Avalon Waterways on Course for Biggest Year Ever for River Cruises

July 14, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Chosen by Travel + Leisure magazine as a "Top 10 Small Ship Cruise Line, Avalon Waterways is the world's fastest-growing river cruise company. Thanks, in part, to outstanding 2008 sales, this industry leader is embarking on its most aggressive growth to date in 2009, offering more than 25 cruise vacations in Europe, China, Egypt and the Galàpagos, as well birthing two new cruise ships.

"Traveling on the waterways that weave together the history and lore of villages and countries is not only one of the trendiest means of travel, it's also the most scenic and experiential way to vacation," said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. "Small-ship cruising provides travelers big benefits including a more intimate experience, the proximity of attractions and hassle-free, all-inclusive style. Guests don't have to worry about hidden fees and currency increases."

To meet increased demands, Avalon Waterways has created six NEW river cruises for 2009, ranging from 8 to 23 days:
• Christmas in the Heart of Germany – 8 Days (Frankfurt to Prague) – Priced from $1,709;
• Windmills, Vineyards & Paris – 13 or 14 Days (Paris to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Paris) – Priced from $3,529;
• Blue Danube to the Black Sea – 14 Days (Vienna to Bucharest/Bucharest to Vienna) – Priced from $3,559;
• European Splendor – 13 Days (Amsterdam to Vienna/Vienna to Amsterdam) – Priced from $3,649;
• North Sea–Black Sea Cruise – 23 Days (Amsterdam to Bucharest/Bucharest to Amsterdam) – Priced from $6,729;
• Fascinating China & Mongolia with Yangtze River Cruise – 18 Days (Shanghai to Beijing) – Priced from $5,709.

In addition to developing new, intimate river cruise vacations and on the heels of christening the Avalon Scenery in France this spring, Avalon Waterways is launching two river cruise ships in Europe – the Avalon Affinity and Avalon Creativity – both set to debut in 2009, bringing the European fleet total to eight.

With the youngest fleet on Europe's waters, Avalon Waterways' ships feature contemporary design, state-of-the art technology and house the largest staterooms, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic sliding glass doors. "While our competition favors more traditional interiors, Avalon Waterways' European fleet has raised the bar on river cruise ship design with vessels that both look and feel like intimate, modern hotels," said Clark.

To celebrate its new offerings, Avalon Waterways is providing travelers an early booking promotion: Those booking travel between now and August 31, 2008 can receive $300 off the air-inclusive price or $125 off the cruise-only price of a 2009 Globus or Avalon Waterways cruise.*

"We offer cruisers unparalleled value on their journeys abroad," said Steve Born, vice president of marketing and customer care for the Globus family of brands. "With nearly 100 percent of our Avalon Waterways passengers stating that we've met or exceeded their expectations, it's clear that we care about the little things that make a big difference. We serve passengers unlimited complimentary local wine with all on-board dinners and feature regional entertainment, as well as provide the most impressive land programs available, coupled with a 'best in class' English-speaking staff that caters to our clients' desires. Our travelers also benefit from all-inclusive pricing – expenses that can be both planned and paid in advance of travel."

Avalon Waterways' 2009 cruise highlights include:

• NEW Windmills, Vineyards & Paris (13 or 14 Days) – Cruisers will experience France, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium and Holland on this river cruise vacation. They'll see the city's major highlights on a guided tour of Paris and travel between Paris and Metz via TGV high-speed train, as well as enjoy guided sightseeing in Trier and Cologne, a canal cruise in Amsterdam, taking pictures of the windmills at famous Kinderdijk, a tour of Reichsburg Castle and a wine cellar visit in Bernkastel. Priced from $3,529 (cruise/land-only).
• Flavors of Burgundy & Provence (11 days) – Opportunities abound to learn about and taste sumptuous wines and local cuisine on this grand river cruise vacation. Travelers will see France at its scenic best with guided sightseeing that acquaints them with Paris and Nice, while a deluxe seven-night cruise along the Saône and Rhône Rivers takes them into the heart of this beautiful country. Travelers will enjoy walks in Mâcon, Tournon and Beaune, as well as sightseeing with Local Guides in Avignon, Arles and Lyon, France's gastronomic capital. Priced from $2,209 (cruise/land-only).
• NEW Blue Danube to the Black Sea (13 Days) – A deluxe Danube River cruise is the highlight on this fascinating getaway through Eastern Europe. Cruisers will sail through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge and see the sights with a local guide in each city, including Vienna, the "City of Music," visit the Hungarian capital of Budapest, Romania's lively capital of Bucharest and Serbia's Belgrade, as well as paprika country's Kalocsa, Arbanassi, Veliko Târnovo and Varna on the Black Sea. Priced from $3,559 (cruise/land-only).
• NEW Fascinating China & Mongolia with Yangtze River Cruise (18 Days) - Travelers will discover the wonders of China and Mongolia on this incredible, exotic vacation that includes a four-night river cruise along the magnificent Yangtze. They'll visit the fabulous Yu Yuan Gardens in Shanghai, see the legendary Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an and encounter the unsoiled splendor of Mongolia's Gobi Desert (including a stay in a traditional ger). Priced from $5,709 (cruise/land-only, including intra-tour flights).
• Egyptian Splendor (9 Days) – This captivating vacation offers travelers an exciting voyage through the Kingdom of the Pharaohs. In Cairo, they'll marvel at King Tutankhamun's treasures, visit enigmatic Sphinx and see the Great Pyramids of Giza. Then, they'll fly to Aswan for a four-night Nile River cruise to Luxor. Along the way, travelers will visit the Aswan Dam, Temple of Isis, Valley of Kings and Valley of Queens and Luxor Temple. They'll also ride through Edfu to the Temple of Horus, visiting colorful local bazaars and exploring the stunning monuments of Karnak. Priced from $1,911 (cruise/land-only, including intra-tour flights).

*Booking must be made, under deposit, and discount applied, between now and August 31, 2008 for travel through December 31, 2009. To secure the air booking, an additional deposit of $250 is required, which is refundable until the time that the flight information is confirmed. Offers not valid with one-another or any other offer and applies to new 2009 bookings only. Offer reliant on space availability. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply.

Chosen by Travel + Leisure magazine as a Top 10 Small Ship Cruise Line in 2007, Avalon Waterways is the world's fastest-growing small ship cruise company. Making waves in river and small ship cruising by offering travelers the newest, most luxurious ships in Europe, China, Egypt and the Galápagos, Avalon Waterways' ships feature state-of-the-art design and technology and house the largest staterooms, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic sliding glass doors. Avalon Waterways is part of the Globus family of brands, an award-wining travel industry leader with 80 years of international travel expertise.

Consumers can book an Avalon Waterways vacation or request a 2009 brochure by visiting a preferred travel agent or by calling the following toll free number: 1.877.380.1535. For more information, please visit Avalon Waterways.