Avalon Expands Ship Fleet with Double Christening
Avalon Waterways has launched its newest luxury river cruise ships at a double christening in the Netherlands, the latest stage in a major expansion of its successful Suite Ship concept. After the sell-out debut season of Europe’s first Suite Ship Avalon Panorama last year, Avalon Waterways has now introduced sister ships Avalon Vista and Avalon Visionary, to operate itineraries on the Rhine and Danube.
The new ships – each with two entire decks of all-suite accommodation and 30 per cent more cabin space than the average competitor – were launched last week at a ceremony in the historic Dutch harbour town of Enkhuizen. Like Panorama, the Vista and Visionary have been designed with Australian travellers in mind and feature wall-to-wall panoramic windows that draw back to turn the entire suite into an open-air balcony.
Avalon Waterways Managing Director Australasia Stewart Williams said the Suite Ship concept had been an outstanding success, thanks largely to Australian travellers. “Everything about the Suite Ships has been designed with Australians in mind, from the décor and fittings right through to the cuisine and the espresso coffee,” Mr Williams said. “Next year, Avalon Waterways will introduce another two new Suite Ships, Avalon Artistry II and Avalon Expression. They will give Avalon a total of five Suite Ships when they enter service in April and May 2013. I have just returned from sailing on Avalon through Holland, it was a wonderful experience. John Pond. PHOTO: Vista-Visionary, Avalon Vista godmother and President and CEO of Toronto-based Cruise Strategies Ltd, Vanessa Lee; and Avalon Waterways Managing Director Australasia, Stewart Williams.