In 2004, excited by the promise of river cruising, we were determined to invigorate the experience that, at the time, was characterized by older ships, limited space and land excursions operated as an afterthought. We were inspired to create a different kind of river cruise experience - one that would embrace and celebrate everything special about the travel style, so we unveiled Avalon Waterways.
With the launch of our very first ship, Avalon's inspired design innovations became the new standard, including the introduction of floor-to-ceiling windows and French balconies on two decks of every Avalon vessel. We developed a Silent Drive System (SDS) for the stern of each ship to ensure our travelers the most quiet cruise experience possible. We were also the first to bring a larger stateroom with deluxe hotel-style amenities to an entire fleet. And, we elevated interior design from classic and traditional to contemporary and bright.
Maybe it's our Swiss heritage that gives us our passion for details, but we're the only river cruise operator that's personally involved from ship design to delivery – and every point in between. From meticulous millwork to hand-applied finishes, from designer lighting to enhanced soundproofing, from the conception and flow of the lounges to the placement of the windows, our ships are thoughtfully designed and appointed with materials praised for their quality, beauty and functionality. And, that's just on our ships.
Off our ships, our award-winning land programs transform tourists into travelers and storytellers and help them truly experience each destination with guided sightseeing in every port (complete with headsets), engaging port lectures, VIP access into key destinations, no waiting in lines and great cultural immersion and storytelling thanks to highly skilled Cruise and Tour Directors.
Year after year, thanks to the continuous feedback and encouragement of our travelers, Cruise Directors and travel agent partners, Avalon Waterways has unveiled new ships, amenities and experiences that set the standard in river cruising. Our views are panoramic and spaces large and inviting; comfort is king and dining is for your taste. And, thanks to our heritage through Globus, our itineraries are legendary.
Like the very rivers we travel, Avalon Waterways is continually moving forward, making improvements and embracing the world beyond. And it's this approach – our drive to continue to exceed traveler expectations by pushing the boundaries of the river cruise experience – that has inspired us to create a new class of ship set to debut in 2011. With the introduction of this new vessel, as well as countless service and amenity enhancements fleet-wide, Avalon Waterways is destined to once again revolutionize river cruising.