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    avalon_2010-05-26_1648_edit.jpgRiver cruising is gaining popularity worldwide as travelers look to break away from the customary sailing experience. Five-year-old Avalon Waterways, a branch of the well-known and respected Globus family brand, can attest to this spike in bookings, nearly doubling its business from 2009 to 2010. The fact that the cruise line has launched seven new ships in the last three years isn’t exactly hurting business, either.

    But now, Avalon Waterways, which was a Sherman’s Travel 2009 Smart Luxury Award-Winner, intends to modernize the river cruising industry once more, with Panorama, an all-suite ship scheduled to be off the dry dock and navigating the Danube, Rhine, and Main Rivers in Europe come May 2011.


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    With this game-changing ship, Avalon Waterways will seek to increase the functionality and size of suites, while maintaining an overall sense of community on the 166-passenger Panorama. The river cruiser will measure in at 443 feet in length and is set to contain three room categories: the Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (15 percent larger than comparables), Panorama Suites (30 percent roomier than industry standards), and Royal Suites.


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    Standard stateroom features will include flat-screen televisions with movie channels, a well-stocked minibar, and WiFi access, but the real show-stealer is sure to be the wall-to-wall (11 feet in diameter) panoramic windows in the Panorama and Royal suites. The windows will maximize natural lighting and, of course, views of old, enchanting riverside villages and cities. Should guests feel confined to their suite and want some fresh air, they’ll be able to open the enormous window and transform the living space into an open-air balcony – literally bringing the outside in.

    Other highlight amenities in the suites include marble countertops and fresh flowers in all bathrooms, as well as Avalon Waterways’ signature premium bedding, Comfort Collection.

    To see a running list of what’s going to be incorporated in the all-suite Panorama, what else is cooking with Avalon Waterways, or to book a cruise, visit www.avalonwaterways.com.

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