See the World Your Way!

Here, the Possibilities are as Wide Open as the Views!

Globetrotters wanting to see the world need only cruise down its legendary rivers. For those interested in seeing more of the world, there’s Avalon Waterways. Our Suite Ships® feature one-of-a-kind Panorama SuitesSM, with the widest opening windows in river cruising, the industry’s only Open–Air BalconySM and beds facing the incredible views. Beyond our wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows is a world waiting to be explored – in a way, and at a pace that suits our cruisers. With Avalon Waterways, cruisers are invited to be choosers!

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MEDIA INQUIRIES:

If you are a member of the media and would like to set-up an interview with one of our executives, require more insight into Avalon Waterways’ goings-on or you are interested in experiencing one of our itineraries for a story, please contact Melanie Gravdal at melanie@eda-pr.com.

History

The Globus family of brands began as a small family company with one man and a rowboat in 1928. Antonio Mantegazza, the company’s founder, used his rowboat to transport commercial goods across Lake Lugano in Switzerland. While taking frequent trips across the scenic lake, Antonio began dreaming of a different opportunity ... tourism.

Over time, his entrepreneurial instinct and drive led him to acquire motorcoaches to transport tourists around the Lake Lugano area in southern Switzerland, ultimately making his dream of owning a company in motorcoach touring come true. Boasting a fleet of 12 coaches, operating local excursions for European tourists in Switzerland, Mantegazza called his new venture Globus Viaggi.

By 1950, Globus Viaggi had grown significantly, featuring 33 coaches with overnight excursions to Rome, Venice, the Dolomites and French Riviera. Thanks to their popularity, gradually, the overnight excursions became regularly scheduled tours and grew longer to cover more ground. Later that decade, under the leadership of Werner Albek, Antonio’s business partner, Globus pioneered the concept of Grand European Touring by offering first-class European tours to North Americans.

By 1961, the company launched the Cosmos brand, featuring value-priced European touring for the cost-conscious British. These coach tours were so successful that Cosmos soon introduced another form of travel for the British market – air holiday packages to the sunny destinations of southern Europe. By 1968, just 40 years after the company's launch, Cosmos air holidays became so popular the company formed its own airline, Monarch Airlines.

Beginning In 1974, under the flagship of Sergio Mantegazza, son of Antonio and current president of Globus, the company's brands began expanding their markets beyond Great Britain. The 70s was a big decade for the company, introducing wayfarers to more countries than any other tour operator with packages to Africa, Australia, North and South America, Southeast Asia, Europe and the South Pacific. Also in the early 70s, Globus launched its North American company – Group Voyagers – overseeing U.S. tour operations and the American market for the Globus and Cosmos brands.

The entrepreneurial spirit that launched Globus is very much alive today. In 2004, the Globus family of brands launched a cruise company, Avalon Waterways, setting a new standard in small-ship cruising. Also in 2004, the Globus family extended its offerings by creating Monograms, which provides consumers independent travel opportunities with behind-the-scenes experts taking care of the getaway details, pre-trip and an on-site Local Host® dedicated to enhancing the experience and journey.

Attributing its success to the ideals of founder Antonio Mantegazza, the Globus family of brands has witnessed three generations of his vision, hard work, love for travel and commitment, culminating in unparalleled vacations for millions of globetrotters.

Today, the group of companies consists of more than 30 tourism and aviation businesses, serviced by more than 5,000 professionals. The companies’ escorted and independent vacations offer nearly 10,000 departures and almost 300 different itineraries, covering more than 70 countries on six continents.

About Us

SEE THE WORLD YOUR WAY. 

WITH AVALON, THE POSSIBILITIES ARE AS WIDE OPEN AS THE VIEWS.

Travellers wanting to see the world need only cruise down its legendary rivers. For those interested in seeing more of the world, there’s Avalon Waterways. Our Suite Ships® feature one-of-a-kind Panorama SuitesSM, with the widest opening windows in river cruising, the industry’s only Open-Air BalconySM and beds facing the incredible views.

 

Beyond our wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows is a world waiting to be explored – your way.

 

Whether travellers want to take a guided walking tour of one of Europe’s great cities, join a cooking class or paddle a canoe, our Avalon Choice® selections of Classic, Discovery and Active excursions offer a wide range of possibilities. When they prefer to explore on their own, we can help with all the recommendations, information and gear travellers need with our new Adventure Center and AvalonGO mobile app.  And when it’s time to refuel, Avalon’s dining options on board are as wide open as our travellers’ views, with our new FlexDiningSM choices.

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR OUTLOOK:

THE WIDEST VIEW IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.

There’s only one point-of-view on an Avalon Waterways river cruise – the suite view. Our entire fleet in Europe and Southeast Asia is completely comprised of Suite Ships®, each featuring our signature Panorama SuitesSM with the widest-opening windows in river cruising, the industry’s only Open-Air Balcony® and an inviting bed facing the ever-changing scenery on two full decks of every ship.

 

Living up to its name, the NEW Avalon View also features clear-view glass panels on each balcony – replacing exterior railings – for unobstructed views. Even seasoned travellers have never seen – or experienced – the world like this.

 

Providing wider openings for the wide-eyed, Avalon Waterways Open-Air Balconies were designed with our guests’ views in mind. A Panorama Suite highlight on the Suite Ships of Avalon, these wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows open 11-feet wide in Europe and 14-feet wide in Southeast Asia … Wider than any other balconies in the industry.

 

Avalon’ innovative Open-Air Balconies blur the line between outside and in while forming a comfortable and spacious seating area for six and creating an open invitation to discover and dream.  Even better?  Open-Air Balconies do not sacrifice room space.  In contrast, they invite our guests to enjoy 100 percent of their Panorama Suite, 100 percent of the time.

 

And they’re making a splash with Avalon’s guests.  In fact, according to a new survey of 652 past travellers, 95% would choose Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies to traditional French balconies.

 

We’re the only river cruise company that’s figured out how to give our cruisers everything they want –more space, indoor/outdoor living and huge views for miles in the comfort and privacy of their rooms.  Our Open-Air Balconies are a retreat, an escape … A place to enjoy a snack, a drink, a good book and a stunning view.

 

When travellers sail with us, one thing is certain … Their outlook has never been brighter.

 

 

DREAM ON BEFORE YOU DRIFT OFF.

Avalon Waterways invites guests to live the dream and watch the world pass them by from the comfort of their Comfort CollectionSM beds. While other cruise companies invite travellers to breathe in views of the wall, our Panorama Suites feature beds that face the views for which river cruising is famous.

 

LOCAL FLAVOURS. YOUR TASTES.

From fresh air to fresh fare … so much creativity you can taste it. 

 

Avalon Waterways has teamed up with brothers Karl and Leo Wrenkh – two of Europe’s rising culinary stars – to present the latest concept in “haute cuisine.”  With Avalon FreshSM, travellers can guiltlessly indulge in creative dishes with surprising flavours and a dash of innovation.  With a philosophy of procuring ingredients to create inspired healthy dishes, Avalon Fresh brings the passing landscape to the plate.

 

While savoring the flavours of the world, Avalon Waterways has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for its guests, inviting them to choose where they’d like to dine with FlexDiningSM. Whether they choose a breezy al fresco lunch at the Sky Grill, an elegant four-course dinner in the glass-walled dining room, a petite plate at the Panorama Bistro or even breakfast in bed, FlexDining offers our guests the opportunity to enjoy their meals in a multitude of venues as well as open dining times, more two-top tables for couples, bar service on the Sky Deck and daily night fare, on request, at the bar. We even provide complimentary picnic lunches to those interested in taking their dining experience off the ship.

 

WE NAVIGATE. YOU STEER:

CRUISERS CAN BE CHOOSERS.

The company that reinvented river cruise ships is also redefining the river cruise experience with Avalon Choice®.  Offering travellers “Classic,” “Discovery” and “Active” options on every river cruise itinerary, Avalon Choice presents Avalon guests with a variety of excursions and onboard activities each day – all engaging in their own way.  Whether travellers want to walk in the footsteps of legends, walk down the street like a local or accelerate their walk into a jog, Avalon’s selection of included daily outings and optional excursions invite guests to further personalize their experience to suit their interests and passions.

 

And, with help from their Avalon Adventure Host – available on every Suite Ship in Europe – travellers can check out a bike (from onboard their Suite Ship) for a scenic ride through town. They can grab a Nordic walking stick and hike to a hillside vineyard or castle. Whether they’re looking for a kayaking excursion on the river or a complimentary fitness class on the Sky Deck, Avalon’s Adventure Host can make it happen.

 

When they want to explore the world independently, the GPS-enabled AvalonGo app arms travellers with a detailed, daily schedule of their itinerary, a list of nearby attractions (featuring hours of operation, historical facts and more), maps, directions as well as local cafés, restaurants, bars and entertainment options for further exploration

 

With our proprietary Your Way options, travellers can also easily extend their vacation before or after their Avalon cruise with exciting stays in worldly cities.

 

Avalon Waterways invites travellers to let the world in and their inner explorer out. They have an open invitation to experience each destination in more ways, in exceptional ways and most importantly, in their own, very personal ways.

 

AMAZING. INCLUDED.

On each and every vacation, Avalon Waterways encourages travellers to see the world through the lens of a local with inspired, local inclusions on board and on shore.

 

Regional wine and beer with lunch and dinner … On board enrichment activities and entertainment … On shore excursions with Local Guides … Even a customized mobile app loaded with navigation and suggestions to fuel free time … Avalon offers an exclusive experience that features all of the right inclusions yet leaves room for travellers to personalize their vacation while also affording them little luxuries like complimentary Wi-Fi and around-the-clock cappuccinos.

 

NEW inclusions include BeWell, refillable water stations that not only provide guests with endless hydration (while eliminating the need for single-use water bottles onboard), but also give them invigorating, vitamin-infused options like “Green Hope +15,” “Body Guard +15” and “Pink Positive +15” to keep up their energy throughout their journey.

 

Also NEW – and included – are AvalonGO Beyond devices that invite travellers to say goodbye” to expensive phone bills and stay connected with friends and family on vacation.  This exclusive, personal “hot spot” is also a headset for guests to use on excursions, helping them stay connected to their Local Guide and the world around them..

 

TIME FOR PASTIMES.

A vacation to the legendary riverbanks of the world offers travellers a break from the ordinary; but not from their extraordinary interests. Avalon Waterways gives travellers the most dynamic offering of “Special Interest” cruises to date, inviting them to explore their hobbies and passions on vacation.

 

From beer and wine to history, music and Christmas cruises, Avalon’s Special Interest itineraries complement stories with stout, history with harmony and impressions with impressionism.  These passion-filled vacations unite Avalon’s guests with their pastimes and other like-minded travellers.

 

DIVE IN: ACTIVE & DISCOVERY CRUISES.

Whether travellers prefer to paddle, pedal, paint, puree or ponder their way through Europe, on Avalon’s Active & Discovery cruises, every day is an adventure and every adventure is up to them. And, in 2021, this exclusive series of customizable cruises is growing by 19 percent (19%) with more departures and a new itinerary.

 

Untethered and full of included options, our innovative Active & Discovery cruises feature extraordinary activities that give travellers the choice they crave on vacation. On these one-of-a-kind cruises, each day, travellers can choose from a selection of included “Active,” “Discovery” and “Classic” excursions – an average of 23 of them – giving our guests unparalleled opportunities to customize their cruise.” Avalon Waterways’ engaging and energizing collection of Active & DiscoverySM river cruises take place in Holland and Belgium as well as itineraries that sail on the Danube, Rhine & Rhône Rivers

 

SUSTAINABLE, RESPONSIBLE RIVER CRUISING.

The vibrant and beautiful surroundings of the world’s rivers are a benefit of river cruising. We are dedicated to preserving the precious environment river cruising affords travellers and have taken great strides to protect the planet as well as the people and the places we visit. [Refer to Sustainability Key Messages for details.]

 

WIND YOUR WAY THROUGH ASIA.

Our smaller ships widen the possibilities, worldwide.  Avalon river cruises go beyond expectation. They go beyond the grand waterways of Europe, too, winding down the intriguing waters of Southeast Asia and India. Gliding through narrow passageways, these intimate ships get travellers up close to the sights, cultures, and traditions of Vietnam, Cambodia and India.

 

A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES.

Our worldwide fleet is comprised of 16 Suite Ships: 14 in Europe and two (2) in Southeast Asia:


  • Avalon Panorama® (2011)
  • Avalon Vista® (2012)
  • Avalon Visionary® (2012)
  • Avalon Artistry II® (2013)
  • Avalon Expression® (2013)
  • Avalon Impression® (2014)
  • Avalon Illumination® (2014)
  • Avalon Tapestry II® (2015)
  • Avalon Tranquility II® (2015)
  • Avalon Siem ReapSM (2015)
  • Avalon Imagery IISM (2016)
  • Avalon SaigonSM (2018)
  • Avalon EnvisionSM (2019)
  • Avalon ViewSM (2020)


 

Travellers can sail the Rhine, Danube, Rhône, Seine, Saône, Main, Moselle, Amazon, Mekong, Ganges and Nile Rivers with Avalon Waterways.

Leadership

Scott Nisbet, President and Chief Executive Officer

Scott Nisbet's experience is as diverse as the tours his company offers. Working in industries that range from corporate finance to packaged goods to transportation, Nisbet acquired a keen business sense and a broad perspective on sales and marketing that has led to his success today. In 1998, Nisbet joined Group Voyagers, Inc. (GVI), the privately held company that markets and sells the Globus family of brands within the United States. Nisbet started as vice president of sales and marketing and later moved up to chief operating officer. And, in 2009, he stepped into the role of president and chief executive officer for the company. Under his leadership, the Globus family of brands has significantly increased sales and expanded its product lines under the Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways brands. Nisbet embarked on his varied career in New York as a financial analyst for Kidder Peabody. He then transferred to London, England, as an associate, where his duties included international mergers and acquisitions. In 1990, Nisbet earned an MBA from the prestigious Harvard Business School and joined General Mills as a business strategist in the strategic planning department. While at General Mills, he was responsible for new business ventures and helped the company's international expansion in the snack and cereal markets. His next career stop found him as the director of marketing at Ryder, the global transportation company. In 1995, Nisbet and his staff won an Effie Award in promotional advertising, as well as an award from the White House for a partnership with the U.S. Postal Service. Prior to receiving his MBA, Nisbet earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Colorado College. He lives in Denver, Colo., with his wife and their three children.

Pam Hoffee, Chief Operating Officer; Managing Director (Avalon Waterways)

For Pam Hoffee, travel seems to run in the family, at least when it comes to career choice. The daughter of an Air Force father, Hoffee yearned to travel the world just as her father did.
Raised in a suburb of Denver, Colo., Hoffee grew up hearing her father tell stories of exotic locales. It was not, however, until she accepted a summer internship aboard a World Explorer Alaskan cruise ship, that she got her first taste of travel. This summer internship led to an eight-year stint as the manager of the cruise line’s shore excursion department, where Hoffee designed and implemented land tours. When it came time to “jump ship,” Hoffee transferred to the company’s corporate offices in San Francisco where she was named director of operations.
As director of operations, Hoffee created several new itineraries for the cruise line including a Panama Canal program. Her favorite part of the job was creating meaningful experiences between the ship’s passengers and locals. During one particular Christmastime cruise, Hoffee organized a holiday party onboard the ship for local children while the ship was docked in
Guatemala. The passengers and cruise line donated so many gifts that the small town was overwhelmed with presents.

In 2003, a desire to return to her native Colorado brought Hoffee to Group Voyagers, Inc. – the company that markets and sells the Globus family of brands in the United States. Hoffee initially
managed the product development department responsible for all aspects of tour planning and brochure production for North America, Central and South America, the South Pacific and Asia. This experience afforded her the opportunity to be part of the planning of many memorable vacations for the company’s passengers around the world. In 2005, Hoffee was named vice president of product and operations for the Globus family of brands and in 2018, she became chief operating officer (COO) for the company and managing director of Avalon Waterways.

Steve Born, Chief Marketing Officer

Steve Born is chief marketing officer for Group Voyagers, the company that markets and sells the Globus family of brands (Avalon Waterways, Globus, Cosmos and Monograms) within the United States. Born began his marketing career outside the travel industry more than 20 years ago and now is responsible for guiding all marketing and call center initiatives for the Globus family. He spends his days bringing consumers the experience of travel--one of his true passions--and he could not be happier. A self-proclaimed people person, Born thrives on the daily interactions he has with travel industry colleagues, as well as with his staff--a group of individuals he fondly compares to NASA engineers. With the help of this “rocket science” crew, Born has helped grow the Globus family from two to four brands, including the introduction of Monograms and Avalon Waterways.

Prior to joining the company, Born worked as vice president at Karsh and Hagan Communications, Inc., in Denver, Colo., overseeing the account services department. Born received a B.A. in advertising from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he graduated cum laude. When not "talking travel," he and his wife spend their time enjoying Denver while chasing the lives of their children, both college students.

Paula Hayes, Vice President of Sales

Paula Hayes’ interest in and passion for travel ignited in high school when she participated in a foreign exchange program in Guatemala. And, it’s this passion for travel that has driven her career in tourism. Paula began her career with a Caribbean/South American tour operator. Initially hired to translate hotel contracts, she quickly moved through the ranks and eventually left the organization as director of sales. Since that time, she has become a well-respected leader in the travel industry and boasts a long history of stellar sales experience in resort, cruise and global tour operations with such companies as SuperClubs and Club Med.

Throughout her career, Paula has received several accolades. Among them is recognition as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Travel” for seven consecutive years by Travel Agent. Now, in her role as the Globus family of brands’ vice president of sales, Paula is responsible for managing all facets of the company’s sales operations, including creating and leading the company’s sales and marketing strategies and supervising its national sales team. Paula is an active member of ASTA’s Allied Marketing Committee as well as the North American Tourism Council, French Affairs. When she’s not working, she and her husband enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle and spending time with their children and grandchildren.

Press Releases

    ONE IN A MILLION … ONCE A DECADE

    TORONTO, Ontario – May 4, 2021

    Next year, for six months, the Netherlands will bloom brighter and a Bavarian village’s faith will be restored thanks to once-in-a-decade experiences: The Floriade and Oberammergau’s Passion Play. And, while these special events only happen every 10 years, for the first time, 2022 will see both play out across Europe.

    CULTURE, CUISINE & EVERYTHING IN-BETWEEN

    TORONTO, Ontario – April 27, 2021 

    Stir-up a dish passed down through generations or mix-up paints on a palate? Warm-up with a morning guided sightseeing walk or chill-out during a wine tasting? Wander the halls of history or step-through the ruins of an ancient castle? Paddle through scenery or pedal around cityscapes?

    LIGHTHOUSE PROJECT

    TORONTO, Ontario – April 21, 2021

    On the eve of Earth Day, the Globus family of brands is unveiling the Lighthouse Project: An illuminating initiative created to help travellers come together to reduce our footprint and give generously for the globe’s greater good. The Lighthouse Project’s mission is to nurture a culture of care and sustainability that extends to guests and operations partners by investing in and raising awareness of projects, causes and experiences that support a better tomorrow.

    STORYTELLER SERIES

    TORONTO, Ontario – April 20, 2021

    This week, Avalon Waterways announced a NEW, celebrity-hosted STORYTELLER SERIES of cruises, inviting travel enthusiasts to turn the page on their vacation plans. To enjoy a Suite Ship sail through time and tales in storybook settings with chart-topping troubadours and capture insider narratives outside the pages of novels, scripts and song lyrics.