Avalon Waterways Launches Fleet in Europe and Expands Active Discovery

The river cruise line promises early bookers the best value with its new 'Early Booking Price Pledge'

In 2019 there is only one point-of-view on an Avalon Waterways cruise: the suite view. For the first time, the company’s entire fleet will be made up of Suite Ships giving guests exclusive access to the industry’s only open-air balconies and beds facing the sweeping river views.

Demonstrating its commitment to developing new cruise holidays to suit all guests, the 2019 cruise programme features seven new river cruises, including a new Active Discovery river cruise on the Rhône and an exotic voyage on the Ganges in India. Avalon’s new ‘Early Booking Price Pledge’ gives early bookers the reassurance that they will secure the best value on all 2019 cruises. With the refined all-suite fleet and the host of new itineraries comes the introduction of ‘Avalon Choice’ — a new approach to daily excursions inviting passengers to personalise every part of their river cruise with the utmost flexibility.

Giles Hawke, CEO, Avalon Waterways commented: “Stylish, spacious and immensely comfortable, our beautiful staterooms exemplify the Avalon difference, and starting in 2019, every one of our guests can experience the ‘suite life’ aboard our pioneering ships. Not only do we have the most diverse collection of river cruises and experiences to choose from, but we can now guarantee, through our Early Booking Price Pledge, that guests who choose to book early will get the best value. If they subsequently find a better Avalon deal on their chosen departure after they’ve booked, we’ll refund the difference.”

Recently awarded ‘Best River Cruise Line’, ‘Best Cabins’ and ‘Best for Active Cruisers’, the company introduces three new types of daily excursions in 2019 through its new Avalon Choice programme, making it easier for guests to tailor their cruise to suit their own interests and activity level:

  • Discovery: Discovery excursions will speak to specialist interests such as cooking classes and painting workshops that will provide a deep-dive into the local culture
  • Active: Active elements will appeal to the most energetic guests and include options such as guided jogging tours to cycling, paddling and hiking through scenic locales
  • Classic: With Classic options, local experts will share their knowledge through guided explorations of the history and heritage of Avalon destinations

Guests may also choose to pick up a map from the Front Desk and enjoy a day of independent exploration. Avalon Cruise Directors are always happy to share their local travel tips, such as where to find the best walking trails and wineries.

Due to growing demand from younger and young-at-heart passengers interested in cruising for the first time, the line has extended its ‘Active Discovery’ programme from two rivers (Rhine and Danube) to three in 2019 (Rhône). The eight-day Active Discovery on the Rhône is a great example of the Avalon Choice concept. Whatever their definition of active is, passengers can use the new programme to select included excursions that match their interests and abilities, from painting and hiking to cycling and wine tasting. The new river cruise sails from Arles to Lyon and is designed for cruisers who want to discover France’s Rhône River in an active way. Beyond enjoying the scenery and sightseeing, guests can choose to hike or bike through the Camargue Regional National Park or visit a local oyster farm, enjoy wine-tasting or a tour of the Museé des Aromes in Avignon, tour the Valrhona factory and make their own chocolate bar and canoe through the Gorges de l’Ardéche. Priced from £2,964 per person based on 14th May 2019 departure.

“Along the Danube, Rhine & Rhône Rivers, Avalon travellers can now hike, bike and engage in their surroundings in unimaginable ways, thanks to our unique Active Discovery cruise collection,” continued Hawke. “From action-packed experiences to interactive discoveries, these holidays offer something for all interests, energy and fitness levels, allowing our guests to tailor their holiday to their personal taste and pace.”