The Imagery II is the latest ship to be launched by Avalon Waterways. She is a 120 metre long, 11 metre wide, purpose built river cruising ship, which offers the very latest in luxury for those looking for a truly relaxing holiday.
Avalon Waterways has 16 ships in their river cruising fleet, and has put a huge amount of time into researching improvements into their new generation ships.
Firstly, space. Traditionally, ship’s cabins are poky affairs. There are very real considerations to take into account when designing a river cruising vessel – there is much less space to work with on a river than on the ocean, and European rivers have lochs to contend with as well, which means definitive measurements.
The cabins on the Imagery II have been designed to maximise space and emphasise the beauty of the countryside through which you are travelling. All the beds face the water, so you can lie at watch the world go by, in ultimate comfort.
Passengers who have been on both river and ocean cruises gave feedback that they love balconies and the sense of freedom they impart. As it was impossible to make the ship any wider, and cabin space was a priority, they came up with an ingenious compromise – the floor to ceiling glass doors in each cabin open the front of the room, and a railing provides safety. It’s the best of both worlds – you can enjoy the fresh and air view, and choose to sit at the table in your cabin, lounge on the bed, or on the couch, for a comfortable indoor/outdoor flow, without contributing extra width.
The bathrooms are also surprisingly spacious and well appointed – the lighting is very complimentary, with nice touches like makeup mirrors, great quality hair driers and L’Occitane bath and skincare products. For those who love a good shower, with shower with good water pressure, you’re in luck!
Making new friends and memories is part and parcel of being on holiday. The common areas aboard the Imagery II are designed to encourage conversation and interaction, along with little pockets of solitude. There is the main lounge area at the front of the ship, where the bar is located and passengers gather for pre-dinner drinks, or post dinner lingering, dancing and fun.
At the rear of the ship, is another smaller lounge, with an excellent coffee machine, cold drinks and treats to accompany your favourite beverage (the sugar donuts deserve a special mention!). Both lounges have bookshelves with a selection of holiday reading, and you’re encouraged to curl up on one of the chairs or couches and get lost in a book. There are also board games and cards, both of which we made good use of – it’s such fun to get to know new people over a game of Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly – it shows their true colours straight away!
For those who prefer more outdoor fun, there are bicycles aboard which passengers are welcome to borrow, to explore the surrounding areas, or on the ship itself, the top deck has loungers, giant chess, checkers or backgammon to play and a spa pool. There are several smaller sitting areas outdoors too, for enjoying the view or chatting with friends.
The restaurant is located down on the second floor – with windows along each side – for a time on the christening cruise, we could see Germany on one side, and France out of the opposite windows – a great accompaniment to the wonderful food!
Further down, on the first floor is a fitness centre, for those who need a little extra run around.
Overall, the Imagery II is comfortable, welcoming and calming. The staff are superb – they react swiftly to any request and are cheerful and helpful. For a truly memorable trip, this ship has everything you will need. Click here for more details.