Pack Your Passions
Wherever you go, there you are! So why leave yourself behind when you travel? Avalon puts the “you” in “unique” with special interest themed river cruises that are suited to your passions and pursuits. Do you love gardens and nature? Walk through the biggest garden in Europe during tulip season in Holland. Appreciate a fine wine or hearty ale? Taste regional vintages from Paris to Provence, or raise a stein of frothy brew from Basel to Nuremberg. Our WWII or Habsburg & Royalty cruises provide the epic page-turner you’ve been looking for! Focus on your shutterbug skills on a photography cruise, or take a culinary or Christmastime river cruise to indulge in local culture, cuisine, and everything in between!
Introducing Storyteller Series
If you’re ready to turn the page on the classic river cruise, we have some exciting news for you! Now, you can transport yourself through time and tales with revered raconteurs on Avalon Waterways' NEW Storyteller Series of Suite Ship sailings. These celebrity-hosted European river cruises invite travel enthusiasts, like you, to meet legends in legendary landscapes. To sail past cliffside castles while uncovering cliff-hangers. And capture insider narratives outside the pages of novels, scripts or song lyrics.
- Diana Gabaldon, international bestselling author of Outlander novels
- Candace Bushnell, international bestselling author of the Sex in the City anthology
- Cheryl Strayed, international bestselling author of Wild
- Gillian Flynn, international bestselling author of Gone Girl
- Christopher Moore, international bestselling comic fantasy novelist
- Edwin McCain, Billboard-topping singer-songwriter
- Sister Hazel, award-winning band
Wine River Cruises
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou! Avalon has the wine and menus, so all we need is you to join us on a wine-lovers European river cruise! Whether you have a nose for the perfect Burgundy, or if everything you know about wine could fit in a thimbleful of Chardonnay, you’re invited to join us to sniff, swirl, and sip your way through Europe’s legendary and picturesque vineyards. Enter the hallowed halls of the ancient cellars where winemakers still press the perfect grape into the nectar of the gods. Cruise with a certified Master of Wine who gives a new meaning to the phrase “wine and dine.” Learn to perfectly pair wines with dinner, cheeses, and chocolates with a choice of itinerary destinations ranging from Prague to Provence, from Burgundy to Budapest. Sample regional vintages and visit legendary cellars on these Danube, Rhône, and Saône River cruises. In vino veritas!
Culinary River Cruises
You can learn a lot about a place through its people, and you can learn a lot about people through their food. Discovering local cuisine is the perfect recipe for starting a conversation. From fondue to fromage, from croissants to crepes, France is home to food lovers who love to share famous dishes and to dish over the stories behind authentic recipes. Savor an adventure in haute cuisine and family favorites on a culinary river cruise through Burgundy and Provence. Be treated to both world-class cuisine and simple fare, while in the company of a Master of Wine. Learn to perfectly pair wines with cuisine, cheese, or chocolate. Taste local products, traditional delicacies, and regional specialties for a true taste of France. C'est si bon!
Active & Discovery River Cruises
Everyone travels to see new things, but many travel to do new things as well. With our Active & Discovery Europe river cruises, Avalon offers activities for travelers with varying interests and for all energy and fitness levels. From action-packed experiences and interactive discoveries, to traditional sightseeing, you can tailor a vacation to suit your interests and pace.
Exploration in Motion
For the traveler who thrives on motion and action, Avalon has created a broad menu of energetic excursions. You might find yourself on a hike tour in Val D'Enfer, on a biking tour around Vienna, or even on a canoe trip on the Danube. From a climbing trip up to a medieval castle to hiking in the forest, these included excursions pack real get-up-and-go for those who like to do the same.
For those who believe that life is about trying new things, Avalon presents an inspiring selection of interactive excursions created for the different kind of “doer.” These hands-on experiences include a painting class in Amsterdam, tasting locally produced cheese and beer at an ancient abbey, or saying “good morning” to Vienna on an early-riser walk to a quaint café for breakfast like a local. Traditions come to life as you shift from observer to participant in a variety of creative and engaging endeavors.
European History River Cruises
Walk in the footsteps of heroes and cruise in the company of a WWII history expert who shares unforgettable stories of valor and courage. From the legendary beaches of Normandy and through Vimy Ridge, to Paris' Les Invalides Museum, you'll gain moving insight through onboard lectures and visits to historic sites and monuments. Hear both epic and personal stories of lives and legacies forever changed by the Second World War. An Avalon Remembrance and History European river cruise is an experience of inspiration, courage, and the hopes of heroes fulfilled. Explore the history, art, and architecture of the Habsburg dynasty and Austro-Hungarian Empire on a Habsburg & Royalty cruise on the Danube. Cruise in the company of a knowledgeable historian who shares insights into European royalty. From the city palaces of Budapest and Vienna to the castles and countryside estates, you’ll sip champagne in the same reception rooms and stroll through the art-filled corridors where princes and princesses played. Taste wines from local vineyards, take a waltz lesson in the grand ball tradition, and walk the garden paths as royals and their descendants had for centuries.
Jewish Heritage River Cruises
History’s most moving chapters come to life while sailing on the Danube and Rhine Rivers on an Avalon Jewish Heritage river cruise. Deep in the Jewish quarters of Europe’s most historic cities, we explore the museums and monuments, the cemeteries and synagogues, and the touching and powerful stories behind them all. Onboard lectures shed light on significant moments in history while onboard presentations spotlight Jewish culture and traditions. An Avalon Jewish Heritage European river cruise highlights some of Central Europe’s most cultural and historical sites that pay tribute to the past while celebrating a lasting culture and rich faith for the future.
Floriade 2022 River Cruises
For six months, once every 10 years, the Netherlands bloom brighter than ever before! Be our guest at this 2022 International Horticultural Exhibition Floriade Expo, included on select Avalon river cruises. Join in this celebration of phenomenal flora in all its finery, and fill your senses with color, fragrance, and fantastic food.
Garden & Nature River Cruises
Springtime in Holland and Belgium gives new meaning to the word "color." With seasonal blossoms ready to burst, the fields of Holland and Belgium erupt in a spectacle of epic proportions. The spring season is heralded with the appearance of crocus, daffodils, and hyacinth that in turn trumpet the arrival of the main event–tulip season. Nature lovers and green thumbs will relish this ultimate garden party on an Avalon Garden & Nature European river cruise. Glide through a kaleidoscope of flowering color on the canals and waterways, stopping to smell the roses—and hundreds of other flower varieties—along the way. From Rotterdam’s 70-acre Keukenhof Gardens to the secret gardens of Amsterdam, see windmills standing watch over a sea of tulips. Visit the world's largest flower auction where horticulturists, botanists, and landscape artists display nature's handiwork on a scale found nowhere else.
European Beer River Cruises
Many great things have been accomplished over a beer. Benjamin Franklin attributed the existence of beer to God's desire for men (and women!) to be happy, and many celebrations are made better with the raising of a stein. Cruise with a beer expert on board who delivers lectures on beer drinking that you'll actually want to hear. Through Switzerland, France, Germany, Holland, and Belgium, we complement special onboard tastings with exclusive onshore experiences, leading you to the famous breweries, emerging microbreweries, and the beer halls, gardens, and pubs where Europe's love affair with beer was born.
Christmas River Cruises
Sail into the season of European Christmas markets, aglow with the warmth a simpler time. From wooden stalls with handmade ornaments and hot-mulled wine to grand Christmas cathedrals and glistening lights, a European Christmas river cruise on the Danube, Main, or Rhine Rivers is a true gift of timeless tradition. See musical instruments come to life in Rüdesheim, Germany; taste Austrian Christmas cookies while sailing to Vienna; visit Melk’s Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings; and see the magical Christmas markets of Budapest, Prague, or Strasbourg.
Photography River Cruises
Sailing through the Rhine and Moselle Rivers in October promises a special glow of color and light that begs to be photographed. Cruise on the canals of Amsterdam and through the vineyards of Germany to capture remarkable architecture, stunning nature, and friendly faces along the way. Cruise with award-winning photographer Brenda Tharp. With 33 years as a professional photographer, Brenda is an accomplished author, speaker and instructor, whose images taken around the world have appeared widely in photographic publications, print media, and private collections.
Oberammergau River Cruises
Our 2022 Oberammergau river cruises have been uniquely designed to include the Passion Play experience, as well as the service and views that you have come to expect from Avalon Waterways. On these special vacations, guests enjoy preferred seating at the Passion Play, accommodations in Oberammergau and a dedicated onsite office to help guests make the most of their stay in this charming city. The 42nd Oberammergau Passion Play performances are postponed until 2022.