Spring is an exciting time in the world of European river cruising, as lines take delivery of their latest and greatest vessels and put them into service for the first time. One of the oldest maritime traditions – the Christening – is still celebrated to this day at the launch of each and every new ship.
Next month, Avalon Waterways will christen its new “Suite Ships” – Avalon Poetry II and Avalon Impression in a ceremony in the picturesque town of Dordrecht, Holland on March 22.
Avalon Poetry II’s godmother will be Katherine J. Grainger, 2012 Olympic Gold Medal rower and the author of her own autobiography, Dreams Can Come True.
On the subject of serving as Avalon Poetry II’s godmother, Grainger said: “It is clear that Avalon Waterways shares my passion in creating a winning formula on the water and I am very much looking forward to the christening.”
Bestowing the honors on Avalon Impression will fall to J. Mara DelliPriscoli, president of Travel Learning Connections Inc. and founder of the Educational Travel Conference (ETC.)
In June, Avalon’s third new vessel of the year will be christened by Australian media personality Deborah Hutton. The launch of Avalon Illumination will bring the line’s total Suite Ship fleet count to eight, adding an additional 10 percent capacity to the line’s overall number of available berths.
It’s a number that will grow again in 2015. At the start of the month, Avalon announced that due to the overwhelmingly positive reception its newest Suite Ships have been received from the line’s guests, two additional vessels will be constructed for debut next year.
Avalon Tranquility II and Avalon Tapestry II derive their names from two of the line’s most popular early ships. When completed, Avalon will boast 10 purpose-built “Suite Ship” vessels in Europe, representing 66 percent of its entire fleet.
“Eighty percent of the rooms on our Suite Ships are 200-square-foot Panorama Suites or 300-square-foot Royal Suites,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “And our smallest stateroom in the fleet is still a very comfortable, 172-square-feet. No other European river cruise line can say this.”
First introduced aboard the Avalon Panorama, each suite aboard these Suite Ships features an Open-Air Balcony that features a glass sliding door that opens to create a seven-foot expanse of fresh air and sunshine. Unlike step-out balconies, the Open-Air Balconies don’t cut into the amount of available living space in Avalon’s suites.
“On our ships, cruisers discover they can really ‘live’ in the remarkably large, indoor/outdoor living space we provide, which is 30 percent larger than the industry standard,” Clark said.
More information on Avalon’s newest Suite Ships will be listed here as it becomes available. Click here to read our complete Avalon Waterways company overview and fleet profiles.