Avalon Waterways Romantic Rhine Cruise – Part 1

Chrissy prepares for a 90th birthday treat

I’m truly fortunate to be able to share my mum’s forthcoming 90th birthday with her. But how best to celebrate such a landmark occasion?

Chrissy and her mumUnsurprisingly, for someone of her age, Mum has some health issues and isn’t as mobile as she used to be but, overall, is well and has lost none of her interest in life. Indeed, if anything, she has become more interested and inquisitive over the last few years and is always up for new challenges. So it has to be something appropriate, as well as very special.

Following the death of my dad last year and 66 years of marriage, she found herself living alone. Like many women of her generation she had done everything with and for her husband, including all the caring during his battle with dementia, after which there was exhaustion, grief and loneliness. 

But, as memories of happier times returned, so did her determination to make the most of life and she decided she was going to say ‘yes’ to any opportunities that came her way.

She joined a ‘sing along’ choir, travels down to London by train to see me – quite an undertaking when you’ve never travelled alone before. I bought her an Ipad and she took advantage of free tuition sessions offered by the local Age UK Preston branch and is now pretty good with technology. Not quite ready to do online banking but getting there! 

The RhineShe also started looking at potential holidays online – travelling was not something she thought she would ever do again – and renewed her passport ‘just in case’.  So we decided we would have some mother & daughter time and go away for her 90th birthday, with the decision left to me to choose something suitable.

It wasn’t a difficult decision for me.  A river cruise, where Mum would be able to enjoy the luxury and comfort of a nice ship, watch the world go by and see many new destinations, enjoy the scenery without too much walking and be waited on hand and foot. Having previously done a short river cruise taster with Avalon Waterways along the Rhine I was keen to experience the full trip. Also, and most importantly, I knew Avalon would be good a good choice. So, the Romantic Rhine cruise, starting in Zurich and ending in Amsterdam, sailing through some historic cities, forests and countryside, was top of my list.

Avalon Romantic Rhine Cruise itineraryHowever, Mum has avoided boats and anything on water throughout her life, so I wasn’t confident it would be top of her list. I needn’t have worried, though, as after she had looked at Avalon’s website and in the spirit of accepting all new challenges, she came back very quickly with a resounding ‘yes please’.

The Romantic Rhine Cruise is now booked and we will actually be on board for her 90th birthday – what could be more special than that?

We are eagerly anticipating our trip – a few new clothes have been purchased – and both absolutely delighted we will be able to share this wonderful experience together.

If you’d like to follow our journey watch out for my blog to see how we get on.

Silver Travel Advisor recommends Avalon Waterways

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Chrissy Nason

Travel writer & hotel specialist

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