AmaWaterways has announced that highly-respected travel industry leader Filomena Andre will serve as Godmother of its newest European ship, AmaLea. Andre will “bless” the 154-guest ship alongside AmaWaterways’ executive team during a christening ceremony in Vilshofen, Germany in May 2018.
“We choose the Godmothers for our ships very carefully. It is essential to us that they share our passion for growing the river cruise industry and our commitment to providing the most memorable vacations for our guests,” said AmaWaterways’ Executive Vice President and Co-Owner Kristin Karst. “Filomena is such a well-respected travel industry leader and we are thrilled to welcome her as Godmother of the stunning AmaLea. We can’t wait to celebrate onboard with her next year!”
Andre has served as a travel industry leader for more than three decades, beginning her career as a travel agent and quickly moving into management positions. In 2010, she joined the Automobile Club of Southern California as vice president for AAA Travel Products & Services, preceded by a long career as an executive at Signature Travel Network. Today, Andre oversees travel product management, strategy and performance for the Auto Club organization, the largest AAA affiliate in the country. Recognized as a strong advocate for retail travel, Andre is also a member of several industry advisory boards.
“It is such an unexpected honor to be selected as Godmother of AmaLea,” said Andre. “Rudi, Kristin, Gary and the entire AmaWaterways family have the innovative mindset and passion needed to push the river cruising industry forward. That, together with their exemplary customer service, is what I’ve admired most about their teams in the office and onboard their ships.”
Sister ship to Karst’s namesake, AmaKristina, AmaLea boasts the most advanced design of any river cruise vessel currently in operation. The ship will feature the line’s exclusive Twin Balconies in most staterooms – offering panoramic views from both a French and outside balcony. The ship also features four suites, interconnecting staterooms and triple occupancy staterooms designed for multi-generation families. Guests will enjoy gourmet dining onboard AmaLea, with free-flowing wines at multiple venues – including The Chef’s Table; a heated sun deck swimming pool with a swim-up bar; fitness center and spa; complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship; in-room Internet and Entertainment On Demand; and a fleet of bicycles carried onboard for guests to enjoy complimentary, taking their own path or participating in guided tours.
In addition, guests sailing aboard AmaLea will enjoy expanded biking and hiking options next cruise season – giving adventure enthusiasts the opportunity to explore in more ports than ever before. Also debuting in 2018, AmaWaterways’ complimentary ‘Sip and Sail’ cocktail hour will serve premium beer, wine and spirits in the ships’ cocktail lounge each evening before dinner.
AmaLea will start her inaugural season with a series of six Tulip Time cruises from Amsterdam before hosting seven-night cruises on the Danube River between Vilshofen and Budapest with optional three-night pre- or post-cruise land programs offered in Munich and Prague. Topping off the 2018 sailing season will be four iconic Christmas Market Cruises on the Danube.