A view with a room: The simple trick that made river cruising even better

Avalon Waterways has a wide range of excursion options.

Avalon Waterways has a wide range of excursion options. Photo: Avalon Waterways

There’s little to complain about when it comes to European river cruising. Intimate ships, a leisurely pace, zero days wasted at sea and the opportunity to explore a new region every day have always been part of the draw for this now booming style of travel.

But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be improved upon.

Through clever use of space, attention to detail and a commitment to careful curation, Avalon Waterways has done just that.

Here’s how.

Making scenery the star

The layout of almost every cruise ship cabin, whether it’s on a river or a sea vessel, features a bed that faces a wall.

The designers at Avalon Waterways came to the bold conclusion that their passengers would prefer to open their eyes to some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery.

That’s why their Suite Ships have beds facing the windows in 80 per cent of cabins to create a view with a room.

These Panorama Suites also have 30 per cent more space than the industry standard plus floor-to-ceiling windows with an opening space of more than two metres, compared to the average of just over one metre.

These open-air balconies are the only ones in the industry.

Panorama suites Avalon Waterways

Panorama Suites feature cruising’s only open-air balconies, designed with guests’ views in mind. Photo: Avalon Waterways

Luxury bathrooms

Bathrooms on cruise ships always seem to be a little, well, utilitarian.

It makes sense that designers want to maximise space in the main part of the cabin, but Avalon’s team have come up with a clever angled wall solution which gives the bathrooms in the Suite Ships a surprising generosity.

Add in luxury fittings, a tiled shower, marble countertops and L’Occitane toiletries, and you have bathrooms that wouldn’t be out of place in a fine boutique hotel.

Avalon Waterways dining

While you take in the bountiful views, our innovative chefs bring the local bounties to your plate. Photo: Avalon Waterways

Dining options

Avalon Waterways doesn’t believe that an intimate cruising experience should also mean a paucity of choice when it comes to dining.

From the al fresco options of the Sky Grill to the fine dining in the Panorama Dining Room to the casual and relaxed atmosphere of the Panorama Bistro, there’s a venue for every mood on the Suite Ships.

Add to that the focus on fine local produce and cuisine and the complimentary room service for all meals and an Avalon Waterways European river cruise is in the finest possible taste.

Avalon Waterways wellness

Keep up your healthy habits while on holidays. Photo: Avalon Waterways

Focus on wellness

Speaking of food, you’ll find healthy low-salt, low-carb, high-protein and super fresh options on every menu, as well as a wide range of non-alcoholic cocktails and smoothies.

Do yoga, Pilates or stretch classes to get ready for a full day of exploring.

Take one of the ship’s bikes or e-bikes out in selected ports, with a bespoke itinerary programmed into your bike’s nav system.

Or just sit in the whirlpool on the open-air Skydeck and call it self-care.

Go your own way

River cruising can be the ultimate slow travel experience, but only if you want it to be.

Avalon Waterways has a wide range of excursion options for both those who want to smell the roses, and for those who want to hit every port hard.

Each itinerary includes classic, active and discovery excursion options. That might mean a guided tour to the medieval stone houses clinging to the cliffs of Bulgaria’s former capital Veliko Tarnovo, a cable car ride to Germany’s Niederwald Monument followed by a walk or bike ride back down via vineyards, or attending a Royal Waltz Concert in Vienna.

Avalon Waterways also has a range of special interest cruises focusing on everything from the festive season to gardens to wine appreciation.

And be sure to keep an eye out for their Storyteller Series, hosted by authors, actors, artists and musicians. For example, the April 16-23 Danube Dreams cruise this year will be hosted by Outlander series author Diana Gabaldon.

Find your perfect Avalon Waterways cruise at

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