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Avalon Waterways orders two more river ships

This item was written by Johanna Jainchill, who covers the travel industry for Travel Weekly. Jainchill is serving as Guest Editor of The Cruise Log while USA TODAY Cruise Editor Gene Sloan is away.

The river ship building boom continues, with Avalon Waterways today saying it has ordered two more “suite ships” to debut in spring 2013.

The 166-passenger Avalon Expression and 128-passenger Avalon Artistry II will join two other similar Avalon ships already on order for delivery in the coming months in sailing on Europe’s waterways.

Avalon’s suite ships feature extra-wide cabins, called Panorama Suites, which offer 200 square feet of living space, or about 30% more than the standard river ship cabin.

RELATED:  Avalon Waterways launches new style of river ship
PHOTO TOUR:  Look inside Avalon Waterways’ first ‘suite ship’

The Avalon suite ships are unique in the industry not only for their large size but their floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall panoramic windows that open seven feet wide, creating what the line calls an indoor-outdoor space.

The first Avalon suite ship, the 166-passenger Avalon Panorama, debuted last May in Germany.

This May, Avalon will unveil two new suite ships, the Vista and the Visionary. The vessels announced today are scheduled to enter service in April and May 2013.

Avalon already has nine ships in Europe, and by 2013, after the retirement of one of its older vessels, will operate 12 ships on the Continent.

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