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At the end of July, Avalon Waterways unveiled and christened the Avalon Luminary in Hoorn, Netherlands, with Kristi Jones, president of Virtuoso, serving as its godmother.In attendance were Dr. Thomas Ritter, CEO of Seehandlung, the financing company for the Avalon Luminary; the ship’s captain Michael Hoffman; Avalon Waterways’ managing director Patrick Clark; and Avalon Waterways’ head of operations, Burghart Lell.Luminary is the company’s 10th new ship in Europe since 2004. After its christening, the new vessel set sail on its inaugural Romantic Rhine cruise, and later in the year, the Luminary will offer Avalon’s holiday cruise itineraries: Christmas in the Heart of Germany; Christmastime in Germany & Austria; and Christmastime on the Danube. Ninety-two percent of the new ship’s berths were booked through the end of the year by her inauguration.In 2011, the she will sail on more than 10 European itineraries, including a Tulip Time Cruise; Central European Experience; Magnificent Europe; The Blue Danube Discovery; The Legendary Danube; Windmills, Vineyards & Paris; and a wine-themed cruise on the Rhine and Moselle rivers.Built in Holland’s Den Breejen Shipyard, the Avalon Luminary has 65 staterooms and four junior suites. As with Avalon Waterways’ other European fleet ships, the ship’s staterooms measure 172-square feet and 90 percent of them boast floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic sliding glass doors. Junior suites are 258 square feet. Other features include flat-screen televisions, large closets, Comfort Collection by Avalon premium bed suites, minibars, safes, laundry and ironing services, a fully equipped fitness room, a library, a hair salon, a gift shop, a club lounge and a Jacuzzi on the Sky Deck. Open-air dining is also available at lunch each day on Luminary’s Sky Deck grill.
“Inspired by design, our ships are crafted to entice all five senses,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “Some enhancements, including deluxe woven carpeting, bathrobes and slippers and premium L’Occitane products in our staterooms are subtle. Other offerings, such as Avalon-branded premium bedding, large staterooms and a perfect balance of warm interiors with natural lighting and panoramic views are distinctive and unexpected. Combined, all elements provide travelers with a unique feeling of space, freedom and comfort not found with any other cruise line.”