Getting Active, Learning New Skills, Experiencing History – All on an Active Discovery on Avalon

Approximately 5.7 million people took a river cruise in the past three years, a number that has more than doubled since 2009, according to data from Cruise Lines International Association. The overall appeal remains the same – the lazy pleasure of putting yourself completely in the hands of someone who will coddle you while steering you through new adventures. But river cruising is no longer a passive or unrefined experience. River cruise lines are developing programs that …

Read moreGetting Active, Learning New Skills, Experiencing History – All on an Active Discovery on Avalon

Avalon Waterways adds “Adventure Host” to ALL 2019 Europe sailings

On the heels of announcing Active DiscoverySM itineraries on the Rhine, Danube & Rhône Rivers as well as a new Avalon Choice® program featuring included “Classic,” “Discovery” and “Active”excursions on each and every itinerary throughout Europe, Avalon Waterways is also announcing plans to add an Avalon Adventure HostSM, based in a new Adventure Center, to all 2019 European cruises. “Heartwarming discoveries have always been available on every Avalon Waterways cruise,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon …

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Meandering the Irrawaddy on an eye-opening cruise in Myanmar (Burma) from Bhamo to Bagan

Cruising south on the Irrawaddy River through Myanmar is a lesson about the impacts of tourism. The farther south you go from remote Bhamo toward busy-but-beautiful Bagan, the closer you get to the more beaten track where souvenir sellers await and beggars line the paths to some of the most amazing temple ruins in the world. Best travel plan: Get a good look at the Bagan temples at sunset, then head north. Myanmar, which was off-limits to …

Read moreMeandering the Irrawaddy on an eye-opening cruise in Myanmar (Burma) from Bhamo to Bagan

Exploring family origins and a castle on a European river cruise

David Molyneaux visits Moulineaux, France, on the river Seine, where his family lived 950 years ago Robert the Devil, a Norman duke of yore, probably was not one of my direct ancestors. But our families were close, and his castle ruins are visible from the river Seine, between Paris and the Atlantic beaches of Normandy. In March, from the new, 128-passenger riverboat Avalon Tapestry II, my wife and I set off on a private excursion so we …

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A better angle for cruising, Avalon’s beds that face the river

On a recent river cruise up and down the Seine, between Paris and the beaches of Normandy, the crew played a little trick on the travel writers aboard. This was a preview voyage, at the beginning of the season for Avalon Waterways’ new Tapestry II in France, and the company wanted to prove a point about their terrific innovation for improving passengers’ river views from their cabins. One day, while the 128-passenger vessel was docked, and we …

Read moreA better angle for cruising, Avalon’s beds that face the river

Avalon Christens the Illumination in Vienna

Australian television personality Deborah Hutton christened Avalon Waterways’ newest river cruise ship – the Avalon Illumination – at a ceremony in Vienna.  Christened in classical Viennese style on the banks of the Danube, the Illumination is the third Suite Ship addition to Avalon’s European fleet this year. “May all who sail on this splendid vessel enjoy their voyage and take home with them the joy and enrichment of a shared journey,” Deborah said as she launched the …

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Leaving Vietnam with memories of 2013 and 1968

Last in a series from the ruins and rivers of Southeast Asia My first trip to Vietnam ended in mid-March 2013. I flew out of Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City a few weeks shy of 45 years since I was drafted into the US Army during the Vietnam War. As a soldier, I never made it out of the United States, spending nearly two years based in and around Washington, DC. But I will never forget 1968. That …

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Cruising to Saigon, where people still are careful

Sixth in a series from the ruins and rivers of Southeast Asia For our last day on the Mekong River, the Avalon Angkor was docked in downtown Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), which was abuzz with people at work, at play and, in between, riding their motorbikes. Lots of locals still call it Saigon, this city of 10 million people and nearly as many motorbikes, which, said a guide, are primarily from China, because the bikes are …

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Good Morning, Vietnam, cruising on the mighty Mekong River

Fifth in a series from the ruins and rivers of Southeast Asia   On the edge of the Mekong, Cambodian and Vietnam flags flapped in an early morning wind at the border station. Crew aboard the Avalon Angkor approached soldiers from the station with some trepidation, as border officials here are known to insist on strict compliance with all formalities. For instance, entrance visas for each passenger — I bought mine for $167 through VisaCentral in Washington, DC, …

Read moreGood Morning, Vietnam, cruising on the mighty Mekong River

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