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HomeTravelAvalon Waterways Set To Christen Its Newest River Ship, Avalon View

Avalon Waterways Set To Christen Its Newest River Ship, Avalon View

The Avalon View—Avalon Waterways’ latest river cruise ship—will set sail on the Danube this coming April. The christening of the road’s fourteenth “Suite Ship” in Europe had initially been scheduled to happen two years in the past (April 2020) till the pandemic put most journey on pause. 

But with extra vacationers having been vaccinated and an infection charges predicted to drop within the spring, the river cruise business appears poised for a comeback.  

Like the opposite ships within the Avalon fleet, the Avalon View options two full decks of 200-square-foot Panorama Suites, all with open-air balconies. A sister ship to the Avalon Vision, the brand new ship is the primary to characteristic all-glass railings. spoke to Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways to search out out what vacationers can anticipate from the river cruise line throughout the coming season:  

Avalon Waterways has reported working 100 river cruises since July 2021 with out a single case of COVID an infection. What well being and security precautions did the road put in place to make these voyages as protected as doable? 

Pam Hoffee: The world has modified however what stays sure is Avalon Waterways’ steadfast dedication to visitor security, consolation, and peace of thoughts. We’re extremely happy with our well being and security file.  

Very early within the pandemic, we developed and unveiled our Avalon Assurance program, with assist from our Global Health & Safety crew. It options seven main classes and protocols that span throughout visitor expertise touch-points – all of which have been reviewed and renewed, primarily based on ever-changing suggestions.  

We had been additionally one of many very first cruise traces, worldwide, to require all visitors and crew to be absolutely vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19. We have prolonged that requirement by means of 2022. 

Why are river cruises such a handy option to journey and see Europe up shut?  

PH: River cruisers comprehend it’s doable to cruise with out a crowd, discover new locations with ease and sail in an intimate setting. But that’s not all.  

On a river cruise, legendary landmarks and landscapes are all the time in view. We make our splash at intriguing ports of name the place we lead vacationers down the paths much less traveled to the sights extra revered – all with out the wait. On an Avalon cruise, dock to discovery takes mere minutes. 

The measurement of river ships has all the time been interesting, particularly now. What is the passenger capability of the Avalon View and the opposite ships in your fleet? 

PH: Size issues – greater than ever. Our river cruise vessels are constructed to slowly ply the world’s weaving and meandering rivers, to port in storybook settings, sail underneath centuries’ previous bridges, and squeeze between 12-meter-wide locks.  

Avalon Waterways’ floating “boatique” motels maintain a mean of 150 visitors, though some are a lot smaller. Our latest ship, The Avalon View, is 443-feet lengthy and holds 166 visitors in 67 suites and 16 deluxe Staterooms. We even have Suite Ships in our European fleet that characteristic 52 suites and 12 deluxe staterooms holding 128 visitors.  

Two full decks of each Avalon Waterways ship characteristic Panorama Suites, offering our visitors the house they crave on their cruise. Our Suite Ships on the Mekong River have simply 18 rooms – all Panorama Suites – accommodating simply 36 cruisers.  

What are among the hottest European river cruise itineraries together with your passengers? 

PH: For first-time river cruisers, the preferred itineraries are those who cowl among the most iconic waterways – and locations – in Europe. The Romantic Rhine and Legendary Danube are favorites amongst cruisers for various causes. The cliffside, castle-lined Rhine River weaves collectively a tapestry of historical past and tradition, to not point out numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Danube, against this, flows by means of or alongside the borders of 10 nations and options the vineyard-clad Wachau Valley in addition to storybook small villages and spectacular capital cities like Vienna and Budapest.  

For vacationers searching for extra immersive, off-the-beaten-path exploration, Active & Discovery on the Rhone is considered one of my all-time favourite itineraries. Flowing from the Swiss Alps to the Mediterranean Sea, the Rhône River winds its means by means of the attractive landscapes that impressed Van Gogh, and this particular itinerary options 28 tour selections. 

River cruises are excursion-extensive with a lot of a passenger’s time spent off the vessel. Given altering border restrictions in Europe, has the road needed to modify itineraries because the pandemic?

 PH: The quick reply is that we had been in a position to function practically each deliberate tour in Europe in 2021. We did have just a few last-minute border closures that required us to change itineraries. In these very uncommon circumstances, we ensured the integrity of the itinerary was intact earlier than working so our visitors may benefit from the trip they selected, with simply minor alterations. 

Travelers are extra keen than ever to spend as a lot time as doable outside. How will the ship and stateroom configuration of the Avalon View enchantment to those vacationers? 

 PH: There’s just one point-of-view on an Avalon Waterways river cruise – the suite view. Our whole fleet in Europe and Southeast Asia is totally comprised of Suite Ships, every that includes our signature Panorama Suites with the widest-opening home windows in river cruising, the business’s solely Open-Air Balcony, and an inviting mattress dealing with the ever-changing surroundings on two full decks of each ship.  

Living as much as its identify, the brand new Avalon View additionally options clear-view glass panels on every balcony – changing exterior railings – for unobstructed views. Even seasoned vacationers have by no means seen – or skilled – the world like this. 

Our open-air balconies had been designed with our visitors’ views in thoughts. The Panorama Suites have wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling home windows opening 7-feet broad in Europe and 11-feet broad in Southeast Asia. The balconies blur the road between outdoors and in whereas forming a snug and spacious seating space for six, concurrently creating an open invitation to find and dream. Perhaps most essential, these outsized balconies don’t sacrifice room house.  

Public areas additionally present visitors room to maneuver and expertise views galore. And, Avalon’s Suite Ship Sky Decks run the size and width of every vessel (roughly 20 meters longer and a pair of meters wider than a soccer subject) with wide-open areas, recent air, and lounge chairs aplenty.   

Always inside just a few ft of shore, our Suite Ships provide vacationers easy accessibility to take pleasure in outside experiences – from guided excursions to on-your-own-exploration – day and evening. 

What alternatives does the road present for extra lively vacationers?

PH: On our luxurious ships, each visitor is the captain of his/her expertise. We name it “whim-powered” cruising. Not solely have we redefined the cruising expertise, however we’ve additionally redefined all-inclusive.  

We have unveiled a complete collection of cruises – throughout all the key waterways of Europe – referred to as “Active & Discovery” itineraries. On these cruises, vacationers take pleasure in a curated assortment of essentially the most intriguing experiences to immerse themselves in – as many as 28 of them. 

“Active” can imply various things to totally different cruisers. On these itineraries, Avalon visitors can stir-up a dish handed down by means of generations or mix-up paints on a palate; heat up with a guided sightseeing stroll or sit back in a cave wine tasting; wander the halls of historical past or step-through the traditional fortress ruins; paddle on a kayak by means of spectacular surroundings or pedal an e-bike round scenic cityscapes.  

We additionally present entry to an Adventure Host on each cruise who arranges onboard train courses, guided hikes, bicycle excursions and can even assist our visitors check-out complimentary Nordic strolling sticks, bikes, and e-bikes for on-their-own exploration. 

Have you deliberate any particular themed cruises to woo vacationers again to the rivers?

PH: Our 2022 cruise line-up is thrilling, together with a number of “exclusive” sailings for Avalon visitors.  

We have unveiled a brand new Storyteller Series of cruises that includes award-winning authors and chart-topping musicians as hosts for a boatful of followers. Celebrity hosts for 2022 embody Cheryl Strayed, Gillian Flynn, Candace Bushnell, Christopher Moore, Edwin McCain, and Sister Hazel.  

On these particular sailings, visitors will participate in a number of, specifically deliberate actions onboard and can be capable of work together with their favourite storyteller one-on-one at dinners, throughout glad hours, and on excursions. 

For vacationers searching for one other excuse to strive river cruising in 2022, we’ve obtained two. Next 12 months, for six months, the Netherlands will bloom brighter, and a Bavarian village’s religion might be restored due to once-in-a-decade experiences: The Floriade and Oberammergau’s Passion Play. While these particular occasions solely occur each 10 years, for the primary time, 2022 will see each play out throughout Europe. We provide particular departures that includes these “special events” all year long. 

Are there alternatives for solo vacationers?

PH: River cruising is without doubt one of the finest methods to journey when going solo. You’re setting sail with a small group of like-minded vacationers and having fun with excursions with individuals who share your passions. In truth, ten % of Avalon Waterways’ visitors are solo vacationers. To cater to solo vacationers, we waive the only complement on each Europe departure for a choose variety of staterooms in addition to choose sailings on the Mekong in Southeast Asia.  

Have reserving/cancellation insurance policies been modified to strengthen shopper confidence throughout unsure instances?

PH: Avalon Waterways understands that our worth and our service are measured by what we do when issues go fallacious much more than when the whole lot runs as deliberate. Within the primary few weeks of the pandemic, we created and unveiled a Peace of Mind Travel Plan to make sure want-to-be vacationers the chance to maneuver their plans to a later date, a special location, and even an alternate model and journey fashion simply, risk-free and with out penalty.

Note: This dialog has been flippantly edited and condensed for readability. 

*For extra info, itineraries and fares, see Avalon Waterways and Avalon View.

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