And she’s off! The Avalon Creativity was formally christened on Saturday and is currently sailing its inaugural Romantic Rhine cruise.
The christening ceremony took place on an uncharacteristically sunny Dutch afternoon in Volendam, a Netherlands fishing village, where we all stood by and watched as the Creativity’s godmother Nancy Telliho, president of Newsweek Budget Travel Inc., successfully broke the ceremonial champagne against the vessel.
It struck me that lately it seems hard to keep up with all of Avalon’s new ships. The company launched the Avalon Affinity in May, and the Creativity is Avalon’s eight ship.
Two more are scheduled for next year, bringing the total to 10, and Avalon announced during the Creativity’s christening cruise that it will launch three additional ships in 2011.
That will bring the total to 13, but it isn’t yet clear what Avalon will start doing with some of the older ships in its fleet. Avalon leases its ships, so when the leases come up for renewal, the river cruise operator has the option to not renew.
The idea, according to Avalon, is to have the newest river cruise fleet in Europe, but not necessarily the largest fleet. What that means for Avalon customers is they can come to expect a certain level of newness on board Avalon ships.
And no matter how great the ship, there’s nothing like a sparkling cabin and the look and feel of new.