Cruise & Travel Lifestyles

Avalon’s Active & Discovery Cruises

Contact Your Cruise Travel Expert

Avalon Waterways' Active & Discovery is an exciting type of cruise that introduces you to the people and places of Europe in the most engaged and fun ways imaginable. Avalon puts you in the captain’s seat to navigate your journey, fuel your passions and steer clear of the unexpected as you cruise down the world’s most memorable waterways by offering activities for travellers with varying interests and of all energy and fitness levels. From action-packed experiences and interactive discoveries, to traditional sightseeing (yes, castles and museums), you can tailor your vacation to suit your interests and pace. A perfect cruising choice for boomers as well as younger cruisers looking for a stress-free, unforgettable vacation.

For the traveller who thrives on motion and action, there is a broad menu of energetic excursions. You might find yourself on a hike tour in Val D'Enfer while sailing through Provence on the Rhône, on a biking tour through the World Heritage Site of Wachau Valley in Austria, or even a canoe trip while on the Danube. From a climbing trip up to a medieval castle to hiking in the Black Forest, these included excursions pack real get-up-and-go for those who like to do the same. And while Avalon is not alone in offering biking and hiking excursions, their active and discovery concept goes deeper than anyone else's, with in-depth experiences for absolutely every type of cruiser.

For those who believe that life is about trying new things, Avalon presents an inspiring selection of interactive excursions created for the different kind of “doer”. These hands-on experiences include a painting class in Amsterdam learning to paint still-life and channeling your inner Van Gogh, tasting locally produced cheese and wine at an ancient abbey in France, or saying “Guten Morgen” (good morning) to Vienna on an early-riser walk to a quaint café for breakfast like a local. You will be an active participant in a variety of creative and engaging endeavours that will fill your senses, create once-in-a-lifetime memories and here comes the best part, are all included in your cruise fare.

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of each port with excursions to historic castles, churches and museums, drive a Trabant (a small car produced by an East German car manufacturer), explore an ice cave, underground salt or coal mine, or help a farmer in his apricot orchard. In every port, Avalon gives you a world of possibilities as you interact with the locals and choose from a long list of activities that appeal to you the most, with emphasis on immersion and activity. It’s the Old World in a whole new way, your way.

You will find an Avalon Waterways’ Active & Discovery cruise on every major river in Europe, including the upper and lower Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Rhône and Seine Rivers. Every day, you can choose from a selection of included ‘Active,’ ‘Discovery’ and ‘Classic’ excursions, giving you countless opportunities to customize your getaway.

Avalon Waterways is one of Canada's finest river brands, and they really focus on ensuring all guests have a terrific time on board. The atmosphere is one of great camaraderie enhanced by the wonderful personality and care taken by the ship’s proficient Cruise Director, who knows his craft very well, enhancing everyone's experience. He or she will organize bike tours, hikes, daily yoga and even cardio classes, as well as classic walking tours, and is always available to help you with your choice of excursions. For those tech-savvy, everything is easily accessible and booked from the useful AvalonGo app that you load on your phone before leaving home.

All Active & Discovery cruise itineraries sail on Avalon Waterways’ signature Suite Ships which provide guests two full decks of 200-square-foot, one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites featuring the industry’s only Open-Air Balconies and beds facing the incredible views for which European river cruising is famous. Avalon’s staterooms are spacious by industry standards, offer excellent amenities, lots of storage and terrific bathrooms - there’s a reason Avalon’s ships are the critics’ darlings and favourites among cruising’s most discerning guests.

Each ship has an elegant, contemporary design and offers several dining choices: a Club Lounge for 24-hour self-serve beverages and snacks, an expansive top deck with lounge chairs and whirlpool, and the popular Sky Grill. One of the delights of river cruising is the service from the staff, who hail from a variety of European countries and pride themselves on delighting every guest! The chefs, as is typical on a ship, do a great job of offering diverse and tasty menu options and even a wonderful al fresco BBQ lunch accompanied by local music on the top deck for you to enjoy. Weather permitting, of course. The main dining room is open for all meals with an open-seating dining policy, sit where you please, with whomever you choose, making it easy to meet fellow guests. Local wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner (and they are not shy about topping up your glass!), and the atmosphere is charming. Everyone can be casually dressed, and the thoughtful service of the staff enhances the camaraderie. Healthy dining options, called Avalon Fresh, with vegetarian and vegan dishes are also available for you to enjoy thanks to a partnership with the Wrenkh Brothers (founders of the Wrenkh Vienna Culinary School), two rising culinary stars from Austria. All their ingredients are sourced from small organic farms and local producers.

Avalon is committed to enhancing your cruising experience while reducing their impact on the world. Taking sustainability to greater depth, they are focused on conserving energy, saving water and limiting waste production across all levels of operations, dining and housekeeping on each and every ship as well as supporting local businesses and the communities they visit along the way. Avalon’s list of green practices is longer than the Danube.

It is clear that thought has gone into every detail and you will not be disappointed when you choose Avalon Waterways’ Active & Discovery cruises. Contact your Travel Professional for details or explore here.

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.