Avalon Waterways - Frequently Asked Avalon Waterways River Cruise Questions
- For more detailed information on Cruising (nautical terms, and much more), visit this link:
Avalon Cruising FAQ's
- For more detailed information on Traveling Requirements and more (passport information,Avalon Travel Protection,etc;) visit this link:
Avalon Travel FAQ's
What do you need to know while on board?
Air Conditioning and Heating
All rooms on the ships are air conditioned and heated. All ships have individual
controls in the staterooms.
Choice of of complimentary wine, beer or soft drinks will be included with
dinner on Avalon Europe river cruises. In Europe, China and the Galápagos,
coffee and tea are available free of charge throughout the day from "early
riser" breakfast through dinner. In Egypt, sodas are included at lunch and
dinner. On the Yangtze wine is included with all dinners. On the Mekong
complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer/spirits is available
throughout the day and wine is included with dinner.
Dress aboard and on shore is casual. Please bring comfortable walking shoes for
sightseeing. Dinner attire is casual—open-neck shirts, slacks, dresses. Coats
and ties may be worn. The Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinners are dressy, but
not formal. On the Mekong coats and ties are not recommended due to the warm
A professional, experienced, English-speaking Cruise Director accompanies every
All meals on board are prepared by accomplished chefs and consist of local food
adjusted for North American tastes. There is a full buffet breakfast, and in
Europe a buffet lunch including choice of soups and main courses with appetizer,
salad or sandwich, and dessert. On the Yangtze, a mix of Western and Chinese
dishes is offered; in the Galápagos, you'll be able to taste some Ecuadorian
specialties. In Egypt the cuisine is a mix of Western and Eastern dishes. Dinner
is a multi-course meal with a choice of entrées.
Currency and Credit Cards
Most of the countries you will be visiting in Europe use the Euro. Exceptions
are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania; they all have their own
currencies but the Euro is accepted in many establishments. Many locations
accept major credit cards; however in small towns they are not widely accepted.
In these cases and for incidentals or small vendors, you will need some local
currency. ATM machines are located on shore at some stops. Prior to your
departure, confirm with your bank that your ATM or credit card and PIN number
will work abroad. All purchases on board are charged to your room account. For
payment of shipboard accounts, Euro and U.S. dollars are accepted as well as
American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Diner's Club. A fee is charged for the
use of traveler's checks. Personal checks cannot be cashed on board.
U.S. dollars are widely accepted on shore. The local currency is the Yuan. ATM
machines will dispense yuan or they can be purchased on board the ship using
U.S. dollars. The currency on board is the yuan. Shipboard accounts can be
settled in cash, traveler's checks or most major credit cards.
In Southeast Asia:
Although, each country has its own currency including the Riel (Cambodia), Dong
(Vietnam), Bhat (Thailand), and Kip (Laos), U.S. dollars are widely accepted in
each country. ATMs are available in most large cities and will dispense the
local currency. The currency on board is the U.S. dollar. Shipboard accounts can
be settled by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or with cash. Traveller's cheques
are not accepted.
Ecuador uses US Dollars as their official currency. 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.
The official currency in the Egyptian pound, but Euros and US Dollars are widely
accepted. In small towns it is recommended to carry small amounts of local
currency, but vendors in tourist areas are likely to accept US Dollars. Credit
cards are usually accepted in larger towns. ATMs are available in most larger
cities. Shipboard accounts can be settled by credit card or with cash. Travelers
checks are not accepted.
Dining in Europe
When it comes to dining, you'll savor your destination in more ways than one.
Whether you're planning a busy day of sightseeing or a relaxing day on board,
start each day with the breakfast that's right for you! Sumptuous breakfast
buffets feature menu items that are conveniently color coded to indicate foods
that are low calorie, low fat/low calorie, high fiber, low cholesterol, and high
energy. Meanwhile, tantalizing lunch buffets will please your palate, and each
onboard sit-down dinner features an inviting selection of appetizers, soups,
entrees (including vegetarian choices), desserts, and complimentary coffee, tea,
and regional wines. From the rouladen of Germany to the fine wines of France,
Avalon's professional chefs will delight your tastebuds with regional specialties as
well as Western favorites (complimentary wine, beer or soft drinks will be
included with dinner on Avalon Europe river cruises). And for those times when a
quiet breakfast sounds appealing, room service of Continental breakfast is
available in all staterooms and suites on Avalon Waterways European ships.
Electricity on board is 220v. The bathrooms have a dual 220v/110-120v plug for
shavers and small appliances. You will need an adapter or converter to use in
other outlets in the stateroom for any small personal items such as a razor,
curling iron or alarm clock. In the Galápagos, electrical outlets are 110v with
American type outlets.
Gratuities on board and on land are not included in the cruise price. Tipping is
a personal way to show your satisfaction for good service and is always
appreciated. It is recommended that tips be paid in cash. Alternatively you may
choose to prepay gratuities for the Cruise Director and ships' crew (except for
All ships have hair dryers for passenger use; please ask at the Avalon reception desk
if one is not in your stateroom.
Laundry service is available on board for a modest fee. Check the price list in
your stateroom. Clothes cannot be dry cleaned on board. For safety reasons, Avalon
asks that passengers do not iron their clothes in the staterooms as this is a
safety hazard; the laundry service will do pressing for a fee.
You may check out books from the ship's library free of charge. Avalon asks that you
return them before your cruise ends.
Due to the proximity to land, medical services can be called from shore rapidly.
In the Galápagos, there is a physician on board.
The onboard daily newsletter features information about daily activities, shore
excursions and tour departure times.
The language on board is English. All staff, crew and tour guides speak English.
All announcements and commentary will be in English.
Each ship has a shop area offering accessories, film, souvenirs and some select
personal and toiletry items.
Ships have in-room safes. In the Galápagos, valuables may be stored in the
ship's safe free of charge.
In Europe and in the Galápagos, all ships have non-smoking interiors. Smoking is
only permitted on the Sky Deck. On vessels in Egypt and China smoking is limited
to certain areas of the ship. On the Mekong smoking is only permitted on the Sun
Passengers celebrating special occasions, such as anniversaries or birthdays,
should alert Avalon ship personnel upon boarding the ship. Special services are
available (some free of charge) on Europe cruises.
Each stateroom has a direct dial telephone which may be used to call between
staterooms. Ship-to-shore calls are also available. Any charges are placed on
your shipboard account. In the Galápagos and on the Kasr Ibrim on Lake Nasser in
Egypt, there are two satellite-linked pay phones available for use in the
reception lounge. On the Mekong a phone is available for emergencies if needed.
Each stateroom has color satellite TV and will receive some English programming.
There is a shipboard information channel and a channel with entertainment videos
or movies. A TV is found in the ship's library in the Galápagos only. There is
no televion service on Lake Nasser or on the Mekong.
Your Shipboard Account
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For your convenience, all purchases and paid services on board are billed with a
guest check and added to your personal Avalon shipboard account.
Before you go
Avalon will send you a set of travel documents, which includes a copy of your
itinerary, and, where applicable, information on your hotels and optional
excursions. Travel documents, including any air tickets, itineraries, and other information,
are sent by Avalon approximately two to three weeks prior to departure provided full payment has been received.
*Please note: Make sure your address is one that can receive packages.
Single room supplement & guaranteed shares
For single travelers who prefer the privacy of their own room and stateroom,
single accommodation can, of course, be requested. On European and Southeast Asia river cruises: Guaranteed shares are
available in select categories. If you are traveling alone but prefer to share a
cabin, Avalon will try to match you up with a single traveler of the same gender.
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Extra nights before & after your vacation
If you'd like to add extra hotel nights, Avalon will try to make arrangements for
you at their contracted rates. Rates are per person, per night, and include room
with private bath, breakfast, service charges and taxes. Extra hotel nights are
only available immediately prior to or after your vacation and are not available
on some cruise-only vacations. If your vacation includes a hotel stay, every
effort will be made to reserve extra nights at the hotel where your vacation
stays. If space at the hotel is not available, alternative accommodation will be
reserved at a hotel of equivalent standard. When this is the case, the transfer
to and from the included hotel is at Avalon's expense. During particularly busy
periods, hotel space in certain cities can become so tight that Avalon may be unable
to sell extra nights.
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Deluxe, Superior First-Class & First-Class hotels nearly everywhere
Avalon is proud to be associated with some of the finest establishments
worldwide. Many of them belong to famous chains such as Westin,
InterContinental, and Hilton.
The specific hotels Avalon River Cruises have selected for you are listed separately for each
vacation. The vast majority of them are Deluxe (D), Superior First-Class (SF),
or First-Class (F) establishments. In a few overnight places, where there is no
hotel in these categories, Avalon will choose the best available (BA) hotels.
Avalon hotel ratings follow the standards set by the independent Hotel & Travel
Index and by national tourist boards. The specific rating for each contract
hotel is determined by Avalon's quality controllers.
Avalon Waterways reserves the right to substitute hotels listed on the itinerary pages with
hotels of equivalent standard. Within your Avalon travel documents you'll receive
a list of hotel addresses, telephone numbers, and fax numbers for your vacation.
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In Avalon vacations many years of cruising experience, they have found that children under the
age of eight typically are too young to fully enjoy a cruise vacation. Because
of this and for the safety and enjoyment of all passengers, Avalon Waterways does not accept
children under eight years of age. In addition, please note that there are no
special arrangements or activities for children on their ships.
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Avalon offers comprehensive protection for your travel investment. In addition
to excellent trip coverage and cancellation protection, an extra benefit is also
available that allows for cancellation up to 24 hours prior to of departure (or
prior business day, whichever is farther out) for any reason. In the event the
reason for the cancellation is not covered under the plan inclusions, the
cancellation penalty as retained by Avalon will be reimbursed in the form of
Travel Certificates, minus the travel protection payment, valid for travel
within 2 years from the original cancelled vacation start date. The cancel for
any reason benefit does not cover independently purchased air or Instant
Purchase Air arranged by Avalon.
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View more about Avalon Waterways Travel Protection.
Internet access on Avalon ships in Europe
All Avalon ships in Europe have complimentary 3G WI-FI available for in-room
use, as well as public computers with Internet connections in the Internet
Corner. To access the ship's Wi-Fi network you will be given a PIN number at the
Avalon reception desk to use on your laptop to access the Internet.
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Are Avalon Waterways river cruises handicap accessible?
Avalon Waterways makes reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of
disabled and mobility impaired travelers but is not responsible in the event it
is unable to do so. Because Avalon Waterways cannot provide individual assistance to travelers
in many situations, and most of their transportation services are not equipped
with wheelchair ramps, Avalon recommends that you view their
terms and conditions for
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How does Avalon support sustainable travel and protect the environment?
Avalon is committed to minimizing its impact on the environment and to reducing
its dependence on non-renewable resources. In this endeavor, Avalon has implemented
policies to support this mission and are working carefully to enhance their
products with this mission and their values combined. Avalon is committed to
complying with all relevant legislation and/or regulations.
Avalon maintains a policy of "Leave Only Footprints and Take Only Photos". Their
staff and major service providers strive to ensure that no removal of any
natural or cultural artifacts or materials to ensure Avalon's environment looks and
functions the same before and after your visit. Avalon's river cruise directors educate
passengers on their "do no harm" code of conduct to ensure that the passengers
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