Avalon Waterways unveils Avalon Alegria

Surrounded by beautiful green, hilly vineyards in Pinhão, Portugal, Avalon Waterways christened its 15th Suite Ship in Europe – Avalon Alegria. 

Acting as the ship’s godmother, Cheri Oteri – widely known for the rise of female entertainers on Saturday Night Live in the US – led the christening ceremony on the Douro River.

“Today, I name this goddess of Portugal’s Douro River the Avalon Alegria! Not only is she the newest, happiest ship in Portugal, but she is also one of the most sustainable vessels in Europe,” said Cheri Oteri during her blessing. “May her sunny disposition carry this ship, her captain, crew and guests, far as they set sail responsibly through scenic landscapes, sloping vineyards and sleepy villages. Shine brightly on the ‘river of gold,’ Avalon Alegria!”

After reciting her blessing, Cheri Oteri cut a rope tethered to locally produced Cuvée – Marques de Marialva Cuvée Primitivo – causing the bottle to smash against the newly named ship’s bow. President of Avalon Waterways Pam Hoffee, Captain Alberto Moreira and the ship’s crew of 33 cheered the ship’s christening. KC and the Sunshine Band’s 1975 hit, “Boogie Shoes,” played over event speakers to add even more “happy” to the occasion. The song was a special request from the Alegria’s godmother, Cheri Oteri.

River boat lounge with views in Europe

© Avalon Waterways


Avalon Alegria sets sail

The new, 262-foot, 102-passenger Avalon Alegria features 14 Deluxe Staterooms and 37 Panorama Suites. It was built exclusively to sail the Douro River and is the first Suite Ship from Avalon Waterways to set sail in Portugal. 

Interiors are a warm mix of light and dark woods, accented by rich copper and taupe hues, vibrant tones of green mixed with cool blues in public spaces and touches of muted yellow throughout the new Suite Ship’s Panorama Suites and Deluxe Staterooms. This colour palate was inspired by Douro Valley landscapes, brought to life by Dutch interior designer Liane van Leeuwen. Original works of art in Alegria’s public areas were created by Dutch artist Sofia Fisher. While four specially lit artistic showcases celebrating the Portuguese Azulejos tradition were made in Porto by Gazete.    

The Avalon Alegria joins an entire fleet of Suite Ships in Europe and Southeast Asia. Each features the boutique-hotel-inspired Panorama Suites, the industry’s only Open-Air Balconies with the widest-opening windows in cruising. Plus, decadent Comfort Collection beds that face the everchanging scenery.

Glass balcony panels on the Avalon Alegria provide an extra, exciting cruising outlook with completely unobstructed views, as does the Sky Deck pool, inviting guests to enjoy panoramic views while soaking-in the vineyard-lined vistas of Portugal. 

River boat suite with a view in Porto

© Avalon Waterways


The perfect blend of elegance and ease at sea

There’s a reason Avalon’s Suite Ships are the critics’ darlings. Creating the widest waterfront view of the world, Avalon Waterways’ Open-Air Balconies were designed with views in mind. A Panorama Suite highlight on all of 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. 

The Avalon Alegria will invite her first official guests on board to cruise Vida Portugal: Vineyards & Villages Along the Douro on 3 April 2024. This eight-day cruise begins and ends in Porto. The itinerary is filled with “Classic,” “Active” and “Discovery” excursions that promise countless ways to enjoy the sheer splendour and cinematic scenery of the Douro Valley.


Avalon Waterways

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