On a warm, sunny evening in Linz, Austria, Avalon Waterways recently christened its 12th Suite Ship, the Avalon Passion, in Linz, Austria.
Acting as the ship’s godmother, Jill Ellis – head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team – led the christening ceremony.
“At first you were a vision, and with nurturing and enthusiasm you grew into a plan. Then, with dedication and teamwork, you were crafted, and today with pride and delight we celebrate you in your full glory,” said Ellis. “May the lives of everyone touched by you be forever enriched, and may you feel the warmth of friendship and love on your decks. Travel safely on your journey and God Speed. I christen this ship, Avalon Passion.”
After reciting her blessing, Ellis cut a rope tethered to Moët & Chandon Champagne, causing the bottle to break against the newly named ship’s bow as Captain Peter Werner, managing director of Avalon Waterways Patrick Clark and the ship’s crew of 44 along with 150 guests – including local dignitaries and tourism boards – cheered.
“As the head coach of the winning U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and former development director of the U.S. Women’s Youth National Teams, Jill Ellis has a history of proving that with passion – and hard work – dreams come true,” said Clark. “As someone who has shown great passion for, verve and vibrancy in cultivating women’s soccer, she is the perfect godmother to bless the Avalon Passion.”
After the christening ceremony, the 443-foot, 166-passenger Avalon Passion welcomed travellers aboard to cruise the Danube River on such popular itineraries as The Legendary Danube, The Blue Danube Discovery, European Splendor and Grand Danube Cruise, among others.
The christening of the new Avalon Passion came just a week after Avalon Waterways christened another new Suite Ship – the Avalon Imagery II – in the Engers, Germany. There, New Zealand broadcaster Judy Bailey gave a godmother blessing in Maori as dozens of travel industry professionals, international guests and dignitaries looked on.