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  • Avalon Panorama In Frankfurt
    Avalon Panorama
    Panorama was the first of a new class of river cruiser for Avalon when she launched back in May 2011. Before her chri...

Avalon Panorama

Joanna Hall

Panorama was the first of a new class of river cruiser for Avalon when she launched back in May 2011. Before her christening in Mainz, however, the elegant vessel had already caused a buzz in cruising circles, thanks to a new concept in river boat design; 64 Panorama Suites which transform into an open-air balcony by way of a three-metre wall of floor-to-ceiling sliding windows which makes for an uplifting way to enjoy a romantic getaway on Europe's great rivers. Her design has been so popular that Avalon launched two more ships of her class in 2012, two in 2013, and have three more planned for 2014.

Fast Facts

Launched: 2011.

Number of passengers: 166 at double occupancy.

Crew: 47.

Staterooms: 83, all with river views.

Where she cruises: The Rhine and Danube Rivers between Amsterdam and Budapest.

Who Should Go?

Couples on a romantic getaway. 

Things you Might Not Know

Lisa Wilkinson, the popular co-host of the Nine Network's Today Show, is Panorama's glamorous godmother. Instead of traditional French champagne, the bubbly which broke on the ship's hustle to christen it was the top quality Australian sparkling, Chandon, reinforcing Avalon's commitment to building a river cruiser with Aussies firmly in mind. If river water levels are too high, the ship's wheelhouse (bridge) can be lowered to negotiate bridges.


Panorama is boutique hotel meets the river kind of ship, with a design befitting a contemporary land-based hotel. There are 83 spacious accommodations, all with river views. A total of 17 Deluxe Suites are located on the lower level with two small windows near the ceiling, and there are 64 Panorama Suites across two decks with those unique sliding windows. At the top end of the scale are two Royal Suites equipped with the sliding windows and separate living areas. Standard amenities include flat screen televisions, a mini-bar, Wi-Fi internet access, and bathrooms furnished with his-and-hers towels and luxury L'Occitane toiletries. Across the board, Panorama's accommodations are stylish and contemporary, with a focus on rich chocolate coloured wood, woven carpets, leather-styled bed headboards, plush beige coverlets and drapes, European quilts, and vibrant splashes of red on soft furnishings. 

Facilities and Entertainment

The ship has a spacious sun deck on the top deck, which has both open and covered sun loungers, a large jacuzzi, and a giant chess board to enjoy. Other leisure facilities include a small small fitness centre on the lower level, and a beauty salon.

Places to watch the scenery slip by with a coffee include the part al fresco Lounge, which is also the place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink or attend an enrichment lecture. At the rear of the ship there's a second, more intimate lounge which doubles up as a library, equipped with self-serve tea and coffee making facilities, snacks including fresh fruit and cookies, and an oversized television set with games. If you haven't brought your own computer, there are two terminals located in the reception area.


Panorama has a single dining venue, a main restaurant which provides all three meals in an open seating basis, and benefits from views virtually everywhere. Breakfast and lunch take the form of an expansive buffet, while dinner is an a la carte, fine dining experience with a focus on seasonal specialties, local produce and wine. Panorama doesn't offer room service beyond a continental breakfast and there’s no alternative restaurant, although on some itineraries there are opportunities to eat out ashore, or through organised tours.

The Low Down

Avalon doesn't refurbish old ships. It simply designs, and builds, new ones. With Panorama, they have a new class of river cruiser which is elegant as well as contemporary in design, and has the bonus of those sliding windows. For anyone who enjoys cruising in stylish boutique hotel on the water, this lovely ship won't disappoint.

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