I’ve taken so many ocean cruises in the past and each trip is always a most enjoyable experience. It doesn’t matter which ports of call are included in the cruise itinerary. I feel that the entire trip always seems too short. Let’s face it, a cruise ship takes one “out of this world,” bringing him to some sort of Utopia where stress is unheard of, delicious food is available anytime, and fun is the order of the day.
But, every time I gush over an ocean cruise experience, my Canada-based elder sister always cuts in and tells me that I should try going on a River Cruise because I will certainly enjoy it even more. I’ve always been looking for an opportunity to book myself on one but never had the chance.
This is why I am very happy that Avalon Waterways, the worldwide leader in River Cruises, is now being marketed here in the country by Baron Travel, as announced by Raymond Smith, Business Development manager of Globus, mother company of Avalon Waterways, and Marilen Yaptangco, CEO and President of Baron Travel.
Avalon Waterways has had 85 years of travel experience, putting itself at an advantage over its competitors, and has made every single aspect of the River Cruise special. Its ships offer panoramic views, with large and spacious staterooms (cabins), personalized dining, luxurious comfort, and because it belongs to the Globus family, its destinations are most interesting and attractive.
The company pays attention to details, like angling the beds inside the cabin to face outside so that guests can enjoy from their beds, the breathtaking views passing by. The staterooms have wall-to-wall windows, giving guests panoramic, floor-to-ceiling views of the destination’s awe-inspiring landscapes, a perfect match for the ship’s open-air spacious balconies. Guests in the staterooms can slide their doors wide open, for that feeling of sitting comfortably “outside” as the amazing views of castles, villages, rolling green hills and ancient cities pass by.
An interesting culinary experience in all of Avalon Waterways’ ships is their penchant for bringing each of their destinations to life. Every dinner features specialty dish from that specific river cruise’s destination, prepared by a local chef, brought on board by the management. The ship’s culinary team also serves a special wine from that destination, as selected by a professional sommelier.
What’s more, the company has introduced a new concept in river cruising. Passengers are given the freedom to personalize their cruises—they can decide what and where to eat onboard, select room configurations, choose on-land discoveries and onboard facilities and services, etc., so every customer tailor-fits his own preferred experience.
Avalon Waterways’ fleet of 22 well-designed ships now ply the Rhine, Danube, Rhone, Seine, Saone, Main, Moselle, Meuse, Amazon, and the Nile. Here in Asia, their river cruises now sail along the Irrawaddy, Mekong, and Yangtze Rivers. The company even offers small-ship cruising through the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
I have already made arrangements with my travel agent to book me on the 12-day Central European Cruise, which sails from Prague to Paris. I can hardly wait to be in the beautiful cities of Nuremberg, Luxembourg, and Wurzberg, including the postcard-pretty towns of Bamberg, Remich, Rudesheim, and Bernkastel. Added to these awesome destinations, I will also come face-to-face with the picturesque Main River, Rhine Gorge, and the Roman Trier. I know I will never be able to visit these places if I were to travel by plane. I’m beginning to understand why my elder sister keeps on insisting that I will enjoy River Cruises even more than Ocean Cruises.
Visiting these countryside attractions will immerse me in the real culture of the country and its people. And, as I eagerly anticipate the beautiful sceneries and its corresponding treasured memories, I can’t stop singing in my head:
“…Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
And we’re rolling, rolling, rolling on the river…”
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