Avalon Waterways

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In early May, we took a river cruise on Avalon Waterways from Lyon to Arles in France. On the last few days of this cruise, I would estimate the approximately 50% to 60% of the people (and crew) on this river cruise became sick from Norovirus... With intense diarrhea and vomiting. The largest % of people became sick on the last night of the trip and we had a 3-hour bus ride scheduled to Nice at 9 AM. I was one of the people who was up all night - filling the toilet & sink many times. Other members of our group reported projectile vomiting & pooping all over their rooms in the middle of the night. One friend vomited in her suitcase.

In complete candor, I felt that Avalon Waterways was very poorly prepared for an event of this type. In my opinion, it seemed that Avalon's top priority was to get us off the ship and shuffle all of us "sickos" off to the Carlton Hotel in Cannes. Out of sight; out of mind. I am 67 years old & in good health... And I was miserable. There were many people in their mid-80's who clearly required some kind of medical attention. People could have died. Avalon Waterways has not trained their staff properly / and had no established protocols for a massive norovirus outbreak of this type. No offer to call physicians from Arles for the people who could not get out of bed / no recommendations about hydration / no Imodium on board. It was shabby treatment of good customers at best. Avalon Waterways was responsible for getting us all sick and did not care about us. Just ship us off to Cannes - someone else's problem.

Expert Review

Michelle BaranRiver Cruises Contributing Editor

Michelle Baran is a senior editor at Travel Weekly, where she has been reporting on the travel and river cruise industries since 2007. Baran has also written about river cruising for Travel + Leisure, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia and Budget Travel, and co-authored Frommer’s "EasyGuide to River Cruising.” She received her Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University.    More about Michelle→

Headquartered in Colorado, Avalon Waterways offers a variety of river cruises in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.

  • Specialized cruises: Avalon has special interest cruises such as Christmas market cruises, beer lovers cruises and cruises with themes focused on World War I and II, art, music, food, wellness and wine.
  • Views: About 65 percent of Avalon beds face the window so cruisers don't miss out on the passing views. Speaking of the windows, Avalon’s Suite Ship class of river cruise vessels feature cabins with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows that slide open to transform the staterooms into open-air balconies.
  • Varied excursions: Excursions include guided sightseeing and optional bike tours as well as off-the-beaten-path tours. Cruisers can book these options before their cruise begins.
  • Local focus: Avalon brings local artisans and guest speakers aboard and offers food and wine tastings so cruisers can experience the local flavor of each port.
  • Deals: Avalon frequently runs deals, including those that waive the supplement for solo travelers as well as those that offer couples a considerable discount.
  • Best for Couples, older travelers, younger adults and solo travelers should all have fun on an Avalon Waterways cruise.

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Avalon Waterways Company Profile

Company Name:
Avalon Waterways
Year Founded:
5301 South Federal Circle
Postal Code:
United States