AmaWaterways today christened its newest river cruise ship, AmaLea, with a joyful ceremony in Vilshofen, Germany. The festive event concluded a weeklong celebration, during which guests onboard were joined by AmaWaterways’ President and Co-Owner Rudi Schreiner, Executive Vice President and Co-Owner Kristin Karst, AmaLea Godmother Filomena Andre of AAA Travel, along with travel industry friends and international media.
Presiding over his eleventh AmaWaterways christening ceremony, Captain Jan de Bruijn assisted Godmother Andre with the traditional ship christening by champagne while over 200 international and local guests joined in the special afternoon event, which featured the raising of a traditional Bavarian maypole, a dockside cocktail reception, religious blessing, local entertainment and warm welcome by Vilshofen Mayor Florian Gams. Celebrations continued into the evening with a gala dinner and culminated with a surprise fireworks display.
“We are thrilled to have our industry friends and business partners here with us in Vilshofen, celebrating the arrival of AmaLea, and marking an extraordinary time for us at AmaWaterways,” said Schreiner. “We look forward to welcoming many guests onboard this beautiful ship as she sails through the charming towns that sit along the banks of some of the most beautiful rivers in all of Europe.”
The 154-guest AmaLea features AmaWaterways’ exclusive twin balconies– offering panoramic views from both a French and outside balcony. She also has four suites (350 sq. ft.), connecting staterooms and triple occupancy staterooms designed for multi-generational families. Guests will enjoy gourmet dining onboard, with free-flowing wines at multiple venues including The Chef’s Table; a heated sun deck swimming pool with a swim-up bar; a fitness center and spa; complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship; and in-room Entertainment-On-Demand. In addition, a fleet of bicycles is carried onboard for guests to enjoy complimentary, charting their own path or participating in guided tours.
Sister ship to AmaViola, AmaStella and AmaKristina, AmaLea will sail seven-night cruises on the Danube between Vilshofen and Budapest during the summer and fall before concluding her first season with four Iconic Christmas Market Cruises.
“I am honored to serve as Godmother of this breathtaking ship,” said Andre. “I have long admired Rudi, Kristin, the Murphy family and the rest of the AmaWaterways team for their commitment to delivering excellence in so many aspects of the business. AmaLea is evidence of their dedication to providing guests with an exceptional river cruise experience, and I will forever have fond memories of this very special moment, helping to officially welcome her to the company’s incredible European fleet.”
A ship’s christening is a long-standing tradition within the cruise industry originating more than 4,000 years ago. The momentous ceremony features the blessing of the ship by an appointed Godmother and concludes with a more recent tradition of breaking a bottle of champagne against the ship’s hull to wish her good luck in the journeys ahead.