The best value in European river cruising keeps getting better

Courtesy Avalon Waterways

Never let it be said that we don't have "all hands on deck" when it comes to monitoring the latest travel innovations. On August 8, President, Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc., Nancy Telliho christened the good ship Avalon Creativity in Volendam, a Netherlands fishing village. The Creativity is the eighth ship that Avalon Waterways has added to its European fleet since 2004.

Avalon Waterways is Budget Travel's pick for "best value in river cruising in 2009." It's also the fastest-growing river cruise company in the world. The company is riding a wave of popularity in river cruising, quite possibly the biggest trend in European travel. Bookings have spiked by more than 20 percent each year since 2001.

There's a reason river-cruising is so popular: Unlike on mega ships, you typically won't find surprise fees tacked onto your bill when you sail on these small vessels.

This year, Avalon Waterways has added three other ships—Affinity, Luminary, and Felicity—to its European fleet. Six-day trips focusing on Holland recently started at $1,699 via In a current offer, you can receive half off your airfare with purchase of a qualifying air-inclusive European river cruise vacation.

Check out some of the photos celebrating the christening of the Creativity by reading this post on Avalon's blog.

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