The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

IN 1928, An­to­nio Man­tegazza took pas­sen­gers around Lake Lugano in a row­boat. He ac­quired mo­tor coaches and founded Globus & Cos­mos, which launched Avalon Wa­ter­ways in 2003. Ships: The launch of Avalon Artistry 11 and Avalon Ex­pres­sion next year will bring the to­tal to 12. Ac­tiv­i­ties: Most ships have whirlpools and all have fit­ness cen­tres. Three types of sight­see­ing tours are in­cluded: un­hur­ried and leisurely; more ac­tive, yet still mod­er­ate; and an en­er­getic op­tion, for those who feel they need to see it all. Unique fea­ture: Suite Ships de­signed us­ing feed­back from Aus­tralian pas­sen­gers. They are Avalon Panorama, launched by Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter Lisa Wilkin­son last year, and Avalon Vista and Avalon Visionary, launched this year. Avalon Artistry 11 and Avalon Ex­pres­sion will bring the num­ber of Suite Ships to five. At­trac­tions for Aus­tralians: Cap­puc­cino ma­chines are aboard Suite Ships, which also serve com­pli­men­tary sparkling wine with break­fast and beer and wine with din­ner. There are two decks of all-suite ac­com­mo­da­tion with wall-to-wall win­dows used to cre­ate open-air bal­conies. Sam­ple 2013 cruise: Avalon Artistry 11’s eight-day Ro­man­tic Rhine voy­ages be­tween Basel and Am­s­ter­dam from April to Oc­to­ber. From $2694 a per­son twin-share. More: aval­on­wa­ter­ways.com.au.

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