Avalon Tranquility II
As a brand new for 2015 Suite Ship in Avalon’s impressive fleet, the Avalon Tranquility II continues the line’s provision of a more-than-average number of spacious suites per ship. Offering comfort, style and top quality service, the Avalon Tranquility II gives passengers the opportunity to see some of Europe’s most dramatic landscapes, enchanting rivers and enthralling towns in true contemporary fashion. Even its godmother – Canadian singer/songwriter Jann Arden – has said the ship is glorious! With two full decks of Panorama Suites that boast Panoramic Windows which morph into Open-Air Balconies, and with suite square footage that is 30% larger than the industry standard, this stunning ship – sister to the Tapestry II, Visionary, Artistry II and Poetry II – offers a unique, modern and luxurious way of river cruising along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.
PassengersAt full capacity, the Tranquility II can hold 128 passengers, and, with 37 crew onboard, there’s a favourable crew to passenger ratio. This ensures that excellent quality service, with added personal touches, is available throughout every voyage. All staff are English-speaking, including a Cruise Director on every sail. Tour guides, announcements and commentaries are also in English, so there won’t be any issues with a language barrier. The majority of guests onboard are usually mature British, American or Australian travellers, and will share similar interests in culture, history, the arts and local heritage, due to the nature of a river cruise.
DiningThere’s a range of dining and lounging venues onboard, so guests can enjoy having a choice of where to eat and relax during their days and evenings on the river. The main dining room can be found on the Sapphire Deck, is open-seating and is where buffet breakfast (with sparkling wine!) and lunch services are available. It is here that guests can enjoy a four-course sit down meal for dinner with waiter service, too. There is also a Sky Lounge and open-air Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck, and an Observation Lounge, a Panorama Lounge and a Panorama Bistro on the Royal Deck. If guests wish to have a light bite to eat, or an early or late riser breakfast, they can head to the Panorama Bistro to enjoy a smaller selection of mouth-watering bites. There are also options to enjoy afternoon tea, a social hour with drink specials in the Panorama Lounge, night fare served from 10pm and, of course, the luxurious option for room service (fee applicable). Drinks are complimentary throughout the day, including sparkling wine and fresh juices with breakfast, soft drinks with lunches, and local wines, beers and soft drinks with dinner. There is a self-serve beverage station onboard where guests can grab a coffee, tea or hot chocolate whenever they like. Dress code is casual, but the welcome and five-course farewell dinners may be a good opportunity to be a little more dressy if you wish.
Entertainment There’s a full-service bar serving premium spirits on the Royal Deck, which also boasts a Club Lounge at the aft of the ship. The Panorama Lounge is a great place for relaxing with a drink of an evening, while the Sky Deck provides phenomenal twilight views – perfect with a cocktail in hand. Evening piano music can be heard in the background, but there are also several opportunities for musicians and performers to pop on board for an engaging and entertaining revue. Onboard film nights are not uncommon, either. Highlights of the cruise include a Captain’s reception with sparkling wine and canapés, and welcome and farewell dinners – these are perfect icebreakers, and give guests an opportunity to mingle and get to know other travellers.
ActivitiesThe Sky Deck has an abundance of premium lounge chairs which are inviting and comfortable, and also benefit from shade awnings to help protect against the midday sun. There is also a whirlpool on this deck, and deck games including giant chess and shuffleboard. Maps and Nordic walking sticks are free to use for the duration of the voyage – both excellent aids for exploring ports independently, rather than as part of the guided tours. Bicycle excursions are also available in Amsterdam and Durnstein. Sightseeing with local guides is offered, with a choice of Leisurely, Traditional and Independent sightseeing options to suit all preferences. Individual audio systems are also provided for all guided shore excursions. Back onboard, guests can enjoy a number of facilities, including a well-stocked library and an Internet Corner, as well as an enriching ‘Local Favorites’ programme of lectures and demonstrations that are in-keeping with the itinerary you’re following.
Accommodation There are 12 staterooms and 52 suites onboard the Tranquility II. All suites boast Panoramic Windows that can transform into open-air balconies. These can be found across two full decks. Depending on the category of accommodation you opt for, you will benefit from between 172 sq. ft. and 300 sq. ft. of space. All are lavishly decorated and well-appointed with an array of amenities, including Comfort Collection Beds with memory foam mattress toppers, choice of pillow, Egyptian cotton linens, flatscreen TV with movie channel, hairdryer, Wi-Fi, climate control, minibar, bathrobes and slippers, L’Occitane bath products, direct dial telephone, and nightly turn-down service. In addition to the above amenities, suites benefit from a 6-person sitting area. Royal Suites have a more spacious bathroom with double sinks, too! If a view from your room isn’t important to you, the ship also has 12 well-appointed, comfortable staterooms with picture windows.
Spa/WellbeingThe Royal Deck is where guests will find a hair salon, with manicures available. There is also a fitness centre on the Indigo Deck that is well equipped with exercise equipment including treadmills, stationary bicycles and free weights. And don’t forget the Sky Deck whirlpool for a relaxing dip.
Itineraries The Tranquility II focuses its itineraries on the Main, Rhine, Rhone and Danube rivers, with the possibility to extend holidays with cruise & stay breaks in cities including Paris, London and Nice (itinerary dependent). Currently, the voyages including Magnificent Europe (15 days), Rhine and Rhone Revealed (16 days) and Romantic Rhine (8 days). Travel through some of Europe’s most enchanting countries, along its majestic rivers, and immerse yourself in the beauty of cities and towns. Taste wine in the Wachau Valley, marvel at the Gothic cathedral in Bratislava, weave through the breathtaking Rhine Gorge and Black Forest, or soak up the sights of Strasbourg, Vienna and Amsterdam – the options are endless. There are also a number of Christmastime river cruises which take guests along Europe’s waterways, concentrating on magical festivities including beautiful, authentic Christmas markets. These usually last between 5 and 12 days and include an array of seasonal shore excursions that will keep the magic alive.