Avalon Broadens Theme Cruising in 2013

Next year, the cruise line showcases holiday, jazz, wine, culinary, music and Jewish-interest cruises By: Marilyn Green
Avalon’s 2012 holiday cruises sold out. // © 2012 Avalon Waterways
Avalon’s 2012 holiday cruises sold out. // © 2012 Avalon Waterways

The Details

Avalon Waterways
Avalon Waterways reported that its holiday cruises sold out early this year, so clients who would like to enjoy the festivals of Europe next year would be well advised to go ahead and book. 

The line’s offerings include a five-day Christmastime cruise in Alsace and Germany from Frankfurt to Basel, an eight-day Christmas in the Heart of Germany between Prague and Frankfurt, and a nine-day Christmastime on the Danube between Prague and Vienna. The line’s Grand Christmastime Cruise takes guests from Zurich to Vienna to enjoy a wide range of the colorful Christmas markets and music from Central Europe.

In addition, Avalon has scheduled theme cruises to appeal to special interest cruisers from wine and culinary trips to Jewish heritage, classical music and jazz cruises. The features have been added to an already attractive river cruise that offers interesting shore excursions, will enable travel agents to cater to the interest of current clients and target new ones. 

Wine-themed cruises in August and October bring a distinguished wine authority onboard with guests, who also enjoy tastings and visits to wine villages. Among the offerings are the 10-day Windmills, Vineyards and Paris Wine River Cruise departing Aug. 2 and Oct. 25 from Paris to Amsterdam, starting with two overnights and guided sightseeing in Paris. A high-speed train takes guests from Paris to Metz, and they then travel to Remich, Luxembourg, to board a river vessel headed to Trier, Cologne, the Rhine Gorge, a local wine cellar in Bernkastel and the wine village of Rudesheim. The cruise ends with a canal cruise in Amsterdam and time to explore the city.

The Legendary Danube wine cruise is 11 days from Prague to Budapest, departing Oct. 30 and 31. Guests enjoy three nights in Prague with guided sightseeing, then set sail from Nuremberg for medieval Regensburg, Passau, Vienna and Budapest.

Avalon’s13-day Blue Danube Discovery Jewish Heritage River Cruise sails from Budapest to Prague, departing Oct. 24. After two nights in Budapest, guests board the ship and sail west to Vienna, Passau, medieval Regensburg, Durnstein, Melk and Nuremberg, disembarking in Prague for a final three-night stay. Sights include the second-largest synagogue in the world in Budapest, Jewish Vienna, Prague's Jewish Museum and Cemetery, Regensburg's Document Museum with the remains of the ancient synagogue beneath Neupfarrplatz and the WWII Jewish ghetto of Terezin. Kosher foods are not available on this cruise.

Art and Impressionist themed cruises are offered as eight days roundtrip Paris or 16 days between the Cote d’Azur and Paris, both departing Aug. 13. The eight-day itinerary runs through Normandy, and to van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise, Monet’s gardens at Giverny, Rouen and Les Andeleys, and the 16-day version adds a southern route from Paris to Beaune for a wine tasting before boarding another vessel in Chalon-sur-Saone to Tournus, Macon, Tournon, Tain l'Hermitage, Viviers, Avignon, Arles and Lyon. 

For foodies, Epicurean Discovery cruises explore northern France while an expert chef provides regional specialties and food preparation tips. Cider and wine tastings, visits to a distillery and cheese farm are all accompanied by recipes to bring the cuisine back home. Like the Art and Impressionist itineraries, they are offered in eight-day or 16-day formats on the same route, departing Oct. 21 from the Cote d’Azur to Paris for the longer sailing and roundtrip Paris Oct. 29 for the shorter one.

The July 1 jazz cruise is also available as eight-day and 16-day itineraries roundtrip Paris or from the Cote d'Azur to Paris. The cruise includes lectures by a jazz expert, who will conduct enriching lectures and discussions on the history of jazz in France, along with onboard jazz performances, and free time in Vienne during famous annual jazz festival. 
Avalon’s music-themed cruise is accompanied by local experts who will provide insights into European music, along with onboard piano recitals. Passengers also visit a violin maker, enjoy an excursion to Salzburg featuring music and lunch, a concert in Ansfelden, a Royal Waltz concert in Vienna and an organ recital in Melk. The 15-day Oct. 30 cruise sails from Amsterdam to Budapest.

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