Rolling On The Waterways With Avalon
with Suzanne Christie

It was the perfect day and ideal location for the folks from the Globus family’s Avalon Waterways to unveil the details of their newest river vessel Avalon Panorama. Early summer sun and the Radisson Admiral’s Lake Ontario breezes set an appropriate nautical backdrop.

Avalon’s Managing Director, Patrick Clark, was in town to release the details of their newbuild Panorama – set to debut in May of 2011. When it does, it will be the first river ship to offer full suite accommodations on 2 of its decks in addition to a lower deck of regular staterooms.

The new ship’s suite windows are 50% larger than previous ships with a full 7 foot span and floor to ceiling 11 foot height. The windows open fully to create an ”open room balcony”. The new suites measure a spacious 200 square feet. According to Clark, “This ship is going to ruin Europe’s reputation for notoriously small bedrooms.”

The river cruising category is enjoying continued growth pushing its purveyors to accelerate the floating and shore excursion product, and Canadians are jumping onboard. Numbers out of this market are growing at a greater rate than any other source. Clark anticipates an early booking market for 2011 with groups already up 35% at this stage. He suggests booking by August to ensure best choice of itinerary, air product and ship.

Avalon Waterways has been positioning itself to take full advantage of the interest in river cruising, launching 5 new ships geared to European rivers in the past 27 months. Avalon Felicity launched earlier this season with a lovely Canadian touch. Opera star Measha Brueggergosman christened the ship in Amsterdam becoming the line’s first Canadian godmother.

Avalon’s Panorama will launch with 14 night itineraries between Amsterdam and Budapest along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers.


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