CALABASAS, Calif., Aug. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- AmaWaterways (www.AmaWaterways.com) today celebrated the christening of its new 164-passenger vessel AmaSerena. The line's co-founders, Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst, were joined by the ship's godmother, Michelle Fee – CEO and Co-Founder of Cruise Planners – for a series of festivities in Vilshofen, Germany at the conclusion of the ship's Melodies of the Danube sailing. Local dignitaries, including Mayor Florian Gams and 2nd County Commissioner, Rainmund Kneidinger, helped officially welcome the vessel to the fleet.
"It is an exciting time for AmaWaterways as we welcome AmaSerena, our most innovative ship to-date, to our European fleet," said Karst. "AmaWaterways takes great pride in selecting its godmothers and we are honored to have Michelle Fee join our family. She has been a fantastic partner of ours over the years, always supporting AmaWaterways and encouraging her network of franchise owners and travel professionals to do the same."
It was a festive occasion complete with live music, local entertainers and authentic Bavarian cuisine. Traditions including the signing of the ship's guestbook, a prayer by the abbot, and the ship's official christening preceded a closing ceremony with fireworks.
AmaSerena's addition was previously announced in August 2014 and now she joins the AmaWaterways fleet alongside sister ships AmaReina, AmaPrima, AmaCerto and AmaSonata. The ship's spacious accommodations feature the line's first-ever connecting staterooms, upholding AmaWaterways' commitment to providing the most innovative designs on the market. Guests sailing aboard AmaSerena will enjoy the comfort of signature twin balconies, salon and spa services, sun decks, multiple dining venues, including The Chef's Table restaurant, and intimate wine rooms, as well as fitness rooms and heated sun deck swimming pools with swim-up bars.
"I am proud to have this opportunity to carry on a long tradition," said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. "Serving as Godmother for AmaWaterways' AmaSerena is being a part of history and advancing the travel industry."
AmaSerena's christening voyage embarked July 29 from Budapest. During the seven-night journey along the Danube, the ship visited some of Europe's most captivating destinations including Bratislava, Vienna, Linz and Passau. Future itineraries for AmaSerena include The Enchanting Rhine, Magnificent Europe and The Romantic Danube, visiting France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other extraordinary locations.
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 often concludes with the breaking of a champagne bottle against the ship's hull.
AmaWaterways offers award-winning river cruises around the world, including Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa. The company has received numerous honors and accolades over the years, including Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards, Cruise Critic's Editors' Pick Award and the highest rated ships in the inaugural Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe. AmaWaterways' European fleet includes AmaStella (2016), AmaViola (2016), AmaVenita (2015), AmaSerena (2015), AmaReina (2014), AmaSonata (2014), AmaPrima (2013), AmaVida (2013), AmaCerto (2012), AmaVerde (2011),AmaBella (2010), AmaLyra (2009), AmaDolce (2009), AmaCello (2008), AmaDante (2008), AmaLegro (2007) and the AmaDagio (2006). The company's "The Exotics" division features AmaPura (2014) on the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar, AmaLotus (2011) and AmaDara (2015) on the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia, and the Zambezi Queen (2009) on the Chobe in Botswana.