Last updated: 01:31 PM ET, Thu April 23 2015

Avalon Headed Back To Egypt With Nile River Journeys

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Avalon Waterways | Theresa Norton | April 23, 2015

Avalon Headed Back To Egypt With Nile River Journeys

PHOTO: Egyptian pyramid gardens, by David Cogswell.

Avalon Waterways is back in Egypt. The river cruise line that is part of the Globus family of brands will resume Nile River voyages in January, Managing Director Patrick Clark announced at the cruise3sixty conference Thursday.

"Like many companies with ships on the Nile, we suspended operations after the Arab Spring," Clark said. "Our feeling is there is enough stability now. We would never put our staff or clients in harm's way. All the feedback we're getting is that it should be fine. We don't have as many departures, but we're bringing back the most popular one."

The nine-day "Highlights of Egypt" river cruise will operate round-trip from Cairo on the 148-passenger Mayfair. Avalon did not build the ship, but reserves space on it. Built in 2010, the 245-foot-long ship is not ADA compliant, but it has a fitness center, hot tub and 226-square-foot staterooms.

The trip includes visits to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, Memphis for the statue of Ramses II, Luxor, Valley of Kings, and Aswan.

"It's a place that's so interesting and fascinating, as long as we have assurances of security, we're going to do it," Clark said.

The company also announced new ships and itineraries for 2016, including the 166-passenger Avalon Passion, which will sail "from the North Sea to the Black Sea," between Amsterdam and Bucharest," Clark said, as well as some seven-night Danube River cruises.

Also new is the 128-guest Avalon Imagery II, which will operate on the Rhine River between Basel and Amsterdam.

"It's one of the most popular itineraries we have," Clark said. "We have three ships doing that and the load factor is 95 percent."

Also new for 2016 is the nine-day "Enchanting Belgium" itinerary between Amsterdam and Namur in the spring.

"No one is sailing on the Meuse River; we'll be first ones sailing there. We can do it with a 110-metre ship," Clark said.

The itinerary includes Maastrict, Antwerp, Gavere, Ghent, and Dordrecht, with an excursion to Ypres and WWI battlefields in Eastern Flanders.

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