Author Patricia Schultz has christened Avalon Waterways’ 166-passenger Avalon Expression in Koblenz, Germany.

The author of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” served as the ship’s godmother during a naming ceremony in early May.

The Expression is the second new river cruise vessel Avalon launched in Europe this spring, following the christening of the 128-passenger Avalon Artistry II in Middelburg, the Netherlands, in early April.

The 443-foot Expression is the fifth ship in Avalon’s Suite Ship class of river cruise vessels, which features wall-to-wall panorama doors on the upper two decks that when opened transform the cabins into open-air balconies.

The Expression brings to 12 the total number of ships Avalon has in its European fleet. The company plans on introducing three additional Suite Ships next year: the 128-passenger Avalon Poetry II, the 166-passenger Avalon Illumination and the 166-passenger Avalon Illumination.

Avalon will retire two of its older vessels at the end of this year: the 162-passenger Avalon Imagery and the 162-passenger Avalon Tranquility, both of which launched in 2007.

The Suite Ships also feature a main lounge and dining room, hair salon, sky deck whirlpool and an open-air bistro for outdoor lunches.

For the 2013 season, the Expression will sail itineraries along the Danube River.

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