Aggstein castle europe

Avalon's Little Luxuries

11 November 2016
Read Time: 2.4 mins

Winding along the legendary Rhine from Amsterdam to Switzerland, Flight Centre Travel Expert Alison McCarthy journeyed through the Black Forest and past historic castles on an eight-day Romantic Rhine river cruise. We chatted to Alison about her experience.

sunset over central european city Enjoy divine European sunsets.

What was the highlight of your cruise?

The highlight for me was just being able to sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the Rhine Valley from the comfort of my stateroom with good company.

What were your favourite stops?

I absolutely adored Strasbourg. It’s like a French version of Venice with canals and waterways running through the town. The included excursion to Heidelberg is an absolute must too. I also joined the optional excursion to Colmar on the last day and loved it; the capital of Alsatian wine is just so quaint.

burgundy vineyards Burgundy wine region in France.

What was the onboard experience like?

My time on board the Avalon Imagery II was very relaxed. Our Cruise Director didn’t like to make announcements over the PA, so the atmosphere on board remained casual and calm. If you wanted to participate in an activity, you simply showed up. Over the seven days you do really get to know most of the staff and passengers. It’s a very warm and welcoming way to travel, and I found that there was still enough space on board to escape if you wanted some time alone.

What was the food like?

If you’re a foodie or enjoy a good wine pairing, then river cruising was made for you! The quality of the food was outstanding; the menu changed every night and the kitchen always sourced local ingredients and wines. The service from the staff was second to none. Everyone knows your name and they remember how you like your coffee in the morning and what you like to drink with dinner. We were eating like the locals and loving it!

Avalon ship stateroom The spacious staterooms on board.

Any ship highlights?

The Avalon ships are simply stunning – contemporary in their design and comfortable. Avalon is also one of the only river cruise lines to offer beds facing the window in all rooms on board. This may not sound like a big deal, but having just spent seven days on a river ship I think this makes a huge difference. The staterooms are also much larger, thanks to the wonderful French balconies. 

Do you have any tips for first-timers?

Just sit back and relax and enjoy the journey. The crew really go out of their way to take care of you and make the journey special. Everything that you need is already included, and of the few optional extras, you choose what speaks to you so you’re only paying for what you use. Oh, and pack loose pants; you’ll be fed better than you ever have before in your life!

cochem german village Cochem, Germany

Get in touch with Alison:

Phone: 1300 518 029


Images supplied by Avalon. 

Tijana Jaksic

Tijana loves new adventures as much as she enjoys reliving old ones. Favourite stops on the map so far include Greece (beyond the islands!), Mexico City (hello ancient ruins and wonderful art), Poland (for the history and off-the-beaten-track finds), Berlin (so artsy and chilled) and Bosnia (ahhh the natural beauty). Choosing is always hard though - that's why her list is so long and she spends her 'real life' time writing about travel until she's out there on the road again.