Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today announced that award-winning small ship cruise company, Avalon Waterways has joined its membership. Avalon Waterways, with 37 offices worldwide, is based in Littleton, Colorado, and offers river and small ship cruises in Europe, China, Egypt and the Galápagos.

Avalon Waterways’ young fleet consists of eight Avalon ships in Europe that feature state-of-the-art design and technology and house the largest staterooms boasting floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic sliding glass doors. Two ships in the European Fleet, the Avalon Affinity and Avalon Creativity debuted this summer, and two new ships, the Avalon Luminary and Avalon Felicity will debut in 2010, bringing the European Fleet total to 10. The company also operates cruises on vessels sailing in Egypt, China and the Galápagos Islands

“We are very happy to welcome Avalon Waterways to CLIA,” said Terry Dale, CLIA’s president and CEO. “As CLIA’s 25th member line, they further increase the diversity of our membership and the cruise products available to CLIA member travel agents. The growing river cruise experience is becoming increasing popular with travelers and travel agents alike.”

”We look forward to working with CLIA and its member agencies to showcase the many reasons river cruising is the fastest growing segment in the industry,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “We not only provide travelers an intimate, all-inclusive opportunity to see and experience the cities and villages that rest along the world’s waterways, our ships are modern in design, featuring contemporary appointments.”

Avalon Waterways’ ship amenities include 172-square-foot staterooms, flat screen televisions, wireless Internet access, modern bathrooms, large closets, hotel-style beds with duvets, Egyptian cotton linens, mini-bar, safe, laundry and ironing services, a fully equipped fitness room, library, hair salon and gift shop, as well as a club lounge and large Jacuzzi pool on the Sky Deck. Avalon Waterways serves passengers unlimited complimentary local wine, beer or soft drinks with all on-board dinners. The line features regional entertainment, innovative land programs, and a professional English-speaking staff.