And, she’s off! Avalon Waterways christened its tenth ship, the Avalon Luminary, at a ceremony in the fishing village of Hoorn in the Netherlands last week.
The 138-passenger ship was christened on July 30 by its godmother, Kristi Jones, president of travel agency consortium Virtuoso.
The Avalon Luminary features 65 staterooms and four junior suites. The ship’s staterooms measure 172 square feet, and 90% have floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors. The junior suites are 258 square feet each.
The Luminary cabins also feature flat screen televisions, Comfort Collection by Avalon bedding, a mini-bar, safe, laundry and ironing services. The ship has a fitness room, library, hair salon and gift shop, as well as a club lounge, Jacuzzi and a Sky Grill for open-air lunches on the sky deck.
Arriving from the Den Breejen Shipyard in Holland, the Avalon Luminary marks the company’s tenth new ship in Europe since 2004.
In attendance at the christening were Thomas Ritter, CEO of Seehandlung, the financing company for the Avalon Luminary; the ship’s captain Michael Hoffman; as well as Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways.
“Inspired by design, our ships are crafted to entice all five senses,” said Clark. “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.”
Following the christening, the new vessel set sail on an inaugural Romantic Rhine cruise. The Luminary will sail the two 9-day itineraries between Amsterdam and Basel, and between Zurich and Amsterdam (both called Romantic Rhine) for the remainder of 2010. The ship will also sail Christmas in the Heart of Germany, Christmastime in Germany & Austria and Christmastime on the Danube.
The Luminary is already 92% sold for 2010.
In 2011, the Avalon Luminary will sail more than 10 Avalon itineraries throughout Europe, including the 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 is the sister ship to the Avalon Felicity, launched in May 2010, Avalon Creativity, launched in August 2009, and Avalon Affinity, launched in May 2009.
In May 2011, Avalon will be launching the Avalon Panorama, marking a new design for Avalon ships with 200-square-foot suites on the top two decks featuring floor-to-ceiling panorama balcony doors.
Avalon will be retiring the 178-passenger Avalon Artistry, which was built in 2004, and the 176-passenger Avalon Poetry, built in 2005, at the end of this year.