Avalon Illumination: a ship for the Danube
Avalon Illumination, a river ship of Avalon Waterways, which offers cruises on the Danube to discover European cities and capitals such as Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. Built in 2014, it can accommodate just over 160 passengers on a 135-metre long hull.
The ship has four decks, where the cabins and suites are located in the middle section and the guest quarters in the bow of the ship. The entrance leads to the large reception area, where you can also find the cruise director’s office and a small display case with Avalon Waterways logo gadgets. From this point, two staircases on either side of the ship lead to the upper open deck area.
The Panorama Lounge is the hub of life on board. It is located on deck 3 and is a large, bright and comfortable lounge that can be used both for relaxing while sailing and for an evening drink. Musical entertainment is provided here, and varies throughout the evenings. It is elegantly furnished, with a small library on one side and the Panorama Bar on the left-hand side.
The Panorama Lounge also serves a quick brunch with a selection of dishes from the restaurant, and sometimes snacks for tea time or after dinner. In the interior, there is an open area on the bow, which offers armchairs and tables with great views of the river, especially when sailing.
On deck 2, which is still in the bow area, you’ll find the Dining Room restaurant, open for all meals. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style, while dinner is à la carte. The ambience is modern but also elegant, with minimalist decoration and simple mis en place. The large windows on both sides ensure that you don’t lose sight of the wonders of river cruising, even while dining.
Another venue available to guests is the charming Club Lounge, located on deck 3 aft. Here you’ll find an open seating area for refreshments and snacks, books and board games. You can read in absolute comfort on the cosy armchairs inside, without losing sight of the scenery aft. There is also a narrow outdoor terrace with tables where smoking is permitted.
On deck 4, there are other open-air areas to enjoy in the summer or in favourable weather. At the bow of the ship, a number of low armchairs create a lounge area, which is ideal for admiring the river as you go along. There are tables before and after the cockpit with seats for lunches served on deck.
There is a Jacuzzi in the middle of the ship, and an alternating series of sunbeds and deckchairs outside, which are partially sheltered by some gazebos. Finally, on the aft side there is a nice chessboard drawn on the floor, with large chess or draughts pieces and other tables with chairs available.
The ship also has a small Fintess Centre, equipped with dumbbells, treadmills and exercise bikes. Bicycles are available to guests during stopovers. There are 3 types of cabins on board. There are high-window accommodations on decks 1 and 2, Princess Suites on deck 3, which are large and bright with spacious bathrooms and all the necessary comforts, and the marvellous Royal Suites, with a living area, bedroom and bathroom area with double WC and bathtub.
The style on board is informal, yet in the context of an elegant and stylish ship. Ships like Avalon Illumination are indeed the ideal base from which to explore the heart of Europe, whilst waking up in a different place each morning and enjoying Avalon Waterways’ service and catering.
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