AmaWaterways officially welcomed the company’s newest vessel, AmaKristina, to its fleet during a christening ceremony in Lahnstein, Germany on May 10. The namesake of AmaWaterways’ Co-Owner and Executive Vice President Kristin Karst, AmaKristina represents the company’s commitment to design and guest comfort and service. The special ceremony celebrates the arrival of the company’s 20th ship and marks AmaWaterways’ 15th year anniversary.
“When Kristin Karst, Jimmy Murphy and I sat down to dream up the perfect river cruise company, we shared a vision of inviting guests to discover the spectacular scenery and enchanting towns along the world’s most iconic rivers in a style that was luxurious yet warm and friendly,” said AmaWaterways’ President and Co-Owner Rudi Schreiner. “Having our guests, our employees and our business partners feel a part of our family venture has been at the center of all our decisions since that day. As we celebrate the beautiful AmaKristina and her equally remarkable Godmother, I look around and am so very proud that our dream has become a reality.”
The christening event itself was part of a weeklong celebration, during which guests onboard were joined by Karst, Schreiner and AmaWaterways’ Vice President, Sales and Co-Owner Gary Murphy, past Godmothers, travel industry friends, and international media.
Presiding over his 10th AmaWaterways christening ceremony, Captain Jan de Bruijn welcomed Karst and more than 200 international and local guests to the special afternoon event, which featured a dockside cocktail reception, traditional religious blessing, local entertainment and warm welcome by Mayor Peter Labonte on behalf of the town of Lahnstein. Celebrations continued into the evening with a gala dinner and were culminated with a surprise fireworks display.
“I am overjoyed and blessed to share this occasion with my parents, close friends and respected industry partners,” Karst said. “It’s such an incredible honor to be the Godmother and namesake of this newest addition to the Ama family.”
In celebration of this occasion, Karst was accompanied by several AmaWaterways’ Godmothers that have been instrumental to AmaWaterways’ success over the past 15 years including: Jackie Friedman, president, Nexion and Godmother of AmaViola, 2016; Michelle Fee, CEO, Cruise Planners and Godmother of AmaSerena, 2015; and Brenda Kyllo, Vice President, Strategic Alliances, AmaWaterways and Godmother of AmaSonata, 2014.
Sister-ship to AmaViola and AmaStella, AmaKristina accommodates 156 guests and will be sailing the Rhine River between Amsterdam and Basel. Travelers will enjoy staterooms with twin-balconies and three dining venues including The Chef’s Table – an intimate dining experience with a multi-course tasting menu paired with hand-selected regional wines.
Other features include the sundeck with running track; heated pool and swim-up bar; elevator with enhanced access to the lower deck and fitness center; hair salon and spa; free Wi-Fi throughout the ship; in-room Entertainment-On-Demand system and complimentary beer and wine with lunch and dinner.
“I never dreamed that as a young girl growing up in Dresden on the banks of the Elbe River that I would one day have a ship named after me,” Karst said. “The last 15 years have been a remarkable journey and today, I am so proud to christen our newest ship and take this moment to thank all our guests, employees, onboard teams, ship builders and travel industry partners that have contributed to our success.”
I hope Ama has upgraded its beds to hotel style mattresses. The thin vinyl-covered mattress on the AmaCerto in December 2015 was worse than my college dorm.