Air conditioning and heating
All public areas on board are climate-controlled and can be both air-conditioned and heated. Every stateroom features individual climate control.
A professional, experienced, English-speaking Cruise Director oversees every aspect of your river cruise experience.
Your river cruise holiday promises to be an enticing gourmet experience. Our accomplished chefs look forward to preparing regional as well as international dishes. There is a full buffet breakfast and buffet lunch, complete with a choice of soups, starters and main courses, salads or sandwiches, and dessert. In the evenings, there are sumptuous four-course dinners with a choice available at each course. All meals can be taken in the elegant dining room surrounded by panoramic windows. If you would like to choose something different for lunch, try it grilled and al fresco at the Sky Bistro. On our All-Suite Ships, try dinner in the charming Panorama Bistro, which also features regional specialities and wines.
On board and on shore, the dress code is casual. Please bring comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing. During dinner, open-neck shirts, trousers, dresses, coats and ties can be worn. The Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Dinners tend to require smarter dress, but not formal.
European cruises: a choice of complimentary regional wines, local beer or soft drinks is included and served with lunch and dinner on board. Complimentary coffee and tea are available all day from ‘Early Riser’ breakfast through to late night snacks.
Mekong and Irrawaddy cruises: wine is included with dinner. Complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks and local beer/spirits are available on board throughout the day.
Yangtze cruises: wine, beer and soft drinks are included with all dinners onboard and soft drinks are included with lunces on board. Complimentary coffee and tea are free of charge all day from ‘Early Riser’ breakfast through to dinner.
Amazon and Galápagos cruises: complimentary coffee and tea are free of charge all day from ‘Early Riser’ breakfast through to dinner.
Electricity on board is 220v. The bathrooms have a dual 220v/110-120v plug for shavers and small appliances, so you may need an adapter in other outlets in the stateroom for any small personal items such as a razor, curling tongs or an alarm clock.
Galápagos cruises: electrical outlets are 110v with American type outlets.
Gratuities / Tipping
European, Mekong, Irrawaddy & Yangtze cruises: Gratuities for the Cruise Director and ship's crew are included in the price of your holiday for all European, Mekong, Irrawaddy and Yangtze cruise holidays, so you have nothing to think about but enjoying yourself. For holidays in Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and China, gratuities are also included for your Tour Director and ship's crew although tips for local guides are not included.
All ships have hair dryers for guest use. Please ask at the reception desk if there isn't one readily avaialble in your stateroom.
Language on board
All on board staff, crew and tour guides speak English – so our announcements and commentary will be in English too.
A laundry and pressing service is available on board at a charge – prices are listed in your stateroom. Clothes cannot be dry cleaned on board and, for safety reasons, we ask that passengers don’t iron clothes in their staterooms.
You are welcome to borrow books free of charge from the ship’s library, but please remember to return them at the end of your cruise.
In most cases, because our river cruise ships are usually fairly close to land, it is possible to call in medical services rapidly from shore if needed.
Galápagos cruises: there is a physician on board.
Money and Credit Cards
European cruises: For your convenience, all purchases and accounts on board can be settled with cash in Euros or by most major credit cards. Traveller’s cheques and personal cheques cannot be cashed on board. Most European countries use the Euro – apart from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, although most establishments will accept the Euro. Major credit cards are welcome nearly everywhere, apart from some small towns, where you may need some local currency. Cash machines can be found on shore at some stops, but we advise checking with your card issuer that your PIN number will work abroad first.
Yangtze cruises: The local currency and the currency on board is the Yuan. Small amounts of currency can be purchased on board the ship using US dollars, or cash machines on shore dispense yuan. US dollars are usually accepted on shore. Shipboard accounts can be settled in cash, traveller's cheques or most major credit cards.
Mekong and Irrawaddy cruises: Each country has its own local currency, such as the Dong (Vietnam), Riel (Cambodia), Bhat (Thailand), Kip (Laos) and Kyat (Myanmar). The currency on board is the US dollar and US dollars are widely accepted in each country. Cash machines can usually be found in most large cities and will dispense the local currency. Shipboard accounts can be settled by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or with cash. Traveller's cheques are not accepted.
Galápagos cruises: The official currency of Ecuador is the US Dollar. Credit cards are usually accepted in larger towns. In smaller towns cash is recommended. Shipboard accounts can be settled by credit card, cash or travelers checks.
Amazon cruises: The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (PEN). Credit cards are usually accepted in larger shops and restaurants. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted. Smaller shops may ask you to pay in cash or have a minimum amount required to use a credit card.
Our onboard daily newsletter features information about activities, shore excursions and tour departure times.
Safety Deposit Boxes
A safe is available in every stateroom.
Galápagos cruises: valuables may be stored in the ship's safety deposit box free of charge.
Shop on board
Each river cruise ship has a shop selling accessories and souvenirs, as well as toiletries.
European, Galápagos & Amazon cruises: all ships have non-smoking interiors. Smoking is only permitted on the Sky Deck.
Yangtze cruises: smoking is restricted to certain areas of the ship.
Mekong and Irrawaddy cruises: smoking is only permitted on the Mekong Deck by the Galley.
Celebrating a birthday or anniversary while you’re cruising? Add an Avalon Celebration Package to your cruise. You can make your special day even more memorable with special touches ranging from flowers to a private cocktail reception. Ask your Avalon cruise specialist for additional details.
Each stateroom has a direct-dial telephone for calls between staterooms. Ship-to-shore calls are also available and any charges are placed on your shipboard account.
Galápagos cruises: there are two satellite-linked payphones available for use in the reception lounge.
Mekong and Irrawaddy cruises: a phone is available for emergencies.
Each stateroom has a colour satellite TV with a wide range of films and programmes on demand and a selection of English TV channels. There is also a shipboard information channel, and a channel featuring videos or films.
Galápagos cruises: a TV is available in the ship's library.
Mekong and Irrawaddy cruises: there is no television service.
Your shipboard account
For your convenience, all purchases and paid services on board will be added to your shipboard account and totalled at the end of your cruise. Shipboard accounts can be settled in Euros or US Dollars cash or by credit card.