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What I learned from cruising with an Avalon exec

JENNY ROWLAND reports from the Rhone river, where she’s experiencing an exciting new concept by Avalon Waterways.

It was a 9-hour board meeting of Avalon Waterways top executives; and it resulted in the final decision to do away with balconies on their river cruise ships.



Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways, is sailing with us on this very picturesque meander on the Rhone river in the south of France. She tells the story with a big smile as this decision was a tough one, but one that ultimately really paid off. 


The panoramic windows that showcase the passing scenery when fully opened turn your whole stateroom into an open air balcony and with your bed facing the view this is tres magnifique! It also has the added advantage of maximizing privacy and space in your suite. 


Whilst other river cruise ships may have a couple of rooms with this view, 80% of Avalon’s panoramic suites boast this feature, which is probably why they have won Cruise Critic’s Best Stateroom in River Cruising award for four years in a row.



Have breakfast delivered to your suite and watch the river go by from your Comfort Collection bed, a bed that can be reconfigured four different ways. So popular are these super comfy beds that guests regularly ask if they can buy one!


Other notable features of the Avalon suite are the many USB points, ample storage (my suitcase fits under the bed!), spacious bathrooms with luxurious L’Occitane products, and lovely bathrobes and slippers. There’s a flat screen tv with a vast selection of movies and up to date entertainment too.


There’s much to do and see on an Avalon river cruise, and this particular journey is one of the company’s new “Active” cruises that offer guests some pretty energetic excursions (more about these later...) as well as free e- bikes. So having this ultra comfortable suite in which to rest, relax and sleep is just perfect.


Jenny with her bike
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Written by: Jenny Rowland
Published: 12 August 2019

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