The river cruise boom continued last week, as Avalon Waterways took delivery of its second new vessel to hit the waters of Europe in as many months.
The 166-guest Avalon Expression was christened in the city of Koblenz, Germany on Monday, May 6; just one month after the launch of the slightly smaller Avalon Artistry II. The new Avalon Expression is part of the line’s highly successful Panorama Class that began with the launch of the Avalon Panorama in 2011.
Avalon Expression features two full decks of suites that have Avalon’s signature “Wall to Wall Panoramic Windows” that turn stateroom living space into an open-air balcony. At 200 square feet each, these Panorama Suites make up the vast majority of accommodations aboard the ship; in fact, there are only 16 “standard” staterooms offered on the Avalon Expression.
Avalon Expression boasts an expanded fitness center for exercising on the go, and the line offers bicycling excursions in both Amsterdam and Durnstein. Nordic walking sticks are also available, as are “Leisurely,” “Traditional,” and “Essential” on-shore activity levels.
Guests can also enjoy lighter fare in the Panorama Bistro, or enjoy a meal in the ship’s stylish main restaurant before relaxing in the ship’s Main Lounge.
The duties of christening Avalon’s newest vessel were given to Patricia Schultz, author of 1000 Places to See Before You Die. At the ceremonies, Avalon Waterways managing director Patrick Clark hinted that there were more Panorama-class vessels on the way for the 2015 cruise season, meaning that the three vessels Avalon has slated for entry into service next year may not be the last in this highly successful class.
Sailing Amsterdam-Budapest and Amsterdam-Nuremberg itineraries, Clark stated that Avalon Expression is already nearly sold out for its entire maiden season, with the exception of a handful of sailings.
With those kinds of numbers, it’s clear that the industry is growing by leaps and bounds. With more new ships on the way in 2014 and beyond, Avalon is poised to take advantage of the influx of travellers keen to experience a cruise along Europe’s storied waterways.
More information on Avalon Waterways and the new Avalon Expression can be found by visiting our complete Avalon Waterways profile here on River Cruise Advisor.