This Week in Cruise: Avalon Christens New Ship and Holland America's Volendam Prepares for Drydock

Avalon Waterways christened its newest river cruise ship, the Avalon Illumination, in Vienna Austria last week. This is the third Suite Ship added to Avalon's European fleet this year. Austrian television personality Deborah Hutton was chosen as godmother of the 83-room ship.

The expansion continues next year, as Avalon plans to introduce two more Suite Ships – Avalon Tapestry II and Avalon Tranquility II – for a total of 10 Suite Ships in its overall European fleet of 15 vessels.

Holland America is sending its Volendam into drydock during December, where the ship will receive 21 new Lanai staterooms, which will replace existing outside staterooms. Separately, the ship's suites and certain other stateroom categories including the Lanai staterooms will receive updated bathrooms. The line also will add Mix, the line's contemporary bar space with three separate venues, to Volendam.

With the conversion of existing outside staterooms to the new Lanai accommodations, Volendam’s guest capacity of 1,432 will not change. The line previously added Lanai staterooms to Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam.

Kristin Chenoweth, the godmother of Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas, was named Quantum experience advisor for entertainment. Chenoweth joins a lineup of Quantum Experience Advisors who are working with Royal Caribbean to select the amenities aboard Quantum of the Seas, including HGTV-star and interior designer Genevieve Gorder, athlete and adventurer Dhani Jones and James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz.

As Advisor, Chenoweth has had the opportunity to participate in an executive review committee, previewing the concepts for all of the shows, productions, and themed events in development for Quantum of the Seas and giving feedback on every aspect ranging from sets and music, to costumes, casting and more.

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