AmaWaterways has christened its newest river cruise ship, AmaDouro, with a festive ceremony in Porto, Portugal. The christening put the final touch on AmaDouro’s inaugural sailing which began in Porto and returned for the special evening event hosted by AmaWaterways co-founders Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst. Honorary guest, Advantage Travel Partnership Chief Executive Officer and AmaDouro Godmother, Julia Lo Bue-Said was joined by respected travel industry partners, international media and other guests for the celebration.
“The arrival of every new ship is exciting for us at AmaWaterways, but we are particularly thrilled to be adding AmaDouro to this spectacular region that we proudly helped introduce when sister ship AmaVida was first launched in 2013,” said Schreiner. “We are very happy to have our friends and partners join us here today as this 21st addition to our fleet marks the beginning of a banner year for our company.”
Following a long-standing tradition associated with ship christenings that originated more than 4,000 years ago, a priest blessed the ship and crew and Captain Pedro Sardo assisted as Godmother Lo Bue-Said broke a champagne bottle against AmaDouro’s hull, signifying good luck on the journeys ahead.
“We are very happy to have Julia officially welcome this new addition to our family,” said Karst. “It is our way of celebrating the incredible growth and our strong commitment to the UK travel advisor community, as we work together to bring more guests from around the world to this unspoiled region of Europe.”
Reflecting true “AmaFamily” values, Schreiner and Karst surprised their first British godmother, who was accompanied by her husband and youngest son, by flying in her eldest son for the ceremony. Guests joined in the festivities, which included speeches by Schreiner, Karst and Lo Bue-Said, lively local entertainment featuring folk dancers and fado singers, regionally inspired cocktails and a gala dinner.
“I’m very honoured to be godmother of this incredible ship,” said Lo Bue-Said. “AmaDouro has truly exceeded my expectations of river cruising, from the ship herself to the unparalleled guest service and curated shore excursions. Travelling through Portugal and welcoming this ship with my family has been an unforgettable experience and I am honoured to help officially welcome AmaDouro to AmaWaterways’ extraordinary fleet.”
AmaDouro offers 51 elegantly designed staterooms, most with outside balconies to enjoy beautiful views of hills and vineyards along the UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley. Additional amenities include a Panoramic Lounge for nightly entertainment, a heated Sun Deck swimming pool, fitness room, massage room and the company’s renowned cuisine at the Main Restaurant, serving regionally inspired dishes and hand-selected wines.
Joining sister ship AmaVida which sails between Porto and Vega Terron, AmaDouro will be based in Porto and will offer seven-night round-trip Enticing Douro cruises with a three-night pre-cruise land program in Lisbon. AmaDouro is the first of three new ships to be added to AmaWaterways’ innovative fleet this year. Other new ships making their debut include AmaMora, sister ship to AmaLea and AmaKristina, sailing on the Rhine, and the revolutionary AmaMagna on the Danube.