Avalon-Optional Excursions

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71 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
My mom and I will be on the Felicity (Amsterdam-Basel), Sept 30-Oct 7th 2018. It’s our first river cruise (I’ve been on a few caribbean ocean cruises) and we’ve both traveled extensively in Europe (my mom is Swiss-American).
We received our cruise itinerary and have looked at all the included and optional excursions. We weren’t clear whether we can book the optional excursions once our cruise starts or do we have to pre-book ahead of the cruise?
If anyone has done this cruise, tell me your favorite excursions or which to avoid (either included or optional ones)! Thank you in advance MarieM
4 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
See my next post—I am trying out a new wireless keyboard for my iPad for my upcoming trip....and the keyboard is winning .
4 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Your question: We weren’t clear whether we can book the optional excursions once our cruise starts or do we have to pre-book ahead of the cruise?

We are also on the Felicity, sailing Basel to Amsterdam Sept 9 (assuming adequate water levels, that is!!). This is also our first river cruise. From the information I received, it appears you can pre-book if you would like OR wait to book when you are on the ship. Of course, they mention you take the risk of there not being space on a particular tour if you wait. Since this is our first cruise, I have no idea of how often a tour is full by the time you board. Optional excursions purchased in advance of travel are non-refundable within four days to “commencement of services, unless otherwise listed as non-refundable at time of purchase.” So it sounds like you can change your mind later, if you pre-book, given adequate notice and assuming that tour is refundable. Hope you have a wonderful cruise. I am counting down the days myself!!!
Mississauga, Ontario
820 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We are presently on Avalon Poetry on the Rhone and just finished the cruise down the Rhine on Tranquility.

We pre-purchased a couple of excursions but the majority on both cruises did not.

We booked one on the Rhine while on board and today booked two for our Rhone cruise.

No problem booking while onboard. In fact, I would recommend doing that because you will receive a more in depth description of the tours than is on Avalon website.

Enjoy planning.. that is half the fun.

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545 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
We have done a number of Avalon river cruises and yes easy to book on board. Plus if there are interruptions high/low water or lock closures/strikes and the cruise ports are changed optional excursions will change.
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Bellville, Texas
380 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
You can book on board. There is a possibility, perhaps slight, that a very popular option could fill up. If there is something you REALLY want to do, I would prebook it to ensure your seat.
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Ontario, Canada
2,826 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
There is also the risk that an optional might be cancelled due to lack of interest. There is often a minimum number of passengers that need to book for the tour to proceed.

On a cruise with Avalon last year in the Netherlands, we pre-booked Zaanse Schans as we wanted that on our 1st day pre-boarding. There were not many of us on that tour, and I was told by the Avalon rep at the hotel that they don't cancel anything pre-booked. So - if there is something you really want to see, and would be disappointed if it didn't proceed, I would suggest you pre-book.

Not sure if this is true for all excursions, but I did file that tidbit of info away for future cruises. If they did cancel, you would have your money refunded.