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Avalon Visionary Review

Find a Avalon Visionary Cruise from £1,297

Avalon Visionary
4.0 / 5.0
73 reviews

Pros
Panoramic sliding-glass doors that create "open-air balconies" and beds facing the river
Cons
All plugs are European only
Bottom Line
An intimate and comfortable ship, small enough to sail places others can't

About

Passengers
128

Crew
35

Passenger to Crew
3.66:1

Launched
2012

Shore Excursions
115
Sails To
Europe
Avalon Waterways Cruise Deals
Ashley Kosciolek
Cruise Critic Contributor

Avalon Visionary Overview

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. Launched in 2012, the 361-foot-long, 36-foot-wide vessel carries 128 passengers and sails on various itineraries on the Rhine and Danube.

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Although smaller than the 443-foot-long ships that sail the same rivers and carry more passengers, Avalon Visionary is big on style, boasting dark-wood finishes with pops of color and fun art throughout. Of the ship's 64 cabins, 52 are one-room suites that are 200 square feet apiece, about 15-percent larger than the industry average. Cabins are comfortably furnished, with the line's trademark "Comfort Collection Beds" offering memory foam mattress toppers and plush pillows and duvets. Surprisingly spacious bathrooms offer marble countertops, glass shower doors and L'Occitane bath products.

However, the biggest sell for these cabins is arguably the 11-foot-by-7-foot panoramic sliding-glass doors that turn the accommodations into rooms with open-air balconies. The beds face the river, and we find this really makes a difference as you view the scenery from your cabin. Other companies have since copied both the French balcony and beds-facing-the-window concept, but no one else has the combo and, for us, it's the best cabin on the rivers.

Breakfast and lunch are both served buffet-style, and the quality of available fare is very high. Dinners are delicious four-course meals with a local focus; they include the line's Avalon Fresh dishes, which are vegetarian and vegan in nature. Whether you're adventurous or prefer to stick to the "always available" menu, you'll find something tasty.

Overall, a cruise on this ship feels like a boutique hotel experience, thanks to its contemporary decor. The smaller size comes in handy, too, on itineraries such as the Moselle, as the ship can sail all the way to Luxembourg. (Larger ships are forced to stop in Bernkastel.)


Top Avalon Visionary Itineraries

Avalon Visionary
4 night a taste of the rhine (southbound)

Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Cologne, Frankfurt

4 Night A Taste of the Rhine (Southbound)

Avalon Visionary

View All Avalon Visionary Itineraries (11)

Fellow Passengers

The average passenger is in his or her 60s, although shorter sailings draw younger travelers. Avalon Visionary also hosts themed sailings, such as wine, beer or golf itineraries, which tend to attract a younger, sportier crowd. More than 50 percent come from North America and other passengers come from the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other English-speaking countries. English is the language spoken onboard.


Avalon Visionary Dress Code

The dress code for all sailings is listed as "smart casual," which generally means khakis and collared shirts or blouses. Jeans are acceptable on shore excursions, and comfortable shoes are a must. There are no formal nights, so gowns and tuxes aren't required. Passengers may swap out jeans for black pants or a skirt, but you won't see a lot of dresses or heels. Men do not need to bring jackets.


Avalon Visionary Inclusions

All tips for the cruise director and crew are included in the fares for passengers from certain countries, including the U.K. and Australia. For passengers from the U.S. the line recommends €3 per passenger, per day, for the cruise director and €12 per person, per day, to be divided among the crew (including room stewards, waiters, chefs and other folks behind the scenes). Envelopes are provided for passengers who want to pay in cash, and gratuities can also be pre-paid at the time of booking the cruise or settled with a credit card, with the rest of the onboard account, at disembarkation. You may also want to give local guides and shore excursion bus drivers a tip, so be sure to have some small denominations on hand. The onboard currency is the euro.

Passengers booking in the U.K., and living within 100 miles of their chosen airport, receive a free door-to-door return chauffeur service, which is included in the fare. For other passengers there are free airport transfers, and transfers from selected hotels, to the ship.

There is at least one free excursion each day. Fares also include soft drinks, wine and beer with lunch and dinner. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the vessel. Bikes are also available onboard for passengers to use free of charge in port.

Cruises on Visionary are port-intensive, so they're great for anyone who enjoys European history and sightseeing. Unlike sailings on ocean ships, voyages include the majority of shore excursions in their pricing. But it's important to note that, since river cruising focuses on the culture and history of the ports visited, there isn't much to do onboard, and the number and duration of shore excursions offered daily may leave you feeling a little more tired than you might after other vacations. Although, of course, passengers can pick and choose whether they want to go on all the included excursions or relax onboard. You will, however, be apt to feel enriched, enlightened and well traveled.


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Avalon Visionary Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins5.04.6
Dining4.04.5
Entertainment3.53.9
Public Rooms4.04.7
Fitness Recreation3.03.8
FamilyN/A
Enrichment4.04.4
Service4.04.8
Value For Money4.04.4

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More about Avalon Visionary

Where does Avalon Visionary sail from?

Avalon Visionary departs from Budapest, Amsterdam and Frankfurt

How much does it cost to go on Avalon Visionary?

Cruises on Avalon Visionary start from £1,297 per person.

Awards and Recognition

Avalon Visionary Member Reviews

Avalon Visionary
MSGran
Sail Date: Oct 2019
The Visionary was spotless and there was a nice lunch buffet ready for us when we arrived.... Read More
Avalon Visionary
gerryv85234
Sail Date: Jun 2019
The morning of our trip departure Avalon had a bus shuttle us & many other passengers from the hotel to the Visionary ship.... Read More
Avalon Visionary
Annebar1
Sail Date: Nov 2019
The Visionary ship was nicely appointed and the crew was very available and helpful. The room was nice, the bathroom large and there was plenty of space for storage.... Read More
Avalon Visionary
longandfosterjames
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Yes we would river cruise with Avalon again if we decided to go on another river cruise, but I think price & itinerary are more important than the actual cruise line especially since it seems all cruise... 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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