Avalon Announces 2012 Plans for New Ships, Themed Cruises and My Avalon

At a press briefing this past Sunday onboard the new Avalon Panorama in Germany, Avalon Waterways officials laid out some of its exciting plans for 2012.

First, the line said two new ships will launch in spring 2012 – the 443-foot Avalon Vista, a sister to Avalon Panorama, and the 361-foot Avalon Visionary. The Avalon Vista will sail between Amsterdam and Budapest and between Budapest and Nuremberg (for Prague), while Avalon Visionary will sail between Amsterdam and Basel (for Zurich) and operate Christmastime cruises.

Both ships will feature the 200-square-foot Panorama Suites, similar to what the line introduced this week on the new Avalon Panorama, as well as Indigo staterooms and Royal Suites.

Avalon also said it will operate an exclusive new Mekong River product in 2012, the Avalon Angkor, a 16-stateroom ship that will sail the entire journey between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Siem Reap in Cambodia. Cabins on Avalon Angkor will encompass 172 feet of interior space plus an outside balcony.

Elsewhere, Avalon said it will charter two ships in Egypt during 2012, the Mayfair, which will sail on the Nile,  and the Kasr Ibrim, which will operate on Lake Nasser. While both are existing vessels, they are new to Avalon.

Avalon plans several themed cruises in 2012, including a 13-day “Jewish Heritage” cruise from Budapest on Oct. 29 on the Avalon Tapestry. It will also operate three “European History and Politics” cruises in July and early August of next year on Avalon Luminary; those will vary in length between 12 days and 17 days.

In addition, Avalon officials said that later this summer the company will launch My Avalon, a new subset of the Web for agents and consumers. It will be rolled out in phases through fall. It will allow people to book online shore excursions, to customize the booking with a celebration or drink package, and to prepay gratuities if they so desire.

And for 2012, the line will offer clients free WiFi throughout the European fleet. Royal Suites will have additional perks.

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