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Avalon Panorama Review

Find a Avalon Panorama Cruise from £1,779

Avalon Panorama
5.0 / 5.0
79 reviews

Pros
Cons
Bottom Line

About

Passengers
164

Crew
47

Passenger to Crew
3.49:1

Launched
2011

Shore Excursions
73
Sails To
Europe
Sails From
Avalon Waterways Cruise Deals
Carol Sottili
Cruise Critic Contributor

Avalon Panorama Overview

As new ships flood the burgeoning river-cruise market, each one-upping the other with better bells and more whistles, the what-will-they-think-of-next game is in full swing. Avalon Waterways' entry into the competition is 164-passenger Avalon Panorama, whose "Panorama Suite" innovation is brilliant in its simplicity.

In developing the new design, Avalon Waterways, part of the Globus family of brands, faced the obstacles that all ships plying the rivers of Europe must conquer. That is, the company wanted to provide passengers with balconies and more public open space onboard, while concurrently dealing with European river constraints. (Think varying water levels, low bridges, narrow locks and tiny docks.)

So, how did Avalon Panorama rise to the challenge? Magnificently. Each Panorama Suite features an 11-foot-wide, seven-foot-tall wall of glass that can slide to reveal a gaping, almost magical open-air expanse. When the doors are opened, take my word, you'll feel as if the entire cabin was outdoors.

Freed from having to set aside space for dedicated outdoor balconies, the 200-square-foot Panorama Suites are 15 percent larger than many river ship cabins, allowing room in each for a queen bed, a small couch, table and chair. It's no surprise that reaction has been positive.

Public gathering spaces have also been maxed out on the 443-foot-long, 37.4-foot-wide ship with four decks. In addition to the shiplong sky deck, there's a large indoor lounge, a smaller indoor club lounge and an outdoor covered seating area in the front of the ship, perfect for open-air sightseeing on rainy days.

Interior design is contemporary chic, with lots of dark espresso woods highlighted with colorful modern art and deep orange rugs and furniture. Think Scandinavian rather than French Provincial. A French influence can be felt, however, in the high-quality L'Occitane bath products -- which sport a delicious lemon verbena scent -- and the fine wines, such as a full-bodied Cotes de Roussillon from the south of France.

The mostly Eastern European staff was generally efficient and pleasant, although not all spoke fluent English. Knowledgeable, English-speaking local guides led shore excursions (at least one daily excursion was included), and the excursions were enhanced with the use of wireless headsets.

While the ship markets almost exclusively to passengers from the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it retains some not-so-welcome European influences, including 220-volt outlets, mostly German-speaking TV channels and the euro as ship currency, which, because it is strong against the dollar, means higher gratuity and drink costs. But, those are minor complaints.

A recent five-night preview cruise on the Rhine and Moselle rivers was a nice taste of what passengers will experience on Panorama's usual 14-night sailings between Amsterdam and Budapest. (Shorter Christmas market cruises will also be offered.) The ship docks at a different place each day and cruises mostly at night, with daytime sailings confined to exceptionally scenic portions of the journey. Included morning walking tours instantly familiarize passengers with the typically small towns, and within a few hours, it's easy to feel a real affinity for each village's markets, churches and riverfront walking paths. The leisurely rhythm of the region's slower pace of life is impossible to resist, and in just a few days, drinking an afternoon beverage among the regulars at the local Biergarten or buying a hunk of fresh farm cheese from a market stand becomes second nature.

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Top Avalon Panorama Itineraries

Avalon Panorama
7 night romantic rhine (southbound)

Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Cologne, Koblenz, Mainz, Strasbourg, Basel

7 Night Romantic Rhine (Southbound)

Avalon Panorama

View All Avalon Panorama Itineraries (3)

Fellow Passengers

The ship, with its 14-night Magnificent Europe itinerary between Budapest and Amsterdam (except for shorter Christmas market sailings), appeals to retired Americans and Canadians, with an average age of about 60. The ship has also been heavily marketed in Australia and New Zealand, whose citizens tend to take longer vacations when visiting Europe. About 50 percent of Panorama's existing bookings are Australians, which may skew the average age lower, as Avalon's passengers are typically only about 25 percent Australian.


Avalon Panorama Dress Code

Country-club casual is the order of the day. Leave the jeans and T-shirts, as well as the opulent evening gowns and tuxes, at home. At dinner, understated cocktail dresses and jackets (sans ties) are appropriate. Bring good walking shoes.


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Avalon Panorama Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins5.04.7
Dining5.04.4
Entertainment4.03.9
Public Rooms5.04.5
Fitness Recreation4.03.9
Family2.0N/A
Enrichment4.04.2
Service4.04.6
Value For Money4.04.2

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More about Avalon Panorama

Where does Avalon Panorama sail from?

Avalon Panorama departs from Amsterdam and Budapest

How much does it cost to go on Avalon Panorama?

Cruises on Avalon Panorama start from £1,779 per person.

Awards and Recognition

Avalon Panorama Member Reviews

Avalon Panorama
kentcouple65
Sail Date: Nov 2019
- by the way the Captain on the Avalon Panorama was rarely seen and no Captain's Table).... Read More
Avalon Panorama
GMLoman
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Without a doubt, our Avalon Panorama cruise was special! Everything was so well-organized and the ease of shore excursions (without lengthy queuing) was so appreciated.... Read More
Avalon Panorama
ksloanbrown
Sail Date: Jun 2019
It was the Avalon Panorama, cabin 233. It was definitely a panorama suite, but A? B? P? Who knows.... Read More
Avalon Panorama
Forest Beach
Sail Date: Oct 2019
My expectation is that the Avalon river cruise experience is on par with cruises provided by other comparably priced cruise lines.... Read More

Avalon Waterways Fleet

Avalon Imagery II
75 reviews

Suite ship Avalon Imagery II debuted in 2017 and with only 128 passengers, is small enough to access lesser-known ports and towns on the Rhine.

Avalon Imagery Cruises to Europe View All Avalon Imagery Cruises
Avalon Creativity
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Avalon Creativity is part of Avalon's Scenery-class of 140-passenger ships, and cruises along France's Seine River.

Avalon Panorama
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Avalon Panorama offers 17 172-square-foot deluxe cabins outfitted with standard windows that offer limited views (read: no open-air balconies) and two 300-square-foot Royal Suites with panoramic windows.

Avalon Vista

The 166-passenger Avalon Vista is a "Suite Ship." Vista also features all the classic riverboat accouterments, including a top-deck whirlpool, bow-to-stern Wi-Fi and spacious sun deck dotted with loungers.

Avalon Visionary
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Avalon Visionary, is one of Avalon Waterways' "Suite Ships." It is the sister ship to Imagery II, Tapestry II, Tranquillity II, Poetry II and Artisty II.

Avalon Artistry II

The 128-passenger Avalon Artistry II will join the Avalon Waterways fleet of river cruise ships in 2013. One of the lines Suite Ships, Avalon Artistry II features 52 suites, at least 200 square ft.

Avalon Expression

This four-deck river boat features 66 suites, a sky deck with a whirlpool and open-air bistro, multiple lounges, a small fitness center and free Wi-Fi.

Avalon Poetry II
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


The 128-passenger Avalon Poetry II is one of the smallest of Avalon Waterways' suite ships, a full 82 feet shorter than most of the ships in its class.

Avalon Illumination
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Avalon Waterways' 164-passenger Avalon Illumination, part of the line's "suite ship" class, offers roomy cabins, multiple lounges and contemporary chic design.

Avalon Impression

Avalon Impression has 83 cabins, three lounges, a whirlpool and games area on the Sun Deck, a fitness center, hair salon and two dining venues.

Avalon Myanmar
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

A cruise on Avalon Myanmar is as much about the itinerary as the boat itself, which was purpose built to sail the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar (Burma).

Avalon Siem Reap
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


A delightfully intimate experience -- only 36 passengers -- that gets cruisers into the heart of Cambodia and Vietnam

Avalon Tapestry II
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Launched in 2015, the 128-passenger Avalon Tapestry II is one of Avalon Waterways' "Suite Ships," a term that reflects the company's pride in its all-suite accommodation.

Avalon Tranquility II

One of Avalon Waterways' all-suite ships, Avalon Tranquility II features two full decks of suites with wall-to-wall sliding windows that create an open-air balcony with seating for six.

Avalon Passion
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


With its newest "Suite Ship," the 166-passenger Passion, Avalon rises to the occasion with an experience that's modern, but still familiar and relaxing.

Avalon Saigon
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Avalon's second ship on the Mekong River has the line's signature award-winning cabins on a smaller vessel.

Avalon Envision
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


The latest in Avalon's successful line of Suite Ships, Avalon Envision features two decks of Panorama Suites and plenty of active options on Europe's rivers.

Avalon View

Set to debut in 2020, Avalon View is Avalon Waterways’ newest Suite Ship. Sister to 2019’s Avalon Envision, it will primarily cruise itineraries along Europe’s Rhine River.

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