Under overcast skies, but in a celebratory mood, the official christening ceremony for Avalon Waterway’s newest ship took place at 5 pm on May 14 in Mainz, Germany. The Panorama will now sail the rivers of Europe, joining her eight other sister- river cruise boats in the Avalon fleet.
Guests, media and dignitaries gathered on the dockway to watch as the godmother, Lisa Wilkinson, cut the rope to send the champagne bottle swinging — and breaking perfectly — on the hull of the new boat. A propitious beginning.
Lined along the top deck, the crew cheered as their new home received its name.
Wilkinson is a well known Australian television and media personality, star of the Nine Network’s Today show and hugely successful editor of Cleo, the No. 1 selling women’s lifestyle magazine per capita in the world.
Later on board , there were speeches and more champagne. Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways, toasted the new ship and introduced the management and crew who were responsible for getting the Panorama seaworthy.
The pre-launch sales of cruises on Panorama have been so successful that her sister ship is already being planned, to launch in 2012.
The reception was followed by a gala seven course dinner — an elegant affair to begin the first season of the new Panorama.