Five Things to Know About Avalon Waterways' Tapestry II Cruise Ship
Best for: Laid-back river cruisers who want a little extra room to move during a cruise through France
Sails: The Rhone River, the Saone River, the Seine River
At a Glance: One of Avalon’s signature “Suite Ships,” Tapestry II debuted in 2015 and has everything the line is known for: spacious suites, wall-size windows, and beds with a view.
It’s All About the View
One thing that sets Avalon apart from other river lines is its suites, which are larger than the norm and ingeniously laid out. Most of the cabins are 200-square-foot Panoramic Suites, so named for their huge floor-to-ceiling sliding window, which takes up an entire wall. (Opening it turns the sitting area into a de facto balcony.) Even better, the bed faces the window, allowing passengers to wake up to the sight of vineyards or castles instead of a wall or a cabinet. The larger 300-square-feet Royal Suites also have a panoramic window and window-facing bed, while the 172 deluxe staterooms do not.
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Lunch Can Happen on the Sundeck
Tapestry II has an open-air bistro on the top deck of the ship, a rarity for river cruises. And while there’s no pool onboard, there is a whirlpool and plenty of loungers both in the sun and in the shade.
You’ll Eat Where You Are
In the main dining room, regional flavors rule. For dinner, choose from French-inspired dishes or classic cruise fare like grilled salmon, chicken, or rump of steak. There’s also complimentary beer, white, rosé, or red on the menu each night. You can also expect culinary classes during your trip—anything from a cheese tasting to a crepe-making demonstration.
There’s An Emphasis on Healthy Food
Good news for anyone stressing about gaining weight on their next cruise: in 2017, Avalon is rolling out its new Avalon Fresh program fleetwide. The line partnered with Viennese chefs Karl and Leo Wrenkh to create healthy, regional dishes made with ingredients from small, local farms for its menus—and some are even gluten free.
Passengers Get As Active As They Want
Avalon recently introduced new active-themed cruises for passengers who want to bike, hike, and waltz their way through Europe. There are none scheduled yet for Tapestry II, but the ship does have a fleet of bicycles onboard, which passengers can take out for free in port, or use during an organized tour led by local bike companies.