New to river cruising?

Are you tempted by the luxury of an ocean cruise, but put off by the idea of days at sea, expensive extras and uninspiring views? Welcome to Avalon Waterways river cruises, where five-star service comes free from stuffiness, accommodation is spacious, the food is just as good as any top restaurant and you can admire the ever-changing view from the comfort of your bed. And, with pretty much everything you need included in the price of your holiday, you won't get any nasty surprises once you've closed your front door.

A river cruise is a fantastic way to explore Europe's most beautiful towns, villages and landmarks. Join an included excursion, plump for an optional guided visit, or explore on your own - that's the beauty of an Avalon river cruise.

River cruising is a rapidly-growing holiday, popular with travellers who either enjoy small ship ocean cruising or are simply looking for a different type of holiday. The Cruise Line Industry Association’s cruise review in March 2017 reported an annual increase of 11.2% in people taking a river cruise holiday. Why not join them and see what all the fuss is about?

The on-board experience

People who have never been on a river cruise sometimes wonder what it's like on board a ship. Will it be small and cramped? Do you get a porthole window? Will there be hundreds of people on board?

River cruising with Avalon Waterways is the ultimate in relaxed luxury. Our beautiful ships are small and intimate, offering a refined but unpretentious atmosphere. Our staterooms offer 30 per cent more space than the industry standard, and most include wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows that open to create your own open-air balcony. Uniquely positioned to face the view, you can watch the world drift serenely by from the comfort of your own bed.  

Our lounges and restaurants are light and airy, and there are three members of staff to every passenger. You won't find big West End-style theatre productions on board our river cruise ships. Evenings are spent enjoying a drink on deck or in the lounge, chatting with friends new and old, admiring the view from your open-air balcony or simply snuggling up to watch a movie in your stateroom. Grab a book, listen to a guest speaker or local entertainers, or perhaps even take part in an on-board tasting of wine, beer or regional delicacies.

Explore our ships


Our authentic regional lunch and dinner menus are freshly created each day by expert chefs – so whatever country you visit, you can taste the local cuisine, beers and wine onboard and ashore. 

Discover Avalon's dining

VIP home pick-up service to the airport, regional flights, full-board dining and excursions... So much is included, even down to gratuities, so there’s no awkwardness of working out how much to tip. 

What’s included

Ashore experiences

Having smaller vessels allows us to dock in the heart of iconic cities, historic towns and hard-to-reach villages, so you can immerse yourself straight away in the local sights and sounds and make the most of every stop. Excursions are included, but you have the freedom to choose whether you join them, or discover each port of call on your own terms. It’s just another way we’re different to other operators.

Discover Europe