Avalon Waterways, known for smarter tours and modern design, launched the first of their 140-passenger Creativity-class ships in 2009. This class introduced the outdoor Sky Bistro concept on the upper sun deck, as well as brighter, more open public spaces compared to previous classes. Like other Avalon ships, Creativity class ships have complimentary Wi-Fi throughout, free-flowing beer and wine with dinner, and staterooms with the line's Comfort Collection beds (including your choice of pillow).
That said, staterooms on the Creativity-class ships are comparatively smaller. Unlike Avalon's Suite-class ships, where the majority of the staterooms are suites ranging from 200 to 300 square feet, these start at 172 square feet, some with picture windows and others with French balconies. Only four suites clock in at a more spacious 245 square feet.
What We Love
Marble Bathrooms: All of the staterooms have marble bathrooms stocked with L’Occitane products, giving the vessels that little added air of luxury.
Dining al Fresco: When the weather cooperates, few things compete with having a casual, grilled lunch and a glass of beer or wine on the sun deck.
Best Known For
Open Atrium: With its large skylight, the atrium-style lobby and reception creates a much more open and social atmosphere right as you enter the ship.
Dining Options: In addition to the main dining room, passengers can request continental breakfast room service (for an added fee), choose the early-risers or late-risers breakfast option, and have a casual lunch at the Sky Bistro.
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Who It's Best For
Culture Vultures: Shore excursions from these ships explore the rich art and music scenes of the region. Art history fans on Seine cruises will love the stop in Auvers-sur-Oise, the village where van Gogh spent the last three months of his life. Danube and Rhine cruises explore the music of Vienna and Strasbourg.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Normandy Is Intense: Cruises on the Seine include a daylong trip to the Normandy beaches. The excursion includes a couple hours driving each way and the visit can be emotionally taxing — and yet, we still highly recommend it.
Michelle Baran is a San Francisco-based contributor to ShermansCruise.com.
List of Ships
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Creativity Class at a Glance
- Line: Avalon Waterways
- Class: Creativity Class
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