The Netherlands: Avalon Waterways Unveils Two New Suite Ships
On Friday, May 11, 2012, Avalon Waterways unveiled and christened not one, but two Suite Ships in Enkhuizen, Holland. TRAVELSAVERS’ Nicole Mazza served as the godmother of the Avalon Visionary while Canadian travel industry insider Vanessa Lee, acted as godmother to the Avalon Vista.
Docked parallel to one another on either side of a beautiful pier in the North Holland marina of Enkhuizen, guests gathered to witness two godmothers bless two Suite Ships, for the first time. The order of this unique, dual christening was determined by coin toss. The Avalon Visionary won the honor of leading the ceremony.
After the christening, guests were invited aboard the Avalon Vista for a Champagne reception with entertainment from de Swingers and five-course Captain’s dinner. They were then invited onto two decks of the Avalon Visionary for five elaborate dessert spreads, ranging from cheese and wine offerings and homemade ice cream to such indulgences as chocolate mousse, tiramisu and crème brûlée. An impressive, 15-minute fireworks celebration followed culminating in a sparkling display that featured the names of both christened ships. The evening ended late with guests dancing to two bands – Back in the Groove and Tanya’s Chill – on board both ships, still docked side-by-side.
“With two full decks of suites, nothing showcases the best of river cruising like our Suite Ships,” said Patrick Clark managing director of Avalon Waterways. “Each Suite has been thoughtfully designed to enhance the European cruise experience. From bed and bathroom positioning to storage and sound-proof insulation, we provide cruisers a renewed feeling of freedom, space and comfort not found with other cruise lines.”
The suites on these ships feature a large seating area adjacent to a Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window. When opened, this 10’ x 7’ floor-to-ceiling window transforms the entire suite into the category’s only Open-Air BalconySM. With a focus on bringing the beauty of Europe inside, Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies can be enjoyed any hour of the day, all year, adding comfort to the overall guest experience.
Inspired by design, every element of Avalon’s on board experience was crafted to entice the five senses. Some enhancements, including flowers in each stateroom and premium L’Occitane products and fragrant sticks are subtle. Other offerings, such as marble bathrooms, Avalon-branded deluxe bedding (Comfort Collection by AvalonSM) and the perfect balance of warm interiors and natural lighting are distinct and unexpected.
Mirroring the on board cruise experience found on all of Avalon’s ships, the Suite Ships also feature a club, main lounge and dining room with sweeping views, hair salon, Sky Deck fun pool and Open-Air Bistro for outdoor, grilled lunches. In addition, the fitness rooms aboard the Panorama, Visionary and Vista are more expansive, featuring additional equipment and room to renew.
“Like the very rivers we travel, Avalon is continually moving forward, making improvements and embracing the world beyond,” said Clark. “And it’s this approach – our drive to exceed guest expectations by pushing the boundaries of the river cruise experience – that makes us not only the most contemporary cruise line on Europe’s waters, but also the most consistent.”
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, May 15, 2012