Kristin Karst after the AmaKristina naming ceremony.
Kristin Karst after the AmaKristina naming ceremony. Photo Credit: Jeri Clausing

Kristin Karst has seen her share of river ship christenings. Twenty-one, in fact, since Karst, her husband Rudi Schreiner and the late Jimmy Murphy started AmaWaterways in 2002.

Wednesday, however, was her turn to the do the honors, breaking the traditional bottle of champagne across the company’s newest ship, which also bears her name.

With her parents, a half dozen godmothers of other AmaWaterways and competitors’ ships, media, co-owners, valued travel partners, local dignitaries as well as regular guests, Karst officially launched the AmaKristina on the Rhine River in her native Germany.

The celebration was set against the backdrop of three medieval castles in the town of Lahnstein. It came three days into the ship’s second month of sailing, and under the first full day of clear skies since setting off from Basel on the way to Amsterdam.

The ship is similar to others the company has launched in recent years, with AmaWaterways’ signature twin indoor-outdoor balconies and selection of adjoining cabins the company has added recently to cater to growing interest in family and multigenerational travel.

The AmaKristina was launched as the company celebrates its 15th anniversary and brings to 20 the number now in the company’s fleet. (AmaWaterways previously had 20 but sold an old one.)

Its most distinguishing characteristic is the interior, featuring bright pops of red and turquoise and seemingly mismatched but tasteful, colorful patterns scattered throughout the rooms and public areas.

Karst, who credits her love of river cruising to the Elbe River cruises her parents took the family on when she was young, said she and Schreiner had originally planned her namesake for the Elbe, but drought conditions in recent years forced a shift in plans.

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