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Cruise Ship Information
Avalon Expression joined Avalon Waterways in May 2013.Itineraries focus on the Danube River with sailings from Amsterdam to Budapest and Budapest to Prague. When you sail onboard Avalon Expression. Visit less-traveled local towns and cities in Europe from the comfort of your intimate river cruise and enjoy various onboard amenities – from complimentary Internet to an open-air bistro. From various onboard entertainment performances and lavish accommodations to four-course gourmet dinners, Avalon Expression is the perfect vacation for those looking to relax and experience Europe’s stunning waterways.Cruises to: Amsterdam; Cologne, Germany; Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg; Strasbourg, France; Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest; Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation) Cruises to: Nuremberg; Regensburg; Vienna; Budapest, Hungary; Budapest (Disembarkation)
 
Avalon Expression has four decks, including a sky deck for sunning and relaxing by the whirlpool. The sky deck also boasts an open-air bistro. There are multiple lounges, an open-seating dining room, an Internet corner, a hairdresser and manicurist, and an small fitness center. Wi-Fi is free throughout the ship. Smoking is not permitted in interior areas. An onboard elevator is available for passenger use.
 
In addition to meals and accommodations, sightseeing excursions led by local guides, onboard lectures and piano entertainment, and wine with dinners are included in the fare. Avalon Waterways appeals to mostly English speaking passengers in the 55-plus range.
 
Part of Avalon's cutting-edge fleet of Suite Ships, the Avalon Expression came onto the river cruising scene with a bang. This gorgeous ship features two full decks of Panorama Suites with Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording you the incomparable opportunity to wake each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include an alternative light dining option in the Panorama Bistro, an expanded fitness center, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, and light al fresco lunches at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck.
 
Food & Dining
Start your day onboard Avalon Expression with a full buffet breakfast that features sparkling wine and a made-to-order egg station, as well as a self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate, and premium coffees. For lunch, indulge in a buffet with carving and pasta stations. If you need an afternoon pick-me-up or snack, head to Afternoon Tea where guests can enjoy tea, coffee, and sweet treats. For dinner, treat yourself to complimentary regional wines, beer, or soft drinks served with your entrée and coffee or tea afterwards. For the main course, feast on chef-inspired regional and Western dishes and four-course dinners with a choice of appetizers, soups, salad, entrees, and desserts. If you’d like to enjoy a more casual dining experience, opt for dinner in the Panorama Bistro where you can sample local specialties and lighter fare.
 
For passengers seeking a lighter yet equally sophisticated alternative to the main restaurant, Avalon Waterways has introduced a four-course, tapas-style dining venue, the Panorama Bistro, onboard its new Avalon Expression river cruise ship.
 
Fresh from the Netherlands' Den Breejen Shipyard and sailing its christening cruise in early May, the Avalon Expression debuted the bistro concept to a group of journalists onboard for the ship's maiden voyage. The main course consisted of a beef roulade, a thin, rolled flank steak seasoned and baked to perfection, which sat on a small dinner plate alongside a broiled sea scallop and an artfully plated helping of alpine spaetzle.
 
The Panorama Bistro is part of the river cruise line's Avalon Choice program, an effort to offer passengers a greater array of experiences. The program, which was announced last year, is being rolled out across Avalon's Panorama-class ships.
The Panorama Bistro is an elegant experience providing four courses of tapas-style dishes in the forward section of the ship's main lounge.
 
The venue is available to a maximum of 24 people, seated at six tables for four, and is offered two to three times per each seven-day sailing.
That means that not all of the ship's 166 passengers will be able to partake, and reservations are required, but there is no extra fee.
 
A second alternative dining venue, also part of Avalon Choice, enables 40 passengers to occasionally enjoy an alfresco lunch, also at no extra charge, on the ship's top deck.
Tables seating four to eight people are arranged under a shaded canopy area, and a buffet offers various salads along with grilled fish, chicken, beef and sausage. Reservations are required for this venue, too.
A grill lunch also will be offered two to three times per seven-day cruise, weather permitting.
 
Family with Kids/Teens
Simply put, this is not a family-appropriate ship. There are no triple cabins or provisions for entertaining youngsters. Avalon maintains a minimum age of 8 for younger passengers.
 
Past Passenger Programs
Avalon Waterways Past Passenger Program is called the Journeys Club. Journeys Club is the frequent travelers club for the Globus family of brands. Through it, Avalon will reward their frequent travelers with attractive perks. Cruisers must enroll in the club to receive benefits including exclusive promotions, special perks, and customized service.
 
Fitness And Spa
An intimate gym which features cardiovascular equipment such as treadmills or stationary bicycles
Please Note: fitness equipment may vary from ship to ship. Outdoor sky deck can be used to walk laps, outdoor whirlpool located on Sky Deck
 
Entertainment
The “Panorama Lounge” is the Expression ship’s main show venue and also a great vantage point to enjoy the passing scenery. The main lounge has a full-service bar, dance floor and a grand piano for the live entertainment program in the evenings. Evening entertainment includes piano performances (by resident pianist), shows by the crew, music by local performers (folklore, classical, dancers), cocktail hour. Depending on the visited ports along the Avalon Expression itinerary, the Panorama Lounge also hosts local food and wine tastings, tours/excursions- and culture/history related lectures and multimedia presentations by expert guest speakers.
 
The “Club Lounge” (aft-location) is a stylishly furnitured indoor observation lounge with large panoramic windows and nightly live entertainment.
 
Staterooms
Part of the long-established Globus family of brands, Avalon first introduced the Suite Ships concept in 2011, and like all the top river lines in Europe, has been rapidly expanding its fleet. This year, there are five of its ships on the Rhine and Danube.
Sixty-four 200-square-foot Panorama Suites -- or two decks' worth -- have wall-to-wall panoramic windows, which open seven feet to create an open-air balcony of sorts. Two 300-square-foot Royal Suites will offer an even wider view. The remaining 16 cabins are 172 square feet and have picture windows.
 
Cabin amenities include flat-screen satellite TV, radio, minibar, safe and hair dryers. Beds can be configured into two twins or one queen and come with choice of firm or soft pillows and duvets and Egyptian cotton linens. Royal suite occupants also get usage of in-suite complimentary iPads.
The Avalon Expression offers two full decks of Panorama Suites offering wall-to-wall panoramic windows with open-air balcony. These are the accommodations you need to recommend to your clients—no hesitation (as it was recently pointed out during the Cruise3Sixty conference in Vancouver during one of the General Sessions, don’t be afraid to recommend a higher category suite).
 
Most of the cabins on Avalon Expression are Panorama Suites, which at 200 sq. ft. are about 30 percent larger than the industry standard. Cleverly angling the bedroom wall allows for a larger than usual glass door shower in the bathroom—where there are also such niceties as makeup mirrors, and L’Occitane bath products.
 
The extra space counts. When sitting on the carefully positioned, hotel-like bed or on the couch, with the glass open to form a French balcony, clients will be able to hear the sounds, see the sights and even feel a light breeze off the Rhine.
 
With river ships in Europe limited in size due to low bridges and tight locks, the Avalon Expression and its sister ships are designed to make the most of the space.
“When Avalon created this class  cruise line looked at how to best utilize space so guests can enjoy the experience and have the creature comforts,”
 
Tipping
Gratuities are included in cruise fares for services during meals and land stays (including porter tips for one piece of luggage per person). Gratuities for the Cruise Director, local hosts, local guides, driver and ship's crew are not included and are discretionary. Avalon recommends $5 to $7 per person, per day, for the Cruise Director; $3 to $5 per person, per day, for the local guide; and $5 to $7 per person, per day, for the crew. All transactions aboard the riverboat are in U.S. dollars.
 
Fellow Passengers
American/Canadian/UK/Australians and New Zealanders. An Avalon passenger is typically near retirement age or retired. They enjoy experiencing and learning about new places and seeing new sights. They have an interest for history and culture. An Avalon passenger enjoys relaxed, quiet environments with fine food and wine on offer.
 
Our recommendation
“Everybody wants river cruises. There’s a lot more knowledge about river cruises right now,” The fact that river cruises are mostly inclusive, including unlimited beer and wine at dinner and shore excursions, it is a big plus whole trip is basically managed for the client. Avalon’s shore programs are with certified guides and focus primarily on history and culture.
 

“You don’t have to pull out a guidebook and walk out and flag a taxi. It’s an easy way to do Europe,” 
Do not chose the wrong side of the ship for this cruise down the river as always in darkness  it seemed that the cabins on the other side of the ship had the better views. This is just luck but could change this time. So lovely views while sailing but not the case when generally and mainly sailing  industrial sights.