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Doing our first Avalon cruise on Expression from Budapest to Amsterdam, 26 July- 10 August. We are arriving a day early and need a hotel close to the port.

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I have been in Budapest twice on river cruises and Vienna more times than that (not Avalon but info is likely to apply). The city tour was by bus with walk around stops at Mathais Church/ Fisherman's Bastion (hint: there are very nice free bathrooms in the Hilton, just act like you belong there) and Hero's Square - maybe 20 minutes or so at those 2 places, rest of the time was on the bus. Other than the Buda Castle which you will not have time to do in the limited time on your included tour, most of the remaining sites to see are on the flat easily walkable Pest side. St. Stephens Basilica and the Parliament will likely be with a 10 minute stroll of your boat, and the Main Market not much further.

 

In Vienna boats dock mostly near the Vorgartenstrasse metro station (there is a second overflow dock that is not as convenient) 4 stops from Cathedral. Depending on the boat schedule you will have the option to stay in town, do lunch on your own and/or go to Schonbrunn Palace (6 metro stops from downtown in the opposite direct from the boat).

 

ENJOY Thom

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We just returned from the 15 day Amsterdam to Budapest on Avalon Impression. It was GREAT! The entire staff went over board to make our trip fantastic. I can't say enough about their professionalism. The boat was awesome and there was always someone cleaning something! The food was good, though, being a "meat and potatoes" girl, I didn't recognize some things but I tried a lot of new foods. When I didn't feel like being that adventurous, they always have chicken and steak available. The dinner does take a while (usually 7-9) but that's half the fun. We met some very interesting people and enjoyed spending that time with them. Breakfast and lunch is a buffet and they did a grill lunch on the sky deck 2 days. Most of the excursions were great. I would avoid the "Gold and Glamour" tour in Budapest. We arrived in Amsterdam at the perfect time for the tulips. Having extra days in Amsterdam and Budapest worked very well for us. I recommend having Avalon take care of the transport to/from airports and hotels. Everything was handled seamlessly.

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Hello, I'm not so sure if I'm in the right place to post questions about our upcoming Avalon river cruise in May (A Taste of the Danube) since I can't seem to find another place specific for Avalon.

Our question is - The itinerary includes guided city tour in both Budapest and Vienna. Their itinerary does not tell you how long this tour will last and exactly what all the places we will visit. Does anyone know? Thanks!

We just returned from the 15 day Amsterdam to Budapest on the Impression. In Budapest, we took the guided city tour and it last from 8:30 - 11:30. It mostly consisted on a bus tour of the city with about 20 minutes to walk around Fisherman's Bastion. There was an alternative walking tour which covered the area around where the boat was docked. By the way, in the afternoon, we did the Gold and Glamour tour -- avoid this!! It was not worth the money. I was glad we had an extra day in Budapest to go back to some of the things we drove by in the bus. In Vienna, we took a bus close the the palace then the guide took us through the palace grounds and through the shopping district. We didn't take the bus back but decided to explore on our own in the afternoon. The evening concert was awesome. I'm not sure what other places you will be visiting but feel free to send me an email with specific questions. sprmom1229@att.net

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Thanks to txsprmom and Texas Tom for your recent posts about the scope of the "included" tours in Budapest and Vienna, and the info about where the boats will likely dock. They're most helpful in planning what we want to do independently.

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Hi. I boarded the Vista yesterday in Amsterdam after two days at the Movenpick booked through Avalon. Others on my cruise were booked at the Movenpick independently, and Avalon met all of us in the lobby and transferred us and our luggage to the boat around 10:30 AM. We had lunch on board and then went on to our pre-booked excursion at 1:00 PM.

 

Avalon did send me the docking information ( twice) too, but I think they probably sent the form letter to everyone, not knowing where people were staying or when they would be arriving in Amsterdam. When I checked in to the hotel, I was told that Avalon would be there around 10AM on embarkation morning.

 

You should probably confirm that Avalon is using the same hotel where you are staying.

 

Hi we booked 2 days on our own in paris and wondering what time to board for tapestry 2 grand France south bound 2 nd june 2018 .I see we get notified though the "my avalon site " where the ship will be berthed but havent been told what is the earliest you can drop your bags off does anyone know ??

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Hi we booked 2 days on our own in paris and wondering what time to board for tapestry 2 grand France south bound 2 nd june 2018 .I see we get notified though the "my avalon site " where the ship will be berthed but havent been told what is the earliest you can drop your bags off does anyone know ??

 

When we did the Seine with Avalon last September, everyone waited at a hotel close to the Eiffel Tower as we could not board until after 3 in the afternoon. I suspect the same will happen with you. Actually quite civilized - they store your luggage, have pastries and beverages in the room - and then you can take off and do some more site seeing until your transfer time.

 

Fran

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Hi we booked 2 days on our own in paris and wondering what time to board for tapestry 2 grand France south bound 2 nd june 2018 .I see we get notified though the "my avalon site " where the ship will be berthed but havent been told what is the earliest you can drop your bags off does anyone know ??
Kiwixmas, we just got off of our Rhine cruise. From what I was given to understand, they will let you board anytime , but your room won't be ready until 3:00ish. They made a big deal about our housekeeping manager setting a record by having all the rooms ready early. We arrived at lunchtime, enjoyed a light lunch in the lounge (and a beer), before heading out for our first tour.

 

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Does anyone know what hotel Avalon is using in Amsterdam this summer?

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Avalon Amateur

 

We are getting ready to book an Avalon Danube cruise for 2019. I have a few questions that I hope can be answered here!

 

#1. Price Reductions: If the price of our cabin goes down can we get the lower rate prior to final payment?

#2. Cabin Upgrade: If a higher category cabin becomes available at a price we are willing to pay, can we change cabins for the difference?

#3. Perks: We book our ocean cruises thru the big box warehouse and get a generous cash card from them. What might we expect from a river cruse travel agent?

#4. BYOB: Are we permitted to bring wine or other liquor aboard?

#5. Travel Agents: When I requested a brochure from Avalon, I was contacted via email by a travel agent whom I know nothing about since I marked that we were not currently with a TA. She's been helpful, but I'm not sure we're getting the best deal from her. Are we better off booking direct with Avalon? Why would Avalon refer me to her?

 

That's all I can think of for now, thanks!

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I’ll try to answer.

1. It depends - there are not as many price reductions on river cruises as with ocean cruises. I have been successful getting a price reduction but my travel agent does a lot of business with the Avalon family of businesses.

2. There are significantly less cabins on a river cruise so there may not be any options for an upgrade.

3. I can’t help with this.

4. You can bring alcohol on board to drink in your cabin. There may be a corkage fee to drink it elsewhere on board.

5. I have a travel agent I’ve used for years so I can’t comment.

 

Hope this helps.

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Avalon Amateur

 

We are getting ready to book an Avalon Danube cruise for 2019. I have a few questions that I hope can be answered here!

 

#1. Price Reductions: If the price of our cabin goes down can we get the lower rate prior to final payment?

We were able to get the specials throughout the year after we had put down our initial deposit... I had our TA confirm, and then just to make sure, I added a bit onto our payment so I would get an invoice from Avalon showing the discount.

#2. Cabin Upgrade: If a higher category cabin becomes available at a price we are willing to pay, can we change cabins for the difference? Most cruises get sold out, so rarely are there available cabins. You would be best to talk to your TA about checking on this.

#3. Perks: We book our ocean cruises thru the big box warehouse and get a generous cash card from them. What might we expect from a river cruse travel agent? Some big box warehouses will give (in Canada) either credit to their store, or OBC. Once again, it's best to check online with what they offer, then consult your TA as they may well match it. Ours did, but instead of OBC, she applied it to our payment...:)

#4. BYOB: Are we permitted to bring wine or other liquor aboard? Yes, however as YoungDubFan says, there is probably a corkage fee to drink onboard. We did have a bottle opener in our room. If you are doing this, make sure to ask them to clean out the fridge in your room so you can store your stuff in there.

#5. Travel Agents: When I requested a brochure from Avalon, I was contacted via email by a travel agent whom I know nothing about since I marked that we were not currently with a TA. She's been helpful, but I'm not sure we're getting the best deal from her. Are we better off booking direct with Avalon? Why would Avalon refer me to her? When I went looking to book our cruise, we had never used a travel agent. I looked to see what ones were close to me that Avalon recommended and contacted her. If you have someone you use regularly and find helpful, they should be able to handle booking with Avalon. Our TA often called Avalon with me sitting there to ask questions, and pricing doesn't change, it's only the "perks" a TA or box store could provide that will give the better deal. We had mentioned when we booked that we may be interested in Avalon handling our air, but had no commitment with them. When I found prices starting to drop, I had our TA check her sources, then she checked Avalon. Even though we did our own pre-cruise, and a small post-cruise, Avalon came out on top, and no deviation fee for not going through their standard airports for the cruise.

 

That's all I can think of for now, thanks!

 

If you have never sailed with Avalon, I'm sure you will love it. We chose a room on the 2nd level, which was nice as we could hang out and watch the swans & birds on the river. All the cabins on the 2nd & 3rd level (except for the suites) are the same, and we were towards the back of the ship but there was no extra noise or vibrations. You aren't in your cabins much, as there is a lot going on and the best views are where you can see both sides of the river. I loved the casual atmosphere on board, nothing fancy or fussy....if you didn't like what you ordered for dinner, they would bring something else...or if you did like it, they would bring you 2nds! Unfortunately, it wasn't until the Thursday of our cruise I figured out that asking for cranberry juice in the morning brought it out....it was out on the first day, but then they changed up their juices.

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Thanks Avalon Afficianados!

 

I so appreciate all your advice thus far! One question to Daisi- the big box travel website only indicates Uniworld and Viking can be booked thru them here in the USA- is it worth it to call about Avalon?

 

So far I am happy with the communication from the Avoya-affiliated rep who contacted me via my Avalon inquiry, but I've also contacted a local agent that a friend of mine booked an Avalon cruise with for later this year.

 

Will keep you posted & again, thanks!

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Hi. I would assume that the big box websites get some sort of discount in order to promote the tours they sell. I would say it wouldn't hurt to check about Avalon, but you may do better with a TA. Another thing to check out if you do go through a TA, if there are 'seminars" about cruising going on from other travel agencies, they will often give discounts....if you are happy with your TA, ask if they can meet the discount. The nice thing about having a local TA is if anything comes up last minute, it's an easy fix...if you are only dealing online, you may have problems. My cousin encountered that when they went south one year, her partner's ticket came in with the wrong name. It took them a couple of tense days to get it fixed, whereas the couple who were travelling with them used a local TA and had the same problem...theirs was fixed the next day.

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Hi. I would assume that the big box websites get some sort of discount in order to promote the tours they sell. I would say it wouldn't hurt to check about Avalon, but you may do better with a TA. Another thing to check out if you do go through a TA, if there are 'seminars" about cruising going on from other travel agencies, they will often give discounts....if you are happy with your TA, ask if they can meet the discount. The nice thing about having a local TA is if anything comes up last minute, it's an easy fix...if you are only dealing online, you may have problems. My cousin encountered that when they went south one year, her partner's ticket came in with the wrong name. It took them a couple of tense days to get it fixed, whereas the couple who were travelling with them used a local TA and had the same problem...theirs was fixed the next day.

 

 

 

I booked with Avalon directly talking to the same agent each time.She net all my needs and I got a discounted fare as well as cheap airfare.

 

 

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Super excited as we have just booked our first river cruise and chose Avalon. It was a hard decision to make on both what company we wanted to sail and what itinerary. We settled on Avalon Imagery II Central European Experience from Prague to Remich on October 1, 2019. Deposit is paid and now planning begins. I don't see a lot about this itinerary from people though. Is it not a popular itinerary? I chose it because we were looking for scenery, castles and history as well as getting to start in Prague which I hear is beautiful. Looking for tips about this itinerary as well as all things Avalon. I have read 17 pages in this thread so far and will continue to do so. Also looking to see if anyone is doing this sailing? Always looking for people to meet! So far, from what I can tell, the ship has 38 pax booked which is pretty good since it is still a year and a half away.

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I searched the thread and didn't see this topic: bringing a CPAP machine on the river boat and pre- and post cruise hotels booked through Avalon. I asked my TA to find out if I'd be supplied with distilled water and an extension cord (if needed) to plug in the machine. The only info I got back, from Avalon through the TA, was that I was responsible for having an electric converter, and that they would supply distilled water on board. I'm still concerned about the hotels that are booked as part of our package. Anyone able to tell me what they've experienced?

We will be on the Impression Blue Danube Discovery in June 2018. Thanks.

 

I have used a CPAP for 10 + years. When I travel I have found that using bottled water is fine and do not need specific distilled. I do usually keep an extension cord in my bag. Also on Avalon I used a converter just to be sure.

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I've also traveled with a C-PAP for almost 10 years. I learned very early to carry my own extension cord and a three-way plug, so I won't be caught out if there isn't an outlet immediately at bedside or there are too many devices competing for too few outlets. Before first taking the machine abroad, I checked the owner's manual carefully and determined that it's dual voltage, so I no longer worry about a power transformer for the C-PAP. But of course a plug converter is still needed almost anywhere outside the U.S. Re distilled water, I simply use tap water when I'm in a hotel, whether in the U.S. or abroad, or on a cruise, and I've never had any problem doing so. I figure the water doesn't pass through any moving part of the machine, and breathing in the vapor won't hurt me, at least over the short period of time that I'm traveling. For what it's worth ....

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Booked-

 

Looking forward to the Legendary Danube in fall 2019 on the Illumination. Thanks for advice from previous posters.

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If you booked flights through Avalon for your cruise, how did you feel about them choosing your seats for you? I'm not sure I like that.

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If you booked flights through Avalon for your cruise, how did you feel about them choosing your seats for you? I'm not sure I like that.

 

It worked for us on fall flights

 

You could probably call the airline or go on line and change your seats.

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We just got back from a trip to Africa that included several internal slights which were controlled by the cruise line, so we had no choice of seats. They did keep the two of us together, and since all planes are non-smoking now it doesn't matter too much if you are at the back [the restrooms are handy, for one benefit :)]

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I booked air through Avalon.I called Inited myself to chose seats and upgrade to extra leg room.No problem

 

 

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Thanks all. I am most worried about the flights from Honolulu to Hanoi and from Bangkok to Honolulu. I called Avalon and they said that they send the info to the airline and "let the chips fall where they may"....yes, those were her exact words. We are flying business class and my husband wants very specific seats. It's a bit of a savings to go through them...but not worth it to me to hassle with all the changing around.

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If you booked flights through Avalon for your cruise, how did you feel about them choosing your seats for you? I'm not sure I like that.

 

We had no problem booking our seats, we wanted window seats & to be together...Avalon sent us the flight info the day we booked, and I chose our seats through KLM that day. We had to pay KLM for selecting seats, but nothing to Avalon for deviation fee to arrive & depart from Amsterdam or any other charges. They beat both my checking online for KLM & our TA's pricing. We had very limited choices here, and I refused to do Air Canada...they like to downgrade to Rouge with no notice.

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We had no problem booking our seats, we wanted window seats & to be together...Avalon sent us the flight info the day we booked, and I chose our seats through KLM that day. We had to pay KLM for selecting seats, but nothing to Avalon for deviation fee to arrive & depart from Amsterdam or any other charges. They beat both my checking online for KLM & our TA's pricing. We had very limited choices here, and I refused to do Air Canada...they like to downgrade to Rouge with no notice.

 

Thank you Daisi. I would feel better with that. As long as I can move around I'll be ok. We both want window seats on the flights where we will be sleeping. I hate being exposed to the isle, makes it hard for me to relax and he is a big guy (bodybuilder big) and hates the isle because he gets bumped. We are looking at Japan AL and they have Skysuites that allow you window seats without climbing over the isle seat.

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We are seriously considering the Avalon Romantic Rhine river cruise next summer & could use some advice. Given this is only an 8-day cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, does it make sense to spend an extra $1K/person to have the Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) with balcony instead of the Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E)? The rooms are roughly the same size & we're not sure there will be enough on-water awake time to justify the cost of a balcony. Thanks in advance.

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We are seriously considering the Avalon Romantic Rhine river cruise next summer & could use some advice. Given this is only an 8-day cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, does it make sense to spend an extra $1K/person to have the Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) with balcony instead of the Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E)? The rooms are roughly the same size & we're not sure there will be enough on-water awake time to justify the cost of a balcony. Thanks in advance.

 

We loved having one, because we enjoy sitting in our room and relaxing with the view. Having your room open to the sights going by was really nice. We had some daytime and evening sailing so we got a lot of use out of our room/balcony.

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We are seriously considering the Avalon Romantic Rhine river cruise next summer & could use some advice. Given this is only an 8-day cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, does it make sense to spend an extra $1K/person to have the Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) with balcony instead of the Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E)? The rooms are roughly the same size & we're not sure there will be enough on-water awake time to justify the cost of a balcony. Thanks in advance.

 

I'll second that. We thought for our first cruise, let's go for it and get the Panorama suite. We chose a cabin in Cat B that was right next door to Cat A, and there was no noise or vibration. It was so nice opening the window and looking out while we were getting ready in the room or waiting for time to go for breakfast/dinner/lunch or tour. We were actually talking today, and if we are ever lucky enough to go on another cruise we will be booking the Cat B again. Once you get where the swans are, we found that opening the window brought them over to check things out....and let us get some great pics! AF1QipPTkeiTdg8AsidgZCLLcNyQrkt6TjlzjvoGiNKb

AF1QipPTkeiTdg8AsidgZCLLcNyQrkt6TjlzjvoGiNKb

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I’ve done both and for me personally I’d rather have the $2,000 cash to spend on pre or post cruise hotels, meals and excursions. For us, we really don’t spend much time in the cabin. We prefer to be on deck.

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I’ve done both and for me personally I’d rather have the $2,000 cash to spend on pre or post cruise hotels, meals and excursions. For us, we really don’t spend much time in the cabin. We prefer to be on deck.

 

It really all boils down to personal preference. We really enjoy our quiet time but we also like to socialize. When we did our first cruise, I went all out in planning and saved for 2 years to do it up. I don't regret a single choice on that trip, including the Royal Suite on the Artistry II and a surprise special dinner at Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower. All about budget and preferences :)

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Booked-

 

Looking forward to the Legendary Danube in fall 2019 on the Illumination. Thanks for advice from previous posters.

I am sitting in my stateroom on the Illumination right now. We are tied up in Linz, Austria. You are going to love your trip!!

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6 weeks till I board the Expression for a 7 day cruise from Budapest to Prague.

Can hardly wait, this has been on my "bucket list" for yrs.

10 of us going so should be fun.

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We are seriously considering the Avalon Romantic Rhine river cruise next summer & could use some advice. Given this is only an 8-day cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, does it make sense to spend an extra $1K/person to have the Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) with balcony instead of the Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E)? The rooms are roughly the same size & we're not sure there will be enough on-water awake time to justify the cost of a balcony. Thanks in advance.

 

In the summer it might be worth it, but for our November '19 Legendary Danube we are in E on the "Swan Deck"- so-called because you can see swans gliding by your high windows. Reading reviews, it seems to me that E's may have advantages over D's because they are further forward of the engines.

 

But those Panorama suites sure do appeal! OTOH so does having $2k in the pocket.

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We book lowest category (aka Aquarium class) as we would sooner save money for the next trip...

 

There are many who will not cruise without a balcony (French or "real") but we would sooner be on deck or in the lounge if there is something to see. You can see both sides of the boat that way.

 

Also, if you are rafted, and you are up against another boat on your side, your Panorama suite view won't be great.

 

Whatever you choose... enjoy!!

 

Fran

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We had no problem booking our seats, we wanted window seats & to be together...Avalon sent us the flight info the day we booked, and I chose our seats through KLM that day. We had to pay KLM for selecting seats, but nothing to Avalon for deviation fee to arrive & depart from Amsterdam or any other charges. They beat both my checking online for KLM & our TA's pricing. We had very limited choices here, and I refused to do Air Canada...they like to downgrade to Rouge with no notice.

 

Did you ask Avalon to book you on KLM? Just wondering what your airline choices were. Our last trip to Europe we flew direct from Toronto to Munich on Air Canada and were very happy with them. What do you mean by 'downgrade to Rouge'? Never heard that term...

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Did you ask Avalon to book you on KLM? Just wondering what your airline choices were. Our last trip to Europe we flew direct from Toronto to Munich on Air Canada and were very happy with them. What do you mean by 'downgrade to Rouge'? Never heard that term...

 

Rouge is Air Canada's "discount" airline. I had heard on here before we even booked our flight that they had suddenly changed some flights from regular AC to Rouge, and so I wanted KLM (we also wanted a direct flight, so our choices for our location were limited). My S-i-L had her flight booked through AC to go to Colombia in April, and they changed it to Rouge. From what I here, it wasn't the best...cramped seating, no entertainment, and not much food wise. She used points to fly, so maybe that made it easier for them to substitute. Our TA told Avalon that we were looking at KLM, so that is who we flew with.

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Air Canada never used to fly to Amsterdam; I believe when they inaugurated the route it was flown by Rouge. As far as I know they never just substitute Rouge planes; however it is possible that they changed some routes from Air Canada to Rouge. You should be able to tell that they are operated by Air Canada Rouge. That said, it is pretty lousy; I flew home from Lisbon and even premium economy wasn’t very nice. And in terms of Aeroplan rewards they charge the same number of points for either airline.

 

 

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Air Canada never used to fly to Amsterdam; I believe when they inaugurated the route it was flown by Rouge. As far as I know they never just substitute Rouge planes; however it is possible that they changed some routes from Air Canada to Rouge. You should be able to tell that they are operated by Air Canada Rouge. That said, it is pretty lousy; I flew home from Lisbon and even premium economy wasn’t very nice. And in terms of Aeroplan rewards they charge the same number of points for either airline.

 

 

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Thanks for the explanation. I'd never heard of Rouge. We live in Western NY and occasionally fly to Europe out of Toronto; we're able to get a direct flight and it's only a 2 hour drive from home if we're lucky at the border crossing. We'll keep this in mind if for our next trip.:):)

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