type of Tapas light meal service in their beautiful Sky Bistro. Not only is the view remarkable, you'll enjoy table side service and delightful small plates of your choosing... all included in Avalon's value price.

Should you prefer a full 5-course dining experience, there’s always a table available in the open-seating dining room where meals are offered in an elegant, yet relaxed atmosphere. Yes, it’s okay to wear jeans to dinner as long as you dress them up just a bit. The dining experience on Avalon ships is even further enhanced: their dining rooms are positioned to expose unimpeded shore side views through full panoramic windows. That means dinner with a view and it’s really cool to watch the sun set on a warm summer or fall evening as you glide along the river — it doesn’t get much better.

Two other things you should know about an Avalon river cruise. All of their ships now have a small mini-refrigerator in the cabin in case you need to store medicines. The other is that Avalon does not have bicycles on board, but you do have access to them in most ports. Because of certain liability and maintanence issues, Avalon contracts in most ports to provide bicycles, so they are almost always available to guests.

Unlike many other river cruise lines, Avalon recognizes that this is your vacation and you may not want to hurry. If you desire to linger in bed for a while, you can enjoy an in-stateroom Continental breakfast, in addition to the regular breakfast service. If you’re like me — I want to get in as much as I can do each day — so Avalon also satisfies my needs with their early-riser breakfast… that way, I can get going on my busy day of sightseeing and meeting the locals. If you’re back on board for lunch, you can enjoy it inside the dining room or above deck where light fare is offered at the Open-Air Bistro. The Bistro is a perfect place to meet friends, enjoy a great meal, and watch the world float by.

Why not complement your Avalon Waterways cruise with a pre or post stay? You can now do just that by taking a Monogram Independent Vacation. Monogram is a sister company to Avalon Waterways and is the perfect marriage of independent travel with the convenience of an all-inclusive package. Each tour is designed with you, the guest, in mind. Why not spend a week in London or Paris before that South of France Cruise. Enjoy more time in Vienna and experience Munich after you leave your Taste of the Danube River cruise. All programs include a choice of hotels, daily buffet breakfast, sightseeing, the services of a local host, and transfers to/from the ship.

We are very confident that your choice of an Avalon Waterways river cruise booked with one of our river cruise experts at Premier River Cruises will afford you a memorable and worry-free vacation at a great price!

We think that Avalon “gets it.” They understand that river cruising has to adapt to the guests, rather than the guests adapting to the cruise. They do an excellent job of providing their guests with an enriching and memorable journey aboard a fleet of contemporary ships offering up fine food and wine in a relaxed and very comfortable atmosphere. Their service standards are high, but the service rendered to you, their guests is unpretentious and warm.

If you’re looking for that perfect blend of pampering service, an enriching destinational experience married with exceptional accommodations, then you need look no further than an Avalon river or small ship cruise for your next vacation.

 

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Unless otherwise noted, prices and offers are in USD, cruise only per person, based on double occupancy and do not include airfare, taxes or fees. The displayed prices are based on minimum category riverview window stateroom and applicable only to the sailing date(s) shown. Prices for other dates may vary based on the date and stateroom selected. Other than “Hot Deal” offers, price does not reflect any cruise line or Premier savings. Where Premier includes “prepaid tips” in an offer, it applies only to the cruise portion of the trip and not any land portion or shore excursions. VISA® Gift Card offer amounts vary by sailing date and category purchased. To obtain the best price, please use the quote button or call one of our river cruise specialist. Certain discounts or prices may require full payment at the time of booking in order to be eligible. We urge you to book early as river cruises sell out almost a year in advance. Prices and availability may change without notice and are not guaranteed until a deposit is received and applied to your reservation. Call 1-855-255-1200, for complete details. We reserve the right to correct any informational or typographical errors. ©2010-2017 Premier River Cruises, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide. CST #2104636-40.

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