On Friday, Avalon Waterways unveiled and christened the Avalon Luminary in Hoorn, a Netherlands fishing village. Kristi Jones, president of Virtuoso, a worldwide network of upscale travel agencies, served as the ship’s godmother.
Jones blessed the ship on July 30 with the following words, “May all who sail upon these rivers be transformed by the meeting of water, sky and history. May this vessel reflect the joy of travelers sharing a timeless journey. For the song of the river ends not at her banks but in the hearts of those who have traveled her. I christen this ship Avalon Luminary. May God bless her captain and crew and keep them safe. May the heavens smile upon all who sail with her. May she always enjoy clear skies and calm waters.”
After reciting the christening speech, Jones cut the rope tethered to a bottle of Champagne. The Avalon Luminary’s 39 crew members cheered from the ship’s sky deck as the bottle shattered against the vessel’s newly painted exterior. Also in attendance were Dr. Thomas Ritter CEO of Seehandlung, the financing company for the Avalon Luminary, the ship’s captain Michael Hoffman, as well as Patrick Clark and Burghart Lell of Avalon Waterways.
The Avalon Luminary marks the company’s tenth new ship in Europe since 2004. Post-christening, the new vessel set sail on its sold-out inaugural Romantic Rhine cruise. This year, the Luminary will also sail Avalon’s holiday cruises: Christmas in the Heart of Germany, Christmastime in Germany & Austria and Christmastime on the Danube. Ninety-two (92) percent of the new ship’s berths have been filled through the end of the year.
In 2011, the Avalon Luminary will sail more than 10 European itineraries, including: Tulip Time Cruise, Central European Experience, Magnificent Europe, The Blue Danube Discovery, The Legendary Danube, Windmills, Vineyards & Paris and a wine-themed cruise on the Rhine and Moselle rivers.
The Avalon Luminary
Arriving from the Den Breejen Shipyard in Holland, the delivery of the Avalon Luminary – setting sail less than 15 months after the inaugural cruises of sister ships the Avalon Felicity (May 2010), Avalon Creativity (August 2009) and Avalon Affinity (May 2009) – once again underscores Avalon Waterways’ position as the fastest-growing river cruise company in the world, offering travelers the youngest fleet of ships in Europe.
Year after year, thanks to the continuous feedback and encouragement of our travelers, Cruise Directors and travel agent partners, Avalon Waterways has unveiled new ships, amenities and experiences that set the standard in river cruising.
“Inspired by design, our ships are crafted to entice all five senses,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “Some enhancements, including deluxe woven carpeting, bathrobes and slippers and premium L’Occitane products in our staterooms are subtle. Other offerings, such as Avalon-branded premium bedding, large staterooms and a perfect balance of warm interiors with natural lighting and panoramic views are distinctive and unexpected. Combined, all elements provide travelers with a unique feeling of space, freedom and comfort not found with any other cruise line.”
A modern ship for today’s cruiser, the Avalon Luminary features 65 staterooms and four Junior Suites. Like the rest of Avalon’s European fleet, the ship’s staterooms measure 172-square feet – the largest on Europe’s rivers – and 90 percent boast floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic sliding glass doors. The Luminary’s Junior Suites are a spacious 258-square feet.
Other amenities and features on the Luminary include: Flat screen televisions, modern bathrooms, large closets, Comfort Collection by Avalon premium bed suite, mini-bar, safe, laundry and ironing services, a fully equipped fitness room, library, hair salon and gift shop, as well as a club lounge and Jacuzzi pool on the Sky Deck. Open-air dining is also available at lunch each day on this new ship, thanks to the Luminary’s Sky Deck grill.