Avalon Waterways will unveil a new Suite Ship for 2019, the
166-passenger Avalon Envision, and retire three of its older vessels, reducing
its Europe capacity.
The company will retire the 138-passenger Avalon Affinity,
which launched in 2009, and the 138-passenger Avalon Felicity and Avalon
Luminary, which both launched in 2010.
Avalon's Europe fleet will number 13 vessels next year,
compared with the 15 ships in Avalon's Europe fleet in 2018.
The three retiring ships are the last of Avalon's non-Suite
Ships, making 2019 the first year that Avalon will sail only Suite Ships.
Avalon launched its first Suite Ship, the Avalon Panorama, in 2011.
The defining feature of Suite Ships are the 200-square-foot
Panorama Suites on the two upper decks of the vessels that feature wall-to-wall
and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that when open convert the entire
stateroom into an open-air balcony. The cabins have beds that face outward
toward the large windows, a feature that not all river cruise lines employ.
The Avalon Envision will cruise the Danube River.
Avalon has long had a model of leasing its river cruise
vessels rather than owning them, which gives the company the opportunity to
either renew or retire its leases at regular intervals.
In addition to its Europe vessels, Avalon has two Suite
Ships in Southeast Asia on the Mekong River, and one in Myanmar on the