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Avalon Waterways has announced that it will return to European rivers this summer, with departures on the Seine River starting in July.

The cruise line has plans for additional departures on the Rhine, Danube, Rhone and Moselle Rivers to follow shortly after the Seine itineraries.

“The interest in small ship river cruises has never been greater and we’re excited to help lead cruising’s comeback with Suite Ship sailings in Europe this summer,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director, Avalon Waterways, in a press release statement. “Aboard our spacious, state-of-the-art ships, travelers enjoy the company of an expert cruise director, appealing crew-to-passenger ratios and seamless dock-and-go sightseeing with insider tips and experiences only the locals can provide. River cruising is the perfect way to see and explore the world.”

Avalon Waterways’ ships hold an average of 150 guests, although some are smaller, and its onboard crew ratio is high with an average guest-to-crew ratio of 3:1. Its river cruise itineraries are destination-focused and feature local guides. Most of its river cruises sail off-the-beaten-path tours, visiting family-owned wineries, bakeries and restaurants along the way.

Avalon’s Suite Ships feature two full decks of 200-sf Panorama Suites, which boast a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that open 7-ft wide and convert into open-air balconies. Its Suite Ship Sky Decks run the length and width of each vessel and provide plenty of open-air space and room for guests to move.

The cruise line has created the Lighthouse Project, to preserve the environments where it sails and limit its footprint. The project monitors and measures Avalon Waterways’ environmental impact, and aims to save water, limit waste and to foster a sustainability culture among its crew and guests. Its work also supports Ocean Cleanup in its efforts to clean-up the world’s river and oceans.

In response to the pandemic, the cruise line developed its Avalon Assurance program, with help from its Global Health & Safety team, which ensures the cleanliness of all operations for guest and crew safety and peace of mind.

“We understand that our value and our service is measured by what we do when things go wrong even more than when everything runs as planned,” said Hoffee. “We are there for our guests, offering refunds for missed services, alternative sightseeing or the opportunity to rebook and try again another time. We are a long-term business, prepared to tackle short-term obstacles.”

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