CALABASAS, CALIF. – AmaWaterways christened its two newest ships, AmaViola and AmaStella. The line’s co-founders, Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst, were joined by the ships’ godmothers and local dignitaries, for ceremonies in Vilshofen, Germany.
On June 15, AmaWaterways marked the official arrival of AmaViola, with a day of specially planned festivities in Vilshofen. The morning began with the decorating of the dock and continued with comments by AmaWaterways’ Co-Founder Rudi Schreiner and Vilshofen Mayor Florian Gams. The events included a signing of the ship’s guestbook, prayer by the abbot, live music and Bavarian cuisine. A special song was also written in honor of AmaViola by a local Vilshofen musician, and performed during the ceremony.
During the festivities, AmaWaterways welcomed Nexion President Jackie Friedman as the ship’s godmother. Friedman – who joined the Nexion leadership team in 2004 and currently supports more than 3,300 independent leisure and corporate travel professionals – took part in a traditional champagne christening and blessing. The christening was enjoyed by travelers from around the world, as well as representatives from a Nexion agency, who were onboard with their clients.
The day prior, AmaWaterways christened AmaViola’s sister ship, AmaStella, and held a similar ceremony marking the vessel’s arrival with Godmother Carole Smethurst, who owns a top Virtuoso agency in Perth, Australia. Both christenings were enjoyed by guests onboard and local dignitaries, culminating with unforgettable evening fireworks.
“This is an exciting time for AmaWaterways and we are so thrilled to welcome the beautiful new AmaViola and AmaStella to our expanding worldwide fleet,” said Karst. “AmaWaterways takes great joy in preparing for our christening ceremonies and this year, we are honored to have Nexion’s Jackie Friedman and Virtuoso’s Carole Smethurst join an esteemed list of AmaWaterways godmothers.”
AmaViola and AmaStella join the AmaWaterways fleet alongside sister ships AmaSerena, AmaReina, AmaPrima, AmaCerto, AmaVenita and AmaSonata. Both ships carry 158 passengers and feature AmaWaterways’ innovative new connecting staterooms and triple accommodations, which were designed to specifically target the multi-generational group and family travel markets. Guests sailing aboard AmaViola and AmaStella will enjoy the comfort of AmaWaterways’ signature twin balconies, which feature breathtaking panoramic river views, salon and spa services, multiple dining venues, including The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant, intimate wine rooms, fitness rooms and heated sun deck swimming pools with swim-up bars.
AmaViola began sailing in April and will also be offering 7-night Danube cruises in 2016 and 2017. Selected departures – in partnership with Adventures by Disney – will feature a family theme, including memorable experiences in eight destinations across four countries – Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Pre- and post-cruise land extensions are also available. Onboard activities include family karaoke, movie nights for Junior Adventurers, a magic show, cooking classes, games, piano music and other exciting entertainment geared towards guests of all ages
AmaStella – chartered in March to Australian Pacific Touring (APT) – begins sailing with AmaWaterways in late September, with 7-night Melodies of the Danube cruises. Romantic Danube, Melodies of the Danube (wine-themed) and Christmas Markets itineraries are also available in 2016, as well as in 2017.
A ship’s christening is a long-standing tradition within the cruise industry originating more than 4,000 years ago. The memorable ceremony features the blessing of the ship by an appointed godmother and concludes with the breaking of a champagne bottle against the ship’s hull.