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Godmother Kristin Karst, at center in red, surrounded by Rudi Schreiner, Capt. Jan de Bruijn, family, friends and godmothers of other AmaWaterways vessels Jackie Friedman, Michelle Fee and Brenda Kyllo

AmaWaterways' Kristin Karst ushers in her namesake ship

AmaWaterways today welcomed its 20th vessel, AmaKristina—named for the company's co-owner and evp Kristin Karst—with a christening ceremony in Lahnstein, Germany.

The festivity was part of a weeklong celebration on board with Karst, AmaWaterways president and co-owner Rudi Schreiner, vp sales and co-owner Gary Murphy, past godmothers, travel industry friends and international media.

Presiding over his 10th AmaWaterways christening, Capt. Jan de Bruijn welcomed Karst and more than 200 international and local guests to the afternoon event, which featured a dockside cocktail reception, traditional religious blessing, local entertainment and welcome by Mayor Peter Labonte on behalf of the town of Lahnstein.

Celebrations continued into the evening with a gala dinner and a surprise fireworks display.

'I am overjoyed and blessed to share this occasion with my parents, close friends and respected industry partners,' Karst said. 'It’s such an incredible honor to be the godmother and namesake of this newest addition to the Ama family.'

As a young girl growing up in Dresden on the banks of the Elbe River, Karst never dreamed she would one day have a ship named after her.

'The last 15 years have been a remarkable journey,' she said, 'and today I am so proud to christen our newest ship and take this moment to thank all our guests, employees, on-board teams, shipbuilders and travel industry partners that have contributed to our success.'

'When Kristin Karst, Jimmy Murphy and I sat down to dream up the perfect river cruise company, we shared a vision of inviting guests to discover the spectacular scenery and enchanting towns along the world’s most iconic rivers in a style that was luxurious yet warm and friendly,' Schreiner said.

'Having our guests, our employees and our business partners feel a part of our family venture has been at the center of all our decisions since that day,' he continued. 'As we celebrate the beautiful AmaKristina and her equally remarkable godmother, I look around and am so very proud that our dream has become a reality.'

Karst was accompanied by several AmaWaterways godmothers who have been instrumental to the company's success, including Jackie Friedman, president, Nexion (AmaViola, 2016); Michelle Fee, ceo, Cruise Planners (AmaSerena, 2015); and Brenda Kyllo, vp strategic alliances, AmaWaterways (AmaSonata, 2014).

The sister ship of AmaViola and AmaStella, AmaKristina accommodates 156 passengers and will be sailing the Rhine River between Amsterdam and Basel.

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