Home THE JOURNEY Cruise Off-Season Cruising is So Cool it’s Hot

Off-Season Cruising is So Cool it’s Hot

Avalon river cruise boat on the Rhine River

Bright lights, winter nights, and harvest heights. The seasonal allure of off-season travel is swelling across the globe. That’s especially true for Avalon Waterways. Since 2023, the company has increased its off-season cruise offerings by 88 percent (88%), Adding new departures to a robust menu of Wine Cruises during the harvest season and Festive Cruises celebrating Christmas to meet demand.

Eat, Drink & Be Cozy. “Cruising in the off-season goes together like winter and a warm sweater,” said Pam Hoffee, president of Avalon Waterways. “Every year, our November and December Festive- and Wine-themed cruises sell out, encouraging us to add more departures. Next season will mark the third year we have increased November and December itineraries and departures to accommodate our guests and their interests. It’s hard to continue to call fall and winter cruising ‘off season’ when it’s become so popular!”

The Season of Sparkle. There’s nothing more festive, dazzling, or inviting than Europe’s tradition-rich Christmas Markets. Avalon Waterways Festive Cruises deliver holiday magic to European travelers from Basel to Budapest and Nuremberg to Prague. The company is selling out year-over-year, with 18 itineraries on the books for 2025, offering more off-season holiday cruises than ever before. In fact, since 2019, Avalon Waterways has increased its capacity for Festive season cruises by 118 percent (118%).

NEW Festive Cruises for next year include several longer itineraries such as Christmastime from Frankfurt to Vienna (12 days); Christmastime from Budapest to Frankfurt (13 days); Christmastime from Basel to Vienna (16 days) and Christmastime from Budapest to Basel (17 days).

Uncorked Fun in the Fall. Whether they have a nose for the perfect Burgundy or if everything Avalon guests know about wine could fit in a thimbleful of Chardonnay, the river cruise line’s special Wine Cruises – all of which take place between October and November – invite travelers to sniff, swirl and sip their way through Europe’s legendary and picturesque vineyards during the fall, including harvest season. A great blend!

Avalon Waterways is increasing its wine-themed departures and capacity by 80 percent (80%) for 2025 and inviting guests to sail on “cloud wine” on seven (7) itineraries (and 18 departures) next year.

Pairing well with the most popular rivers in Europe, Avalon’s wine-themed itineraries cruise the Rhône, Seine, Rhine, Danube and Moselle Rivers. And, while all of these special interest, off-season cruises will sell out, some of the company’s most popular Wine departures include Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (8 days); The Rhine & Moselle for Wine Lovers (11 days) and Grand France for Wine Lovers (15 days). Avalon also offers cruises through Bordeaux in France and on the Douro in Portugal – two beloved wine regions for river cruises and wine-lovers

In addition to Avalon Waterways’ special interest cruises that set sail during the off-season, other themed cruises that invite guests to pack their passions include Storyteller, Beer, Culinary, Garden and Nature, Music and Jazz, and History.