River cruising offers special advantages not found elsewhere. Visit several destinations but unpack once. Your transportation, dining and entertainment come along with you for the ride! Best of all, in every port some new adventure awaits. Whether you love to dine, hike, bike, shop, or sight see, each port of call is an opportunity for you to explore.
River cruising is not a "one size fits all" experience. From active to boutique, we will help you choose the perfect cruise line, itinerary, cabin options, and excursions for every traveler.
8 Ways River Cruising is the Right Way to Explore the World By James Shilliglaw, May 21, 2020
Avalon Waterways is showcasing the value of small ship river cruising as we emerge from the coronavirus crisis. In the last 10 years, river cruising has grown by 250 percent, making waves in the travel industry and proving that when it comes to cruising, bigger is not necessarily better. Avalon has been one of the river cruise lines leading the way, providing travelers with an unforgettable fusion of sights, cultures and traditions while sailing aboard innovative Suite Ships.
“Our guests know that it’s possible to cruise without a crowd, explore new cultures with ease and sail in intimate settings,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “Aboard our spacious, state-of-the-art Suite Ships, travelers enjoy the company of an expert cruise director, appealing crew-to-passenger ratios, the personalized attention they deserve and seamless dock-and-go sightseeing with insider tips and experiences only the locals can provide. River cruising is the perfect way to see and explore the world.” So what makes river cruising so special? Avalon Waterways is offering eight reasons this travel style has become a preferred way to see, experience and explore the world. So as we emerge from the crisis, you can highlight the benefits river cruising offers in a whole new normal of travel.
1) Why small ship size matters: River cruise vessels are built to slowly ply the world’s weaving and meandering rivers. They are designed to port in storybook settings, to sail under centuries’ old bridges and squeeze between 12-meter-wide locks. Avalon Waterways’ floating “boatique” hotels hold an average of 150 guests, although some are much smaller. Suite Ships on the Mekong River, for instance, have just 18 staterooms, accommodating 36 cruisers. And while fellow passenger numbers are low, Avalon’s onboard crew ratio is high. In fact, on every ship, the average guest-to-crew ratio is 3:1. which means travelers get lots of attention with crew members catering to guests needs, every moment of every day.
2) See not sea—there’s a big difference: On a river cruise, travelers are not at sea. Instead, river cruises wind and bend through the heart of fascinating countries providing a panoramic view of the Old World. Always within a few feet of shore, a river vessel allows travelers pass castles, vineyards, villages, and capital cities. Every day and night travelers have quick and easy access to ports of call.
3) Discover cruising focused on to dos, not crowds and queues: River cruise itineraries are destination-focused with local guides who help travelers experience and connect with the world around them. Most river cruise itineraries also sail off-the-beaten-path, visiting small fairytale villages, quaint village squares and family-owned wineries, bakeries and restaurants along the way. There are also no queues to get on and off the ship on the world’s rivers. Avalon’s excursions typically accommodate no more than 30 guests at a time, providing every traveler an immersive and authentic experience.
4) Find space, fresh air and perspectives: On board Avalon’s innovative Suite Ships, guests on two full decks are welcomed with 200-square-foot Panorama Suites, each featuring a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that open seven-feet wide (the widest-opening windows in cruising). This wall of glass converts into an Open-Air Balcony. No Avalon Waterways ship has interior-only cabins. Instead, every Deluxe Stateroom and Panorama Suite offers guests natural light and most feature beds facing the river views. Public spaces also provide guests with room to move and views galore. Avalon’s Suite Ship Sky Decks also run the length and width of each vessel (approximately 20 meters longer and two meters wider than a football field) with wide-open spaces, fresh air and plenty of lounge chairs.
5) Get warm “welcomes” along the way: Avalon works to engage with communities visited by hiring local drivers, guides and operators for land activities. This give back mentality extends to the purchase of local produce, wines, beers and even bread, further connecting guests to people, places, and culture of the places the ship visits. As a result of its partnership approach to tourism, Avalon has been actively pursued by new towns along the world’s rivers, which helps it deliver authentic new experiences.
6) Chart a new course in sustainability: The vibrant natural surroundings of the world’s rivers are one of the major benefits of river cruising. And it is up to river cruise companies to preserve the precious environment and limit our footprint. Avalon has taken great strides to improve monitoring and measurement to reduce its environmental impact, to save water, to limit waste and to foster a sustainability culture among its crew and guests. This work includes supporting Ocean Cleanup in its efforts to clean up the world’s rivers and oceans.
8) Find ship-shape Suite Ships: The world has changed but what remains certain is Avalon’s steadfast commitment to guest safety, comfort and peace-of-mind. To that end, the company has developed a new Avalon Assurance program, with help from its Global Health & Safety team, which is dedicated to ensuring that the cleanliness of all operations exceeds today’s standards from start to finish. The new Avalon Assurance program currently features seven major categories and protocols that span across guest experience touch-points, all of which are being shared, explored, reviewed and renewed. Details can be found at www.avalonwaterways.com/avalon-assurance.
“Avalon Waterways understands that our value and our service is measured by what we do when things go wrong even more than when everything runs as planned,” said Hoffee. “We are there for our guests, offering refunds for missed services, alternative sightseeing or the opportunity to rebook and try again another time. We are a long-term business, prepared to tackle short-term obstacles. Our hope is that travelers choose to explore the world with time and time again.” For more details, visit www.avalonwaterways.com or www.globusfamilypartner.com.