(1:25 p.m. EDT) — Under sunny skies, a small crowd of passengers, journalists and crew gathered Friday on the top deck of Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s newest riverboat, River Voyager, to watch as the ship was officially christened in Basel, Switzerland.
Among bunches of white balloons and glasses of Champagne, Patricia Lewis — wife of Vantage CEO Henry Lewis — and ship godmother Maria Chaves, ship godmother Maria Chaves a retired Vantage employee who was instrumental in developing the company’s river line, presented Captain Siegbert Schroeder with a red pillow bearing the key to River Voyager, tied with a gold ribbon.
CEO Henry Lewis, who successfully smashed a bottle of Champagne against the ship’s bridge, has touted 176-passenger River Voyager as "the most impressive member of our international fleet yet."
The four-deck vessel boasts a jazz theme – the first for the line — featuring music-inspired art and lounges, dining venues and suites named after famous jazz musicians and New Orleans haunts. The ship also offers an expansive sun deck with a giant chess set and plenty of shaded seating, as well as a spa, a small fitness center and a lounge that feature nightly entertainment.
River Voyager will sail the Rhine, Main and Danube. On Vantage, passengers receive included shore excursions and alcoholic beverages at most meals.
For more on Vantage, read What to Expect on a Vantage River Cruise and Viking River Cruises vs. Vantage Deluxe World Travel.