Avalon Waterways Shares How River Cruising Differs From Ocean Cruising
An Avalon Suite Ship along the Rhine in Germany.
River cruising is one of the most popular trends in travel. More and more Canadians are discovering the charms of seeing the world at a human pace, often in Europe but also in other corners of the world such as Southeast Asia and India.
As many river cruisers have sailed before on ocean cruises, Avalon Waterways shares what they should know about how the two travel styles differ.
The size of the ship.
In Europe, ships sailing along the Danube, Rhine and other rivers have a maximum width as they must be accommodated in the numerous locks. So ocean-going ships may accommodate thousands of passengers, but Avalon’s Suite Ships top out at 166 passengers.
While it makes for a much more intimate, social experience, it also means that due to space constraints, some facilities such as casinos, large theatres, shopping arcades and a vast array of dining options are not possible.
With Avalon Waterways, the available space is used imaginatively with al-fresco lunches on the roof deck and the club lounge/library doing double duty as a coffee bar.
Inclusions on a river cruise may be surprisingly generous compared to ocean cruising.
On every Avalon cruise, there are three included optional excursions at every port of call:
one classic (usually a walking tour of the city with a local guide/historian);
one discovery (fun cultural engagement such as a painting class or meeting a local farmer);
and one active (perhaps a guided hike or biking tour).
Onboard activities such as yoga classes are also included in the price.
There is no sacrificing space when it comes to staterooms.
Avalon’s Panorama Suites, the majority of accommodation on its European fleet, measure a full 200 square feet - a full 30% larger than the industry standard.
Rather than a typical balcony, the Suites offer an “open air balcony” -- a window-wall stretching 11 feet wide that slides open over six feet to bring in the surrounding sights and sounds.
Because of the small size of the ships, it can be great fun to theme a cruise.
Throughout the season, Avalon offers select sailings with experts giving insights into themes as varied as wine, photography, gardens, history and beer. And, again, all included in the price of the cruise.
And because you are in the heart of Europe, it’s easy to start off or extend your vacation with an escorted tour or tailor-made tour.
With such a small number of passengers, the embarkation and disembarkation process is seamlessly quick, allowing pax to spend more time relaxing in their suite or exploring ashore.