Avalon Waterways has christened its latest river ship Avalon View in a ceremony in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The event, which took place on 12 April, saw the ship’s godmother, US TV host and presenter Meredith Vieira, officially welcome the ship to the fleet.
Cruise Trade News was on the sunny dock to watch the ceremony take place.
Vieira said: “Today we thank those with a vision of what could be and the hands to craft it so. Such beauty as this magnificent vessel now begins its river journey. Around every bend lies a new sight to behold, a new experience to savour, a new friend with whom to share it.”
After reciting her blessing, Vieira cut a rope tethered to the locally produced sparkling wine, which smashed against the ship’s bow.
Avalon Waterways MD Pam Hoffee, captain Ambrose Manolache and the ship’s crew – as well as invited guests including journalists, travel agents, local dignitaries and representatives from tourism boards – cheered the ship’s christening.
“We are thrilled to have Meredith here today as godmother to Avalon View“, said Hoffee. “Avalon View joins an entire fleet of Suite Ships in Europe and Southeast Asia.
“Each features our boutique-hotel inspired Panorama Suites, the industry’s only open-air balconies with the widest-opening windows in cruising and decadent Comfort Collection beds that face the ever-changing scenery.
“We have updated Avalon View with new glass balcony panels to provide an extra, exciting cruising outlook with completely unobstructed views.”
On board, guests will find a contemporary mix of light and dark woods, with rich taupe, brown and red decor in public spaces.
There are up to 28 included excursions on each cruise, from classic sightseeing to immersive discoveries and active adventures.
Hoffee added: “We invite our guests to dive into new experiences and exploration, each and every day with our Active & Discovery itineraries and our Avalon Choice programme.”
The 166-passenger Avalon View will start its inaugural season sailing on the Danube on itineraries such as the Taste of the Danube, Danube Symphony, Active & Discovery on the Danube, and Gone Girl! – a storyteller series cruise with celebrity host, Gillian Flynn.