Day 1 Brussels (Embarkation)
Welcome to Belgium, seat of the European Union. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception.
Day 2 Antwerp
Included today: Guided sightseeing. Antwerp is Belgium's second largest city and was once one of the world's most important seaports. Included sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to its superb architecture, the Grote Markt with its beautiful city hall completed in 1566, and the Church of Our Lady, started in 1352 and home to artworks by Rubens. An optional excursion to nearby Brussels, Belgium's capital and home of the European Union, is available.
Day 3 Ghent
Included today: Guided sightseeing, visit St Baaf's Cathedral. The 'diamond' of Flanders, Ghent has beautifully preserved its medieval charm whilst also keeping up with the times. A Local Guide will show you the city centre, a showcase of medieval Flemish wealth and commercial success and take you into St Baaf's Cathedral. From here, an optional excursion to Bruges, with its criss-crossed canals and charming old patrician houses, is available.
Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:
Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.
We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.
Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.
Bornem Castle, Antwerp, Belgium
Grand Square, Brussels, Belgium
The Avalon Impression Observation Lounge
Avalon Impression, Panorama Suite
Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, Holland
"Absolutely fantastic from pick up at start to drop off home at the end."
"Good organisation. Good food and accommodation. Limited entertainment in evenings...."
"Excellent service throughout thank you. Only one hiccup - the transport back on the..."
Excellent service throughout thank you. Only one hiccup - the transport back on the Eurostar, we did not have the train ticket from Amsterdam to Brussels. Cruise Director did eventually get it after about 6 visits to the desk. Also Cruise director did not understand the train system, he told us that we could leave from Central Station, but on further investigation with the railway company, we found out that we would not have been allowed to board the train at Central Station, hence last minute transport to Schipol station had to be arranged, All this, the cruise director blamed recent terrorism activity!!? This all amounted to a stressful situation. Would suggest that on future cruises that you offer the train from Amsterdam Central Station as the boat disembarks just a few hundred yards from Central Station instead of Schipol Airport train station - just a suggestion which would have made the journey easier. Also on arrival in Brussels, directions to meet our taxi service was not clear where Sams cafe was, we were fine, but there was quite a bit of confusion with other people. The handling of the above situation stopped this getting 5 stars.
Lovely trip, all places visited were excellent and the guides were also excellent.
"Good and better than many of your competitors but our previous cruise with Avalon was..."
Good and better than many of your competitors but our previous cruise with Avalon was excellent, which set a very high standard and this cruise did not quite achieve quite the same high standard.
Good but some things could have been done better.
"Pick up from home great. Food and accommodation on board good. Excursions interesting but early..."
Pick up from home great. Food and accommodation on board good. Excursions interesting but early starts tiring. Travel arrangements could have been better. We experienced some confusion and misinformation. The transfer time between trains in Brussels was not sufficient (45 minutes) as Eurostar has a minimum check-in time of 30 minutes. We missed our connection and had to wait for another train.
Confusion over travel arrangements spoilt the trip.
"Good value for money cruise"
Loved the cruise from the private car pick up to the airport ship ,staff ,food and drink also tours were good.
"Great staff, service level high...."
Great staff, service level high.
Good service, inclusive drinks package a money saver and helps plan expenditure.
"everything was done to make an enjoyable stay aboard"
Service and politeness and caring very good
interesting trip with many valuable on land experiences
The cruise director was a huge improvement on the previous cruise I did with Avalon. He was helpful, patient and had a great sense of humour.
The restaurant staff were friendly and efficient but there were too few of them -- they did their best but with a full passenger list the wait between courses was sometimes very long.
Several of the included excursions did not take account of the fact that too much free time was allocated when a) shops were not yet open, therefore nothing much to do, and b) the weather was freezing (not Avalon's fault but maybe they could have been a bit more flexible with regard to getting passengers back to the ship).
"An experience I would repeat and recommend to friends and family."
We felt that we were exceptionally well catered for in all areas without staff being interfering or overbearing. It made for a relaxed holiday.
I would definitely recommend Avalon and we will be considering booking a further river cruise.
Excellent holiday on a great ship