Avalon Waterways will debut the new Avalon Imagery II on the Rhine and Avalon Passion on the Danube, as well as offer two new itineraries in Belgium and Holland.
The new 8-night “Enchanting Belgium” voyage from Namur to Amsterdam incorporates Meuse (Maas) River and Ghent (a major World War I site), with an excursion to Ypres and Eastern Flanders battlefields. Other call ports include Maastricht, Dordrecht and Antwerp on the Rhine.
The 7-night “Essential Holland and Belgium” voyage, between Brussels (Vilvoorde) and Amsterdam, also calls in at Antwerp and Ghent, plus Kinderdijk-Willemstad with 19 historic windmills. A tour to Keukenhof Gardens in Rotterdam, where 7 million bulbs of daffodils and tulips are planted every year, is also included
Patrick Clark, Avalon Waterways' managing director, told a small group of media on board Avalon Tapestry II that the Meuse River was exciting for Avalon - nobody else was doing it. He added the two new itineraries provided convenient air access to either Brussels or Amsterdam, with new ports in and out, and various departures through to September.
When the Avalon Imagery II and Avalon Passion start sailing in Europe 2016, Avalon Scenery river ship will be retired and replaced with Avalon Affinity in France. Meanwhile, the "suite ship" concept of Avalon with open-air balconies and window-facing beds is moving to southeast Asia - in October 2015 Avalon Myanmar starts sailing on Irrawaddy River.