Suite Class - Europe
Avalon Waterways' Suite Ships debuted in 2011, and the all-suite riverboats changed the game with their spacious staterooms showcasing wall-to-wall windows that pretty much transform cabins into open-air balconies. The ships, which sail rivers throughout Europe, also serve above-par cuisine (served in multiple dining venues) and have a duo of lounges, small fitness center, and a large sundeck equipped with lounge chairs and a whirlpool. Avalon is known for their well-planned excursions as well, with time on land spent visiting wineries, listening to classical music, or exploring by bike at your own pace.
What We Love
Multiple Dining Venues: Whereas most riverboats, limited in size as they are, only have one main dining room, with these ships you can also have casual meals in the Panorama Bistro, barbecue in the outdoor Sky Bistro (depending on the weather), and some light meals in the main lounge.
Boutique Hotel-Style Staterooms: Your room will feel more like something out of a trendy hotel than a standard cruise cabin, with plush touches that include memory foam beds, Egyptian cotton linens, and L'Occitane bath amenities.
Best Known For
Stateroom Views: Most of the cabins have wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, sliding glass doors that open up to transform the room itself into front-row seating. The scenery of the Rhine's captivating riverside is astounding.
All-Inclusive Pricing: Avalon's rates bundle in most guided excursions, as well as wine and beer with dinner (or soft drinks with lunch).
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Who It's Best For
Mature Couples: You'll find a large percentage of well-traveled American couples on board (with some Australians, New Zealanders, British, and Canadians as well), in their 60s or older.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
There's No Spa: You won't find an onboard spa or spa treatments available, but if you're looking for some pampering, there is a small salon with a menu of manis, pedis, and haircuts.
It's Not for Kids: Although children ages 8 and older are technically allowed to sail, given the limited onboard diversions and port-intensive itineraries focused heavily on history and culture, it's best to leave the youngsters at home.
Elissa Garay is a Brooklyn-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure.
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Suite Class - Europe at a Glance
- Line: Avalon Waterways
- Class: Suite Class - Europe
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