|Pictured in the following photos are Godmother Deborah Hutton; Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways; and Antonius Van Den Boom, captain of the Avalon Illumination.|
Godmother Deborah Hutton, an Australian television personality, christened Avalon Waterways’ newest river cruise ship – Avalon Illumination – at a ceremony in Vienna, Austria.
Christened in classical Viennese style on the banks of the Danube, Avalon Illumination is the third Suite Ship addition to Avalon’s European fleet this year.
“May all who sail on this splendid vessel enjoy their voyage and take home with them the joy and enrichment of a shared journey,” Hutton said as she launched the ship. “May she enjoy the warm and familiar welcome of the ports, towns and cities she visits along Europe’s greatest rivers.”
Jointly hosted by the Vienna Tourist Board, Illumination’s launch was conducted with high Austrian pageantry, featuring classical musicians. The event was attended by media and travel industry leaders from Australia, New Zealand and the United States, as well as Austrian dignitaries and tourism officials.
The 83-stateroom Avalon Illumination is the eighth Suite Ship introduced by Avalon since its successful Suite Ship concept made its debut three years ago with the launch of Avalon Panorama. Designed with North American and Australian travelers in mind, the Suite Ships offer 30 percent more stateroom space than the average river cruise stateroom.
In addition, each has two decks of all-suite accommodation and wall-to-wall panoramic windows that slide back to turn the entire cabin into an open-air balcony, allowing passengers to enjoy the outdoors without compromising space.
Next year Avalon will introduce another two Suite Ships – Avalon Tapestry II and Avalon Tranquility II – for a total of 10 Suite Ships in its overall European fleet of 15 vessels.
“Avalon’s Suite Ships have met with sell-out success thanks to the enthusiasm of American and Australian travelers, alike, so we’re delighted to have an Aussie godmother to launch Avalon Illumination,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways in the United States. “ Deborah Hutton is the second Australian godmother to launch an Avalon Suite Ship, after the christening of Avalon Panorama by television presenter Lisa Wilkinson in 2011.
For more information, visit www.avalonwaterways.com.