Special Interest River Cruises through Europe

Special Interest River Cruises through Europe

When packing your polos and pashminas, there's no reason to leave your passions and pursuits behind. Your eye for impressionist brushstrokes - bring it along. Your appreciation for a well-crafted Pilsner - no need to leave it behind. Your insatiable appetite for the world's most fascinating chapters of history - you can pack that too. From food and wine to art, history, and music, our Special Interest Cruises unite you with your pastimes-and other like-minded enthusiasts - both on the ship and off.


Active Discovery River Cruises

Waking to the widest opening windows - and the industry’s only Open-Air Balcony - is just the beginning of the Avalon difference. Beyond the wide-open views is an even wider range of ways to seize the day. Perhaps you’d like to join a walking tour through town to an ancient castle. Maybe you’d like to learn a few local phrases along the way. Or perhaps pedaling your way through the local sites is more your speed. Avalon Choice® offers a choice of daily included excursions - Classic, Discovery, and Active. Choose from a variety of inclusions to match your mood, pace, and interests each day, all while experiencing the sights, sounds and flavors of the destination, your way.

Grander views. Greater options. Deeper discoveries. See more of the world – the way you want to see it – with Avalon Waterways.

Active Discovery River Cruises  Learn More

Oberammergau River Cruises

An opportunity that arises once every ten years is an opportunity not to be missed. A theatrical tradition since 1634, the world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play is a much-anticipated reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ – from His entry into Jerusalem to the Resurrection – performed only once a decade in the quaint Bavarian village of Oberammergau.

Our river cruise has 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.

Oberammergau River Cruises

Wine Appreciation River Cruises

Your palate will applaud as you learn what to look for in a good wine. A distinguished Master of Wine will teach you the ropes at onboard tastings that may include wine & cheese and wine & chocolate, and at a special onboard food-and-wine-pairing dinner. Along your river cruise, you can test your newly developed sommelier talents as you visit wine villages, wineries, and famed wine cellars for tours and tastings in a very special atmosphere.

Wine River Cruises

Culinary River Cruises

Enter a food-lover’s paradise in northern France. At a special dinner, a local chef will dazzle you with regional specialties and food preparation tips. If you participate in our “Taste of Normandy” excursion, there’ll be cider and wine tastings, a visit to a distillery, and you’ll even come away with easy-tomake recipes. Bon Appétit!

Culinary River Cruises

Beer River Cruises

A visit to Europe is even better when it includes a discovery of their famous beers, and these special Avalon departures deliver just that! Activities may include onboard tastings, visits to historic breweries, and fascinating lectures on board about a range of topics including European beer-brewing techniques. Prost!

Beer River Cruises

Music & Jazz River Cruises

Let the music move you on Avalon's special music and jazz departures. Our Music cruises includes excursions to a classical concert in Vienna, a visit to Mozart’s Salzburg birthplace, and the countryside where “the hills are alive with the sound of music.” You will also have free time in Vienne, France, during its world-renowned Jazz Festival.

Music River Cruises

Art & Impressionist River Cruises

Experience scenic northern France with a focus on art! Attend an illuminating art lecture by a subject expert on board your Avalon ship. On shore, explore art museums, and visit the places and sites that inspired some of the world’s most famous artists, such as Auvers-sur-Oise, Rouen, Giverny, and, of course, Paris - the inimitable "City of Light."

Art & Impressionist River Cruises

History River Cruises

Take a river cruise through history! These fascinating European history and politics river cruises will give you an even richer experience as you learn the stories behind some of Europe's most historical sites. Cruises include WWII cruises, Politics cruises, Jewish Heritage cruises & Hapsburg cruises.

History River Cruises

Jewish Heritage River Cruises

Step back into Jewish history on this adventure through Central Europe. Aboard your ship, a renowned expert conducts informative lectures about the sites and events that played roles in Jewish heritage. In Budapest, visit the world’s second-largest synagogue. Explore the Document Neupfarrplatz museum in Regensburg with its remains of a medieval Jewish ghetto and ancient synagogue. In Prague, see the city’s Jewish Museum and cemetery, then travel to Terezin, one of Czechoslovakia’s largest concentration camps. Hear chilling stories about the daily lives of the Jews imprisoned there, and visit the poignant memorial.

Jewish Heritage River Cruises

Christmastime River Cruises

Experience the holiday season the Central European way on this festive Christmas-themed departure. Delight in the sights, smells, and tastes of local Christmas markets, where you’re sure to find the perfect traditionally handcrafted souvenirs. Also enjoy Christmas carols, sung by an area chorus; attend onboard lectures to learn about Christmas and New Year’s traditions in Europe; and savor a very merry Christmas holiday lunch and dinner.

Festive Time River Cruises

Jann Arden River Cruise

Cruise through Europe in the company of award-winning Canadian entertainer, Jann Arden! You will enjoy a separate photo op with Jann, a CD signing session, and a private concert on board. As godmother of an Avalon ship and a fan of river cruising, Jann looks forward to being a part of this very special sailing, available to only 160 lucky passengers!

Jann Arden River Cruise

Garden & Nature River Cruises

If you are passionate about gardening, you cannot miss discovering the most beautiful gardens and parks in this region, famous throughout Europe for inspirational horticultural art!

Garden & Nature River Cruises

Journeys Club River Cruise

Join Avalon Waterways’ leadership team, fellow river cruisers and fans of the river cruise line on an incredible Europe river cruise which not only brings you the historic sights and bright lights of France, but also exclusive highlights. Current Journeys Club members and new Avalon Waterways river cruisers are welcome to travel on these special Europe river cruise departures and take advantage of the added extras we've included just for these sailing!

On the 2019 Active Discovery on the Rhône river cruise vacation, choose from exclusive excursions only being offered for this date including a painting class, hiking, and sightseeing to Etretat. Plus all optional excursions are included at no extra charge, including Versailles and a chance to ascend the Eiffel Tower. We’ve even added an extra port and are sailing all the way to LeHavre on the shores of the English Channel. And, to make it a true celebration, we’ll host a gala dinner on board. Last but not least, there is even an exclusive extension to Mont St. Michel and the Loire Valley offered only on this sailing.

Active Discovery on the Rhône with Journeys Club Celebration (2019)