River Cruises - Avalon Waterways®

May 13, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Fed, in part, by a big ship traveler base and the fact that cruisers are looking for new, in-depth experiences, river cruising is the hottest travel style, according to the team at Avalon Waterways. On the heels of being recognized by Condé Nast Travelers' 2009 Gold List, this fastest-growing small ship company is expanding its offerings to meet growing demand. In 2010, Avalon Waterways will not only christen two new ships in Europe, it will increase its vacations by nearly 20 percent, unveiling more than 30 itineraries, ranging from five to 23 days in Europe, China, Egypt and the Galápagos.

"Traveling on the waterways that weave together the history and lore of villages and countries is not only one of the fastest-growing 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: Instead, they know the cost of their vacation before they depart."

"With our new river cruises, we're introducing our most diverse offerings to date," said Clark. "For instance, A Taste of the Danube vacation allows first-time, small ship cruisers and those looking for a more independent cruise getaway the chance to 'test the waters' quite literally by taking a shorter river cruise at a phenomenal price. In addition, our Grand France getaway gives travelers the opportunity to experience two ships as they sail from Paris to Côte d'Azur. And, for the first time, our cruisers can explore Zürich on Castles on the Rhine to the City of Music."

According to Clark, travelers that book a cruise with Avalon Waterways are not only choosing the best land programs available, they're also sailing on the youngest and most luxurious small ships. In 2010, the company will christen its fifth new ship in less than 36 months, bringing Avalon's Europe fleet total to 10.

While the company is focused on growth to meet consumer demand, Steve Born, vice president of marketing for the Globus family of brands, says the team at Avalon Waterways is also dedicated to exceeding traveler expectations. "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."

To celebrate its new offerings, and to encourage travelers to book the cruise of their dreams, Avalon Waterways is offering early booking incentives: Receive $150 off per person 2010 any Egypt, China, Galapagos or Taste of the Danube cruise/land-only vacation OR $300 off per person when booking air on the same itineraries. For most Europe cruise vacations, the deal increases. Receive $250 off per person select Europe river cruise/land-only vacations or $500 off per person when booking air on the same itineraries.* Visit www.avalonwaterways.com for details.

Details of Avalon Waterways' NEW 2010 River Cruises:

Paris to Normandy's Landing Beaches On this new vacation, travelers can combine time in France's splendid capital with discoveries of small and quaint towns northward along the Seine, as well as the picturesque Normandy region and the poignant Landing Beaches. They'll discover Van Gogh's little Auvers-sur-Oise, Monet's stunning gardens at Giverny and Joan of Arc's historic Rouen. Cruisers will also taste the apple cider, Calvados and Camembert for which northern France is famous. Priced from $2,049 land/cruise only.

Grand France On this comprehensive, 16-day getaway, travelers can combine two exciting cruises and get a taste of the variety that France has to offer, not only in scenery but in food and drink. They'll experience the Seine and the picturesque and tranquil Normandy region, as well as the charming and historic cities along the Saône and Rhône rivers. From apple trees in Normandy to vineyards in Provence and the elegance of Paris to Côte D'Azur, this vacation is grand in every way. Priced from $4,329 land/cruise only.

Castles on the Rhine to the City of Music Four countries, three rivers and the masterful Main-Danube Canal are the foundation of this 13-day vacation. Cruisers will start in Zürich, Switzerland and enjoy guided sightseeing in the cities of Strasbourg, Würzburg, Nuremberg and Vienna. They'll enjoy an excursion to Heidelberg with its imposing castle ruins and visit to the beautiful Benedictine Abbey of Melk. Guided walks in smaller towns, as well as a chance to taste some of Germany's famous beers, make this an extraordinary itinerary. Priced from $3,459.

A Taste of the Danube Perfect for first-time river cruisers or those looking for a more independent travel style, this short cruise vacation is set on the beautiful Danube with its charming small towns and vibrant capital cities: Hungary's Budapest, Slovakia's Bratislava and Austria's Vienna. For more exploration, cruisers are invited to add extra days on either end of this itinerary, in either Vienna or Budapest. Priced from $949 land/cruise only.

Christmastime in Germany & Austria There's no better place to celebrate a festive time of year and savor Gemühtlichkeit, Glühwein and Lebkuchen than in Germany and Austria. Cruisers will be enthralled by the beautiful decorations, lights and special atmosphere that only a visit to a Christmas market on a cold, crisp winter's day can bring. They'll see the highlights of the towns along the Main and Danube with a local expert. Priced from $2,669 land/cruise only.

Other Non-Europe Small-Ship Vacations Include:

Egyptian Splendor, nine days, Cairo to Cairo, priced from $2,211.
Nile River Cruises

Magical China & the Yangtze River, 12 days, Shanghai to Beijing, priced from $2,799.
China River Cruises

Discover the Galapagos & Peru, 14 days, Lima & Quito.
Galapagos Islands Cruises

*Book a select 2010 Europe Globus or Avalon River Cruise air-inclusive vacation to receive the $500 off per person offer. Select Europe Cruise-only bookings are eligible for the $250 off per person offer. Book a 2010 Globus or Avalon A Taste of the Danube, Egypt, China or Galapagos River Cruise air-inclusive vacation to receive the $300 off per person offer. A Taste of the Danube, Egypt, China or Galapagos cruise-only bookings are eligible for the $150 off per person offer. must be made, under deposit, and discount applied between March 25 and June 30, 2009 for travel through December 31, 2010. Offers not valid with one-another or any other offer other than Journeys Club member benefit. Applies to new 2010 bookings only, and offer will not be applied to pre-existing bookings. 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 and voted a 2009 Gold List winner by Condé Nast Traveler readers, Avalon Waterways is the world's fastest-growing small ship cruise company. Making waves in small ship and river 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. The Avalon Waterways team cares about the little things that make a big difference in enhancing a journey abroad, including local wine with all on-board dinners and the best land programs available. Avalon Waterways is part of the Globus family of brands, an award-winning travel industry leader with 80 years of international travel expertise.

Consumers can book an Avalon Waterways vacation or request 2009 & 2010 brochures by visiting a preferred travel agent or by calling the following toll-free number: 1.877.380.1535. For more information, please visit www.avalonwaterways.com.