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 complimentary wine, beer or soft drinks will be included with dinner & lunch and sparkling wine with breakfast on Avalon Europe river cruises. In Europe, Asia and South America, coffee and tea are available free of charge throughout the day from “early riser” breakfast through dinner. In the Galápagos, wine is included with all dinners. On the Mekong & Irrawaddy rivers, complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits is available throughout the day and wine is included with lunch & dinner. On the Amazon river, complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and 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 in Europe are dressy, but not formal. On the Mekong, Irrawaddy, Amazon and Galápagos coats and ties are not recommended due to the warm humid climate and dressy outfits are not required.
A professional, experienced, English-speaking Cruise Director accompanies every departure. Naturalists are on board in the Amazon and Galápagos.
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. Learn more about dining in Europe.
On the Irrawaddy and Mekong, a mix of Western and Asian dishes is offered; in the Galápagos, you’ll be able to taste some Ecuadorian specialties and in the Amazon, you will be able to sample Peruvian specialties.
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.
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. In Myanmar, while US dollars are accepted at most hotels and attractions, food, souvenirs and other daily purchases usually require local currency (Kyat). ATMs are readily available in Yangon and to a lesser degree in Bagan and Mandalay. It is advised that you check with your bank to ensure your card will work otherwise we recommend you bring all the money you need from home. The currency on board is the U.S. dollar. Shipboard accounts can be settled by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or with cash. Traveler’s checks 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 traveler’s checks.
Peru uses Nuevo Sol (PEN) as their official currency, however, US Dollars are widely accepted as well. Credit cards are accepted in Peru, and you should have no problems using them in larger shops and restaurants. Visa and MasterCard are most accepted. Smaller shops may ask you to pay in cash or have a minimum amount required to use a credit card.
Do I need a passport and a visa?
When traveling outside the United States, a passport is required for U.S. citizens. Some countries also require a visa. Please refer to the Know Before You Go documents for the countries you are visiting for more information.
What size can my suitcase be?
Your single bag should have dimensions not exceeding 30″x21″x11″ and weight not exceeding 50 lbs (22 kg). We regret that we are unable to accept a second suitcase or any luggage exceeding these limits on any Avalon vacation outside of Europe. Some vacations have more restrictive regulations than these listed above, such as cruises on the Mekong & Irrawaddy. Please refer to your travel Documents for more information.
Please note that air carriers, cruise lines, and other forms of transportation may have other restrictions and requirements, including weight, and we recommend that you contact the suppliers directly for additional information. Some airlines also charge fees for checked baggage, and these fees are not included in the vacation or airfare package price. Check with your airline directly for baggage information and regulations. Avalon is not responsible for additional baggage fees imposed by air carriers.
When will I receive my travel documents?
Travel documents, including applicable eTicket receipts, itineraries and other information, are sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure, provided full payment has been received.
When can I purchase optional excursions?
You can learn about the optional excursions available on your Avalon vacation, including cruises with Monograms extensions, by visiting AvalonWaterways.com/MyAvalon. A complete listing will also be available in your travel documents. These are available to purchase in advance online from 90-4 days prior to departure. We recommend you book early to avoid excursions selling out. When adding a Globus tour to your cruise, you may purchase the Globus excursions online 90-4 days prior to the start of the Globus departure by going online to GlobusJourneys.com/MyGlobus.
NOTE: Optional activities and excursions are subject to change and may not be available as described; please visit our website for up-to-date information, including Terms & Conditions and details regarding payment.
Why is my contact information collected when I book?
There may be times when unforeseen events beyond our control impact travel schedules and potentially disrupt your vacation. These include, but are not limited to, severe weather conditions, acts of nature, and government travel advisories. Under such circumstances, it is critical that Avalon be able to contact you immediately and reliably-including nights, weekends, and holidays-to make sure we’ve informed you of any possible changes to your travel.
Additionally, the care and safety of our guests have always been our highest priority. There may be a need to contact you while on the trip or to contact someone back home due to an unforeseen event that happens while on the trip. Therefore, in addition to pre-trip contact information, we also require an emergency contact name and number, as well as an on-trip phone number for all travelers.
How do Monograms & Globus vacations differ from Avalon?
Avalon is a cruise vacation with a Cruise Director and Globus is an inclusive escorted tour with a Tour Director, both of which follow a set itinerary. Monograms vacations, including the package added to your cruise, are independent stays in major cities and destinations that include hotel accommodation with breakfast, sightseeing with VIP access, transportation between cities, and the services of a Monograms professional Local Host.