Feeling Active And Lazy At The Same Time
Ooh, this is a good one. You can be active and lazy at the same time and its utterly brilliant.
First, up the active part. The excursions include active components like cycling, hiking, running, swimming and kayaking. There is an onboard Activity Instructor who runs yoga session in the morning and keep fit in the afternoon. Bikes are available to hire on land and light bites are available for meals instead of the full shebang.
Now, what about the laze?
Well, for starters, all the logistics are taken care of. Accommodation, travel and where to eat, on and off the ship if you wish. Airport transfers are sorted. Luggage transfer likewise. Turndown service, cleaning, planning your itinerary.
Heck, Avalon even have an app that you can access offline for when youre wandering around on your own. And printed maps for each place in which the ship stops.
Sports equipment appears on demand, including helmets, plus refreshing drinks when you return to the ship.
Done, done and done, allowing you to laze in your room, soaking up that incredible view.
Avalon Waterways Review: Rhone River Cruise
Let’s start the review with the itinerary.
We traveled from Lyon to Port-Saint-Louis, which is essentially Marseilles, with stops in L’Hermitage/Tournon, Viviers, Avignon, and Arles.
The trip was well paced with excursions that were included in the price of the cruise every morning. On two afternoons of our week we sailed during the afternoons to satisfy those who enjoy sitting back and watching the world go by, and on four afternoons there were optional activities available at an additional charge. Given that our ship’s port was essentially in town, we always had the option of spending those afternoons exploring independently.
The only thing I would add to the excursions would be the option of riding a bike between ports when possible. For example, the distance between Avignon and Arles is just over two hours by bike. I think that would be fun.
The only part of the itinerary I wasn’t keen on was Port-Saint-Louis as it is at least an hour from Marseille. But then, Avalon Waterways does not have control over where the Rhone ends and where the founders decided to situate Marseille.
You can read more about all the choices that Avalon offered on this trip here: Tours and Cruises Offer Choose Your Own Adventure Option.
No Sea Means No Sea Sickness
The heading makes it sound obvious. But it still took me by surprise.
Through my youth, I had no trouble on the waves. As I grow older, if the waves are choppy or the room confined, its easy to feel hot and bothered.
My seasickness has never been bad enough to stop me going on the water, but its there at the back of my mind. I carry travel sickness pills, sit at the back of a boat and stare, quasi-religiously, at the horizon.
On small ship cruises, Ive been fine. Just felt a little jet lagged the whole time.
On a river cruise, theres none of that. It is plain sailing. A smooth journey, without the sideways rocking about.
When you head through the locks, its probably a good idea to head to the top deck if you feel claustrophobic. But other than that, its a breeze.
Passing through great big locks on the Danube: surprisingly fascinating
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Find The Best Avalon Cruise
Why should I book a Avalon cruise?
If you’re looking for an unforgettable vacation, Avalon cruises are a perfect choice. Avalon is one of the best cruise lines in the industry, with a successful history of providing excellent service and luxurious experiences. The Avalon cruise vacations take you to some of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating destinations. Theyre sure to have features to please everyone in your group.
How to find the best Avalon cruise deals?
There are many different Avalon cruise deals to choose from depending on your destination and the experiences you would most like to enjoy. These deals let you include additional features for a lower price to make your vacation even more comfortable. You can find the best deals by searching for your destinations, and filtering by your desired cruise lines. This way only the companies you wish to travel with will appear. You can also sort your results by price and length of time.
How to choose your cruise with Avalon?
If you want to book aAvalon cruise there are plenty of amazing Avalon cruise deals available. Add your destination, cruise vacation, and number of travelers. Then you can sort your results by price, duration, and departure date. You can also filter by cruise line, cruise ship and cabin type. Youll find different amenities to suit your vacation needs on each Avalon cruise. For example, youth programs, fitness facilities, and spa facilities.
When is the best time to book a Avalon cruise?
Active Discovery And Classic Adventures
Whats your idea of the perfect day on your river cruise? Understanding that no two travellers are the same, the Avalon experience enables guests to enjoy their holiday to the fullest. Each day aboard an Avalon river cruise is an adventure.
Avalons excursions are classified into three categories Active, Discovery, and Classic to cater to the needs of guests. Classic adventures are the typical tours of visiting iconic places for sightseeing while learning of the local legends and lore of the place. Discovery adventures offer guests bespoke experiences, from famous galleries to farmhouse kitchens. Meanwhile, active adventures are for those seeking adrenaline-fueled experiences like a bike ride, a hike to a hilltop castle, or a kayak excursion. This flexibility and freedom to customise your cruise experience is what sets Avalon apart from the pack.
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Stateroom 220 Avalon Poetry Ii
Our room ends up being ready sometime after 4:00 and this is a huge relief. One of the deciding factors for us in choosing Avalon was the cabin set up with doors that slide nearly all the way open and a sitting area. The cabin is fairly large, the bathroom is great. As we unpack, we remember that we had some granola bars which is great because we are starving.
As the week goes on, the cabin turns out to be a huge plus, we really enjoy having the floor to ceiling open air and the seating area. From waking up, opening the doors and listening to the river, while watching the beautiful countryside go by, to enjoying a bottle of wine with market bought goodies, we really enjoyed the our cabin and the separate seating area.
Overall Stateroom: A+
The Incredible Views From The Room
The rooms pack in a wow factor right from the start. Unique among cruise companies, the bed faces the window and the window takes up nearly a whole wall. The space saved by scrapping the traditional river cruise balcony means that a table and two chairs and a desk fit in easily too.
The whole room is a balcony, only one with better privacy than the real ones could offer.
Real balconies offer views of your neighbours towels and drying swimwear. With these rooms, its just you and the mighty Danube.
Just me and the Danube and my room turned balcony
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Dining To Accommodate Every Dietary Need
No cruise review is complete without a discussion of the food.
Food and wine can vary greatly on a river cruise. Avalon stands well in this category with many options for each 4-course meal and accommodation for dietary restrictions. The food was fresh and properly cooked, never overdone or underdone. I don’t know how they do it. The chef was Portuguese and, as he said, did fish really well. If the set menu is not to your liking there is always an a la carte menu to order from.
I let a few of my usual food limitations lapse while on board which confused the staff who were totally prepared to serve a gluten-free vegan. I ate fish almost every day. I have to say that the staff were great. They were not only attentive but they seemed to tune in to what level of fun they could have at each table.
I’m not a wine aficionado but people who know and care more than I do were impressed with the complimentary wine and beer available for every lunch and dinner.
Breakfast buffets had a variety of options every day and a chef ready to prepare eggs to your liking. A complimentary continental breakfast by room service was available every morning should you prefer.
Avalon Waterways River Cruise Review Burgundy & Provence Itinerary On Avalon Poetry Ii
My husband Dev and I are avid international travelers who have regularly enjoyed ocean cruising. River cruising has always been on our list plus, we love wine. So, we jumped at the chance when we saw the Burgundy & Provence itinerary offered by Avalon Waterways. This sailing included stops in Arles, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon, Lyon, Tournus, and St. Jean de Losne. For those considering a more unique cruise vacation, we share our 7-day experience on Poetry II in this Avalon Waterways River Cruise Review.
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Avalon Waterways River Cruise
Every day there is a choice of excursions with at least one of them being complimentary, and if health and well being is high on your agenda Avalon have you covered with exercise classes from yoga to cardio every morning at 6:30 am, you wont be surprised to hear that we never made it to any of these!
The vast majority of the excursions are walking tours but if you do fancy something a bit more vigorous there are opportunities on most days to explore the area you are visiting by bicycle and also strenuous hikes were included too. If you wanted to explore areas on your own by cycle this was also an option.
If you prefer to stay fit by more traditional methods there is also a gymnasium on board that features two running machines, two exercise bikes a bench and a selection of dumbbells.
As well as promoting a healthy lifestyle exercise wise Avalon also promotes healthy eating with their Avalon Fresh healthy options available at breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis, but its not all about the body as Avalon excursions take you to some fascinating places and the tour guides they employed during our cruise were incredibly knowledgeable of all the areas that we visited.
Avalon Envision River Cruise Ship Review
In Baz Luhrman’s Romeo & Juliet , Juliet asks: ‘What’s in a name?’ Well, Avalon Envision is an appropriate name for an Avalon Waterways’ Suite Ship, and – like many others in the fleet, including Avalon Panorama, Avalon Visionary, Avalon Envision, Avalon Vista, Avalon Imagery II, and the very recently christened Avalon View – its name suggests that you’ll be able to enjoy some great views while onboard! Read our exclusive Avalon Envision River Cruise review.
Built in 2018, Avalon Envisionis identical to all her Avalon Waterways Suite Ship sisters, so you needn’t worry about not having the same amenities, choices of dining or entertainment venue, or about any quirky variations in accommodation. Instead, you can enjoy the same excellent standard of service, accommodation, and public spaces throughout the fleet.
Since the very inception of their Suite Ships , Avalon Waterways have focussed on two priorities – space and views – and Avalon Envision is no exception!
Suites and Accommodation on Avalon Envision
Avalon’s Panorama Suites are emblematic of this dual focus, where both space and views are entwined together – and in style, to boot! At 200sq ft, there’s not only ample space to enjoy, it’s about 30% more space to enjoy than the industry standard.
Bathroom in the Royal Suite
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Drinking On Board The Avalon Poetry Ii
I could have included the drinks experience as part of my review about dining on board the ship, but to be honest, I think it deserves its own mention!
If youre partial to a tipple, youll be very well looked after on the Avalon Poetry II. Theres a team of excellent bartenders and a broad menu of cocktails and drinks options. Every day between 6-7pm there is a happy hour where drinks are half price. There is always a cocktail of the day too.
I often judge a bar on how good their mojito is, and I can confirm that the team on board definitely knew what they were doing! It was sour and tangy, with just a dash of sweetness. The other cocktails I tried throughout my week were also excellent.
Another thing I really liked about this cruise was that wine and soft drinks were included with meals. At dinner, there were wine recommendations to go with the dishes we were eating too, and I was impressed by both the variety and quality of the wines.
Entertainment: The Gipsy Kings Were Onboard
Evening entertainment occurred in the Panorama Lounge. In contrast to ocean cruises, the entertainment aboard Poetry II was less ubiquitous and more chill live musicians performed on a couple of nights.
One night, we arrived in the Lounge to find it buzzing with excitement. The Gipsy Kings were going to perform! Sadly, Dev and I didnt know who they were. Though, we absolutely loved their lively performance. We later looked them up and were delighted to learn that they are flamenco, salsa, and pop musicians from southern France. So, they are very much both a world famous and local group.
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We Had An Amazing Cruise On The Danube
We had an Amazing Cruise on the Danube in 2022. Our ship and staff were Fantastic, nothing was too much! The Crew onboard went above and beyond to provide us a Great cruise. We really enjoyed the included sightseeing, this make for a very good Holiday. This was my 2nd Avalon trip and we will for sure add to that number.
Date of experience:April 06, 2022
Dining On Board The Avalon Poetry Ii
Im a girl who travels with her stomach, and what better country to visit for cuisine than France?! I was very excited for a week of steak frites, onion soup, delicious cheese and local delicacies.
As mentioned, theres a main dining room on board the ship. Breakfast and lunch are served as a buffet, although you can also order a few items via the serving staff to be made especially for you.
At breakfast there is everything from fruit and yoghurt, to freshly-baked bread and French pastries, fried items and eggs.
In general, I started my day with a bowl of yogurt and granola, but Ill admit to trying a few pastries On one of my final mornings I discovered you could order a few extra dishes from the chef. Cue me ordering my favourite brunch dish, eggs royale, with tasty smoked salmon and a rich hollandaise. It was so delicious!
Lunchtimes were a casual affair as each guest had their own schedule. There was always plenty to choose from, including fresh salads, meats, bread, soup and a few tasty hot dishes .
For a few of the lunchtimes, the staff set up on the Sky Deck to offer a Sky Grill lunch basically a delicious BBQ in the sunshine with a view of the water. What could be better?!
For anyone who gets a little peckish between lunch and dinner, theres a complimentary afternoon tea from 4pm. This always includes lots of pretty cakes, sandwiches and hot drinks.
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So Was Everything Perfect
Of course not. But honestly, this was one of the best trips Ive been on in a very, very long time. Yes, it was part of a paid work project but then, most of them are!
What to know
- While great for intergenerational travel, there is a cut off age for children. Over 8s only and, to be honest, it may be better suited to over 10 or 12.
- There is a jacuzzi on the sundeck and small gym on board but no big pool
- Most of the excursions were stand out, once-in-a-lifetime brilliant, but a few were sketchy, mainly due to the conduct of the local guides. As I understand it, Avalon review their tours regularly and will already be addressing this.
- Um, thats about it.
From cruise sceptic to European cruise fanatic in one single trip.
Rivers of Europe: here I come!
Ready to delve deeper?
Find the full specs about this Avalon Waterways Cruise here.
A Perfect Night In Budapest
Its not just the cruise set up, Avalon organise hotels as well. As any seasoned traveller knows, things can easily go wrong. For that reason, the first night involves a city hotel so that any stragglers can still join the ship the next day.
We stayed at the Hilton Budapest, right opposite the Fishermans Bastion on Buda Hill. Frankly, the perfect view to start a visit to the city.
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Avalon River Cruise Review 202: The Most Relaxing Way To See Europe
Our welcome into Budapest, on board Avalon View, is perfectly timed for 9.30pm. Against a starless night sky, the illuminated Hungarian Parliament Building glows so radiantly that its Gothic spires and cupola look like theyre crafted from gold. What a welcome! How nice of the city fathers to leave the lights on for us, I joke under the photo I post to Instagram to capture the moment.
Of all the sights on the Danube, this one has to be the most photographed at least along the 190km stretch between Vienna, in Austria, and the Hungarian capital that is my first taste of European river cruising, before or after the pandemic shutdown. Its a short journey considering the Danube is Europes second-longest river, flowing 2850km east from Germany, through 10 countries, to the Black Sea. But the four nights on board is a tasty enough morsel to gauge that river cruising is a most relaxed and relaxing way to see Europe and to make me wonder why I hadnt done it before.
Like me, Avalon View, the newest in Avalon Waterways 14-strong fleet of suite ships, was late to the party. Its own. The ship was built in the Netherlands before the pandemic and should have had a celebratory bottle cracked over her bow in March 2020. Instead, her skipper, Captain Ambrose Manolache, a 30-year Danube veteran, steered her into shippings equivalent of cold storage, where she waited till plans for her christening were rebooted for 2022.