Review: Avalon Waterways' luxury river cruise ship Avalon View
By Jane Archer | 2 Jul 2022
Make the most of the sweeping scenery along Europe’s riverbanks with Avalon Waterways’ latest river cruise ship, Avalon View
It doesn’t take long to realise how Avalon Waterways’ new ship, Avalon View, got its name. I’ve just entered my suite and am greeted with what has to be the ultimate room with a view on Europe’s rivers.
I’m in a Panorama Suite, a large room (200sq ft, for those into figures) with wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that face the river – literally a window on the world. Better still, the doors open two-thirds of the width of the room, creating an inside balcony.
I’m not the only one in a room with a vista. Most of Avalon View’s 166 passengers get the same treatment as there are an extraordinary two decks of these suites, which Avalon designed to cater for the growing number of cruisers migrating from ocean ships to the rivers and wanting a balcony.
That’s not easy to offer on the rivers as vessels can’t be wider than the locks they have to pass through. Add a traditional balcony and you end up with less inside space.
But do as Avalon does and you get the best of both worlds – a full-sized cabin and a balcony, albeit one that’s inside. And it works. When the sun shone and the window was open, it was like being outside.
What are the suites like on Avalon View?
The suites have large bathrooms with glass-enclosed walk-in showers and a lot of storage. A large mirror along one wall makes the room feel bigger than it is. And then there is the pièce de résistance: the bed faces the river so you always wake up to a view.
For those who want more space, two Royal Suites on the upper deck have the same design but an extra 100 square feet. For a more affordable option, 16 cabins on the lower deck are a tad smaller than the Panorama Suites and don’t have the view. The lower deck also houses a small gym.
What is the food and drink like on Avalon View?
The theme continues in the restaurant and lounge bar, which have floor-to-ceiling walls of glass. The restaurant is open for self-service breakfast and lunch, and waiter-service dinners, with plenty of fish, meat and veggie options. Wine, beer and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner, otherwise drinks are extra.
The lounge is the vessel’s hub, used for cooking demonstrations, port talks and evening entertainment. A bistro-style tapas dinner is served here a couple of times each cruise. In a small aft salon you can help yourself to teas, coffees, juices, cookies and muffins, as well as still, sparkling and flavoured water dispensed from a fountain.
Passengers can use this to fill the glass bottles Avalon provides as part of its war on single-use plastic. In bathrooms, wall-mounted L’Occitane toiletries have replaced small bottles for the same reason, and paper daily programmes and menus are banished – the info is on an easy-to-use app.
The sun deck is the place for 360-degree views. There is ample seating, either in the sun or shade, and a small whirlpool, walking track and giant chess set. A couple of times per cruise, weather permitting, a barbecue lunch takes place in the rooftop Sky Grill.
Book a cruise on Avalon View
Avalon Waterways offers an eight-day Danube Dreams cruise from Deggendorf in Germany to Budapest in Hungary, departing September 8, 2022, costs from £2,540 per person including most excursions, wine, beer or soft drinks with meals, tips and Wi-Fi. Flights are extra.