Celebrations Mark Arrival of Company’s Second Ship in Portugal; AmaWaterways Executives, Valued Partners and First-Ever UK Godmother, Julia Lo Bue-Said, Gather in Porto for Christening
CALABASAS, CA – (April 12, 2019) – AmaWaterways today christened its newest river cruise ship, AmaDouro, with a festive ceremony in Porto, Portugal. The christening put the final touch on AmaDouro’s inaugural sailing – which began in Porto and returned today for the special evening event hosted by AmaWaterways co-founders Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst. Honorary guest, Advantage Travel Partnership Chief Executive Officer and AmaDouroGodmother, Julia Lo Bue-Said was joined by respected travel industry partners, international media and other guests for the celebration.
“The arrival of every new ship is exciting for us at AmaWaterways, but we are particularly thrilled to be adding AmaDouro to this spectacular region that we proudly helped introduce when sister ship AmaVida was first launched in 2013,” said Schreiner. “We are very happy to have our friends and partners join us here today as this 21st addition to our fleet marks the beginning of a banner year for our company.”
Following a long-standing tradition associated with ship christenings that originates more than 4,000 years ago, a priest blessed the ship and crew, and Captain Pedro Sardo assisted as Godmother Lo Bue-Said broke a champagne bottle against AmaDouro’s hull, signifying good luck on the journeys ahead.
“We are very happy to have Julia officially welcome this new addition to our family,” said Karst. “It is our way of celebrating the incredible growth and our strong commitment to the UK travel advisor community, as we work together to bring more guests from around the world to this unspoiled region of Europe.”
Reflecting true “AmaFamily” values, Schreiner and Karst surprised their first British godmother, who was accompanied by her husband and youngest son, by flying in her eldest son for the ceremony. Guests joined in the festivities, which included speeches by Schreiner, Karst and Lo Bue-Said, lively local entertainment featuring folk dancers and fado singers, regionally-inspired cocktails, and a gala dinner.
“I’m very honored to be godmother of this incredible ship,” said Lo Bue-Said. “AmaDouro has truly exceeded my expectations of river cruising, from the ship herself to the unparalleled guest service and curated shore excursions. Traveling through Portugal and welcoming this ship with my family has been an unforgettable experience, and I am honored to help officially welcome AmaDouro to AmaWaterways’ extraordinary fleet.”
AmaDouro offers 51 spacious, elegantly designed staterooms, most with outside balconies to enjoy beautiful views of hills and vineyards along the UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley. Additional amenities include a Panoramic Lounge for nightly entertainment, a heated Sun Deck swimming pool, fitness room, massage room and the company’s renowned cuisine at the Main Restaurant, serving regionally-inspired dishes and hand-selected wines.
Joining sister ship AmaVida which sails between Porto and Vega Terron, AmaDouro will be based in Porto and offer seven-night roundtrip Enticing Douro cruises with a three-night pre-cruise land program in Lisbon. AmaDouro is the first of three new ships that will be added to AmaWaterways’ innovative fleet this year. Other new ships making their debut include AmaMora, sister ship to AmaLea and AmaKristina, sailing on the Rhine, and the revolutionaryAmaMagna on the Danube.
A family-owned company celebrating 17 years on the river, AmaWaterways offers unforgettable river cruises with 23 ships sailing Europe’s Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Main, Rhone, Seine, Garonne, Dordogne, Dutch and Belgian Waterways and Douro Rivers, Southeast Asia’s Mekong and Africa’s Chobe River. Led by experienced river cruise co-founders Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst, the company is renowned for its innovative stateroom design featuring unique “twin balconies”; its wellness activities including a wide choice of included shore excursions featuring biking and hiking options for the active traveler; and its award-winning dining—including The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant as well as complimentary fine wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. Modern, spacious and tastefully decorated, each ship features onboard amenities such as hair and massage salons and a fitness room, and many have heated outdoor swimming pools with swim-up bars. AmaWaterways leads the river cruise industry in innovation highlighted with the launch of AmaMagna – at twice the width of traditional river ships, this revolutionary ship offers a new dimension in luxury river cruising. The company also offers a variety of themed sailings and brand relationships, with sailings geared towards active travelers and families as well as group and charter options.
With the highest-rated ships in Europe according to the third edition of Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe & the USA, AmaWaterways has received countless honors and accolades including Cruise Critic’s Editor’s Pick Award for “Best for Active Cruisers” and 2018 AFAR Reader’s Choice Award for “Best River Cruise Line.”