From our inception, Avalon Waterways has cast a light on the world’s most fascinating places and people – inviting wayfarers and wanderers like you to bask in their glory, intrigue and wonder. Along the way, we’ve helped travellers uncover ancient traditions while meeting the locals dedicated to preserving them; to meander historic hallways while giving back to the societies that safeguard them; and to put down the guidebooks and pick up a greater understanding of the world and its people.

Immersed in enlightening experiences, we naturally gain a deeper appreciation – one that leads to greater compassion, consideration and curiosity as we ask ourselves, what else can we do to protect our planet, preserve our sacred places and help humankind?

Enter the Avalon Waterways® Lighthouse Project – an illuminating initiative where we can all come together to tread lightly and give generously for the globe’s greater good. Avalon, along with sister companies Globus, Cosmos and Monograms, invite our travellers and partners to help us in supporting causes that provide for a more sustainable planet and a brighter tomorrow.

In the Spotlight: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Radiating Hope & Kindness

The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust operates the most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world, but that’s not all. The Trust works tirelessly to conserve, preserve and protect wildlife including anti-poaching, safe-guarding the natural environment and providing veterinary assistance to in-need animals.

Through its work, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully raised 263 elephant orphans, attended to more than 7,000 veterinary needs and has nearly 20 mobile de-snaring teams.

  • The Ocean Cleanup
  • The Ocean Cleanup CEO, Boyan Slat
  • The Ocean Cleanup Interceptor, Malaysia
  • The Ocean Cleanup Interceptor
  • The Ocean Cleanup

Planet

Keeping the world in its best light.

While nothing is more exciting than tracing the paths of historic legends, doing so with the most minimal footprint excites us even more. We make every effort to conserve and preserve in each destination we visit by helping to protect the waterways, wild places, and wildlife by supporting and shining a light on organizations that do the same.

 Keeping the blue planet green. 

We love caring for the world just as much as we love sharing it with you! By booking an Avalon river cruise, you’re helping us do just that! When you book a cruise with Avalon Waterways, we contribute to environmental organizations that work to improve the health of our planet. Cruise easy knowing we’ve made a donation to The Ocean CleanUp and Trees4Travel—two leading champions of cleaner water and air. Enjoy the anticipation and excitement of your upcoming adventure as you review your travel documents, while making a difference in the world we discover together. You can also make a donation of your own to Trees4Travel or The Ocean Cleanup to help make the world even greener!

The planet-focused initiatives we support include:

  • The Ocean Cleanup
  • Trees4Travel
  • Wildland Firefighter Association
  • The Mountain Institute of Peru
  • Vital Ground Foundation – Grizzly Bear Recovery*
  • Wildlife Conservation Network, Lion Recovery Fund
  • South African Parks Honorary Rangers
  • Atchafalaya Basin Project, Louisiana*

*visited on trip

Additionally, we shine a light on the following organizations through a combination of vacation visits and donations:

  • Monkey Rehabilitation Center, Brazil
  • Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Baby Elephant & Rhino Rescue, Kenya
  • Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, China
  • National Kiwi Conservation Project, New Zealand
  • Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, Australia
  • The Kangaroo Sanctuary, Australia 

People

Helping the communities of the world shine.

It’s not just the splendid landscapes and landmarks that make travel so rewarding – it’s the unique people we meet along the way and the cultures they hold dear. We are dedicated to protecting, respecting and supporting the extraordinary communities of the world as well as improving the individual lives within them. The measure of the Lighthouse Project’s success? – The megawatt smiles we see along the way.

The people-focused organizations we support include:

  • Landmine Design
  • UNICEF
  • Childsafe Network
  • Rural Aid
  • Foundation Galápagos

Additionally, we shine a light on the following organizations through a combination of vacation visits and donations:

  • Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity
  • KOTO Hospitality Training Center, Vietnam
  • Local orphanage, Cambodia
  • Local school English class, Cambodia
  • Local school, Tanzania
  • Indigenous Amazon communities (via lodge stays), Ecuador and Peru
  • Home visits, Peru

Places

Reflecting on the past; Brightening the future.

The parks, palaces, museums and monuments we enjoy today are the result of previous generations passionately committed to preservation. By way of the Lighthouse Project, we aim to pay it forward – staying light years ahead of preservation – so that future generations can enjoy the same glorious places to relax, renew and reflect.

While every one of our destinations is precious to us, here are some of the sights and attractions we have supported – many of which we also visit on trip:

  • National Civil Rights Museum, Tennessee*
  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho*
  • Yosemite National Park, Nevada, California*
  • Zion National History Association, Utah*
  • Redwoods National Park, California*
  • Denali National Park, Alaska*
  • Squamish Lil’Wat Centre, British Columbia*
  • Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska*
  • Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii*
  • The Freedom Trail, Massachusetts*
  • Independence Hall at Independence National Park, Pennsylvania*
  • George Washington’s Birthplace, Virginia*

*Visit on trip

  • Santa Barbara Mission, California
  • USS Arizona Memorial, Hawaii*
  • World War II Memorial Museum, Louisiana
  • Crazy Horse Monument, South Dakota*
  • Old State House, Massachusetts*
  • Memphis Rock & Soul Museum*
  • Louis Armstrong Memorial Park, Louisiana
  • St. Louis Cemetery #1, Louisiana
  • Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, New Mexico*
  • Alaska Native American Heritage Center, Alaska*
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site, Alberta*
  • Museum of the Cherokee Indian, North Carolina*

Additionally, Avalon Waterways’ team members take pride in being active participants in the travel community, spearheading and participating in dozens of volunteer programs and events.

Navigating the Way to a Brighter Future on the World’s Waterways

Avalon Waterways has undertaken an ambitious mission to lead the way in sustainable operation and practices. Part of our mission to preserve the precious environment river cruising affords travelers.

This commitment extends to every aspect of cruising. From how we power and propel our fleet of Suite Ships to the care and attention we give to environmentally friendly practices onboard. Not to mention the many causes we support. All to ensure that we're helping to make tomorrow on these incredible rivers as special as the experiences they gift us today.

Creating a Sustainable Tomorrow

Avalon is charting an ambitious course toward zero emissions and sustainability in every aspect of cruising. Our state-of-the-art fleet of Suite Ships and top-of-the-line technology limit energy, consumption and emissions. Plus, Avalon’s waste and recycling programs reduce our environmental footprint, save water and foster a sustainability culture among crew and guests worldwide. Even better? This is just the beginning of what we have planned to protect our beautiful Mother Earth, and her fans.

Today, Avalon has:

  • Eliminated single-use plastics onboard our ships and at operations offices, worldwide
  • Reduced paper waste by 80% onboard by favoring digital communications
  • Invested in local farmers to secure locally produced foods, reducing food miles while supporting local economies
  • Installed LED lighting throughout ships, fleet-wide
  • Worked with dozens of ports to use shore energy while docked
  • Committed to using shore power while docked wherever it is available, allowing us to turn off engines and reduce emissions
  • Signed an agreement with the river cruise trade union providing heightened employment standards and protection of our crew. No other river cruise line has made this commitment to their team.

Tomorrow, Avalon pledges to:

  • Pilot a program to use bio-fuel, aiming to reduce total carbon emissions by 50%
  • Utilize electric bow thrusters to further reduce emissions
  • Reduce paper waste further – to less than 1%
  • Partner with more destinations to generate sustainable electricity, while docked
  • Invest more in our partners at The Ocean Cleanup in their mission to succeed at the world’s largest cleanup project: Removing 90% of ocean plastic pollution and ridding the world’s waters of plastic
  • Unveil the first, fully electric river cruise vessel by 2027