River cruise has been a favourite activity for many civilisations. From the Pharaohs of Egypt dynasty, the royals of Europe, to the kings in Asia, river cruise has been perceived as one of the luxury ways to enjoy the nature, in particular, in the spring and summertime. In the travelling industry itself, the river cruise phenomenon has become one of the rapidly growing markets since 2004. As a brand under Globus family of brands, Avalon Waterways debuted its first ships — the Avalon Artistry in 2004, followed by Avalon Poetry in 2005. They were the first European river cruise ships to include two full decks of staterooms with French balconies and sliding glass doors.
The company also introduced the river cruise industry with the first Suite ShipSM called the Avalon Panorama back in 2011, which became the first in a long line of Avalon’s now-signature suite ships. The design concept that they would like to introduce is to bring the outdoor experience inside, with two full decks of Suite ShipSM staterooms featuring floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows that slide open (7 feet) to create a balcony-feel exterior wall so that the guests can have a better panoramic view of Europe’s stunning landscapes.
Another interesting feature to add that this ship also has beds that face the views for which river cruising is famous. The company also developed a Silent Drive System (SDS) to deliver the quietest cruise experience possible to all their guest. As all ships are now Panorama class, the Avalon Waterways’ Suite ShipSM is simply a luxurious abode on the river, especially with their five-star hotel approach of interior design that is contemporary, elegant and bright.
It is not a surprise if this Suite ShipSM concept design has also given Avalon Waterways numerous awards including, “Best Cabins in River Cruising” from USA Today and “Cruise Critic”. With time, Avalon Waterways keeps on expanding their destination from Europe (Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Seine, Saone, Moselle), Asia (Irrawaddy, Mekong) and South America (Amazon).
In this summertime, Indonesia Design had the opportunity to try this luxury abode on the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg, and the suite ship was really up to the expectation. The 110-metre Avalon Visionary Suite ShipSM that was carrying us along the river was first launched in 2012 and has 52 suites in total. Its modern design emanates across all areas of the ship, including in the extremely well-proportioned cabins that are 30 per cent larger than the industry standard.
The 19 sqm Visionary is one of Avalon’s Panorama Class vessels, which boast particularly spacious cabins known as Panorama Suites on two of three cabin decks, featuring panoramic windows that slide open to create a balcony-like effect. It receives little touches of luxury such as Egyptian super-combed cotton linens and L’Occitane amenities, with flat-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, nightly turn-down service, spacious three-door closets, bathrobes and slippers, spacious bathroom with shower, to even complimentary bottled water, like in a real five-star hotel.
The public area at Avalon Visionary Suite ShipSM is equally impressive as well featuring several F&B outlets such as Sky Lounge and Bistro, Panorama Lounge and Bistro, dining room and Club Lounge, deck game area, observation lounge, bar, premium lounge chairs and shade awnings, internet corner, hairdresser, dining room, to a lift – making it a handicap- friendly vessel. It is really a luxurious way to enjoy the scenic view along the Danube River.
This river cruise is really a great way to discover this part of Western Europe. In every destination, the cruise will provide a complimentary excursion to explore the city. They also offer additional excursions with a price to those who are interested in having a full day excursion. During this cruise, we have some memorable highlights including the charming Medieval village called Durnstein and the stunning Melk Abbey library in Austria, amazing Baroque St Stephen’s Cathedral in Passau, delicious traditional homemade sausage and sauerkraut at the historic Sausage Kitchen of Regensburg that has been running since 1806, to the mesmerising Medieval Bavarian city of Nuremberg in Germany.
The way we see it, the river cruise trend is still going to be a favourable trend in the future of travelling as it offers such a unique experience. As one of the river cruise company key players, Avalon Waterways has an excellent understanding of providing a luxurious abode that comes with great service.