4th May 2024 | 5 nights | Avalon | Avalon View
Board your Avalon Suite Ship® in Budapest to embark on an unforgettable 6-day European river cruise on the Danube. You’ll begin with a visit to Slovakia’s quaint town of Bratislava for guided sightseeing along the streets of Old Town and St. Martin’s Cathedral. In Vienna, learn about the Habsburg Empire with guided sightseeing, and see the Imperial Palace complex, the Opera House, and stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Explore Krems on a guided tour of a town seemingly untouched by the modern world. Cruise through the Wachau Valley—home of charming villages and Austrian wines from its beautiful vineyards. Visit Ybbs with a guided tour of its romantic old town. Visit the magnificent 9th-century St. Florian Monastery, still home to Augustine Monks, or take a guided sightseeing of Linz.In Linz, enjoy free time to sample its famous pastries, and cruise overnight to conclude your river cruise in Vilshofen, Germany. A fantastic combination of history, art, food, and wine on your Danube River cruise.
This 166-passenger ship, which launched in April 2022, has extra roomy suites, an interior open-air balcony, and beds that face the window so you can view the ever-changing scenery. Most amenities, such as ship-wide Wi-Fi and tips for tour guides and drivers, are included in the cruise fare. What’s not included: crew gratuities, some special event excursions, drinks outside of mealtimes, and beverages in the mini-fridge. With Avalon View, Avalon Waterways now has 14 of its signature Panorama Suite ships on Europe’s rivers. There’s a lot of buzz around Avalon at the moment, in part due to its innovations in the shore excursion space. The line has also put together a successful series of theme cruises with renown authors.
Inspired by Dutch interior designer Liane van Leeuwen, Avalon View has a definite design sense – contemporary and elegant, anchored by a warm mix of light and dark woods and accented by rich taupe, brown, blue and cream décor. Original art in the public areas is by Dutch artist Eelco Maan and cabin paintings were created by another Dutch artist, Sofie Fisher. The primary gathering places onboard: the spacious Panorama Lounge, which has bar service and hosts local entertainers each night; a cosy Club Lounge with a 24-hour self-serve beverage station offering complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate, tea, and premium coffees; and the Sky Deck with its hot tub, shade awnings and comfortable chaise lounges. There’s a small fitness room on the Indigo deck.
With 166 passengers at full capacity and 47 crew members, there’s a 3.5:1 passenger-to-crew ratio. The passenger demographic depends on the itinerary but many passengers are in their 60s – most of them from North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The Active & Discovery cruises skew younger.
During 2022’s April-December cruising season, Avalon View will sail the Lower Danube in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Cruises range from 3 to 21 nights with options for one- and two- night stays in cities like Vienna, Budapest and Munich.
One notable highlight of the 2022 sailing season is a 7-night cruise from Budapest to Deggendorf, Germany in September hosted by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. It’s part of Avalon’s Storyteller series and will feature two exclusive on-ship events with the novelist. In 2023, the ship will expand into the Upper Danube with itineraries that include Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. A couple of itineraries on the Rhine and Main are also in the works, which will bring in Switzerland and France. In addition to the Storyteller cruise, Avalon View is also sailing on a plethora of special interest itineraries including Christmas markets, culinary and wine cruises, and “Active & Discovery” departures. The latter features physically active shore excursions involving activities like kayaking, biking, hiking, canoeing and e-bicycling.
Next year, Active & Discovery itineraries, launched in 2017, will account for one-fourth of the fleet’s departures from May through October. The ship’s Adventure Host assists with active excursions and activities. Excursions on every itinerary include classic, discovery and active options, as many as four a day and all of them complimentary. “Classic” involves a guided tour of iconic and historic sites, “discovery” explores local culture through cooking classes and painting workshops, and “active” offers an energetic way to experience the destination.
For such a small ship, the 443-foot Avalon View has plenty of dining options. Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style and are served in the elegant glass-walled Dining Room, as is dinner, a leisurely four-course affair featuring regional cuisine along with classics like braised short ribs, maple-syrup glazed fillet of salmon, slow roasted beef tenderloin and New Zealand rack of lamb. Vegetarian options are offered at every meal as well as vegan and allergy-free selections. Most nights, a small plates menu is served in the Panorama Lounge and, weather permitting, there’s usually at least one al fresco lunch on the top deck with salads, burgers, grilled salmon and ice cream. Wine, beer and soda are complimentary at meals. There’s a continental breakfast room service menu. New this year across the Avalon fleet: a limited room service dinner menu.
The aptly named Avalon View delivers big when it comes to its "view with a room." The 200-square-foot Panorama suites on the Royal and Sapphire decks have open-air balconies – essentially a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall window that opens 11 feet wide. Best yet, the bed – with four firmness choices – faces the window. Notably, Avalon View’s 65 Panorama suites are 30 percent larger than the industry standard. Even bigger are the two 300-square-foot Royal suites, which amp things up with a sizable seating area, a pair of open-air windows, twin sinks in the bathroom, and a separate toilet for visitors. The ship’s 16 staterooms, on the Indigo deck, are 172 square feet and have two windows that don’t open. All cabins have stocked mini-fridges, safes, bath robes, L’Occitane toiletries, and TVs with premium movies. Note: The cabins have plenty of USB ports, but the plugs are European-style with two prongs and require an adapter. There are also unexpected flourishes that surprise and delight like the colour-coded bathroom towels (brown for me, white for you) so that suite mates don’t get theirs mixed up and an utterly paperless environment onboard.
English-speaking travellers who want to sail the world by river, exploring at their own pace.
Families with young children or travellers who depend on wheelchairs.
Avalon caters to English-speaking travellers from North America, the U.K. and Australia/New Zealand. The average age of passengers is mid-50s to 60s, but the mix varies by itinerary, and on four- and five-night cruises, you'll find more 40-something travellers and others trying out river cruises for the first time. Children ages 8 and older are welcome onboard, but there is no formal youth program.
No, not really. You can't wear shorts at dinner, but, other than that the dress code is casual. At dinner you'll see mostly open-neck shirts and slacks for men; slacks, skirts or dresses for women. Some people op to dress up a bit nicer, though still relatively casual, for the welcome and farewell dinners (only on Europe river cruises).
Exactly what is included varies somewhat with the itineraries. In Europe, Asia and South America, coffee and tea are available free of charge all day long. In Europe a choice of complimentary wine, beer or soft drinks is included with lunch and dinner, and sparkling wine with breakfast. On the Mekong, Ganges and Amazon rivers, select soft drinks and local beer/spirits are available throughout the day and wine is included with lunch and dinner. Wi-Fi is free (except in the Amazon or Galapagos, where it's not available), as is dining (including breakfast in bed and picnic lunches to take on shore) and all onboard entertainment and enrichment. Most shore excursions are complimentary, including the line's Active Adventure options. You'll pay extra for gratuities, salon or spa treatments, laundry, onboard shop purchases and some special excursions.
Shore excursions are at the heart of activities on any Avalon sailing. Options can range from active excursions, such as canoeing the Danube or jogging through Amsterdam, to cultural experiences, like following the life of an Austrian worker or taking part in an Amsterdam painting class. Passengers who prefer to explore on their own can use the AvalonGO app loaded with a list of nearby attractions and hours of operation, historical facts, maps and directions as well as local cafes, restaurants, bars and entertainment options. Onboard, most passengers attend enrichment sessions, and the Local Favourites program brings regional performances onboard, as well as classes: tai chi or Mandarin lessons on the Yangtze, culinary demonstrations in France, etc.
Inclusions may differ depending on region. Please check with our team.