Here's how to Eat, Pray, Love on Avalon Envision “Your Way”
By: Ilona Kauremszky
There’s a new Danube River cruise designed to meet the “Your Way” European river cruiser who likes action and notable experiences, healthy dining mixed with sustainability, and let’s admit spacious suites with sweet views.
It’s cruising your way with pre and post cruise package potential from Avalon Waterways.
On board their newest Danube River ship baby, you get all the above plus more. Award-winning best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame whose star power is worldwide is the inspiring Godmother behind the Avalon Envision.
In a star-studded christening ceremony of notable suppliers, partners, media and Hungarian government officials from the Globus family of brands not to mention Liz’s mom and dad and new sweetheart, over 100 of us gathered on the fabled Duna bank in Budapest to raise our fluted glasses of Hungary’s finest Törley sparkling wine as Godmother Liz in a symbolic gesture cut the vessel’s tethered cord unleashing the bottle in a christening ceremony like no other.
The new Avalon Envision is Avalon Waterways 13th Suite Ship in Europe. Watch the new 443-foot, 166-passenger vessel cruise the Danube River on popular cruise vacations.
“From EAT PRAY LOVE to BIG MAGIC, as an author, Ms. Gilbert has invited her readers to envision something different; a hint of a life or journey outside their comfort zone. She has inspired transformative travel experiences,” says Pam Hoffee, Managing Director of Avalon Waterways. “An inspired choice as godmother of the Avalon Envision, she has helped us embrace curiosity each day in search of extraordinary; something we ask our travellers to do with Avalon. And we couldn’t be more grateful to her for blessing our new Suite Ship.”
Here’s how to Eat, Pray, Love on Avalon Envision “Your Way”:
I love writing. I love travelling. To be given the honour to write the official blessing for this boat was such a fun thing for me to be able to do. And I really dug into my heart for these words. This is the official blessing for the Avalon Envision:
“We come from the water, we are made of the water, we are drawn to the water. Our lives are rivers meant to be explored and enjoyed. Let every curious soul who steps foot upon this vessel have a safe and blessed journey. May we all be changed for the better by what we discover along this river. And may this boat herself know that she is loved and revered, and that we are grateful to her for her strength and beauty. Onward! I christen thee the Avalon Envision.”
The possibilities are as wide open as the views. On board Avalon Envision which joins the fleet of Avalon’s other Suite ships it’s all about the views. A view in every Suite stateroom. The dining room has a view, the Panorama Lounge has a view. Yes, the Envision is all about the vision.
For the ultimate ceremonial sail as Liz did enjoy a glass of your favourite tipple from the Bar and head to the Observation Lounge for epic views of Budapest.
Head to the new Adventure Centre and meet your new Avalon Adventure Host onboard all European cruises. Love how the ship has an array of outdoor items to share with guests like bikes, Nordic walking sticks, binoculars and even FitBits. Whether cruisers are looking for a kayaking excursion on the river or want to participate in a complimentary fitness class on the Sky Deck, Avalon’s new Adventure Host makes it happen.
Stéphanie Bishop, Canadian managing director for the Globus family of brands, Avalon’s parent company says, “The river cruise demographic is changing and we’re seeing more active passengers who want to keep up their fitness regime when on vacation – or maybe even discover a new activity.”
Notable experiences: Avalon Choice
Avalon Waterways invites guests to dive into new experiences and exploration, each and every day, with its new Avalon Choice program of sightseeing tours. With Avalon Choice there’s an array of included excursions in three sightseeing styles. Join a local expert guide on the Classic excursion as guests dive into the history and the heritage of local destinations to marvel at legends, lore and architecture of iconic sites. Choose Discovery excursions new on the Danube River for inspiring and interactive activities like cooking classes, painting workshops and enjoy encounters with local producers and vintners. For adrenaline-pumping, high impact fun, cruisers edge toward the Active excursions another new addition on the Danube River. These outdoor activities can involve guided jogging tours, biking, paddling and hiking.
To channel a Liz Gilbert vibe onboard the Avalon Envision, why not consider signing up for some Active excursions as Liz did. In Budapest head to the back hills of Buda for eye-opening cave tours or pick up a paddle and kayak on a Danube stretch of quiet nature-rich scenery with family and loved ones.
Avalon Fresh is about healthy cuisine options at every meal. Enjoy inspired dining menu items c/o the Wrenkh Brothers who are a dynamic culinary duo from Vienna who have teamed up with Avalon to spread their favourite vegetarian cooking among other soulful healthy options. Your Way guests prefer healthy food choices without skimping on the incredible assortment of sinful snacks and rich desserts.
Plus there’s a nod to Mother Earth. When you cruise on the Avalon Envision you’ll see its void of plastic accoutrement like stir sticks and straws. These plastics have been replaced by paper plus wait staff use fabric gloves in this company-wide effort to eliminate all single use plastics.
Channel your Eat, Pray, Love vibe and experience all the dining choices available on the Avalon Envision.
Avalon’s FlexDining® program gives guests the dining choices they crave including the onboard dining experience. For alfresco dining, head to the Sky Grill, a favourite open-air lunch spot. The Panorama Bistro offers seating perfect for couples or those who like more one on one time with their cruise bestie. Plus dinner time is flexible anytime between 7 and 8:30 pm. The Panorama Bistro, open for light and diverse dinners, has gone to self-serve style with no reservations required — perfect for when the ship is in port and for those passengers who wish to explore ashore in the evening.
Panorama Suites with sweet views
It’s easy to dream big in these Panorama Suites. With the industry’s only Open-Air Balcony each bed faces the ever-changing scenery on two full decks of every ship.
Picture wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows that open 11-feet wide in Europe. “They blur the line between outside and in while forming a comfortable and spacious seating area without compromising room space. As a result, Avalon guests can enjoy 100 percent of their Panorama Suite, 100 percent of the time,” says Pam.
For Eat, Pray, Love moments why not linger inside your Panorama Suite, cuddle up with your sweetie and watch the world go by as your toes poke out from under your Egyptian super-combed cotton linen and European-style duvet.
I like the bathrobes and slippers with nightly turn-down service too. These added touches help get you into the Zen side of relaxation as you get comfortable and tuck in for the evening.
Sweeten the amenities
These Panorama Suites with their Open-Air Balconies now have a choice of four mattress styles of firmness plus the staterooms have big showers to afford more space as you shower using L’Occitane bath products, the ship’s exclusive toiletry line from France. For digital-device-loving guests find USB ports in every stateroom.
Every Suite ship also has 16 free-of-charge bicycles on board for guests who wish to tour ashore independently (and the crew can even provide a complimentary picnic).
“We know the success of a client’s experience can be all about the little touches, and we pride ourselves on our attention to detail,” says Stéphanie.
The new Avalon Envision welcomes travellers onboard with rich gray, gold and violet décor inspired by Dutch interior designer Liane van Leeuwen, original art in common areas by Dutch artist Eelco Maan and cabin paintings by another Dutch artist, Sofie Fisher.
For Eat, Pray, Love time, head to the Club Lounge with the views. Now grab a cappuccino and find a cozy spot. It’s time to sink into your world and reflect on all the good things that have come your way.
With Avalon Waterways, the possibilities are as wide open as the views. For more information, consumers can visit www.avalonwaterways.ca, call 800-268-3636, or see their travel agent. Travel agents can visit www.agentlingo.ca.