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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Acclaimed Travel Expert Valerie Wilson Christens the Amaprima

APT and partner AmaWaterways Celebrate their Newest European Ship in Vilshofen, Germany

Award-winning river cruise lines APT and AmaWaterways celebrated the christening of their newest ship in Vilshofen, Germany, yesterday, amid great fanfare provided by dancers, singers, musicians, stilt walkers and other local performers. The highlight of the event was the traditional christening of the Amaprima by its honorary godmother, Valerie Wilson, founder, chairman and CEO of New York City-based Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc.

Wilson christened the AmaPrima in the time-honored tradition, breaking a bottle of Champagne against the ship's hull. Amid a chorus of cheers and applause, doves were released into the sky as the Vilshofen Fire Department sprayed a plume of water high over the river.

Other highlights included a special blessing of the ship by a local pastor, songs by soprano Heidlinde Schmid and an Indiana Jones-like whipcracking demonstration (a Bavarian tradition). Children from a folkloric club preformed traditional dances and presented the Vilsofhen flag to the AmaPrima's captain, Jan de Bruin, who also signed the town's ceremonial "Golden Book" along with other VIPs in attendance.

The tradition of christening a ship originated more than 4,000 years ago. A respected and well-known woman is selected to serve as a new ship's honorary "godmother," entrusted with blessing the vessel to ensure the safety of its passengers and crew. The Amaprima's godmother, Valerie Wilson, heads one of the largest privately owned and family-managed travel agencies in the United States. She has been honored with many prestigious awards, serves on numerous advisory boards and has shared her expertise with readers of The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesTown & Country and Travel + Leisure, among others. She is also the author of "Valerie Wilson's World…The Top Hotels & Resorts."

One of APT's Concerto class river ships, the Amaprima, a sister ship to the award-winning Amacerto (2012), is a deluxe 164-feet passenger vessel that incorporates such innovative design features as Twin Balconies (an APT and AmaWaterways exclusive) and spacious staterooms that measure up to 350 sq. feet. Guests also enjoy Chaîne des Rôtisseurs culinary creations with unlimited fine wine and beer, a choice of dining venues, a heated pool with swim-up bar, massage and beauty salon, fitness studio, and complimentary in-room Internet, Infotainment and Wi-Fi. The Amaprima even carries a fleet of bicycles on board so guests can enjoy Europe's picturesque riverside bike paths on their own.

The Amaprima will serve the Dutch and Belgium Waterways and the Danube and Rhine Rivers on 10 itineraries: Tulip Time CruiseThe Romantic DanubeMelodies of the DanubeThe Legendary DanubeBlue Danube DiscoveryBlack Sea VoyageMagnificent EuropeGrand Danube CruiseChristmas Time Cruise; and Great Capitals & Vintages of the Danube.

To book an APT River Cruise onboard the Amaprima in 2014 call 1300 278 278, see www.aptouring.com.au or contact your local travel agent.

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