I’ve been in Budapest this weekend for the launch of Avalon Waterways’ newest addition to their river fleet, the brand spanking new ‘Avalon Envision’.

The sparkly Avalon Envision is set to be christened on Sunday evening local time on the Danube by ship godmother and American author Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote the inspiring travel novel and movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.

I’m here along with a hundred strong global media contingent reporting exclusively for Karryon to give you a sneak peek of what your lucky clients can be enjoying for themselves in the coming European summer months and beyond.

Over the next couple of days, we’ll get to stay onboard and sail on her up to Visegrad, north of Budapest and back for a quick hands-on experience of the Avalon Envision’s and all her swish new charms.

Ready to explore? Let’s go.

As with all of Avalon’s ships, it’s all about relaxed luxury onboard the Avalon Envision with no formal dress code or white glove service and a more informal setting for those that still love to be spoilt, but without the pomp and ceremony.

The ships contemporary design and dark chocolate, beige and violet palette give the ship a really sleek, refined feel that’s all about ‘bringing the outside in’ thanks to the sheer amount of glass enabling views throughout the entire ship.

Main dining room

Bar in the main Panorama lounge

The Avalon Envision can carry 166-passengers and features two full decks of 65 award-winning Panorama Suites, featuring wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows that slide back fully to transform the living space into a stunning open-air balcony.

In total there are 65 Panorama Suites with 16 deluxe staterooms and two Royal Suites.

Beginning this week, the Avalon Envision will cruise the Danube River on such popular cruise itineraries as 10-day Danube Dreams, 10-day The Legendary Danube and 12-day The Blue Danube Discovery.

The Envision Panorama Suite

The doors actually open up to 2.1 metres wide in Europe and 3.35 metres in SE Asia to invite the outside-in, without compromising any room space.

Thanks to some clever design and suite configuration, the 200 square feet Panorama Suites also feature large luxurious marble bathrooms and oversized showers along with premium L’Occitane toiletries.

Avalon says the 200-square-foot Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, with Avalon’s window-facing “Beds with a View” a key drawcard to the ship.

The Panorama Suites

“This year, for the first time, there’s only one point-of-view on an Avalon Waterways river cruise: The suite view. Avalon’s entire fleet of ships, worldwide, is comprised of new Suite Ships giving our travellers exclusive access to the industry’s only Open-Air Balconies and beds facing the incredible views for which river cruising is famous.”

Gai Tyrrell, Managing Director Australasia at Globus family of brands.

Since the Avalon Panorama debuted just eight years ago (in 2011) they have won “Best Cabins” in river cruising from Cruise Critic for four years in a row.

 

Envision highlights at a glance

Observation Deck

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • A state-of-the-art Fitness Centre and onboard adventure centre for bikes and active gear, and a dedicated Avalon Adventure host to assist with active excursions and activities.
  • Exceptional onboard cuisine, including Avalon Fresh℠ healthy menu options, premium coffee and spirits, and versatile FlexDining℠ venues, including the casual Panorama Bistro, al fresco Sky Grill, or elegant glass-walled Dining Room.

The Envision Club Lounge

  • Library books, cards, and board games in the Club Lounge, with the Observation Lounge at the front of the ship the perfect vantage point to watch the world go by.
  • The expansive Sky Deck also features a whirlpool, premium lounge chairs, shade system, and deck games-against a backdrop of Europe’s most spectacular scenery.

 

Upgraded dining choices for 2019/20

Avalon Fresh℠ healthy menu options

  • Welcome cocktail with sparkling wine & canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Five-course farewell dinner
  • Daily early-and late-riser breakfasts
  • Full buffet breakfast with sparkling wine and made-to-order egg station
  • Lunch buffet with pasta and carving stations
  • Afternoon tea featuring tea, coffee and sweet treats
  • Social Hour in Main Lounge
  • Chef-inspired regional & western recipes
  • Four-course À la carte dinners with choice of appetisers, soups, mains & desserts
  • Complimentary regional wines, beers or soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Self-serve beverage stations with complimentary premium Lavazza coffee, tea and hot chocolate

 

Fact file

The Avalon Envision took 18 months to build and was built in Amsterdam. She has two floors and is 135 metres long, with 47 crew onboard – Almost one crew member to every four passengers.

According to a recent survey of nearly 700 past Avalon cruisers:

  • 95 per cent prefer Avalon’s Panorama Suites to other cruise line cabins and would choose Avalon Waterways again, based on their Panorama Suite experience.
  • 95 per cent also would choose Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies to traditional French balconies.
  • Further, 92 per cent of travellers said beds facing the views are “important” or “extremely important” when booking a river cruise.

 

What’s next for Avalon?

In addition to launching the Avalon Envision on the Danube, the river cruise company has also announced plans to launch another ship – the Avalon View will begin sailing up the Rhine in 2020.

The Avalon View will mark Avalon Waterways’ 14th Suite Ship in Europe and its 17th Suite Ship worldwide.

Want more info? Avalon’s 2020 deals are out now: Book a 2020 Europe cruise early and SAVE up to AUD$4,600 per couple on select sailings.

 

What do you think of the new Avalon Envision? Share your thoughts below.