Some of Avalon Waterways' 2016 beer cruises bring passengers to the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. // © 2015 iStock
Feature image (above): Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Mozart, is one stop on two classical music-themed cruises that depart on Oct. 28. // © 2015 iStock
Avalon Waterways is listing an impressive lineup of special-interest cruises for 2016, catering to travelers with an interest in golf, wellness, jazz, art or classical music. The company is also expanding its Christmas market sailings next year.
“Year-after-year, our special-interest cruises are among our most popular,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “On our Art & Impressionist departures, cruisers can walk — quite literally — in the footsteps of artists Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. Our classical- and opera-themed itineraries take travelers to concerts in Europe’s musical capital of Vienna, Austria.”
Furthermore, the company has grown its culinary-, wine- and beer-themed offerings by more than 300 percent in the past five years.
A sampling of Avalon’s selling opportunities include:
- A food-lover’s special-interest cruise from Paris to Normandy’s landing beaches, departing on March 22 of next year
- Jewish heritage cruises that include a walking tour of Jewish Vienna; Prague’s Josefov (Jewish Quarter), Jewish Museum and synagogues; and when available, the remains of ancient synagogues beneath Neupfarrplatz in Regensburg, Germany. Daily special Jewish dishes are available onboard (but not kosher foods).
- The March 21 Burgundy and Provence wine-themed itinerary, which will showcase some of France’s most beloved vintages. The ship calls in Avignon, Viviers, medieval Tournon, Vienne and France’s gastronomic capital, Lyon, while guests benefit from the onboard presence of a Master of Wine who will host a cheese-and-wine tasting as well as a chocolate-and-wine tasting.
- Two Art & Impressionist cruises in France that take guests to Paris’ art museums; Monet’s gardens at Giverny; Chateau d’Auvers in Auvers sur Oise, where van Gogh spent his last days; and Rouen Cathedral, which Monet painted more than 30 times in different light. Onboard art lectures by a local expert help to tie it all together. There are two themed departures in 2016, coupled with Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches and the Grand France.
- Two June 27 cruises that coordinate with Vienne, France’s famous jazz festival next year. The Burgundy and Provence cruise and the Grand France itinerary will offer an onboard jazz expert and enrichment opportunities for jazz fans.
- A pair of Oct. 28 departures catering to those who love classical music. The itinerary includes visits to a violin-maker in Regensburg, a Royal Waltz concert in Vienna, an excursion to Salzburg (composer Wolfgang Mozart’s birthplace) and a short concert at Budapest’s Opera House. Concert-lovers can choose between the 15-day Magnificent Europe itinerary from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Budapest, Hungary, and the 11-day Legendary Danube from Prague to Budapest.
- Beer cruises in 2016 that depart in the spring and fall. The April 12 Essential Holland and Belgium cruise, includes lectures by the “Beer Pope” and a visit to the Heineken Experience.
- A July 16 wellness cruise. Guests can expect a morning exercise program with yoga and stretching on the Sky Deck. During the European Splendor cruise, lectures will led by an onboard expert, and healthy dining options will be offered at mealtimes.