Avalon Waterways introduces shorter itineraries in Europe

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It’s no secret that Canadians love their vacation breaks. From weekend getaways to shorter stays in more exotic destinations, it seems we like to vacation for a shorter time – and more often.

In 2020, Avalon Waterways will be the only river cruise company offering time-starved travellers – or those wanting to dip their toes in river cruise waters for the first time – a choice of 4, 5 and 6 day river cruise itineraries comprising A Taste of the Rhine, Heart of Germany and A Taste of the Danube.

Priced from $2,586 Cdn (all prices exclude airfare), the new A Taste of the Rhine is a 5-day cruise featuring immersive opportunities to explore must-see sites along the Rhine River including: a culinary walk through Amsterdam, a guided tour of Cologne, a wine-tasting in Boppard, free time in Rudesheim and of course, cruising through the picturesque, castle-dotted Rhine Gorge.

Formerly a Christmas markets cruise, the new 6-day Heart of Germany will be offered year-round in 2020. Priced from $2,743 Cdn, this itinerary features stops along the Main River and Main-Danube Canal including a guided walk through a picturesque Bavarian village, time in Würzburg with its towering fortress and Baroque Bishop’s residence, enjoying Bavarian wines in Kitzingen, partaking in an onboard beer-tasting near Volkach, and taking in the sites of Bamberg, a Bavarian oasis built on seven hills. The cruise concludes in Nuremberg.

Priced from just $1,449 Cdn, the 4-day A Taste of the Danube has become a very popular itinerary for first-time river cruisers and time-starved travellers alike, with visits to Budapest, Bratislava, Melk and Dürnstein. The cruise ends in Vienna.

For those travellers who are testing the river cruise-waters but want to add on time on land in popular European destinations, Avalon Waterways is introducing three Your Way options in 2020: 1) An Avalon Waterways land extension; 2) A Monograms independent vacation package or 3) A Globus escorted touring vacation.

“With our new Your Way program, we’re making it easier for travellers to extend their river cruise vacation with land itineraries that are perfectly suited to their preferences and budget,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “In addition, with our exclusive onboard Avalon Choice feature on every itinerary, our guests have their pick of the widest array of included excursions, from classic sightseeing to immersive discoveries and active adventures.”

All cruise itineraries – short and long – sail on Avalon Waterways’ signature Suite Ships which provide guest two full decks of 200-square-foot, one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites featuring the industry’s only Open-Air Balconies and beds facing the incredible views for which river cruising is famous.

Outlander author to escort Avalon Waterways European river cruise

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AVALON INVITES TRAVELLERS TO BOOK A NOVEL VACATION IN 2020 PLUS OTHER NEW “SPECIAL INTEREST” CRUISES

It’s bound to be the most memorable trip of 2020 (or a lifetime): author of the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling OUTLANDER series Diana Gabaldon is exclusively hosting a NEW Author Cruise on the Rhine River, giving fans the chance to get insider OUTLANDER insight with their favourite author for a week in June of 2020.

“Diana Gabaldon has added to the storytelling tapestry of our lives while also inspiring travel with her literature,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “In her OUTLANDER series of novels and novellas – now an award-winning series on W Network – she has brought to life the backdrops of Scotland, North America, France, Germany as well as dozens of destinations across the globe. On the June 9, 2020 departure of Avalon’s Romantic Rhine Author Cruise with Diana Gabaldon from Basel to Amsterdam, this inspiring storyteller will share an inspired cruise – and daily excursions – with an intimate group of her fans.”

A MAGICAL JOURNEY: From the German Black Forest of fairy tales to the historic canals of Amsterdam, Avalon Waterways and Diana Gabaldon invite travellers to savour the magic of the Rhine River. This week-long vacation on board the Avalon Expression (with a capacity of just 166 passengers) delivers cruisers to the heart of Europe to explore towns and cities along the Rhine River while they enjoy panoramic views and spectacular, castle-lined backdrops day and night.

Also NEW for 2020 is themed cruise Reflections on the Seine for Photography Enthusiasts hosted by Brenda Tharp, photography veteran and co-author of EXTRAORDINARY EVERYDAY PHOTOGRAPHY.
Avalon Waterways invites photography enthusiasts and aspiring shutterbugs on this picture-perfect itinerary along the Seine River to learn from a seasoned photographer, cruise through postcard-perfect backdrops and enjoy the beauty and scenes of France, from Paris, the “City of Light,” to Le Havre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stops in between include the WWII Landing Beaches in Normandy, Monet’s Giverny, Rouen’s astronomical clock, Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise and Napoléon’s Chateau de Malmaison.

“Avalon’s Special Interest itineraries complement stories with stout, history with harmony and impressions with impressionism,” said Hoffee. “In addition to announcing new author and photography cruises in 2020, we are also unveiling new culinary-themed vacations and favourites featuring wine, beer, history, heritage and of course, Christmas markets. Regardless of the theme, our passion-filled vacations have the great distinction of uniting our guests with their pastimes and other like-minded travellers.”

Other 2020 Special Interest cruises include:

Palate-Pleasing Adventures: NEW Culinary Cruises.
Enter a food-lover’s paradise in the land of haute cuisine – France! These river cruises invite travellers to enjoy delectable flavours, decadent aromas and delightful textures sure to send taste buds into overdrive.
NEW A Culinary Experience in Burgundy & Provence (March 31 departure)
NEW A Culinary Experience on Rhine & Rhone Revealed (March 24 departure)

The World in Red & White: Wine Cruises.
Whether travellers are weekend-sippers or wannabe sommeliers, it’s time to take a cruise where the river and Rieslings flow. On these 2020 wine cruises, vino lovers of the world will unite with some of the world’s most renowned winemakers and wine masters on the rolling vineyards of Europe.
NEW Danube Dreams for Wine Lovers (April 30 and October 29 departures)
Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (October 6, October 20 and October 25 departure)
Grand France for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)
Rhine & Rhône Revealed for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)

Adventure is Brewing: Beer Cruises.
Pairing fascinating history with a beverage that goes just as far back in time, an Avalon Beer Cruise promises incredible scenery and visits to the greatest beer scenes in Europe.
Tulip Time Cruise for Beer Enthusiasts (April 4 departure)
Enchanted Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (July 16 departure)
Magnificent Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (October 27 departure)

Holiday Joy and Jolly Abound on Festive Time Cruises.
Experience the holiday season the European way! Travellers will enjoy the jolly atmosphere on their festively decorated Suite Ship as they delight in the sights, smells, tastes and local traditions of Europe’s Christmas markets. In 2020, Avalon Waterways is offering 16 Christmas Market Cruises throughout Europe.

Wonder in Bloom: Garden & Nature Cruises.
Spring in Holland and Belgium is no time to tiptoe through the tulips. It’s time to sail and stroll through their glorious splendour.
Tulip Time Cruise for Garden & Nature Lovers (April 11 and 18 departures)

Remembrance on the River: World War I and II Cruises.
All river cruises venture back in time. These World War I and II-themed history cruises make a special trip to honour and commemorate the significant sites of the fearless and fallen who fought for freedom.
Tulip Time in Holland & Belgium WW1 Remembrance & History Cruise (April 19 departure)
Paris to Normandy WWII Remembrance & History Cruise (June 2 departure)

Once Upon a Castle: Habsburg Cruises.
In fairytale settings of Germany, Austria and Hungary, Avalon Waterways is rolling out the red carpet for travellers sailing along the Danube. From the palaces of Budapest and Vienna to the castles and estates of the surrounding countryside, it’s time to sip Champagne in the same reception rooms and walk the same art-filled corridors of Europe’s royal past.
Danube Dreams with Habsburg & Royalty (July 11 departure)
From the Danube Delta to Prague with Habsburg & Royalty (July 2 departure)

Under the Star: Jewish Heritage Cruises.
History’s most moving chapters come to life sailing down the Danube, Rhine and Rhône Rivers on an Avalon Jewish Heritage cruise. Deep in the Jewish quarters of Europe’s most historic cities, explore museums and monuments, cemeteries and synagogues and learn the touching stories behind them all.
Romantic Rhine with Jewish Heritage (July 21 departure)
Rhine & Rhône Revealed with Jewish Heritage (July 14 departure)
The Legendary Danube with Jewish Heritage (August 13 departure)

Passion for the Passion Play.
Finally, for travellers who have been waiting years (and years) to experience Oberammergau’s Passion Play – a theatrical tradition that has taken place every 10 years since 1634 – Avalon Waterways is delivering an unforgettable cruise experience and preferred seating at the Passion Play.
Danube Dreams with Oberammergau 2020 (multiple departures throughout 2020)

 

Avalon Illumination

Avalon Waterways Launches Flash Sale

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Avalon Waterways just announced it has launched its newest offer – a flash sale for European River Cruise sailings! You will be able to save $1,200 per person PLUS fly from Canada for just $499!

The charms of European river cruising are legendary: sailing at a leisurely pace past castles and vineyards, stepping off the ship docked in the heart of a centuries’ old town or city, gourmet meals – with wine included – in the company of new-found friends.

And now thanks to a flash sale from Avalon Waterways, these charms are more accessible to Canadians than ever. They have slashed prices on a select number of their Tulip Time and Active & Discovery on the Rhine sailings.

Not only will you save $1,200 per person on each one of these 16 sailings, but you will have access to airfares to Europe at incredibly low prices.  Using major scheduled airlines, Avalon will fly you from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal for just $499, taxes included.  And for just $100 to $150 more, you can add on connecting fares from 16 additional cities across Canada.*

Tulip Time cruises are a wonderful way to get a jump on spring. Sailing past acres of colourful tulip fields and enjoying the urban vibe of cities including Amsterdam and Belgium’s Antwerp, these 8-day sailings are in March. During the Flash Sale, prices start at $1,895 (excluding airfare).

Or sail from Amsterdam down the romantic Rhine on an 8-day Active & Discovery sailing – your choice of numerous departures from May to October. Every day you can choose a classic walking tour, an experience of discovery with, say, a local producer or vintner or a shoreside activity such as guided hike. All included in the Avalon price. During the Flash Sale, prices start at $3,209 (excluding airfare). Some departures sail from Wiesbaden, Germany back to Amsterdam.

Avalon Waterways

Avalon’s Active Discovery cruises

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Avalon’s Active Discovery river cruises in Europe: learn, encounter, get out there!

European river cruises are getting more popular each year – and what’s not to like?  Cruising at a leisurely pace through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, past ancient vineyards and medieval towns.  So close to shore you can wave to locals walking their dogs (who, in our experience, always wave back).

Add fine dining with delicious regional wines and beers and you’ve got a recipe for a great vacation!

Until recently, though, some would-be cruisers worried that a European river cruise didn’t offer options for a holiday where you can keep up your fitness regime from home (perhaps the impression of “Too much time sitting listening to lectures on Beethoven”?)

To the rescue:  Avalon Waterways and their Active Discovery Cruises.

Launched last year on the Danube River and proving so popular that the company has this year added the Rhine and next year will add France’s Rhône, they combine just the right amount of fitness and fun that lots of Canadians are looking for.

Every day you have the option of three types of shore excursion:

– “Active” – such as a guided biking tour or run…perhaps a hike through vineyards or even a canoeing trip.  How Canadian is that!

– “Discovery” – a special encounter, perhaps with a local chocolatier or farmer…channel your inner Van Gogh at a painting class in Amsterdam or have a hoot at a language lesson in “Fungarian” in Budapest.

– “Classic” – usually a guided walking tour in the company of a local who’s an expert in culture, history, architecture – and where the best shopping is!

Best of all, every shore excursion is included in the price of your Avalon Waterways cruise – and you don’t need to decide which one you want to take until that day.

Avalon’s sparkling new ships accommodate a maximum of just 168 passengers and offer a small but lovely selection of dining options:  the main restaurant, where expansive buffet breakfasts and lunches and four-course sit-down dinners are served; the Bistro Resto for small-plate, light dinners; and the roof-top Sky Deck grill for al-fresco lunches.  Continental breakfast served to your cabin is free of charge and self-serve teas and specialty coffees are always on tap in the Club Lounge.  Local wines and beers are included at lunch and dinner.

Nightly entertainment comprises lively and interesting port talks as well as live entertainment, often entertainers who come on board just for the evening to give you an authentic taste of local music.

 

To make your 2018 or 2019 European River cruise a reality connect with an ilovecruising.com cruise specialist today!

ACTION AT THE HELM … Avalon Waterways adds “Adventure Host” to ALL 2019 Europe sailings

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March 12, 2018: On the heels of announcing Active Discovery itineraries on the Rhine, Danube and Rhône Rivers, as well as a new Avalon Choice program featuring included “Classic,” “Discovery” and “Active” excursions on each and every itinerary throughout Europe in 2019, Avalon Waterways is also announcing plans to add an Avalon Adventure Host, based in a new Adventure Center, to all 2019 European cruises.

“The river cruise demographic is changing and we’re seeing more active passengers who want to keep up their fitness regime when on vacation – or maybe even discover a new activity,” says Stéphanie Bishop of Avalon’s Canadian office.

With help from their Avalon Adventure Host, travellers can check out a bike (from onboard their Suite Ship) for a scenic ride through town. They can grab Nordic walking sticks and hike to a hillside vineyard or castle – complete with a picnic provided by the culinary team. Whether cruisers are looking for a kayaking excursion on the river or want to participate in a complimentary fitness class on the Sky Deck, Avalon’s new Adventure Host will make it happen.

Also, in 2019, the company’s new AvalonGo App will help travellers independently explore each destination throughout their vacation with a detailed, daily schedule of their itinerary, a list of nearby attractions (with hours of operation, historical facts and more), maps, directions as well as local cafés, restaurants, bars and entertainment options for further exploration.

SEE BEYOND SALES EVENT: Canadians booking a 2019 cruise by April 24 this year can save up to $3,000 Cdn per couple OR waive the supplement on select Avalon European cruises.

Jann Arden to host European River Cruise

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Award-winning Canadian entertainer to set sail from Budapest to Prague with Avalon Waterways

Fans of Jann Arden have a treat in store: next year she will be hosting a special sailing of Avalon Waterways’ Blue Danube Discovery cruise departing June 18, 2019. As well as mingling with passengers, Arden will perform a private concert on board and participate in a photo op and CD signing.

Arden, who acted as Godmother of the ship Avalon Tranquility II in 2015 and hosted another cruise in 2017, is a fan of Avalon Waterways and says she’s very much looking forward to sailing with them again in the company of new friends.

The 12-day vacation starts with a two night stay in the Hungarian capital Budapest before embarkation and sailing onto Vienna, followed by the fairytale castles of Dürnstein, Austria and Germany’s baroque charms in Passau, Regensburg and Roth before disembarking in Prague, Czech Republic for a two night stay.

As well as shore excursions and the use of bikes and Nordic walking poles ashore, guests will enjoy three delicious meals daily (including regional wines and beer with lunch and dinner), nightly light entertainment and talks – and, of course, as Jann’s own concert. The cruise will be on board the 168-passenger Avalon Envision, which will be launched in 2019. The majority of accommodation is in the company’s signature Panorama suites: 200 square foot staterooms featuring marble bathrooms, wall-to-wall windows which open over two meters wide, and window-facing beds – perfect for taking in the views of medieval towns and vineyards as you sail leisurely past.

The vacation is priced from $5,153 Cdn (excluding airfare) but travellers can save up to $300 per person if they book early. Guests are also welcome to extend their stay in Europe before or after the cruise with a variety of hotel and touring packages offered by Avalon Waterways.

 

 

ABOUT AVALON WATERWAYS
Since we launched our very first ship in 2004, Avalon Waterways has invited you – our traveller – to be our muse. Thanks to you, we let imagination and a relentless desire to create a smart use of space, be our guide. The result? An incomparable river cruise experience, including one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites℠ – with innovative Open-Air Balconies® and beds facing the views – on the industry’s only Suite Ships®: Unequalled vessels that feature two full decks of 200- and 300-square-foot suites.

On the spectacular ships of Avalon, “included” is one of our favourite words. Spacious outside staterooms with plenty of room to relax – included. Special touches like regional wines and beer at every onboard lunch and dinner – included. Complimentary Wi-Fi – included. The most shore excursions, led by Certified Local Guides – included. VIP entrance into must-see sites – included. Unique Local FavoritesSM designed to bring your destination to life – included. In addition to everything that is included, we also give you the freedom of Avalon Choice® – a different approach to river cruising that invites travellers to personalize their trip.

Whether looking for a romantic mini-break, an in-depth 24-day exploration or something in between, with Avalon Waterways, you can choose the river cruise that reveals the very best of Europe, Asia, or South America– your way!

Avalon Waterways scores Best Stateroom award – again

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December 13, 2017 – Stéphanie Bishop, managing director for the Globus family of brands in Canada, is delighted to announce that for the third consecutive year its river cruise brand, Avalon Waterways, has been awarded the coveted Best River Cruise Cabin award with Cruise Critic, the influential website. In announcing the Editors’ Picks award, Cruise Critic remarked “River cruise cabins come in many iterations. But we’re hard-pressed to find one better than Avalon’s signature Panoramic Suite.”

“This is a huge honour for us, and clearly shows that these Suites are an enormous hit with our passengers,” says Bishop of the cruise line’s innovative, 200 square feet staterooms. Each Panorama Suite features an entire window wall which opens over two meters to bring in the sights and sounds of Europe. “The other truly innovative aspect of the Suites, which make up the vast majority of our staterooms, is that the beds face the windows, and guests love lying back and watching medieval towns and ancient vineyards glide by.”

 

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Media Contact: Martha Chapman for the Globus family of brands (416) 614 2845

ABOUT AVALON WATERWAYS
Since we launched our very first ship in 2004, Avalon Waterways has invited you – our traveller – to be our muse. Thanks to you, we let imagination and a relentless desire to create a smart use of space, be our guide. The result? An incomparable river cruise experience, including one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites℠ – with innovative Open-Air BalconiesSM and beds facing the views – on the industry’s only Suite Ships®: Unequaled vessels that feature two full decks of 200- and 300-square-foot suites which have for three consecutive years been named the Best River Cruise Stateroom by the famed website www.CruiseCritic.com
On the spectacular ships of Avalon, “included” is one of our favourite words. Spacious outside staterooms with plenty of room to relax – included.

Special touches like regional wines and beer at every onboard dinner – included. Complimentary Wi-Fi – included. The most shore excursions, led by Certified Local Guides – included. VIP entrance into mustsee sites – included. Unique Local FavoritesSM designed to bring your destination to life – included. In addition to everything that is included, we also give you the freedom of Avalon Choice® – a different approach to river cruising that invites travellers to personalize their trip.

Whether looking for a romantic mini-break, an in-depth 24-day exploration or something in between, with Avalon Waterways, you can choose the river cruise that reveals the very best of Europe, Asia, or South America– your way!

Sonesta St. George

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The newest ship of the Sonesta Nile fleet is the Sonesta St. George I Nile Cruise, with 47 deluxe cabins and 10 suites. Noted as one of the most elegant ships on the Nile, the St. George offers a full-service spa and fitness center, restaurant, bars, nightly entertainment and guided excursions. The Sonesta St. George I Nile Cruise sails between Luxor and Aswan on three-, four- and seven-night cruises on the Nile, offering truly memorable experiences of a lifetime.

Isabela II

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Seeing the Galápagos Islands on board the 21-stateroom Isabela II goes beyond traditional cruising. It’s an expeditionary approach that allows you to authentically discover and explore the natural wonders of this region. The Isabela II is built to luxurious standards and features an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, allowing guests to enjoy all that the Galápagos is famous for intimate contact with the wildlife! Delve into this unique world with the Isabela II’s crew and expert Naturalists, who share their passion for nature and conservation of this mysterious part of the world. The Isabela II features a Jacuzzi, exercise room, outdoor lounge, and an observation platform for dolphin and whale watching on the top deck. The ship’s dining room, lounge, and bar are elegantly appointed, as is the well-stocked library/reading room. All staterooms are outside and feature air-conditioning, private bathrooms, hairdryers, and safety deposit boxes.

Century Legend

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Cruise in style and comfort on board one of the newest ships on the Yangtze, the Century Legend. As you embark your contemporary, elegant ship, a friendly, English-speaking crew and stunning 7-story atrium lobby welcome you aboard. The Century Legend is charting a new course for Yangtze River cruising. The ship features a state-of-the-art propulsion system that reduces vibration and decreases emissions to reduce environmental impact. Other innovations include a pillar less multifunction lounge with unobstructed views of evening entertainment, and a large indoor swimming pool, both firsts on the Yangtze.