The cermony put the final touch on AmaDouro’s inaugural sailing—which began in Porto and returned for the evening event hosted by AmaWaterways co-founders Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst. Advantage Travel Partnership CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said served as the godmother.
Fleet of 21 vessels
'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,' Schreiner said. He added that this 21st edition to the fleet marks the 'beginning of a banner year for our company.'
After a priest blessed the ship and crew, Capt. Pedro Sardo assisted as Lo Bue-Said broke a champagne bottle against AmaDouro’s hull.
AmaWaterways' first British godmother
'We are very happy to have Julia officially welcome this new addition to our family,' Karst said. 'It is our way of celebrating the incredible growth and our strong commitment to the UK travel adviser community, as we work together to bring more guests from around the world to this unspoiled region of Europe.'
Reflecting 'Ama family' 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, local folk dancers and fado singers, regionally inspired cocktails and a gala dinner.
'Traveling through Portugal and welcoming this ship with my family has been an unforgettable experience,' Lo Bue-Said, 'and I am honored to help officially welcome AmaDouro to AmaWaterways’ extraordinary fleet.'
AmaDouro offers 51 staterooms, most with balconies to view 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 regional specialties and hand-selected wines served in the the Main Restaurant.
Joining sister ship AmaVida which sails between Porto and Vega Terron, AmaDouro will be based in Porto for seven-night round-trip 'Enticing Douro' cruises with a three-night pre-cruise land program in Lisbon.