Award winning luxury river cruise line APT and partner AmaWaterways had double reason to celebrate this week, hosting christenings for two new river cruise ships, the MS AmaStella and MS AmaViola, in Vilshofen, Germany.
The AmaStella was christened at a special evening ceremony held at the town’s main pier, with APT extending the invitation to its own guests sailing aboard the vessel and also the local Vilshofen community to join in the celebrations.
As well as a blessing performed by Priest Lothar Zever, guests were also greeted by the town’s Mayor, Florian Gams, who said Vilshofen was proud to host APT and AmaWaterways cruise ships and their guests as regular visitors to the German town.
Also in attendance, welcoming APT’s guests from Australia, New Zealand and the UK, as well as local residents to the special Christening ceremony, were APT Group company director Robert McGeary and managing director, Chris Hall.
Robert McGeary’s father, APT company owner Geoff McGeary, is a co-owner of AmaWaterways. Together the partnership builds and operates an impressive fleet of the best river cruise ships in the world, both in Europe and Asia. AmaWaterways’ president, Rudi Schreiner and executive vice president and co-owner Kristin Karst, were also at the event, with Rudi making a speech as part of the official celebrations.
The ship’s godmother, leading Australian travel industry figurehead and owner of Perth’s Bicton Travel, Carole Smethurst, christened theAmaStella in time-honoured tradition, breaking a bottle of Champagne against the ship’s hull.
The tradition of christening a ship originated more than 4,000 years ago. A respected and well-known woman is selected to serve as a new ship’s honorary ’godmother’, entrusted with blessing the vessel to ensure the safety of its passengers and crew.
Commenting on her newly bestowed role Carole said, “I am truly honoured to have been asked to be godmother to AmaStella. I will be tracking the progress of my special ‘god-ship’ and she will have a special place in my heart from now on.”
Following the christening guests were entertained by traditional dancers, folk music and the evening was rounded off by a gunshot salute performed by the Alpine Shooters.
Commenting on the occasion, Robert McGeary said, “We are proud to have a multi award winning Australian travel agent as godmother to our newest and most innovative European rivership. We hope our guests enjoy sailing aboard the stunning AmaStella.”
The 158-passenger AmaStella will sail the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers in 2016 and offers innovative design features including twin balconies (an APT exclusive), interconnecting cabins for multigenerational or group travel and spacious suites that measure up to 350 sq. feet.
Guests travelling on APT Collection cruises aboard AmaStella in 2016 will also enjoy a choice of up to seven dining experiences, including the Chef’s Table Restaurant; unlimited fine wine, spirits and beer served at their discretion; a heated pool with swim-up bar; massage and beauty salon and fitness studio; and complimentary in-room Internet, Infotainment and Wi-Fi. The AmaStella also carries a fleet of bicycles on board.
AmaStella will operate APT’s Magnificent Europe cruises, priced from $6,495* per person, twin share, which sail between Amsterdam and Budapest. These cruises offer a distinct point of difference in the Australian market, namely APT’s three Royal Signature Experiences: a journey aboard the luxurious Majestic Imperator train: a private visit to Namedy Castle; and a private musical soiree at Vienna’s newly refurbished City Palace.
Robert McGeary and Chris Hall also joined Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst to celebrate the christening of the AmaViola the following day.